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Libby Garvey to Speak at Next YCA Meeting

Libby Garvey will address Yorktown and the next Civic Association meeting on March 21. The meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at Yorktown High School. Civic association business will be on the agenda first, and then we will hear from Ms. Garvey. She will discuss crime, school safety and other issues, starting at 8 p.m., with a Q&A following.

Garvey was elected to the Arlington County Board in 2012, after serving on the Arlington County School Board for 15 years.
She began her career as a teacher in the Peace Corps. She worked as a legislative aide to Congressman Lee Hamilton and as an associate director of the Mount Holyoke College Washington Internship Program. She is a member of the Council of Governments Emergency Preparedness Council. Virginia Governor Mark Warner appointed Ms. Garvey to serve on the P-16 Education Council, a position she continued under Governor Tim Kaine.

Throughout her career, Ms. Garvey has been involved in many community organizations, including vice president of the County Council of PTAs; vice president of the Fairlington Civic Association; and vice chair of the Advisory Council on Instruction. She was a member of the Abingdon and Drew elementary school PTAs and the H-B Woodlawn Program’s Parent Advisory Committee. She established the Kennan Garvey Memorial Fund for Phoenix Bikes in memory of her husband, and is serving on its board.

by Elizabeth Kiker
elizabeth.kiker@gmail.com

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December Meeting to Focus on Cookies (& Election)

Participating in the Yorktown Civic Association is a great way to learn about progress (and pitfalls) of living in Yorktown; to connect, collaborate and occasionally commiserate with neighbors; and to stay up to date on all the neighborhood news worth knowing.

The December 13 meeting, held at Yorktown High School, will be our annual business meeting, with elections needed to keep our Executive Committee going, and a thoughtful discussion around the idea of incorporating in Virginia.

It will also be a time to share holiday snacks, baked by the Yorktown Civic Association Executive Committee (we’ll vote on the favorite!) as well as connect with old friends and new neighbors. To entice you out during this busy holiday season, we promise to have hot apple cider; delicious cookies; a relatively quick business meeting.

Please join us at 7:30 p.m. in Yorktown High School Patriot Hall on Wednesday, December 13–use door #8 near the basketball courts. Future meetings will feature county speakers, school topics and more opportunities to connect with your neighbors. The only thing missing from the Yorktown Civic Association is YOU!

by Elizabeth Kiker
elizabeth.kiker@gmail.com

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Incorporating the YCA: Join the Discussion

The Yorktown Civic Association (YCA), created in 1992 via merger between Milburn Terrace and Garden City Associations, serves the common needs of our community. The leaders of the YCA are considering incorporating in Virginia, which would mean clarifying our mission, updating our bylaws and would allow us to purchase directors’ insurance.

Currently, the mission of the YCA is: to preserve the quality of our neighborhood; to keep the community informed on issues that impact us; and to be an advocate for the community on those issues with local and state government. In addition to reaching out to neighbors and experts, we are in discussion with other neighborhood groups in Arlington to learn from their work.

As we start to revamp the bylaws, mission, and election processes, we’d love to hear from YOU. We’ll start this discussion at the December 13 2017 meeting. Join us!

by President Mike Cantwell
mcantwell@msn.com

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Election Slate Announced for YCA Executive Committee

The Yorktown Civic Association Bylaws state that the “Association shall elect biannually from among adult (over 18) full-time residents of member households a President, Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and seven at-large directors, who collectively shall constitute the Executive Committee.”

The bylaws stipulate that nominations for the Executive Committee must be published in the newsletter prior to the fall membership meeting where the election takes place. The terms of the officers shall begin on the first day of the month succeeding that in which they were elected and are for two years. The following slate of officers and members of the Executive Committee is being proposed for the December 13, 2017 YCA meeting. The slate is as follows:

  • President: Mike Cantwell
  • Vice President: David Friedman
  • Secretary: James Churbuck
  • Treasurer: Dustin Anderson
  • At-Large members: Terry Costello, David Gelman, David Haring, Elizabeth Kiker, Craig Mastangelo, Brian O’ Flaherty, Frank White.

We are also soliciting members to sign up for “Executive Committee Member in Waiting.” As members leave the Executive Committee, these members would be appointed to join the Executive Committee. Members of the YCA can volunteer to be placed on the list at the December 13 meeting.

by David Haring,
jacmatt@verizon.net

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Letter from the President – September 2017

It has been a busy summer! We are continuing to track issues related to school capacity, high water bills, traffic and pedestrian safety, the Lee Highway Alliance, and the Garden City Shopping Center.

