News: February/March 2005

OLD TOWN NORTH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP WORKING WITH CITY ON TRAFFIC ISSUES

OTNCP has had discussions with Alexandria’s Transportation and Environmental Services Department on a number of traffic and pedestrian issues in our neighborhood. In particular, we are addressing the following:

  • Traffic signal synchronization along Montgomery and Madison Streets
  • T-intersections at Wythe and Fairfax Streets, Pitt and First Street
  • Red light runners at Washington and First Streets
  • Striping of crosswalks
  • Drainage on Montgomery Street near the ABC store
  • Inconsistent signage on the bicycle path
  • Pedestrian flow and circulation generally.

We would appreciate input from our neighbors, residential associations, and businesses in Old Town North on problems you have encountered so that we can bring these to the attention of City staff. Please let us know also about potholes that need fixing, crosswalks that should have priority for re-striping, and areas were it is difficult for pedestrians.

OTNCP WELCOMES JIM HARTMANN, NEW CITY MANAGER

James K. Hartmann began work on January 10 as Alexandria’s City Manager, after a several month recruiting process. Mr. Hartmann comes to us from Spartanburg County, SC, where he was County Administrator since 1999. He also served as County Administrator for Eagle County Colorado from 1996 to 1999, and from 1983 to 1996 worked for Orange County, FL. Mr. Hartmann is a native of California. His breadth of experience in a variety of communities across the US, professional expertise in the management of local governments, interpersonal skills, and already evident delight at being in Alexandria will no doubt make him a strong leader of our City Government. We look forward to a productive working relationship.

RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY HELD FOR CHATHAM SQUARE

The ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 17 at “Chatham Square” symbolically marked the transition of two blocks of Old Town from public housing to mixed-income housing. Located between Pitt and Royal Streets, and Pendleton and Princess Streets, Chatham Square provides 100 market-rate townhouses and 52 public housing units.

Developed by Eakin/Youngentob Associates (also known as builders of the Rivergate and Ford Plant projects) in a public/private partnership with the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Chatham Square replaces 100 units of the Samuel Madden Homes built in the 1940s. Mayor Bill Euille, who spent part of his youth in the Samuel Madden Homes earlier was given a plaque from the demolished units containing his former house number. The new units are scheduled for completion and occupancy by early fall.

ARHA TO RENOVATE SENIOR HIGHRISE

The Ladrey Senior High Rise at 300 Wythe Street was built in 1978 and is in need of renovations. The building provides 170 rental units for persons age 62 and over, and is owned and managed by the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Renovations valued at more than $1 million are proposed to be funded through a Community Development Block Grant allocation, and include such items as replacing heating and air conditioning convectors, renovating kitchens, replacing fire doors, replacing flooring, repainting all units, and re-carpeting common areas.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION BEGINS; DEL. VAN LANDINGHAM COVERS IT FROM HOME

Marian Van Landingham, who has served as our Delegate to Richmond for the last 22 years, is following the General Assembly Session from home while she is being treated for a recurrence of cancer. She monitors the proceedings via closed circuit television transmitted to her home computer, and has asked fellow delegates and our own Senator Patsy Ticer to present the bills she is sponsoring. Among her legislative initiatives this term:

  • Requiring that the Mirant coal-fired electric plant reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen and small particulate matter
  • Requiring administrators of assisted living facilities to have training in meeting the needs of persons with mental disabilities
  • Requiring that the state pay the cost of testing mandated by the Federal No Child Left Behind legislation (rather than the individual localities)
  • Taking the funding of matching grants to repair historic properties out of the Non-State-Agency pot and creating a process like the Virginia Commission on the Arts
  • Strengthening the Virginia Antiquities Act
  • Requiring that localities include accessible housing for the handicapped in their comprehensive plans.

The 2005 Session of the General Assembly ends February 26. For information on the session and individual bills, consult http://legis.state.va.us. Contact information for Old Town North’s delegation:

Sen. Patsy Ticer
Senate of Virginia
POBox 396, Room 429
Richmond, VA 23218
804-698-7530
district30@sov.state.va.us

Del. Marian Van Landingham
House of Delegates
POBox 406, Room 402
Richmond, VA 23218
804-698-1045
del_VanLandingham@house.state.va.us

SMART GROWTH VIDEO AVAILABLE

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released a CD-ROM and Website about land use and transportation choices currently facing our region. The CD showcases examples of best practices discussed in the context of the varied and distinct communities in metropolitan Washington. To view the video online, visit www.mwcog.org/smartgrowth/.

OTN PLAN AVAILABLE ONLINE

The Old Town North Small Area Plan adopted in 1992, with subsequent amendments, is now available online on the Planning Department’s web page. Go to: www.alexandria.gov, click on Planning & Zoning (blue tab on right hand side); from list on new page, click Department of Planning & Zoning; then go to P&Z Publications and Documents; select Old Town North under the heading Small Area Plans.

BUSINESS NOTES

Café Marianna at 1201 North Royal Street has pledged a donation of 20 percent of January’s profits to UNICEF; in addition all proceeds from sales of his signature dish of red beans, rice and sausage in January will be added to the money already pledged. Owner Charles Oppman has a long history of raising funds for disaster relief efforts including the Ethiopian famine of the 1980s.

Harl Pianos, formerly in the old Gazette building on St. Asaph Street, has moved to Montgomery Center. Acoustic Axis, formerly co-located with Hart Pianos, has moved to Mt. Vernon Avenue.

SIGN UP FOR OLD TOWN NORTH COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP MAILING LIST

Please send an email with your contact info@oldtownnorth.org. Or complete and mail the form below to Old Town North Community Partnership, c/o Montgomery Center, 300 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.