On June 23, 2021 Mike Cantwell wrote to the Arlington County board to share the Civic Associations position on the Plan Lee Highway Scenarios:
“Arlington County Board and Plan Lee Highway Staff,
The Yorktown community includes many citizens who are deeply opposed to the increased density in each of the proposed Plan Lee Highway scenarios. Our community also includes many residents who welcome aspects of the plan. There are, however, a few things we can all agree on:
First, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will plan and budget for the purchase of land for green space and public use in our area. It is not sufficient to hope that private developers will subsidize the cost of green space in the future. According to a recent review by the Arlington County Civic Federation, the county has underinvested in public land park acquisition for over a decade. As a result, there is less park land acreage per 1,000 residents today than at any other time in the last 50 years. Increasing the density along Lee Highway without adding additional open space will further reduce the amount of park land per capita. In our area, we are lucky to have public spaces that are heavily used by existing residents. In order to maintain quality of life with increased density, more public spaces are necessary. Monies for those spaces should be considered and budgeted alongside the revised general land use plan for Lee Highway.
Second, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will plan and budget for schools and infrastructure commensurate with the increased density and population growth along Lee Highway. Planning for private development without planning for public infrastructure will necessarily lead to underinvestment and a more-expensive, less-thought-out game of catch-up in the future.
Third, we would like a commitment from the county board that they will not use eminent domain, now or at any point in the future, to achieve any portion of the Plan Lee Highway use scenarios. Our neighbors want assurance that they will retain the ability to decide what to do with their own property, even as the area may be changing.
Thank you for your consideration. We welcome further dialog with our civic association about this planning process.
President – Yorktown Civic Association
Vice President – Yorktown Civic Association”
On July 30, 2021 the County Board responded:
“Dear Mr. Cantwell,
Thank you for your message and for sharing your thoughts concerning the Plan Lee Highway study. I’m responding on behalf of my colleagues, and please know that your email and perspectives have been shared with and read by each member of the Board.
First, I’d like to underscore that the study is in its early stages. County staff, and PLH civic leaders, have sought to shape a process where community members can weigh in with your priorities and the positives and negatives of the various scenarios.
We appreciate that you’ve done so – and in your comments, as well as in those of your neighbors, it’s clear how much you value both the environment and quality of life in your community currently. Thank you for taking the time to share stories, as well as perspectives and concerns, with us on the County Board.
As you may know, Plan Lee Highway is designed to build upon the community’s vision and guiding principles as we work to create a walkable, “Main Street” type corridor, looking at everything from multi-modal transportation options to responsible development and public facilities. Currently, County government and civic partners from Lyon Village and other neighborhoods along the corridor are developing ideas and offering different possibilities to the community so we can better understand the impacts and benefits of different types of development along the corridor. These plans are also designed to explore and evaluate how government and the private sector can work together to help achieve the community’s aspirations for this “Main Street.” The goal of this phase is to open the door to meaningful discussions with the community so that staff can make informed decisions as the proposal evolves. With community feedback on preliminary land use concepts, the Planning Team will be refining the ideas and developing a Preferred Concept Plan which will be shared with the community in Fall 2021. Again, no conclusions or decisions have been made at this time.
The land use scenarios currently under discussion were developed with a number of things in mind, including the community feedback received during last year’s workshops. You may find it of interest to visit the Plan Lee Highway project page to review the latest presentation materials and reports. On this page, there is also a link to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which provides answers to many key questions and concerns about the effort.
The most important thing to emphasize from these FAQs: The County has no plans to rezone existing single-family residential properties and will not be seizing private property through eminent domain as a part of this project. Regardless of what scenarios or zoning tools are ultimately recommended in the Plan Lee Highway study, each property owner will make their own decisions about whether to maintain their property unchanged, or whether to pursue changes and how.
We thank you again for reaching out with your concerns, as well as your meaningful reflections about what makes your Arlington neighborhood special, and we encourage you to stay engaged in the process.
