Long Branch Creek Neighborhood Conservation Plan Accepted

Published on June 21, 2016

  • Aiming for a "walkable urban village"

  • Neighborhood's first conservation plan

  • 75 percent of residents are renters

The Arlington County Board today accepted the goals of Long Branch Creek residents to make their neighborhood a more walkable urban village with easy access to schools, restaurants, shops, services, parks and the local community center.

By a vote of 5 to 0, the Board accepted the first Long Branch Creek Neighborhood Conservation Plan, allowing the Long Branch Creek Civic Association to pursue funding through the County's Neighborhood Conservation program.

"It is great to see this program, which has strengthened and beautified Arlington neighborhoods for more than half a century, continue to attract new participants," County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. "Long Branch Creek neighbors came together and developed a plan that embodies the essence of the program — neighborhoods setting their own priorities."

The neighborhood's key recommendations include:

  • Creating a walkable urban village: Allow residents to interact with neighbors through various stages of life, from young families to seniors

    • Easy access to schools (Gunston Middle School) and amenities like the Gunston Community Center, Gunston Park, Troy Park, Fraser Park and other retail shops, restaurants and services

  • Preserving the livability and quiet, diverse character of the neighborhood

  • Ensuring safe, walkable, bikeable streets

  • Encouraging community involvement

  • Maintaining high quality schools

  • Ensuring public safety

  • Protecting the community from traffic impacts

Resident-led planning process

This is the first Neighborhood Conservation Plan for Long Branch Creek. The civic association was established in 2003, joined the Neighborhood Conservation Program in 2004, and began this planning effort in 2014. In November of that year, it launched a neighborhood survey that had a 10 percent response rate. The plan was drafted, reviewed and unanimously approved by the association in February 2016.

"Long Branch Creek is a diverse and dynamic neighborhood, and through this plan we look forward to taking steps to address resident priorities and build on the tremendous sense of community that gave life to our planning process," civic association member Mark Schlachter said.

The Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) reviewed the plan and approved forwarding it to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the County Board accept the plan, which will be posted to the County's website in the coming months.

Long Branch Creek

The Long Branch Creek neighborhood is a largely residential section of south Arlington, close to the District of Columbia, the Pentagon and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. With its modern roots in the World War II housing boom, Long Branch Creek is now a community of more than 4,000 residents, 75 percent of whom are renters.

Long Branch Creek is bounded by 28th Street, Arlington Ridge Road and South Lang Street, Glebe Road and I-395.

About the Neighborhood Conservation Program

Arlington created the Neighborhood Conservation Program in 1964 to improve residential areas by funding neighborhood projects suggested by residents. Project proposals are submitted to the NCAC for consideration. The NCAC meets monthly and is made up of representatives from 48 of Arlington's 57 civic associations. Twice each year the group makes recommendations to the County Board for projects to fund.

The NCAC offers funding guidance based on rankings assigned through a point system. Projects receiving the highest point totals are passed on to the County Board. Visit the County's Neighborhood Conservation Program website for details on how points are awarded.

Arlington's Neighborhood Conservation program, with its grass-roots engagement, has become a model for other communities across the country.

To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 44 on the Agenda for the June 21 Arlington County Board Regular Meeting.