FYI Alexandria - December 11, 2017

Page archived as of December 25, 2017

Welcome to FYI Alexandria!

In this issue, learn about the next steps in the development of the Vision Zero Draft Action Plan; upcoming changes for DASH buses and City refuse containers; new traffic signal technology; and strategies for coping with holiday stress. To learn more about FYI Alexandria, visit, or email

In this Issue:

  • City Council Holds Public Hearing on Vision Zero Action Plan
  • City Launches Stormwater Utility Fee Viewer and Credits Program
  • City Announces Planning Process for the Route 1 South Housing Affordability Strategy and Call for Charrette Group Volunteers
  • Alexandria Transit Company to Purchase Clean Diesel Buses; Plans Future Transition to All Electric
  • Public Comment Invited During Department of Emergency Communications' Initial Accreditation Process
  • Residential Trash Can Conversion Begins
  • J. Lance Mallamo, Director of Office of Historic Alexandria, Retires
  • Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Deadline Nears
  • Coping with Holiday Stress
  • City Offers Adopt-a-Bench Program
  • Jane Austen Birthday Extravaganza
Top News

City Council Holds Public Hearing on Vision Zero Action Plan

Vision Zero Action PlanA public hearing on the Vision Zero Action Plan, a roadmap to making Alexandria's streets safer, will be held on Saturday, December 16, as part of City Council's 9:30 a.m. meeting at City Hall (301 King St.)

The Vision Zero Action Plan outlines strategies to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in Alexandria by 2028. It is a roadmap that will help guide City staff, key partners, and the entire community in reaching the shared goal of making Alexandria's streets safer.

To learn more, visit

City Launches Stormwater Utility Fee Viewer and Credits Program

Stormwater Utility Fee Viewer

The latest milestones in the implementation of the City of Alexandria's Stormwater Utility Fee are the availability of a new online fee viewer and the launch of a credits program to recognize stormwater mitigation efforts by nonresidential property owners.

Property owners can now find their estimated 2018 fees on a map viewer available at These fees will be listed on the real estate tax bills mailed to residential and nonresidential property owners in May 2018 for payment by June 15.

The website also provides an application for nonresidential property owners (such as businesses, apartment buildings, houses of worship, and nonprofit organizations) to receive credits that can lower the fees billed. Credits may be available based on structural elements such as catch basins or green infrastructure, or voluntary activities such as litter cleanup. Applications received with required documentation by February 15 will be considered for credits in 2018.

The City will host an open house to provide information and answer questions about the Stormwater Utility Fee and the requirements for nonresidential credits. The event will be held on January 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the large conference room at Beatley Central Library (5005 Duke St.).

City Announces Planning Process for the Route 1 South Housing Affordability Strategy and Call for Charrette Group Volunteers

Housing Affordability StrategyIn January 2018, the City will begin a planning effort focused on the Route 1 area south of Duke Street. This initiative will engage the community in exploring options and tools for preserving the neighborhood's housing affordability, strengthening the character of the neighborhood, prioritizing safety and accessibility along Route 1 South, and creating a more welcoming gateway to the City.

The planning process will consist of opportunities designed to engage all interested members of the community in the ways that work best for them. This will include in-person community events and ways to participate by email or online. Accommodations for childcare and language interpretation will be provided upon request.

After a series of community events in January and February 2018 to acquaint neighbors with the planning process, the City will hold a five-day community planning "charrette" (a collaborative planning and design exercise to develop the basis of the Plan) from February 26-March 2.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the Volunteer Charrette Group. Members will be expected to participate in most of the public engagement events, including the charrette, and share information with (and gather feedback from) neighbors. All community activities and meetings associated with this planning process will be open to the public.

Nomination forms, and information about the Volunteer Charrette Group and the planning process can be found on the project webpage. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. on December 18.

Alexandria Transit Company to Purchase Clean Diesel Buses; Plans Future Transition to All Electric

Clean Diesel BusesDASH is investing in low-emission clean diesel buses. The Board of Directors of the Alexandria Transit Company (which operates DASH) has adopted a resolution to purchase clean diesel buses. This policy, which is consistent with the City's Environmental Action Plan, will allow DASH to procure up to 27 new buses with current funding and more quickly accomplish the Federal Transit Administration's State of Good Repair standards. It will also substantially reduce overall fleetwide emissions as old buses are retired and replaced with vehicles equipped with diesel technology that exceeds Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards.

Clean diesel buses will be quieter than the buses they replace, are significantly less expensive to purchase and maintain, and will improve service and fleet reliability. As DASH makes this transition, it will also continue to explore full electrification of its fleet as soon as is technically and financially feasible. City Council will consider proposals in Fiscal Year 2019.

Public Comment Invited During Department of Emergency Communications' Initial Accreditation Process

DEC's Initial Accreditation processA team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA), will receive public comment in conjunction with a visit to Alexandria for an on-site assessment of the City's Department of Emergency Communications (DEC). The assessment, which is part of the initial Public Safety Communications accreditation process, will take place December 10-13.

As part of the assessment, City employees, public safety partners and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information telephone session, on December 12, or to submit written comments. For more information about how to participate, visit the City's web site.

