(CORRECTION: This release was corrected on 06/22/2017 to provide a link to the June 20, 2017 Recessed County Board Meeting Agenda., where you will find the staff report for the Williamsburg Neighborhood Conservation Plan.)
- County Board accepts first update since 2000
- Residents seek to maintain community’s beauty, appeal and cohesion
The Arlington County Board today accepted the updated Williamsburg Neighborhood Conservation Plan, paving the way for the Williamsburg Civic Association to pursue funding to create a safer, more peaceful and walkable neighborhood.
Residents made recommendations for improving traffic and pedestrian safety, maintaining the neighborhood’s character, protecting the tree canopy and improving neighborhood parks in this first update to the neighborhood’s Conservation Plan since the Williamsburg Civic Association completed an initial plan in 2000.
“This plan – and all the County’s Neighborhood Conservation plans – are inspiring examples of neighbors coming together to identify projects that will make their neighborhoods safer, stronger and more beautiful,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “This updated Williamsburg plan will help ensure this neighborhood remains a great place to live.”
The Board voted 5-0 to accept the plan. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #41 on the Agenda for the June 20 Arlington County Board ReCessed Meeting.
Key recommendations from the neighborhood include:
- Traffic and Pedestrian Safety: Continuing work on improvements in neighborhood traffic and pedestrian safety, directed at improving walkability and reducing local traffic risks, particularly near and around schools
- Land Use and Zoning: Maintaining the housing character of the neighborhood and managing building that is harmonious with its residential setting
- Urban Forestry and Parks: Strengthening efforts to protect tree canopy and to make improvements to Sharp Park and Minor Hill Park
- Commercial Areas: Working with commercial landlords to attract uses desired by residents
- Aging in Place: Establishing assistance resources to help aging residents continue to live in their homes
Resident-led planning process
The Williamsburg Civic Association was established in 1951. Members began their efforts to update their 2000 Neighborhood Conservation Plan in 2014. In September 2015, the civic association launched a neighborhood survey and had a 17 percent response rate. The plan was drafted, reviewed and unanimously approved by the civic association in February 2016.
The Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee reviewed the plan on May 11, 2017 and approved forwarding the plan to the Planning Commission. The plan will be posted to the County’s website in the coming months.
The Williamsburg neighborhood
The Williamsburg Neighborhood, in the northwest corner of Arlington, is largely residential and lies close to the District of Columbia. The neighborhood is bounded by North Trinidad Street, North Kensington Street, 27th Street South and the Fairfax County line.
Most of its 1,100 households live in single-family homes. There are two small strip shopping centers containing a variety of retail businesses. Williamsburg is served well by arterial roads, public transportation and other community services.
The largest group of residents, according to the 2010 Census, are children and teenagers ages 5 to 17, who make up 21 percent of the neighborhood’s population. Seventy-five percent of Williamsburg households are family households. Eighty-six percent of the occupied homes are owner-occupied.
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 Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee for consideration. The committee 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 committee 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.
If you are interested in serving on this or other commissions, or are looking for other ways to get more involved in the civic life of Arlington, visit the County website.