I recently attended a meet-and greet session with the new Yorktown High School Principal Bridget Loft. YHS parents expressed their concerns about teen drug use and their perception that the Yorktown High School staff was not doing enough to address it. I met with Ms. Loft privately and expressed the community’s concerns about overcrowding at Yorktown High School, traffic and parking. We discussed how the common areas in Yorktown High School (gym, cafeteria, sports field, etc.) are significantly smaller than similar areas at Washington & Lee and Wakefield.

Throughout the summer months, local homeowners continued to post replies on Nextdoor and Facebook related to unusually high water bills. Several homeowners wrote letters to Sun-Gazette editors, Arlington County Staff, and Board members. The Department of Environmental Services is refusing to conduct a thorough investigation into the unusually high water bills. Homeowners experiencing this should continue to contact DES and County Board Members and call for an independent audit of the water meters and water billing process.

The Lee Highway Alliance (LHA) continues to make steady progress. LHA has a budget, leased office space, and an updated website. Google “Lee Highway Alliance” for more information. We have some improvements at the Garden City Shopping Center (GCSC), but we continue to see issues. The LHA, YCA Executive Committee, and the County Staff are working together to encourage property owners and tenants to form a Merchants Association. Ideally, the merchants will work together to improve trash/garbage removal, paving, sidewalks, landscaping, parking, and snow removal.

The guest speaker for our next YCA general membership meeting will be Captain David Giroux. Captain Giroux was recently selected to be First District Police Captain. He will address teen drug use, traffic safety, and violence in our community.

We need your help! We can match your passions, skills, and time constraints to the right “job.” Email me with “I want to help the YCA” in the subject line. Please get involved with the political process. You can’t move the ball forward if you are sitting on the sidelines. Stay engaged Arlington!

By Mike Cantwell
President, Yorktown Civic Association
mtcantwell@msn.com

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Upcoming Yorktown Civic Association Meeting

Scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The next meeting of the Yorktown Civic Association has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Yorktown High School, Patriot Room (enter from door 8 near the athletic field parking lot). Here’s the agenda:

The guest speaker for our next YCA general membership meeting will be Captain David Giroux. Captain Giroux was recently selected to be First District Police Captain.

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Upcoming Yorktown Civic Association Meeting

Scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The next meeting of the Yorktown Civic Association has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Yorktown High School, Patriot Room (enter from door 8 near the athletic field parking lot). Here’s the agenda:

Arlington County Ombudsman Robert Sharpe

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County approved Neighborhood Conservation Plan

On Wednesday, April 26, 2006, the Arlington County Board approved the Yorktown Civic Association’s Neighborhood Plan Update after a presentation by civic association president David Haring. See Staff recommendation (pdf)

The Yorktown Neighborhood Conservation Plan Update presentation to Arlington’s Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) was held on Thursday, March 9, 2006.

The Yorktown Civic Association adopted its plan at its Winter Meeting on Tuesday, February 15, 2005. The Yorktown Neighborhood Plan has been prepared as part of the Arlington Neighborhood Conservation Program. The Civic Association began working on the plan update in late 2003 with a survey of every household in the neighorhood. After being approved by the NCAC, the plan will then go to the County Planning Commission and the County Board for approval.

  • Yorktown Neighborhood Plan (final) (pdf)The Yorktown Civic Association joined the Arlington County’s Neighborhood Conservation (NC) Program in April 1992 and, in February 1995, the Yorktown Neighborhood Conservation Plan was approved by the Arlington County Board.

    In Arlington County, each neighborhood’s conservation plan serves as the primary planning document for the distribution of neighborhood project grants and other neighborhood improvements. The existing Yorktown Neighborhood Conservation Plan also contains detailed survey data along with extensive information on the neighborhood’s land use planning, zoning, public safety and traffic issues.

    In mid-2003, the Executive Committee voted to proceed with a full update to the existing Yorktown plan. The update process began with a status review of the 1995 plan.

    The next step in the update process was the completion of a detailed survey of Yorktown neighborhood residents. An eight page survey was mailed to every household in the Yorktown neighborhood on October 20, 2003. 405 households in the neighborhood completed the survey.

