One inevitability of running a local news outlet is that you’ll get plenty of people contacting you with complaints about stuff, some more newsworthy than others.
In general, we’re disinclined to use our limited reporting resources as a cudgel against pet peeves that lack greater significance or safety concerns to the community at large. More often, the better stories tend to be those that come from tips sent because something seems interesting, not because it bothers the tipster personally.
Recently, though, there has been a noticeable uptick in a certain type of tip: those complaining about noise.
Noise complaints abound in our 26 square miles, but those that have a more limited local impact and fall into a category that might be described as “annoying but to be expected where you live” often do not rise to the level of local coverage.
Arguably, the following three noise complaints could get that categorization. But after receiving each in notably short succession, we’re going to let readers decide which, if any, has the most merit and might deserve additional scrutiny.
First up: (1) the use of leaf blowers in Ballston when there are, in fact, few if any leaves on the ground.
You folks should do a story on excess use of gas powered leaf blowers in [Ballston]. I live off Welburn Square, and when I work at home I hear pairs of workers with leaf blowers frequently, like every few days. This happens literally year round, every month,–80% of the time there are no leaves!
Are these county workers? It seems like a waste of taxpayer money plus unneeded air pollution and sound pollution.
I’ve attached a photo from this morning. No leaves!! Yet two guys with gas powered blowers wailing.
Welburn Square apartment resident.
Next: (2) nightly runway closures at DCA steering late flights closer to residential towers in nearby Crystal City.
As a longtime resident of Crystal City, my high-rise building, and others on the northern end of Crystal Drive, are directly along the flight path of aircraft currently departing the 15/33 runway that’s being used during the evenings while the main runway is worked on. Since the project started, aircraft depart that runway perhaps 1000′ from my building regularly during the late evening until nearly 3AM … and then resume a few more times before 6AM when the main runway is cleared for regular daytime traffic. (It’s intolerable for us in Waterford House and Crystal Gateway, but likely is worse for the residents of Crystal City Lofts and Water Park Towers.)
In addition to working professionals, several buildings in this part of Crystal City count many senior citizens as homeowners and/or renters. Taken together, we are all directly – and adversely – impacted being in such immediate proximity to the overwhelming noise of aircraft taking off on 15/33 that pass so close to our buildings during the overnight hours. I think you’d agree that long-term sleep deprivation and the related health consequences – at any age – certainly is not the answer. :(
According to a 2022 airport diagram, DCA runway 15/33 is 5200×150′ while 4/22 is 5000×150. Runway 4/22 is another ‘cross’ runway but departs over the Potomac River and does not put departing aircraft so close to residential buildings during their initial climb-out from DCA. Given the nearly identical length of these runways, it would be nice to know why DCA is not able to use that runway instead and therefore prevent disrupting the residents of northern Crystal City.
Finally: (3) the daily playing of the National Anthem at a Navy facility in the Penrose neighborhood, which allegedly “started last fall” and “can be heard from several blocks away, through windows, and is played every day.”
I am writing in about the Naval Support Facility at 701 S Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA. Several months ago, the facility began playing the National Anthem every morning at 8am.There are speakers pointed directly into the neighborhood. While it may have simply been an oversight, I wanted to bring Arlington County’s noise ordinances to your attention.
According to Arlington County, the Naval Support Facility is located in Zone S-3A. Arlington’s noise control regulations require that noise for Zone S-3A is below 95 decibels for “impulsive noise” during daytime hours (7am – 9pm weekdays, 10am – 9pm weekends) and below 90 decibels during nighttime hours. Please note they also define impulsive noise as lasting less than 1 second [Noise Ordinance, page 2]. All other noise needs to remain below 60 decibels during daytime hours and 55 decibels during nighttime hours. The Naval Support Facility plays the National Anthem at an audio level far beyond the permissible levels.
Additionally, I would like to bring your attention to the prohibited acts in the Arlington County noise ordinance. [Noise Ordinance, page 6]. I live approximately 600 feet from the Naval Support Facility, and the noise is extremely loud, even with the windows closed. This is a direct, clear violation of Arlington County’s noise ordinances.
“My neighbor has tried bringing this to Arlington County, but they won’t preemptively come out to the facility to witness the noise, so they won’t enforce their own rules,” the anthem tipster told ARLnow.
Which of the above complaints do you think has the most merit?
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Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
There’s no official word on its website, but it looks like Bar Ivy in Clarendon may have closed permanently.
There’s persistence, and then there is Audrey Clement and her decade-plus effort to get elected to local office in Arlington. Clement talked with ARLnow editor Scott Brodbeck to talk about…
Makers Union, an upscale gastropub, is set to open its doors in Pentagon City next week, says Alex Brown, the restaurant’s director of operations. This opening marks the third Makers Union location in the D.C. Metropolitan area, following the debut of its Reston location three years ago and a recent opening at the Wharf in early October.
Children’s Weekday Program (CWP) is a non-profit preschool rooted in a play-based philosophy. We focus on developing a love of learning and exploration, cooperation, empathy, and independence.
Our caring and experienced educators create opportunities for children 16 months to 5 years old to play, learn, and grow in a nurturing environment of child-centered and developmentally appropriate experiences.
Initially established more than 50 years ago in South Arlington, CWP continues to be a lauded program in the Northern Virginia area. We are extremely proud to have been recognized as a Best Preschool in Northern Virginia Magazine for the last 4 years.
Located now in North Arlington at 2666 Military Road, CWP offers a part-time parents day out and preschool program with options to extend care both before and after school. We offer a supportive and inclusive school community for children and parents alike and welcome all families to join our school!
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.