Membership Meeting Monday, September 10th 2018

Please join us at our next Columbia Heights Civic Association Meeting:

Membership Meeting
Columbia Heights Civic Association
Monday, September 10, 2018
Walter Reed Community Center
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Career Center Working Group Final Report

As you are aware, the Career Center Working Group has been finalizing recommendations to Arlington County for the immediate and long-range plans for the Career Center campus. That report is being sent to the County on Friday, August 31. Until that happens the individual members of the CCWG have been precluded from sharing the report with anyone outside of the working group. The final report will be available on the County’s web page at

This meeting will be our first opportunity to review those recommendations. Sarah McKinley, who represented Columbia Heights Civic Association, will give a presentation. It should be noted that there were no formal “votes” taken by the working group. Rather, the report represents issues upon which this large community group reached the general consensus. It does not make recommendations about academic choices that the County School Board may make about the programs on this site.

Another process to address specific architectural designs for the site will probably begin this fall.

Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee (CDCAC)

Tim Denning, Chairman of the Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee (CDCAC) will join us to discuss his group, which reviews grant requests, evaluates programs and makes recommendations to the County Board for the use of federal Community Development Block Grant and Community Services Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

He wants to encourage members of our civic association on the CDCAC. A link to the website is here:

Disabled Veterans’ Personal Property Tax Relief

John O’Hara has contacted civic associations and the civ fed to consider a proposal that would provide personal property tax relief to disabled veterans. He prepared a white paper that discusses the ramifications. That report is attached here:   It is helpful for us to consider this proposal and decide whether our civic association would be in favor of it, which would inform our vote in any resolution at the Civic Federation.

Finally, please note that we have reached out to the School Board for Tannia Talento or some other representative of the school board to attend one of our meetings this fall to discuss the redistricting of elementary schools. The school board is well aware of our concern about the ability of children in our civic association to attend the new Alice Fleet Elementary School in the fall of 2019, as it replaces Patrick Henry Elementary School. The final decision on redistricting is expected to be made by this coming December.

Tentatively we are planning a debate among candidates, both for County Board and School Board, on October 24. We will forward plans when finalized.

We are also planning our annual meeting, which will probably take place in late October.

Sarah McKinley
Columbia Heights Civic Association

Charrette Meeting on Monday, August 13th 2018 – Meeting Postponed

Charrette Meeting Postponed!

Columbia Heights Civic Association Charrette
Creating a Connected Neighborhood for the Next Generation:   
“Walter Reed to Gunston”

Monday, August 13, 2018
Party Room on the Roof – 8th floor
Dorchester Towers
2001 Columbia Pike
6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Charrette Meeting Postponed!

Due to summer vacations, scheduling conflicts with the Career Center Working Group and other considerations, Columbia Heights Civic Association will postpone its next Charrette meeting and Membership Civic Association Meeting until September.  Please stay tuned for updated meeting information.

Membership Meeting Monday, July 9th 2018

Columbia Heights Civic Association

Membership Meeting
Monday, July 9, 2018
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Walter Reed Community Center

So far our civic association has had a pretty busy summer. This meeting will provide an update our activities and provide members with the opportunity to bring new issues to discuss.

Old Business:

· Career Center Working Group – continued the discussion on parking and traffic

· Proposed safety changes to Columbia Pike – CHCA and other civic associations met with County Commissioner Christian Dorsey to discuss the lack of a bus stop at S. Rolfe Street and newly proposed crosswalks, following the fatal automobile accident on the I-395 ramp last month

· Support for funding for the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC) – CHCA is meeting with County Board Chair Katie Cristol Monday morning

· Charrette Meeting of condo representatives – June 19

New Business:

· New Charrette Meeting for the East Side – Tentatively set for July 17th

· Strategies for a sidewalk on our narrow streets

Please join us!

Sarah McKinley
Columbia Heights Civic Association

Special Session for Condos – Columbia Heights Civic Association Charrette

Columbia Heights Civic Association
Creating a Connected Neighborhood for the Next Generation:   Walter Reed to Gunston

Special Session for Condos

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
The Commons of Arlington Board Room
Walter Reed and 13th Road South
1315 S. Walter Reed – (You will need to be let in the office which is in the basement)
7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Please join us on June 19 for a special meeting for representatives of condo associations within the Columbia Heights neighborhood to update our neighborhood conservation plan.  The original plan was created over a decade ago and needs to reflect our current thoughts about infrastructure needs for our neighborhood.

Why update this plan?  The conservation plan becomes the County’s blueprint for infrastructure planning, from sidewalks and street lights to upgrades to our park facilities to articulating whether we need new streets to connect areas of the neighborhood. 

Condo associations have a vested interest in taking part in this charrette process.  First, improving infrastructure improves property value in general.  And some projects are particularly useful to specific associations that lie next to county facilities, like neighborhood parks.  Finally, creating amenities in the communities benefits those who live here, making your condo more attractive to new buyers.

Please join us in this important discussion.  Please RSVP  if your association is able to send representatives to the meeting. Also feel free to forward this invitation to the correct representatives on your board. 

RSVP Here:

condo's charrette

  • Condo's in CHCA so far.


Report from Charrette Meeting #1 May 14, 2018 Walter Reed Community Center

The first Charrette meeting for reviewing and updating the Columbia Heights Civic Association (CHCA) Neighborhood Conservation Plan was held on Monday, May 14, 2018, at the Walter Reed Community Center on S. 16th Street and Walter Reed Drive.

For the Full Report Click Here.

Comment form for Meeting #1

  • We need your input and feedback!

