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by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

An online petition against a proposed residential development in Ballston has gathered 175 signatures.

The petition decries what it describes as a “high rise” development; a seven-story condo building and four story townhomes are proposed for the current Grace Community Church site at the 11th and N. Vermont streets.

The development, the petition says, will exacerbate traffic and school crowding issues. Supporters’ reasons for signing the petition also include “too much dense, high-rise development in Arlington already,” “harming the property values and diminishing the quality of life of those who already live here,” and “Arlington has become unaffordable.”

From the petition:

We request that you DENY the proposal for special use exception to change the zoning on 11th Street North and North Vermont Street from Low-Medium Residential to High-Medium Residential Mixed-Use to prevent several negative consequences to the immediately surrounding Ballston area and the broader Arlington communities.

Specifically, we ask that the zoning committee and county board not approve a deviation from the current zoning designations to a much higher density of development and instead maintain the current, well thought-out zoning plan to avoid:

  • increasing the traffic problems in the already highly congested Ballston area (Glebe & Fairfax and proximate streets and main thorough fares),
  • exacerbating the overcrowding in the Arlington Public Schools (Washington-Lee HS, etc.),
  • clearly deviating from and frustrating the existing plan and layout of a graduated reduction in heights and density in transitioning from the metro rail stations, a detrimental precedent to establish for existing neighborhoods and residents, and
  • introducing significant more disruption, potential physical damage, and nuisance to the closely surrounding residents that comes from heavy machinery, pile driving and heavy construction compared with the lighter construction associated with the current zoning.

Reston-based developer NVR describes the project as “a relatively modest in-fill development” that’s in keeping with the “urban townhouse” neighborhood that surrounds it.

The Arlington Planning Commission and County Board are expected to consider a site plan for the project later this year.

by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm 0

A new mixed-income apartment building that provides the amenities of market-rate residences, even though 40 percent of its units are committed affordable housing, has opened near Rosslyn.

The Union on Queen building is located at 1515 N. Queen Street, in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, roughly equidistant to the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations. It was partially funded with $6.8 million from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund.

Work on the 12-story, 193-unit structure, built as a public-private partnership, began at the end of 2014. It was touted as a way to provide affordable housing for those who need it — those making up to 50-60 percent of area median income are eligible for the committed units — while also providing attractive apartments for market-rate tenants.

“What makes Union on Queen so unique is that it offers ALL residents the same award-winning levels of innovation, convenience, amenities and design synonymous with the Bozzuto name in some of DC’s most premier apartments,” a PR rep said. “While most mixed-income communities often lack the luxuries and appointments of market-rate residences, Union on Queen delivers outstanding levels of service and detail for everyone.”

“There are a lot of places that would say, ‘Dumb it down, cheaper, less efficient. It’s affordable housing in there,'” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said during the groundbreaking ceremony two years ago. “But that’s not the way this community works. We want every building to be indistinguishable from the next.”

More on the project, via a press release from developers Bozzuto and Wesley Housing Development Corporation, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 1:25 pm 0

1 of Many Democratic Weekend of Action logoThe inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday may be the marquee event in Washington this weekend, but for Arlington Democrats the real action will start Saturday.

Local Democrats are planning a series of events, dubbed the “Weekend of Action,” to “send a bold message to the new administration on its first day in office.”

The prelude to the events will kick off Friday night with a poster making party in the basement of the Clarendon Presbyterian Church (1305 N. Jackson Street).

On Saturday, local Democrats will meet on the Arlington side of the Memorial Bridge — accessible via the Arlington Cemetery Metro station; Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. — and around 8 a.m. will walk into the District to join the Women’s March on Washington.

“Walk together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our Commonwealth and our country,” says the Arlington Democrats website. “Marchers may choose to carry signs, shout through megaphones, walk in silence as a member of The Bricksters, or otherwise express their views in a peaceful manner.”

A number of local lawmakers, including Rep. Don Beyer and County Board members Libby Garvey, Katie Cristol and Jay Fisette, are expected to be among the marchers.

