- Residents ask for walkable urban village
- Plan calls for mixed use development, aging in place, park improvements
- Maintaining eclectic architecture a priority
The Arlington County Board today accepted the updated Waverly Hills Neighborhood Conservation Plan. The Board’s action allows the Waverly Hills Civic Association to pursue funding to create a walkable urban village with mixed use development on Lee Highway, aging in place protocols for the neighborhood, and improvements to Woodstock Park.
“Through the Neighborhood Conservation process, Waverly Hills neighbors have been able to come together and agree on an updated vision and goals,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “They want Waverly Hills to be a safe and enjoyable place to walk, to have more mixed use development, and they want residents to be able to stay in their homes as they age. These are goals we can all embrace for Waverly Hills.”
The Board voted unanimously to accept the plan.
Key recommendations from the neighborhood include:
- Lee Highway: Facilitate appropriate mixed use development (such as affordable senior and service provider housing) on vacant land and along the commercial corridors of Lee Highway and Glebe Road (cafes, restaurants, markets, shops, services such as health care offices).
- Aging in place: Assist residents to remain in the neighborhood and age in place.
- Land use and zoning: Protect the neighborhood’s character and eclectic, existing architecture; maintain and enlarge the tree canopy.
- Transportation, traffic and pedestrian concerns: Improve streets to enhance walkability and pedestrian safety, and focus sidewalk installation on safe walking routes to:
- three surrounding schools – Glebe Elementary, Washington-Lee High School, and H-B Woodlawn
- Woodstock Park
- Ballston Metro
- Glebe Rd and Lee Highway shops and bus routes
- Parks, urban agriculture and urban forestry: Improve Woodstock Park and enhance a sense of community gathering and recreation; promote urban agriculture by developing an inventory of potential garden sites and developing a ‘Share My Backyard’ gardening program.
- Stormwater management: Support stormwater retrofit projects and other stormwater management measures identified in the Stormwater Master Plan.
“This plan gives us an inclusive outline for preserving our livable community while addressing the concerns of our residents,” said Michael Polovina, President of the Waverly Hills Civic Association (WHCA). “We are very proud to have accomplished this revisioning after a process that took several years to complete. The next 15 years look very bright for Waverly Hills.”
Resident-led planning process
This is the first update of the Neighborhood Conservation Plan for Waverly Hills. The original plan was accepted in 1999. The Waverly Hills Civic Association began this update planning effort in 2012 and dedicated more than 1,000 hours to the project.
The Civic Association sent a survey to every household and to 45 businesses to gather feedback on the updates, with a response rate of nearly 19%. This NC plan was drafted, reviewed and unanimously approved by the Civic Association in October 2013 with more than 100 votes. The Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) reviewed the plan on Oct. 9, 2014 and approved forwarding the plan to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission voted unanimously on Nov. 5 to recommend that the County Board accept the plan. The plan will be posted to the County’s website in the coming months.
About Waverly Hills
The Waverly Hills neighborhood – known by that name since 1952 – is a community of more than 3,800 people bounded by I-66, Glebe Road, Old Dominion Drive, and Utah Street. The mostly residential area has easy access to the Ballston Metro, as well as ART and Metro bus lines and several schools, including Glebe Elementary, Washington and Lee High School, and HB Woodlawn.
About the Neighborhood Conservation Program
Arlington created the Neighborhood Conservation Program in 1964 to improve residential areas by funding neighborhood projects suggested by residents. Project proposals are submitted to the NCAC for consideration. The NCAC meets monthly and is made up of representatives from 48 of Arlington’s 57 civic associations. Twice each year the group makes recommendations to the County Board for projects to fund.
The NCAC offers funding guidance based on rankings assigned through a point system. Projects receiving the highest point totals are passed on to the County Board. Visit the County’s Neighborhood Conservation Program website for details on how points are awarded.
Arlington’s Neighborhood Conservation program, with its grass roots engagement, has become a model for other communities across the country.
To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #25 on the Agenda for the November 15, 2014 Arlington County Board Regular Meeting.