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by Heather Mongilio — July 7, 2015 at 5:35 pm 316 0

Old Dominion Drive will undergo another round of road construction for the next 18-24 months as the county works to add sidewalks, street lights and traffic signals.

The roadwork will take place on Old Dominion between N. Glebe Road to 38th Street N., according to Jessica Baxter, a spokesperson for Arlington County’s Environmental Services.

One lane will remain open during construction, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. No lanes will be closed during rush hour.

At the end of the project, Old Dominion Drive will be more pedestrian and cyclist friendly, Baxter said.

“Old Dominion Drive is the last arterial roadway located within an Arlington County neighborhood without sidewalks on either side,” Baxter said.

In addition to new sidewalks, the project will also add new street lights, updated curbs and gutters, a new stormwater system, updated traffic lights and updated transit stops. The total cost for the revamp of Old Dominion Drive is about $8.1 million, which is funded through a partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation. Of the $8 million, $2.34 million will come from VDOT, Baxter said.

Construction started Monday and will last between 18 months to two years, weather permitting. Orange construction signs are now in place along Old Dominion Drive.

This is the second phase of the county’s Old Dominion Project. The first phase, which cost about $1.24 million, consisted of similar road work from Lee Highway to N. Glebe Road and was finished in 2010.

Updates on the road project will be posted to the Arlington County website, and residents are encouraged to sign up for email alerts, which can be done on the webpage, Baxter said.

by Heather Mongilio — July 7, 2015 at 4:05 pm 1,272 0

CARD-logo

A newly-formed citizens group is raising questions about the Affordable Housing Master Plan, the County’s plan to address the need for more affordable housing.

The Coalition of Arlingtonians for Responsible Development (CARD), which currently has around 70 members, is concerned with the geographic distribution of affordable housing units and the effect affordable housing has on Arlington Public Schools.

The County Board has set public hearings on the housing plan before the Board and the Planning Commission in September to allow for more public comment. The plan, as proposed, calls for the creation of 15,800 additional affordable housing units by 2040, bringing the total to 22,800 units or 17.7 percent of the total housing stock in Arlington.

For CARD, the question is not the amount of affordable housing, but where it is placed in Arlington. There are large discrepancies in where affordable housing units are located, leading to socioeconomic segregation, said Joye Murphy, a founding member of CARD.

Murphy points to neighborhoods along Columbia Pike — particularly the western end of the Pike — that feed into Randolph Elementary School. In some neighborhoods along the Pike, the county set of a target of having 15 percent of their housing available as affordable housing. However, the neighborhoods exceeded that target and have about 38 percent of its housing affordable, Murphy said.

At the same time, she said, some North Arlington neighborhoods have failed to reach their targets.

Serrano apartments on Columbia Pike“What we’ve seen is a disproportionate percent of affordable housing along specific areas of Arlington,” Murphy said.

One of CARD’s aims is to have affordable housing across the county, not just in specific sectors. By spreading affordable housing, there will be more diversity in Arlington’s neighborhoods, which will benefit all Arlington residents, said Maura McMahon, another founding member of CARD.

“CARD’s goals are for responsible development in Arlington that fosters socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods and schools so that all Arlingtonians can benefit from what Arlington has to offer: top schools, efficient transportation systems, quality recreational facilities and parks, etc.,” McMahon said. “We believe every individual and every child should be afforded an equal opportunity to achieve his/her potential.”

The current targets for the amount of affordable housing units that should exist in each neighborhood are not referenced in the new plan, Murphy said. It only lists distributing housing units throughout the county as one of its goals.

The targets allowed for accountability, said Dedra Curteman, a CARD founding member.

“The primary fault with the master plan as written is it doesn’t call for targets for geographic distribution,” Curteman said.

Without the targets for each neighborhood, affordable housing developers could theoretically place most of the new affordable housing units in specific areas of the county instead of throughout Arlington.

“I worry that the targets were deleted because they shot past the targets in many areas,” Curteman said.

Pie chart of housing on Columbia Pike (via Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance)

CARD wants County Board members to include tools and specifics in the housing plan to ensure geographic distribution. The group plans to send a letter with their recommendations to the County in the next week, Murphy said.

The county is replacing the targets with three different ways to address affordable housing, said County Board Chair Mary Hynes.

“The plan really has three buckets that the Board would be using to achieve affordable housing,” Hynes said.

The first is preserving existing units, the second is looking at bringing affordable housing to transit corridors and the third is to look at areas with many single-family homes to see where additional housing units could be added. Hynes said that CARD is right in saying that the county does not yet have the tools needed for the second and third buckets, but after the plan is adopted she hopes the county will work on developing these tools.

