August 2023 Meeting Minutes - Approved
Draft - HCA Meeting Minutes August 3, 2023
Zoom meeting attendees: 21
Tamara Srader, President
Mark Rogers, Vice President - absent
Michelle Arsenault, Secretary
Michael Hamill, Treasurer
Call to Order @19:33 (7:33pm)
Announcement & overview of published agenda
Review of Minutes from June 2023 - minutes can be found on the HCA website https://www.huntingtononline.org/single-post/june-2023-minutes-draft. The minutes from the June 2023 meeting were voted on and approved with no corrections.
Treasurer’s Report. Michael Hamill. There have been no expenditures. We have $1051.91
Committee and Other Reports
MVCCA - Environment and Recreation - Alan Ruof. The last meeting of E&R was in July, and there is no August meeting. The topic of the night was the Living Shoreline rule. They discussed specific properties and how to make it easier for homeowners. The County is reworking some trails in Fairchild Quander Park. The E&R also talked about data centers being built in the area.
MVCCA - Planning and Zoning - Ray Novitske. Ray did not attend the Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Committee meeting in July - There was nothing on the agenda for Huntington. He noted that the Board may have deferred the conversation about Huntington to November. The next P & Z meeting is at end of August. Nick asked for a summary of recommendations from the P & Z. Tamara said Supervisor Storck talked about it at the last MVCCA meeting.
MVCCA - Infill Committee - Ray Novitske. The Committee is finished, and Supervisor Storck sent information from the Committee to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. It’s possible that the County may act on recommendations from the Board. Given that this is an election year, Storck acknowledged that controversial topics might not get taken up. Issues with infill are more prevalent in counties with older homes. A member asked about the committee – which was created when there were issues with stormwater runoff and damage, and to address construction of a second house on double lots, which requires cutting trees and paving over more land. The Infill Committee made recommendations and Storck is assessing 9 or 10 of them. Some he supported and some he didn’t. Many are about stormwater management, setbacks, and tree preservation. Storck didn’t support those that required state-law changes.
MVCCA - Transportation Committee - Jason Zaragoza. Most issues on agenda last month were about the GW parkway. The National Park Service agreed to modifications to the intersection at Belle Haven and GW Parkway to add a turn lane. The same contractor is working on Marsh Bridge but is delayed due to endangered bird nesting.
The Committee also talked about bike racks/stations and got push back from people about safety crossing the GW Parkway, so there won’t be any bike stations.
Huntington Ave road diet study is on hold, as there is a moratorium on all road diets across the county.
Jason relayed a story about Peyton, who is Supervisor Storck’s assistant, about riding his bike with his girlfriend, who almost got hit by car at near Huntington/Rt 1 intersection. When the Riverside Apartments expand, they will reconsider a light at the intersection.
“Parking Reimagined” proposal. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-development/zoning-ordinance/parking-reimagined. Jason attended the planning commission meeting to testify on behalf of the Mt. Vernon Council. The meeting was contentious, and he got to podium at 1:00 am! Jason testified that it is undemocratic to bypass community input and make decisions solely based on one person. Next opportunity to testify is September.
MVCCA - Education Committee - Mark Rogers. No meetings over the summer. No report.
HCA President’s Report - Tamara Srader.
Reminder - please consider your dues – it’s $12.00/year and they can be paid via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=XHNAXDAUKFHJY.
There has been interest in a community crime watch program, and the group discussed the Neighborhood Watch program.
Tamara asked if folks were interested in organizing a community Halloween activity and asked for ideas. Maybe a scavenger hunt?
Tamara volunteered to be Secretary for the MVCCA and will be responsible for note taking at two meetings a month. The MVCCA meets on the 4th Wednesday of the month.
MVCCA is looking for other volunteers for committees. More information can be found here on the MVCCA website in the latest issue of The Record. www.mvcca.org. Tamara noted that we have several members who are on various committees (like the Transportation Committee and Planning & Zoning), and they are seeking additional volunteers. Meetings are about an hour or so, once a month. If anyone is interested, let any of the other representatives know and they can help get people connected.
Tamara gave a shout out to Ray, who organized the picnic at the Orchard in July. About 10 or 12 people participated, and she suggested we schedule more gatherings.
Shoutout to Kendall and Daren for hosting National Night Out in their yard (lower Huntington) Tuesday night.
Update on the Arden: They are going to install artwork on the corner of Biscayne and Huntington this Saturday. Parking at/near the Arden is better, but she encouraged people to continue to call the non-emergency number for parking violations.
The HCA will invite Peyton to join a future call to talk about parking on Glendale Terrace.
Crime issues. The group had an in-depth conversation about the apparent increased police activity in the area in the last several months (?), and possible solutions.
There was a drug bust on Fairview Ter. and the suspects ran through the backyards on Riverview Ter, where they were eventually apprehended.
The Aventon (the apartment building at the top of Biscayne at the Metro station) is getting ready to open this fall, and some of the added crime could be attributed to the ongoing construction.
Several people mentioned wanting to get more involved, and talked about the Neighborhood Watch program, or neighborhood walk-arounds. Jamie added that the previous Neighborhood Watch coordinator kept track of tips or concerns in case it became an issue that needed to be reported to the police. The coordinator was a liaison between the HCA and police, and relayed information to the police coordinator.
One member has seen comments on the neighborhood social media pages that seemed like racial profiling and suggested that perhaps someone could monitor that and respond positively to actively quell the disinformation.
Erin added that there were several police cars at the corner of Huntington and Victory recently, and it was disconcerting. She volunteered to help in any way she could.
Lisa K shared various experiences and suggested it would be great if the police could monitor the area more and deter some of the potential crime.
Someone promoted the Beacon Hill helicopter Facebook page to keep people alerted.
Linda encouraged outreach and keeping diversity at the forefront, since some people are not comfortable with an increased police presence.
Daphne added in the chat that she doesn’t have the capacity to lead the initiative but would be willing to help if there's a safety committee.
Tamara encouraged people to stay engaged in the neighborhood.
Jason will reach out to Marvin (safety officer) and ask if he or others can join a future HCA call
Tamara will add more information to the HCA Facebook page.
HCA Member Time (if you would like to discuss a specific topic, please email Tamara Srader, HCA president prior to the meeting at email@example.com)
The meeting was adjourned at 20:32