Vice Chair, Arlington County Board”
Minutes of the July 21, 2021 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- On July 21, 2021, the Yorktown Civic Association held a virtual general meeting. The following individuals were in attendance, with Brian Young reporting the minutes:
- Bryan Walsh, Campbell Maloney, Christine Purka, Craig Mastrangelo, David Haring, David Friedman, Ginger Brown, Hillary Gillen, James Churbuck, Kristi Roberts, Maisie Meade, Mehul Vora, Melissa Jackson, Michael Strazzella, Mike Cantwell, Paul Gibson, Paul Holland, Rob Fisher, Sally Linderman, Shelly Pelletier, Terry Costello, Amelia Frenkel, Frank White.
In Memoriam: James and Shauna Waites
- Craig Mastrangelo offered condolences to the families of Shauna and James Waite of North Greenbrier Street, who were killed in a tragic accident last week. Please keep the Waites and their family in your thoughts.
Plan Lee Highway
- Paul Holland and Ginger Brown addressed Plan Lee Highway, a land use development plan for the Lee Highway corridor. They took questions. Documents pertaining to Plan Lee Highway are available here: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/land-use/lee-highway/process/. Residents may contact Plan Lee Highway at email@example.com. Ms. Brown may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mr. Holland may be contacted at email@example.com. Mr. Cantwell reported that the Goddard School is renting the former bank location near Lee Highway and George Mason and is hopeful that this space will become a childcare center. Ms. Brown reported that an eatery had expressed interest in the space that was formerly occupied by Tops Cleaners on Lee Highway but had no further information.
- The Association discussed holding a neighborhood day in Chestnut Hills on a date to be determined this fall. Mr. Cantwell put out a call for someone to volunteer to serve as chairperson of the event. In the past, Neighborhood Day featured food trucks, musical entertainment, and a bounce house. Please contact Mr. Cantwell at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to volunteer.
Crime and Traffic
- Mr. Cantwell gave an update on crime developments and traffic safety.
Minutes of the January 27, 2020 Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting
- A meeting of the Yorktown Civic Association was held virtually. Brian Young, Secretary, compiled these minutes.
- Meeting attendees include: Brian Young; Amelia Frenkel; Anne Bodine; David Coia; David Friedman; David Haring; Jeanne Mershon; Matt Duckery; Michelle Winters; Mike Cantwell; Peter Rousselot; Rene Sollod; Terry Costello; Craig Mastrangelo; Matthew Cleaveland; Mehul Vora; Campbell Maloney; James Churbuck; Karen Hardee; Ginger Brown; Rick Epstein; Margie Bell; Rick Epstein; Susan Kerin; Terry Costello; Dave Schutya.
- Mike Cantwell nominates Brian Young to serve on the Executive Board of the YCA and as the Secretary for the YCA. Craig Mastrangelo seconded the motion. The motion carries unanimously on a voice vote.
Special Guest – Matthew Duckery, Arlington County Code Enforcement
- Mr. Duckery, of Arlington County Inspection Services, addressed code enforcement for Arlington County, which enforces Virginia’s Property Maintenance Code. The County has eight inspectors to survey all land within the County borders and strives to perform inspections in response to complaints in 3-5 business days. Code inspectors are not permitted to reveal the identity of complainants – that information is confidential. Inspector Duckery may be reached at email@example.com. Those wishing to lodge complaints may call 703-228-3232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The phone number for Arlington County Environmental Services, which inspects permeable driveways, is 703-228-3883.
