December 2017 Newsletter

[ 0 ] December 6, 2017 |

[View the printed-format newsletter here]


All Aurora Highlands residents are invited and encouraged to come to our monthly meetings where we meet neighbors, discuss topics of interest, and share information.


Wednesday, December 13 at 6:30 p.m.

In the Rear Kiosk

Pentagon Row Skating Rink

Food Provided By

Nando’s Peri-Peri and A Deli


Aurora Highlands Civic Association Newsletter – December 2017

Community Dates and Updates

  • Virginia Highlands Park. Good news! The County has agreed to take down some of the fencing along the first and third baselines of the two softball fields by the end of December. Bad news…The fields will continue to be scheduled for games and available for public use only when not scheduled. While partially opening up the fields is a good first step, they plan to monitor whether the community’s use of this public space negatively affects the field conditions. This means no action on meeting community needs—no opportunity to include seating, a civic lawn for social gatherings, gardens, a dog park, or many of the other elements that an urban park should have. In fact, the Dept. of Parks and Recreation won’t contemplate even temporary uses for this space for at least another year, even though two years ago it was ready to spend approximately $600,000 just on “design for renovation” of this space. For a decade DPR has chipped away at the park’s unprogrammed open space. Even facilities we asked for, like the sprayground and junior basketball court, were placed on open space rather than on existing paved areas as AHCA had requested. AHCA and others will continue to push the County to take the fences down completely, move the softball programs to any one of the many other underused diamond fields nearby, and until a long-term plan can be created and implemented— which may not be for many years—provide for temporary uses the community needs now! Please email the County Board to ask that the County engage with the community now so the public can determine how we use this public space:

  • Free Shade Trees. Deadline Dec. 15. Every year, the County provides free 7–8′ trees, planted for you at no charge, with a retail value of $300–$400. A healthy tree canopy improves property values, provides shade, lowers the air temperature, improves the air quality, and beautifies the entire neighborhood. Trees will be planted in March. Call or email Kathy Landis or 703-864-4415. Or you can apply online: You must fill out an application for each tree you order. For more info visit
  • Accessory Dwellings. The County Board voted to amend the zoning ordinance to make it easier to create accessory dwellings in single-family neighborhoods. The revisions adopted by the Board would, among other things:
    • Put no limit on the size of an accessory dwelling wholly within a basement;
    • Remove the annual cap on the number of units that could be approved;
    • Allow detached accessory dwellings in existing accessory buildings;
    • Require owner occupancy; however, if the owner does not occupy one of the dwellings, the entire property may be occupied by no more than one family.

    The County Board deferred a decision on new detached units until setback requirements can be further assessed. We are disappointed that the County did not delay the plan until it had better projections about the impact on nearby neighbors, parking, infrastructure, and the environment, including stormwater and tree canopy. Background info at

  • Four Mile Run Market. The Crystal City Farmers Market is now closed until spring, but you can get your farmers market fix nearby at the 4MR market all winter. The market will be indoors at the 4MR Conservatory Center, just the other side of the 4MR bridge on Mt. Vernon Ave. The market will have produce and specialty food vendors (including bagels, empanadas, and tropical ice cream), crafts, and live music. 4MR is the first farmers market to accept SNAP, and with a grant from Inova, the first $20 is doubled for SNAP participants. Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Long Bridge Park. The County Board approved a design-build contract for the Long Bridge Park aquatics center. The new facility will include a 50-meter pool, diving towers, family pool, health and fitness spaces, continuation of the Esplanade, public gathering and casual use spaces, parking, and environmental remediation. Construction could start as early as July, with the facility opening in 2021. To see the design, visit

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Aurora Highlands Civic Association       P.O. Box 25201       Arlington, VA 22202

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