    The survey results are available at:

    The survey form and cover letter can be seen at:

    Plan Update Background Materials:

 

 

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Yorktown Neighborhood Plan: Priorities and Recommendations

Draft – 1/30/2005

Pedestrian Safety and Sidewalks

1) Fund construction of continuous stretches of sidewalk on any street where the County’s current 60% petition threshold is met by residents. If residents of several streets meet the petition threshold simultaneously, priority will be given to streets currently without any sidewalks and streets with the greatest current or potential pedestrian traffic

2) Support installation of sidewalks in segments involving no more than 3 properties through the County’s Missing Link program in any case where 100% of the affected households support the sidewalk. If multiple requests, priority will be determined by pedestrian traffic volume and safety concerns.

Traffic Safety

3) Fund the long-standing plans to re-design the intersections at Lee Highway/George Mason Drive and Lee Highway/Harrison Street. Include a left turn lane from the two side streets onto Lee Highway.

4) Include the full length of the neighborhood’s three arterial streets George Mason Drive, Yorktown Boulevard, and Harrison Street — in Arlington’s new Arterial Street Traffic Calming program (Harrison Street from Lee Highway to N. 26th Street is one of the program’s original selections). Possible options may include (but should not be limited to): a) reducing George Mason Drive between Lee Highway and Yorktown Boulevard to 2-lanes with wider medians and bike lanes; b) installation of a median and traffic speed indicator warning on Yorktown Boulevard and reduction of the speed limit to 25 mph; and c) installation of nubs at the Harrison Street intersections with 26th Street, 27th Street, and Little Falls Road (the Little Falls intersection is being considered for nubs as part of a Neighborhood Traffic Calming project for Little Falls Road).

5) The Neighborhood Traffic Calming program has been used quite successfully in this neighborhood to address traffic safety issues. This program should be given adequate funding to continue to address neighborhood traffic issues throughout Arlington. Several additional candidate streets exist in this neighborhood and should be considered for assistance, in particular: 26th Street N. west of Harrison Street; 28th Street N. between Yorktown Boulevard and Greenbrier Park; N. Greenbrier Street north of 26th Street N.; and N. Florida Street north of 26th Street. Consideration should also be given to replacement of the existing speed humps on 26th Street N. between Harrison Street and George Mason Drive due to their deteriorating condition.

6) The following intersections should be evaluated for nubs, 3-way/4-way stops or other appropriate safety improvements:

o 26th Street N. and N. Harrison Street

o 27th Street N. at N. Harrison and at N. Greenbrier Street

o 26th Street N. at George Mason Drive

o N. Brandywine Street at Yorktown Boulevard

o 28th Street N. at Yorktown Boulevard

o N. Florida Street at Little Falls Road

o Old Dominion Drive and 29th Street N.

7) Bus shelters should be considered at the following locations (trash receptacles should also be provided):

o Yorktown Boulevard at Yorktown High School

o George Mason Drive

o Additional locations on Lee Highway.

8) The County’s zoned parking program should be continued, along with consideration of nighttime and weekend restrictions where appropriate. Possible areas for consideration within the neighborhood, based on request and approval by immediate residents, might include streets adjacent to the following:

o Yorktown High School

o Marymount University, including increased enforcement to encourage students not to park on neighborhood streets.

o Lee/Harrison Shops

o Garden City Shopping Center.

Commercial Activity

The following recommendations apply to the Garden City shopping area at the intersection of Lee Highway and George Mason Drive:

9) The County should undertake a comprehensive code enforcement review of the Garden City shopping area premises.

10) Replace existing concrete wall and sidewalk with landscaping at the front of the Center and repair and widen the sidewalk adjacent to the shops. Screen dumpsters with attractive, fenced cages and keep them closed. Remove abandoned equipment from the rear of the property. Include landscaping and screening from the adjacent neighbors at the rear of the center. County alley behind the Center and its adjoining grass strip on the north side should be cleaned, resurfaced and regularly maintained. (Also see comments under Parking).

11) Re-stripe the existing parking areas, both in the front and to the rear of the Center to increase the number of spaces. Curbs or similar structures should be added to the alley, behind the Center which could then be reconfigured to accommodate additional, possibly metered, parking.

12) Upgrade the stores with paint, uniform signage and facades, including new awnings or similar features. Install attractive pedestrian lighting. Remove or clean up rusting pipes and chimneys.

13) Modify vehicle entrances into the Center to include turning lanes from Lee Highway. Reduce the multiple existing entrances from Lee Highway to one entrance at the east end and one entrance at the west end. Modifications to increase parking at the rear of the building and definition of the alley as an entry and exit method will also facilitate better access to the Center.