Special Guest – Peter Rousselot, Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future
- Mr. Rousselot spoke on behalf of Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF), a community advocacy group concerned with sustainable development. He addressed many of the issues raised in his Arl Now column of January 27, available electronically here: https://www.arlnow.com/2021/01/27/peters-take-arlington-flying-blind-in-planning-for-critical-infrastructure/. Mr. Rousselot discussed projected budget deficits and other impositions on public resources resulting from anticipated population growth as well as suggested public policy solutions. Citizens may contact ASF at email@example.com and may obtain additional information at www.asf-virginia.org. Ginger Brown, Executive Director of Lee Highway Alliance, also addressed many of the public policy challenges raised by Mr. Rousselot. Ms. Brown may be contact at Ginger.firstname.lastname@example.org. Michelle Winters, the Executive Director of Alliance for Housing Solutions, also spoke to these issues. She may be contacted at email@example.com. Ms. Winters referenced a housing study available at https://housing.arlingtonva.us/housing-arlington/housing-arlington-affordable-housing-master-plan-review/. The speakers took questions.
Lee Highway News
- Mike Cantwell discussed developments on Lee Highway, particularly including the site on the corer of George Mason and Lee Highway. Mr. Cantwell reported that the new tenant provides business services such as printing and virtual meeting facilities.
- Mr. Cantwell addressed crime in the YCA borders and stressed preventative measures such as security measures and ensuring that residents lock car doors.
- A Treasurer’s report was deferred until the next meeting.
Future YCA Meeting
- The YCA aspires to hold an outdoor meeting in March or April. Details will be forthcoming.
Guest Speakers – Roni Robins and ACPD
- Lee-Harrison Shopping Center (Roni Robins VP of Development)
- Traffic Safety (ACPD)
- Plan Lee Highway
- Abnormally high water bills
- New construction
- YCA business
YORKTOWN CIVIC ASSOCIATION TO HOST ARLINGTON COUNTY BOARD CANDIDATE DEBATE OCTOBER 1ST:
On Monday October 1st at its general membership meeting, the Yorktown Civic Association will host a debate between Arlington County Board candidates Matt de Ferranti and John Vihstadt.
The meeting will start at 7:30pm, and take place in the Patriot Room at Yorktown High School. All interested Arlingtonians are invited to attend.
About Matt de Ferranti
Matt de Ferranti began his career as a teacher in a low-income community in Houston and has subsequently used his skills as a lawyer to help people build better lives for themselves and their children in positions at Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and the Education Trust. He now works for the National Indian Education Association, where he serves as Senior Legislative Counsel, seeking to improve educational opportunity and outcomes for Native American students. Matt serves on Arlington County’s Housing Commission (since 2013) and the Arlington Public Schools Budget Advisory Council (Chair in 2017-2018 and since 2014) and the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission, which brings Arlington County, Arlington Public Schools, and the community together to plan for our future. Matt is a 2015 Leadership Arlington Graduate, a 2016 graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, and a 2017 graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College. Matt grew up in McLean and lives in the Courthouse neighborhood.
About John Vihstadt
John Vihstadt harnessed over 30 years of schools and community activism to win a seat on the Arlington County Board in 2014 as the first Independent in decades. As past president of his neighborhood civic association and the Yorktown High School PTA, co-chair of a School Bond campaign, and as a member of the Arlington County Civic Federation Board and the Housing, Aging and Planning Commissions, John hit the ground running and built a record of accomplishment from his first year in office. John is running for re-election to build upon his first term achievements, including the refocus of our spending priorities to core services and the establishment of an independent County Auditor. Going forward, John’s community-centered vision includes managing our growth, greater openness and transparency in decision-making, and ensuring that cost and value are a part of every conversation. John brings true discussion and balance to the County Board. He hopes to earn your vote to secure another term on Tuesday, November 6. Visit https://voteforvihstadt.com.
by David Gelman
Civic Association Meeting May 2nd at 7:30 p.m. in Patriot Hall at Yorktown High School.
Guest: Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey
- Arlington Budget … priorities and tough decisions
- Lee Highway … planning
- Yorktown HS modification … Use permit for 2200 students
- Drugs in our schools
- School safety … school/ACPD preparation and response
- Traffic Safety
- Q & A
Libby Garvey will address Yorktown and the next Civic Association meeting. 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
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
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