- Residents make more than 100 recommendations
- Traffic control, public safety top concerns
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today accepted the first revision of the Arlington Ridge Neighborhood Conservation plan in 40 years. The plan identifies the improvements residents say their neighborhood most needs to meet the challenges posed by increases in population and traffic.
“For half a century, our Neighborhood Conservation program has helped Arlingtonians keep their neighborhoods strong, safe and beautiful,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “The Arlington Ridge update accepted today by the Board reflects the County's belief that when it comes to planning great neighborhoods, no one knows better than the people who live in those neighborhoods what they need.”
The Board voted unanimously to accept the plan. The Neighborhood Conservation Plan, developed through a collaborative process between residents and County staff, outlines the residents' vision for their neighborhood, and lists potential projects.
The Board's acceptance of the plan does not mean that the County approves each of the plan's recommendations. Staff comments on the recommendations are attached to the plan.
Now that their plan is accepted, the Arlington Ridge community, in the coming years, will prioritize recommended projects and submit them to the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), a committee that oversees the Neighborhood Conservation program, for review and funding. Twice a year, the committee recommends qualified projects to the County Board for approval of funding.
The Arlington Ridge Neighborhood Conservation Plan Update includes more than 100 recommendations in the following areas:
- public safety and community services
- land use
- development and housing
- traffic and transportation
- street conditions
- urban forestry
- parks and recreation
Key recommendations from the neighborhood include:
- Traffic and transportation: Make roads safer by slowing speed limits, improving the design of dangerous intersections and adding and improving crosswalks; reduce commuter parking by changing free parking to metered spots;
- Infrastructure (sidewalks, lighting and trees): Repair sidewalks and curbs, upgrade street lights and plant and maintain healthy urban trees using native species; and
- Public Safety and Community Services: Improve public safety and emergency preparedness by appointing a Safety Coordinator to work with the County and reduce power outages by maintaining trees near power lines.
“Our community is looking forward to having more conversations with County staff on our neighborhood's recommendations,” says Katie Buck, Arlington Ridge Civic Association (ARCA) president. “We have been working collaboratively with the County and we hope to continue to do so.”
Together with the community, County staff will recommend priority improvement projects that will move the Arlington Ridge neighborhood toward the residents' goals.
Community's participation integral to process
The process to update the plan started in 2011 when ARCA, the Arlington Ridge Neighborhood Association, launched a Neighborhood Opinion Survey to gauge residents' perceived community values and problems as well as their vision for the neighborhood. Using input from more than 400 survey participants, Neighborhood Conservation staff members worked with community volunteers to write updates to the plan, which were approved by ARCA in March 2013. The plan was approved by the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee in September 2013 and was forwarded to the Planning Commission and County Board for review and acceptance in October 2013.
Arlington Ridge, a neighborhood rich in tradition and history
The Arlington Ridge Civic Association represents an area of .815 square miles and serves the community bounded by Four Mile Run, S. Grant Street, Army Navy Drive, S. Joyce St. and S. Lang Street.
The neighborhood, a bedroom community of mostly single-family homes built between1920-1950, runs along a narrow rise of land extending from Rosslyn to Four Mile Run. Its hilly, tree-lined streets lie within walking distance of Reagan National Airport, and close to two Metro stations and shopping and restaurants in Crystal City and Pentagon City. Some homes are authentic “mail order” homes from Sears, Roebuck & Company.
Arlington Ridge's earlier history reaches back to the Revolutionary War, when soldiers heading to Yorktown passed through the area, and to the Civil War, when the area was guarded by soldiers at Fort Scott. The neighborhood is home to other pieces of history, including the Hume School, the oldest remaining school building in the County, and a section of structural steel from Ground Zero in Manhattan, a tribute to the Arlington Fire Dept.'s first responders to the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. The picturesque neighborhood debuted on the silver screen when it was featured in the opening scenes of the 1987 thriller, No Way Out.
Arlington County created the Neighborhood Conservation Program in 1964 to encourage and empower residents to come together to discuss and share ideas on what improvements are needed for their neighborhoods. Neighborhood Conservation Plans are created under the Neighborhood Conservation program.
Funding for Neighborhood Conservation projects comes from voter-approved General Obligation Bond Referenda. Since 1996, Arlington County has spent $62.7 million on neighborhood conservation projects that have helped beautify and strengthen neighborhoods across the County, making them some of the most desirable in the nation. Through Neighborhood Conservation, every neighborhood in Arlington has received improvements that include street, gutter and sidewalk repairs and additions, beautification projects, better street lighting and more.
Learn more about Arlington County's Neighborhood Conservation Program. to view the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #23 on the Agenda for the October 2013 Regular County Board Meeting.