The Arlington County Board has scrapped the affordable housing-oriented “Public Land for Public Good” initiative, voting unanimously last night to wait for the findings of its new Facilities Study Committee.
The county’s new, 24-member Facilities Study Committee will broadly look at all county- and school-owned land and evaluate what facilities are possible on different sites in the county.
The Arlington Planning Commission recommended the County Board set aside the initiative — which was intended to identify county-owned property that can be used for affordable housing or new schools — last month. County Manager Barbara Donnellan agreed with the commission yesterday in her recommendation to the Board.
The action was taken “because the planning commission urged us to do so and told us they thought a better approach to this was to do the study committee, which we have launched,” County Board Chair Mary Hynes said at the meeting. “I think that makes sense.”
Along with scrapping the initiative, the County Board voted to move forward with studies for the renovation of the Lubber Run Community Center, renovation of Jennie Dean Park in Shirlington and the future of the Salt Dome facility and Fire Station 8.
“The Lubber Run Center needs to be redone,” Donnellan said. “The opportunity is to look at what we’re currently providing there and how it can be updated.”
While those studies continue, the Board unanimously decided that no standalone affordable housing may be built on current parkland or open space.
“As we launch into the facilities study committee, we do not have the luxury to rule anything out based on the buildout of our 26 square miles of space as far as our facilities are concerned,” Board member Walter Tejada said. “This is going to challenge everyone again and it’s going to make us uncomfortable in our seats at times. But the time has come.”
Donnellan’s response to the criticism the Public Land for Public Good initiative received from the public, the planning commission and the Long Range Planning Committee was to defer to the Facilities Study Committee and simply say “criteria for locating new uses on county lands will be reconsidered,” and public facilities policies will be “revisited and built upon.”
Arlington County is receiving some pushback over its “Public Land for Public Good” affordable housing and school capacity initiative.
Specifically, the identification of the Lubber Run Community Center (300 N. Park Drive) as a site for potential affordable housing has drawn the ire of the 76-unit townhouse community Cathcart Springs, across N. George Mason Drive from Lubber Run.
Arlington is expected to begin studying Lubber Run, the “salt dome” along Old Dominion Drive and land adjacent to Jennie Dean Park in Shirlington as county-owned land that could be developed or redeveloped into affordable housing. The community planning portions for those sites, if approved by the Arlington County Board, would begin next spring.
The county is already accepting online comments on the proposed sites, and recently extended its deadline to receive those comments by a month, until Oct. 31. The association is passing out flyers to its residents, encouraging them to send this comment to the county:
“Using park and recreation facilities should be preserved for future generations and should NOT be considered for conversion to alternative uses. Once beautiful parkland is gone, it is gone forever. Preserve LRCC as a recreation/community center only.”
So far, the county has received about 70 comments, according to the county’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
“Many of the comments suggest revisions to improve the proposed site evaluation guidelines,” CPHD spokeswoman Jessica Margarit told ARLnow.com today. “Other comments range from concerns about preserving parkland to ensuring that affordable housing locations are balanced across the entire county.”
Cathcart Springs Homeowners Association President Sandy First told ARLnow.com that she’s not opposed to affordable housing — far from it — but that site should not be considered. She also said Cathcart Springs has teamed up with the Arlington Forest Civic Association to rally against the proposal.
“I’m not against affordable housing at all, it’s just that most of it is [in the 22203 ZIP code],” she said. “Across the street at Lubber Run you’ve got an opportunity over there. With the community center, playground and amphitheater, it could play into an incredible array of programs.”
The opposition to Lubber Run’s redevelopment joins opposition from the Old Dominion Civic Association to plans to redevelop the “salt dome” site, for which adjacent green space had originally been slated for a new fire station and emergency management headquarters. That plan has been scaled back since as the county mulls its options, but the County Board approved $28 million to redevelop Lubber Run.
Photo via Arlington County
The public stage, near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street, will host musicians, theater troupes and other acts in multiple shows during the week, starting with Mary Anne Redmond on June 13 and ending with Rico Amero on Sunday, Aug. 17.
Spectators are encouraged to bring picnic materials, although alcohol is prohibited. In the event of inclement weather, visitors are encouraged to call the concert hotline at 703-228-1850 for info. There is no schedule for rain-dates in the event rain causes an event to be canceled.
