McMenamin, a former Arlington County Civic Federation president who’s endorsed by the Arlington County Republican Committee and County Board member John Vihstadt, says he shares concerns about traffic and a strain on local services with residents from a nearby neighborhood.
Residents of Arlington Ridge — an affluent neighborhood overlooking Pentagon City — have long protested planned development in Pentagon City and Crystal City areas on the grounds of negative impacts to their community. Among the projects causing concern: approved development on the Pentagon Centre shopping center site and the as-yet vacant PenPlace site, plus proposed additions to the RiverHouse apartment complex.
McMenamin issued the following press release this morning, suggesting that such development does not represent “smart growth.”
County Board independent candidate Mike McMenamin expressed support today for a citizens’ group that is worried about overbuilding in the Pentagon City area.
“I agree with the Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) that the County board should undertake a study to determine how much additional density 22202 (Crystal City, Pentagon City and adjacent residential neighborhoods) can accommodate without compromising the area’s livability,” said McMenamin.
ARCA is concerned about traffic and transit congestion that will result in coming years, together with the additional fire, police, school, green space and other services that will be needed once all of the development the County has already approved for construction in 22202 gets built out.
Further, Vornado is now asking the County to amend the General Land Use Plan and up-zone its River House property to allow it to build an additional 1,084 apartments on top of the already approved development to be built in Pentagon and Crystal City.
In the past, the County has considered each new proposed building and zoning variance, one at a time, in isolation of its impact on the greater, surrounding area. “That needs to change,” McMenamin said, “particularly in 22202 which is a uniquely cordoned off segment of the County with limited transportation avenues.”
McMenamin supports the 22202 residents’ request that the County should step back, take a breath, and reassess its extraordinarily robust development policies that were enabled by the Metro system. “Until we better understand how much additional growth our infrastructure can accommodate,” McMenamin noted, “we cannot claim to be approving ‘smart growth.'”
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed Friday while crews connect new properties to a main water line.
The road will be closed between 19th Road S. and 23rd Street S. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for water service installation.
This is not an emergency repair, as an Arlington Alert erroneously indicated, said Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman with Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services.
“These installations are done for new properties that require a service line to be built and connected to the public main for water service,” she said.
During the construction, drivers will be directed to take detours. Drivers coming from southbound I-395 can take Army Navy Drive to 23rd Street S. to get onto Arlington Ridge Road. Drivers going northbound can take Army Navy Drive instead of Arlington Ridge Road, Baxter said.
Arlington Ridge Road has previously been closed for emergency repairs due to water main issues. The county is currently in a design phase for replacing the main water line on Arlington Ridge Road between 23rd Street S. and S. Lynn Street.
Image via Google Maps
Romo the dog, a long time beloved fixture of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in D.C., is settling into his new life in Arlington.
The 150 pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix became well known in D.C. for his habit of sleeping near an open window in owner Tiffany Scourby’s condo. Passersby took to the droopy dog, and a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to Romo soon sprang up.
Romo, along with Tiffany and her husband Peter Scourby, moved to the Forest Hills townhouse community in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood earlier this summer. So far, Peter says Romo has taken to his new life outside of the city.
“He’s enjoying the space more,” said Scourby. “We went from 1,000 square foot condo to 3,000 square feet.”
Although Scourby says there aren’t any windows in the new home with quite the foot traffic of Romo’s Adams Morgan haunt, the pooch has been given a bed by a window and has scoped out prime napping spots around his new home.
The couple says that like their dog, they are enjoying the newfound space Arlington affords.
“I’m a Virginia boy,” said Scourby. “I like the ‘burbs, and I wanted space. There’s a country club down the street, and I can see the Washington Monument from my house.”
Romo’s Facebook page has more than 3,000 likes and counting, and since moving the couple has discovered that some of their new neighbors are long-time Romo fans.
“When we first got here, a neighbor we hadn’t met yet said, ‘Oh my God, that looks like that Romo dog!,'” said Scourby. “When we told her it was him, she just screamed. Apparently she was one of his followers on Facebook.”
The move to Arlington won’t be the only change for Romo this summer. Peter says Tiffany is eight months pregnant and is due this September.
“[Romo’s] gonna have a little brother soon,” he said.
Photos via Facebook
Arlington Ridge Road is closed between I-395 and 20th Street S. tonight due to a water main break.
Crews are currently digging up a portion of the road near the Hume School in an effort to repair the water main. The closure is expected to remain in effect through the evening rush hour.
