Meeting Notes

Yorktown Civic Association General Membership Meeting

Welcome

  • Mike Cantwell started the meeting at 7:31. Board members introduced themselves to the attendees. There were approximately 30 people in attendance.

Dr. Kevin Clark, the new YHS principal

  • Mike Cantwell introduced the new YHS principal
  • Dr. Kevin stated that this was his Third week at Yorktown.
  • He looks forward to ways YHS and YCA can partner
  • There are some ways we can collaborate to make the community strong.
  • Common themes student safety. Drivers and pedestrian
  • He knows groups are advocating for additional signage near the school. He thinks that will be helpful.
  • He is looking forward to a chance to collaborate with the association
  • Dr. Clark introduced Scott McCallan the assistant principal who is responsible for safety and security. Works with the school resource officer.

Roni Robins, Lee-Harrison VP of Development

  • Mike Cantwell introduced Roni Robins.  Roni works for A.J. Dwoskin
  • A.J. Dwoskin owns and manages the Lee-Harrison shopping center.  
  • The L-H shopping center has 120k sq ft. of retail/restaurants/service space
  • Roni provided a history of the center. Built in the 1960s. Major renovation in the 1980s. Harris-Teeter added in the 2000s. New 100 car garage.
  • Provided list of tenants.
  • Added cameras in 2011, renovated lower levels.
  • A new retail pad is under construction. Will consist of three retail stories. 3400 sq ft. of retail space. One story buildings. Expect the same kind of uses. No expectation of intense parking demand usage.
  • The construction will be completed in June
  • Starting on Monday they will be putting in water lines. Lee highway access will be closed from 7 to 3. They will try to keep people updated.
  • She then took questions:
    • They could have gone higher but were worried about pressure on parking demand and the need to offer lower rents.
    • There were questions about parking, but they aren’t really able to change parking due to Harris-Teeter. They don’t expect there to be a loss of parking spaces, maybe a very marginal loss of one or two spaces.
    • Asked whether choosing new tenants could limit the types of businesses that create more in and out traffic, she said that they are taking that into account, but that they need to treat it as a balancing act.
    • Was a discussion about putting Capital Bikeshare bikes there, but they didn’t think that it was appropriate for Harris-Teeter. Frontages are narrow.
    • Possibility of up to three tenants, could be one, but most likely 2 or 3.
    • No longer term redevelopment plan in place. Lee Highway alliance considers them to be a neighborhood and community center.
    • No tenant yet for Starbucks.
  • Directed other inquiries to the website.

