Welcome to FYI Alexandria!
In this issue, learn how Alexandria and Arlington are partnering to improve 911 services; see how the City is making its mark on regional leadership programs; read about the new Stormwater Utility Fee; and learn about Historic Alexandria's Poppy Project marking the WWI Centennial. To learn more about FYI Alexandria, visit www.alexandriava.gov/FYI, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and feedback.
In this Issue:
- Arlington, Alexandria to Collaborate on Next Generation 911
- Stormwater Utility Fee Update
- Vision Zero Project Update
- Development Update
- Alexandria's Department of Planning and Zoning Receives Planning Award
- City of Alexandria Represented in Regional Leadership Programs
- Election Day is Coming
- Memorial Bears Witness to Domestic Violence Victims
- Historic Alexandria Honors WWI Centennial
- How You Can Help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- November 5: Time to Turn Back!
- Le Tour d'Alexandria
Arlington, Alexandria to Collaborate on Next Generation 911
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria have developed a Memo of Understanding for the two jurisdictions to jointly plan, design, procure, install and operate a new, shared Next Generation (NG) 911 call processing system. Future features will include more efficient routing of 911 calls to the appropriate 911 center, and the ability of 911 callers to send images and video to dispatchers.
Sharing the system will increase flexibility for both jurisdictions in the future by ensuring continuity of operations when there are local 911 outages or an overload of the 911 system due to a major event or incident. Sharing also will reduce costs and increase interoperability for 911 calls between the jurisdictions. The two jurisdictions will continue to operate their own call centers.
The Arlington and Alexandria combined NG 911 system is expected to take approximately one year to procure, test, and deploy. The system will be jointly funded, with allocations determined through the County and City's annual budget processes.
Stormwater Utility Fee Update
Beginning May 2018, all property owners in the City of Alexandria will see the new Stormwater Utility Fee included as a line item on their real estate bills. Single family residential property owners and non-residential property owners -- including non-profit and faith-based organizations that don't typically receive a real estate bill -- will see the annual fee on their May and October statements each year.
As part of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget process, the City adopted the Stormwater Utility Fee to provide a dedicated funding source to address the increasing costs of recent state and federal Chesapeake Bay protection mandates. Single family residential property owners will pay based on the type of property they own. The fee for non-residential properties (including commercial or industrial properties, apartment buildings, and non-profit or faith-based properties) will vary, based on their amount of impervious area (impervious areas include hard surfaces such as driveways and roofs, which don't let rain or snow melt soak into the ground).
On October 24, City Council adopted a credit policy that will allow non-residential property owners to generate credits to potentially reduce their fee. The adopted policy, which takes effect December 1, includes credits for both structural and non-structural practices. Structural practices eligible for credit include mandatory stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and detention facilities installed during development or redevelopment that are functioning and properly maintained. Non-residential property owners may also register as a group, perform certain voluntary group cleanup activities and apply for credits. A credit program for single-family residential properties will follow in FY 2019.
Vision Zero Project Update
At the City Council legislative meeting on October 24, representatives from the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services, the Office of Performance Analysis, and the Alexandria Police Department presented a report to City Council about the progress of Alexandria's Vision Zero initiative. Last January, the City of Alexandria adopted Vision Zero with the goal of eliminating all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2028.
The project's strategies will integrate data analysis, public input, and best practices--carried out by an interdepartmental work group--to meet this aggressive deadline. The project is developing a draft Vision Zero Action Plan, based on information from an extensive public outreach campaign and data analysis. Public feedback indicated that 16 percent of respondents experienced or knew someone who was killed or seriously injured in a crash, and that the three top challenges to safety identified by the public were distracted drivers, speeding, and people running red lights or stop signs. Data analysis indicated that in 2016, 22 persons were killed or seriously injured in crashes, a decrease from 55 persons in 2011. Analysis also revealed that while pedestrians and bicyclists only represent 6 percent of all crashes, they represent 34 percent of crashes in which persons are killed or seriously injured. Data analysis has also identified corridors within the city where most crashes occur.
The project's next steps include finalization of the draft Vision Zero Action Plan for public comment in November.
Learn the latest about Alexandria's active and future development projects.
Alexandria's Department of Planning and Zoning Receives Planning Award
On October 18, the Board of the George Washington (D.C.) Chapter of Lambda Alpha International (LAI) recognized the Alexandria Department of Planning and Zoning with their 2017 "Outstanding Plan Award" for the Old Town North Small Area Plan and Urban Design Standards & Guidelines and the North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan. The plans were completed in 2017; the Board noted that both "exemplified good planning" in their decision to make the award.
