County Board Wrap-Up Media Release for July 2023 Meetings
Published on July 21, 2023
The Arlington County Board considered and acted on many items at its Saturday and Tuesday Board meetings. These include the following:
Saturday, July 15, 2023 – Regular County Board Meeting
The Naming of Alfred Forman Sr. Field at High View Park – Item 32
The Board approved naming High View Park’s baseball field as “Alfred Forman Sr. Field.” Alfred Forman Sr. was an Arlington Native who grew up in High View Park and contributed immensely to our community. He worked for the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation at the John M. Langston recreation center for 25 years, served on the Arlington County Sports Commission for 10 years, and was heavily involved in volunteer neighborhood events. He coordinated and officiated the High View Park/Halls Hill community annual Turkey Bowl for more than four decades.
Crystal City Metrorail Station East Entrance Project, Agreement and GMP – Item 37
The Board authorized a comprehensive agreement and guaranteed maximum price of $117,203,017 between the County and East Entrance L.L.C to Design and Build the Crystal City Metrorail Station East Project. The Crystal City Metro station is among the most heavily used in Arlington County and Northern Virginia. The project will enhance access and accessibility and be an important link to VDOT's future Route 1 multimodal improvements project. This project was also one of the five transportation projects needed for the Amazon HQ2 development.
The Board also approved Equity Grants recommendations from the Arlington Commission for the Arts. This includes $90,000 in direct financial support to projects by the following 5 arts organizations and artist:
AHC Inc. Green Valley Community Mural – The Shelton
Arlington Arts Center/MOCA APAH Art workshops
Arlington Chorale Collaborative Musical Performances
Arlington Independent Media Youth Journalism Initiative
Arlington Presbyterian Church Gilliam Place Music Lesson Initiative
Emma Violand-Sanchez Bolivian Immigration to Arlington Documentary
ART Student iRide Program – Item 41
The Board approved an agreement between the County and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to expand the A.R.T. Student iRide Program. This program previously allowed Arlington Public School students to ride A.R.T. buses at a discounted fare but will now allow all students to ride free on select Metrobus routes within the County using A.R.T. student iRide cards.
Acquisition of 6.7-acre tract on Pimmit Run – Item 49
The Board approved a $2.88 million acquisition of a contiguous 6.7-acre tract of land along a tributary to Pimmit Run, between North Glebe Road and United States National Park Service land, from the Commonwealth of Virginia. This acquisition will preserve natural, undeveloped land with historical and cultural significance to the County. This area was heavily impacted by fortifications related to the Civil War, and research indicates that this tract contains part of an important African American community known as "The Bottom," which existed from the 1850s to the 1950s.
Ballston Holiday Inn – Item 56 A-C
The Board approved amendments, vacating ordinances, and an encroachment ordinance related to the Ballston Holiday Site Plan (SP #57), that allow the redevelopment of the existing hotel and office properties on this site to build three multifamily residential buildings with 450 units.
This redevelopment and construction will also advance the following key County goals:
Construction of a new multi-use trail to enhance pedestrian and bike connections;
Widening of sidewalk and streetscape along Fairfax Drive with fewer curb cuts to provide pedestrians and cyclists with a safer connection to existing walk/bike trails;
LEED Gold Certification with additional sustainability commitments;
11.5 percent net reduction in impervious surface area; and
Improved building height tapering to surrounding low-rise residential areas, replacing a nine-story hotel and ten-story office building with one seven-story building and two five-story buildings.
Arva Motel – Item 57
The Board also approved a general land use plan amendment, a rezoning, and a new site plan (SP #469) to redevelop the existing Days Inn Motel (known as The Arva) at 2201 Arlington Boulevard. This redevelopment will be an eight-story mixed-use building of 251 residential units and approximately 3,000 sq. ft. of retail or equivalent use.
Associated public features and benefits of this approved redevelopment include:
Funding for the design and construction of a 10,000 sq. ft. public space following a County-led Park Master Plan process;
Transforming Wainwright Road into a 12-ft. wide multi-use trail with new landscaping, shade trees on both sides, and a berm to buffer users from Arlington Blvd. traffic;
Providing a landscaped plaza at the northeast corner of the site with a bicycle fix-it station and historical markers;
Including seven on-site two- and three-bedroom committed affordable dwelling units at 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) for 30 years; and
Outdoor Cafes & Use of Public Spaces – Items 58 & 59
The Board also approved zoning amendments related to the FOOD study that would permit outdoor seating in public spaces via administrative review and codify that administrative process and associated requirements, such as an Outdoor Café License, in a new County Code Chapter 70.
