Community Forum Helps Guide Lee Highway’s Future
By: Edith Gravely and Peggy Jones
As reported in the November 5-11 issue of the Sun Gazette, Arlington County government hosed a four-day workshop related to redevelopment along Lee Highway November 6-9 in a "charrette" style format with hands-on design participation and engaging conversation with the goal "to involve the broad community in a visioning effort for the corridor's future." A nationally and locally recognized consulting team led by Dover Kohl and Partners facilitated the workshop. The effort is being coordinated with the Lee Highway Alliance, a coalition of 15 civic associations along Lee Highway of which High View Park Civic Association is a member. Association Executive board Members Peggy Jones and Edith Gravely attended the workshop and reported the following:
Topics discussed include type of development desired; preservation of nearby single-family neighborhoods; transportation by pedestrians, cyclists and automobiles and preservation of cultural resources.
1. The designers provided a redesign of Garden City (the strip mall at the intersection of George Mason and Lee Highway, north side) with no mention of renovating and/or redeveloping the south side, an omission brought to their attention.
2. An undesignated building (no name, no function) was rendered on the site of Fire Station 8. We requested that they provide a new construction of Fire Station 8 with 4 bays on the current site using surround purchased properties.
3. A four- or a six-story building is projected to replace the current buildings across from Harris Teeter which included Safeway. The proposed building will consist of apartments/condos with commercial businesses on the first level. It is anticipated with the new improvement in transit services, bike lanes and new traffic patterns, car traffic will lessen. The designers did not mentioned redeveloping the south side commercial building currently housing CVS and two other businesses.
4. A new traffic pattern is projected featuring two lanes going in opposite directions along the corridor. Four different designs were displayed.
More information from the charrette can be found at: http://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/land-use/lee-highway/updates/.
“There was an amazing turnout of citizens on Saturday November 7, over 300 attendees at the Lee Highway charrette,” said Bocian. “As president, I was proud to see several of our residents in attendance and engaged. Keep it up! Thanks to the organized co- Lee Highway alliance Chairs Sandra Chesrown and Ginger Briggs Brown for all your hard work in leading us to the next chapter in creating a vision for Lee Highway.”