The targets also did not work as the county did not have the tools to bring affordable housing to each area according to the targets, Hynes added. A lack of available land and high costs could make building affordable housing in certain parts of the county particularly difficult.

CARD members say the lack of geographic distribution affects the Arlington Public Schools, as research has shown that having a large amount of children that need reduced or free lunches influences test and achievement scores.

“Housing policy is education policy,” Murphy said.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm 2,499 0

Arlington County Police and the FBI have released photos of the man who robbed the Capital One Bank at 4700 Lee Highway Monday afternoon.

The photos (above) show the man dressed all in black, wielding a pair of scissors while robbing the bank. His face is covered by what police say is a black cloth.

The suspect remains at large. In an ACPD press release, investigators say they’re seeking tips in the case.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit, along with the FBI’s Washington Field Office, is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a bank robbery suspect captured in surveillance footage.

On Monday, July 6, 2015, at approximately 4:59 p.m., an unknown male subject entered the Capital One Bank branch in the 4700 block of N. Lee Highway and robbed the bank while brandishing a pair of scissors. After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money, the subject fled the bank.

The suspect is described as a male of unknown race and between 5’4″ – 5’7″ tall with a slim build. At the time of the incident, the suspect was wearing a black long sleeve shirt, black pants and no shoes with white socks. He had a black cloth covering his head.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the bank robber.

The Arlington County Police Department and FBI’s Washington Field Office are investigating this bank robbery and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or Detective Munizza with the Arlington County Police Department at 703.228.4171 [email protected] To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2015 at 1:35 pm 1,431 0

Former Lucy's ARL near Shirlington (photo via Google Maps)(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A new billiards hall and neighborhood bar is coming to the former Lucy’s ARL location near Shirlington.

Chester’s Billiards Bar & Grill will be located at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, which has been without a restaurant tenant since Lucy’s closed in December 2013.

Co-owner Derrick Fulghum, Sr. told ARLnow.com today that he’s hoping to open by mid-August, should all go well with his permits and licenses.

Chester’s will largely pick up where Lucy’s left off. No interior construction of note is planned — the pool tables and bar will be in about the same place. Two things that are changing: more of a focus on live entertainment and on families.

Fulghum said he will be applying for a live entertainment permit, to allow him to offer performances by standup comics, bands and DJs.

As for his customer base, Fulghum said he hopes to attract families and local residents around the Shirlington area. That’s a bit of a contrast from Lucy’s, which proudly displayed the motto “Shrews. Brews. Cues.”

“I have a family and I’m planning on bring them here,” he said. “It will be very inviting, a fun atmosphere. We look forward to giving back… and becoming part of the Shirlington community.”

Chester’s will serve American cuisine — “good food,” Fulghum promises. He said local residents he’s talked to have been positive about the concept. Plus, he’ll benefit from reduced competition: The Bungalow Sports Grill in Shirlington, which had billiards tables, closed last month.

This will be Fulghum’s second South Arlington and third D.C. area establishment. He and his business partner own Andalusia Tea Room, a hookah bar in Crystal City, as well as a bar and grill in Rockville, he said.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 7, 2015 at 12:15 pm 640 0

Ask Will banner

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A  column is written by Will Wiard, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Washington’s Best Realtors of 2015 by Washingtonian. Please submit your questions via email.

Q: I’m planning to move overseas within the next few months and am interested in renting my condo for the first time. Do you have any tips to make the self-management of the property go more smoothly?

A: If you’re renting out your home for the first time and are not using a property management company or agent, there are some steps you can take to help prepare before you sign onto a lease agreement. The goal is to minimize property maintenance and rental issues during the term of the lease, and allow the tenant quiet enjoyment of the property.

Ensure solid leasing terms up front. There are a lot of places online that claim to offer fully enforceable lease agreements, but they can be risky. Depending on the state and jurisdiction, there are special modifications that need to be included to ensure you are protected. If you want to do rent your property on your own, without involving a management company or realtor, I suggest you consult with an attorney before finalizing the lease agreement.

Consider preventive maintenance. Before you rent, conduct a self-inspection of the systems and appliances in your home and consider replacing those that are in (or nearing) disrepair. For example, if your hot water heater on its last leg it may be time for an update. Making these updates can limit inconveniences for both your tenant and yourself if they were to fail while you are away. This can also help avoid any further damage that may come as a result (i.e., water damage). Keep in mind these updates can also be a tax write off (talk to your accountant!).

Discuss ongoing maintenance needs during a pre-rental walkthrough. Holding this in-person walkthrough with your tenant can help them understand how to conduct routine maintenance, such as replacing filters or the appropriate light bulbs, and identifying and operating shutoff values for plumbing, electric and appliances.

