Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association (AHCA) Meeting
November 21, 2013 – 7:00 pm
Arlington Baptist Church (714 S. Monroe Street)
1) Introductions – 5 minutes
2) Election of Officers and Delegates
- One Year Delegate (Incumbent: Amber Baum)
- Two-Delegate (Incumbent: TJ Ball)
3) Committee Reports -10 minutes
- Arlington Presbyterian Church
4) Conservation Plan Review by County
- Volunteers for the Neighborhood Conservation Planning Committee
- The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm on November 21, 2013.
- Approximately 20 Alcova Heights residents were in attendance.
- 5 of 7 Board Members were in attendance
- A representative from the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) attended the meeting.
2. Election of Delegates
- Elections were held for two AHCA delegate positions:
- Nominations for all both positions were received prior to the meeting:
- Two-year Delegate: TJ Ball
- One-year Delegate: Karen Osterloh
- No other nominations were received from the floor.
- Per the AHCA by-laws, at least 10 active AHCA members were in attendance
- A motion was made and seconded to forgo ballots and consider the nominations by voice vote. The motion passed unanimously.
- Nominated delegates were approved unanimously by voice vote.
- The following individuals were elected:
- Two-year Delegate: TJ Ball
- One-year Delegate: Karen Osterloh
3. Committee Reports
- Mike Kigin gave an update on traffic issues
- Unfinished 8th Street sidewalk: Arlington County has indicated that they are waiting on Washington Gas to complete work before they can complete the sidewalk.
- Utility pole at Lincoln and 8th: Dominion has reviewed and deemed the leaning pole safe.
- Utility pole at 8th and Quincy: Wires have been removed but pole still standing. The County has been contacted.
- The County has installed a traffic camera at the intersection of 7th and Glebe.
- Police have been witnessed patrolling the roundabout at 9th and Lincoln.
- The bus that transports employees to the National Guard center has been witnessed cutting through the neighborhood. Sarah will contact the National Guard. They have been responsive in the past. If neighbors see this bus, they should note what number it is.
- Marie has some “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” signs that she will make available for neighbors
- Karl Veit suggested closing off streets throughout the neighborhood to reduce cu-down traffic. Neighbors noted that this had been considered and rejected in the past as it was viewed likely to simply shift traffic, not actually reduce it
- A neighbor noted a concern with traffic at the Monroe and Columbia Pike intersection. Neighbors should contact Mike Kigin with concerns.
3b. Conservation Plan
- Presentation of the Alcova Heights Conservation plan to the Arlington County Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) – has been moved up to January. Bill Rapp and Kelly Holly are working on the presentation.
- Following the presentation to the NCAC, the plan would go to the County in February.
- The plan does include a discussion about traffic concerns and cut-through traffic. The plan calls for the development of a traffic management plan.
- AHCA is in need of a new NCAC representative as our current representative has recently taken a job with the County.
- The neighborhood should be planning to identify projects to submit to the County this spring for potential fall 2014 funding. Having a newly approved plan will give Alcova Heights an advantage.
3c. Group Homes
- The group home on Monroe street had indicated that they would be leaving the neighborhood in August 2013. They are now targeting January 2014. Marie will be meeting with the leadership to understand whether this is a firm date.
- Neighbors are still expressing concerns about some behavior at the house.
3d. Presbyterian Church redevelopment
- Frank Ebbert provided an update on the development
- Neither the Church nor the developer, APAH, has communicated with AHCA since the last Association meeting in September 2013.
- The Church congregation voted on November 17, 2013 to proceed with the redevelopment. The vote was 34 to 19 in favor.
- The plans for the development appear to have changed. The total number of units planned appears to have been reduced to 120 and they appear to no longer be contemplating developing on 9th street, but the plans still call for the demolition of the church building.
- The National Capital Presbytery the owner of the land – will conduct a vote in January. Approval of the project is expected.
- The Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) is considering a proposal to declare the Church an historical building.
- On November 20, the Board agreed that the Church met two of 11 criteria for further consideration. Based on this, the Board voted unanimously to continue studying the issue. Meeting minutes and documents associated with the redevelopment can be found here
- Even if the church is determined to be historical, there would be further discussion about the appropriate level of protection. Even with a designation, the church could still be torn down.
- Based on the proposed financing approach, APAH may need to finalize the project by Spring 2014 to qualify for federal tax credits (see here for more information). If they miss this deadline, the project could be delayed.
- Meeting participants expressed a range of views on the appropriate course of action. There were differing views on whether the Association should attempt to intervene with the Church or focus attention on the County. There were also differing views on which of the many issues (historical status of the church, parking, traffic, the use of the property for affordable housing) the Association should address.
- Agreement was reached on writing a letter from the Association to the County Board with copies to APAH, the National Presbytery, and the Historical Review Board. The letter will focus on the failure of the Church and APAH to engage the neighborhood and will request that the neighborhood be given a full opportunity to comment on the plans and to have their concerns addressed.
- Sarah will lead the drafting of this letter. Alcova Heights residents are encouraged to submit issues for inclusion in the letter.
- The Association may also attempt to hold a special meeting on the issue in late December or early January.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.
The agenda could show more information re the topics: are they to be discussion or some action; what are we to discuss about “trees”; etc.