Press Club
Demolition began on the former Jaleo building in Crystal City (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The weekend has arrived and, apparently, so have mid-summer temperatures.

Perhaps a little too early. Forecasters warn residents not to let the heat take them by surprise as temperatures could reach the mid-90s.

But there’s plenty to do, so if you’re venturing out, be sure to hydrate, wear sunscreen and rest in shaded areas.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Kenmore Middle School dismissal delayed due to possible security threat
  2. JINYA Ramen Bar opening this weekend and giving away free ramen in Ballston
  3. Four more local businesses coming to Amazon’s HQ2
  4. ACPD: Thieves break into 17 cars, steal three with keys inside
  5. Woman seriously injured after reportedly being pushed out of an SUV near Ballston
  6. Elderly woman armed with gun tased by police after firing at ‘known individual’
  7. ACPD: Drunk driver slams into 7-8 parked cars, garbage cans and a utility pole near Rosslyn
  8. Demolition begins on former Jaleo in Crystal City as redevelopment plan advances
  9. Car bursts into flames after crash near Pentagon City
  10. Police: Dozens of cars stolen or stripped of airbags over the past three weeks

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

B Live, a live music and dining venue on Wilson Blvd (photo courtesy of B Live/Albert Ting)

It’s been a busy week.

A new music venue and watering hole opened, students rallied around abortion rights, and the police responded to a couple of bank robberies.

We hope the weekend is a little less hectic, and you can find some time to rest on yet another rainy weekend.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. B Live opening this week in the former Whitlow’s space
  2. Expect the sounds of cannon fire in parts of Arlington tonight
  3. Police investigating pair of bank robberies in Ballston
  4. Vehicle-related thefts reported in three Arlington neighborhoods
  5. These ten businesses are currently listed for sale in Arlington
  6. Compass Coffee’s first drive-thru is under construction along Langston Blvd
  7. ‘Dining in the Dark’ events coming to Clarendon restaurant
  8. Police release photos of Ballston bank robbery suspect
  9. Arlington high school students hold walkouts, rally for abortion rights
  10. County Board to vote this weekend to end vehicle decal fee

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

Slide from Missing Middle Housing Study draft framework (via Arlington County)

A few weeks is not enough time for Arlington residents to provide informed commentary on a major local issue, according to the Arlington County Civic Federation.

The group is calling for the county to extend the public comment window for the Missing Middle Housing Study’s draft framework until Sept. 30, from the current deadline of Friday, May 27.

The framework calls for properties only zoned for single-family homes to also allow small-scale multifamily housing — from townhomes to 8-plexes, depending on lot size — provided the building is no larger than zoning currently allows for single-family homes.

That could allow more housing types and price points in Arlington, which will otherwise continue to see small homes torn down in favor of large single-family homes, the framework suggests. The study only expects a modest amount of new “missing middle” housing through the change — about 20 properties per year.

The Civic Federation, however, says that this is a major change no matter how many new duplexes, triplexes, etc. are expected to be built in what are now exclusively single-family home neighborhoods.

The federation passed the following resolution on Tuesday by a vote of 90% to 10%.

WHEREAS Arlington County has an established General Land Use Plan (GLUP) that allows for existing single-family residences and high-density, mixed-use development along the high-density, mixed-use corridors;

WHEREAS Arlington County’s Planning web page states, “Planning decisions are informed by extensive research, professional expertise and community input” and “relies on extensive community input. Individual residents can have a say on the decisions that affect their neighborhoods and the County as a whole”;

WHEREAS on April 28, Arlington County released its proposed Phase 2 Missing Middle Housing Framework document, which is the guiding framework that will facilitate the upzoning of these residential zoning districts — R-5, R-6, R-8, R-10, and R-20 — thus authorizing greater housing density in what are currently referred to as “single-family” neighborhoods countywide;

WHEREAS the impact of the Missing Middle Housing framework and its subsequent upzoning will impact not only housing density but also parking, public school enrollment, stormwater management and tree canopy preservation in residential neighborhoods countywide;

WHEREAS the deadline for public comment and feedback for the Missing Middle Housing framework is May 27, 2022, four (4) weeks from the framework’s release to the public;

WHEREAS this is a complex initiative, civic associations and other county organizations will require additional time to notify their own members, study the likely consequences of the upzoning, and develop a membership response in order to provide meaningful feedback to the county; and