This may also be a good time to explore the condition of the property with the tenant so they can identify any imperfections in advance of signing the lease. Providing this opportunity can help avoid any issues that may fall beyond normal wear and tear once the tenant vacates.

Establish a system to receive regular payments. Whether you’re moving out of the area or staying local an automated monthly payment system can help protect against any hiccups with late payments from your renter. I recommend asking your tenant to enroll in direct deposit or e-checks that are automatically sent from the bank each month. This helps remove the anxiety associated with receiving the mailed payment, and the possibility of it getting lost in transit – especially if your are moving overseas.

Plan for emergency repairs. If you’re moving out of the area, make sure to have a system in place to ensure your property and your tenant are taken care of in the event of an emergency. Outside of property management companies, there are companies that offer 24-hour emergency services should your tenant have a last-minute issue and you’re not available.

While many homeowners in the area rent on their own, renting and property management are not for everyone. Should you find this situation daunting, property management is always an option. Many local brokerages offer this service, and I am also happy to make a referral for anyone interested.

I’m hoping some readers can share any additional advice they have in comments.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Mariah Joyce — July 7, 2015 at 11:00 am 841 0

Barre in the Park cropped (Copy)The remaining Barre in the Park classes in Rosslyn have been rescheduled from Wednesday to Thursday evenings, starting this week.

Barre in the Park, which is in its second season, is a series of free outdoor classes offered weekly in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) by exercise studio Lava Barre, in partnership with the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

(Barre is a type of trendy exercise class that combines elements of ballet with yoga and Pilates.)

Lava Barre is offering this free series in part to promote their new studio in Rosslyn (1528 Clarendon Blvd), which opened this summer. The Rosslyn studio replaced a Lava Barre studio previously located in Clarendon.

The series started in May and is slated to continue into the early fall. Although the classes are free, registration is required. According to Lava Barre, all registered participants need to bring is themselves, a towel or mat and some water.

Absent cancellation due to inclement weather, the remaining Barre in the Park classes will be offered Thursday evenings in Gateway Park from 6-7 p.m. Should a class be cancelled due to weather, the BID says a notification will be sent to those registered for the class via email.

Currently, classes are planned to continue from now until the end of September.

Photo courtesy Lava Barre

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2015 at 10:10 am 2,027 0

Arlington Central Library

Arlington Public Library is bringing back its “late night recess” for 20- and 30-somethings this summer.

The event lets young professionals have some retro fun, meet new people and discover everything else the library has to offer. This year, activities include Twister, Nerf tag, a dance party, building forts and something involving bubble wrap.

“Bring your friends and your inner child for an evening of fun and games at the Central Library,” the event’s web page says. “Play clothes are highly recommended, including sneakers or athletic shoes. This event is free, but registration is required. Please only register if you are between the ages of 20 and 39.”

The event is scheduled for Thursday, July 30, from 9-11:30 p.m. at Arlington Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street).

Would-be participants can register online. As of this writing, 52 spots were still available.

Alcoholic beverages, it should be noted, are not allowed in the library.

by ARLnow.com — July 7, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,569 0

Backyard BBQ cookout in Arlington (Flickr pool photo by thekidfromcrumlin)

Kudla Out After Four-Set Loss — Arlington resident Denis Kudla, 22, capped his impressive performance at Wimbledon with a four-set loss to reigning U.S. Open champ Marin Cilic in the Round of 16 yesterday afternoon. Kudla, who turned tennis pro at the age of 16, was the last remaining American man in the tournament. [Fox Sports, Twitter]

Wellington Sells for $167 Million — The Wellington apartment complex on Columbia Pike has sold for $167 million. The 711 unit complex is 97 percent occupied. It was purchased by Washington REIT. [MultifamilyBiz]

Arlington Park Spending Near Top — Arlington County spends $249 per resident on parks, the third highest per capita park spending figure in the country, among the nation’s 100 most populous areas. Washington, D.C. ranked first, spending $346 per resident. Some of Arlington’s park spending is now going toward >$1 million playgrounds. [Washington Post, Trust for Public Land]

Flickr pool photo by thekidfromcrumlin

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 7, 2015 at 7:00 am 553 0

La Moto Washington, located in the heart of Arlington, and a short walk from the Clarendon Metro, is the official flagship store for Vespa, Piaggio, Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.

Whether you are new to riding, or simply want to add utility and excitement to your morning commute, La Moto Washington has a vehicle to suit your riding level and interests. For the expert rider and track enthusiast, our knowledgeable staff can set you up with a test ride on the Aprilia of your choice.

With financing rates at low at 3.9%, in combination with factory cash incentives, it has never been easier to ride. Come by and see us today!

The preceding post was written and sponsored by La Moto Washington

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — July 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm 534 0

Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston. There…

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