Traffic is backed up on I-395 approaching the Ridge Road exit. Drivers attempting to head south on Arlington Ridge Road from Army Navy Drive are being directed onto I-395.
A resident’s complaint about a sidewalk closure led to action by county officials on Friday.
Arlington Ridge area resident Ted Billings snapped the photo above, showing a woman pushing a double stroller in the northbound lane of Army Navy Drive. The woman and her children were in the path of fast-moving traffic due to the closure of the only sidewalk on the long stretch between S. Nash Street and 20th Street S.
Billings talked to county staff members and also contacted ARLnow.com about the closure. Officials responded to the scene and determined that the construction crew that put the closure in place did not apply for the proper permits.
From Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman:
This work is being performed by private contractor who is involved with a residential build project in that vicinity. The sidewalk closure shown in the photo below did not go through the proper DES permitting review process nor were they issued the proper permit to close the sidewalk. County staff has informed the contractor of the violation and has directed them to get proper permits if they need to close the sidewalk again. The sidewalk has since re-opened. We appreciate the information provided by the resident.
Though pleased that the sidewalk was finally reopened, Billings said it required persistence — multiple county staff members initially told him nothing could be done about it, he said.
Update at 10:50 p.m. — Fewer than 1,000 Dominion customers are now in the dark in Arlington. A possible water main break has also been reported in Fairlington.
Nearly 3,000 Dominion customers were without power in Arlington Tuesday night after a line of severe storms packing gusty winds blew through the area.
Most of the power outages were concentrated in south Arlington, in the Pentagon City area. Storms appear to have caused only minor damage in most parts of Arlington, but a reported transformer fire on the 1600 block of Arlington Ridge Road has caused numerous power outages along the east end of Columbia Pike and in Pentagon City, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge, according to Twitter reports.
Police closed Arlington Ridge Road near the blown transformer, while Dominion crews worked to fix it.
Despite the outages, the storms did have some upside: temperatures have cooled down significantly and residents were treated to a spectacular double rainbow at sunset as the storms passed.
Arlington County and much of the D.C. area was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning earlier. Forecasters said a line of storms approaching the area was packing “destructive” winds, large hail and frequent lightning.
From the National Weather Service:
A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 830 PM EDT FOR THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA… THE CITY OF FAIRFAX… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH… THE CITY OF MANASSAS… THE CITY OF MANASSAS PARK… PRINCE WILLIAM… FAIRFAX… CALVERT… ANNE ARUNDEL… PRINCE GEORGES… ARLINGTON… HOWARD AND MONTGOMERY COUNTIES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA…
AT 715 PM EDT… SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WERE DETECTED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM LAUREL TO KENILWORTH TO FRANCONIA… AND WERE MOVING EAST AT 40 MPH.
THESE STORMS ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.
LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… RIDGEWAY… SEVERN… SUITLAND… DISTRICT HEIGHTS… SOUTH GATE… PRINCE GEORGES STADIUM… GAMBRILLS… MORNINGSIDE… SEVERNA PARK… HERALD HARBOR… CROWNSVILLE… CLINTON… CAPE ARTHUR… RIVERDALE… CHELSEA BEACH… PASADENA… SILLERY BAY… LAKE SHORE… BODKIN POINT… NAVY-MARINE CORPS MEMORIAL STADIUM…
THIS IS A DANGEROUS LINE OF STORMS. IF YOU ARE IN ITS PATH… MOVE INDOORS TO A STURDY BUILDING AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS. WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO… REPORT SEVERE WEATHER TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OR TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.
THIS LINE OF STORMS HAS A HISTORY OF PRODUCING WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE. SEEK SHELTER INSIDE A STURDY STRUCTURE AND STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.
A woman was reported carjacked Saturday afternoon near the Arlington Ridge and Arna Valley View neighborhoods.
Police say the woman was sitting in her car, talking on the phone, when two men approached. They implied a gun, ordered the woman out of her car and drove off. The victim was shaken but uninjured, police say.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
CARJACKING, 140510055, 2400 block of Army Navy Drive. On May 10 at approximately 4 pm, a 27 year-old female victim was carjacked by two subjects that implied they had a firearm. Suspect one is described as a black male in his early twenties, approximately 5’7″ tall with a skinny build. He was wearing a black t-shirt with blue jeans and a skull belt buckle. Suspect two is described as a black male in his early twenties with a heavy build. He was wearing a yellow and maroon t-shirt at the time of the incident.
