Four projects aimed at improving pedestrian safety, removing invasive plants and more are likely to be approved at this Saturday’s regular Arlington County Board meeting.
The final four projects funded by the 2012 Neighborhood Conservation bond, approved in June by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, will receive a total of $2,540,175 if the Board approves them. About $1.3 million of those funds would come from the 2012 bond, while about $1.2 million is expected come from the bond referendum on the ballot on Nov. 4.
The four projects up for approval:
- Pedestrian safety and street improvements for the intersections of N. Vacation Lane with N. Stuart and N. Utah Streets in Donaldson Run. Improvements include replacing a yield sign with a stop sign at the northeast corner of N. Stuart Street, replacing sidewalks on N. Utah Street and curb extensions at both intersections. Total cost: $608,749.
- Street improvements for N. Quintana Street between Washington Boulevard and 19th Street N. in East Falls Church. This includes constructing curbs and gutters on both sides of the road and installing a 5-foot-wide sidewalk on the east side on the street. Total cost: $756,581.
- Park improvements for Oakland Park at 3701 Wilson Blvd. in Ballston-Virginia Square. This project is meant to give the park a complete upgrade, bringing features up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards and adding new site furnishings, ornamental plantings and wood decking. Total cost: $798,845.
- Removing invasive plants from Lucky Run Stream in Fairlington-Shirlington. The project calls for creating a “pollinator habitat between the stream bank and bike trail” and creating buffers with trees on either side of the stream. Total cost: $376,000.
The four projects were selected from a pool of 26 applications from neighborhoods around the county because they scored the highest on the NCAC’s points system, which is explained in the county staff’s report.
The county also has produced a five-minute video, embedded above, in honor of the Neighborhood Conservation Program’s 50th anniversary.
“When it was created in 1964, the goal was to empower residents by having them come together to discuss and share ideas for improving their neighborhoods,” the narrator says. The video includes interviews from NCAC Chair Bill Braswell and other committee members. “Over the years, the program has moved from beautification efforts to focus more on infrastructure needs… The program enables residents to identify and plan projects in their own neighborhoods.”
(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Arlington County Board has agreed to help fund a new fire engine, ambulance, ladder truck and three additional firefighters at the Falls Church Fire Station (6950 N. Little Falls Road in Arlington).
The station is located in Arlington but the land and building are owned by the City of Falls Church. According to the county staff report, half of the station’s coverage area is in Falls Church, while the other half is in Arlington. The partnership contract between the two jurisdictions had not been updated since it was passed in 1989; the new agreement the Board approved on Saturday would replace the former contract.
The Arlington County Fire Department staffs and operates the station alongside the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department.
“The new Fire and Emergency Medical Services Agreement between Arlington County and the City of Falls Church is a much-needed update to an agreement that dates back to 1989,” County Manager Barbara Donnellan said in an email. “This new agreement better serves both communities, by more clearly defining operations and cost-sharing, and taking into account how service delivery has changed since 1989.”
The new agreement calls for three more full-time equivalent positions, for which the county and city will split expenditures. Despite the new purchases and new positions, county staff doesn’t anticipate any additional “net tax support.”
“While the County has additional expenses under the new agreement, such as Fall Church Fire Station maintenance,” the staff report states, “these additional expenses will be offset by additional reimbursements from the City.”
The old agreement, staff writes, did not clearly define how costs for maintenance and replacement of outdated equipment would be split between the two jurisdictions. In the first year of the new agreement, Falls Church has agreed to pay for capital improvements to the station to “bring the facility to an acceptable operating baseline.” The county has agreed to be responsible for maintenance and the city will fund all capital improvements going forward.
The city will pay the county $150,000 a year for capital investments, which the county will manage, and $738,000 for the initial improvements, which include replacing windows, overhead doors, and HVAC design.
Photo via Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department
A bicyclist was struck by a car today at a W&OD trail crossing in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood.
The incident happened just past noon near the intersection of N. Little Falls Road and N. Four Mile Run Drive, on the border with Falls Church. Initial reports suggest a cyclist was struck by a car and suffered a head injury.
The cyclist was reportedly conscious and alert following the accident and was transported via ambulance to a local hospital. The driver remained on scene.
Damage to the bike and to the car’s windshield was visible following the collision. No word yet on whether any charges will be filed. Police on the scene declined comment.
While microbreweries are popping up all over the D.C. area, East Falls Church could soon be home to a “micro-juicery,” from the owner of South Block Cafe.
Amir Mostafavi says South Block Juice Company will open at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street in the next few months. The facility will produce the juice served at South Block and will be available for pickup around the area and for home delivery.
