County Board Wrap-Up Media Release for September 2023 Meeting
Published on September 29, 2023
The Arlington County Board considered and acted on many items at its Saturday and Tuesday Board meetings. These include the following:
Saturday, September 23, 2023 – Regular County Board Meeting
Amendments to Code Requiring Motorists to Stop for Pedestrians – Item 24
The County Board amended Chapter 14.2 of the Arlington County Code to require motor vehicle operators to stop completely for pedestrians in crosswalks. Previously, local code only required operators to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. This amendment brings the County into conformance with recent changes to state law and supports Arlington's ongoing Vision Zero efforts.
Crystal City Metrorail Station East Entrance Final Design Agreement – Item 33
The Board also approved a Project Coordination agreement between Arlington County and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for the final design of the Crystal City Metrorail Station East Entrance project. This project is responsive to ridership demand, as Crystal City metro is among the most heavily used in our county and Northern Virginia. The completion of a new entrance on the northwest corner of 18th Street South and Crystal Drive adds a direct ADA accessible route to the east, improves transfers among Metrorail, Metroway, VRE, ART, and Metrobus Services, and relieves overall congestion at the current metro station entrance and the station platform.
The Board also accepted millions of dollars in state and federal funding to support County programs and services. Agenda items, dollar amounts, and purposes include:
Item 34 - $325,000 in VDOT Funding to support the design and construction of the Bluemont Junction Trail Phase II project which includes updating three remaining trail connectors to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, completing the trail’s pedestrian and cyclist network, and milling and repaving a segment of the Four Mile Run Trail;
Item 35 - $2.25 million in U.S. HUD funding for stormwater management and water and sewer utility infrastructure within the County;
Item 38 - $149,000 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act funds from the Virginia Community College System to support the Arlington Tech Talent Program’s efforts to train residents with nontraditional backgrounds in computer-related occupations like information technology and cyber security; and
Item 42 - $285,000 in Virginia Department of Health funding to support County programming designed to reduce COVID-19 health disparities and advance health equity through workforce trainings, translation of communications materials community engagement, and costs associated with community engagement and strategic planning efforts.
Arlington Arts Grants Awards – Item 39
The Board approved the allocation of $215,810 in direct financial support to 16 arts organizations and 2 individual artists through the Arlington Arts Grant Program. These awards come at the recommendation of the Arlington Commission for the Arts.
JDR unit to initiate a NARCAN leave behind program – Item 46
The Board also approved an MOU between the Virginia Department of Health and the County to allow the Juvenile Domestic Relations District Court Services Unit (JDR) to initiate a NARCAN leave behind program, free of charge, to their clients, parents, families, and witness to overdoses, with the goal of preventing fatalities and increasing community access to NARCAN.
Bingham Center Site Plan – Item 53 A&B
The Board also approved a new site plan application and related vacation ordinance to redevelop the former Silver Diner site at 3200 Wilson Boulevard to construct a 10-story hotel and an 11-story mixed-use residential building. This plan will total 290 residential units, 229 hotel rooms, and 16,131 sq ft of floor retail area. In exchange for additional density, public benefits include:
15 on-site committed affordable units, including 10 family-sized units;
Construction of portions of 10th Road North and a new alley;
Commitment to fund a County-led design process to construct Irving Plaza, in addition to a $224,840 contribution to off-site public space improvements in the Clarendon Revitalization District; and
Commitment to make improvements to the western side of Wilson Boulevard between 10th Street North and Washington Boulevard to provide a 10-foot-wide streetscape.
Crystal Park 1 and 3 Signage Amendment - Item 54
The County Board approved a site plan amendment to SP #167 for Crystal Park 1 and Crystal Park 3 that would revise condition language related to rooftop signage. These revisions would allow signage for the buildings to be approved administratively in accordance with the current Arlington County Zoning Ordinance rather than through more restrictive site plan conditions.
Request to Advertise
The Board approved a Request to Advertise a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the County Code. Requests to advertise are not final votes, and residents will have an opportunity to comment on these items at later dates.
Amendment to Chapter 48 (Floodplain management) - Item 50
This item will be heard publicly by the County Board on September 23, 2023. If approved, this would amend Chapter 48, the Floodplain Ordinance, of the Arlington County Code, effective November 16. The County is required to update this ordinance to continue participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes flood insurance available to property owners within our County. The amended ordinance, if approved, would closely conform to the state model ordinance developed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to facilitate approval by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 – Recessed County Board Meeting
Amendments to Code related to Managed Natural Landscapes – Item 25
The Board amended Chapter 10 of the County Code regarding managed natural landscapes. These changes 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 wanting to speak on a Consent Agenda item must notify the County Board Office before 9 AM at Regular Meetings to request the item be pulled from the agenda. Agendas will note which consent agenda items are subject to public hearing requirements and which require Board member consent to be removed.
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.