Residential Trash Can Conversion Begins

Residential Trash Conversion BeginsAlexandria has started phasing out its green 96-gallon residential refuse containers. These containers will gradually be replaced with 65-gallon black cans. The switch to smaller standardized refuse containers is part of an effort to right-size trash collection and encourage Alexandria to continue its current trend of recycling more and creating less trash. It will likely take at least a year to replace all 96-gallon containers with 65-gallon cans.

As part of the phase-out, the City is launching a limited program allowing residents to convert their 96-gallon green containers to yard waste cans once they receive new black refuse cans. The City will provide a "Yard Waste Only" decal to be affixed to the container. Residents who have been contacted about converting their green cans also have the option of relinquishing their green cans by placing a request with Call.Click.Connect.

Residents who are eligible for this program will receive a written notice including additional details and instructions.

As a reminder, the City encourages residents to separate waste into three types -- recyclables, yard waste, and trash – to best allow recovery of natural resources and fuel to generate electricity. For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the City's Resource Recovery web page.

J. Lance Mallamo, Director of Office of Historic Alexandria, Retires

J. Lance Mallamo and Gretchen M. BulovaJ. Lance Mallamo, director of the Office of Historic Alexandria (OHA), has retired from the City effective November 30. Deputy Director Gretchen M. Bulova will serve as acting director.

Mallamo, who joined the City in 2007, oversaw several accomplishments during his tenure including the development of the Contraband and Freedmen Cemetery Memorial; expansion of historic information on the City's website and media presence; support of the City's wayfinding initiatives; a substantial increase in admission revenue, grants, and private donations to support the department's budget; and the recent acquisition of one of Northern Virginia's most significant 18th century homes, the Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, at no cost to the City. In 2012, OHA became only the third municipal museum system in Virginia and the eighth in the United States to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Bulova was appointed OHA's first deputy director in 2015, following more than 20 years of service with the City. She joined Alexandria in 1991 as a part-time collections manager for the Gadsby's Tavern Museum, left for two years to work as a curator for the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, D.C., and returned in 1995 to become the City's records administrator and archivist. Bulova became assistant director of Gadsby's Tavern in 1995, served as that museum's director from 1996 to 2015, and also became director of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum when the site was donated to the City in 2006. Her contributions to OHA also include coordination of the museum system's national accreditation.

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Deadline Nears

ACA Open Enrollment DeadlineOpen Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ends on Friday, December 15. The ACA provides consumers with subsidies that lower the cost of health insurance for low-income households. Visit to complete a 2018 application and to find out if you qualify for lower premiums. Anyone who needs coverage for 2018 should visit the site to start an application and shop for plans to take effect as early as January 1, 2018.

For help with open enrollment, visit or call 703.647.4748.

Coping with Holiday Stress

Holidays can be stressful and challenging, however, there are ways to beat the stress and have meaningful moments with loved ones. Learn strategies and tips for reducing stress and other helpful resources.

City Offers Adopt-a-Bench Program

Adopt-a-BenchHere's an inspiring gift idea: honor a friend or loved one by adopting a bench in a City park! When you "adopt-a-bench," City staff will install a personalized plaque on a new or existing park bench. (Persons interested in the bench adoption program may also opt to adopt new park benches without plaques.)

The plaques take approximately eight weeks for production and installation. You can write the plaque inscription yourself or let the recipient write their own. Full payment must be received before a bench can be reserved; multiple donors may contribute through honorary or memorial funds.

The bench adoptions are fully tax-deductible, and payment can be made by check or credit card. There are many options for participation. Adoption costs range from $800 to add a plaque to an existing bench, to $1,875 for installing a new black steel bench with a plaque, to $2,175 to install a new wood bench with a plaque. All new benches require on-site placement consultation with park staff.

Jane Austen Birthday Extravaganza

Jane Austen Birthday ExtravaganzaCelebrate the December birthday of famed Georgian-era English novelist Jane Austen, known for her works exploring the lives of women, love, marriage and social standing. This month, film adaptations of Austen's works will be screened on Fridays at Beatley Central Library, (5005 Duke St.) in the large meeting room. A craft afternoon will be held on December 15, and the birthday party continues with a themed display of all things Austen, and more!

Austen is known for several major novels, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Emma, which have been successfully adapted for television and film. Although she received little fame during her lifetime, Austen is now lauded as one of English literature's most important authors.


  • December 15 at 3 p.m. -- Craft Afternoon: Make a variety of crafts using vintage tea cups. All supplies provided. Ages 16 and up. Call 703.746.1751 for details. Registration is required. Call 703-746-1751 or email
  • December 22 at 3 p.m. -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, starring Lily James, Matt Smith, and Lena Headey. In this British American historical comedy-horror film, five sisters battle the zombie apocalypse, while coping with societal pressures to get married.
  • December 29 at noon -- The British miniseries, Lost in Austen. Amanda, an ardent Jane Austen fan, lives in present day London with her boyfriend Michael, until she finds she's swapped places with Austen's fictional creation Elizabeth Bennet.

    Website -- Jane Austen Society of North America

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