September 29, 2014

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Oakville Triangle/Route 1 Corridor Community Meeting #6 Notes

By Ben Flood

Community Meeting #6 was primarily focused on two topics.

First, the developer gave a presentation on the latest layout, complete with a color rendering showing the locations of various uses, open space areas, approximate building heights and road network.  He also touched on the phasing sequence of the project, which involved the development of the internal retail area first, in order to create “a place” and get the overall project to critical mass so that the first phase of development could survive on its own as future phases might not be constructed for some time afterwards.  The developer highlighted some of the changes from the previous layout shown in an earlier meeting based on the Advisory Group and community comments.  The largest revision to the plan included the placement of retail along Calvert Street.

The second part of the meeting had the City providing an update on their latest plan for Jefferson Park.  They presented a generic color rendering of possible improvements which they have tried to align with the Developers latest plan.  Improvements involved a clean-up, instead of an overhaul, of the existing park.  Notable improvements included an expanded dog exercise area which would potentially be fenced in, improvements to the existing drainage area on the north end near Raymond Ave and an opening of the connection near Stewart Ave.  Additionally, the City mentioned they would remove invasive plants and replace with non-invasive species. Continue reading…

September 26, 2014

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Membership Meeting Minutes – September 2014

DRCA – September 10, 2014

Meeting Called to Order at: 7:44PM        By: President Jay Nestlerode

New President, Jason Nestlerode opens the meeting

New President, Jason Nestlerode opens the meeting

 

Simpson Park Upgrades: Walking Tour;

    1. Past two years, Simpson Park Improvement plan – part of larger Park Improvement plan for large parks.
    2. Incremental improvements to parks; when funding is received, quick turnaround on projects.
    3. Plans were completed in January 2014, now coming online
    4. Simpson has multiple projects as part of this plan
      1. Parking Lot repaved
      2. Picnic tables on order near basketball court
      3. Dog park improvements at Simpson, Simpson Park Dog Owners Group
        1. Formal MOU – raising funds for improvements.
        2. $18,000 from city, $10,000 fundraising from SPDOG for lighting
        3. Berm stabilization
        4. Alternative surfacing
      4. Improvements to soccer field entrance
      5. Find places for passive use/open space (no funding yet for clearance of BRT site)
        1. No design currently
      6. Moving equipment/trucks off of Duncan Avenue
      7. Land Water Conservation Funds to renovate area from Tennis Courts to Western side of playground; $200,000 (LWCF) and $200,000 from city.
        1. New playground to be built
        2. No design yet
        3. Funding available next July (2015)
      8. New bleachers for storage (long term plan, not funded yet
      9. Neighborhood Parks (1/2 acre to 10 acres)
    1. 17 parks in total
    2. Hume Springs Park
    3. Landover Park (not pool)
    4. Goat Hill Park
    5. Timberland Park
    6. Community feedback will begin on Friday, September 12, 2014
      1. Survey with preliminary questions available
    7. Mount Jefferson is not included in this survey plan – included in Oakville Triangle Plan
      1. City staff will be working on park plan through Oakville process
      2. City will see if there is a way to duplicate process for Mount Jefferson
      3. Pocket Parks (under ½ acre) next year for planning

