Friday, June 19, 2009

We're #5! We're #5!

At the June 9 City Council meeting, Council approved a set of "priorities, staffing levels and funding for the Department of Planning and Zoning" for Fiscal Year 2010 (link to PDF). Not surprisingly, actions currently underway were at the top of the list, including the completion of Potomac Yard and Waterfront plans and beginning the implementation of Landmark/Van Dorn plans. At #4 on the priority list is the completion of the city's Wayfinding design guidelines that have been a lengthy work in process, eating up P&Z resources for quite some time.

However, at #5, for the first time since the city wrapped up Arlandria's small area plan in 2003, we're back on the priority list and at a position where it is unlikely to get pushed aside. However, the language is fairly non-committal: "Prioritize support for implementation of the Arlandria Action Plan". Does that mean we are a priority to get prioritized? I'm hoping this is not a brush off, but a commitment to actually implement major pieces of the Arlandria Action Plan and re-look the rest.

My journey of increased civic participation began with nagging City Council back in January to update the moribund Arlandria Implementation Schedule so I could figure out the status of various actions. As it turns out, that, along with a few follow-up e-mails, was enough to get the attention of council members Justin Wilson and Rob Krupicka. They dug in and told P&Z to get Arlandria back on the schedule, resources be damned. P&Z staff was not able to dust off the implementation schedule that had not been touched in 2-plus years, but they at least got it on the schedule for this coming fall. We'll see where this leads.

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