April 24, 2014


Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association (AHCA) Meeting
April 24, 2014 – 7:00 pm
Arlington Baptist Church (714 S. Monroe Street)

1)     Introductions  – 5 minutes

2)    Approval of minutes from February 20, 2014 meeting

3)     9th and Glebe Intersection: Christine Simpson, Arlington County

4)     Committee Reports

  • Summer block party
  • Group houses
  • Arlington Presbyterian Church
  • Conservation plan
  • Traffic

5)    Other Business

  • Yard Sale – April 26, 2014
  • Park Clean-up – May 17, 2014
  • Old/unfinished business
  • New business

Meeting Minutes

1. Introductions

  • The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm on April 24, 2014.
  • Approximately 15 Alcova Heights residents were in attendance.
  • 6 of 7 Board Members were in attendance
  • A representative from Arlington County (Christine Simpson) attended the meeting.

2. Approval of Minutes

  • The minutes from the prior meeting were approved by unanimous voice vote

3. Bike Boulevard Update/Plans for 9th and Glebe Crossing

  • Christine Simpson (Arlington County) provided an update on the bike boulevard project.
  • There are two routes paralleling Columbia Pike. One on 9th Street and one on 12th Street. The goal was to keep the routes as close to the Pike as possible to encourage bicyclists to visit commercial establishments on the Pike.
  • The County conducted traffic studies and consulted residents to determine how to manage crossing point on major roads.
  • The County will install two “hawk lights“. One will be be at the intersection of 9th Street and Walter Reed. The second will be at the intersection of George Mason and 13th Street.
  • The County will NOT be installing a hawk light at the intersection of 9th and Glebe. Instead, the County will paint a cross-walk and install a “Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon
  • The Rapid Flash Beacon does not require that cars stop – it is not treated like a stop sight. Pedestrians in the cross-walk do have the right of way.
  • There will be no changes to traffic patterns (no restrictions on turns from Glebe on to 9th) due to the installation of the Rapid Flash Beacon.
  • The Beacon should be installed in May or June 2014
  • The initial phase of the Bike Boulevard is nearly complete. Some changes are still being made on the route south of Columbia Pike due to ongoing construction.
  • The route north of Columbia Pike is complete except for a small section in Arlington Heights where 9th Street is one way (westbound) and curves significantly. Currently bicyclist riding on the road can not legally ride eastbound. The County would like to allow bicyclists to ride eastbound, but the neighborhood is opposed. The County will evaluate the usage of the route before making any further decisions.
  • Alcova Heights residents raised questions about the dead-end of the 9th Street bike boulevard between Quincy and Randolph (a set of stairs lead from 9th down to Randolph). The County currently has no plans to make changes to this (though it was noted later in the meeting that Alcova Heights could request a County project to make this area more friendly to bicyclists). Residents also asked whether the County could install a garbage can in this area. The County representative committed to looking into this.

4. Committee Reports

4a. Block Party

  •  The block party will be held on August 9th, 2014 on 8th Street.
  • Karen Osterloh is organizing and requests that residents interested in helping contact her.

4b. Group Homes

  • The group home on Monroe between 9th and 8th will be moving. Although no firm date has been provided, the organization that manages the home informed the Association that a moving van has been ordered.
  • The group home on 2nd Street seems to be working well with the neighborhood. Someone from the home has offered to help in the park cleanup planned for May 17, 2014.

4c. Arlington Presbyterian Church Redevelopment

  • While the redevelopment of the church property into affordable housing was approved by the National Capital Presbytery, the Presbytery’s finance committee has rejected the project due to concerns about the ability of the church to maintain a congregation.
  • Neither the Church nor Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing has provided any information on next steps for the project.

4d. Conservation Plan 

  •  The Alcova Heights Conservation Plan was approved by the County in February.
  • The final version will be posted to the Alcova Heights website and copies will be provided to the Columbia Pike library.
  • The completion of the plan provides Alcova Heights with the ability to request county projects and receive prioritized consideration.
  • The neighborhood needs to identify projects and should aim to submit ideas by fall of 2014.

5.  Other Business

  • A coordinated yard sale will occur on April 26. Neighbors are invited to set up in their own yards.
  • The Alcova Heights park clean up will occur on Saturday May 17 from 8:30 to noon. Neighbors are invited to come for part or all of the morning.

5a. Neighborhood Alleys and New Home Construction

  • Several residents have expressed concerns about the new homes being constructed on the corner of 6th and Monroe and the extent which they will encroach on the alley between Monroe and Oakland.
  • Sarah Uzel has engaged with the builder and the county.
  • The builder has a deed stating the he owns one half of the 12 foot alley.
  • There seems to be agreement that the alley can not be obstructed (i.e., even if the builder does own half of the alley, he can not build on that 6 feet)
  • There is, however, an open question as to whether the builder can include the 6 feet he claims to own as part of his setback requirement.
  • It appears that the builder may need a variance to continue work.
  • Several years ago, the County indicated that alleys in the neighborhood were grouped into one of three categories: 1) Easement in place and alley maintained by the County; 2) Easement in place but the County is not doing active maintenance; and 3) Easement vacated.
  • Larry Yungk suggested that the neighborhood request that the Arlington County attorney evaluate the ownership of the alleys in the neighborhood.
  • Several neighbors noted that the recently approved Conservation plan indicates the Association’s support for having accessible alleys.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

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