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November 2016 Newsletter

posted Nov 15, 2016, 6:53 PM by RockSpring CivicAssociation

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Happy Thanksgiving from the RSCA Executive Board

1.  Williamsburg Blvd Green Street Project:

Aileen Winquist, the County Watershed Outreach Program Manager, reports that “we have had some delays in getting the construction estimates from the on-call contractor because they needed some additional information on the design.   We have resolved the questions on the design and we expect to receive their cost estimate soon.  After staff reviews the contractor’s cost estimate, we will set up a Purchase Order and schedule the construction.  Once the construction is underway, we expect it take 3 months to complete, depending on the weather.   Following the completion of construction, and once the temperatures have warmed enough for paving, the roads will be re-paved.  We have requested that some of the potholes be filled in the interim.  We apologize for the delays, but we are excited to move forward with this exciting Green Street project! “   

2.  WMS Field Lighting Update:

On November 2nd a community open house was held at Williamsburg Middle School to provide information on the work of the Williamsburg Field Evaluation Work Group (WFWG).  The Work Group was appointed by the County Board in August 2015 “to lead a robust process to evaluate whether or not to light the Williamsburg synthetic fields.  Included in that evaluation, although not limited to these topics shall be whether the environmental, noise and light spillage impacts of, for the first time, lighting one or two fields at Williamsburg can be mitigated sufficiently to preserve the character of the neighborhood and provide a reasonable quality of life to the nearest neighbors.”   Work Group members have spent over a year meeting, researching and discussing the many important factors and considerations related to the Board’s charge to them.  Through the Open House, Work Group members shared what has been learned and discussed, as well as viewpoints and concerns on the impact of the vendor’s recommendation for six 80’ poles with high intensity LED lights.

For those who couldn’t attend the 11/2 WFWG Open House, the link will take you to the very helpful posters and photos that Work Group members provided to share information with Rock Spring neighbors and other community members.  Click on the 11/2 Open House Handouts/Presentations.

The next WFWG task is development of a final report which then will be presented to several County commissions before the WFWG meets with the County Board in January, and County Board members make a decision in February.  See next month’s Rock Spring Neighborhood Newsletter for additional updates.

3.  WMS Relocatable (Trailers) User Permit:  The orange notices recently posted on telephone poles in the WMS neighborhood announce the application for a use permit for adding the relocatables at WMS.  As a part of that use permit, it was determined that a parking modification is required.   On-site parking requirements for the campus (WMS and Discovery) have to be reduced from 238 to 209 spaces.

The principal at WMS, Gordon Laurie, says that although the user permit posted in our neighborhood calls for a decreased number of parking spaces, from 238 to 209, in actuality there will be no decrease in parking spaces on the WMS/Discovery campus.  A walk through the campus confirms that there are currently 209 parking spaces.

However, the county staff at the October 25, 2016 community meeting responded to a question about parking that if relocatables are added to the property to increase design capacity, additional parking is required to accommodate the additional design capacity.  This item will be up for “consent” at the December 10 County Board Meeting.  If you are interested in speaking about this issue, see the  information on how consent items are handled,

4.  Zoning Changes for Public Schools:

At its meeting on November 9, 2016, the County Board authorized advertisement of proposed amendments that would give the County Board authority to modify height, setbacks and parking for schools in S-3A zoning districts, subject to findings related to scale and massing, transportation, open space and recreation, and sustainability. See item #31 on the County Board agenda to view the staff report.  This could have implications for Williamsburg Field Work Group recommendations and County Board decisions related to the new synthetic soccer fields.

Public hearings include:  Planning Commission: November 30, 2016:  County Board: December 10, 2016

If you have any questions about the proposed amendments, please contact Debbie Albert at or 703-228-3533.  

5.  Civic Federation:  Here are several County issues that could affect you and for which the Civic Federation would like your online input.