Mike Cantwell introduced members of the Arlington County Police Department

  • Sgt Thomas Rakowski
  • Captain Wayne Vincent
  • Captain Darrin Cassedy
  • Corporal Beth Lennon:
  • They Thanked Dwoskin for allowing ACPD to use the L-H parking lot for the toy drive.
  • ACPD made some arrests on the 2018 burglaries. Only two reported larceny from autos reported since the arrests (September to present).
  • Crime is down.
  • It’s tax season, there will be frauds. Do not give money over the phone. Do not give someone gift cards. Be leery of phishing attempts. (amazon prime renewals, apple).
  • Reminded people of the 9 o’clock routine.
  • Property crimes detectives made an arrest of a juvenile. A one man crime spree. Unlocked car doors is the problem region wide. We are not finding people who have any way to unlock electronic locks.
  • Stolen cars are up in the sense that the people doing these, 1 in every 200 times someone leaves the ignition key there and they test it and take it if they do.
  • Questions
    • A member asked, “I hear a lot of helicopters traveling low and at night.”
      • Arlington doesn’t own any helicopters. If needed they borrow from parkpolice or Fairfax. Possible a bleed over from Fairfax. We problably request less than once a month.
      • Mike Cantwell explained that the helicopter noise is most likely from the presidential helicopters. Rep. Beyer is trying to help. Visit Rep. Beyer’s website for more information.
    • A member asked, “How do they get into the cars?”
    • They don’t break windows anymore. Too noisy. Do not leave your car doors unlock. The only time a car window was broken was when a laptop was visible on the front seat.
  • Capt. Cassidy spoke about traffic and pedestrian safety
    • Capt Cassidy is from ACPD special ops
    • The County Board adopted Vision Zero goal. The plan will be implemented in 2021. The goal is to eliminate all transportation fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all people. First public meeting about Vision Zero was last night.
  • Campbell Maloney talked about the Harrison and 26th intersection.
    • On Friday second accident in three days, car trying to cross Harrison and 26th. The accident on Tuesday was a three-car accident. Campbell showed the website and photos of accidents.
    • Members can fill out a form on the YCA website to share information about accidents, allows photo uploads.
    • The first year I saw this there were about 5 accidents in a year.
    • Stephen Powers asked how many cars go through location without accidents so that people could understand and what things are designated and why it’s not suitable for a red light or four-way light.
    • Mike asks what the criteria are for a cop to record an accident
      • Capt. Cassidy stated that it’s a state criteria set by VAPD. Their numbers will only be as good as what was reported to the police. If the drivers involved in the accident don’t call the police, there is no record of the accident. [§ 46.2-373. Report by law-enforcement officer investigating accident. Every law-enforcement officer who in the course of duty investigates a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of $1,500 or more]. Campbell encouraged everyone to upload their photos to the YCA website.  
      • Capt. Cassidy works cooperatively with DES-TEO@arlingtonVA.us on statistics and possible solutions. Members should contact DES-TEO to discuss ideas to improve safety.
      • A member stated that he thinks that it is the bump outs are causing more accidents, if in fact more accidents are happening.
      • Mike asks if there’s any reason to think that an officer failed to report an accident. Capt Cassidy stated that there was no evidence that cops aren’t reporting accidents. There have been people who got in trouble for not taking reports, but overall people follow the rules.
      • Vision zero is supported by all County Board members.
      • Mike suggested making a policy that would require ACPD to make a record of all accidents, regardless of estimated damage amounts. This policy could increase the workload. ACPD is already pretty understaffed.
  • When an accident is reported it goes to the state as well and it goes to the crime analysis/traffic analysis mapping group and it will be included in the yearly report. 2018 had 2500 crashes. If a pedestrian scooter or bike is involved it goes to Lt. Dan Murphy who looks at all of these accidents. 58 bike and 125 ped accidents in 2018.
  • They are receptive to individual crowdsourced reporting.
  • Asked if there was a way to target the specific intersection for more rigorous reporting. He said that it’s still probably better to go incident by incident.
  • Information is available and we have been getting it.
  • Someone says that she sees near misses of kids every day.
  • We need to agree on safety over convenience or mode of transportation. Officer promises to follow up on collecting statistics
  • Wishes that all of the intersections could be fully engineered but that’s not always possible. Use your safe options.
  • Typically we do not stop people for going less than 10 mph over. They do pedestrian enforcement details will need to look at this intersection to see if it meets the standard.
  • Officer advocates for people being as serious as possible about their safety and taking steps to ensure it if they can.
  • Audience advocates for people to educate drivers about obligations.
  • Discussion of how to improve understanding and executive of pedestrian right of way
  • Officer advises that they invite someone from the county to talk about dos and don’ts.
  • Tickets are about to go up in some places by 200 dollars. Country will need to follow the law in determining this.
  • Mike summarizes situation: most would like to see more enforcement on Yorktown, George Mason, and other through ways. They just did a traffic classifier and they can do that here.
  • They will speak to APS officer about school traffic

YCA Business

  • Currently YCA is unincorporated. Plan to become incorporated as a 501(c)(4). Will work with attorneys for formal filing.
    • Harrison guy asks how the traffic committee works. Response is that it hasn’t been done very formally.
    • Back and forth regarding the classification of the road as an arterial road.
  • Motion to form traffic and pedestrian safety committee
    • Passes unanimously
    • Craig Mastrangelo nominated, seconded.
    • Mike nominates James, seconded.
    • James nominates Campbell, seconded.
    • Campbell nominated Frank White, seconded, James Churbuck, Mehul Vora all seconded.
    • Stephen Powers nominates himself on to the committee, seconded. There is some opposition. Count called for:
      • Five in favor
      • 15 hands opposed.
      • “I am not going away.”

Pay your dues

  • Dues can be paid by PayPal.
N Harrison and 26th - January 24, 2020

The Yorktown Civic Association is collection data about the frequent accidents at the intersection of N Harrison Street and 26th Street N. YCA is working with Arlington County to address this intersection, but the solutions by the County have proven so far insufficient to improve the safety for pedestrians and drivers.

Our records of accidents are available here.

If you have records for more accidents, please provide the information to us in this form.

Guest Speakers – Roni Robins and ACPD

Agenda:

  • Lee-Harrison Shopping Center (Roni Robins VP of Development)
  • Traffic Safety (ACPD)
  • Plan Lee Highway
  • Abnormally high water bills
  • New construction
  • YCA business

Friday, Jan. 31
6:30-8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 1
8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Washington-Liberty High School
1301 N. Stafford St.

How do you imagine living, working and doing business on Lee Highway in 2050?

The flyer below has all of the details. And additional information is available at arlingtonva.us/leehighway.

In September 2018, the County Board accepted a recommendation from County Manager to create a community task force that would collaborate with staff to develop a master plan for the 7.6 acres of County-owned land located at 26th Street North and Old Dominion Drive (26-OD). The task force will conclude with the submission of a final report to the County Board prior to the end of the second quarter of calendar year 2019.

