A deteriorating, 85-year-old sewage line that runs along the back of residents’ yards was determined, after “extensive research” by county staff, to be privately-owned — built as part of the original development on the block.
Though county workers have in the past cleared the line of blockages, that “cannot continue… because of the extent of deterioration and because the County has no rights to operate or maintain this line,” wrote Dave Hundelt, Arlington County’s Streets Manager, in a letter to a dozen impacted homeowners.
“This line is in failing condition and is beyond repair,” Hundelt wrote. “This is due to the age of the line, its state of deterioration and the physical obstructions that make replacement of this line impractical.”
Residents are being told that they’ll have to construct a lateral connection from their homes to the county-owned sewage lines that run along the street.
Such work typically varies in cost from $5,000 to $10,000, according to Kewin Greenhill, general manager of Ashton Heights-based All Plumbing, Inc. The least expensive option requires a trench to be dug across the homeowners’ front yard. The pricier option can be done less invasively, by use of a pneumatic mole.
If homeowners don’t install a new connection, “the consequences of a failed sewer line would make your home uninhabitable,” Hundelt wrote.
The County is holding a meeting with affected homeowners on Nov. 13 at Key Elementary School. Hundelt promised to arrange follow-up meetings as necessary.
One resident, who did not want to be identified by name, said she felt the county is “abandoning us” by so far not offering to pick up the tab.
“Are we really at the mercy of poor record-keeping on the part of the County after all these years?” she wrote on a neighborhood listsev. “Do we have any rights? Any expectation for financial help, especially those over 70 and on fixed incomes?”
The full letter from Hundelt, after the jump.
Photo via Google Maps
Three houses are being torn down to make way for a new apartment building in the Lyon Park neighborhood.
Developer Clark Realty expects to begin demolition on the vacant houses, on 9th Road N. behind Jay’s Saloon, within the next week. Construction on the new building, which will feature 18 one-to-three bedroom apartments and 33 parking spaces, is expected to take about a year.
The building, dubbed 9th Road Residences, is being built “by right,” meaning County Board approval is not needed. The new structure will be adjacent to another Clark-built apartment building on 9th Road. Both are about the same in scale: 3 stories high with a half-sunken ground floor.
Clark is planning to rent the apartments, but they’re being built with “condo-level finishes” so that the building can be converted to condominiums if market conditions dictate.
The project is adjacent to but separate from Clark’s “10th Street Flats” development, which will eventually result in the closure and demolition of Jay’s Saloon (3114 10th Street N.) and several other small businesses. That development must first go through Arlington’s site plan process.
At an informal neighborhood meeting with the developer last night, Lyon Park residents expressed little objection to the 9th Road project, but raised some concern about traffic that might eventually come from 10th Street Flats.
A number of roads around the Virginia Square area will be closed Sunday morning for the annual Race for a Cause 8K.
The race will shut down N. Quincy Street between N. Glebe Road and Wilson Blvd from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. From 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., the following roads will be closed for the race, according to Arlington County:
- Eastbound Wilson Boulevard from Quincy Street to 10th Street N.
- Eastbound 10th Street N. to Washington Boulevard
- Southbound Washington Boulevard from 10th Street N. to Columbia Pike
Parking along these streets may be restricted, so those leaving their cars in and around the area Saturday night should be on the lookout for “No Parking” signs along the race route. The race will begin at 8:00 a.m.
Neighbors of an under-construction Lyon Park home are worried about who might be moving in when the renovations are complete.
The “Metal House,” at 2797 Washington Blvd, is named as such because of its modern wood-and-steel exterior. While the home’s appearance is unconventional, neighbors seem more concerned about the way the house is being marketed to potential renters.
The home features a “kegger, flip cup, corn hole-friendly yard,” according to its rental listing, below. It’s a “short stumble home from [Mister] Day’s, Spider Kelly’s, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, Ri Ra, etc.,” the ad continues.
Asking price for the home, which features five bedroom suites, each with its own bathroom: $7,500 per month.
“Ouch,” the ad says simply, after listing the price.
In emails, neighbors alternately called the ad “disturbing” and “rather epic,” expressing concern about the kind of tenants such a listing might attract.
“There are a lot of concerns about the legality of the renovation — neighbors don’t understand how and why the county approved a house that was formerly a single-family home be renovated in this way,” one neighbor, who didn’t want her name used, told ARLnow.com.
