1999 October

The Rock Springer

Rock Spring Civic Association

October 1999

Next Civic Association Meetings

Tuesday, October 19, and Friday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m.

The Rock Spring Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and Friday, Oct. 22. Both meetings will be held at 7:30 p.m. in room 227 (the music room) at Williamsburg Middle School, 3600 N. Harrison Street. Our September meeting was cancelled because of hurricane Floyd. We have a full agenda at both meetings, so please try to attend them both, if you can.

Oct. 19 Agenda

• Candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates (48th District): Robert Brink and John Massoud

• Candidates for the Virginia State Senate: Janet Howell and Whitney Adams

• Dr. Robert Smith, Arlington County Schools Superintendent

• Placement of modular classrooms at Jamestown Elementary School

• Need for volunteers on RSCA committees

Oct. 22 Agenda

• Candidates for the Arlington County Board: Paul Ferguson, Frances Finta, Michael Lane, and Charles Monroe

• Candidates for the School Board: Sharon Davis and David Foster

• Report on BZA appeal concerning 5210-20 Old Dominion Drive

• Report on unified development at 5101 Little Falls Road

• Proposed unified development at 5545 Little Falls Road

• Traffic issues on N. Albemarle Street

• Traffic issues on other neighborhood streets

• Need for volunteers on RSCA committees

A Letter from the Arlington School Board

RSCA received the following letter, dated Sept. 27, from Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey in response to concerns from a number of parents about school boundary changes. School Superintendent Robert White will address this issue at the Oct. 19 RSCA meeting. Copies of the attachments will be available then, or get them at www.arlington.k12.va.us/publicinfo/bound_change.html.

As you may know, our school population has been growing since 1989. As the attached chronology makes clear, Arlington schools have been working on expanding, renovating, and building new schools to house this growing population for some time now. With changes in building capacity, and particularly with the opening of a new elementary school in south Arlington, comes the consideration of potential boundary adjustments.

The School Board is currently developing its process for changing school boundaries and has asked for community comment on criteria staff could use should the Board decide to consider boundary change options. We wanted to engage the community in a discussion of criteria before considering actual proposals dealing with any specific options for any school.

There are no specific changes, maps, proposals or options on the table for any school boundary changes at this time.

It is our hope that the criteria now under development for boundary changes and the policy of which they are a part, will be a clear statement of community values as we consider any boundary adjustments necessary in the years ahead. We welcome your input on what criteria should be adopted by the Board and will consider all comments we receive as we discuss revising the policy on school attendance boundary changes. This Board is committed to citizen involvement in any boundary change decision, and citizen involvement will be an important part of the new policy we develop.

Final adoption of the policy on the process for changing school attendance boundaries is scheduled for our October 21, 1999, meeting.

At the October 7 School Board meeting, following the conclusion of community meetings at each of the three high schools, the Superintendent will present a recommended process and criteria for changing school boundaries. At the October 21 School Board meeting, the Board will act on the recommended policy. (The community meeting scheduled for September 16 at Washington-Lee High School was postponed until Wednesday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m.)

Changing boundaries represents only one way the School Board may address issues of crowding.

The major way the School Board is addressing crowding is by construction of additional classrooms. The current capital improvement plan envisages constructing sufficient classrooms by 2006 to accommodate all Arlington students in permanent classrooms. Other methods by which the School Board addresses issues of distribution of the student population include instructional transfers, countywide alternative schools, shared or "teamed"

attendance boundaries, a school serving multiple attendance areas and special programs offered at a single school available to students outside the attendance area.

Recommendations on middle school crowding solutions will be coming in November.

The Board has directed that potential middle school boundary changes be included in this year’s December 16 presentation of capital planning issues. Additionally, after analysis of enrollment projections, staff may recommend changes at other levels, but at this time the Board has neither asked for, nor received, any other recommendations on boundaries. According to present policy, any boundary changes must be decided by April 1 before taking effect the following fall.

School PTAs and civic associations receive notice annually of capital improvement planning. No boundary changes will be implemented without ample time for citizen comment.

As new classrooms are completed throughout the County, it is likely that boundary changes will need to be considered at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Attached is a table that identifies projects currently funded by voter-approved bonds and projects the Board is considering for the future. We are not likely to move any students to a school before we build rooms for them. In addition, previous boards frequently added "grandfather" provisions to school boundary decisions, and we expect such provisions might be considered in the future as well.

We hope this information is helpful, and we thank you for writing to share your concerns with us.


• Capital Planning Process: Summary of major actions to address school crowding

• CIP adoption schedule for fiscal year 2000

• Table: Projected School Membership Compared to Current and Planned Capacity: Funding and Project Timing Displayed

Saegmuller House Plan Approved

On Sept. 18, the County Board approved the Barrett Companies’ unified residential development proposal for the property at 5101 Little Falls Road. Under this plan, the old house will be retained and seven new houses will be erected on the site. The RSCA Executive Committee and the immediate neighbors supported the plan because it provided more of a buffer for adjoining neighbors on George Mason Drive, retained more existing trees as well as the historic house, and required less grading than the by-right proposal.

