May 2017 County Board Meeting Agenda Highlights

Published on May 15, 2017

The Arlington County Board will consider dozens of items at its May Meeting, on Saturday, May 20, and Tuesday, May 23. The meetings, held in the County Board Room on the third floor of 2100 Clarendon Blvd., are open to the public. Visit the County website for information on speaking at a Regular County Board meeting.

All County Board meetings are broadcast live on the County's cable channel, ATV, with live captioning, and live-streamed on the County website. You can watch the Board meetings on Comcast 25 & 74 and Verizon FiOS 39 & 40. Videos of Board meetings are archived on the County website.

Among the May agenda highlights:

Saturday, May 20 -- County Board Regular Meeting


View the agenda and read the staff reports for this meeting.  (Note: This meeting starts at 8:30 am with public comment. Some reports will be posted closer to the meeting date.)

  • 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond sale: The Board will consider authorizing the sale of up to $185.10 million in General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds for new projects. Voters approved these bonds in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Board also will consider authorizing up to $200 million in General Obligation Refunding Bonds. 



  • $109.9 million in GO bonds will be used for County capital projects including: paving; Metro; the Neighborhood Conservation program; parks land acquisition; Jennie Dean park planning; trail maintenance; Lubber Run Community Center; parks and facilities maintenance capital; Courts Police interior renovations; Nauck Village Center action plan; Critical Systems infrastructure; improvements outside major travel corridors; WalkArlington; BikeArlington; Safe Routes to School; curb and gutter missing links, street lights and bridge renovation.

  • $75.2 million in GO bonds for Arlington Public Schools will fund an addition and renovation at an elementary school; construction of a new elementary school at the Thomas Jefferson site; planning and design for secondary construction projects, and infrastructure, HVAC and roofing projects.

  • Up to $200 million in GO Refunding Bonds to refinance previously issued bonds for savings. Since 2009, unprecedented low interest rates have allowed the County to refinance more than $590 million of County, Schools and Utilities Fund general obligation debt for savings of more than $36 million to taxpayers.


To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No.19.

  • Public Hearings set: The Board will consider setting public hearings in June, before the Planning Commission and the County Board on proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance. The amendments, if approved, would allow more sign area for projects in commercial/mixed-use districts that contain retail uses in certain configurations -- such as retail fronting on public plazas and/or multiple stories of retail, and increase the maximum allowed size of blade signs in industrial districts. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 33.



  • The Board also will consider setting public hearings before the Planning commission and the County Board on the Rosslyn Streetscape Elements Plan. The plan would establish a cohesive set of streetscape furnishings to strengthen the district's character and enhance the pedestrian experience. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No.29. 



  • Neighborhood Conservation projects funding: The Board will consider approving nearly $5.5 million to fund five projects recommended for funding by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee. The projects, funded by voter-approved bonds, are in the Long Branch Creek; Fairlington; Foxcroft Heights; Penrose and Waycroft Woodlawn neighborhoods and include street improvements, streetlights, the installation of a neighborhood sign and improvements to an intersection. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 20. 



  • Construction contracts: Williamsburg Boulevard Green Streets: The Board will consider approving the award of a $1.48 million contract to Sagres Construction for the Williamsburg Boulevard Green Streets Project. The project includes construction of 10 new bioretention filter cells in the medians of Williamsburg Boulevard, from 33rd Road North to 34th Street North and from North Harrison Street to North Kensington Street. The project will improve water quality. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 22. Arlington Boulevard and Irving Street intersection: The Board also will consider approving the award of a $860,000 contract to A&M Concrete Corp. for the Arlington Boulevard and Irving Street intersection improvement project. The project will add safety improvements to the intersection by replacing the existing traffic signal, upgrading street lighting, enhancing pedestrian safety and providing new bus stop facilities. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 23.


Tuesday, May 23 -- County Board Recessed Meeting.


View the agenda and read the staff reports for this meeting. (Note: some reports will be posted closer to the meeting date).

At the 3 p.m. session: The County Board Chair, members of the County Board and the County Manager will report on local and regional items of interest. 

6:30 p.m. session: The County Board will honor 2017 graduates of Neighborhood College, then hold public hearings on any items pulled from Saturday's Consent Agenda. No earlier than 6:45 p.m. the Board will hold a public hearing on:

  • Increasing residential utility tax: The Board will finalize and confirm their decision to increase the residential electricity utility tax  from $0.00341 per kilowatt-hour to $.005115 per kilowatt-hour. The Board had included funding anticipated from the increase in the FY 2018 Budget approved in April.  first 400 kilowatt-hours per month will be excluded from taxation. The Board also will consider raising the residential natural gas tax rate from $0.030 per hundred cubic feet to $0.045, with the first 20 cubic feet per month excluded from taxation. If adopted, the increase would generate an additional $652,000 in revenue for environmental initiatives. In 2008, the Board adopted a residential utility tax to create a dedicated source of funds for the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE), which funds county-wide energy and climate programs. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 38.



  • ART and STAR fare increases: The Board will finalize and confirm fare increases for the Arlington Transit (ART) bus system and Specialized Transportation for Arlington Residents (STAR). The increases,  anticipated in the FY 2018 Budget adopted in April by the Board, are meant to help offset higher operating costs, and would track with recent Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrobus rate increases. Other transit systems in the region, including Fairfax and Montgomery County, also have proposed fare increases. STAR provides a local alternative to WMATA's MetroAccess ADA paratransit service. The ART adult fare would rise from $1.75 to $2.00. The ART discount fare for seniors, students and persons with disabilities would rise from 85 cents to $1.00. Zone 1 STAR fares would rise from $3.50 to $4.00; Zone 2 from $5.00 to $5.50 and Zone 3 from $9.00 to $9.50. If approved by the County Board, the new fares would become effective on July 1, 2017.


To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No.37.

  • APS Education Center and David M. Brown Planetarium: The Board will hold a preliminary public hearing on a resident's request that the Arlington Public Schools Education Center and David M. Brown Planetarium be designated a local historic district. To read the staff report, view the agenda. Scroll down to agenda item No. 36.