Wrapping up the weekend, on Sunday, is the Commonsense Commonwealth Rally and Brunch, featuring Democratic gubernatorial candidates Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello as keynote speakers. That event is scheduled from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon.

by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Grover, a social dog who loves playing hide-and-seek. Here is what Grover’s owner, Jenny, had to say about him:

I was bitten by a dog when I was little and spent my life skittish and terrified of them. My kids really wanted a dog and I hesitantly gave in. That was 3 years ago and very soon after, Grover bounded into our lives. Grover is an extremely tall, long-legged, trim guy. He is fun loving and kind. He has never met another dog he does not like, although occasionally other dogs don’t care for him. He does not let that stop him from openly giving his heart and if I am in a rush on a walk and I don’t take him to say hi to a canine friend, he whimpers. He also loves people and always wants to say hi. Sometimes, he gets so excited he jumps on them, but he is working on that. He mostly loves to be with his human family.

Grover loves running, walking and playing hide-and-seek with his ball and his very favorite activity is chasing the ball! He likes to sleep in on weekends, sometimes until 10 a.m! He loves food, especially people food and is always on the look out for opportunities to take food that he should not have. He is sneaky and will “counter-surf,” but then if he hears us coming, he quickly gets down and pretends he is eating his food. He can also drink a full glass of milk on the kitchen table without knocking it over or making a peep! This has led to a few unfortunate late nights at the vet, but luckily, Grover is okay and we are very good about putting our food away. Thanks to Grover, our house has never been cleaner!

He loves visiting his granddad at the beach every few months and when we are a few miles away, he knows where we are going and yelps for joy. He rides in granddad’s jeep and boat and can also chase a ball for hours! Grover is what most would describe as “happy go lucky” and a joy to be around. We take him wherever we can and most of the neighborhood knows Grover!

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Police car (file photo)A woman opened her window last night only to find a man exposing himself several feet away.

The incident happened around 10 p.m. on the 1400 block of S. George Mason Drive, south of Columbia Pike.

Police say the suspect, a white male wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants, ran away after the window was opened.

More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

INDECENT EXPOSURE, 2017-01170265, 1400 block of S. George Mason Drive. At approximately 10:07 p.m. on January 17, officers responded to the report of an indecent exposure. A female victim opened a window inside her residence and observed a male subject, several feet from the window, exposing himself. The suspect fled the scene in an unknown direction. He is described as a white male, wearing a blue t-shirt, grey sweatpants, and a dark colored winter hat. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Fog on the Potomac (Flickr pool photo by Tyler Reber)

Arlington Sending Officers to InaugurationUpdated at 10:55 a.m. — The Arlington County Police Department is assigning “more than a hundred” officers to help with inauguration security on Friday. Like other local departments, ACPD will sending some of its officers to D.C. to assist the Metropolitan Police Department. Others will be assigned to Metro stations or areas where large crowds are expected. [WJLA]

Local Inauguration Day Event — A number of local nonprofits, from the Arlington Food Assistance Center to activist groups like Moms Demand Action, will be participating in an “alternative” Inauguration Day event at the Barcroft Community House. The event encourages attendees to “explore how you can get involved in their important causes” and “post your thoughts about how we, as citizens of Arlington, can work to further our common good as we face new tests to our society and democracy after Inauguration Day.” [ARLnow, Facebook]

Senators Hope New Administration Will Fund Bridge Repairs — Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have written a letter to two of president-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees, asking them to “do all in your power to see that the rehabilitation of Memorial Bridge is fully funded.” The senators note that the weight limit imposed on the bridge has forced some changes to inauguration plans. [Scribd]

Arlington Jeopardy Contestant Keeps Winning — Arlington resident John Avila, 30, again bested his fellow contestants on last night’s episode of Jeopardy, his second appearance on the show. Avila, an attorney, will face a high school physics teacher from Indiana and a writer from Brooklyn on tonight’s episode. [Sun Chronicle]

Small Dog Owners Want Separate Area of Dog Park — A group of owners of small dogs have proposed a separate small dog zone at the Fort Ethan Allen Park community canine area. There are currently two other dog parks in Arlington with separate small dog areas. [InsideNova]

Remembering Preston King — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark recounts the life and times of Preston King, for whom the Westover Post Office is named. King was killed while bailing out of his plane in the midst of a reconnaissance mission during World War II. [Falls Church News-Press]

Flickr pool photo by Tyler Reber

by ARLnow.com — January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Update at 9:30 a.m. — The suspect has been found hiding under a car in the area of N. Quinn Street and 18th Street N. and has been taken into custody, according to scanner traffic.

Update at 9:45 a.m. — Virginia State Police have issued the following statement prior to confirmation that the suspect had been taken into custody.