This new county code section incorporates aspects of the Temporary Outdoor Seating Areas program for restaurants to expand their operations outside, which the County first implemented during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Appointment of Interim County Board Member Tannia Talento – Item 60
The Board appointed Tannia Talento to serve the remainder of former Board member Katie Cristol's term, which expires on December 31, 2023. Ms. Talento is U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner’s Current Northern Virginia Regional Director and previously served on the Arlington School Board from 2017 to 2020. She will serve as an interim County Board Member until January 1, 2024, when this board seat is filled by a County Board member elected in the November 2023 County Board General election.
Ranked Choice Voting – Item 61
The Board chose not to move forward with establishing Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) as the election method for the 2023 General County Board elections. After a well-administered County Board primary election with RCV as the election method, the Board determined that more time was needed to educate and explain the tabulation of this election method to voters before deciding on full implementation in County Board general elections. The Board left open the possibility of using RCV in future primaries and may take up that issue at a later time.
Requests to Advertise
The Board also approved three Requests to Advertise public hearings on proposed amendments to the County Code and Arlington County Zoning Ordinance. Requests to advertise are not final votes, and residents will have an opportunity to comment on these amendments at later dates.
ACZO Amendments regarding Buildings used for Elder Care, Permitted Uses and Maximum Commerical Densities - Item 51
This item will be heard publicly by the Planning Commission on September 11 and the County Board on September 23, 2023.
If approved, this would amend several sections of the Arlington County Zoning Ordinance to clarify permitted uses, maximum commercial densities, and maximum height provisions for buildings with elder care uses redeveloping within the Pentagon City Coordinated Redevelopment District and other adopted planning districts as shown on the General Land Use Plan.
GLUP Amendments to Change from Government and Community Facilities to Medium Density Mixed-Use and Amend Public Facility Map and Table to Identify Telecommunication Facilities County-wide - Item 52
If approved, this item would amend the General Land Use Plan from "Government and Community Facilities" to "Medium Density Mixed-Use" for an area located at 1025 N. Irving St. and amend the General Land Use Plan Public Facility Map and Table to identify telecommunication facilities, located County-wide.
Public hearings associated with amendments meant to be considered concurrently with the Wells Fargo/Verizon site plan application (SP #470) do not yet have set dates.
Public hearings associated with amending the GLUP Public Facility Map and Table will be heard no earlier than September 11 by the Planning Commission and no earlier than September 23, 2023, by the County Board.
Arlington County Ordinance amendment on Vehicle Stop Law – Item 53
This item will be heard by the Board on September 23, 2023.
If approved, this would amend the Arlington County code to conform with March 2023 state law updates, requiring motor vehicle operators to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Previous state code, which county ordinances are based on, only required that operators yield the right-of-way to pedestrians--but not completely stop. This change would bring us in conformance with state law but also supports Arlington's ongoing Vision Zero efforts.
Tuesday, July 18 – Recessed County Board Meeting
Arlington Innovation Fund Catalyst Grant Program – Item 62
The Board approved an agreement establishing the Arlington Innovation Fund Catalyst Grant Program to provide financial support for access to capital to Arlington start-ups. Grants would be at least $25,000 and up to $50,000 for qualifying tech businesses to cover costs that include staff salaries and training, research and development, and commercial real estate. Applications will be evaluated by a competitive process, and the program will be administered by Arlington Economic Development.
Read the press release on the Arlington Innovation Fund
Signature Theatre – Item 63 A-C The County Board also extended Signature Theatre’s lease with the County through 2057 at its 4200 Campbell Avenue location and approved a deed of lease and related amendments that would permit Signature Theatre to name and alter its production facility at 3806 S. Four Mile Run Drive. Signature Theatre is headquartered in Arlington and is a Tony-award-winning live theatre non-profit that hosts youth educational initiatives with Arlington Public Schools and is an economic anchor in Shirlington.
Requests to Advertise
The Board also approved a request to Advertise public hearings on proposed amendments to the County Code. Requests to advertise are not final votes, and residents will have an opportunity to comment on these amendments at later dates.
County Code Chapter 10 Amendments related to Managed Natural Landscapes – Item 64
The Board will consider a request to advertise a public hearing on proposed amendments to Chapter 10 of the County Code, specifically regarding managed natural landscapes. These changes would include new definitions for "foreign growth," "lawn area," and "weeds," clarify a vacant property owner's responsibility for landscaping maintenance and provide a mechanism to ensure the removal of high or extreme-risk trees or parts of trees in the public right-of-way or public spaces that are a danger or hazard to public health or safety.
Registering to Speak at future Public Hearings
Registration to speak on an item with a scheduled public hearing opens approximately a week before the meeting, and members of the public can either register online or call in at 703-228-3130. Those wanting to participate in these hearings can do so in person, virtually, or by phone and will receive instructions on these options once they have completed their registration.
Members of the public are also strongly encouraged to subscribe to the County Board's News and Updates service to be alerted when meeting agendas are posted. Board meeting and agenda information can be accessed on the County Board's webpage.