Membership Meeting Update Sept. 10, 2018

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


President’s Announcements (10 minutes)

We have some late-breaking announcements to get out of the way before we begin the meeting. I’m going to run through these issues very briefly now, and if we want to discuss them further we will do so at the end of the meeting, treating them as “new business.”
1) The County is organizing a series of workshops to build leadership skills for citizens, on October 4, 11, 18 and 25, called “Energize Arlington.” I have a flyer to share. The web site is I would encourage any member of our civic association to attend.
2) The Use Permit for the Feya Preschool located at 1611 South Walter Reed Drive will be considered at the October 20 County Board meeting. (U-3502-17-1). Please speak up if you have any comments about this.
3) The one-year Use Permit review for the Azteca Grill (3005 Columbia Pike) will also be heard at the October 20 County Board meeting (U-3496-17-2). Please let us know if you have comments.
4) The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) consists of community volunteers who are trained to save lives and reduce injuries when activated in the event of a major disaster or until professional responders arrive. Training began Sept. 4 but the county will be holding more training sessions. If you’re interested, please send an e-mail to:
5) The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board will be hosting a series of Open Houses to discuss its long-range transportation plan, Visualize 2045. The next open house is Monday, September 17 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the VDOT Northern Virginia District Office, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax VA 22030. Or visit or e-mail with questions.
6) Crosswalk on Columbia Pike at Rolfe Street. In August members of Columbia Heights, Penrose and Arlington View civic associations met with County Board Member Christian Dorsey to discuss the possibility of adding a crosswalk across Columbia Pike at S. Rolfe Street, and restoring the bus stop at that location. The County has decided not to do either. We need to have a larger discussion of this issue.
7) The US Department of the Army is planning the Arlington Cemetery Expansion and realignment of Columbia Pike. It held an open meeting and came to a meeting of the Pike Presidents Group to discuss these plans. The largest issue in contention is the proposed 10-foot-wide pike/pedestrian trail along the north side of the realigned Pike. Members of the PPG questioned whether it would be adequate to meet future needs. Comments from the Community are due September 22. You may also submit comments on the proposal either personally or on behalf of your own Civic Associations via email to The web site for the project is here:

Extensive comments have already been filed by the “Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County” group. with graphics at:
8) Election Debate – October 15. Takis Karantonis has organized a debate night for Columbia Heights Civic Association and the entire Pike Corridor, to be held Monday, October 15, at the Walter Reed Community Center. The candidates for County Board as well as candidates for the school board will debate that night. Please tell your neighbors!
9) We sent out notification that Arlington County School Board has launched its process to redistrict elementary schools across Arlington. We are well aware of concerns of neighbors about the ability of our children to attend the new Alice Fleet Elementary School in the fall of 2019, as it replaces Patrick Henry. The final decision on redistricting is expected to be made this coming December. Columbia Heights has reached out to Reid Goldstein (recently named Chair of the School Board) to come to one of our meetings to discuss this. He informed us that APS Board Member Tannia Talento is now our representative. We reached out to her with an invitation but haven’t heard back. We will continue to pursue this.
10) We are also planning our annual meeting, which will probably take place in late October.

We have so much to get to in our busy agenda this evening, with the main issue being the Career Center Working Group Final Report. But we have two guests this evening and I’d like them to have the chance to speak first. Our first guest has to leave early to attend another meeting, so I’d l to allow him to go first and I’d like to allocate just 15 minutes each to these discussions, and I’m going to keep careful track of the time.

Community Development Citizens Advisory Committee (CDCAC), 15 minutes

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, 15 minutes

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 to this e-mail. 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.

Career Center Working Group Final Report, 30 minutes

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

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

New Business: