Approved - May 2023 Minutes
Draft - HCA Meeting Minutes May 4, 2023
Zoom meeting attendees: 18
Tamara Srader, President
Mark Rogers, Vice President
Michelle Arsenault, Secretary
Michael Hamill, Treasurer
Call to Order @19:32 (7:32pm)
Announcement & overview of published agenda
Review of Minutes from April 2023 - minutes can be found on the HCA website https://www.huntingtononline.org/single-post/draft-february-2023-minutes. The minutes from the April 2023 meeting were voted on and approved with no corrections.
Dave, a project manager for the Arden & representative from Wesley Housing, joined to update the HCA about parking issues.
They are working with VDOT and Peyton in Supervisor Storck’s office. VDOT will prohibit parking on the end of Biscayne, which is also disrupting the light onto Huntington. They anticipate it should be done by this week or next. Visitors to the Arden must park in the garage, which has plenty of parking despite the fact that the Arden is full. The country will restore permit parking at the corner of Glendale and Biscayne.
Dave also mentioned that they are working with an architect and developer to adjust the height of the parking garage door – from 10 ft to 14 ft. This should help with moving trucks and delivery trucks that create visibility obstacles on the street.
Mark asked some follow up questions about parking on Huntington, and trash.
In June the Arden will install public art at the corner on Biscayne. The Arden is also considering installing pet waste bag stations. Daphne noted that it’s important to make sure someone takes ownership of the bags, so they get emptied.
Tamara asked if the Arden had on-site resident services. Dave noted that they have one person on-site, and invited folks to email him with any questions or concerns, and he will pass it along to the resident services coordinator.
Daphne asked about late-night activity on Huntington closer to Richmond Highway and is not sure it’s related to the opening of the Arden but wanted to mention it. A Fairfax County Crime prevention officer provided training recently and noted that crime is highest next to the 7-11. The franchise owner of the 7-11 was not cooperative and refused offers to improve their property.
Treasurer’s Report. Michael noted that we have a balance of $1051.
Committee and Other Report
MVCCA - Environment and Recreation - Alan Ruof. The E & R discussed several topics at its last meeting. Alan was unable to join tonight but sent a note to Tamara with an update. 1. The Mt. Vernon District Parks Public Input Committee Meetings will meet for about 6 months to provide input. 2. The E & R approved a resolution to oppose the “Parking Reimagined” proposal. Main reason for opposition – lowered requirements for parking (housing, retail, commercial), which could have multiple negative effects, including an increase in street parking. They are pushing for them to revise the numbers. There is no public process for input regarding the reductions, and instead, the decision is made by one person – the Director of Land Development Services. The County staff analysis does not support the proposal. The decision to lower parking levels benefits developers – lowers costs, allows more housing, but also it is less appealing to renters and buyers. 3. The Committee also wrote a letter of support for an applicant for an urban forestry infrastructure grant, and 4. Wrote a letter to support electric vehicle infrastructure. 5. There is an upcoming vote on 2560 Huntington (grassy area next to the Parker) and will invite Lynn Strobel to the HCA to discuss. Jason and Ray are already involved.
MVCCA - Planning and Zoning - Ray Novitske. The Planning and Zoning Committee also opposed “Parking Reimagined”. In transit areas like Huntington the County has reduced the number of parking spaces because they assume people will walk to Metro, but they are finding that’s not true – people still own cars. For multi-family units, the levels have been reduced from 1.6 cars per unit, to 1.3, and they are proposing to further reduce it to 0.5 per unit. This would increase street parking. As noted by Alan’s update, one person is the decision maker – with no way for the community to provide input.
The P & Z discussed other land use proposals. 1. A proposal to raise the Moon Inn Hotel and the Hawaiian Pool and Spa building, and redevelop the land, although there are no specific plans yet. Will keep the HCA posted. 2. As noted above, the infill development in front of the Parker on Huntington Ave. will have some retail space as well as office space. The Mt. Vernon council heard from land use reps and recommended that the developer drop the requirement (for office?). 3. The other property on Huntington (the office building next to Huntington Auto) is also being managed by the same developer and will include a community center facing Huntington Ave which would cut the space for retail in half. Alan suggested that if we do not want another Community Center, we will have to fight loudly and clearly for ground floor retail space instead. There was a call for people to speak up and send letters to the owner, Supervisor Storck, and the planning commission, as well as attend the in-person meeting. Jason talked to Lynn Strobel (the rep for the developer) today and she said that Mr. Bannister, the owner, also wants retail. Jason will reach out to find out more info.
Daphne added support for the food trucks that park in that area. The community response is positive and maybe that could support the idea of restaurants.
Several members added thoughts about the community center and type of desired retail.
The P & Z Committee has one more meeting before the July 26 planning commission hearing. Ray urged folks to write individual letters, the HCA to vote on a resolution, and for members to plan a trip to the planning commission meeting. The Jefferson Manor offered support on two issues – request for retail and parking and offered to help.
The Huntington Club redevelopment is on hold. Would have ground floor retail but it’s delayed and could be years.
As noted many times before, many developers include retail space in their initial plans, and all evaporated without explanation. Someone asked how the decision gets made then changed? Board of Supervisors and staff get final say.
MVCCA - Transportation Committee - Jason Zaragoza. Meeting next Monday (May 8). Lynn Strobel (aforementioned developer rep) is coming to talk about transportation. The Committee will also vote on the “Parking Reimagined” proposal. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-development/zoning-ordinance/parking-reimagined.
Jason noted that the County is doing some restriping, including Fort Hunt at Belle Haven. They are looking to add a bike lane, and residents are opposed to proposals to move the bike lane to the side of street that would take their parking and make bikers cross the street.
“MVCCA - Education Committee - Mark Rogers. The Fairfax County School Board elections are this fall. The Mt. Vernon rep is retiring. The only official endorsement is for a GOP candidate. Mark shared video of three candidates and encouraged people to watch. It’s an important election as they set budgets and policy. Mark noted that tomorrow is the start of the Democratic primary. Supervisor Storck is running for reelection and has a primary challenger. Early voting starts tomorrow.
Fairfax County - Infill Development Task Force - Ray Novitske. A person from Supervisor Storck’s office is leaving, and the Task Force is in transition.
HCA President’s Report - Tamara Srader.
Tamara volunteered to be secretary for the Mt Vernon Citizen’s Council, which is a 3- year commitment.
Reminder - please consider your dues for 2023 - they can be paid via PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=XHNAXDAUKFHJY
HCA Member Time (if you would like to discuss a specific topic, please email Tamara Srader, HCA president prior to the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jamie invited the community to participate in the Cameron Elementary School international day this Friday, May 5.
Dante asked about the area next to Pizza Bolis – which is an open (unused?) field next to strip mall.
The HCA/Tamara sent a letter supporting the back patio at Dos Jefes. Waiting to hear.
No yard waste pickup. Several people also mentioned missed trash pickups. Can report that to the county.
The meeting was adjourned at 20:47