Approved - January 2023 Minutes
HCA Meeting January 5, 2023 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85030598484
Zoom meeting attendees: 20
Tamara Srader, President
Mark Rogers, Vice President
Michelle Arsenault, Secretary
Call to Order @19:34
Approval of Minutes. The minutes from the November 2022 meeting were accepted as written. The December meeting was canceled because the Chair had a medical emergency (a dog attack) and had to go to the emergency room. Meeting minutes can be found on the HCA website https://www.huntingtononline.org/single-post/draft-november-2022-meeting-minutes.
Treasurer’s Report. Michael Hamill was not present. The President had no updates except to note that the HCA hasn’t spent any funds since the last report. Membership dues are due in January, and Tamara will send a reminder to join and pay (dues are still $12 for the entire year no matter when you join)..
Committee and Other Reports
Mt. Vernon Council meetings. http://www.mvcca.org/record-archive. Also linked in email with meeting minutes.
Environment and Recreation Committee (E & R) (Rep. Alan Ruof). Alan will provide an update on the next call.
Planning & Zoning Committee (Rep. Ray Novitske). No update.
Public Safety Committee (Rep. Jason Zaragoza). The Public Safety Committee did not meet this month. The Chair of the Transportation Committee stepped down and there is no replacement yet, so that has been the focus. Jason provided an update from the Transportation Committee about development along Richmond Highway at three sites: City Side Towers, Moon Inn, and the Pool store). The plans include high rises, of which, one or two will include affordable housing. Jason shared renderings showing the proposed buildings. The development is in the early stages and may be 1 to 2 years away. For now, they may be filing rezoning applications. The only opposition is from the Montebello community, specifically about the building in front of City Side Towers. Members asked several questions about these developments, including the speed at which the development is happening, the consideration of building height, lack of retail, and whether the units would be owner occupied or rentals.
Tamara added that Rosa, formerly of Wesley housing, is the project manager for the development of the Moon Inn. This development is slated for affordable housing. She reached out to Tamara before the call and would like to provide an update.
Infill Development (Ray Novitske). No update.
Education Committee (Mark Rogers). The January meeting was canceled. The Committee will meet next month.
President’s Report. Update from Tamara Srader.
Last month Tamara shared the community survey results with the representatives from the Parker and Huntington Club Development. She also uploaded the presentations from both groups to the HCA website. The Huntington Club just passed a measure granting a year-long extension for owners due to permitting delays. There is no action for the HCA, while we wait to see what the Parker proposal includes.
Tamara indicated that the property directly behind Riverview Ter on the Biscayne side is back on the market for ~1.7M. It’s unclear why, but it’s possible the deal the owner was working on with Classic Cottages, the developer of an adjacent property, fell through. Several community members offered comments about the development of this property, mostly in favor of maintaining the site as a conservation area. The site is steeply sloped, forested, and is underlain by natural springs. Developing this site would have detrimental environmental impacts to the houses downslope, and to the neighborhood in general. Carol expressed an interest in minimizing environmental impacts on the area, and improving human health and social aspects. She suggested that the HCA connect with the local sustainability group in Fairfax County and will provide the contact information to do so. Nick expressed support for high density development and suggested that it would be helpful to have an environmental impact study done before using environmental degradation as a reason to not develop. Jerry noted that it’s important to make sure to consider need before moving ahead with any development.
The Arden (corner of Biscayne and Huntington Ave) is opening next week, January 13. Tamara will attend the opening ceremony on behalf of the HCA. The group discussed potential parking and traffic issues that could result. Residents will be limited to 1 parking spot so there may be added street parking. Tamara noted that residents might not be eligible for the 1A parking decal.
Tamara will invite the representative from the Aventon (The development at the top of Biscayne) to a future call to give us an update.
Member Time. If you would like to discuss a specific topic at the next meeting, please email Tamara Srader, HCA president prior to the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jaime put out a call for volunteers to help prune the fruit trees in the orchard on Blaine Dr. on weekends in January and maybe February.
Michael asked about plans for retail in the development on Richmond Highway near the urgent care center. Members discussed the drastic need for grocery stores in our area and Michael volunteered to write a letter to the Mt. Vernon Council (?) and will include some of the points raised during the call. A member reminded the group about a previous decision by the Council to not build a grocery store at the WMATA site, stating that there was no room for a loading dock. The group agreed that given locations like Trader Joes and Harris Teeter in Old Town Alexandria, that doesn’t seem valid, and will include examples like that in the letter.
The meeting was adjourned at 20:34