Seminary Hill Association January 2022 Update

From: "Seminary Hill Association" <carterflemming@PROTECTED>
Date: January 3rd 2022

Happy New Year to all of you!  I hope you enjoyed a relaxing holiday season. Today’s significant snowfall caught us a bit off-guard, and given the state of our street plowing, it caught our city off-guard as well! Let’s hope tomorrow will bring some progress on our streets. Please note that trash collection will slide a day forward this week, since there was no collection today.

In light of the virus surge, our next SHA board meeting will be held virtually on Zoom. We had hoped to be able to continue the in-person and virtual combination that we began with our Annual Meeting in November, but I do not think that is prudent for this month. You will find the Zoom link for this meeting at the end of this message.

As I hope you have seen on the large flashing signs posted around our neighborhood, the test pilot involving signal timing changes along Duke Street and the streets that cross Duke from Quaker to Taylor Run began today. It will last for 2 months and be evaluated during the pilot and following it. The goal of the pilot is to encourage cut-through drivers to stay on the arterial roads of Quaker and Duke, instead of taking detours through our residential streets. As a part of this process, Hillary Orr, Deputy Director of Transportation for the city, will attend our SHA meeting on the 13th and provide us an update on the first 10 days of the pilot and ask us to provide our observations on how the pilot is working. She wants to hear our experiences and suggestions for how the pilot might be tweaked to make it work more smoothly. Obviously, today was not a day that will reflect how the pilot is working, and probably tomorrow will be the same. But let’s pay attention to our neighborhood traffic and be prepared to offer any thoughts to Ms. Orr on the 13th.  Further information on this project can be found on the city website at:

I want to draw your attention to an online community meeting about Fort Ward Park on January 24th from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.  The community will be asked to provide input on recommendations on the Ft. Ward Park and Museum Area Management Plan and the Ft. Ward Interpretative Plan. The staff will give a presentation about historic resources, upcoming projects, and archaeology. One of these projects is the relocation of the playground. As you might remember, SHA has urged the city to work with the families of the descendants of those who lived on the land, and take scientific measures to make certain no gravesites are on the proposed playground site. We will find out at this meeting what the city’s plans are. I encourage you to join this meeting if you can. The link to register for this meeting can be found at:

On December 18th, 2021, City Council approved the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation’s (AHDC) development plans for the site on Seminary Road adjacent to the fire station. 31 affordable for-sale townhomes will be built, along with a multifamily building with 5 for sale affordable condos, and condo units to be owned by Sheltered Homes of Alexandria to provide housing for intellectually disabled adults. SHA worked closely with AHDC and adjacent neighbors to ensure that this project will fit into the character of the neighborhood.

The City Council will be taking up several projects of interest to our neighborhoods in their upcoming meetings. Among those coming up are the High School Project at Minnie Howard, and the Parc View II massive redevelopment on Holmes Run Parkway which will build a new apartment building in the current parking lot of the existing building and create a 127% increase in the number of units there. Among the items to be considered for the High School project is an increase in the height of the lights for the sports field from the originally-proposed 60 feet to 77 feet. Those of us familiar with the stadium lights at the former TCW knew that the 60-foot lights would never be realistic at Minnie Howard. Apparently, the engineers have now come to the same conclusion. We will continue to follow these and other issues in the coming year.

Tonight was the installation ceremony for the new City Council. SHA congratulates those who were elected, and takes special pride that our Seminary Hill resident, Amy Jackson, was elected Vice-Mayor. I think it is important to note Mayor Wilson’s remarks when he stated that previously he wanted Alexandria to be “a small city that does big things.” Tonight, he indicated that he sees Alexandria as a city “that does less things, but does them better.”  He stated that our basic services are strained and now Council must come to a “reconciliation of the role the City has.” We will be closely monitoring what these statements mean for all of us.

The Zoom link for our SHA Board meeting on Thursday, January 13th at 7:00 p.m. is:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 896 0219 4173

Passcode: 370855

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Thank you for your interest in Seminary Hill. Please do not hesitate to contact me and other board members with any concerns or questions you have. We look forward to a busy and productive year for SHA.

Carter Flemming, President, Seminary Hill Association. carterflemming@PROTECTED

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