Arlington, VA

A man fired a gunshot while robbing a woman of her purse Saturday night in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, near Pentagon City, according to Arlington County police.

Police say the man approached the woman after she parked her car on near the corner of S. Kent Street and 21st Street S. He demanded the purse and a struggle ensued, during which the suspect fired a single gunshot.

No one was struck and the suspect fled with the purse.

Anyone with information about the case or the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department. More from ACPD:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a non-contact shooting which occurred during an armed robbery in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood on the evening of January 23, 2021.

At approximately 7:25 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery in the 2000 block of S. Kent Street. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was exiting her parked vehicle when the male suspect approached. The suspect brandished a firearm, shoved the victim back towards the vehicle and demanded her purse. A brief struggle ensued during which the suspect fired a single shot. The victim was not injured. The suspect then fled the scene on foot with the victim’s purse. Responding officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results.

The suspect is described as a Black male in his late 20s to early 30s, 6’0″ to 6’2″ tall with a thin build. He was wearing all black clothing, a black neck gaiter and a black skull cap at the time of the incident. An older model, dark colored 4 door sedan was seen leaving the area at a high rate of speed shortly after the incident.

Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Some residents in and around Crystal City want to open up the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary to more walking and hiking — with help from JBG Smith.

The developer owns property around Roaches Run and is interested in converting parts of its private land into a public connection accessible from the surrounding neighborhood.

This partnership is one way that the Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands and Crystal City civic associations propose adding open space to their neighborhoods. A second solution is to redesign and upgrade Virginia Highlands Park for more uses than sports.

The two ideas are part of a report published last week from the three associations, which have banded together to form Livability 22202. The report also recommends ways to plan new parks in Crystal City and enhance local biodiversity.

“COVID-19 has changed everyone’s thinking about open spaces,” Livability 22202 President Carol Fuller said. “The traditional parks of the past do not serve the purposes of our new world. We need to have open space, parks and trails for people to go out for casual use outdoors.”

The group is scheduled to present its recommendations to the Parks and Recreation Commission in February, she said.

Compared to other parts of the county, Pentagon City and Crystal City have fewer trails and open parks, Fuller said.

“If we did not have Long Bridge [Park] — which is fairly new — and if we didn’t have Virginia Highlands Park, we would have no trails and very little open space,” she said. (Crystal City is also served by the Mt. Vernon Trail, which connects to the neighborhood near the intersection of Crystal Drive and 18th Street S.)

Livability 22202 is proposing a loop trail and connecting trails into and out of Roaches Run. The County too is interested in turning the area into publicly-accessible natural space as the neighborhood experiences a wave of redevelopment in the wake of Amazon’s HQ2 decision — but officials indicated this spring that it could take 5-10 years to implement.

JBG Smith is willing to make use of its land to advance the broader open space discussion happening in National Landing — the collective term for Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard — Andrew VanHorn, Executive Vice President, JBG Smith said in a statement.

“JBG Smith is supportive of plans that would make Roaches Run more accessible to the community and allow more people to enjoy this important natural asset,” he said.

VanHorn added that JBG Smith welcomes “the opportunity to work with the community, the County Board, and the National Park Service to help make this vision a reality.”

Meanwhile, the report authors envision Virginia Highlands Park as an urban park with a blend of recreational and casual uses.

“One of the problems with Virginia Highlands is it’s primarily for recreation,” such as tennis or softball, she said. “It needs an upgrade badly.”

At 18 acres, it is one of Arlington’s largest parks, but suffers from underused and wasted space, at least according to the authors.

The Aurora Highlands Civic Association has long pushed for changes to the park, and this upcoming fiscal year the County was slated to start developing a master plan for it.

But that plan is now on hold, Fuller said. So, in the meantime, Livability 22202 is proposing upgrades that include a gathering space, a sledding site, better lighting, permanent community gardens and a dog run — similar to the dog park proposed by a separate local group.

Money is perhaps the biggest missing ingredient for making changes to Roaches Run and Virginia Highlands Park, Fuller said.

“COVID-19 has not only shown us great need for open space, but it also destroyed the budget to give it to us,” Fuller said.

Earlier, the group published another report calling for more diverse housing options in the zip code.

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A new report released by three local civic associations says tenant protections, more housing options and community amenities would make the 22202 zip code livable.

But significant barriers — including a history of exclusionary zoning to a lack of political will from leaders — are holding the area back, the neighborhoods say.

The report was produced by Livability 22202, a coalition of the Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands, and Crystal City civic associations.

“We want to ensure our neighborhood reflects the vision of an inclusive community and that residents’ voices are heard in a rapidly changing environment,” the report’s authors wrote. “By learning from the past and planning for a realistic future, we can ensure our shared values and visions as a 22202 community hold a promise that all are welcome to find a home here.”

The report coincides with heavy redevelopment and the construction of Amazon’s permanent HQ2 in Pentagon City. It also comes as Arlington County studies the lack of “middle housing” — duplexes and other smaller-scale multifamily housing — and sponsors discussions on the effects of race-based policies in County’s past.

“We believe that the adoption of our policy solutions, together with other livability objectives, will contribute to making our neighborhood an even better and more inclusive community to live and work in,” said Susan English, of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association, in a statement.

The report affirms the same solutions housing advocates have called for as the Missing Middle Housing Study takes shape.

“As the County embarks on a process to overhaul its policies and practices to fill the housing ‘missing middle,’ our report and its recommendations provide a comprehensive roadmap for change,” said Tarsi Dunlop, of the Crystal City Civic Association, in a statement.

The authors predict Amazon and the other commercial and residential development will displace existing residents, and recommend assistance and policies at the local and state level for renters and owners.

Ben D’Avanzo, of the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, said the report’s findings of “explicit racial restrictions and redlining” will supplement Arlington’s race and equity dialogues.

The Livability 22202 members said the group will now push for their recommendations to be adopted.

In a statement to ARLnow, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said she appreciates the hard work and the recommendations, many of which are consistent with the County’s goals.

“The County, too, wants to avoid displacement, increase the housing supply, and diversify housing choices,” she said.

In response to the assertion in the report that the County lacks political will to remove housing barriers, Garvey said county staff and the County Board are working with the community to do so while avoiding political backlash that could set them back.

“We are building political will,” she said. “The Board sees increasing the housing supply and access to housing as critical to Arlington’s long term sustainability and success as a community.”

The report is the result of workshops with renters, homeowners, experts and historians, as well as a study of the history of zoning and land use in the area and current barriers to adequate housing.

In addition to housing-related recommendations, the report also makes recommendations aimed ad strengthening local community cohesion.

Those recommendations include “creating both physical and digital spaces for community building, including a full-scope community center,” and “developing policies and processes to better include renters in the community, particularly addressing barriers to information sharing with residents of high-rises.”

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Update at 1:50 p.m. — The missing man has been found along Army Navy Drive, near 28th Street S., according to police radio traffic. He was located as a result of ACPD’s Project Lifesaver technology.

Earlier: Arlington County police are looking for a missing senior in Crystal City, Pentagon City and other surrounding neighborhoods.

Police are using Project Lifesaver equipment in the search and are being assisted by the Fairfax County Police Department helicopter, according to scanner traffic. The Del Ray area of Alexandria is also being searched.

The man — who’s 5’10”, Hispanic and in his late 70s — went missing around noon, and is considered to be endangered.

He was “last seen wearing a black long sleeved shirt and a burgundy polo, khaki pants and a brown hat with a black rim… in the area of the 800 block of 23rd Street S.,” said an Arlington Alert text. “Anyone with any information please contact the Arlington County Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222.”

More from an Arlington County Police Department social media post:

File photo

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Update at 9:10 p.m. — Power was briefly restored but is back off, according to a Dominion spokeswoman.

Earlier: About 3,700 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington as of 8 p.m. Friday night.

A massive outage is mostly affecting customers in Alexandria, but thousands in Arlington’s Crystal City, Aurora Highlands, Arlington Ridge and Fairlington neighborhoods are also in the dark.

Some have reported the power flickering.

Power restoration is currently estimated between 10 p.m.-1 a.m., according to Dominion’s website. The cause of the outage is a malfunctioning circuit at a substation, according to a company spokeswoman.

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Members of civic associations for Crystal City, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge are developing a proposal for changes to Route 1

The associations, convening as “Livability 22202” in a Zoom meeting last night, focused on how to improve Route 1 in Crystal City, specifically where it goes over 12th Street S. and 18th Street S.

Proposed changes ranged from building storefronts or markets in the area underneath the overpasses, creating more open space where thick sandstone-colored walls now hold up the highway, and putting Route 1 underground to allow for development on top of it.

The discussion comes after the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) hired a contractor to conduct a feasibility study of removing the overpasses and lowering the highway to ground level.

Darren Buck — an Aurora Highlands resident, professional transportation planner, and member of the Arlington Transportation Commission — presented the possible changes, saying they were ideas meant to set a line of thinking. Factors like cost, construction time and general practicality are yet to be fully considered.

“These really are kind of unconstrained by a lot of reality,” Buck said. “They’re really trying to get to what could we do that would address some of… the identified things that we are concerned about with the at-grade proposal and start to toss around alternatives.”

Ultimately, Livability 22202 will make “community-based recommendations for an innovative new vision for Route 1 and its cross streets between 12th Street S. and 23rd Street S.,” a slide in the meeting said.

If the highway was at-grade, it could be turned into an “urban boulevard” running through Crystal City, according to VDOT.

This would fall in line with the transportation portion of Virginia’s HQ2 deal with Amazon, which lists “improvements to Route 1 through Crystal City and Pentagon City” as a project the government would fund.

According to a 2018 Virginia Economic Development Partnership presentation, this project could cost around $250 million.

Livability 22202 said dropping Route 1, also known as Richmond Highway, to ground level would force pedestrians walking between east and west Crystal City to cross the busy commuter artery.