WHEREAS four (4) civic associations — Arlington Forest, Boulevard Manor, Bluemont, and Glencarlyn, which represent more than 4,000 households in central Arlington — have already shared their concerns about the inadequacy of the four-week public feedback period for the proposed Phase 2 Missing Middle Housing Framework document;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Arlington County Civic Federation (ACCF) asks the Arlington County Board to immediately request that the County Manager extend the public review period for the Missing Middle Phase 2 concept plan to September 30, 2022 — to make it possible for civic associations and other community organizations to have sufficient time to assist in disseminating Missing Middle Housing Framework materials to their own members, to meet with and pose questions to staff, to analyze and understand the potential impacts on their neighborhoods, and to provide meaningful feedback before the framework is finalized.

The four civic associations referenced in the resolution noted in an April 25 letter to county officials that “our community associations, like so many others, are inactive during June, July and August,” thus making it difficult to study the issue and engage residents before September.

On the other hand, Arlington has something of a reputation for dragging out its public input and analysis processes, leading 55% of respondents to a 2018 ARLnow poll to say that “elected officials should make quicker decisions based on a streamlined community input process.”

Do you agree with the Civic Federation that residents should be given a few more months to provide their feedback on the draft plan, prior to it being compiled and analyzed by county officials ahead of potential zoning ordinance amendments?

Or should the county just get on with it?

SoberRide initiative press conference at Don Tito in Clarendon on Cinco de Mayo (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Pack your umbrella. It looks like Mother’s Day weekend will be wet.

With a Flood Watch in effect through Saturday morning, and rain expected through Sunday, you may want to make indoor plans.

But we hope the weather won’t put a damper on your plans to celebrate mom. Stay Arlington, the county’s tourism promotion agency, recently offered ideas on what to do from where to pamper mom or buy her a gift.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Arlington landing Boeing corporate headquarters
  2. Police on scene of a reported bank robbery in Ballston
  3. Pickleball pop peeves particular people, prompting park pilot program
  4. ‘Missing middle’ draft calls for legalizing multifamily housing countywide
  5. Tesla is cutting the ribbon on its first Arlington store today
  6. Sick fox found along Washington Blvd tests positive for rabies
  7. Arlington’s park system is now ranked No. 3 in the U.S.
  8. Expansive outdoor cafe and bar in Clarendon is looking to open this month
  9. Covid continues to rise in Arlington, with nearly 200 new cases reported today
  10. Lost Dog Cafe staying on the Pike as parking situation improves

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

Remnants of the pandemic in Aurora Highlands (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

We hope you had a great April and have some plans to ring in a new month this weekend.

There was plenty to talk about over the last 30 days.

This week’s number one story, about an FBI operation, was also the top story for the whole month of April. Coming in second, we wrote a story about a woman who pepper sprayed a man for taking photos of children — he turned out to be their dad. The third story you guys were most interested in this month was on SOJA, a band that formed in Arlington, winning a Grammy award.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. There was an FBI operation on Columbia Pike this morning
  2. West Glebe Road bridge to completely close in two weeks
  3. Atilla’s is closing next month after almost five decades on Columbia Pike
  4. Two arrested after gunfire in D.C. leads to brief chase in Arlington
  5. Arlington is getting its own pride festival this summer
  6. Arlington ultramarathoner Michael Wardian is now running clear across the U.S.
  7. Police planning targeted traffic enforcement in Rosslyn tomorrow
  8. AWLA warns about potentially rabid fox
  9. New Chipotle opening today in Clarendon
  10. County Board unanimously approves Phase 2 of Amazon’s HQ2

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

A car covered with pollen (file photo)

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, yesterday was most likely not a great day for you.

Pollen was out in full force amid the sunny, springlike weather. According to the Capital Weather Gang, it was the second-worst day of the year so far for pollen levels in the D.C. area.

“Intense pollen seasons are becoming worse and longer in a warming world,” CWG noted.

For some, including in our office, yesterday was so bad that it warranted a sick day from work. For others, it was merely miserable.

Just out of curiosity about how widespread the misery was, today we’re asking readers: how bad it was for you?

“Sheriff” looks around for friends at the dog park at Arlington Gateway Park in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Happy Earth Day!