The last carjacking to be listed in an Arlington crime report was in July 2012.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.
A woman escaped serious injuries after crashing her motorcycle on S. Arlington Ridge Road.
The accident happened around noon today. The woman somehow lost control of her motorcycle as she was riding down the 1100 block of S. Arlington Ridge Road, crashing into the front of a parked car. She and the motorcycle both came to rest in some woods adjacent to the car.
The woman was transported by ambulance to George Washington University hospital but her injuries are said to be minor.
Six projects are slated to receive $3.5 million in funding in the fourth
and final round of appropriations from 2012’s $11 million Neighborhood Conservation Bond.
The projects are:
- Street improvements to the 5700 block of 2nd Street S. and the 100 block of S. Kensington Street in Glencarlyn. Cost: $724,042. Expected completion date: June 2016.
- A trail connector from the 4800 block of 7th Street S. to the W&OD trail in Barcroft. Cost: $135,317. Expected completion date: October 2015.
- Pedestrian safety improvements to 19th Road N. between Woodstock Street and Upton Street in Waverly Hills. Cost: $753,845. Expected completion date: May 2016.
- Street improvements to S. Lang Street between Arlington Ridge Road and 28th Street in Arlington Ridge. Cost: $713,003. Expected completion date: October 2015.
- Streetlights and trail improvements on N. Ohio Street between 22nd Street and Washington Blvd in Highland Park Overlee Knolls. Cost: $380,369. Expected completion date: July 2015.
- Park improvements to Woodlawn Park in Waycroft-Woodlawn. Cost: 795,000. Expected completion date: None given.
The projects were chosen based on a priority scale and approved for recommendation by the NCAC in December.
The projects given the highest priority were those in neighborhoods that have recently updated or completed new conservation plans and in neighborhoods that have waited for projects the longest. The county staff report has the full list of criteria.
The evening drive has gotten a bit tougher for some commuters.
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed in both directions between the ramp to and from I-395 and 20th Street S. through the evening rush hour, according to an Arlington Alert. The closure is due to a water main break.
Drivers are advised to seek alternate routes.
Members of the Arlington Ridge Civic Association will meet with affordable housing developer AHC tonight to discuss their concerns about plans to replace the Berkeley apartment complex.
The Berkeley, at 2910 S. Glebe Road, currently consists of 137 apartments, 110 of which are committed affordable units. AHC plans to replace the aging four-story complex with two new five-story-apartment buildings, consisting of 287 units, including 171 affordable units, and 264 parking spaces.
In its newsletter, ARCA says it is “concerned” about the project’s density and height. Among the listed concerns:
“It violates the existing RA8-18 zoning, which allows 4 stories. RA8-18 zoning says the housing should look like townhouses or garden apartments; 5 stories does neither. For comparison, the adjacent townhouses at Arlington Ridge Rd. & Glebe Rd are zoned RA8-18.”
“It is not consistent with the ‘4 Mile Run Master Plan’ which provides guidance for the area which is in the Chesapeake Bay protection area and is supposed to comply with the Arlington’s Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance.”
“So far the staff information omits any reference to ARCA’s recently accepted Neighborhood Conservation Plan which specifically objects to up-zonings in our area until a comprehensive master plan has been developed. Our plan calls for preserving, protecting, enhancing and stabilizing the edges of our community. This proposal does not accomplish that goal.”
“While affordable housing may be a laudable goal, coming at the expense of these concerns is problematic,” the newsletter concluded.
Arthur Fox, ARCA’s Vice President of External Affairs, says the proposal is at an “early stage” and declined to say whether the organization would ultimately oppose it when it reaches the Arlington County Board. ARCA will meet with AHC representatives and county planning staff at its membership meeting tonight.
ARCA previously opposed the PenPlace development and has expressed concerns about a proposed apartment complex, both in Pentagon City. Like those projects, the Berkley is outside ARCA’s boundaries. However, the neighborhood includes Arlington Ridge Road, which is often jammed with commuters around rush hours and thus impacted to a degree by surrounding developments.
