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LPCA Meeting Minutes

Community House Renovation

In December, 2009, the Lyon Park community agreed on a design concept for renovating the Community House. The Community Center Board of Governors has overall responsibility for the project, and a Fundraising and a Building Committee are actively engaged. Much work is to be done, and current estimates put the beginning of construction several years away. See the COMMUNITY HOUSE RENOVATION page for more details.

New Interchange for Arlington Boulevard (Rt. 50), 10th Street and Courthouse Road

Please view the project information presentation provided by VDOT for this extensive project, running from Spring 2011 through Fall 2013.  More information is available on the VDOT web site and even more information will be available at the June 2011 LPCA meeting.

Lee Shopping Center Development (2201 N. Pershing Drive)

Abbey Road Property Group proposed an extensive redevelopment of this 1950's strip-mall shopping center, which has been declared one of the County's "Most Endangered Historic Sites."  The development would contain 188 apartments/condos, parking, and shopping areas.  On October 10, the LPCA membership passed a resolution supporting the proposal, if certain conditions were met, and a letter to that effect was sent to the County Board.  Although one condition, additional parking, was met, the developer did not meet the community's request for a reduction in density and for a park or green area, and many Lyon Parkers spoke at the December County Board meeting, both for and against the measure.  The County Board approved the zoning change in January 2008.  The Abbey Road Property Group web site has developer's pictures, plans, and drawnings, and more about the project.

Status report from the Developer on 10 Aug 08:  All the retail tenants at the Lee Center have now vacated their stores, with the exception of Dan Kain Trophy, who will continue to operate throughout the winter. Engineering testing activity is ongoing, and the architectural photographic study of the building as required by the County approvals should be underway shortly.  We are also looking into the possibility of fencing off portions of the site.  At the Duron Center, the state liquor warehouse is planning to move out by year end. All of the other tenants continue to operate as usual for now. The overall project schedule has been delayed a bit, and our current projection is to start site work next summer, with demolition beginning several months earlier, possibly in several phases. 

April 09 update:  VDOT provided preliminary approval of the redesign for the right turn ramp from Route 50 onto Pershing Drive, designed to slow traffic entering the neighborhood.  The state liquor store moved out late in 2008, and Duron Paints moved over the summer of 2009, and Armand's is scheduled to move in late September.   The beginning of teardown and construction, however, is stalled due to market financial conditions.

April 2010 update:   Lyon Parker Matt Biernbaum of Abbey Road reported that in March, the property was sold to Equity Residential (EQR).  EQR is the second-largest owner and operator of multi-family apartment complexes in the U.S., and it also owns the Sheffield Court Apartments in Lyon Park, immediately adjacent to the site.  Biernbaum reports that EQR intends to proceed with the plan as approved by the County Board in 2008.

January 2011 update:  Equity Residential has awarded the construction contract to Harkins Builders, Inc and that construction is now underway for 2201 N Pershing Dr. We officially broke ground in December and are now in the process of salvaging the historic limestone fa├žade and demolishing the buildings. In the near future, we will be implementing the County approved maintenance of traffic (MOT) plan. This work will include fencing in the project site and the existing sidewalk, but we will provide a protected path of travel (temporary sidewalk) around the site per the MOT plan.

There is quite a bit of utility relocation work required prior to vertical construction of the new buildings and this utility work will be beginning in the next 30 days. During this phase of construction, some road work in N Pershing and Arlington Blvd will be required, but we will adhere to the County approved hours of construction for work in a County right of way. Excavation and vertical construction should begin this spring. We anticipate first occupancies of the project to occur in the late spring/early summer of 2012.

Construction hours on site will normally be between 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM on weekdays. There may be overtime and weekend work, but the contractor must abide by the requirements of Arlington County and the 4.1 Approval to mitigate off-hour disturbances within the neighborhood.

Garfield Park Development (2900 N. 10th Street)

In June 2004, with the agreement of the Lyon Park Citizens Association, the County Board approved development plans for a project at 2900 N. 10th Street to construct a 5-story building with 149 residential units, 22,000 feet of retail space, and 283 parking spots.  Little was done on the project for four years.  As part of the approval process, the developer, Tom Schooltz of TCS Realty Associates, agreed with the County Board to give the Lyon Park Community Center $17,500 to support its renovation plans and to give the County $50,000 to fund traffic calming measures in Lyon Park.  In July 2008, Schooltz indicated that the project was now moving forward.  Tenants CVS and the Sala Thai restaurant vacated in early August 2008, and the site was cleared by Spring 2009.  Financing issues delayed the projected start, and in November 2010, it was reported that financing had been obtained.  See the article HERE.  Copies of two County-approved plans for the site:  Mobilization PlanParking Plan

January 2011 update:  Construction began during January, with the installation of a perimeter fence.  During the month the following activities are expected:

1. Demolition of the parking lot and brick walls .

2. Materials from demolition and excavation will begin this week, and will continue through the entire month. All construction traffic will enter and exit the site from Washington Blvd.

3. Sheeting and shoring will begin the week of 1/10/11. The first operation involves driving piles, which is expected to last until the end of this month.

Other short items

LPCA has been involved in use permits for Jay's Saloon and El Manatiel Restaurant.  Also, with Ashton Heights and Lyon Village Community Assoications, LPCA has is expressing concerns about potential zoning along 10th Street.  See page 10 of the April, 2009 Newsletter for more details.

On November 12, 2008, LPCA sent a letter to the County Board urging replacement of the clay-composite field at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.  The letter had been approved by the membership at the November meeting.

On October 18, 2008, the County Board approved a permit for El Manatial Restaurnant to have karaoke.   LPCA provided significant input concerning restrictions to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood.   The County will conduct six-month and one-year reviews of the permit to address any problems that may arise.

On July 7, 2008, LPCA sent a letter supporting continuance of the Use Permit for the Doorways Home for Women and Families, and the County Board approved the continuance on July 19th. 

Accessory Dwelling Units -- On July 19, 2008, the County Board agreed to legalize in a limited manner these small apartments inside single family dwellings and also agreed to legalize caregivers living in currently-approved family suites.  See more on this contentious issue at the Arlington County Civic Federation web site, and the press release on the Arlington County web site.