May 18, 2017

Alcova Heights Citizens’ Association
Meeting Minutes

May 18, 2017

Location: Arlington Baptist Church

President Lander Allin called the meeting to order and introduced guest speakers from the Gilliam Place project: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH), Donohoe, and Arlington Presbyterian Church

There were approximately 35 people in attendance.

The APAH Presentation is available here.

  • Parking: 1.125 cars per unit plus additional for retail; they believe they have less than 1:1 demand for parking.
  • Internal greenspace: Courtyard and a terrace available to tenants only.
  • APAH properties are about 99% occupancy only vacancy is turnover.

Donohoe Construction

Construction Timeline:
Spring 2017 – Summer 2019

Construction Stages:

April 2017

Phase I Infrastructure

Summer 2017

Building Demolition (about 1 month)

Fall 2017

Garage Excavation

Summer 2019

Grand Opening & Occupancy

  • Just Lincoln Street powerlines will be undergrounded. Not other areas.
  • 2-story garage, all of the parking is below grade. 1 level of concrete at grade, 5 stories of wood above.
  • Should be completed about 2 years from this time. (Approx May 2019)
  • Some of the stones will be saved for a facade.
  • There is asbestos in the church structure which is being remediated now (before demolition). It will be certified clean before demolition. (Tomorrow likely.)

Core Construction Hours
Weekdays – 7am-6:30pm
Weekends/Holidays – 10am-6:30pm

Additional Hours
Workers/Trucks Arriving – After 6am
Indoor Construction – Until Midnight

“We’re very sensitive to not having back up truck sounds before 7am”

Public Right-of-Way Hours
Weekdays 7am-3:30pm
Weekends 10am-6pm

Peter Neubauer is our neighborhood liaison for this project.

Columbia Pike Westbound Lane Closures
For two years – Columbia Pike lane closure 7am-3:30pm on the site side of Columbia Pike (from Lincoln to Monroe). ONE LANE WILL BE CLOSED.
Neighbors addressed concerns that 9th St will be the de facto bypass for Columbia Pike for two years while this lane is closed.

Lincoln St. “Parking lane closed from construction start to end of project. Staging lane for small/medium truck deliveries.

Construction crews will be parking at Bank of America, Adventist Church, and they are encouraging public transportation. Once the garage is built they will encourage parking under there.
Neighbors asked whether workers will park in the neighborhood. For the most part crews know not to park in the neighborhood. If you see a guy in a hard hat you can let us know.

There is no archaeological exploration under the site.

Saturdays are typically a make up day for rain.

They’re going to try to keep the bus stop there open/accessible.

Discussed pedestrian safety, covered walkway at some point during construction.

Neighbor expressed concern about recently a flagman stopped cars turning onto S. Lincoln right at Columbia Pike. They don’t anticipate the need for flagmen long-term there, that part right there is done now.

Pile driving – when is that and how long will it last?
Demolition comes first, then parking lot, roughly 1 month after we get started, should be about a 3 week process. August is likely to be the peak pile driving period. Only a 2 story garage, so shorter piles. They demo, piles in, then they excavate.

The trucks are not to stage in the neighborhood. The construction company tries to find a vacant lot in the neighborhood where the trucks can park/stage.

The entrance to the site is through a demo & excavation entrance fronting Columbia Pike into the center/west of the site.

There will be a tower crane in the rear vicinity, it will swing out beyond the site, while it swings and “weather vanes at night” there will NEVER be a load on the crane when it is over the other properties.

The building is almost all brick, some Hardi panel, 3 colors of brick, windows.

Arlington Presbyterian Church Redevelopment – APC Green Space Parcels
Susan Etherton, Chair of the Affordable Housing Team for APC

The APC is in the process of acquiring, from APAH, the two single-family zoned parcels for a green space. It is intended to be a place of crossroads and connections for the community. Praying about how they can return to the community. Currently worshipping at AUMCenter. Returning through the retail space or some other way.

Needed help listening to community’s needs. Looking at: Where does the need for the community and the passions for our faith community intersect?

APC hired a consultant to help envision the solution for this crossroads. Did a listening walk around the community and they discerned that there wasn’t a lot of green space in the neighborhood. They reached out to APAH about the 2 residential lots. They were ready to build 2 houses and ready to go. APC asked to buy the residential piece back. They are tentatively referring to the green space as “Crossroads Garden”.

Will be a sacred green space that will still be zoned as a church (they hope). Interested in hearing input (going forward) a place to, for kids to learn about nature. Labyrinth, a sacred space where people can connect themselves with the divine. The space should convey: calm, peace, and tranquility. Looking at this as a “front porch” to the church home. This will influence what the future of the church is. They’re going to keep the large trees – “the alive ones”. They like trees.

APC anticipates preserving it as green space for as long as they can foresee.
Neighbors expressed green space is very desirable.

Tini Favila will share the ideas with Derrick (APC consultant) that the neighborhood had provided. The County was happy to hear that APC planned to use this as green space.

Community News

  • The Columbia Pike Blues Festival is coming up.
  • Columbia Pike Movie Nights are restarting soon.
  • Alcova Heights Block Party coming up some time this summer – 6th St is hosting

Food Star Site Redevelopment
Construction at the Food Star site is coming soon. Food Star closes on the 25th. That is also a 2 year construction period.

Treasurer’s Report – Quarterly
$1854 cash on hand
Treasurer Karen Osterloh gave Secretary Laura Cooke a copy of the Treasurer’s Report after providing an overview of income and expenses.

Alcova Heights Park Improvements
Arlington County has planned $4M in FY18 for improvements to Alcova Heights Park – have been trying to engage with the County to find out how that money is going to be spent. More info pending. Neighbor suggested additional pavilions.

Expansion of the NFATC

  • A committee of neighbors was established to research and examine questions and possibilities surrounding the closure of the existing bike path adjacent to the NFATC.
  • Initial discussions were held with Department of State, Rep. Beyer’s office, and the County. GSA has stepped in to assert that changes to the site are provided by GSA.
  • The committee has submitted questions to various entities – GSA, Arlington County, and awaits further answers.
  • The committee will provide a report and any interim reports to the AHCA.
  • Eric Owen is the chair of the committee.

Since our last AHCA meeting, GSA published an Environmental Assessment of planned expansion at the site. Neighbors and the AHCA submitted comments to GSA.

Some key issues:

  • Neighbors have expressed a desire to preserve “the sledding hill” an area of mixed ownership that has long been a feature of the neighborhood.
  • It is understood that the site expansion plans include expansion of the childcare center, enhancement of the hard perimeter fencing, and elimination of the existing path.
  • There is some possibility of a land swap between GSA and Arlington County. (To provide the site with land needed for perimeter expansion and/or setback.)
  • Placement of any enhanced perimeter fencing.

The next regularly-scheduled AHCA meeting is in September.