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Morning Notes

Storm Damage Caused by ‘Macroburst’ — The National Weather Service says the extensive damaged caused by Sunday night’s storm was caused by a “macroburst” — a larger version of a microburst. The macroburst brought winds of 60-70 miles per hour to some North Arlington neighborhoods, causing trees and power poles to snap in half. [MyFoxDC]

RV Catches Fire on GW Parkway — Traffic was brought to a standstill on the GW Parkway Monday morning when an RV burst into flames. Dark, billowing smoke from the fire could be seen across the river in D.C. The driver got out safely, but the RV was a total loss. [NBC Washington]

Pike Residents ‘Want it All’ — Columbia Pike residents who participated in last week’s ‘charrette‘ process “want to have their cake and eat it too,” in the words of one planner. The county is working to satisfy their demands for expensive amenities and preserved affordable housing. [Washington Examiner]

Arlington Schools Handle Language Challenges — Arlington Public Schools’ Language Services and Registration Center helps children from nearly 3,000 immigrant families, who communicate in 96 different languages, to integrate into the school system. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Runneralan2004


Tonight county representatives will present the results of a week-long public planning and design process intended to help plan the future of Columbia Pike.

The “Work in Progress Presentation” will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 tonight at the Sheraton National Hotel (900 S. Orme Street). Planners will reveal the work that has been completed through a neighborhood planning day  — or “charrette” — last weekend and a series of “open design studios” during the week.

The process was designed to allow residents to participate in the planning of the on-going Columbia Pike corridor revitalization.

Earlier this month, a panel organized by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization gave a preview of what the future of Columbia Pike’s development might look like.

Panelists suggested that real estate investors are currently most interested in buying older, fully-leased apartment complexes on the Pike, renovating them and re-leasing for considerably higher rents. If there is new construction on the Pike in the current real estate climate, it will likely be limited to townhouses and 4-5 story wood frame apartment/condo buildings, they said.

Consultants who are advising Arlington County on ways to preserve affordable housing on Columbia Pike said that the county should eliminate the zoning that currently allows developers to convert garden-style apartments on the Pike to condos without County Board approval. They said that much higher density — 70-80 units per acre, compared to the current 25 unit per acre average — is required to support affordable housing.

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Disclosure: The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, which is helping to organize the charrettes, is an advertiser.

Want to help plan and design the future of Columbia Pike? A series of charrettes — fast-paced, wide-ranging planning sessions — are being held on the Pike over the next week.

The primary public charrette will be held Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sheraton National Hotel (900 S. Orme Street), and everybody is invited to participate and help guide the Pike’s continuing development. A light lunch will be provided.

Here’s a complete schedule:

  • Friday, June 24
    • 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.: Pike Neighborhoods Plan Charrette Kick-Off Presentation — Sheraton National Hotel @ 900 S. Orme Street
  • Saturday, June 25
    • 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Pike Neighborhoods Plan Charrette Day — Sheraton National Hotel @ 900 S. Orme Street
    • 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.: Community Social and Light Buffet (“celebrate a day of community work”) — P. Brennan’s Irish Pub @ 2910 Columbia Pike
  • Sunday, June 26
    • 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. — Open Design Studio (“talk with the design team as the plan concepts evolve”) — Siena Park apartments @ 2301 Columbia Pike
  • Monday, June 27
    • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — Open Design Studio — Siena Park apartments @ 2301 Columbia Pike
    • 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. — Planning for Open Spaces in Urban Settings — Arlington Career Center @ 816 S. Walter Reed Drive
  • Tuesday, June 28
    • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — Open Design Studio — Siena Park apartments @ 2301 Columbia Pike
    • 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. — Open House (“an informal review of work completed at the design studios”) — Siena Park apartments @ 2301 Columbia Pike
  • Wednesday, June 29
    • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. — Open Design Studio — Siena Park apartments @ 2301 Columbia Pike
  • Thursday, June 30
    • 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. — Work in Progress Presentation (“a presentation of work completed by the planning team”) — Sheraton National Hotel @ 900 S. Orme Street

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