Mostafavi said he wants customers to be able to look into the location and see how the juice is made, and perhaps take tours like visitors do at microbreweries. The juice will also be sold fresh next door at Urban Pantry, which opened last week.
“It’s going to be our new production facility,” Mostafavi said. “We needed a larger space for our kitchen. The space we’re making the juice at right now, we’ve just outgrown it. We’re getting a larger juicer that’s going to greatly increase our volume and capacity. It’s something we’ve been looking into for a little while now as we’ve grown in the juice part of the business.”
South Block has been getting its juice from Mostafavi’s kitchen at Campus Fresh on George Washington University’s campus. Mostafavi opened that store 10 years ago and South Block Cafe opened three years ago, but when he bought a cold press a year ago to sell juice in bottles, the business exploded.
“Once I bought the cold press, that’s when the business took off,” he said. “We’ve already been getting a lot of customers throughout the area coming to our shop for the juice for juice cleanses.”
South Block Juice Company will get a revamped website around when the micro-juicery opens, Mostafavi said, which will make it easier for customers to order juices for delivery. That includes the three-day juice cleanse, which includes 18 bottles of juice, to be drank in specific order, for $150.
Mostafavi also said South Block is looking into “satellite locations” in the next year or so, and he hopes to soon begin national distribution.
Yayla Bistro, at 2201 N. Westmoreland Street, applied for a liquor license with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Jan. 15, requesting the ability to sell wine and beer on and off premises.
According to an employee at La Côte D’Or Cafe next door, the restaurant will be located in their former private dining room, which was sold recently “to a group that wants to open a Turkish restaurant.”
The owner of Yayla Bistro, listed as Gozukaya Entertainment LLC, did not return messages seeking comment.
The Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K will close down streets on Saturday from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the same roads will be closed from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. for the National Race Against the Odds 5K. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the following road will be closed:
- Williamsburg Blvd will be closed to eastbound traffic from N. Underwood Street to N. Sycamore Street.
- Little Falls Road will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
- 26th Street N. will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
- N. Underwood Street will be closed from 24th Street N. to Williamsburg Blvd.
Racers can still sign up for the Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K this evening (Friday) from 3:00 to 6:00, or tomorrow, before the race begins at 8:00 a.m. Proceeds will go to H20 for Life. Registration for the Race Against the Odds — which raises money for pediatric brain cancer research — has closed.
Flickr photo by Diltch1
The roof of an East Falls Church house partially collapsed this afternoon (Friday), sending one construction worker to the hospital.
A construction crew was building an addition onto the back of a home on the 2400 block of N. Quantico Street when the roof of the addition collapsed, according to fire department personnel on the scene. The worker was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with minor injuries.
The residents of the house were not home when the roof collapsed, and the house, besides the addition, remains “structurally intact.” Inspectors were called to the scene to assess what caused the roof to cave in.
A raccoon bit a woman in her backyard on Monday night, in the East Falls Church neighborhood, as her four-and-a-half year old daughter watched, horrified. A raccoon also bit a woman Wednesday afternoon in the Yorktown neighborhood. The latest victim is 5 months pregnant and was walking with a baby.
In both instances, animal control officers tried but failed to locate the raccoon.
Sandra Alboum, who was bit on Monday, says the raccoon climbed onto her backyard deck, “walked right up” to her, and started biting her foot and ankle, repeatedly. She said the animal seemed “curious,” as if it were looking for food, and unafraid of humans. As raccoon was biting her, Alboum took a box that normally holds dominoes and used it to bash the animal in the head and body until it scurried away.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t my daughter,” she said. “She was pretty freaked out, and I was too. It’s bizarre.”
Unable to drive, Alboum called 911 and was transported to the hospital, where she received nine “excruciating” rabies shots for her nearly dozen puncture wounds. She’ll have to receive at least three more shots over the next week.
While Monday’s incident took place in the area of 22nd Street N. and Quantico Street, in East Falls Church, Wednesday’s took place in the area of 25th Street N. and George Mason Drive, in the Yorktown neighborhood.
According to an account posted on Facebook, a raccoon walked up to a woman who was walking with a baby and bit her. The attack happened in the afternoon, which is notable given that raccoon are normally nocturnal. The baby was not hurt.
According to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA), the victim is 5 months pregnant. She also went to the hospital for rabies shots.
“At this point we are not certain that the raccoon is rabid,” said AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel. “Our animal control officers have not been able to catch it. The only way we will be able to tell for sure if it is rabid is if it is displaying unusual behavior and if the raccoon is caught and euthanized the results of a rabies test come back positive.”
It’s unclear if the same raccoon was responsible for both attacks. McKeel said the two incidents were “unrelated.”
File photo (top) by Bastique via Wikipedia. Photo (bottom) courtesy Sandra Alboum.
Starting at 10:00 p.m. Friday and continuing until closing Sunday, East Falls Church and points west will not have Metrorail service.
An express bus will travel from Ballston to Vienna and add approximately 25 minutes of travel time. Local buses will stop at East Falls Church, West Falls Church, Dunn Loring and Vienna, taking approximately 15 minutes between each stop.
The station closures will allow track maintenance and signal system testing in preparation for the opening of the Silver Line.
This article was written by Maddy Berner
On Sept. 1, Tri360 at 2121 N. Westmoreland St. in East Falls Church will celebrate one year of serving the area’s triathletes. While the shops’ consumer base might seem narrow, Blaine Atkisson — who co-owns the store with his wife, Kate — says the D.C. area triathlon community is large and active, with events every other weekend and thousands of participants. This community has contributed to the store’s increasing sales, which have made the couple excited about its progress, despite some initial struggles to expand the brand.
Kate, an active triathlete herself, came up with the idea for Tri360 in 2011. A year ago, there wasn’t a place in the area for athletes to stock up on all three types of gear needed to run a triathlon: running, biking and swimming. Catering to that need was the driving force behind ultimately opening the shop, Blaine said.
“A year ago, we were consumers of these products,” he said, “so we kind of built our store around addressing the needs of the consumer.”
Today, in line with a local triathlon scene that seems to be growing, Blaine said the store gets a steady flow of customers, with traffic peaking on the weekends and during evening hours as commuters leave work. Since January 2013, sales have continually increased, he said. July was a record month for the store.
Blaine said the community is bolstered by strong membership in some of the area’s clubs, many of which can be found easily through the internet. The D.C. Triathlon Club recently won the Mid-Atlantic Club Championship, but Arlington boasts its own selections of communities. Dominion Cycling & Triathlon, Team Z, Team FeXY and the Arlington Triathlon Club are all nearby and cater to various athletic strengths.
At the end of 2012, Virginia was ranked sixth for most triathlon members in the country at 5,879, according to USA Triathlon. D.C. boasts about 782, and Maryland hosts 3,116. The Iron Man Lake Placid, which took place in upstate New York last weekend, featured a huge contingent of D.C.- and Arlington-area participants, Blaine said.
Tri360 offers racks of bike shorts, swim suits and helmets, as well as shelves stocked with nutrition-packed snacks. The store also has a fitting station and a repair station below walls of various types of bikes. They can sell anywhere from $500-$12,000, Blaine said.
As the store’s one-year anniversary approaches, the Atkissons say they’ll continue to grow the business and inject its brand into the Arlington community. Blaine said he hopes to organize events and sponsor a Tri360 team that could compete in the area’s dozens of competitions.
Police are investigating a four-vehicle crash in East Falls Church.
The crash happened around 3:00 p.m. at the intersection of Lee Highway and Sycamore Street. A witness told ARLnow.com that the accident was caused when one of the drivers tried to make an ill-advised U-turn. Police on the scene tell us he’s being charged with reckless driving.
A technical rescue crew responded to the scene to help extricate a driver trapped in their vehicle after the wreck. The jaws of life were used to remove the car’s doors.
Two people were hurt and transported to Virginia Hospital Center as a result of the accident.
Investigators are taking photos of the scene. Lee Highway is currently open, but the northbound lanes of Sycamore Street are still blocked. Drivers should expect delays in the area.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and County Board Chair Walter Tejada announced Wednesday that the state, county and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority are looking into leasing the air rights above I-66 near the East Falls Church and Rosslyn Metro stations in order to generate additional revenues for transportation improvements.
“By leasing airspace above certain transportation facilities owned by the Commonwealth, we can better utilize our existing infrastructure to generate additional revenues to fund future transportation improvements, while at the same time attracting new jobs and economic development,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Additionally, by co-locating these potential developments around existing Metro stations and other major transportation facilities, we can reduce congestion and create more livable communities.”
From the press release:
Air rights development projects have proven a successful revenue generator in other parts of the United States. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation, for example, generated $40 million in FY 2011 through leases, with long-term lease income projected at $868 million. Further, earlier this year MassDOT awarded a contract for an additional air rights project through a 99-year lease that will generate $18.5 million (net present value) in rental payments.
“Virginia has long been a leader in partnering with the private sector to advance innovative solutions to our transportation infrastructure needs,” said Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton. “The potential development of these air rights presents a unique opportunity to attract additional private sector investment to the Commonwealth and better utilize our existing assets to fund future transportation projects.”
Arlington County is currently undertaking a review of the Rosslyn Sector Plan. As part of that process, development over I-66 in the northern and eastern edges of the Rosslyn Metro Station area can be evaluated. While there are no existing mixed-use development rights over the I-66 right-of-way at either Rosslyn or the East Falls Church Metro Station location, the East Falls Church Area Plan currently supports mixed use development on VDOT and WMATA’s property next to I-66.
Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada emphasized, “It is important to involve our residents, businesses and developers in this conversation about air rights. We will ensure that any potential transit-orientated development using these air rights in Arlington County is consistent with our community’s vision and is consistent with the County’s land use and transportation plans.”
The state has issued a Request for Information to gauge private sector interest and feasibility. Following the RFI, the county, various state agencies and WMATA will weigh in on assessing how the air rights would match up with the planned development for the communities. The state will then issue a Request for Proposals in the fall, according to the governor’s office.
The Rosslyn project has a suggested location adjacent to the Lynn Street overpass, but staff of the state Office of Public-Private Partnerships said it would consider other areas of I-66 in Rosslyn if those were deemed feasible.
At East Falls Church, the area of I-66 between Sycamore Street and Route 29, including the Metro parking lot to the north, is the targeted area.
A new apartment complex is coming to the 6800 block of Lee Highway in the East Falls Church neighborhood.
Developer Mark Silverwood is proposing to build a five-story, 180-unit apartment building on the Shreve Oil site, a 74,360 square foot lot consisting of small buildings and oil tanks on the Arlington-Falls Church line, adjacent to the W&OD Trail.
Called the Shreve Apartments, the development originally was proposed as a six-story, 228-unit apartment building with a 12,000 square foot grocery store. Following a Site Plan Review Committee (SPRC) meeting in December, that was downsized to a 180-unit apartment building with a detached 2,000 square foot retail space.
The retail space is envisioned for use as a restaurant, and could contain cafe seating that faces the trail.
In exchange for zoning and density concessions, Silverwood is offering to reserve some of the apartments as on-site affordable housing. Silverwood is also proposing LEED Silver sustainability certification and a Transportation Management Plan for residents. The details were presented at an SPRC meeting Thursday night.
The complex, which would include some 228 underground parking spaces and storage for up to 118 bicycles, is expected to generate peak vehicle traffic demand of 126 trips an hour, according to the developer’s presentation.
“Traffic signal improvements at the intersection of Lee Highway and Westmoreland Street are recommended to facilitate full movement access,” according to a traffic impact analysis.
Ultimately, the development will require Arlington County Board approval.
This is the third Arlington residential development in Silverwood’s pipeline. The Reston-based developer recently purchased and re-branded a new condominium building in Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, and is expected to start the site plan process for its proposed, controversial redevelopment of the Bluemont Safeway site.
Photos via Arlington County, Google Maps
Little City Gourmet, a new restaurant and coffee shop in the East Falls Church neighborhood, is slated to hold its Grand Opening on April 15.
Located in The Crescent building at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, three blocks from the East Falls Church Metro station and a block from the W&OD Trail, the cafe will fill a void in the neighborhood left by the closing of Bear Rock Cafe.
“Little City Gourmet will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner — with specialized kids’ menus — as well as specialty desserts,” the restaurant said in a press release. “Illy coffee, fine wines and craft beers will also be offered. The café will offer dine-in seating for approximately 20, with outdoor sidewalk seating available as well.”
Executive Chef and owner Rachelle Slotnick says the cafe will emphasize its food menu.
“Much of the food will be made daily on-site or sourced from our local business partners,” she said. “We will offer a range of meal options for our guests, from ‘grab and go’ meals for take-out or eat-in, to a chef-selected ‘daily dinner’ that can be pre-ordered online and taken home, to tapas-style dinners for groups looking to share a leisurely meal at our café.”
Little City Gourmet will be open Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Free Wi-Fi and free garage parking will be offered.
Photos courtesy Little City Gourmet
A car flipped its roof near Bishop O’Connell High School this afternoon.
The accident occurred at the four-way intersection of N. Van Buren Street, 28th Street N. and N. Little Falls Road, one block away from Bishop O’Connell in the East Falls Church neighborhood. The one-vehicle wreck ended with the four-door Saab on its roof and a street sign ripped from the ground.
There appeared to be at least two male occupants of the car, both of whom were high school students. No injuries were reported.