Simpson Park Improvements

  1. Police Update – Capt. Scott Ogden, Alexandria Police
  2. Level 1 Crime Report
    1. Del Ray; 20.4% decrease during the calendar
    2. Citywide; 4.15% decrease
    3. Burglaries in the past few days; detectives are assigned to specific area and crime
      1. Early in the investigation, no details yet
      2. 12 burglaries compared to 18 last year
  3. Charles Severance – indicted for the three murders in Alexandria (Dunning, Kirby, LoDato)
    1. Trying to move from Loudon to Alexandria jail
    2. Information will shift to Commonwealth Attorney’s Office; Brian Porter lead attorney
      1. 9 – 18 months in length
      2. Attorney is prohibited from talking about the case in public
    3. Further information on the Alexandria Police Website
    4. Dunning case had never gone cold; had been actively worked since 2003.
  4. Murder of Carol Anne Cross
    1. Deputy Director of D.C. Corrections
    2. Murdered by 28 year old male, had chosen her as victim.
    3. Perpetrator has arrested and confessed
    4. 4th homicide in the city for calendar year; up from 3 last year
  5. Spoofing Fraud
    1. Criminals are calling citizens as if they are calling from non-emergency number
    2. Police Department supposedly calling for outstanding fines, threatening
    3. No victims, have alerted the police department and other jurisdictions experiencing similar type of frauds.
    4. Non-Emergency Number is legitimate; the spoofing can only mask the number being placed to you, cannot redirect phone calls
    5. Police Department will not call you about money you may owe
  6. Crime Analysis Section
    1. Raidsonline.com – criminal statistics/data
    2. Data back to January 1, 2013
    3. Look up recent crime trends
    4. Intent is not to go back through time, instead more of a current picture
    5. Crime data available nationwide

 

Oakville Triangle Update – Ben Flood, DRCA Representative

  1. Broke for the summer; one formal full session meeting
    1. Walking tours have taken place
    2. Connections and connectivity surrounding the Oakville area
      1. Connection – more than road/sidewalks; bike paths, green space, options that connect communities
      2. City has thought holistically about the process and options for connections/connectivity
      3. Options have been weeded down and further analysis will take place
    3. Park will open at Stewart Avenue
  2. Please come out to meetings; several years before construction activity will occur
    1. Zoning will likely be decided though in the next 12 months
    2. September 22nd 7PM-9PM – Mount Vernon Recreation Center
  3. City has information online; meeting recaps and other information
    1. Ben is available for questions regarding Oakville; essentially do not panic and ask questions/be informed

Land Use Committee

  1. Two meetings since last DRCA meeting
  2. August Meeting – Presentation on Dorn 519/521 E. Howell and Route 1.
    1. Originally office building but modified to be a restaurant
    2. Not supporting request for restaurant – don’t believe the area can support it
      1. Howell cannot support delivery trucks
      2. Dangerous for traffic
    3. If applicant moves forward and approved by city; Land Use Committee
      1. Requests for size of trucks allowed (deliveries on site); delivery times; no parking allowed
      2. No onsite parking eliminated; citizens need parking spot
      3. City Staff reviews application at 6 months.
    4. Motion for endorsing land use letter regarding restaurant; approved by not unanimous (27/3/1)
  3. Redevelopment of Arlandia Floors
    1. Redeveloping into residential units – unofficial
  4. Del Ray Pizzeria – 2nd floor exterior seating, trellis on porch/outside
    1. Most support the idea, would like design drawings of what it would look like
    2. Planning commission defers until seeing the plans; determine what is being agreed
    3. Same hours as restaurant
    4. On the October docket – recommending deferment
    5. Deferral wins by a 27 – 3 vote
  5. September Meeting
    1. 1905 Commonwealth Avenue; subdivide into two properties and put in a semidetached.
    2. Support approving proposal; any variances would need to be re-presented to the land use group
    3. Approval passed 1 abstentions/ 21 Yes, 7 No; Quorum called, not enough members; more members leave after realizing this.
  6. Next Land Use Meeting is October 7, 2014
    1. Change at Seva Café – extend offerings; more menu options/alcohol
    2. Del Ray Montessori to add students

 

Budget FY 2015 (October 1 – September 30) ***Please see budget attachment to be sent out***

  1. Significant increase in funds from House and Garden Tour
  2. Expense in pocket Commonwealth Park in FY13
  3. How do we spend money – projects need to be proposed and followed through
    1. How do we present? Control is loose, proposals in newsletter (previously)
    2. Email – President with your wildest spending fantasies or realistic worthwhile proposal
  4. A request $5,000 for Simpson park not be removed from the Parks fund; move it to Tree/Beautification
  5. A request to increase the scholarship fund proposed amount was approved
  6. Motion to table – approved

NO QUORUM – NO BUDGET VOTE; See you in October, please come so we can vote and do stuff

 

In Other News:

Committee Summary – need new chairs to take over (Transportation and Safety Committee, Traffic and Parking Board (city wide board)). By-Laws Committee – need to implement process for submitting ideas.

