In the Neighborhood: Arlington County Board Meeting: 19 September 2021

Our Vice-Chair to Arlington County and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, Mike Coletti, attended the recent Arlington County Board meeting in July to see what’s going on in the neighborhood. Here’s what he saw.

Main Draw: Pickleball!
By far the most entertaining portion of Saturday’s board meeting: While showing the
overwhelming strength of the pickleball community; local advocates persisted with
proposals of additional pickleball lines and courts added through the Parks and
Recreation department. I’ve never seen such a turnout, and have a much greater
appreciation for this time-honored pastime.

Hottest Buttons: Right of Way Program and Columbia Pike
Local resident, Eric Rickert made his voice heard with concerns over the Right of Way
Program being implemented on I 19th Street. Not much information was provided at the
time of the meeting, and next steps are to be determined.

LPNOVA-endorsed County Board candidate (and LPNOVA Chair) Adam Theo
lambasted county leadership for their failure in oversight for a series of expensive bus
stops along Columbia Pike. These custom “modular” bus stops have suffered their second
major structural design issue and were about to cost over $750k each. The county has
finally decided to go with prefabricated options that will save over $7 million from the
project. To learn more about this issue and Theo’s campaign, you can visit his website.

Notables: Lifeguard Shortages, Bag Taxes, Small Business Grants, and a New Logo

Brought to the board by local resident, Tina Ghialdi – There is a growing frustration over
the lifeguard shortages in small condos. This shortage has been associated with a zoning
ordinance found in Chapter 24.1.4 – A section which advocates wish to modify the
chapter to apply to public pools and not residential pools serving multifamily residences
consisting of 50 or less units. As a possible alternative, Tina requested additional training
be made more accessible to high-schoolers looking to become lifeguards. This issue
raises yet another case of overregulation leading to avoidable interference in day-to-day
activities. For more information on this issue, you can visit this page.

The county has officially voted to approve both a 5 cent bag tax, as well as the
much-hyped Small Business Grants 2.0 program. While both have potential to make
considerable impacts in the community; it is still too early to tell if this effort will be
worthwhile, or a mismanagement of taxpayer funds.

There has been a decision made on the new county logo, replacing the previous rendition
of Confederate General Lee’s home. The new logo highlights the county’s proximity to
the District.

September Arlington County Board Meeting: Full Video

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Mike Coletti
Vice Chair, Arlington and the Cities of Alexandria and Falls Church

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