County Board Wrap-Up Media Release for July 2022 Meeting
Published on July 20, 2022
The Arlington County Board took several actions Saturday, July 16, 2022, at its regular County Board Meeting, including
- Approval of an ordinance to establish a user fee for charging electric vehicles at County government-owned charging stations available for public use. The charge sets an interim rate of 14.52 cents per kilowatt-hour. This will allow the County to recover the cost of electricity, contract costs, and administrative overhead for the 7 charging stations around the community. The initiative furthers the County’s plan to expand County-owned electric vehicle charging stations for public use and develop a strategy to decarbonize transportation within the County government, the community, and Arlington Public Schools.
- Authorized advertisements for public hearings to consider proposed amendments to the Columbia Pike Special Revitalization District. The amendment is to the Zoning Ordinance in order to allow micro-fulfillment Centers. A key aspect of the Commercial Market Resiliency strategy is to provide a new, quicker process for the establishment of commercial uses that are not clearly defined in the ACZO today. This item was the first application utilizing that new process for considering zoning strategies for new uses.
On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, the County Board held its Recessed Meeting. Several actions were taken, and reports presented, including:
Adoption of the County Board Trust Policy. This action by the Board establishes robust safeguards for Arlingtonians to engage and interact with County employees, and seek services, without the fear of immigration enforcement.
County Manager Mark Schwartz announced the end of the Local Emergency Declaration on Aug. 15, 2022. The declaration was established to assist in the response and recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration allowed the County to shift to virtual operations, including online permitting, appointments, remote inspections, County Board and Commission meetings, as well as public comment.
A few highlights as the County moves beyond the local emergency declaration:
Virtual and Hybrid Commission and Advisory Board Meetings
A new Virginia Electronics Meeting Policy goes into effect September 1, 2022, that will offer additional flexibility for hosting virtual and hybrid meetings. This new policy offers most of our Commission and Advisory Boards the option to conduct an all-virtual meeting two times (or 25 percent of all meetings) annually and allows for remote participation for the public and individual Commission Members on exception.
Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas (TOSAs) for Outdoor Dining
During the pandemic, the County stood up TOSAs as an emergency response to indoor dining restrictions and to provide an expedited process for new or expanded outdoor seating at restaurants. Many people have enjoyed outdoor dining with family, friends, and colleagues and these provisions have been critical to restaurant owners for business operations during this time.
Even with the ending of the state of emergency, the TOSA permissions continue under the Continuity of Government Ordinance for another six months through February 2023. Over the next six months, the County will be working to create longer-term solutions that apply the lessons learned from TOSAs to permanent zoning regulations for outdoor seating. The County Manager will provide an update to the County Board in November.
In addition, the Board made a minor amendment to its 2022 Meeting Procedures, to conclude Public Comment speaker registration at 8:15 am on the day of Regular Board meetings, which begin at 8:30 am. Previously, the Meeting Procedures indicated that Public Comment registration concluded when “the last speaker is called by the Clerk.”
On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Board Chair Katie Cristol will be joined by Board member Libby Garvey and Arlington’s Director of Parks & Recreation, Jane Rudolph, to discuss the newly adopted Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and its role in Arlington’s parks and greenspaces. Tune into the Board Wrap-Up Podcast through Spotify, Anchor, or Apple iTunes to listen in.
The Board meetings can be viewed in their entirety on the County’s website and YouTube.