Board Passes Fairlington-Shirlington Conservation Plan

Fairlington sign (photo courtesy Arlington County)(Updated at 7:05 p.m.) The Arlington County Board approved a new Neighborhood Conservation Plan for the Fairlington and Shirlington neighborhoods on Saturday.

The Board unanimously approved the plan, which updates a previous plan that was passed in 1987. The new plan seeks to protect the communities from traffic impacts, maintain public infrastructure and foster a sense of community. It was created over the course of eight years with the help of community input.

“The program reflects the County’s belief that no one understands what a neighborhood needs better than the people who live there,” County Board Chair Walter Tejada said in a statement. “The County Board thanks the residents of Fairlington-Shirlington for working for eight years to produce this thoughtful, realistic plan to help ensure this area of the County will remain a great place to live for decades to come.”

Fairlington, with a population of 8,000 residents, is southwest of Shirlington, population 1,500, and bisected by I-395.

Fairlington was created as a publicly-financed housing complex for defense workers during World War II. Shirlington was a swampland before becoming a shopping center in the 1940s. The current Shirlington began to take shape, with high rise housing and and an “urban village” of retailers, after being purchased by Federal Realty Investment Trust in 1995.

The new Neighborhood Conservation Plan contains 35 service and infrastructure recommendations. The full list, which can be found below (after the jump), includes recommendations ranging from increased speed enforcement to new bus shelters to efforts to curb helicopter noise.

“In the coming year, County staff will be working with the association and residents to help identify priority improvement projects for funding,” the county said in a press release.

Photo courtesy Arlington County

Service Requests

  1. Work with Arlington police to enforce speed limits, parking restrictions, stop signs, pedestrian safety, and not crossing the center line of speed cushions.
  2. Work with county staff to implement permit parking to reduce the impact of commuter parking.
  3. Implement, where possible, traffic calming measures.
  4. Provide county staff programming support to increase the number of children’s activities and neighborhood-oriented activities at the Fairlington Community Center.
  5. Provide funding for the Fairlington Community Center to restore the 10 pm weeknight closing time and being open on Sunday.
  6. Develop a five-year pruning cycle for street trees to remove hazardous limbs and those blocking the light from streetlights and hanging low over sidewalks and parked cars.
  7. Notify the FSNC Area representative when Administrative Change requests are filed with the Zoning Administrator regarding the Village at Shirlington. Preserve the streetscape and architectural standards in the Shirlington Design Book for the Village at Shirlington.
  8. Continue to monitor cut-thru traffic and consider appropriate measures if volume increases.
  9. Implement improvements to the storm water management system to prevent sewer backups affecting the Fairlington Commons Condominium Association.
  10. Work with the City of Alexandria to implement traffic management measures to reduce cross traffic conflicts and improve pedestrian safety at the King Street entrance to the Bradlee shopping center and at the King and Wakefield/Dearing intersection.
  11. Coordinate with the City of Alexandria regarding proposed changes to the intersection of King and Beauregard/Walter Reed.
  12. Monitor the impact of increased traffic volumes related to the BRAC-133 site on neighborhood and arterial streets in or near the FSNC area and implement necessary measures to address traffic congestion and pedestrian safety.
  13. Work with City of Alexandria regarding the development of the site near 4600 King Street to minimize the traffic impact on 28th Street S. and Walter Reed Drive.
  14. Improve parking management and reduce the inconsistent signage in the parking garages in the Village at Shirlington.
  15. Determine if overnight parking could be allowed on Walter Reed Drive between Arlington Mill Drive and S. Dinwiddie Street.
  16. Continue to work with elected officials, federal agencies, and the military services to have military helicopter pilots not fly over residential areas and instead use the established FAA helicopter routes over I-395 and over King Street west of I-395.
  17. Repaint bike lanes and install directional and bike lane signs where needed.
  18. Promptly address graffiti, vandalism, excessive noise and other inappropriate behavior at Utah Park.
  19. Involve neighborhood representatives, to the fullest extent feasible, to assess the impact of development proposals, by right or through site plan.
  20. Review the timing of the traffic signals at the Arlington Mill Drive and Shirlington Road intersection to prevent traffic backups on the ramp from the Shirlington Traffic Circle.
  21. Replace the deteriorated sidewalks on South Walter Reed Drive between King Street and South Wakefield Street.

Neighborhood Improvements

  1. Work with the Nauck Civic Association to upgrade exercise stations, add seating, and install drinking fountains in the part of Shirlington Park along Arlington Mill Drive.
  2. Install sidewalk along east side of 31st Street S. from the bus shelter across from the Shirlington House Apartments to the Shirlington bus transfer station at S. Randolph Street.
  3. Install curb, gutter, sidewalk, and a retaining wall along north side of S. Abingdon Street between 31st Street S. and 31st Road S.
  4. Replace Cobra street lights with Carlyle lights along 31st Street S. between S. Woodrow Street and S. Randolph Street.
  5. Replace Cobra street lights with Carlyle lights along Arlington Mill Drive between Walter Reed Drive and Shirlington Road.
  6. Replace Cobra street lights with Carlyle lights along S. Quincy Street between Arlington Mill Drive and S. Randolph Street.
  7. Replace Cobra street lights with Carlyle lights along S. Randolph Street between S. Quincy Street and Arlington Mill Drive.
  8. Replace Colonial street lights with Carlyle lights.
  9. Install a gate on the driveway to the Arlington County Trades Center that is located west of the Animal Shelter.
  10. Install bus shelters at bus stops along Arlington Mill Drive and, if feasible, at other bus stops.
  11. Plant replacement trees, remove invasive plants, remove deadwood, and install landscape measures to reduce erosion measures on the hillside along 32nd Road S. between S. Stafford Street and S. Utah Street.45
  12. Eliminate the slip lane at the Arlington Mill Drive and Walter Reed Drive intersection to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
  13. Remove invasive plants and reduce erosion along Lucky Run stream that is along Walter Reed Drive from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Dinwiddie Street.
  14. Acquire the former Dominion Virginia substation site and add the land to Fort Reynolds Park.

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