  • Airbnb survey:  On December 10th, the County Board will take an important vote on whether to legalize Airbnb type services in Arlington. Currently short-term rentals—less than 30 days—are prohibited in private residences by Arlington’s zoning ordinance. This issue has moved through the zoning revision process very quickly, without the usual level of public outreach and input, due to anticipated action by the Virginia General Assembly that could severely limit Arlington’s ability to regulate short-term rentals or collect taxes that other Arlington businesses are required to pay.  Please check the County Homepage and click on "Homestay" and/or go to the Civic Fed website to take the "airbnb" survey before November 27.  For more information, please see the Civ Fed recorded meeting where this issue was discussed.

  • Medical Marijuana/Cannabis Decriminalization:  The Civic Federation is considering whether to support a resolution urging the Virginia General Assembly to approve Medical Marijuana/Cannabis and decriminalize its use.   Please check the Civic Fed website for the wording and background or watch the meeting where this issue is discussed.   By December 1, please complete this survey to state your opinion.

  • Predatory Towing:  The Columbia Heights neighborhood is concerned about predatory towing.  Please visit to check out their on-line petition asking for a few more hoops for the towing companies to jump through before they can hook up a car and/or carry it away.

6.  I-66 Widening Inside the Beltway Public Hearing:  December  5,  7 - 8:30, Washington Lee High School Cafeteria
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is holding public hearings for the Environmental Assessment evaluating the proposed eastbound widening of I-66, as part of the
Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Project. In February 2016, Governor McAuliffe and members from the Virginia General Assembly announced a bipartisan agreement to move forward on a plan for I-66 inside the Beltway by widening a four-mile stretch from the Dulles Connector Road to Ballston. This proposal is intended to address an eastbound chokepoint where traffic merges onto I-66 from the Dulles Connector Road.

The widening is part of a package of improvements on I-66, which include tolling from I-495 to U.S. Route 29 in Rosslyn during peak periods in the peak direction, and multimodal improvements that will benefit toll payers and the overall corridor.

If the above meeting is cancelled due to inclement weather, the alternate date will be Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, at Arlington County offices, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Room 307.

7.  Artful Weekend

Join us for the 14th Annual Artful Weekend at the historic Hendry House at Ft. C.F. Smith. A popular pre-holiday event, the weekend art show features the work of 40 Arlington–based artists and includes paintings of many genres, ceramics, sculpture and more. Great for holiday shopping. Opening reception will be held Fri., Nov. 18, 6-8 p.m.; come meet the artists and enjoy light refreshments. Show dates are Sat., Nov. 19, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 20, 12 - 4 p.m. This event is free to all!

8. Playground Renovation Celebration at Quincy Park:  Sat., Nov. 19, 1 p.m. at Quincy Park.  Join in to celebrate the completion of Arlington’s first Universally Designed playground.  Universal Design means users of all abilities will enjoy the playground! For information:

9.  Turkey Trot:
 November 24, 8 am.

Arlington VA's #1 rated charity race is on for its 11th year on Thurs., Nov. 24, 8 a.m. Show your Arlington pride by supporting this event, which gives back to our local community. Details about the course and registration are found at

10.  Holiday Wreath Workshop:  December 4, 1-4 PM.  Meet at Long Branch Nature Center.
Adults and children ages 12 and up. Using all natural items we’ll create some delightfully decorative crafts you can use to spruce up your home or give as special gifts. We’ll provide music, refreshments, basic instruction and enough materials for each participant to make at least two wreaths. Participants should bring hand pruners or wire cutters (if you have them) and any extra materials or special decorations you may wish to add. For information: 703-228-6535.  $30 registration fee.  625 S. Carlin Springs Road

11. Family Skate Nights
Join in at Thomas Jefferson Community Center for Family Skate Night, Saturdays, 6:30 – 9 p.m.  With a live DJ, moon bounces, and snack bar; this is an enjoyable roller-skating experience for the entire family! You can even rent skates if you don't have any.

To contact the newsletter editors for information or items to share, please email either Judy Hadden or Joan Trabandt,