September 19, 2013


Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association (AHCA) Meeting
September 19, 2013 – 7:00 pm
Arlington Baptist Church (714 S. Monroe Street)

1)     Introductions  – 5 minutes

2)     Dominion Power  – 30 minutes

3)     Committee Reports -10 minutes

4)     Conservation Plan Status – 5 minutes

5)     Alcova Heights Halloween Parade – 5 minutes

6)     Arlington Presbyterian Church Redevelopment  – 30 minutes

7)    Other business

Meeting Minutes

1. Introductions

  • More than 40 Alcova Heights residents were in attendance.
  • 6 of 7 Board Members were in attendance

2. Dominion Power

  • Representatives from Dominion Power briefed the Association on power outage response plans and efforts to reduce outages
  • Dominion serves 85,000 customers in Arlington County
  • During an outage, Dominion prioritizes restoration activities as follows:
    • Public safety (anywhere that an outage is putting lives at risk)
    • Critical infrastructure (e.g., water treatment)
    • Hospitals, 911 services
    • Assisted living facilities
    • Large generation sources
    • Individual homes
  • Dominion is investing in infrastructure to improve reliability
  • “Smart” meters are one area of investment that can help.
    • System does not allow Dominion to determine when power is out in particular locations. Customers will still need to call Dominion.
  • Dominion feels that generators raise safety concerns and therefore, does not recommend their use.
  • Dominion has evaluated putting electrical distribution lines underground. However, undergrounding all lines would be prohibitively expensive. Dominion believes that undergrounding the most vulnerable 20 percent of lines that they could reduce outages by more than 60 percent. This is estimated to cost ~$2 billion.

3. Committee Reports – Traffic

  • The traffic committee has successfully address two issues:
    • Leaning power pole
    • Commuter parking at the park

4. Conservation Plan Status

  • The Alcova Heights Conservation plan is third in line to be reviewed by the County
  • Alcova Heights currently has no projects in the queue.  Money for Spring 2014 projects will be disbursed on November 17th. The neighborhood may wish to identify some projects to be considered for the next distribution of funds.

5. Halloween Parade

  • The Halloween parade will take place on October 26 at 3pm.
  • Please leave donated candy at 830 S Monroe St.

6. Arlington Presbyterian Church Redevelopment

  • The Church’s website includes some information on the planned redevelopment:
  • A representative from the Church made a statement about the process that had led the Church to redevelop their property and to engage a Developer – Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) in February 2013.
  • The general redevelopment proposal was presented to the National Capital Presbytery
  • A representative from APAH provided information on affordable housing in Arlington and on the plan for the Presbyterian Church.
    • Affordable housing is defined as housing that is available for families early 60 percent or less of the area median income. In Arlington, the threshold is approximately $65,000/ year (details).
    • The average income of families living in properties managed by APAH is $36,000.
    • 75 percent of the people living in properties managed by APAH are working families.
    • The redevelopment of the Presbyterian church would provide 140-150 units. Units would be 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms
    • 160 parking spaces are currently planned
    • The complex would be 6 stories high (fronting Columbia Pike)
    • The complex would include a coffee shop.
    • The property would include a day care and a church (as it currently does)
    • APAH plans to return to the Association when plans are in place
    • Completion is expected in late 2017.
  • Questions:
    • Q: Would the property be 100 percent affordable housing? A: Yes.
    • Q: Why does it have to be 100%? A: This is the decision taken by the Church and APAH. There is adequate market rate housing already available. The County has specified that the amount of affordable housing along Columbia Pike should be preserved. Due to the reduction in affordable housing in recent years, this development would only maintain previously established levels of affordable housing.
    • Q: What can neighbors expect in terms of outreach? A: There is a well-defined process under the form-based code (; APAH is open to having a dialogue with neighbors
    • Q: What will happen to the daycare while construction is underway? A: Not sure at this point.
    • Q: Why so few parking spaces? A: APAH has engaged a parking consultant. On average, in APAH properties, the number of parking spaces utilized is 0.6 per resident.
    • Q: Do zoning laws currently permit this activity? A: Yes. The area is designated R5. Churches and day cares are permitted.
    • Q: Who will ultimately decide on whether to grant a permit for this development? A: The Arlington County board. Individuals can comment.
    • Q: How does APAH decide who to accept when they receive more applications than units available?  A: In general, APAH uses a lottery. Some units are set aside for individuals with disabilities
    • Q: Why can’t this project be in north Arlington? A: APAH does manage affordable housing properties in north Arlington.
    • Q: Is the current plan set in stone? A: No.
    • Q: Will the coffee shop be a Starbucks? A: No.
    • Q: How does the scale of this planned complex compare to Penrose or Arlington Mill? A: Arlington Mill is smaller.
    • Q: Who would own the property and the complex? A: The Church would continue to own the land and make an “air lease” to APAH.
    • Q: Will APAH conduct background checks on applicants? A: Yes. APAH conducts both criminal and credit checks.
  • A neighborhood working committee will be established to follow-up on this issue and continue to engage the Church and APAH.

1 Response to September 19, 2013

  1. Pingback: Minutes of the September 19, 2013 meeting of the Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association now avaiable | Alcova Heights

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