Delegates to the Arlington County Civic Federation on April 21 agreed to support efforts by three civic associations adjacent to Amazon’s new HQ2 in providing a road map for handling growth in the corridor.
The resolution, which garnered support from more than 80 percent of voting delegates during an online meeting, puts the Civic Federation behind the “Livability 22202” action plan, which emerged late last year through efforts of the civic associations in Crystal City, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge.
(The “22202” refers to the ZIP code of the corridor.)
The 30-page document lays out aspirations and expectations on a host of issues – housing, government services, environment, transportation and the arts among them – for the county government to address development and redevelopment in Crystal City, Pentagon City and Potomac Yard (collectively being described as “National Landing”) as the Amazon arrival moves forward.
“A lot of people had input,” said Stacey Meyer, a delegate from Friends of Aurora Highlands Park who worked on creation of the document. Both Amazon and developer JBG Smith, though not part of creation of the plan, were receptive when presented with it, she and others said at the meeting.
Not everybody at the April 21 meeting thought the Civic Federation needed to get behind the proposal, at least not at the current time.
“I don’t know if this is absolutely necessary,” said Mike Cantwell, a delegate from the Yorktown Civic Association, who said the county government already has plenty of planning efforts in place – albeit “not always efficient or effective” – to address the impacts of development.
“There are processes to get input directly and indirectly,” he said.
But most of the feedback from those who weighed in via the Zoom online-meeting platform was positive. Delegate Michael Beer termed it “a very wonderful document,” though with less coverage of issues related to schools and children than he might have liked, and said it would be worthwhile to put it in front of the County Board.
Civic Federation president Allan Gajadhar termed the action plan “an excellent example of community engagement.”
Also part of the discussion: Whether the aspirations embodied in the action plan are something that could be expanded, in whole or part, to larger swaths of the county.
“Maybe” seems to be the answer.
“This is an evolving document,” Meyer said. “Some of the things that are happening intensely in 22202 are happening elsewhere. Some of these ideas can be used for other areas.”
For information on the Livability 22202 action plan, see the Website at www.livability22202.org.