MINUTES OF THE NORTH ROSSLYN CIVIC ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING
October 20, 2011
The meeting was called to order by President Jennifer Zeien at 7:30 PM. Board members in attendance were Jennifer Zeien, Mark Antell, Paul Derby, and Mort Friedman.
Christin Jolicoeur, a watershed planner from the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, gave a presentation about the condition of the local watershed. The area has 28.5 miles of streams and 334 miles of storm sewer. In our community, all surface water east of Ode Street is carried by storm sewers to the Potomac River. This water, which accumulates a variety of contaminants as it flows along the impervious surfaces in the community, is not treated en route to the Potomac. Forty-one percent of the surface in Arlington is impervious, and the County streams are so contaminated that they to do not support aquatic life. Runoff into the streams causes bank erosion, carrying sediment into Chesapeake Bay. Ms. Jolicoeur described several ways to rectify or mitigate this problem: (1) reduce the amount of runoff by means of green roofs, pervious pavement or interlocking pavers, or limiting the impervious cover of driveways to only the path of tire tracks; (2) capture water via rain barrels (although the fraction of rain incident on the roof that is collected in this way is small), cisterns in multiunit buildings, or rain gardens; and (3) conservation. Ms. Jolicoeur described several water conservation devices that offer substantial savings. She also described the County’s new stormwater policy, enacted to implement the requirements of the State of Virginia Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, and designed to reduce our contribution to Chesapeake Bay pollution by 20% via treatment and volume reduction. Anne Spiesman requested that more attention be paid to remediaton of the stream in the neighborhood of the Colony House Furniture site; Ms. Jolicoeur suggested that a downstream site near the Marriott hotel might be a better location, since less is “going on” there. She also noted that remediation of this particular stream does not have the highest priority since other streams are in worse shape.
Roa Lynn suggested that the Key Boulevard Apartments (KBA) redevelopment project may be withdrawn by HCA to recover their filing fee, which would be lost upon commencement of the site plan review. Ms. Lynn credited civic and neighborhood association pushback for making this happen. The group was informed that some number of KBA residents have received notices to vacate by February 1, 2012, yet HCA is refurbishing some of the apartments.
Ms. Spiesman made the following motion: NRCA urges the County Planning Commission to require treatment of stormwater from the Colonial Village subwatershed (which crosses Lee Highway in a culvert near the current Colony House Furniture site) to be a condition of the recommendation to change the land use designation from C-2 to C-O-1.5 for that parcel. Stormwater treatment would provide a community benefit that would enhance environmental stewardship efforts of the NRCA in North Rosslyn and would provide benefits in terms of stormwater management that would accrue to the County and to all who enjoy the lower Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Mark Antell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Mr. Antell made the following motion: NRCA opposes the current Rosslyn Gateway Project insofar as it asks for permanent cession of County owned right-of-way. Bill Maron seconded the motion. Ms. Zeien presented the background of this motion. Discussion ensued regarding the overall proposal for the block in question as well as the easement to the north. It was noted that the bus lanes at the site would be lost should the property be ceded and presumably built upon. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Antell reported on the Wilson School site. He has heard from the Assistant Head of Facilities in the Arlington County Public Schools (ACPS) that the trailers on the site are to be moved and that ACPS will subsequently remediate the field upon which they now reside.
Paul Derby gave the Treasurer’s report, the documentation for which is posted separately on the NRCA site.
An attendee described Arlington’s 100 Homes Campaign. This is part of a national effort to find housing for homeless people. The goal is to halve chronic homelessness in Arlington by July 2013. During the present week, volunteers are carrying out a census of the homeless population in the County, so as to move the most vulnerable individuals into permanent housing.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.
Morton H. Friedman, Secretary
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