MINUTES OF NORTH ROSSLYN CIVIC ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING
February 3, 2011
The meeting was called to order by President Jennifer Zeien at 7:35 PM. Board members in attendance were Jennifer Zeien, Mark Antell, Paul Derby and Mort Friedman.
There being no dissent, the minutes of the September 9, 2010 and November 11, 2010 NRCA General Meetings were approved.
Paul Derby presented the Treasurer’s Report. The association has sufficient funds to operate during 2011. A more complete report is posted on the NRCA website.
Jennifer Zeien reported that Heather Schaefer is stepping down as Chair of the committee developing the North Rosslyn Conservation Plan. Ms.Zeien will continue to work on drafting the NRCA Plan, and Ms. Schaefer Stephanie Benefield will continue as liaison with the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), and Landis Jones will help in crafting the survey; however, new leadership for this important effort is needed and is being sought.
There have been no changes in the positions of NRCA or AHC, Inc. regarding the latter’s plan to redevelop the Key Boulevard Apartments site, and no attendee at the general meeting knew of any activity by AHC in this regard. We will be informed if hearings are scheduled. Brad Nierenberg, who chairs NRCA’s Key Boulevard Apartments Redevelopment Committee, is likely to leave the area, and we are looking for someone else to take his place. The Rosslyn Mews Neighborhood Association is seeking legal counsel and will obtain an engineering assessment, including a survey, to confirm that the AHC plan is consistent with County code and that it will not cause permanent damage to the Mews properties; Ms. Zeien offered our help to the Neighborhood Association.
Paul Derby reported that Metro has done little to fix the problems listed in the last year’s monthly reports. The Station Managers’ primary role is to help Metro riders, and they are not empowered to address physical problems in the stations, nor do they receive repair item status information from Metro facilities management. Mr. Derby is in contact with Paul Bumbry regarding this structural issue as well as the specific problems in need of remedy. Because of the construction on the east side of Fort Myer Drive near the Metro entrance, the entire width of the east sidewalk north of the entrance is blocked, and more people are crossing Fort Myer Drive at the Metro entrance, where there are neither crosswalks nor traffic signals. The sidewalk closure constitutes a hazardous situation, forbidden by ordinance, and Mr. Derby will contact the appropriate individuals to request that the sidewalks on Ft Myer Drive be reopened.
The January 26 bank robbery at the BB&T bank on Fort Myer Drive was noted and discussed.
Mark Antell reported on the status of the Wilson School property. The current users of the Wilson School are expected to vacate around June 2011. Neither the School Board nor County have indicated further plans for the School, although the School Board has indicated a desire to use the property for employee child care. Concern was expressed that the new 7-11 on the NE corner of Quinn and Wilson might be an attractive site for loitering, as its predecessor on the other side of Wilson Boulevard had been; in addition, the very large sign at the Quinn Street corner obstructs visibility and is a pedestrian hazard. Mr. Antell and Sara Melendez will contact the county and seek to remedy this situation.
Ms. Zeien noted that the Arlington Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) has announced the next series of training times and sites, which Ms. Schaefer will post on NRCA site.
Mr. Derby summarized the recent history of the Arlington Planetarium, starting with the ACPS decision to close it as a budget measure. In response, the Friends of the Planetarium organization was formed, which, by end of December, had raised $200K of the $400K that the School Superintendent had said was needed to allow the Planetarium to remain open, so indications are good. The Friends are working with the County Board and Superintendent to bring this matter to a successful conclusion. The Planetarium is expected to become an outstanding educational tool for visualization as well as for astronomy.
Ms. Zeien noted that the 1812 Moore and Metro elevator projects are proceeding, as are several sites outside our area. It is intended to develop the block between Kent Street and Arlington Ridge Road into an office/residential complex, including redevelopment of the Spectrum. The County will revisit the subject of allowable building heights in Rosslyn in connection with this proposed redevelopment.
It was noted that an exhibit entitled “Rosslyn: A Work in Progress” will be at the Artisphere, from February 17-March 13. According to the Rosslyn website, “This exhibition will showcase Rosslyn's unique urban design and development through the lens of the Rosslyn Renaissance, a membership organization that informs, involves and engages the community in planning the future.”
It was also noted that the Arlington County Transportation Division has established a working group to identify improvements in traffic and pedestrian circulation at the Meade Street bridge over US 50 and its immediate neighborhood, including signage to help people find their way from Rosslyn Metro Station to the Iwo Jima Memorial. Cosmetic changes to improve the appearance of the bridge are also contemplated; the bridge is structurally sound.
Mark Antell reported that the Arlington County Civic Federation (ACCF) had a valuable exchange with the County Board. Federation representatives will meet with the School Board and engage in the budget cycle and bond issues. Mr. Antell will post the activities of the ACCF on the NRCA site. They plan to hold a discussion of the tradeoffs that developers make in return for obtaining increased density. The ACCF Housing Committee is an advocate for affordable housing. Mark Antell and Terri Prell represent the NRCA at the ACCF and hold official positions in the Federation. The NRCA web site has a link to the ACCF site. Mr. Derby will put a link to the Arlington Now site on the NRCA site.
Elections were held for membership on the NRCA Board. Roa Lynn moved that Paul Derby and Jennifer Zeien be re-elected by acclamation; the motion was seconded and passed unanimously. Ms. Zeien nominated Landis Jones to finish out Ms. Schaefer’s term on the Board; Mr. Derby seconded the motion, and the vote to approve was unanimous.
It was announced that a new brochure on Arts in Arlington will be published shortly. The Artisphere website has been redesigned. A competition has been announced to name a new restaurant/bar in the Artisphere.
Sara Melendez reported that the Social Services Coordination Program of the Rosslyn BID is working with the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN). The BID recommends that money not be given to panhandlers, and in any event they should be told about the A-SPAN shelter near the Courthouse. Ms. Zeien added that A-SPAN has an ongoing program to distribute food to the homeless on the western section of Gateway Park.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40 PM. The next General Meeting of the Association will be held on April 21, 2011, at 7:30 PM.
Mort Friedman, Secretary
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