LAI is an honorary professional society devoted to the advancement of land economics and is composed of men and women involved in the fields of real estate, real estate development, real estate management, land use, urban planning, architecture, law, government, academia, and all other professions that deal with the use, study, and economics of land. The organization was founded in 1930 and has over 20 chapters around the world.
Photo: (l-r) Department of Planning and Zoning Director Karl Moritz and Liz Price, Director of Public Space and Programming at The Wharf.
City of Alexandria Represented in Regional Leadership Programs
City of Alexandria employees recently graduated from two regional leadership programs: The ULI Regional Fellows Program and the COG Institute for Regional Excellence.
ULI Regional Fellows Program
In September, regional fellows from the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Montgomery County graduated from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Regional Fellows Program, a project launched in February 2017 to spur and enhance regional collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries.
City Manager Mark Jinks, Planning Director Karl Moritz, Transportation & Environmental Services Director Yon Lambert, and Alexandria Economic Development Partnership President Stephanie Landrum were in the program's inaugural class. Hillary Orr, Special Assistant to the City Manager, served as program coordinator for the Alexandria fellows.
The mission of the Regional Fellows Program is to empower public sector leaders in the metropolitan Washington region to build and sustain successful 21st century communities by providing access to information, best practices, peer networks and other resources to foster creative, efficient, and sustainable land-use practices. The class consisted of four top decision-makers in the three area jurisdictions that each worked with ULI to study a challenge facing their jurisdiction. The challenge for the City's team was "Reinventing Alexandria's West End."
A report documenting the recommendations from the program will be produced by ULI Washington in the coming months.
COG Institute for Regional Excellence
On October 6, three City of Alexandria employees graduated from the prestigious Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Institute for Regional Excellence. Kelly Gilfillen and James Nichols of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities; and Michael Kochis of the Alexandria Police Department successfully completed the yearlong Regional Executive Development Program, earning the Certified Public Manager credential.
The Regional Executive Development program assists local government managers in the metropolitan Washington area in dealing with the challenges of providing services and meeting the needs of residents in a growing metropolitan area. The program targets mid- to senior-level managers in metropolitan Washington D.C., area local governments, aims to develop leadership, enhance management skills, increase exposure to innovation in local government, and develop an understanding of regional issues and approaches. The program was created by COG in partnership with stakeholders from across the region, including The George Washington University's Center for Excellence in Public Leadership, chief administrative officers and human resource directors from member jurisdictions, and the COG Board of Directors.
Since the program's first cohort in 2001, 25 City employees have graduated and earned certification from this program.
During the October 6 graduation ceremony, City Manager Mark Jinks received the Inspiring Leader Award. The award is one of two honors that recognize top local government officials for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the region, their home jurisdictions, and the COG Institute for Regional Excellence program.
L to R: James Nichols, Division Chief, Park Operations and Maintenance, Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities; City Manager Mark Jinks; Michael Kochis, Lieutenant, Criminal Investigations, Alexandria Police Department; Kelly Gilfillen, Marketing Manager, Alexandria Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities; and Chuck Bean, Executive Director, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. (Bill Petros Photography).
Election Day is Coming
The November 7 General Election ballot in Alexandria includes contests for Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, House of Delegates (45th and 46th Districts), Sheriff and Commonwealth's Attorney. All regular polling places will be open for voting from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Alexandrians who qualify to vote absentee for the election may cast an absentee ballot in person at Beatley Central Library or the Alexandria Voter Registration Office. The deadline for casting an absentee ballot in person is Saturday, November 4, at 5 p.m. Applications to have absentee ballots mailed to voters were due in the Voter Registration Office by October 31, at 5 p.m.
Need additional information? Visit www.alexandriava.gov/Elections for sample ballots, absentee voting hours, locations, and more.
Memorial Bears Witness to Domestic Violence Victims
On September 28, community members gathered at Market Square for the Silent Witness candlelight vigil and memorial to honor the lives of Alexandrians who died at the hands of domestic violence. The Silent Witness Project is a nation-wide initiative that began in 1990 by a group of women who felt the urgency to do something about escalating domestic violence in their state of Minnesota. Twenty-six life-size red silhouettes were created, each bearing the name of a woman whose life was brutally cut short due to the violence in her life. Since then, exhibits have been springing up in cities across 46 states—including Alexandria, which hosts candlelight vigils to raise public awareness of domestic violence and create a space of healing through a visual memorial for those lost.
