MINUTES OF NORTH ROSSLYN CIVIC ASSOCIATION GENERAL MEETING
September 9, 2010
President Jennifer Zeien called the meeting to order at 7:35 PM. Board members in attendance were Jennifer Zeien, Mark Antell, Heather Schaefer and Anne Spiesman. Brad Nierenberg, chair of NRCA’s Key Boulevard Apartments Redevelopment Task Group, was also in attendance.
Brad Nierenberg introduced John Welsh and Joseph Weatherly of AHC Inc. who gave an overview of their revised plan for the redevelopment of Key Boulevard Apartments. The original proposal from November 2009 was scaled back in response to community concerns. AHC is now proposing a 6 story building with 170 units for the site. The project still requires a transfer of development rights, a process that AHC has started with the county. Once the density transfer is sorted out, the project will enter site plan review, an eight to nine month process. AHC anticipates that if it is successful, construction will start 18 to 24 months from now and the building will take between 18 and 24 months to complete. The developers fielded questions and concerns from the community in the following areas: rates for the affordable housing units; on-site and local amenities for children’s play and education (including a discussion of Wilson School facilities); shadowing on the community garden; composition of parking for the building on site; availability of Arlington Co. on-street parking permits for tenants; “fortress-like” design of the building including enclosed courtyard; garage entrance and loading dock; and the experience at other AHC facilities mixing rental and condominium units.
The minutes of the General Meeting of May 13, 2010 were approved.
In the absence of Paul Derby, Jennifer Zeien indicated that the Treasurer’s Report would be posted on the NRCA website next week.
Brad Nierenberg led a discussion concerning AHC, Inc.’s latest plan. Those in attendance agreed that the following were major points to be pursued with the developer:
1. Zoned county parking stickers should not be made available for tenants as it will place unacceptable burdens on local parking.
2. The building’s fortress-like doughnut shape encloses area that would otherwise be visually accessible to the community and creates unnecessarily small building set backs from the lot line.
3. The space and amenities for children both on site and off site are of major concern to the community.
Jennifer Zeien added that the whole cross-county transfer of density question creates unacceptable impacts on the receiving community.
Jennifer Berenbaum reported on activities relating to Wilson School. An influx of residents with children and new families is reversing the situation of years past. Park space is at premium. The trailers at the Wilson School site will not be in use after this year. The large parking lot at Wilson School is unused. The membership discussed the possibility that the current property and adjacent Fire Station parcel would be redeveloped for mixed commercial use to include an “urban school” quite different in structure and amenities from what is now on the site. With many new developments close by, the community needs to exert pressure to preserve the playing fields for both children and adults. Mosaic Park near Ballston was discussed – the long process of negotiation over its design and its subsequent utilization by that community. The pad for the former “gazebo” on the fire station parcel remains and could be used to anchor compact play equipment that could be used by youngsters too old for the “tot lot” and too young for the basketball court. The deployment of open space at Wilson School should be considered in context with the redevelopment of Gateway Park, which is more of an entertainment or festival space. The functions of these public spaces are distinctly different, but could be tailored to meet a wide variety of community uses.
Mark Antell related that he civic federation held a televised candidate night on September 8. He added that he spoke to the civic federation about the North Rosslyn Walking Town Meeting with the County Board and suggested that other civic associations apply to hold similar tours.
Jennifer Zeien introduced the issue of developing a neighborhood conservation plan for North Rosslyn. She and Heather Schaefer have volunteered to head the effort. She requested a commitment from the membership to pursue development of a plan. Anne Spiesman moved that NRCA commit to developing a neighborhood conservation plan, which motion was seconded and passed by acclamation.
Jennifer Zeien mentioned several other ongoing efforts including the Rosslyn Building Height and Taper Study, the Gateway Park redesign, and proposed improvements to the Arlington Temple United Methodist Church. Terri Prell distributed flyers for the opening of the Artisphere on October 10.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM.
Jennifer Zeien, for the Secretary
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