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HCA Meeting 2/2/2017

February 3, 2017

  1. Welcome and Introductions: 
    Art Ovalle, President Jeff Woodward, Vice President Harry Shepler, Treasurer Everett Price, Secretary

  2. Recognition and Guest Speaker:

    • The Parker at Huntington Metro Ð 2550 Huntington Avenue, Alexandria, VA. 22303
      Art expressed appreciation for allowing use of the party room for the meeting.

    • Capital Investment Advisors Ð 2560 Huntington Avenue, Alexandria, VA. 22303 Art expressed appreciation for providing parking accommodations next door for meeting attendees.

    • Fairfax County Police Crime Prevention Officer Robert ÒBubbaÓ Urps made the following remarks:

      • Since December 1st, no major incidents reported in area

      • Armed robberies have taken place recently on Rt. 1 further south, below our police service area (PSA)

      • HuntingtonÕs neighborhood watch coordinator stepped down because heÕs moving but the community should not let the initiative die

      • Huntington is located in police service area (PSA) 200, which runs along the creek, to Rt 1, down to Lockheed Blvd, and up Telegraph Rd; this is one of the busiest PSAs in terms of calls for service

      • There will be a neighborhood watch training session on Tuesday, February 28th at 7pm at the Mt Vernon District StationÑall are encouraged to attend

      • The Police Department encourages a passive neighborhood watch approach in which community members serve in the positions of coordinator and backup coordinator; community members can text or email complaints to the coordinators; the coordinators refer major problems to the police

      • The Police Department currently meets minimal staffing requirements, which is one officer per PSA

      • Community members can consider volunteering for the Auxiliary Police Force or Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS); Auxiliary officers go through the academyÑthere are four auxiliary police officers in the Mt Vernon district; auxiliaries do not carry side arms but have shotgun; auxiliaries must pass a background check; they handle minor complaints to free up officers to handle major ones; auxiliaries get free car tax; there is no age limit to serve

      • See sheet posted to website for ways to receive information about police activity; signing up for Next Door is strongly encouraged

      • Community members can also consider joining the Citizens Advisory Committee that liaises with police; there will be a Committee meeting on February 14th at the Mt Vernon District Station where the Police Department will deliver the State of the Highway Address, reviewing major issues in the area

      • Biggest complaint in past six months was parking enforcement; the old parking enforcement officer retired and complaints got to the point that the Police Department supervisor authorized overtime and complaints stopped; efforts are still underway to hire a replacement parking enforcement officer

      • Officer Urps is the only crime enforcement officer in Mt Vernon District

      • Concerning speeding on Huntington Ave: VDOT handles speed control technology; if community members want such measures installed they should contact Allison Miser (spelling?), VDOT liaison, in Supervisor Dan StorckÕs office

      • Vehicle larceny, called Òcar-hoppingÓ (moving from car to car testing for unlocked doors), is the biggest crime in the area; community members should always lock car doors, take keys and valuables into the house

  3. HCA Committee Reports:

    • Mount Vernon Council of Community Associations (MVCCA)

    • General Council meeting Ð Art Ovalle

      • Discussion of North Hill, the wooded section past Beacon Hill toward Hybla on the left, near Lockheed Ave., across from DennyÕs

      • North Hill development plan calls for combination of town houses and low-cost housing

      • Discussion of transportation dimensions of project: consistent with the Embark Project that seeks to improve transportation along Rt 1, there is a plan under discussion for a possible bus pull-in/pull-out lane near North Hill; the bus lane faces uncertain prospects

      • Discussed and voted on various issues, including whether to bury utilities

      • Need new chair for public safety committee, although committee meets same night as HCAÑtalk to Art or David Spears if interested

      • AirBnB: no legislation this year because there is no agreement on what to do about the issue

      • Airplane noise: several groups were present that are working to minimize aircraft over our neighborhood

      • Planning and Zoning - Ray Novitske

      • No meeting this month; last monthÕs meeting took place since last HCA community meeting

      • Cell phone tower approved for across from Montebello; existing pole will be extended up to 50 ft

    • Transportation - Jeff Woodward

      • Regarding North Hill discussion (see above): VDOT doesnÕt like bus pull-in/pull-outs because it makes it difficult for buses to reenter traffic; transportation committee voted to reconsider pull-in/pull-out lane near North Hill, which would be located after light

      • New, stricter definition for commercial vehicle is being considered that would facilitate parking enforcement

      • A chairman is needed for the Transportation CommitteeÑplease consider volunteering

    • Environment and Recreation - Alan Ruof

      • Discussion about new housing at Ft Belvoir that has been under construction for years

      • Ft Belvoir housing is not just for army or people who work on Ft Belvoir; can house people who work at different locations and in all branches of service; intent is to try to pull them out of the housing market to free up housing for others

      • Historic boundary/berm from George WashingtonÕs Mt Vernon estate discovered during construction

      • Huntington Levee Update Ð Alan Ruof

      • Fairfax County will provide an update on the levee at a public meeting onÊThursday, March 9, 2017, atÊ6:30 p.m.,Êat theÊMartha Washington Library, located at 6614 Fort Hunt Road in Alexandria.ÊÊAs the project begins construction, the project manager will provide an overview, discuss the projectÕs status, and share upcoming construction steps.

      • A public groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled forÊThursday, March 23, 2017, atÊ10 a.m.ÊThe ceremony will be held at Huntington Park, at the end of Liberty Drive.

      • As of my January 26 call with Aaron Koch, the construction management plan had not yet received final approvalÑthe deadline was February 5, so I believe approval has now been granted.

      • Fencing has been placed around the site.

      • Fairfax County had already approved delivering trailers, which have been elevated out of the flood plain, and utilities were being connected.Ê Archer Western, County and Arcadis staff will use the trailers.

      • Formal progress meetings have begun and will be held every two weeks onsite.

      • Urban Forestry identified trees to be saved or removed.

      • The County will regularly update the Huntington Levee website with construction photos to show progress.

      • The Farrington Park permit is taking a little longer than expected but there are no real issues.Ê The park will likely be open by the beginning of April at the latest.

      • Community members at the HCA meeting discussed the destruction of Huntington Park playground, basketball courts, and baseball diamond; our area is underserved by public recreational facilities

      • The levee area will be accessible with trails, but there will be no baseball diamond, basketball court, or playground

      • Community could push for linking up bike trail at eastern end of levee with other trails to make recreation more pleasant and avoid having to use Huntington Ave.

      • Some community members have registered complaints about levee-related big black containers in cul-de-sac on Metro View; cones or other reflective objects need to ensure people do not hit them

    • Health and Human Services - Vacant

    • Education - Caitlin Wilson

      • 2017 Budget - No budget until County passes budget in week or two, then School budget will become clear and School Board will go through theirs

      • Not much of an increase in property tax foreseen so budget is likely to look similar to last yearÕs

      • Step increases for teachers considered; would cost about $44 million; committee decided to make the recommendation to ensure competitiveness; starting pay in this county is lower than in surrounding counties, although there is more money in Fairfax County teachersÕ pensions

      • Development Impact on Schools

      • iscussion of impact of Embark development plan on schools; how will new condos and housing units increase strain on school system?

      • Expansion planned for West Potomac; discussion of new schools and/or redistribution of students

      • Broader discussion of pyramid distribution across county (pyramids are groupings of elementary, middle, and high schools)

    • Budget and Finance Ð Alan Ruof

      • Christoph Schmid volunteered to be representative; no official meeting held

    • Neighborhood Watch - Vacant. Apollos Hill is moving out of area

  4. New Business/Action Items

    • Huntington Community Center Fire

    • June reopening envisioned

    • March Huntington Community Center Meeting - Date and Location 
      Date/Time/Location for March meeting to be determined

    • Covanta Recycling Center fire in the Mount Vernon District kept Supervisor Storck very busy last week; Storck wants to come to address HCA, probably at April meeting

    • Former WMATA Police Sub-Station

      • Stout and Teague owns property now, very responsive to concerns about state of disrepair

      • Original demolition schedule delayed, but now demolition scheduled for the week of

      • Farmers market to expand into the area freed up by sub-station demolition

      • No plan as of right now to develop the property

    • Light Pole Outages - Top of Hill Near Huntington Metro

      • Underground line was cut in 2008 to street lights in the vicinity, but there is no intention to repair the line

      • Concern about absence of sub-station and lack of lighting that could create unsafe conditions

      • Questions put to community members: How can we improve lighting/visibility in the area around the metro station? Do we want to clear trees? Connect the sidewalk, which currently ends abruptly?

      • Street Light Outages on Huntington Avenue, Telegraph Road, and Eisenhower - Virginia Department of Transportation

      • Lights with yellow reflective letters/numbers are state/VDOT lights

      • VDOT recently fixed all lights along Telegraph Rd

    • 30th Annual Mount Vernon Town Meeting - February 4th

      • Congressmen Beyer and Connolly were there; both spoke about Trump immigration executive order and very little about local community

      • Quality Inn that burned down a year ago; StorkÕs office trying to get it torn down, hitting owners with fines, tear down likely to take place soon, near Ft Belvoir

      • Riverside apartments on corner of Huntington and Rt 1: discussion of build huge parking garage and another tower, lots of landscaping to be done; this plan has been under consideration for 7-8 years and the current status is unclear; previously had wanted to change comprehensive plan but couldnÕt do it, old plans available on the HCA website (http://www.huntingtononline.org/plans.htm#riverside)

      • County CFO did not have positive outlook on fiscal picture

      • Recycling center fire could have been prevented, according to Supervisor Storck

  5. Old Business/Updates

    • Farrington Avenue Dead Tree Issue Ð Farrington Place Condominiums

      • Contacted condo association, confirmed the tree is on their property

      • Condo Board meeting on Monday; board working on issue but not going to be fast fix

    • Former Sunoco Gas Station - 5928 Richmond Highway, Alexandria VA. 22303

      • Closed bid ending April 5th

      • Supervisor Storck will turn focus to Sunoco after Quality Inn issue is resolved

      • Discussed slapping fines on owners of property

      • Not much development potential (property not authorized to have direct access to Rt 1)

    • Huntington Club Condominiums Ð 2601 Indian Drive, Alexandria VA. 22303

      • Vote on sale of property to developer was supposed to happen in December but something delayed it

      • Annual meeting on February 26th and vote likely in April, 30 day voting period

      • May update expected

    • Wesley Housing Development Corporation Ð 2317 Huntington Avenue, Alexandria VA. 22303

      • A&R development next to 7-11; waiting on County for tax credits (should hear back in March/April)

      • Need to clear another state hurdle, update likely in May/June

    • Articles of Incorporation - David Sears
      We are incorporated, will turn papers into bank

    • Bylaws Update - David Sears 
      Draft posted to HCA website last month, feel free to provide input: (http://www.huntingtononline.org/Bylaws-update.pdf) 
      HCA Members will vote on the revised Bylaws at April HCA Meeting

  6. Upcoming Events, Topics, Guest Speakers:

    • Ides of Bark Ð Sunday, March 26th at Grist Mill Park
      Former Supervisor Hyland started this years ago, huge turnout, bring your dogs!
      http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/idesofbark/idesofbark2017flyer.pdf

    • Huntington Farmers Market Ð May 2017
      Market looking to expand in the coming year
      Located off of North Kings Highway, in front of the former WMATA Police Sub-Station

    • Other Community Issues: Community association dues due ($10 payable in cash or check)

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

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