The home was renovated by local builder Mickey Simpson after being purchased for $460,000 in 2012. The company did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
CLARENDON (North Arlington): The METAL HOUSE. Coolest rental house in Clarendon. Construction is close to being finished. New 5 Bedroom house available from September 15 – October 1 in Clarendon. Four floors of NEW silly shiny metal contemporary/modern style. Top floor is kitchen/bar Great Room with half bath and ROOFTOP party deck. Two full-sized stainless steel refrigerators. Granite counters. 5 Bedroom Suites — * each BR Suite has a private full bath with an awesome shower* each BR Suite has a walk-in closet* each BR Suite has a full sized washer and dryer (yes, 5 washers and 5 dryers in this house). Kegger, flip cup, corn hole-friendly yard. Parking for at least 5 cars off-street. Short stumble home from Day’s, Spider Kelly’s, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, Ri Ra, etc. You get the idea. Oh, and its only a few blocks from the Clarendon Metro. Absolutely no pets. This is a brand new house. Rent is $7500/month. Ouch. Seeing is believing… Please email for appointment.
Although it’s only considered a “soft opening” period, BonChon officially opened its doors today at 2209 N. Pershing Drive, near Clarendon, to let the public try out its Korean chicken.
The dining area quickly filled when the restaurant opened at 11:30 a.m. and customers steadily streamed in through lunch hour. Although BonChon will be open for lunch and dinner, for the first few weeks the restaurant will be closed from 2:00-4:00 p.m. while staff members work to perfect operations.
The restaurant has a dining area, bar area and a separate counter for customers to pick up carry out orders.
Although the menu lists side dishes, salads and appetizers, the main attraction is the crispy fried chicken which comes as drumsticks, wings or chicken strips. Orders are accompanied by garlic soy sauce or hot sauce.
BonChon, which means “Original Village” in Korean, started out in South Korea and quickly came over to the United States. It now has more than 50 locations around the world.
Korean chicken restaurant BonChon expects to open its first Arlington location next month.
The restaurant, located in Lyon Park on the ground floor of the new apartment complex at 2201 N. Pershing Drive, is “entering the final phases of construction,” according to a Facebook post. The restaurant expects to hold a soft opening “around the second week of July.”
“We should have a concrete date set by the end of next week,” a restaurant rep wrote.
The “notoriously no-frills Korean chicken chain” is best known for its crispy, juicy chicken. It offers wings, drumsticks and chicken strips, hand brushed with a soy garlic sauce or an Asian hot sauce. Other menu items include salads, sides, appetizers and various Korean entrees.
Photo via Facebook
Some Lyon Park residents have expressed concern about Arlington’s 911 system after waiting on hold while calling in last Wednesday’s house fire on N. Highland Street. Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management, however, says everything worked just as it was supposed to.
Some callers reported hearing a recorded message while they were put on hold for several minutes, according to an ARLnow.com tipster. OEM Director Jack Brown confirmed that there were callers who heard a message asking them to stay on the line while the system was flooded with calls. Anyone who hung up was then called back to verify that they were safe and to check if they still needed emergency assistance, exactly like any other 911 hang up.
“It’s not an overburden for us, it’s just very busy in the initial stages of an emergency,” said Emergency Communications Center Commander John Crawford. “The system was working and the people were working. The only issue we get is when lots of people call all at once.”
Crawford explained that Arlington’s 911 call center has a minimum of 10 people staffing it at all times. Typically, calls immediately go through to a staffer. But when an emergency occurs, such as during the Lyon Park fire, there are so many calls that each one cannot be answered immediately.
“The phones just literally lit up. We knew it was something significant,” Crawford said. “If 10 people call 911, the eleventh person is going to get a pre-recorded message asking them to hold. We purposely put that recording in there because in years past the phone would just ring and ring, and people would question if they called the right number.”
The automatic call distribution system immediately sends holding callers to the first available staff member as soon as a line frees up. Once information is gathered from the first couple of callers, the rest of the calls typically move more quickly. Staffers make every effort to gather information from each caller as rapidly as possible to avoid missing an emergency.
“You never know, that eleventh call or twelfth call might be someone in a horrific accident on G.W. Parkway not related to the fire, so we have to go through every call as quickly as possible,” said Crawford. “I have to talk to you but I don’t have to talk to you long. To some people it may sound rude, but I need to cut to the chase and get the info I need and then hang up the phone.”
Crawford noted that Arlington’s 911 call center received significant upgrades five years ago, including expanding the number of phone lines from 16 to 48. Improvements have been made to prevent the system from “locking up” as it did during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001.
