Can something really be considered “temporary” if it dates from Ronald Reagan’s first term in the White House?
In the case of a small parking lot tucked in between a trio of buildings in Crystal City, the answer apparently is: At least for a little while longer, it can.
Arlington County Board members on Nov. 14 deferred for a month consideration of further extending a site-plan amendment allowing for continued use of the 70-space surface parking lot in the 2600 block of Crystal Drive, pending discussion between the property owner and county staff on the ultimate use of the parcel.
The lot is tucked in between the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, the Concord apartment building and the Airport Plaza II office building in the 2600 block of Crystal Drive. It is used to provide short-term parking spaces for several office buildings, as well as overflow parking for the hotel during special events.
In conjunction with approving construction of the apartment building, County Board members in 1983 authorized use of the parcel for parking on a temporary basis.
(For those of an historical bent, board members that year were John Milliken, Walter Frankland Jr., Dorothy Grotos, Mary Margaret Whipple and chairman Ellen Bozman. Though Democrats Milliken and Whipple are still among us – albeit no longer in public office – Republicans Frankland and Grotos and Democrat Bozman have ascended to that great County Board dais in the sky.)
Over the course of ensuing decades, use of the space for parking has been extended by succeeding County Boards, most recently in 2016, when it was allowed to run through late February 2021.
A further extension of the authorization was slated for consideration at the Nov. 14 County Board meeting, but was postponed to give county staff the chance to speak with the property owner and determine “the likelihood of commencement of construction of the residential building” that has been approved for the parcel, said Anika Chowdhury of the county government’s Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development.
After consultation, staff expects to come back with an update at the Dec. 12 County Board meeting.
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