Here is the list of performances scheduled. All performances are at 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. For descriptions of the artist or group, visit Lubber Run’s website:
- Friday, June 13 — Mary Ann Redmond
- Saturday, June 14 — Mystic Warriors
- Monday, June 16 — The Metropolitan Chorus
- Wednesday, June 18 – The Potomac Harmony Chorus
- Thursday, June 19 – The Arlingtones
- Friday, June 20 — The Army Blues
- Saturday, June 21 — King Teddy
- Sunday, June 22, 6:00 p.m. — Halau O’Aulani & The Aloha Boys
- Friday, June 27 – Margot MacDonald
- Saturday, June 28 – Bowen McCauley Dance
- Sunday, June 29, 6:00 p.m. – Arlington Philharmonic
- Saturday, July 5 – The Grandsons
- Sunday, July 6, 6:00 p.m. – Two Car Living Room
- Friday, July 11 — Synetic Theatre
- Saturday, July 12 — Synetic Theatre
- Sunday, July 13, 6:00 p.m. – Dead Man’s Hollow
- Friday, July 18 – Synetic Theatre
- Saturday, July 19 – Synetic Theatre
- Friday, July 25 – Dave Chappell
- Saturday, July 26 — CAMMO
- Sunday, July 27, 6:00 p.m. – Shenandoah Run
- Friday, Aug. 1 — Ted Garber
- Saturday, Aug. 2 — Russkie Musikanti
- Sunday, Aug. 3, 6:00 p.m. – Laurie Rose Griffith and Peter Mealy
- Friday, Aug. 15 – Rose Moraes
- Saturday, Aug. 16 — Andrew Acosta
- Sunday, Aug. 17 — Rico Amero
Photo courtesy Arlington County
Lubber Run Neighbors Rally Against Housing Proposal — Those who live around the Lubber Run Community Center showed up to the Saturday Arlington County Board meeting to rally against a proposal to use the public land around the community center for affordable housing or a new school. The residents also asked the Board to approve a renovation to the community center. [Sun Gazette]
Board Approves Expanded ‘Technology Zones’ — The County Board on Saturday approved an expansion of its program of reduced business license taxes for technology businesses in certain “technology zones.” About 5-10 businesses per year are expected to qualify for the tax incentives. [Arlington County]
Avg. Single Family Home Price Tops $900,000 — The average sale price of a single family home in Arlington hit $913,677 in March. That’s up 11.7 percent year-over-year. The average townhouse sale price, meanwhile, was $449,202 and the average condo was $515,000. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Educators Honored — Two Arlington educators, Glebe Elementary principal Jamie Borg and Kenmore Middle School teacher Cassidy Nolen, are among the recipients of the Washington Post’s annual education awards. [Washington Post]
Air Force Research Office to Remain in Arlington — After considering a move to Dayton, Ohio, the Air Force has decided to keep its Office of Scientific Research in Arlington. The decision was made after Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Rep. Jim Moran, pressed the Air Force to abandon the relocation proposal. The office employs about 170 people. [PR Newswire, Dayton Business Journal]
Arlington Runner Wins Marine Corp 17.75K – Arlington’s Kelly Swain was the top female finisher at the Marine Corps 17.75K race in Prince William County over the weekend. Swain, 28, finished the 11.03 mile event in 1:14:02. The 17.75K is a precursor to the Marine Corps Marathon, which starts and ends in Arlington. The sold-out race will take place this year on Oct. 26. [Army Times]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonderman
An interfaith community group says it has gathered more than 10,000 signatures for a petition that calls on Arlington County to help develop 1,000 to 1,500 new units of affordable housing over the next 3-5 years.
Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) collected the signatures and plans to present them to Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada next Thursday. VOICE says the affordable housing can be built by redeveloping government-owned sites, including the Lubber Run Community Center in Arlington Forest.
VOICE’s proposal identifies government-owned sites that could be redeveloped including Lubber Run Community Center. The group wants the units to be available only to families and individuals making less than $50,000 a year.
According to a press release, VOICE plans to bring more than 100 people — including clergy in religious attire — in front of the Arlington County government building (2100 Clarendon Blvd) Thursday, Dec. 12, at 5:45 p.m., in support of the plan.