“On 9/11, the phones rang and lit up so quick that it locked the system up. Literally hundreds. We couldn’t even get to them,” said Crawford.
9/11 also put into play the rare “code red” alert that gets sent out to staff pagers and phones, ordering them back to work to help with a large emergency. With the additional lines that have been added since that time, the center could now have 48 call takers working at the same time — one for each phone line.
“Thank God, other than a couple of disasters I know of, we haven’t had need to upstaff to that degree,” said Crawford.
Arlington’s 911 center does add extra staff members during anticipated busy times, such as weekend nights and planned events like races. However, on the average day, the 10 or so call takers need to deal with any incidents that arise.
Crawford noted that it’s important for people to continue to call when they see or hear something occur because you never know if another person will call or not. He asks residents to be patient if they’re put on hold during a flood of calls, and promises the call takers are doing the best they can.
“We work for the citizens, those are our customers,” Crawford said. “We try to provide the best possible customer service to them.”
Neighbors of the Lyon Park mother and son whose house was destroyed by fire last week are collecting money for the family’s needs and for their cat’s medical bills.
Three people – Liz Tefera, her son, and a tenant who was renting a room in the home — were displaced after fire consumed the home on Wednesday, May 15. Tefera and her son, a 7th grade student, are now staying in a local hotel, having “lost everything” in the fire. The blaze also injured Baby, one of Tefera’s two cats, according to neighbor Donna Seabold and her husband, John.
“Two cats were trapped in the house during the fire,” Seabold said. “One cat was found immediately after the fire was extinguished, and suffered only minor injuries. The second cat, named Baby, was not found until the following day in the flooded basement of the boarded up house. Baby has suffered minor burns, respiratory issues, and carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Baby was brought to VCA SouthPaws animal hospital in Fairfax, where she received three days of oxygen treatment. The treatment has improved Baby’s condition to the point where this afternoon she was able to be transferred to the Nova Cat Clinic in Virginia Square, according to Seabold.
Though we’re told that Tefera’s house was insured, neighbors are collecting money to help pay for the family’s expenses, including some $2,000 in medical bills for Baby.
Those interested in helping the family with Baby’s medical bills or with their other expenses can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. PayPal donations can also be sent to the address.
(Updated on 5/20/13) Arlington County, Falls Church and Ft. Myer firefighters responded to a house fire in Lyon Park tonight.
This fire was reported around 5:45 p.m., at the corner of N. Highland Street and 7th Street. Firefighters arrived on scene, made their way into the burning home and attacked heavy flames throughout the structure. The fire was eventually brought under control around 6:10 p.m., but not before causing significant damage to the home.
Smoke could be seen and smelled from the Clarendon area, readers told ARLnow.com via Twitter.
Nobody was injured in the blaze, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl. The Red Cross is on scene, assisting the two adults and one child who lived in the house.
A 12-year-old boy was at home the time of the fire and managed to escape unscathed, Karl said. Two cats were also inside the house. One escaped unharmed and the other was later found injured inside the house, we’re told.
Politico May Leave Rosslyn — The offices of the Capitol Hill publication Politico will likely move from Rosslyn to some place closer to the Hill. The expected move was announced at a staff meeting, which also discussed the pending sale of TV station ABC 7, also located in Rosslyn. [DCRTV]
Crime Solvers Awards — A Sheriff’s Office narcotics K-9 officer and a second-generation Arlington Police detective were the winners of the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards. The awards were presented yesterday at a luncheon sponsored by Arlington County Crime Solvers. [Sun Gazette]
Police 50/50 Raffle — Arlington police officers are holding a 50/50 raffle to benefit and police sergeant and an officer’s wife who were recently diagnosed with cancer. The raffle drawing will be held on May 14. Tickets are available for $20 at Hard Times Cafe (3028 Wilson Blvd) and Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.) [PDF]
Miss Gay Arlington Pageant — The annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant will be held tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.). The pageant, which is sponsored by the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Aliance, will judge drag performers in four categories: self-expression, talent, evening gown and on-stage question. [Facebook]
Lyon Park Home & Garden Tour — The Lyon Park neighborhood will hold its annual home and garden tour on Sunday. The self-guided tour runs from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. [PDF]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
The pursuit began when the suspect vehicle rammed an Arlington County Police cruiser near N. Barton and Pershing Drive, in Lyon Park, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The vehicle, a late model Honda Accord, slammed into the front passenger side of the cruiser after the officer attempted to pull it over for a traffic stop, Sternbeck said. No injuries were reported as a result of the crash, though Sternbeck described the damage as “significant.”