“At 8:50 a.m., Virginia State Police initiated a traffic stop on a gray Ford Focus traveling east on Interstate 66 near the 72 mile marker/Lincoln Street overpass. The vehicle refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The Ford Focus took Exit 73 and due to its reckless driving and speed, the trooper discontinued the pursuit for the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Minutes later the vehicle was located abandoned on Nash Street near Lee Highway. A search is currently underway, with the assistance of Arlington County Police, for the male driver who fled on foot.”

Earlier: Police have swarmed the area around N. Nash Street and the Holiday Inn hotel in Rosslyn to search for a driver who led Virginia State Police on a morning rush hour chase.

Initial reports suggest that state police were pursuing the suspect on I-66 for an HOV violation. The suspect exited the highway at Rosslyn and bailed out near the hotel.

Police are establishing a perimeter as they try to locate the suspect, who’s described as a black male wearing jeans and a gray hoodie.

Photos by Samantha Moore

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 18, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

Just Reduced banner

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.

It’s gearing up to be a quite a week here in the D.C. area with so many inauguration festivities.

We’re reminded all the time, in one way or another, that our region is truly at the heart of so many things that impact these United States. We’re home to so many prominent figures, businesses and historic, cultural events.

And with so much action, Arlington County is truly a wonderful place to call home. Our area is anchored by high-paying jobs, low unemployment rates, a top-ranked school system, a beautiful park system as well as world-class restaurants and shopping.

And, of course, our real estate market is rock solid. When you’re ready to GET MORE out of living in Arlington County, I’m ready to help you find a perfect home to call your very own!

As of January 16 there are 160 detached homes, 26 townhouses and 212 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 38 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com — January 17, 2017 at 5:15 pm 0

A towing standoff outside Ray's Hell BurgerA bill being considered by the Virginia General Assembly would increase towing fees and override Arlington County’s new towing regulation changes.

The House of Delegates bill, HB 1960, was proposed by Del. Tim Hugo, a Prince William and Fairfax County Republican. It would modify Virginia’s existing towing law with a number of provisions that would only apply to Northern Virginia jurisdictions in the state’s “Planning District 8,” which includes Arlington.

Among the proposed Northern Virginia-specific changes:

  • Raise the base towing fee to $150 and the maximum towing fee to $200.
  • Prohibit Arlington’s new “real time authorization” requirement, which requires businesses to authorize each individual tow.
  • Require that the chair of a local towing advisory board be a licensed towing operator. Currently, the chair of Arlington’s towing advisory committee is a local citizen.

An Arlington County fact sheet about the bill states that it “would unnecessarily restrict the ability of local governments to provide protections to vehicle owners in the taking of their property without their consent.”

“I would describe it as a very consumer unfriendly bill,” County Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol told ARLnow.com. “It raises tow rates for the second year in a row with no fair market assessment to justify that.”

Cristol is encouraging residents to reach out to their local delegates and state senators to encourage them to work to defeat the bill.

“We think it’s a bad deal for our community and we hope people will let their state legislators know that they think so too,” she said.

On a statewide basis, the bill would require tow truck drivers to notify animal control when they tow a vehicle “that is occupied by an unattended companion animal.” It also establishes a $100 fine for towing operators that violate state towing regulations, to be paid to Virginia’s Literary Fund, and prohibits the appointment of anyone other than towing operators, law enforcement representatives and a single member of the general public to a towing advisory board.

by ARLnow.com — January 17, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington police carTwo knife-wielding men robbed a man last night in the Shirlington area.

The robbery was reported just after 11:30 p.m. Monday on the 4400 block of 31st Street S., which is about halfway up the hill from Shirlington to Fairlington.

A police dog was brought in but was unable to track down the suspect.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-01160301, 4400 block of S. 31st Street. At approximately 11:37 p.m. on January 16, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that two male suspects approached a male victim near his vehicle, both displayed knives, and told the victim to put his hands up. The suspects then rifled through the victim’s pockets and stole his belongings. The suspects then fled the scene. A K9 search was conducted with negative results. The suspects are described as approximately 5’9″ tall with a bulky build. They were dressed in all black, with black gloves, and black ski masks at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Question: Two weeks ago you wrote a column stating that the average sale price growth in Arlington was.15%, but the County just announced that the average tax assessment will increase by 2.9%, why the difference and is there anything I can do to challenge my assessment if I think it’s too high?

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 17, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

What constitutes hostile work environment is often confusing. Many employees often assume that general bad behavior exhibited by a supervisor or coworker constitutes a hostile work environment claim for purposes of filing an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint.

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