The VOICE group is seeking immediate action from the County Board to start implementing some of its proposals at its Dec. 14 meeting.
(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Two additional performances have been added to the schedule at Lubber Run Amphitheater.
The Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation (LRAF) credits its cooperation with Arlington Cultural Affairs and donations from supporters for the added shows on August 18 and 25.
LRAF added the shows in response to requests for more children’s programming. The organization hopes to further expand programming next year if this year’s additions are successful.
Below is the schedule for the remaining performances, including the two new shows in August:
- Friday, July 26 — The Traveling Players — Performing William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”. Selected as a “Summer School in the Arts” by the NEA, Traveling Players Ensemble is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing great theatre into the great outdoors through a thriving summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops.
- Saturday, July 27 — The Tone Rangers — For 25 years, this award-winning D.C.-based vocal group has brought inventive arrangements and keen wit to everything from Gregorian chant to TV theme songs. Nominated for 7 Wammies, they were Best A Cappella Group four consecutive years (2007- 10) and Best A Cappella Recording in 2007. National finalists in the 2002 Harmony Sweepstakes (the Superbowl of a cappella), they are 3-time winners of Mid-Atlantic “Audience Favorite” and “Best Arrangement” awards.
- Friday, August 2 — Hexagon Theatre Company — Hexagon is musical, satirical and theatrical. Every year since 1956, this nonprofit has put on Washington’s only all-original, all volunteer revue of its kind—donating more than $3.5 million to 40-plus organizations.
- Saturday, August 3 — Rico Amero — He makes music. He tells the truth. Join Rico for a night of hiphop jazz.
- Sunday, August 18 — The Great Zucchini — He will delight the youngest members of the community with his popular, comical, magic show. Bring the kids, grandkids, and young neighbors to Lubber Run to this engaging show for children.
- Sunday, August 25 — Cantor the Miraculous — The magic continues with Cantor the Miraculous who dazzles audiences through wizardly interaction and artistry to bring “quality prestidigitation from a master crafts person.” The whole family is welcome. This show is at 5:00 p.m.
The amphitheater, which was refurbished in 2011, is located at N. Columbus Street and N. 2nd Street, two blocks north of Route 50. All shows are free and open to the public. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays begin at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday shows begin at 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Information about last minute weather cancellations can be obtained by calling 703-228-1850 the day of each show. Picnics are allowed but alcohol is prohibited.
Arlington County has released the performance schedule for the upcoming summer season at the Lubber Run Amphitheater.
Opening night at the amphitheater is scheduled for Friday, June 14, with soul and R&B artist Marry Ann Redmond performing. The season will close on Saturday, Aug. 3 with hip hop and jazz artist Rico Amero.
The amphitheater, which underwent a round of critical repairs in 2011, is located at N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., two blocks north of Route 50.
The full schedule can be found below. All shows are free and open to the public, and start at 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
- Friday, June 14 — Mary Ann Redmond (soul/R&B)
- Saturday, June 15 — Halau O’Aulani and the Aloha Boys (Hawaiian dance)
- Monday, June 17 — Metropolitan Chorus (choral)
- Wednesday, June 19 — Potomac Harmony Chorus (a cappella)
- Friday, June 21 – The U.S. Army Blues (jazz)
- Saturday, June 22 — King Teddy (big band/swing)
- Sunday, June 23 at 6:00 p.m. — The Constituents (acoustic/Caribbean)
- Friday, June 28 — Margot MacDonald (singer-songwriter)
- Saturday, June 29 — Eric Scott (pop/neo-soul)
- Sunday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m. — Black Muddy River Band (acoustic)
- Friday, July 5 — Colleen Shanley and Grand Junction (bluegrass/folk rock)
- Saturday, July 6 — Mystic Warriors (New Age/jazz)
- Sunday, July 7 at 6:00 p.m. — Bob Gibson Big Band (big band/swing)
- Friday, July 12 — Juniper Lane (pop/rock)
- Saturday, July 13 — Andrew Acosta and the New Old Time String Band (acoustic/traditional)
- Friday, July 19 – Ted Garber (blues/rocsc
- Saturday, July 20 — The Grandsons (rock)
- Sunday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m. – Russkie Musikanti (Russian folk)
- Friday, July 26 — “Much Ado About Nothing” (Shakespeare play)
- Saturday, July 27 — The Tone Rangers (a cappella/comedy)
- Friday, August 2 — Hexagon (political satire)
- August 3 — Rico Amero (hip hop/jazz)
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so fans of the holiday have a number of opportunities to attend events over the next few days. There are numerous events for adults at the area bars and restaurants, but here is a list of some family friendly activities for participants of all ages:
- Halloween Harvest (5:15-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24) — Buyers and Renters Arlington Voice (BRAVO) is hosting a community gardening event. There will be face painting, a treasure hunt, pumpkin decorating and healthy snacks fresh from the garden. Attendees can learn more about community gardens at the free event, which will be held at Whitefield Commons (106 N. Thomas Street).