City Manager reached out for ad hoc underground electronic transmission lines for President to be on the group. Identify impacts and other possibilities, review substations. Provide memo to city council to be presented to Dominion Power. Will present to DRCA in October.

Possible Holiday Party – Commonwealth Academy gym has been dedicated and available for our use; no membership meeting – Holiday party instead.

Del Ray Artisans – Current show – Put A Bird On It; October – Metamorphosis (Halloween Costume Party); Show at Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, through October.

President of Lynhaven – voting against 24 hour 7/11 Route 1/Glebe.

 

Meeting Adjourned at 9:46PM

 

September 25, 2014

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Dominion Virginia Power to Host Transmission Line Open House

dominionDominion Virginia Power is proposing a new transmission line between Dominion’s Glebe Substation located at the intersection of S. Glebe Road and S. Eads Street, and Pepco’s Station C Substation at the intersection of Slaters Lane and E. Abingdon Drive. They will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, October 1 to review their plans.

The Alexandria Times published this recent article on the topic, Dominion Virginia Keeps Mum on Preferred Transmission Line Route.

For more details on this initiative, including maps, presentations and other information, see Dominion Virginia Power project webpage.

Open House Details:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Between 5:00p.m. – 8:00p.m.

Mount Vernon Community School
2601 Commonwealth Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301

September 13, 2014

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City of Alexandria is conducting a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan

All,

The City of Alexandria Department of Transportation & Environmental Services is currently conducting the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, and is conducting a number of public engagement activities over the Summer/Fall. We would appreciate it if you could post the following message on your website or to your listserve. If you have any questions, please contact Steve Sindiong at 703-746-4047 or steve.sindiong@alexandriava.gov

The City needs your input!

As part of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Update, the City is seeking community input on existing walking and bicycle issues and needs, and ideas for improving the environment for walking and biking.  An online survey and interactive map can be accessed from the project webpage www.alexandriava.gov/pedbikeplan. The survey and map are available in English and Spanish and will be available for input through early October 2014.

In addition, the project will host a public meeting on September 30 from 7pm to 9pm at the Minnie Howard School Library, 3801 W. Braddock Road.  Continue reading…

September 13, 2014

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Dominion Virginia Power Proposed Transmission Line Project

Overview:

Dominion Virginia Power has approached the City of Alexandria regarding Dominion’s proposal to construct a new 230-kilovolt underground transmission line between Alexandria and Arlington in the vicinity of Jefferson Davis Highway and Potomac Yard. The project would add and upgrade equipment at the existing switching station C on E. Abingdon Drive in Alexandria, and connect it to the Glebe Substation on S. Glebe Road in Arlington. The project does not involve the nearby former NRG Potomac River Generating Station, which is permanently closed.

What’s New:

On September 11, the Underground Transmission Line and Substation Working Group held its first meeting to examine the effects of a proposal by Dominion Virginia Power to construct a new 230-kilovolt, underground transmission line between Alexandria and Arlington County.  The Working Group discussed its mission and received a presentation from Dominion Virginia Power on the need for the project.  Dominion Virginia Power considered six electrical alternatives as part of its proposed project.  Dominion’s preferred alternative involves building a new transmission line between Dominion’s Glebe Substation located in Arlington County, and Pepco’s Station C Substation at the NRG site where the power plant was recently shut down.  Dominion Virginia Power identified nine preliminary alignments for the new transmission line connecting these two substations. Dominion indicated that they intend to file with the State Corporation Commission by the end of November for the project.   Additionally, Dominion Virginia Power will hold a public information meeting on Wednesday, October 1 from 5-8 p.m. at the Mount Vernon School (Community Room) located at 2601 Commonwealth Ave. The next Working Group meeting is currently being scheduled.