Read our Letter to the County Board and our Modified Charge.

More information on the County’s Task Force website.

Another busy quarter for the Yorktown Civic Association (YCA). On October 1, the YCA hosted a debate between County Board candidates John Vihstadt and Matt de Ferranti. Over 75 local residents and the local press attended the debate. Many of the residents participated in the spirited question and answer period at the end of the debate. Questions ranged from bicycle and pedestrian safety to tax policy for local small businesses. Photos and candidate quotes were featured in the Arlington Sun Gazette.

On election day, many Yorktown residents worked at polling stations, while others worked outside of the polls and greeted voters. The 2018 election saw the highest percentage of voter participation for a nonpresidential election. In all, 107,406 voters, or 71 percent of those registered, cast ballots in this election.

On Dec. 1, the Lee Highway Alliance (LHA) held its “Winter Festival of Lights” event at various locations along Lee Highway. At the Lee Arts Center, parents and kids participated in art and crafts activities. At the corner of Lee Highway and Harrison Street, local residents were entertained by Steve Kish’s
magic show and a dog show. At the Langston-Brown community center, John Vihstadt unveiled the John M. Langston portrait and kids participated in face painting and learned how to operate a basic printing
press. At the Cherrydale Historic Volunteer Fire Station residents shopped at the Holiday Market and kids got to dress up like firefighters.

The Yorktown Civic Association Executive Committee continues to move toward incorporating the civic association as a 501(C)4 nonprofit corporation. The draft bylaws are almost done and will be posted on the Yorktown Civic Association website soon. If you have any expertise in bylaws for non-profit organizations, please contact me.

At the next YCA meeting on January 9, Noah Simon, the Chair of the 26th and OD Task Force will provide the community with an update on the Task Force activities and discuss what to expect in the next few months.

Please pay your dues. Annual membership dues are $20 and lifetime membership dues are $100. As of December 24, only 26 residents have paid their annual dues and 47 residents have paid their lifetime dues. The Yorktown Civic Association newsletter reaches ore than 1,000 local households. If you own a local business, please consider purchasing an ad in the YCA newsletter. Contact Dustin Anderson for more info.

Finally, in winter, consider helping your elderly and disabled neighbors. If you need help shoveling, please post your request in Nextdoor.

Mike Cantwell
President, Yorktown Civic Association

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
djgelman19@gmail.com

Our headliner at our last Yorktown Civic Association meeting was Delegate Rip Sullivan. Rip represents the Yorktown community in the Virginia State House of Delegates. He gave a detailed  narrative of what happened in Richmond during the latest session. Bipartisan support for the funding bill and Medicaid expansion has probably the biggest successes. 70 gun safety bills were introduced and all were defeated without debate. For the 2019 session, Delegate Sullivan would like to see bills passed to end partisan Gerrymandering, reduce gun violence, and address the opioid crisis.

The Lee Highway planning initiative begins early next year. Please engage in the community visioning process and other events. Visit the LHA website www.leehighwayalliance.com for more information.

Campbell Maloney and the Traffic Safety Committee continued their good deeds. After dozens of emails and phone calls to the Arlington County Transportation Engineering & Operations Department, the pedestrian safety bollard at the corner of 26st and Harrison Street were replaced. Members of the Yorktown community also alerted Arlington County Staff and  Dominion Power about the street light outage on N. George Mason Dr. The street lights were repaired after a few weeks.

The Yorktown Civic Association Executive Committee continues to move toward incorporating the civic association as a 501(C)4 nonprofit corporation. The draft By-laws are almost done and will be posted on the Yorktown Civic Association website soon.

For the October YCA meeting, we will be holding an Arlington County Board candidates debate featuring John Vihstadt and the Matt de  Ferranti. Please be prepared to ask lots of questions during the question and answer period. Many thanks to Dave Gelman for making all of the arrangements for the debate.

Finally, please pay your dues. Annual membership dues are $20 and lifetime membership dues are $100. Also, the Yorktown Civic Association newsletter reaches more than 1,000 local households. If you own a local business, consider purchasing an ad in the YCA newsletter. Contact Dustin Anderson for more information.

I look forward to seeing everyone at Marymount Farmers Market Oktoberfest on Saturday, October 13th. Don’t forget to post your Halloween pictures on Nextdoor and Facebook.

Have a great fall. No more rain!!!

Mike Cantwell
President, Yorktown Civic Association

Arlington County’s Tree Canopy program provides the free trees. These are 7–8 foot trees with $300-400 retail value. The trees will be planted in the fall. The Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards, a volunteer organization, are assisting applicants. An application form and instructions are at www.ecoactionarlington.org/trees/

Let us plant a tree on your property. You’ll be making a wise investment and improving the neighborhood for generations to come. Act now!

Application Deadline is June 11, 2018.