“We want a pedestrian-friendly, walking-friendly neighborhood,” Michael Dowell of Livability 20222 said. “Having Route 1 be an impediment to achieving that is a really big worry.”

Pedestrians can currently cross under the overpasses, which many do to access the Crystal City Metro station on the east side.

Another Livability 22202 meeting on the topic will be held on September 30.

Images via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are investigating a weekend shooting in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood, near Pentagon City.

The shooting happened early Sunday morning — around 3:45 a.m. — on the 1600 block of S. Joyce Street, near the RiverHouse apartment complex. Police say a man was shot and rushed to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators believe the shooting followed a dispute with someone he knows. Thus far, police say they haven’t sought charges against anyone.

“Based on the preliminary investigation, this is an isolated incident with no ongoing threat to the community,” police said.

More from a press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating a shooting that took place in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood in the early morning hours of December 29, 2019.

At approximately 3:45 a.m., police were dispatched to the 1600 block of S. Joyce Street for the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers located a male subject suffering from a gunshot wound and immediately began performing emergency first aid until medics arrived. The subject was transported to an area hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The investigation determined that a dispute between known parties preceded the shooting. All parties involved have been identified. This remains an active and ongoing criminal investigation and charges have not yet been sought. Based on the preliminary investigation, this is an isolated incident with no ongoing threat to the community.

Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective G. Seibert of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4199 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).

Map via Google Maps

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Arlington County Police are looking for a woman who agreed to give a man a ride but then reportedly robbed him.

Police say an officer was flagged down by the man just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday, on the 2900 block of S. Glebe Road, in the area of the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.

The man told police that just minutes earlier he had approached the woman in a parking lot and asked her for a ride to his home. The alleged robbery happened after she agreed and he got in.

“When the victim entered the vehicle, she requested compensation,” police said in a crime report. “As the victim pulled out his wallet, the suspect assaulted him and took an undisclosed amount of cash and other items of value from him.”

“The suspect subsequently fled the area in the vehicle,” the crime report continues. “The suspect is described as a white female, approximately 40 years old, with long brown hair. The vehicle is described as an older model gray pick-up truck. The investigation is ongoing.”

Also in the latest crime report, a wanted suspect arrested on a theft charge in Pentagon City is accused of kicking and threatening officers. More from ACPD, below after the jump.

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The National Park Service (NPS) will host a special event near Rosslyn on Sunday (Aug. 25) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves arriving in the English colonies.

The Park Service is hosting events throughout the region as a day of remembrance for the first slave ship’s arrival at Point Comfort and the centuries of oppression that followed.

The Arlington event is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Netherlands Carillon, near the Iwo Jima memorial.

According to the event page:

Beginning at 2 p.m. park rangers from George Washington Memorial Parkway will offer opportunities for visitors to explore themes of remembrance, healing and reconciliation related to African American history at the Netherlands Carillon in Arlington Ridge Park. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own bells to ring alongside the carillon at 3 p.m. The carillonneur will also play African American hymns and musical selections that reflect the African American experience.

Image via National Park Service

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The County is considering a major project to replace water main along 23rd Street S.

The Arlington County Board is set to consider starting a water main replacement project along the street from Fort Scott Drive in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood to S. Eads Street in Aurora Highlands. A staff report to the Board notes that the existing water main is 92 years old and corroding.

“The water main replacement is part of the efforts to replace the old unlined cast iron pipes which are subjected to internal and external corrosion that causes rusty water and reduces the fire flow fighting capacity,” the report wrote.

County Board members will consider awarding a $1,562,350 contract to the Loudoun-based A&M Concrete Corporation for the work during their meeting this Saturday, July 13 in Courthouse. The contract would also earmark an additional $312,470.00 in case of unexpected costs during the project.

“The overall goal for the proposed 12-inch water main is to improve the fire flow and provide adequate capacity to support demand in the neighborhood,” the report notes. The residential neighborhoods near Crystal City have seen an uptick in real estate interest since the announcement of Amazon’s nearby HQ2.

If members approve the project, it could cause some water service interruptions in the neighborhood but is not expected to significantly impact traffic, per the report.

The contract for the project is currently listed on the County Board’s consent agenda for their Saturday meeting, a place usually reserved for items expected to pass without debate.

Image via Arlington County

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(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) Anyone planning on hitting the Four Mile Run bike trail should watch out for a detour near the county’s Water Pollution Control Plant these next few days.

The county announced a “limited, partial detour” on the trail starting today (Wednesday) as it runs past 3304 S. Glebe Road, in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood along the county’s border with Alexandria.

A tweet from the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the work should last for a “few weeks,” and that it stems from construction at the sewage plant. A subsequent tweet described the primary disruption for trail users to be “a 200-yard one-lane merge.”

The County Board approved a series of repairs at the plant in 2017, with work planned on some aging water tanks at the treatment facility.

Anyone biking or running on the trail should follow posted detours.

Photo via Google Maps

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