November 2017 Newsletter

[ 0 ] November 5, 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.

MEETING – Wednesday, November 8 at 7 p.m.

Aurora Hills Senior Center

735 18th St. S.

Aurora Highlands Civic Association Newsletter – November 2017

Meeting Agenda

  • Proposed Relaxed Regulations on Accessory Dwellings. Arlington county is considering relaxing regulations to promote more Accessory Dwelling (ADs) and will vote on these changes at the November 18 County Board meeting.

    If adopted, the new regulations would increase the allowable occupants from 2 to 3; remove some lot, size, and zoning restrictions; remove a variety of restrictions on the homeowner; and remove the annual limit of approved ADs. In addition, the changes would allow detached buildings such as garages to be used as rentals, and also allow short-term rentals (i.e. AirBnB) in detached buildings. Still to be determined would be the allowable height (25 ft. was originally proposed), footprint, and setback from adjacent lots (as close as 1 foot).

    County Housing Planner Joel Franklin will give a presentation about the County’s proposed changes to the existing regulations and answer your questions. Additional information is at

  • Nelly Custis Design Update. The Nelly Custis Design Working Group has come up with a design for the renovation of Nelly Custis Park, which will be presented at the meeting for the community’s review. The proposed design, including pictures/drawings and a narrative description, is posted at

    We are planning to vote on whether to approve the design, so please come prepared to discuss the design and voice any support or concerns. Approval will allow the project to proceed to the construction preparation phase. We are very excited about the possibilities of this project and hope you will be too once you see the design.

    You may also use the box for public comments on the county website above. Please note that although Arlington County’s policy is to let anyone comment on the design, it would be helpful if Aurora Highlands residents include a note in their comments along the lines of “I’m an AH resident” so we know which comments come from the community.

  • Election of AHCA Officers. A full slate of candidates for 2018 association officers was put forward at the October meeting: Natasha Atkins (president), Scott Miles (VP), David Husband (2nd VP), Maureen Quinn (Recording Secretary), Gail Fleming (Treasurer), and Heather Spence (Correspondence Secretary). Elections will take place this month. Although all officer positions are filled, feel free to contact any officer if you are interested in volunteering in other capacities. We are looking for immediate help with advertising.

Community Dates and Updates

  • Boo Ha Ha. Thanks to Jenny Sullivan and her terrific crew of volunteers who made the 10th Annual Boo-Ha-Ha a smashing success! They were so successful in raising donations from sponsors and neighbors – and lots of sweat equity — that it almost paid for itself. However, the amount of effort was so great that AHCA and the organizers will have to discuss whether the Boo needs to be—or can be—scaled back.

  • Tree Canopy Fund Applications. Did you know that a shade tree in front of your property can increase your property value by $8,000–$9,000? A healthy tree canopy improves property values, provides shade, prevents flooded basements, lowers the air temperature, and improves the air quality in the entire neighborhood.

    In the last 4 years, 160 of your neighbors got a jump on increasing their property values, lowering their A/C bills, and beautifying their yards…just by applying for a free tree, planted at no cost to them. Every year, the county’s Tree Canopy Fund provides free trees to civic associations. These are not small saplings, but rather 7–8′ trees with a retail value of $300–$400. The TCF has targeted Aurora Highlands because it’s one of the Arlington neighborhood’s with a significant loss of trees.

    Interested? Applications are due by midnight on Friday, December 15. You can apply yourself at or work with our neighborhood volunteer coordinator, Kathy Landis: or 703-864-4415. Please note that if you wish to apply for more than one tree, you will need to fill out the application separately for each tree. All trees will be planted March-May of 2018. You will be required to provide adequate water for the tree at planting and during the growing season (25 gal/week). Check out the list of available species:

  • Giving Thanks and Giving Back. As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, there will be plenty of opportunities to support the less fortunate. Coming up is the Boy Scouts Food Drive for the local food bank, the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC). Even in our affluent area there are thousands of families dependent on supplemental food. AFAC distributes groceries to nearly 2,200 families every week, more than a third of them children. If you received a bag this weekend, please leave it out with non-perishable food such as canned fruit or vegetables, canned tuna or chicken, soups, or peanut butter by 9:00 am on Sat. November 11. Or take your donations to the Aurora Hills Library where there is a donation box. And thanks!

  • Winter is Coming (so they say). Now’s the time to take advantage of rebates for energy-saving fixes in your home. You can receive up to $575 to replace your water heater, heating or cooling system, seal air leaks or ducts, or add insulation. Find out more at


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

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