Motion for consideration at the North Rosslyn Civic Association (NRCA) meeting on October 20:
“NRCA opposes the the current Rosslyn Gateway Project insofar as it asks for permanent cession of county owned right-of-way.”
(see the list of signers below)
The Rosslyn Gateway proposal redoes the entire block between Lee Hwy and 19th, and Ft. Myer and Moore. It includes tall construction .... pretty much right up to the sidewalks. We are particularly concerned about the plans for the service road between current construction and Lee Hwy. That service road is owned by the county and is used by buses and informal commuter groups. The service road also provides a view corridor east for Georgetown Vista. Additionally, the Right of Way is partially covered by plantings which humanize the street level experience by screening pedestrians from Lee Hwy. The project proposes that the county give that Right of Way to the developer who would use it for the following:
- Maintain a portion of the ROW for service to the project; and
- Construct commercial space above much of the ROW almost all the way north to Lee Hwy and east to Moore; and
- Reduce the planted area along Lee Hwy to five feet in width. That wouldn’t provide much of a visual break for an area otherwise dominated by concrete
Note, the undersigned support smart growth for Rosslyn. This motion does not question plans for property owned by the developer. Rather, it objects to a County give-away of public land for a project which would cause harm to some North Rosslyn residents.
Further, the land give-away would also create a precedent. One should expect that the Holiday Inn would ask for a similar give-away of the space between their building and Lee Hwy. That concession would smack views from The Dakota, from a number of residences along the northeast corner of Highview, and from Georgetown Vista. It might also affect views from The Turnberry and The Atrium.
This project is now pretty far along and the public review process has begun (it’s called the ‘Site Plan Review Committee” process). Seems to us it is time, now, for NRCA to evaluate and take a position on this project.
We hereby submit a motion for consideration at the upcoming NRCA meeting: “NRCA opposes the the current Rosslyn Gateway Project insofar as it asks for permanent cession of county owned right-of-way.”
Mark Antell, VP Georgetown Vista Association, current VP NRCA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bill Maron, Treasurer Georgetown Vista Association, member and former Pres. NRCA
Vance Hedderell, Secretary Georgetown Vista Association and member NRCA
Carlos Ruiz, Unopposed Candidate to Georgetown Vista Association Board and member NRCA
Additional thoughts about Rosslyn Gateway
Our motion speaks only to construction on current public right of way. Based on project description documents now on file at the Virginia Room of the Arlington County Library, we offer the following few thoughts about other aspects of the project:
Even if the developers are denied the 2/3 of an acre of county land they desire, the project will create increased density and the problems associated with that. Additionally, views from many vantages in Rosslyn (eg. The Turnberry) will be harmed.
The relevant County ordinance (Arlington County Zoning Ordinance 25B, C-O Rosslyn) allows dense development in Rosslyn if “the proposal includes important community benefits....” A lot might be forgiven if this project helped out somehow with community needs. But it does not provide greenspace; it does not help out with recreation space for our children and young adults; it doesn’t provide a dogpark; and it doesn’t build the very much needed replacement firestation that the new Rosslyn Gateway would depend on.
Similarly, the project would get some community benefit ‘points’ if it were a unique architectural jewel. But it is not. Taste is an individual thing, but for sure this project will not be memorable like the ‘airfoil’ buildings in Rosslyn.