Old Dominion Civic Association:
FAQs on Dominion Green (N. 26th Street & Old Dominion Drive)
Board Reverses Direction. The recent direction of the county to go forward with plans to relocate Fire Station #8 to 26th & Old Dominion Drive contradict the Board's direction to the County Manager and the final Capital Improvement Plan approved last year after extensive public hearings on this issue.
Radio Silence on County Planning. County staff members have repeatedly told ODCA members that no planning was taking place while they moved forward on relocation plans with the fire chief. Old Dominion Citizens Association (ODCA) took the County Board at their word that they would enact the Capital Improvement Plan's community engagement process in regard to the development of Dominion Green. ODCA has not been contacted at all by county staff over the last nine months, but, in good faith, our community moved forward to consider options for the site in light of County needs, fully expecting to share our concerns and ideas in a collaborative framework.
Experts Do Not Support Site. The draft Fire Response Study ordered by the County, conducted by fire siting experts, and completed in 2012 did not recommend Dominion Green at 26th and Old Dominion as a site. The site was mentioned only in the Final Fire Response Study, which was presented to the County Board, and Dominion Green was included there as the recommended location with no additional analysis and the sole justification being that it was county-owned. In fact, the final study recommended other initial, less costly options to improve response times.
Further Review Needed by Fire Department. The fire department has not thoroughly reviewed other options to improve/expand Fire Station #8 at its current location (which has community support). Faster emergency call routing as well as better traffic signal controls on Lee Highway and Glebe Road could be part of options reviews.
No Room for County Expansion. ODCA already hosts several county-related services on or near the Dominion Green site - a water tower and reservoir tanks, a salt storage and truck loading facility, and a large leaf mulch pile/storage facility. The neighborhood has no sustainable capacity for additional county industrial support facilities.
Green Space in Limited Supply. ODCA has been on record with the Arlington County Board for 20 years with a request for a dedicated park area within our boundaries. ODCA remains one of the few Arlington civic associations without a dedicated park facility.
Questionable Time to Move Forward. In January of this year the County Board stood up a Community Facilities Study Committee to develop, among other things, a public facilities site selection process. Given that the results of that committee are expected at the end of the summer, the process to determine a potential relocation of Fire Station #8 should be extended to take account of the outcomes of the study.
Demand for Transparency and Disclosure. This issue deserves an open, honest and transparent review, including a robust community outreach program and county staff should be reined in from operating in an independent, dismissive manner. No final Board decision should be taken for at least 180 days, so that the county can "get it right," with full and thorough insights into the community, fiscal, tax base, environmental, and public safety implications