- Fire Pit of Horror (6:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Join Arlington’s WSC Avant Bard at the Lubber Run Park fire ring as performers bring classic horror tales to life. There will be readings of works by Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. Costumes are optional, but encouraged. The event is free, but attendees are asked to RSVP online.
- Douglas Park Halloween Trail of Terror (7:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 27) — A haunted trail located at 1620 S. Quincy Street in the Douglas Park neighborhood. Attendees are asked to bring canned goods or nonperishable items for donation to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.
- Trick or Treat with Shirlie (2:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — The Village at Shirlington is encouraging patrons to dress up in costumes while enjoying free treats at the restaurants and shops. Several of the businesses will have promotions, face painting, crafts and other activities. A list of all participating businesses can be found online. Entries for the pumpkin carving contest can be dropped off at the Hilton Garden Inn from 8:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to One, Two Kangaroo Toys.
- FALLoween (10:00 a.m-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Market Common (2700 Clarendon Blvd) will hold its annual free event featuring a petting zoo, face painting, music and trick or treating at some of the businesses. A performance by Rocknocerous kicks off the event at 10:00 a.m. People and pets are invited to join in the costume parade at noon.
- Halloween Party (1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.) will host a special day for kids ages 3-11. Activities at the free event include carnival games, moon bounces, crafts, a costume parade and prizes.
- Ghostbusters Viewing (8:00-10:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27) — Take in a showing of the classic movie “Ghostbusters” in the Dome Theater at Artisphere. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online.
A listing of some pet friendly Halloween activities can be found in a previous article.
The Lubber Run Amphitheater will host a trio of events this weekend, including a Shakespeare play and a Hawaiian music and hula concert.
Lubber Run’s summer series of free outdoor shows will offer a change of pace with Traveling Players Ensemble’s performance of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 27.
The series, which typically features local music acts, will welcome Baltimore-based band The Project, on Saturday.
From a Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation press release:
Selected as a “Summer School in the Arts” by the NEA, Traveling Players Ensemble is a professional theater company dedicated to bringing great theater into the great outdoors through a thriving summer camp and year-round acting classes and workshops
The Project will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28. Also from the release:
Baltimore musicians Bob Goldberg (lead vocals and guitar), Eric McCleaf (guitar), and Jason Wilson (bass guitar and backing vocals) rock the house with everything from classic rock to current pop, with some 80s rock, 90s modern rock, and lots of other stuff in between.
Finally, a group from Arlington-based “native Hawaiian school” Halau O ‘Aulani will take the stage at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 29:
Native music and dance presented by Halau O ‘Aulani, founded in 1996 for the sole purpose of creating a learning environment for students interested in the preservation of the multi-faceted cultures of Hawai’i with primary emphasis on the Hawaiian culture.
As a non-profit cultural organization now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Comité Pro Bolivia will showcase eight large Bolivian dance and music ensembles. Each performance will vary from Suri Sicuris, which is traditionally performed before the ostrich (suri) hunt, to the Tinku dance of strength and agility.
The event is free, open to the public and will begin at 8:00 p.m. It’s being held at the Lubber Run Amphitheater at North Columbus and 2nd Street North (two blocks north of Route 50). The amphitheater is wheelchair accessible.
Bolivians make up 20 percent of the approximately 33,000 individuals in Arlington’s Hispanic community. Numerous Bolivian dance groups have been active throughout the county since the 1990s. The Comité’s stated goal is to focus on the dancing traditions which help bring together the Bolivian Community in Arlington and to also create a feeling of belonging and home.
The event and is co-sponsored by Arlington Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Folklore Studies Program at George Mason University. For more information, call 703-228-1850 or visit www.arlingtonarts.org.