The Ad Hoc Underground Transmission Line and Substation Working Group will met on Thursday, September 11, 2014, from 7-9:30 p.m. in the Sister Cities Room 1101 at City Hall.  The meeting focused on the mission for the Working Group and a presentation from Dominion Virginia Power on the need for the project.

The Working Group will provide: Continue reading…

September 9, 2014

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Alexandria City School Board Seeks Participants in Stakeholder Committee

ACPSsquarelogoThe Alexandria City School Board is soliciting applications for membership on the Stakeholder Committee that will draft a new Strategic Plan for the Alexandria City Public Schools. The School Board website describes the strategic plan as:

“The Strategic Plan is the foundation document for all of the actions of the school division. It directs the actions that the division takes in meeting the goals and aspirations of the Alexandria community and guides the activities of employees and leaders as well as the expenditure of all funds entrusted to the School Board.”

The Stakeholder Committee application form can be found here: https://acpsweb.wufoo.com/forms/zy111441c6k60v/

Strategic Plan Steering Committee Forum:
Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: ACPS Central Office, 1340 Braddock Place
Registration form

Questions can be directed to Dr. J. Michael Korff, Coordinator of Strategic Planning and Policy, at jmichael.korff@acps.k12.va.us.

September 9, 2014

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Four Mile Run Park Leverages Crowdfunding for Tree Planting Initiative

Using the Citizinvestor crowdfunding platform, constituents of the Four Mile Run Park neighborhood are seeking to raise $2,000 for a tree planting initiative. Their donation page describes the fund raising initiative as:

“The 4MR Park Community Fall Tree Planting is a community initiative in conjunction with the City of Alexandria’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities and funded in part by the Four Mile Run Farmers & Artisans Market and Action Alexandria who have each awarded $1,000 to the project.”

Similar to other notable crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter, funding the initiative through Citizinvestor is an all-or-nothing proposition. Should the 4MR Park Community Fall Tree Planting initiative not meet 100% of their funding goal, all donors are returned their money.

For more on this topic, see July AlexandriaNews.org article: City Of Alexandria Launches First Crowd-Funding Campaign

August 31, 2014

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National Night Out Recap and Photos

The Del Ray Citizens Association, in conjunction with local police and fire departments, recently participated in National Night Out. Over one hundred Del Ray residents turned out for a fun-filled evening of safety-awareness and community-building.

A number of city officials stopped by to mingle with their constituents and neighbors. Thanks on behalf of the DRCA for their support! Also, thanks to the many volunteers that help make events such as this possible.

Special Thanks to the VIP’s that attended:

Police Chief Earl Cook
Vice Mayor Allison Siberb
City Council Members
John Chapman
Redella Pepper
Paul Smedberg
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne

Ex-DRCA Presidents:

Larry Altenburg
Laurie MacNamara Hendrickson
Sean Crumley

Agencies in attendance:

The City of Alexandria Sheriff’s Office
The City of Alexandria Police K9 units
The City of Alexandria Police
The City of Alexandria Crime Scene Investigations
The City of Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department Unit
The City of Alexandria Fire Department
The Marshals Service Armored Personnel Carrier
The US Postal Inspection Service
Metro Transit Police

Special Thanks to:

Your Dogs Best Fiends for handling all the food and drinks
The Del Ray Business Association for providing gift bags
Pat Miller for all of her hard work with planning and setup of the event
Sarah Haut and Sean Crumley for helping with DRCA new members table
Victory Red Lead Vocalist – Sherman Lugwig – Solo Acoustic Classic Rock Performance

All the wonderful volunteers that helped with the setup and cleanup of the event

Attendees enjoy an up-close look at firetrucks and police motorcycles, while enjoying live music and a cookout.

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