Parks

14) Sufficient buffers areas must be established and maintained at Greenbrier Park due to the close proximity of its immediate neighbors and the high level of activity at the park.

15) Hours of operation at Greenbrier Park should be adopted and clearly posted as follows: No sporting events or organized practices should be scheduled prior to 9 a.m. on weekends, and all games and practices should end by 10:30 p.m. 7 days per week. No P.A. system use should occur prior to Noon.

16) Chestnut Hills Park should continue to be focused on toddlers and younger children as an area where they can play safely and conveniently without interference from activities of older children or adults.

17) Recently acquired property for Chestnut Hills Park should be reserved for either (1) children’s activities and recreation or (2) as passive recreational areas (walkways, garden areas, picnic area etc.)

18) The designation of Chestnut Hills Park in the Open Space Master Plan should be changed from Community Open Space to Neighborhood Park.

19) Residential properties adjacent to Chestnut Hills Park currently identified on the County’s General Land Use Plan (GLUP) as Public (i.e. future park land) should have their designation changed to Residential.

20) A portion of Chestnuts Hill Park should continue to be made available for community gardens. Upgrading of this area should be considered in any plan to renovate Chestnut Hill Park.

21) The small park area at Yorktown Boulevard and Old Dominion Drive which was developed as a recent Neighborhood Conservation project should be given a name and should be given a designation as passive open space. An iron fence should be installed along Old Dominion Drive as part of a gateway treatment and to prevent dangerous cut- through pedestrian traffic.

22) Rock Spring Park should continue to receive adequate funding for maintenance and improvements as a nature area. Buffers should be improved in the area of new homes at the end of 30th Street North (east side of park).

Schools

23) Phase II renovations of Yorktown High School should be fully funded in the 2006 County bond election.

o The Building Level Planning Committee must begin the design process in early 2005.

o Construction of planned Greenbrier Park renovations should not begin until the Yorktown BLPC has begun meeting and has had an opportunity to assess the compatibility of the planned park modifications with Phase II plans for the high school.

o Renovations at the high school should NOT result in enrollment increases above the current capacity of 1600 students.

o Adequate buffers should be provided between the school structure and adjacent homes.

o Sufficient off-street parking should be provided for school staff, while avoiding the construction of decked parking structures. Policies should be adopted to discourage students from driving to school.

24) The current Nottingham Elementary School boundaries should be maintained to ensure continuity of education for members of the same family.

Street Lights and Power Lines

25) Arlington County should pursue policies that encourage the undergrounding of power lines in both commercial and residential areas. Costs for performing this work should be spread over a number of years and built into utility rates, rather than be paid through higher taxes.

26) Installation of Carlisle or other examples of improved street lighting should be considered at locations based on the following criteria: existing lighting that is inadequate or non-existent, high pedestrian traffic, poor or dangerous placement of existing light poles. Frequently mentioned candidates for improved lighting include these neighborhood streets:

o 26th Street North

o N. Florida Street

o N. Greenbrier Street

o N. Harrison Street

o Old Dominion Drive (access road)

Public Safety

27) Traffic enforcement should be increased in all areas of Arlington.

28) The Arlington Alert system has not achieved the coverage necessary to provide meaningful notice to large numbers of residents and should be supplemented with a traditional system of sirens.

Land Use and Zoning

29) Arlington County should continue to consider policies designed to reduce inappropriate in-fill development, while maintaining a reasonable ability of property owners to make improvements to their homes.

30) The County should consider increasing setback requirements, especially on corner lots.

31) The Unified Residential Development use permit ordinance should undergo a complete review and be updated as needed based on actual results and effectiveness since the process was first established.

32) Greater coordination must be ensured between all county offices involved in the various aspects of new home construction to guarantee proper application of zoning rules and regulations. A greater commitment should also be given to strong enforcement of building codes and zoning ordinances.

33) Developers constructing new homes at the same location should be required to install sidewalks.

Preservation and Neighborhood Beautification

34) Encourage preservation/restoration of historic mansion owned by Knights of Columbus on Little Falls Road.

35) Repair stone monument at corner of Rock Spring Road and Old Dominion access road.

36) Planning should be undertaken for the undeveloped public property at the end of N. Emerson Street between 25th Place N. and 26th Street N. to consider such options as installing a sidewalk and/or bicycle path and landscaping or opening it to through traffic.

37) A complete neighborhood historical survey should be undertaken as soon as possible to identify historic homes.