Mission and Purpose
The Crystal City Citizens’ Review Council (CCCRC) is being established by the County Board to ensure citizen involvement in the implementation phase of Crystal City redevelopment. The charge was crafted to focus on monitoring accomplishment of the Sector plan’s Goals and Objectives leaving the door open to modification of the plan details as analysis indicates adjustments are necessary. This nineteen-person council will have seven seats for community representatives: two each from ARCA and AHCA and three from Crystal City. In the coming year, the CCCRC will establish benchmarking “measures of progress” for the area that includes Crystal City.
ARCA’s CCCRC reps and workgroup members have been coordinating with our counterparts in Crystal City to provide input into metrics that will be used to monitor the successful build out of Crystal City (40-year plan). Status of these metrics will be presented directly to the County Board as we move through implementation. It is our goal to support the plan’s overall objectives while preserving the attributes of our wonderful community. Our initial input has been submitted. The verbiage in red font reflects our suggestions for inclusion in the document that the CCCRC leads are drafting for our next meeting in September.
On Wednesday, October 26, 2011, ARCA, AHCA, and Crystal City representatives on the CCCRC met with Arlington County staff to discuss in more detail proposed metrics for monitoring Crystal City re-development. This meeting was a working session on measurements for various aspects of the CC Sector Plan, such as land use, building height, affordable housing, open space, community buildings, energy and environment, and transition edge planning. The County already collects much of the relevant data, but additional measurement criteria were considered. The workgroup meeting for transportation and environment metrics is November 9; the all-member “regular” meeting on November 16 will cover all other proposed metrics.
Crystal City Citizen Review Council Meeting
June 6, 2012
On Wednesday, June 6, ARCA, AHCA, and Crystal City representatives on the Council met with Arlington County staff to discuss the work plan for the next 6-8 months. The Council’s first two-year report to the County Board was sent April 9; the next report is due in spring, 2014. New Board member Libby Garvey will become the Council’s contact for the Board, taking over from Mary Hynes. Current council member terms will expire in January, 2013. Reporting dates for updates on metrics, provided by staff, will be in May and November. Data collection is ongoing—weekly, monthly, annually, depending on what metric—but staff will officially report it twice a year.
There was brief discussion on several items.
• The Crystal City bus transitway (future streetcar route) planning is proceeding, and is being coordinated with Alexandria; it will run from Crystal City to Potomac Yard at Four Mile Run, where it will connect with Alexandria’s planned bus transit. Funding for Arlington’s Route 1 portion of the streetcar will be county and state, with substantial contribution from the TIF.
• The County’s Urban Forestry office has changed to a new, more accurate method for measuring canopy coverage, using satellite mapping. This resulted in revising the figure for existing canopy baseline in CC to approximately 13% from 17%. CC resident representatives are concerned that, although this new number is more accurate, it means a lower amount of coverage will be accepted under the plan (which calls for maintaining or increasing coverage) than they were expecting.
• How to anticipate and monitor Services/Amenities needs: for example, medical facilities other than doctor’s offices and clinics (most often located near hospitals) require advance planning, but anticipating demand and ensuring a market for those services can be a chicken-or-egg matter.
• ZOCO Sign ordinance revisions: Many civic associations, including AHCA and ARCA, support adding a restriction—no lighted signs above 40 ft. Although a separate issue, the new building at 1900 Crystal Drive has promised office lighting that turns off automatically when workers leave, so that apartments opposite it will not be facing lighted windows.
• Work sessions on methods for traffic metrics, and to establish benchmarks for the Services/Amenities inventory were effectively deferred till the fall. However, some preparatory work will likely be done over the summer.
Crystal City Citizen Review Council (CCCRC) Meeting, November 28, 2012
The Council met on November 28, 2012, to review pending tasks, look ahead at the calendar, and discuss some current projects. County engineering staff gave a report on some early work underway for 12th Street, and for pedestrian crossings and improvements at other locations. The Council’s 19 members serve for two years; the end of the first term is this month, when new and/or continuing members will be proposed—a unique opportunity to serve on a citizen-led review body. Vice-chair Mike Dowell presented a proposed CCCRC business calendar with time frames for county staff and council reporting, updating, and review of metrics, services and amenities, meetings and a TIF report. Tasks ahead include a work session with staff on methods and protocol for traffic counts; also edge planning, and the Crystal City transitway (bus/streetcar). Completed and/or ongoing planning for projects in or near Crystal City include 1900 Crystal Drive (construction beginning 2/13), 1720 Eads, Pen Place, and Metropolitan Park 4 and 5.