Arlington County officers then chased the vehicle to I-395. The chase ended after officers set up a “rolling roadblock” in the northbound lanes, just before the suspects crossed into D.C.’s jurisdiction.
Police activity is currently blocking all but one northbound HOV lane just before the 14th Street Bridge. Police have two suspects in custody, both District of Columbia residents, Sternbeck said. The men are expected to be charged with felony hit and run.
It is normally Arlington County Police policy to not pursue fleeing vehicles except in special circumstances.
The Arlington County Fire Department battled at least three fires over the long holiday weekend.
On Saturday, firefighters extinguished a fire in a detached shed behind a home on the 2900 block of 7th Street N. in Lyon Park. The smoky fire spread to an adjacent fence and caused minor damage to adjacent sheds, but otherwise did not damage any houses, according to ACFD spokesman Gregg Karl.
On Monday, Arlington firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at a house on Shadow Walk in Falls Church, just off Little Falls Road near the Arlington border. Karl was unable to provide additional information about that blaze. ACFD was also called to a small fire on an apartment balcony at 901 N. Monroe Street in Virginia Square. The fire was contained to the balcony, Karl said.
Photo (left) courtesy @CAPT258. Photo (right) courtesy Peter Roof.
A new Indian restaurant recently opened in the Lyon Park neighborhood.
Masala Express, at 2622-A Pershing Drive, just celebrated its first month in business. The restaurant, which offers carry out service and a small section of cafe seating, has enjoyed favorable reviews on Yelp since it opened on Christmas Day (Dec. 25).
The restaurant is owned by Vinita Chawla, a veteran of the hotel industry. Also helping out is her husband, Naresh, who has run a catering business focusing on Indian cuisine for the past 20 years. Both Vinita and Naresh are natives of India.
One restaurant patron told ARLnow.com that Masala Express offers Indian cuisine that’s spicier and “more authentic” than several of the other Indian restaurants in the Clarendon and Courthouse areas.
Masala Express opened in what used to be a portion of Gala Futons and Furniture. The furniture store remains open, albeit with a smaller storefront.
The restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The Old Bike Shop, located at 2647 N. Pershing Drive, specializes in vintage and refurbished bikes and bike parts. Owner Larry Behery, a former car mechanic and carpenter, says there was an unmet need for a used bike store in Arlington.
“There are a lot of shops in the area, but they serve a higher-end clientele — someone who’s already into bikes, already into racing, someone who’s into spending a couple of thousand dollars on a bike,” he said. “But there was nobody really just being a liaison for the beginner,” for people who “need something inexpensive to ride to the Metro… something solid and something that’s not stolen or broken off of Craigslist. ”
Behery and a business partner have been selling used bikes at the Courthouse flea market on Saturdays and at the Georgetown flea market on Sundays. Behrey, who started out collecting old bikes and bike paraphernalia before deciding to sell them as a side business, said he buys his bikes at auctions and from charities that receive bike donations. Before the shop opened, he fixed them up in a garage outside his Springfield home.
Business was good enough at the flea markets that at one point last year Behery decided to go all-in and open a stand-alone store.
“It ended up kinda snowballing and increasing in demand… and finally it got to the point where there were enough [customers] to justify doing something like this and actually having a shop,” he said. “I couldn’t not take advantage of that opportunity.”
Behery says he still plans to sell bikes at the Courthouse market but is planning to discontinue his visits to the Georgetown market. He says he thinks the quality of the bikes at his small shop will help him compete against nearby higher-end bike stores and the Wal-Marts of the world that sell cheaply-made budget bikes.
“We made a lot of really good stuff back in the day that can’t be produced any more — recognizing that there was a need for good quality bikes that were inexpensive,” he said.
The Old Bike Shop is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The store is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
In addition to bikes and bike parts like locks and tires, the Old Bike Shop will offer bike repair services.
An SUV flipped on its side on N. Fillmore Street in Lyon Park last night.
The accident happened around 9:30 p.m., in the middle of the block, approaching the intersection with 2nd Road N. According to police on the scene, the adult female driver was likely distracted when she ran into a parked vehicle, causing her SUV to flip on its side.
The driver was not hurt and remained on scene. Nobody else was in her vehicle or the other damaged vehicle. No word on any changes against the driver.