It is likely the last chance to weigh in on what the future of Pentagon City and the 22202 zip code will look like for the next several decades via the Pentagon City Planning Study. Comments, which can be submitted online, are due Oct. 31.
I had the opportunity to work on the study over the past year and am generally happy with where we ended up. Mostly, I find it exciting that we were able to include a new element to this plan that other area and sector plans have excluded, which is to estimate the number of housing units to be added to the area in order to help guide infrastructure needs.
Estimating new housing units; infrastructure
Additional people in any area will inevitably put pressures on community infrastructure, ranging from transportation to schools to parks to stormwater management. From what I understand, this is the first time a planning study has made estimates on new housing units in the short, medium, and long term based on conservative and liberal expectations. Usually, we only see anticipated units that have already been approved or are currently in the pipeline.
In most studies, transportation “level of service” estimates are included and hotly debated. Other aspects of infrastructure such as school capacity, green space and stormwater are generally left out. This plan not only includes housing estimates but also includes potential sites for a new elementary school that we know will likely be needed in the area.
These housing unit estimates are vital to tracking our infrastructure needs in departments across the county.
Putting housing units near Metro
It is my belief that for long-run economic success and stability, growth must be built on sustainable infrastructure, which is why the estimated number of new housing units is so important. That estimated increase in housing units surrounding Pentagon City Metro is also an important part of that sustainability.
Unless we wish to stagnate our economy, growth is inevitable. It is where and how we chose to grow that is important and why it’s important that we grow densely in areas close to transit corridors. When homes, offices and retail are near transit corridors, it is convenient to walk, bike or take public transit. This makes it easier to incorporate physical activity into daily routes and reduce transit costs and environmental impact.
Incorporation of Biophilia
I will admit that I was immediately skeptical of this concept, and in the most recent draft of the plan, have been won over by the inclusion of biophilia in the study. My skepticism lay in the concept of potentially losing real green space in Pentagon City and in return getting leaves painted on impermeable sidewalks and tree sculptures being erected outside of buildings — this did not end up being the case.
The plan enables at least five and up to 10 new acres of new parks and green space distributed across Pentagon City, plus expansion of Virginia Highlands Park by at least one acre. In the “Green Ribbon” of walkable space, there are specifics on how it will be lined with plantings and more often than not, that is in-ground plantings as opposed to in-pot, meaning help for things like stormwater management and space for dogs to relieve themselves. Although the aesthetic aspect I previously mentioned is incorporated, it is not without real specifics on permeable surfaces.
I am proud of the work product that has been presented, but now it is time for everyone to give comments. This document will shape the 22202 zip code for decades to come and it is important that all voices are heard in that process — not just those of us who spend the most time at these meetings. Participate here.
Nicole Merlene is an Arlington native and former candidate for Virginia State Senate. She has served as a leader in the community on the boards of the Arlington County Civic Federation and North Rosslyn Civic Association, as an Arlington Economic Development commissioner, in neighborhood transportation planning groups, and as a civic liaison to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.
Our two-day stormy stretch is expected to carry on into Sunday, so make sure you take advantage of any sunny and dry periods as we head into the weekend. The…
Navigate the complex world of wine from the team at Arrowine & Cheese in the new The Nose That Knows column.
Inova is setting up a day-long community blood drive in Courthouse on Monday The healthcare company’s blood donation arm is again partnering with Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar for…
A 3 BD/2 BA updated home with a new roof, refinished hardwood floors and private parking space is included in Open Houses.
“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
Building strategies to understand emotions is essential to positive mental health, and validation is one effective skill to practice.
Emotional validation is the process of understanding, embracing, and actively listening to another person’s feelings (or your own).
Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
Are you ready to buy your first home, but concerned about saving for a down payment? Grab a drink and join us for 45 minutes to learn more about how you can buy your first house with 3%, 5%, or