Treasurer Makes Deal for iPark Refills — Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary has struck deals to allow the county to refill iPark devices, while adding more devices to the cache that can be used to replace non-functioning units. The county paid $10,000 to the bankrupt manufacturer of the devices for the codes necessary to add value without additional authorization or payment to the company. The move comes about a month and a half after the company’s bankruptcy suddenly prevented the county from refilling the devices. [Sun Gazette]
Man Gets 10 Year Sentence for Custis Trail Robbery — A 23-year-old D.C. resident has received a 10 year sentence for a robbery on the Custis Trail that left a jogger with a head injury and lingering cognitive effects. The attacker and his 17-year-old brother, who’s expected to receive a 1.5 to 3 year sentence, were both arrested as they fled toward the Ballston Metro Station. The victim, a 55-year-old personal trainer, says he still suffers from headaches, nightmares and memory loss. [Washington Post]
Remembering Allison’s Tea House — From the 1920s to the 1950s, Allison’s Tea House, at 1301 S. Arlington Ridge Road, was “a coveted neighborhood restaurant… that had been visited by dignitaries including Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt.” The restaurant’s iconic stone well house was preserved after the restaurant and its grounds were redeveloped into an apartment building in the 1960s. It still stands, and is used as storage for the apartment’s swimming pool. [Preservation Arlington]
ACPD Participating in Drug Take-Back Day — The Arlington County Police Department is participating in National Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at fire stations No. 1, 8 and 9, officers will collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. “The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked,” police say in a press release. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
ARCA is proposing an update to its Neighborhood Conservation Plan, its first since 1973, which the Board could approve during Saturday’s meeting. The civic association said the zoning freeze request is being made in light of the 22202 zip code’s 37.5 percent population increase between 2000 and 2010.
In its request to the county, submitted this spring, ARCA asks the County Board “to ‘freeze’ zoning within and outside the ARCA area until the full impact of present development plans in areas adjacent to us can be fully assessed in order ultimately to conserve the peaceful single-family character of our neighborhood and protect our quality of life and the air we breathe.”
County staff recommends the neighborhood plan be accepted by the Board, but with notes from county staff essentially denying the proposed halt to zoning. Helen Duong, spokeswoman for Arlington’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development, said there are no zoning freezes in place in Arlington, “nor have there ever been.”
“A neighborhood’s request for a zoning freeze is not a typical recommendation in Arlington County,” Duong told ARLnow.com. “More often we see communities asking that the County adhere to the General Land Use Plan and zoning plans and to not consider making changes without going through an inclusive neighborhood process.”
The neighborhood plan does not become codified upon its acceptance by the Board. Instead, the plan consists of recommendations which are then to be implemented by county staff, provided they are consistent with county policy.
There were several other recommendations in the plan that county staff expressed concern about, in terms of implementation, including:
- Expansion and improvements to the Aurora Hills Library and Community Center
- Proactive noise monitoring
- Undergrounding of utilities on Arlington Ridge Road
- Use of speed enforcement cameras
- Erection of sound barriers on I-395
The speed cameras would require authorization from the state legislature, and ARCA requests that the county lobby the legislature for that permission.
Other neighborhood priorities identified by ARCA include maintaining its nine public parks, improving sidewalks and streetlights, “proactively limiting and managing traffic,” and designating Aurora Hills Library and Community Center the neighborhood’s “cultural hub,” despite the fact that the facility is in adjacent Aurora Highlands.
The Arlington Ridge neighborhood is located just west of Pentagon City. Many in the neighborhood vehemently opposed the 2 million square foot PenPlace development in Pentagon City, which was approved by the Arlington County Board in September.
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed from 9:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m. Southbound traffic coming from I-395 will be re-routed east and west to 20th Street S. in both directions, and around to 23rd Street. Northbound traffic coming from Glebe Road will be re-routed east and west to 23rd Street S., and around to 20th Street.
The emergency water repair is necessary because an irrigation contractor working in the 2100 block of Arlington Ridge Road accidentally caused a leak. Water service needs to be replaced at that location, from the water main in the street to the meter box in the sidewalk.
The incident happened around 8:30 p.m. at S. Arlington Ridge Road and S. Lang Street. According to police, a young adult male was walking on the sidewalk when a black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt approached him and demanded money.
The victim was shot once in the leg and the suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
Police established a perimeter and brought in K-9 units and the Fairfax County Police helicopter to search for the suspect, but were unable to locate him. Both Gunston Middle School and nearby Oakridge Elementary School were hosting evening activities at the time and were locked down for a period after the incident.
The victim was transported to George Washington University hospital with what is described as a non-life-threatening injury, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Some roads in the area are still blocked off as police continue to investigate the crime.
The last reported non-fatal shooting in Arlington County occurred on May 29, 2012, outside of a hotel in Crystal City. A man suffered two non-life-threatening gunshot wounds during that incident. The murder of