Many Hands Make Light Work

RSCA is severely shorthanded. We’re facing a number of important issues, as you’ll see from the contents of this newsletter, and we have more work than we have people to do it. Won’t you think about devoting a few hours a month to neighborhood concerns. There are a number of committees that could use your skills--traffic management, communication, and planning and zoning, for example. We’ll be talking more about the opportunities at our October meetings. Hope to see you there!

BZA Denies Appeal

On Sept. 8, the Board of Zoning Appeals denied neighbors’ appeal of a ruling concerning 5210-20 Old Dominion Drive. Details at the Oct. 22 meeting.

Another Unified Development

Planned for 5545 Little Falls Road

Potomac Custom Builders has demolished the house at this address and plans to build three new houses there using the unified residential development provision of the County Zoning Ordinance. RSCA has formed a committee to meet with the developer. Members are Gail Baker (chair), Doug Gordon and Orval Hansen. If you're interested in participating, call Gail at 534-8948.

RSCA on the Web

Check out our web site, if you haven't already done so, at www.geocities.com/Heartland/Meadows/3914. You'll find the currentRock Springer, as well as all our back issues. Our thanks to webmaster Alan Geralnick.


Annual dues (due in January) cover the cost of printing and mailing The Rock Springer to all 1,100 households in our civic association. In the past, we've benefited from a very inexpensive printing arrangement, but now we must pay market rates. Therefore, in January, dues will increase from $5 to $10. Help us continue to keep you informed about neighborhood issues. Send your dues to Lou Ella Ingram, RSCA Treasurer, 4774 33rd Street, N., 22207, or pay them at any RSCA meeting. Thanks!

Speeding, Traffic Continue to Cause Concern

In response to concerns about speeding on N. Albemarle Street, the Arlington County Department of Public Works has agreed to work with the RSCA to find ways to slow the traffic and make the street safer. A committee, headed by Mike Zimmerman, will be studying the issue. Call Mike at 533-0146 to participate.

Of course, Albemarle isn’t the only street experiencing speeding and other traffic issues. Rock Spring Rd., Little Falls Rd., and Williamsburg Blvd. also have problems. We’ve also heard concerns about the Lexington/Kensington street corridor between Lee Highway and Williamsburg Blvd.

We’ll be discussing how to take a unified approach to these issues at our meeting on Oct. 22.

Looking for an Au Pair for Next Summer?

Czech pre-college student seeks position. Call Bob Knetl, 534-8948.

Neighborhood Day Set 

Sat., Oct. 23

This year's Neighborhood Day will feature a number of morning events in neighborhoods around the County, followed by a celebration of Neighborhood Heroes at Ballston Common Mall at noon and a parade at 2 pm. The parade will feature the Shriners, Fort Myer units, neighborhood floats, lawn-chair drill teams, and many more, including performances by the massed bands of four Arlington middle and high schools. Why not join in the festivities by organizing a block party with your neighbors?

Recycling Events

Oct. 16 Textile Recycling Collection

Farmer's Market at Courthouse Plaza, 8 am–3 pm. Bring clothing, shoes, and other textiles for recycling and reuse. Call 228-6570 for more information.

Oct. 30 Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Building for Humanity Day

I-66 parking deck (N. 15th and Quincy St.), 9 am–3 pm.

Household hazardous waste will be collected and packaged for safe disposal. Call 228-6832 for details.

The Loading Dock, a nonprofit organization, will collect new and used building materials for reuse. Call 228-6570.

Arlington County will sell composting bins for $10.

Nov. 8–12 Recycle Right Contest

Arlington County employees will award prizes to randomly selected households that have their curbside recyclables prepared correctly.

Nov. 15 America Recycles Day

Pledge to recycle and buy products made from recycled materials and you could win a new three-bedroom home or a trip to Disney World. Visit www.americarecyclesday.com, or call 228-6570 for details.


Rock Spring Civic Association


President - John McCracken

3811 N. Albemarle Street

1st Vice President - Jack Sawicki

4879 Old Dominion Drive

2nd Vice President - Paul Michl

5118 N. 33rd Street

Treasurer - Lou Ella Ingram

4774 33rd Street, N.

Secretary - Judy Wheat

4879 Old Dominion Drive


Members at Large

Suzanne Gartner,

3420 N. George Mason Drive

Laura Meeker,

4839 Rock Spring Road

John Roberts,

4906 N. 34th Road

Virginia Stitzenberger,

4810 Rock Spring Road

David Wahl,

4805 Rock Spring Road


Newsletter Editor

Gail Baker,

4924 Little Falls Road


Arl. Civic Federation Delegates

Carl Cunningham,

3417 N. George Mason Drive

Judy Guerrero,

4836 Rock Spring Road

Paul Michl

Jack Sawicki


Alternate Delegates

Mary Cottrell,

5530 Yorktown Blvd.

Charles Denny,

5318 N. 36th Street

Lillian Ulmen,

3706 N. Albemarle Street

John McCracken