Photo courtesy Arlington Cultural Affairs
The Lubber Run Amphitheater will be hosting three nights of music this weekend featuring some notable Arlington musicians.
It looks to be a beautiful weekend for an outdoor, evening concert. It’s expected to be sunny and very warm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
First up is Margot MacDonald, who is scheduled to perform at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 29. From a Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation press release:
Margot MacDonald is a 20-year-old with an incredible voice and undeniable songwriting talent from Arlington’s Lyon Park [neighborhood]. Margot’s live performances have been described as “hypnotic. She lulls you into a meditative state from behind her keyboard, scorches you with dirty rock guitar and then layers scat over Siren call with a loop pedal.”
Justin Trawick is scheduled to perform at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. Also from the press release:
Walking the tightrope between various genres, Justin’s music fluently balances between sometimes rowdy, other times consoling, forms of folk, bluegrass, and hip hop bestowing upon listeners an incorporated and organic form of poetry. Navigating the Washington, DC music scene, Justin has been tunefully hitting the local clubs, coffeehouses, and bars since November 2004, quickly expanding his range to larger venues up and down the east coast. He plays both solo and with his band, The Justin Trawick Group, consisting of quite the velvety brew of piano, cello, violin, mandolin, upright bass, hand percussion, and drums.
Finally, at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, the Arlington Community Band is scheduled to perform.
The Arlington Community Band is a municipal wind and percussion ensemble based in the Ballston-Virginia Square area of Arlington. It is funded by the Arlington Adult Education Program and works to promote music education in the community.
Potomac Harmony Chorus, and all-female a capella group, was scheduled to perform.
The decision to cancel was made in consultation with the group, both for their health and safety, and for that of the audience.
As of now, Friday’s performance by The U.S. Army Blues is still on for 8:00 p.m.
Sauca Ends Food Truck Service — Coming on the heels of the closing of the Sauca restaurant on Columbia Pike comes word that the Sauca food trucks have also ended their run. Owner Farhad Assari says it was a lifestyle choice — he was tired of working 14 hours a day, seven days a week. [Eater]
County May Need to Create New Group Homes — Arlington County may need to find some new group homes to house 33 people with intellectual and related disabilities. Arlington is just one of numerous Virginia localities scrambling to house disabled residents after a federal judge ordered state-run “training center” facilities closed. [Arlington Connection]
Lubber Run Performance Schedule Set — The summer concert series at the Lubber Run Amphitheater will start on June 15 and end on August 4. Concerts are scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. [Arlington Arts, Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
Now that we know for sure that there are coyotes living in Arlington, we’re starting to hear more reports of possible coyote sightings.
One resident sent along this tip and photo (above, left) after spotting what might have been a coyote in an Arlington park.
I was walking my dog yesterday morning (Sunday, 7:15AM) in Lubber Run and saw this by the bridge, at first I thought it was a fox, then realized it was too big to be a fox. Perhaps a coyote, it was definitely not a domestic dog. The tail was very long and bushy. It stood by the bridge for about a minute staring at me and my dog.
Photo (left) courtesy David Hartogs. Photo (right) via Wikipedia.
Thanks to much-needed renovations, the amphitheater sprung back to life in July, following a two year hiatus. Two teen talent and movie nights, and nine musical performances, were scheduled at the amphitheater this summer.
The performances attracted 2,400 attendees, Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation co-president Esther Bowring told the County Board. In addition, $2,400 was donated to a “wishing well” near the amphitheater parking lot.
Bowring said her group of amphitheater boosters will continue working with county staff to make the venue a success in 2012.
“We’re going to be continuing to work with the staff to figure out what we need to do to help with the performances for next year,” Bowring said.
The foundation will work to recruit more volunteers and more private donations for next year’s performances, Bowring added. She said the group would like to see upgrades made to dressing rooms at the amphitheater, to allow additional types of performances to be held. In addition, they’re pushing for more local groups to be added to the performance schedule; such performances could be staged at little or no cost.
“We have a very talented community,” Bowring said.
County Board members expressed support for the amphitheater.
“It’s one of the best things we have going in Arlington,” said board member Walter Tejada.
“We look forward to even better things in the summers to come,” board chairman Chris Zimmerman said.