The FCA tackles a number of important issues each year, often spurred by input from resident surveys. Some of the issues the FCA is tracking are below. You can also learn about additional long term issues, like Abingdon Elementary School, using the Issues drop down menu.
Proposed Potomac Yard Arena
FCA is participating in and tracking discussions about the proposed Potomac Yard complex. Economic impact and quality of life issues, including traffic and housing, dominated an early January town hall discussion of the proposed Potomac Yard arena and entertainment complex that would become the home of the Washington Capitals hockey team and Washington Wizards basketball team. In a session coordinated by the Del Ray Civic Association, Sen. Adam Ebbin and Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker heard citizen concerns and responded to questions about the proposed new development.
Potential transportation projects under consideration include a number of improvements along Route 1 (such as the addition of turn lanes at multiple intersections), additional VRE/Amtrak connections, Potomac Yard Metro station mitigation, and improvements to the I-395 and Glebe Road interchange. Another option includes investment in real-time transit technology that can encourage fans to use public transit and carpool. Transportation improvements would likely cost $200 million.
Discussion of the proposal will be a major part of this year’s agenda for the General Assembly in Richmond. The legislative session began January 10 and will conclude
in mid-March. If the General Assembly does create the sports and entertainment authority, the focus will then shift to the City of Alexandria, which will oversee the normal local questions of design, massing, zoning, and safety.
Arlington County Zoning Amendment
Members of the Arlington County Board have expressed an interest in trying to solve the zoning problem that currently is requiring some Fairlington homeowners to get a zoning waiver before they can obtain county permits to carry out routine renovation work inside their units. FCA President Guy Land raised the issue with the county board at its September 2023 meeting.
While a Fairlington-specific fix might sound desirable, the board needed to make sure the proposal would not create issues in other parts of Arlington and would be equitably applied. But the board noted the importance of not taking a long time to come to a resolution.
In his remarks to the board, Land noted that the current process increases both the cost and the time required to do renovations that will modernize Fairlington units and make them more competitive.
FCA’s previous letter to the county board outlined the issue and asked for a comprehensive zoning amendment that would include community engagement
and recognition of Fairlington’s historic character.
Issues range from installing egress windows to opening up Clarendon kitchens to building out attics. FCA’s letter, on behalf of the Fairlington community, asks the county board to consider a comprehensive zoning ordinance amendment for the Fairlington area. This amendment should aim to establish guidelines that “align with the character and modernization of condominiums in our community,” the letter says. FCA believes that a zoning ordinance amendment is the best approach to address the issue because of the need to ensure consistency, predictability, preservation of community character, community engagement, and long-term vision for the community.
Construction to begin on new Alexandria high school campus
City of Alexandria officials held a late March 2022 groundbreaking for the construction of a second campus for Alexandria City High School on the current site of
the Minnie Howard School behind Bradlee Center. The Alexandria City Council
approved the necessary permitting for the project in January. The current school building will remain in operation while the new school is built to the east. The new school building will be where the athletic facilities currently exist. Once the new building is complete, the old Minnie Howard building will be removed and replaced with new athletic facilities, recreational amenities, bus loop, and parking. The current Alexandria City High School Building will be known as the King Street Campus, while the new building will be called the Minnie Howard campus. The two campuses are intended to function as one high school with students in all four grades attending each campus. Occupancy of the new school is planned for summer 2024. Full completion of the entire project is expected by spring 2025.
FCA Letter About Shirlington Density
In a March 20, 2020 letter to Arlington County’s Long Range Planning Committee, the FCA outlined concerns about a proposal to increase density in Shirlington, while also pointing out the value of a vibrant commercial area to Fairlington residents. FCA urges the county to look more broadly at a larger geographic area than just Shirlington and consider the cumulative impact of increased density across a number of areas near Fairlington.
Lindsay Cadillac has started demolishing its existing facility to construct the Lindsay Campus at 1707 Osage Street. Construction is expected to continue through March 2024. View the pre-construction presentation for more information. Questions? Contact Brian at 410-526-7797, Cathy at 703-528-4700, x5413, or Robert at 703-528-4700, x5424
Fairlington Bus Updates
At their December 2023 meeting, the WMATA Board got a first look at what might happen if the transit agency has to cut service to maintain its budget: up to 10 Metrorail stations would be closed, the frequency of Metrorail service would be cut
significantly, and dozens of bus routes would be cut or reduced. For Fairlington, Routes 22A and 22F would be discontinued and Route 7A would have its service levels cut.
WMATA had been working on the Better Bus Network, a plan to revise the entire Metrobus system. WMATA heard last fall that reliable service and shorter wait times were customers’ highest priorities for improving service.
Using that feedback, WMATA created a draft new bus network — a vision for faster, more frequent, and reliable bus service for the entire region. Changes include the route numbers on all the maps and materials, which have been changed to a two-letter
state designation and a three digit number. These are just for planning purposes.
For North Fairlington, route VA289 is basically the same as today’s 7A. A new route VA181 would run from Pentagon via Shirlington, Arlington Mill, Walter Reed and
Beauregard to Van Dorn Station every 12 minutes most days. This route would fulfill the plans for the West End Transitway that Alexandria has been working on for
For South Fairlington, route VA386 appears to replace what routes 22A and 22F do. This new route would be at least every 30 minutes and run from Pentagon, through
Shirlington and South Fairlington to Van Dorn St., to Southern Towers and then on to Ballston via Carlin Springs Rd.
For those who connect to routes in Shirlington there are a number of changes. For example, the new route VA287, which mostly replaces the 10B, would skip Shirlington
and stay on Glebe Rd. There are many more changes to explore, far more than
can be summarized here. To learn more and provide input to guide the final product go to betterbus.wmata.com.
WMATA expects to complete public engagement in June 2023, then begin work on the final plan. They expect the final plan will go to the WMATA Board in late 2023 and a
new network would be implemented in 2024.
City of Alexandria Responds to FCA on King St. Project
FCA has closely followed the progress of a series of potential improvements that were proposed along the King St. corridor between Quaker Ln. and I-395. The proposed improvements included landscaping and beautification projects but also drainage solutions, stormwater management, and remediation of potentially hazardous intersections.
Following a series of discussions, the FCA sent a letter to the City of Alexandria outlining several concerns, and asking for an update on the status and timeline of the
project. Read the city’s response letter.
Fire Station 7 Closed
Fire Station 7 in Fairlington closed in October 2019 after an extended temporary closure to conduct a comprehensive engineering study.
Arlington County has reaffirmed the county’s commitment to obtaining the views of Fairlington residents on the station’s reuse .
County staff are currently conducting due diligence on the reuse of the building, including historic preservation review, zoning requirements, ADA compliance issues, and other constraints on the use of the site.
Once that staff review has been completed, the county expects to conduct some sort of online survey to gauge the preferences and suggestions of Fairlington residents. After the results of the survey are examined, one option under consideration would be a formal briefing hosted by FCA on the results.
The Arlington County Board voted to approve the farmers market continuation for an additional three years. If you would like to be included on the email distribution list, please email email@example.com. The market is held weekly on Sundays from May through November at the Fairlington Community Center, 3308 S. Stafford St.
The Fairlington Farmers’ Market website is the perfect place to learn more about our vendors, figure out where (not) to park, and sign up for volunteer tasks or a market shift.
Fairlington residents overwhelmingly expressed their support for the market in an online survey conducted in 2015. Of the 275 responses, 86% expressed support for the market, while 13% were opposed.
If you have additional questions or would like to help with the market, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the market proposal:
- Presentation from the May meeting (PDF)
- Presentation from the October meeting (PDF)
- Summary from the October Meeting (PDF)
Update on Shirlington Interchange
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has announced plans for a major rehabilitation of the Abingdon St. bridge, with construction expected to begin next
summer. In a May 2022 public presentation, VDOT pointed out significant deterioration of the concrete substructure and pier bearings. The bridge was
constructed in the late 1960s. The project will include rehabilitation of the bridge
deck, repairing deteriorated concrete, replacing all steel beams, and the elimination
of bridge joints.
Construction will be conducted in three phases. In phase 1, all trac will shift to the east side of the bridge, with two shared bike and traffic lanes and one pedestrian
sidewalk. A temporary crosswalk will be added at Abingdon and 36th St. S.
Phase 2 will shift traffic to the west side of the bridge.
Phase 3 will split the traffic to both sides of the bridge, allowing work in the middle.
The bridge project will also affect traffic on I-395, though VDOT expects most of the work to take place at night. Each phase is projected to take four weeks, with the overall project taking 15-20 weeks. Total cost of the project is $10.5 million, with both federal and state funding.
Arlington County has slated Abingdon St. from 34th St. S. to 31st Rd. S. for light repaving and restriping under this year’s complete streets program. This is being coordinated with VDOT. The Abingdon street bridge project is similar to the kind
of work VDOT completed on the King St. bridge over I-395 a year or so ago.
Read VDOT’s final report on recommended changes to improve safety in the Shirlington Circle. The key components of the study’s recommendations are:
1. Create a T-intersection and add a traffic signal at the intersection of the rotary and N. Quaker Lane. Traffic coming down Quaker often fails to yield to traffic in the rotary.
2. Create a signalized intersection with the southbound 395 off-ramp and Campbell Avenue and remove the southbound 395 off-ramp to Quaker Lane to eliminate weave movements.
3. Create a signalized intersection with the northbound 395 off-ramp and Gunston Road
4. Add a lane to the Arlington Mill Drive exit from the rotary to reduce the number of lanes required for traffic to weave from the rotary to the Arlington Mill exit.
After considering improvement alternatives for the Glebe Road interchange, the study determined that those would be ineffective in relieving traffic congestion or improving safety. It concluded that the level of improvements required to address issues at this location would involve considerable reconfiguration of the Glebe Road interchange, which went beyond the scope and objectives of the study.
There is no specific timeframe for implementation at this point. VDOT has funding for portions of the project, but not all of it. FCA is going to partner with our neighbors in Shirlington, Park Fairfax, and Parc East to seek additional funding.
Real Estate Development
- Alexandria Gateway/Alexandria West – In December 2023, Carrie Beach,
Neighborhood Planning Division Chief for the City of Alexandria, briefed
Fairlingtonians on the current status of work on the Alexandria West Plan. She spoke about the various components being considered as part of the Plan, including land use, housing affordability, transportation, community facilities, infrastructure, and sustainability. Community review and additional Board and Commission meetings are expected in the spring of 2024, with community comments on the draft plan anticipated for the summer, and a public hearing in September. The Alexandria City Council is scheduled to adopt the final Plan by the end of 2024. Additional information, including previous community meeting presentations, on the Alexandria West Plan can be found at: https://www.alexandriava.gov/
AlexandriaWest. View the presentation slides from previous FCA meetings. The centerpiece of the five-acre development is a 62,000-square foot Harris Teeter grocery store, which will occupy the street level of a seven-story building. The remaining six stories will hold 278 market-rate apartment units. The project also includes a three-story building with two stories of office space above a ground floor of retail space; a separate five-story building that will include 74 affordable housing apartments; and a five-story office building with retail space on the ground floor and a two-level, below-ground parking garage for 800 vehicles.
- Park Shirlington – A new owner has taken over Park Shirlington Apartments, promising to rehabilitate and preserve the property
as affordable housing. The new owners briefed Fairlington on plans to increase density on the site while preserving affordable housing units at the FCA meeting on Wednesday, November 13, 2019. View the presentation here. The meeting was video recorded and will be posted on the FCA Facebook page. Located at 4510 S. 31st St., Park Shirlington
has 294 units. Standard Property Company, in partnership with the
National Foundation for Affordable Housing solutions, acquired the property from Home Properties. The financing for the sale included a $6 million loan from Arlington County’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund.
- BRAC/Marc Center – There has not been the increase in traffic anticipated by the addition of BRAC to this area.
- Beauregard Plan and NVCC – Construction to widen King Street from 28th Street to Dawes Avenue is scheduled to start in 2014. Some stores like Five Guys have already closed.
- B/K/Q Intersection – At the March 2014 FCA meeting, Bob Garbacz from the City of Alexandria Department of Transportation and Environmental Services briefed residents on developments with traffic changes at the intersection–or as he called it “dysfunction junction.” Garbacz said that over the years several traffic studies have been conducted at this location. “Every generation has tried to do something with that intersection,” he said, “but nothing has changed.” The current proposal is to create additional left turn lanes off of King Street in both the east and west directions; however, the city lacks funding to make any changes at this time. Residents were concerned about pedestrian safety at this location, particularly for the safety of school children from T. C. Williams High School and Minnie Howard campus who cross the streets at this intersection every day.
- Landmark Mall – West End Alexandra. The Alexandria City Council approved a package of agreements that will cover the redevelopment
of the full site. The project will be anchored by the relocation and expansion of Inova’s new state-of-the-art Alexandria Hospital, bringing more than 2,000 health care workers to the medical campus. The hospital will be located on the I-395 side of the property. The rest of the property will include medical office buildings, condos, and apartment buildings, along with retail, commercial, and entertainment offerings. Additionally,
the project will provide outdoor parks, a replacement for a fire station,
affordable housing, and a transit hub anchoring the city’s proposed bus
rapid transit network, DASH, and Metrobus. Construction at the site could begin as soon as 2023, with the first buildings becoming available in 2025.
Total investment in the site is projected to exceed $2 billion. The new Inova Hospital is expected to open in 2028.
- Shirlington – Representatives of Federal Realty Investment Trust (Federal) visited an FCA meeting recently and highlighted anticipated changes and upgrades for Shirlington. Federal owns much of the property that makes up The Village at Shirlington. After a period of transition, new establishments opened recently have included DAK Chicken, serving Korean fusion cuisine; Hula Girl, a brick and mortar restaurant from the owners of the popular food truck; Palette 22, a restaurant that blends the experience of small-plate dining with the work of local artists. Lastly, Dudley’s Sport and Ale is slated to open during the second quarter of 2016. The ownership team consists of operators of the current Shirlington restaurant Copperwood Tavern, together with the general manager of the Washington Nationals as an investment partner. Their plan is to significantly improve the venue at the location of the now closed Bungalow, including adding a first for the village—a rooftop bar. In addition, renovation of the AMC movie theater has been completed, with plush, reclining seats; plans include wine and beer sales.
Multiple bike stations have been installed around Fairlington.
Fairlington Green Landscape Project
A few years ago Fairlington Green undertook a major project along Quaker Lane. Here are the details:
- The Landscape Restoration project was initiated and designed by Fairlington Green and the landscape architects and arborists of Brickman Landscaping.
- The Fairlington Green community needed to address failing trees, a deteriorating visual barrier w/ Quaker Lane, and safety issues related to the proximity of this area to Quaker Lane and the heavy volume of traffic.
- The plan was briefed at the 2012 Fairlington Green Condo Association annual meeting and an update was given at the 2013 annual meeting.
- The project will include the planting of 133 new trees, additionally hedge shrubbery, and a 6′ black aluminum fence along the Quaker Lane boundary of the Fairlington Green property.
- The project is fully funded by the Fairlington Green Condo Association.
- View Quaker Lane Landscape Project Sheet – Apple Area and Quaker Lane Landscape Project Sheet – Cherry Area.
Generations Steering Committee
As Fairlington’s population becomes more diverse in age and needs, the FCA chartered a Steering Committee on Intergenerational Strategies to research and develop recommendations on how residents can support each other. Much of the committee’s work focused on ways to help Fairlington’s seniors stay in their homes as they age, with the goal of providing neighborly assistance to those who seek it from those who choose to offer it, regardless of age. Long-time older residents, for example, might offer newer younger residents information about oddities in remodeling a Fairlington unit, or might pass along tools they no longer use. Younger residents might use those tools to help an older person, and young people might offer computer assistance to those who didn’t grow up with a smart phone or the Internet. Opportunities abound for support across generations.
Since its formation in March 2014, the committee has created work groups to gather information on (a) how other neighbor-to-neighbor volunteer services are organized, (b) what services are already available from local governments and private organizations in Arlington and Alexandria, and (c) what services Fairlington residents might want to request or volunteer to provide.
The committee made its recommendations to the FCA Board in early 2015. Learn more below.
See our Charter and materials below from the November 15 community briefing.
- Steering Committees Guiding Principles
- Highlights from the Survey Results
- Context for Peer Connections
- Forum Intro and Committee Approach
- Forum Survey Results and Discussion
See below for meeting minutes.
- Minutes of the April 17, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the April 30, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the May 28, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the June 30, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the July 31, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the August 28, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the October 16, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the December 8, 2014, Meeting
- Minutes of the March, 26, 2015, Meeting