In addition to the Earth Day Every Day Festival this weekend, there are several cleanups and recycling events to get your green points, including at Bon Air Park from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday and on the W&OD Trail from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Several large, public events will prompt road closures in Arlington this weekend
  2. Arlington man builds rest area for weary walkers and cyclists atop steep hill
  3. Balloons caused large power outage in Arlington
  4. Farmbird in Ballston is closed and it’s unclear whether it will reopen
  5. The $15 million ​​Jennie Dean Park renovation is almost complete
  6. UnCommon Luncheonette in Clarendon preparing to open next week, sans dinner
  7. Animal control investigating after crow shot with blow dart in Fairlington
  8. Meet two of Arlington’s first female Eagle Scouts
  9. Another $140,000 is needed for Gunston Bubble project due to ‘unsuitable soil conditions’
  10. Morning Poll: Mask mandate dropped on Metro, flights

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

“He’s a developer from Arlington County.”

This month’s cartoon by Mike Mount features a familiar theme: trees being cut down by Arlington developers.

It’s unclear whether the propensity for local developers to cut down trees is a uniquely Arlington thing, or whether the vocal opposition to certain trees being felled is the more Arlington-specific trait. Nonetheless, the toon touches on an issue that seems to come up frequently in the county, which is home to its own “Arlington Tree Action Group.”

See Mike’s weekly cartoons in our exclusive weekend email for ARLnow Press Club members.

A discarded mask in Fairlington (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Masks are now optional on Metro, on Amtrak and on many airlines.

The announcements were made last night after a judge struck down the federal transportation mask mandate. Some cheered the end of the mandates, while others urged travelers to remain masked regardless.

For Metro, the end of the mask mandate extends to both riders and employees.  From a press release:

Effective immediately, Metro will make masks optional on Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess for its customers. Masks also will be optional for Metro employees. This change comes as a result of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) suspending enforcement, while the Biden Administration reviews a federal judge’s ruling.

“Our mask mandate has been based on federal guidance,” said General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds, but masks will be optional on Metro property until further notice.”

Metro encourages its customers to make decisions that are in their best interests. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available.

So far, there’s no word from Arlington Transit about the status of masks on ART buses. In New York City, the subway system has, for now, continued to require masks.

In general, what do you think of the decision to end mask mandates on public transportation? Also, do you plan on continuing to wear masks regardless?

Ballston at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Between spring break, Good Friday, Easter and Passover, it appears that many have already checked out for the weekend, at least according to ARLnow’s Google Analytics chart.

For those of you still here, we have the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. ACPD: Woman pepper sprayed man for taking photos of children — who turned out to be his own kids
  2. Multiple injuries, one reported trapped after crash in Ballston
  3. Robbery and carjacking in Ballston lead to two chases and multiple arrests
  4. Arlington sees two crimes in two weeks allegedly committed by men awaiting trial in Fairfax County
  5. Arlington reaches ‘medium’ CDC Covid level
  6. The Union, a “casual fine dining” restaurant, is now open in Virginia Square
  7. Pizza and beer hall finally planning to start serving tomorrow in Ballston
  8. Large power outage affecting neighborhoods around Pentagon City
  9. Police: Woman packing heat in her fanny pack robbed man in Rosslyn
  10. Clarendon resident charged with shoving window washer on balcony

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy what should be a decent spring holiday weekend, weather-wise, Arlington!

Pedestrians with umbrellas in Clarendon (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

It’s been a gray and rainy week in Arlington.

We may have some scattered showers this weekend but hopefully you’re able to get out of the house without an umbrella in between.

Here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Arlington band wins Grammy award
  2. Amid transit-oriented growth in Arlington, a detached garage endures across from the EFC Metro
  3. Arlington teachers union under interim leadership following internal turmoil
  4. Carjacking reported near Ballston
  5. Motorcycle cop injured in Shirlington Circle crash
  6. Seven restaurants with Arlington ties are up for RAMMY awards this year
  7. Fire pit debris causes weekend house fire near Westover
  8. British cuisine purveyor Salt Pot Kitchen planning to open in Ballston next month
  9. Plans for Phase 2 of Amazon’s HQ2 receive Planning Commission approval
  10. Jewelry store closing next month after nearly three decades in the Lee Heights Shops

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!


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