Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Realize Rosslyn

Tonight's Radnor Ft. Myer Heights Civic Assocation (RAFOM) meeting featured Brian Harner, Chairman, Arlington County Planning Commission, and Bob Duffy, Arlington County Planning Director.  Harner worked in Rosslyn in the 1990s and has spent much time walking the streets of Rosslyn and thinking about how to make it a great place. He is very enthusiastic about Rosslyn's future. Duffy was hired by Arlington as Planning Director about six months ago.  He seems already quite knowledgeable about the Arlington planning process.

Harner's and Duffy's presentations were oriented toward the Rosslyn Sector Plan Update, called Realize Rosslyn.  Considerable information about Realize Rosslyn is available on the web.  All residents should take the online survey about making Rosslyn even greater.  The second public workshop for Realize Rosslyn will be held in mid-March.  The current schedule is to present the Realize Rosslyn plan to the County Board late this fall.

Other items from the RAFOM meeting:
  • The Pierce-Queen St. project is still before the Site Plan Review Committee.  This project could add a 12-story building with 186 units.
  • As part of the Arlington PLACE initiative, the County Board will hold open-door meetings at various County libraries on Monday evenings starting in March.
  • RAFOM is preparing a letter about its concerns about the use permit for the year-round homeless shelter being built next to the Arlington courthouse building.  One resident spoke in favor of requesting that the homeless shelter not house homeless persons who had been convicted of a felony. Another resident spoke against such a restriction.  Several other attendees at the meeting also opposed such a restriction.  Being convicted of a felony doesn't make a person a perpetual danger to the community. Moreover, cold, hungry homeless persons treated as pariahs are more dangerous than persons given a fair chance to recover from homelessness, crime, and punishment.  What the RAFOM Board is going to say about the matter in its letter isn't clear.
  • RAFOM Board member Jim Villars noted that the art atrium of the Bennett Park Apartments has shown no signs of activity.  In 2008, the Ode Street Tribune unsuccessfully sought information about how this space would be used. It seems to have used very little. That's a terrible waste.  More generally, community benefits associated with site plan approvals need ongoing tracking and monitoring.
  • The police report for the area offers no special cause for concern. Captain Penn mentioned that persons should not leave personal belongings such as phones and purses unattended. Also, don't leave your clothes unwatched in a store dressing room. You could wind up having to buy new clothes without the wallet in your old clothes.
The next RAFOM meeting will be on March 19.  The feature speakers will address the metro, transportation, and parking.

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