Charrette Meeting on May 14, 2018

Columbia Heights Civic Association wishes to thank over 30 neighborhood residents who attended the first meeting of our Charrette on May 14, 2018. We were thrilled by the active participation of the group in the process and will keep you informed!

Charrettes are iterative processes. This meeting, and the information and suggestions that we received, will be included in an ongoing draft of our neighborhood plan, and will also be included in future Charrette meetings. Folks in the neighborhood can attend one meeting, or as many meetings as they like. In addition, we will post the draft document on our web site with the ability of people to post comments on the report.

Our next meeting will probably be held on the East side of our neighborhood, with special outreach to some of the high rises in that area. We will keep you updated on our future plans and progress!

Best wishes,

Columbia Heights Civic Association Board

Membership meeting March 12th, 2018

Columbia Heights Civic Association

Membership Meeting
Monday, March 12, 2018
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Walter Reed Community Center
Walter Reed & 16th Street South

Please join us for a neighborhood meeting to discuss current issues in our community:

1) Update on street issues. Richard Best and other county staff have proposed a walk-through of the neighborhood to identify traffic problems, which will be scheduled on Tuesday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. Those interested should meet at the Rite Aid on Columbia Pike and Walter Reed.

2) Redistricting for Patrick Henry/Alice Fleet Elementary Schools. Parents in the neighborhood continue to be concerned about the possibility that children in the Columbia Heights neighborhood will NOT be sent to the new Alice Fleet Elementary School. We will discuss strategies to lobby for our children.

3) The New Columbia Heights Neighborhood Plan. We continue to work toward an updated Neighborhood Conservation Plan. We will present a power point discussing our neighborhood, the elements of the plan and how it will be used to support infrastructure in Columbia Heights.

4) Update on S. Cleveland Street Park. Columbia Heights has met with County staff to promote a new park on S. Cleveland. We have exciting developments to report!

We look forward to seeing you at this meeting!

Sarah McKinley


Columbia Heights Civic Association

Proudly powered


Dear PPG members: For distribution to your neighborhoods if you choose.

Respectfully, Kristi

Arlington Heights is home to a 12-acre plot of land known as the Career Center site.  Arlington Public Schools (APS) and Arlington County (AC) have committed this site for redevelopment.  They have divided the land into two “blocks”:  the “North Block,” which is owned by APS, and the “South Block,” which is owed by private property owners.  The North Block is currently home to Patrick Henry Elementary School, Arlington Community High School, Career Center, and Arlington Tech High School, and serves approximately 2000 students.
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APS HAS DECIDED TO ADD 1300+ HIGH SCHOOL SEATS TO THE CAREER CENTER SITE.  APS and AC formed the Career Center Working Group (CCWG) to evaluate the site, and to recommend how the site may be developed in phases to accommodate these additional high school seats and associated facilities and community amenities.  This is NOT a debate about whether the site is getting high school seats and construction.  The debate is what kind of seats (i.e., neighborhood or choice seats), the construction timeline, and what types of amenities will be placed on the site.
This is where you come in!
What would like to see happen at the Career Center site?  What type of amenities (if any) would you like our neighborhood to have?
In my view, the Career Center site should be redeveloped into a NEIGHBORHOOD, WALKABLE HIGH SCHOOL that retains a maximum number of county-wide seats for Arlington Tech and Career Center training.  The site must have fields, structured (underground) parking, a swimming pool, planned traffic ingress/egress, and the Columbia Pike Library.  There is a possibility that the site could be extended through the South Block to Columbia Pike, and the Library relocated to face Columbia Pike.
Make no mistake:  this is the time to get involved.
The Career Center Working Group has over 40 members, each bringing their own interests, which may or may not necessarily align with our neighborhood’s interests.  Personally, I do not want see this—which is what APS WAS PLANNING to do at the site.
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As shown here, APS’s architects proposed building a third level onto the Career Center building and extending the building’s footprint in almost all directions.  For example, the Career Center building expansion would have added a 3-story building adjacent to Highland Street.  As you can see, the plan simply crams another 1300+ students to the site, takes away what little green space remains, provides no additional parking, no plan for the additional traffic and buses, and no amenities for our neighborhood.  
How can I get involved?
Attend meetings of the Career Center Working Group, which are conveniently held at the Career Center and open to the public.  See here for meeting times and dates:  Write to APS School Board ( and Arlington County Board (  Contact me ( and give me your views.
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA President

Special Membership Meeting Feb. 12th

Columbia Heights Neighborhood
Membership Meeting
Monday, February 12, 2018 – 7:00 to 9:00 PM
Walter Reed Community Center
Walter Reed Drive & 16th Street South

We regret that we were forced to cancel our January meeting due to inclement weather. It is anticipated that the last two weeks of January may also be pretty messy, so we are rescheduling our next meeting for February 12.

The Columbia Heights Civic Association meeting will focus on plans for a new Neighborhood Plan. Our guest speaker will be Tim McIntosh from the Arlington County Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), who will give us guidance on creating a new neighborhood plan using a charette process. NCAC is the program that funds infrastructure projects based on priorities that neighborhoods have identified in their plans. To date, we have received well over a million dollars’ worth of projects. These have included: the fencing and gateways into the Walter Reed Community Center; new street lights in Arlington Village; a new sidewalk and street light on S. 11th Street; and the historic display case in the Walter Reed Center. This Spring the NCAC will begin construction on the east side of Columbia Heights, with improved sidewalks and safe school bus stop at 12th and S. Courthouse.

We want everyone’s input into the new plan, which is expected to include a new park on S. Cleveland Street. The plan will also address other issues of concern, including street calming (to address cut-through traffic), the construction of a new emergency road along the west side of the Army-Navy Country Club, and so much more.

We look forward to seeing you next month!