Barcroft School and Civic League's monthly meetings will resume on Thursday, January 5, at the community house. This month, Barcroft's own Keith Fred will present an update on the Four Mile Run working group, which is charged with making recommendations on re-envisioning and re-purposing the stretch that runs from Shirlington to Columbia Pike.
The following minutes are draft, and pending adoption.
Chris Kupczyk called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. and asked for a motion to approve the meeting minutes for the September, October, and November 2016 BSCL meetings. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.
Announcements and Updates
Eric Harold announced that the annual Barcroft spaghetti dinner will take place at the Community House on Sunday, January 29, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The cost is $8 for anyone age 10 and over; all proceeds will go to the Community House fund.
Chris then provided the following updates.
Sidewalk application for 8th Street. Following last September’s vote to apply for Missing Links program funds to build a missing portion of sidewalk along 8th Street, the county informed us that, due to topography challenges and the location of utility pole, the cost would far exceed the funds available under this program. Chris notified the petitioners and the affected property owner of this news and added that the petitioners can re-apply for a sidewalk as a full blown Neighborhood Conservation project if they wish.
Property at 831 S. Buchanan. In December, Chris received an e-mail from county board member John Vihstadt, who had driven by this property and asked for any background the BSCL had on it. Chris summarized the property’s recent history and the letter the BSCL sent to Code Enforcement about it last March. Mr. Vihstadt made some inquires and informed Chris that a hearing took place last summer over the property. The owner has applied for a demolition permit but is still addressing questions from the county on how demolition will impact nearby trees that are shared with adjacent property owners. All utilities are disconnected from the house. Another hearing was scheduled for mid
December, but the outcome of that hearing was not immediately available.
Parking and intersection updates. The county plans to move the no parking sign on the southeast corner of Buchanan and 8th Street back 20 feet to improve visibility for motorists making left turns onto southbound Buchanan. The county decided not to install a 3-way stop at Buchanan/Pershing and 6th Streets, but it will install additional cautionary signage on southbound Pershing before the intersection. Finally, the county installed additional yield-to-pedestrian signage on George Mason Drive at 4th Street.
Recycling center site. Someone asked if there had been any proposals to redevelop the site on which the recycling center now sits (at Columbia Pike and the W&OD Trail) after its planned move the county trades center. There are no plans as yet. Overhead power lines are an issue along with the small and odd shaped lot size.
Volunteers needed. The BSCL is still looking for a full time recording secretary and a full time webmaster.
Four Mile Run Valley Initiative
Keith Fred led a presentation and discussion on the Four Mile Run Valley initiative. He is part of a working group of about 18 people that has been meeting monthly to come up with ideas for re-visioning and redeveloping the area.
The goal is to develop a vision and strategy for the portion of the Four Mile Run valley; the area of study is roughly between the Barcroft Fitness Center on Four Mile Run Drive and Shirlington Road and includes Jennie Dean Park, Shirlington Dog Park, and portions of Nauck. The result would be an area vision plan and a park master plan, due out later this year, which in turn would be rolled into the county’s Capital Improvement Plan sometime in 2018.
The Nauck, Douglas Park, and Shirlington civic associations are involved, as well as about 10 county commissions. Keith is a member of Arlington Dogs and represents users of the dog park, which he said attracts about 200,000 people a year.
Most of the area currently is zoned for industrial use (storage, car repair businesses, etc.) and would need to be re-zoned under parts of the plan. One idea is to refashion the area as a field house (anchored by the fitness center) and an arts district. Keith said there are no plans to evict any tenants until they find other space. Someone pointed out that an arts district may be feasible only so long as nearby industrial uses suppress land values.
Someone asked if the plan will address storm water runoff. Storm water runoff is a concern in this area, but much of it originates further upstream and is a larger issue than this plan alone could address.
Additional information is available at https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/four-mile-run-valley/.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Chris Kupczyk, President