Arlington County Board Notes

Arlington County Board Notes

At the County Board meeting on Jan. 28, the board approved amendments to a recent regulation change that legalized Airbnb and other services involving the use of private homes as short-term rentals. The amendment removed the limits originally imposed last year on the number of contracts allowed at each rental location per night.

The County Board also approved the final purchase of the temporary headquarters for Fire Station 8. The County Board will pay $800,000 for the property at 2215 North Culpepper Street. The temporary fire station serve the Lee Highway community while the permanent station is rebuilt at 4845 Lee Highway.

The County Board unanimously approved a resolution outlining items of support and concern regarding the widening I-66 project. The resolution emerged after an environmental assessment released by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) showed the impact the widening would have on nearby Arlington neighborhoods.

The environmental assessment found that the I-66 widening would have impacts on right of way issues along the easternmost section of the highway. The project would require 4.9 acres of property easements and acquisitions, 0.16 acres of which will be permanent acquisitions.

The resolution also calls for VDOT to review several traffic issues not addressed in the environmental assessment. According to county staff, the draft environmental assessment did not assess the impacts of multimodal transit in the traffic model analysis. The model used by VDOT does not account for bike lanes, pedestrian and bicycle movement, or the impacts of buses loading and offloading along the route.

County staff also expressed concern about a VDOT proposal to construct a grade-separated crossing bicycles travelling along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The resolution specifically called on VDOT to work closely with the surrounding communities to mitigate potential negative impacts from a bridge trail.

The environmental assessment did not examine the impact of noise mitigation. According to county staff, the impact of noise mitigation measures can only be examined once the design for the noise barriers are finalized. However, the resolution emphasizes that VDOT must communicate with affected citizens about the potential for noise barriers to be erected near their homes.