Historic Alexandria Honors WWI Centennial
Help to make a tribute to veterans bloom! As part of the World War I (WWI) centennial commemorations, the City's Office of Historic Alexandria is honoring veterans then and now by collecting knitted or crocheted red poppies. Completed poppies can be dropped off at any Alexandria Public Library and they will be used in a community art project on display as part of the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, which brought peace after WWI.
Poppies became a symbol of remembrance after WWI and, by creating poppies, Alexandria is joining cities around the world who are marking the Centennial. Alexandria was an active participant in WWI through relief efforts, military service, and war industries. To hear the stories of Alexandrians during the war, visit The Lyceum: Alexandria's History Museum, for their new exhibit, Alexandrians Fight the Great War. Through the Poppy Project exhibit, and other related events, it is hoped that residents and visitors will gain a greater appreciation for the struggles and sacrifices of those who lived through the war, and the new role they helped create for the United States on the world stage. Visit the City's webpage for poppy patterns and more information about the WWI Centennial.
How You Can Help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
It has been more than a month since devastating hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the need for donations continues. Want to help? ACT for Alexandria has identified some organizations seeking donations to aid the effort:
November 5: Time to Turn Back!
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5, at 2 a.m. As the time change approaches, please be sure to test your smoke alarm batteries when you turn your clocks back.
It is also a great time to install smoke alarms and practice an escape plan that ensures everyone in your household knows how to get out of every room and out of the home in less than two minutes.
Finally, if you haven't done so already, be sure to prepare for emergencies by building a kit and making a plan.
Le Tour d'Alexandria
Alexandria Library participated in its fifth annual bicycle tour, Le Tour d'Alexandria Library, on October 28. The tour highlighted some of Alexandria's haunted locations.
Participants joined library staff for a leisurely 2-hour loop of Alexandria, which started and ended at Beatley Central Library. In addition to promoting sustainable transportation, the bike tour highlighted many of the library's diverse programs and resources, and offered participants the opportunity to socialize with other library and bicycling enthusiasts.
10/30 -- Texas A&M University Launches New Ship Conservation Website
10/26 -- Alexandria’s Beatley Library Opens for Absentee Voting
10/23 -- Guilty Plea in Gang Motivated Murder
10/23 -- Police Investigate a Homicide, Suspect Deceased
10/23 -- Arlington, Alexandria to Collaborate on Next Generation 911
10/19 -- Get Fired Up for the Cause: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Board of Review of Real Estate Assessments
Nov 1, 2017 - 4:00 PM
- Alexandria City Council Naming Committee
Nov 1, 2017 - 6:00 PM
- Landlord-Tenant Relations Board Meeting
Nov 1, 2017 - 7:00 PM
- Commercial Parking Standards Open House
Nov 1, 2017 - 7:00 PM
- BAR Old & Historic Alexandria District Hearing
Nov 1, 2017 - 7:30 PM
- Joint City-Schools Task Force Subcommittee Meeting
Nov 2, 2017 - 7:30 AM
- Joint City-Schools Facility Investment Task Force
Nov 2, 2017 - 9:00 AM
- Alexandria Community Services Board
Nov 2, 2017 - 6:30 PM
- Housing Affordability Advisory Committee (AHAAC)
Nov 2, 2017 - 7:00 PM
- Veterans Ball Dance Class
Nov 2, 2017 - 7:30 PM
- Family Splash Night
Nov 3, 2017 - 6:00 PM
- First Friday: "Dances Around the World"
Nov 3, 2017 - 6:00 PM
- In-Person Absentee Voting Deadline
Nov 4, 2017 - 8:00 AM
- Subcommittee on the Status of Women Report Meeting
Nov 4, 2017 - 8:00 AM
- City Council Retreat
Nov 4, 2017 - 9:00 AM
- Film and Discussion - Against All Odds
Nov 4, 2017 - 11:00 AM
- Alexandria Electoral Board
Nov 6, 2017 - 2:00 PM
- Ad Hoc Waterfront Construction Monitoring Group
Nov 6, 2017 - 5:00 PM
- Joint City-Schools Task Force Subcommittee Meeting
Nov 6, 2017 - 7:00 PM
- Arts Commission Executive Committee Meeting
Nov 6, 2017 - 7:00 PM
For more events, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar.