HCA Meeting 2/2/2017
Welcome and Introductions: Art Ovalle, President Jeff Woodward, Vice President Harry Shepler, Treasurer Everett Price, Secretary
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
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
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
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
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)