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Board Passes Sweeping Plan to Redevelop Crystal City

Just before the unanimous vote that would approve a sweeping plan to redevelop Crystal City, county board chairman Jay Fisette paused for reflection. Looking back at the four and a half year process of crafting the plan, Fisette remarked that it “an amazing moment and a startling success.”

Then, with five “ayes,” the board set in motion a 40-year development process that will transform the dated, hodgepodge apartments and office buildings in Crystal City into a gleaming, high-density, pedestrian-friendly urban district.

Initially conceived as a response to Crystal City’s impending loss of thousands of jobs as a result of BRAC, the Crystal City Sector Plan is meant to ensure a bright future for the oft-maligned but economically-crucial neighborhood. On numerous occasions last night, speakers pointed out that Crystal City currently produces the lion’s share of commercial tax revenues for Arlington County.

Among other alterations, the plan calls for the creation of a streetcar line, significant changes to the street grid, and an additional 15 million square feet of mixed use development through 2050.

Although some speakers compared last night’s vote to the 1970s-era growth plan that laid the groundwork for the now-vibrant Rosslyn-Ballston Metro corridor, others spoke of the hardships the Crystal City plan might inflict on surrounding neighborhoods.

Too much density, not enough open space and an increase in traffic through neighborhood streets were the most-repeated charges. Others complained that the plan did not provide enough of a transition from high-rise development to the single-family neighborhood.

Largely, those complaints were addressed by the final version of the plan, which included a traffic monitoring mechanism, a citizen advisory board, and a mandate to study ways to smooth the transition at the edge of development. The Aurora Highlands Civic Association unsuccessfully argued for a delay in the vote so those last-minute changes could be further reviewed by residents.

Several residents worried that increased density will mean a larger population in Crystal City, which in turn would strain infrastructure, like the already-crowded local schools. Another resident suggested that South Arlington may need its own hospital after a large enough increase in population.

But while acknowledging that the plan wasn’t perfect, representatives from Vornado/Charles E. Smith, the largest private landholder in Crystal City, argued for its passage.

“This plan is the epitome of smart growth,” said company vice president Mitch Bonanno. “There is no smarter place for density in the region, no better time for replacement of older buildings given BRAC, and there is no better sponsorship to make it happen than Crystal City property owners and Arlington.”

In the end, the board sided with the forces of change.

“We should feel great about this one,” Fisette said after the vote.

“I’m very proud of this document,” echoed board member Barbara Favola. “It’s a good plan.”

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It is the decision of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) to implement the Proposed Action: the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update (Pentagon Master Plan) as the framework to guide future decisions regarding land use and infrastructure at the Pentagon site and Mark Center. The Pentagon Master Plan aims to provide an update to the existing conditions at the Pentagon and Mark Center and presents projects and revisions to land use categorizations that will address the specific needs to reduce the Pentagon’s environmental impacts and advance sustainability, security, and resilience. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review has been completed through preparation of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate environmental impacts arising from implementation of the projects. WHS has concluded that no significant impacts to the human or natural environment will result from implementation of any projects, and recognized negative effects will be reduced by adherence to standard best management practices, applicable permit and consultation conditions, and standard operating procedures. This decision is further documented in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed on March 20, 2024.

This notice announces the availability of the FONSI to implement the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update.

For further information and to request a copy of the Final EA or FONSI, please contact Brian King, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager, WHS/Facilities Services Directorate/Standards and Compliance Division/Environmental and Sustainability Branch; (703-614-3658 or [email protected]). Please include “Pentagon Master Plan Final EA and FONSI” in the subject line.

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The 3rd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference will feature Thomas Silverstein, renowned Fair Housing expert and Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Come hear the latest news about fair housing enforcement, policy, and programs within Arlington County, Virginia, and across the country! Our expert panelists and guest speakers include fair housing advocates, elected officials, and government officials tasked with advancing housing equity at the local, state, and federal level.

Arlington has made substantial strides in advancing housing equity and improving fair housing policy with the adoption of the Regional Fair Housing Plan in 2023. Come learn what’s next to fight housing discrimination, incorporate equity for marginalized populations in our housing policies and programs, and increase awareness of fair housing rights under state and federal law.

We’ll have updates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing federal rule, a panel discussion of fair housing progress at the General Assembly and across Virginia, and a panel of local experts discussing the progress Arlington has made and what remains to be done.
Please RSVP in advance to ensure you receive your free lunch at the conference. Free and open to the public.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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Goth-Dark Wave Dance Party with Belly Dancing and Drag King Show.

                                         Part of Our

Alternative Thursdays for Alternave People with Alternative Lifestyles

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Belladonna and the Nightshades

Ya Meena

Drag King - Ken Vegas

DJ Michelle Guided

National Chamber Ensemble – Concerto Celebration

We invite you to join us for an extraordinary evening of music at our Season Finale, “Concerto Celebration”! Enjoy several masterworks as NCE performs two famous concertos in an intimate chamber music setting, opening with a delightful work by Chevalier

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