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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com December 27, 2010 at 7:02 am 2,110 8 Comments

Hang On To Your Hat — A wind advisory is in effect until 9:00 tonight for the entire metro area. The National Weather Service says to expect sustained winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of 45 to 50 miles per hour. So far, the wind has not caused any major problems in Arlington. Dominion is reporting only 17 customers without power in Arlington as of 6:30 a.m.

Local Snowstorm a Bust, But Travelers Stranded — As it turns out, the snowstorm that was supposed to hit D.C. yesterday left barely a dusting. But at Reagan National Airport this morning, there is evidence of what could have been. The storm ended up blanketing northeastern cities with up to a foot and a half of snow, causing major disruptions to air, rail and bus travel. Many travelers who were trying to fly from Reagan National to Philly, New York or Boston instead spent the night at the airport. New York’s airports are not expected to reopen until this afternoon.

Arlington Residents Complain About Snow —  The Dec. 16 “storm” that dropped about two inches of snow on Arlington prompted a slew of complaints to the county’s new online snow issue reporting form. Check out quotes from four of the complaints, courtesy of TBD.

Rosslyn Commons Groundbreaking Set — The groundbreaking for 1510 and 1530 Clarendon Boulevard, also known as Rosslyn Commons, has been scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 25. Developer JBG sent an email last week asking local leaders to “save the date.”

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

  • Burger

    Nice to see friendly neighbor relations can get trumped by submitting a nasty letter to the county for less than 2 inches of snow.

    Actually, I am sure the submissions are just part of on-going issues individual neighbors have with each other for whatever reason from a loud barking dog to parking their car to close to the street but nothing like a county compliance letter to needle the relationship a little more.

  • Snow Watch

    Snow Compliance: County Board Member Fissette shoveled 95% of his sidewalk but failed to clear the snow at the curb where a STEEP sidewalk meets the street. Skipping that 5% makes the rest irrelevant.

    • Did you report him?

  • el fat kid

    anyone else think it’s pretty lame for the county to release comments they received via their website, word for word, to a news organization? Regardless of their merit or lack thereof, it comes off as though the county is seeking public retribution for comments they don’t like or find frivolous.

  • SouthArlingtonHomeOwner

    Additional reading of the Arlington ordinance clarifies that I can now take a snow-blower to my large 200+ foot sidewalk and blow the snow from the sidewalk (which is public property) onto the street (public property) without getting a fine (Section 27-35(A)) since the snow is not from my private property. I was afraid I’d have to shovel the public property snow over my fence onto my private property. What happens when neighbors park in front of my house? Can I pile additional snow in front of their cars? Has anyone read the Virginia constitution, can the county force you to tend to public property? Don’t I already pay taxes for the county to tend to public property? It sounds like a typical government overreach that would be unenforceable if challenged. I think across the street neighbors without a sidewalk should be equally culpable since it places an uneven burden on one set of homeowners, and not the other. Also, if the county has the ability to fine you, and charge you for snow removal (such as if you are out of town and not exempt), shouldn’t it be the county’s obligation to offer a list of approved contractors who are capable of doing the work for you if you’re away on Holiday? I’m really not against the spirit of the ordinance, but as a homeowner with a large publicly used sidewalk, and neighbors that always park in front of my house, this really does place a large burden on a property owner that other property owners do not face.

  • County_Over_Reach

    You are basically correct in assuming the county does not have authority to require residents to take care of public property where the homeowner did not cause the nuisance. They claim it is due to a threat to public health, safety, and welfare and creates a public nuisance unless abated, but they do not have that authority from the VA Constitution or the Arlington County Code to force individual homeowners to take care of a public property nuisance when the nuisance is an act of god, and not a homeowner created nuisance. If you move your private property snow to public property – that would be a homeowner caused nuisance. Basically, that is why the fine and misdemeanor level are so low, so that people would do what is right to clean their sidewalk with a minor incentive, since if it was a big fine, people would challenge it in court and the Arlington County would lose. Kind of analogous to ObamaCare in that they do not have the authority, but did it anyway. BTW, I feel for you since I had a renter park in front of my house last year, and he pushed all the snow onto my sidewalk, and I then had to clean my sidewalk of the existing snow plus his snow – sounds like you have several of those!

    • No_Authority

      You are both correct. Arlington County is using Arlington County Ordinance 10 (http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/CountyBoard/CountyCode/default.aspx) that refers to garbage, refuse and weeds and those threats to public safety to try and gain authority over snow removal. But in those cases, they are nuisances under a homeowners control that may impact public safety. Snow that you do not put onto public property, but is from an act of god, is not under your control. Public Property Snow removal is not a legal duty of the homeowner. Sure the Ordinance was passed, but it was passed without legal authority or basis. I’ve got kids in the Arlington school system, and hope everyone will clear their sidewalks for the kids, but I’m not a fan of government acting without authority.

  • br0d

    Well amidst this air of complaint and privilege, I would just like to be a positive voice in thanking the county for the work they did yesterday in preventing the snowfall entirely. Well funded or not, dirsupting global weather patterns is not an easy thing to do and I for one would like to give my thanks, as this was a feat probably more becoming of McLean.


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