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Glencarlyn Citizens' Association

Neighborhood Conservation Information

Updated February 21, 2014

Glencarlyn Plan Neighborhood Conservation Plan

After a number of years of considerable work, the Glencarlyn Neighborhood Conservation Plan (NCP) was been accepted by the County Board in November 2011.

This is final version of the Glencarlyn Neighborhood Conservation Plan  (NCP) includes the recommendations from Glencarlyn, County Staff comments on the recommendations, and an analysis of the final survey. 

If you have any questions about the plan, contact Peter Olivere at

Village Center Design Group

A recommendation included in the drafts of the NCP was to establish a group to further expand the recommendations related to the Village Center. That group was formed and met in October 2010. Some of the recommendations were included in the final NCP. The input (click here) of the Village Center Design Group, as well as other considerations, will be discussed at the March 2014 Glencarlyn Citizens’ Association meeting.

Neighborhood Conservation Projects

by Sean Dudley  - Glencarlyn NC Rep February 2014 Village View

On December 12th 2013 the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee voted to fund a project in Glencarlyn for  new concrete curbs, gutters, stormwater drainage improvements, disability access improvements, and complete road reconstruction on the 5700 block of 2nd Street South and  100 block of South Kensington Street.

The new curb-to-curb street width on 2nd will be 23' but it will narrow to 20' to protect a mature healthy oak tree at 5717 2nd Street. Parking will allowed only on the North side of 2nd St. and the west side of Kensington. There will be a 5' wide sidewalk on the north side of 2nd Street, which incidentally is the new standard width of sidewalks in Arlington County. The utility strip on 2nd will be the standard 2.5' wide but it will be 4' wide on Kensington, allowing space for new tree installation there. The project will be bringing more than $700,000 of benefit and improvement to the community. The project will likely break ground sometime in 12-18 months.

As for other projects, Glencarlyn has officially requested the first clip-board petition from the county for a new NC project (curbs, infrastructure, sidewalks, etc.) on 5th Street between South Harrison and South Jefferson. We expect to present the first petition to the affected homeowners sometime in the next month but it is important to clarify that at we are at the very start of this project and nothing has been defined or approved. The earliest that it could be ready for a funding vote (assuming that enough homeowners want it) is December 2014, so there's no imperative here and details will follow as the process evolves. And please note that we are not inviting other projects at this time because I'm planning to present a new project this fall for 4th Street from Kensington to Illinois, but it would be premature to announce that now.

If you are interested in discussing a future project, please contact Sean Dudley at



Background on NC Process

The Neighborhood Conservation (NC) Program is a process by which Arlington County's capital improvement funding is allocated for neighborhood projects such as installation of sidewalks, curbs and gutters, streetlights, park improvements, neighborhood art, and beautification.  The NC process requires that each neighborhood prepare and periodically update a NC Plan, which is reviewed and commented on by the County staff and approved by the County Board.  The Glencarlyn Plan was originally completed in 1978; the current work would be the first update.  The purpose of the plan is to elicit community engagement to define what is important to it, not only for capital improvements, but issues of concern which the community wants to keep in the forefront in the interactions with the County Board and staff.  Each neighborhood has a NC Representative who serves as our liaison with the County staff and is a member of the NC Advisory Committee.

The NC Plan is non-binding document and in itself does not initiate any specific action on capital project. However, it does two things: provides the framework for any capital projects which we may propose in the future and provide a number of concern and priorities which should be considered by County officials when reviewing the services or infrastructure in the neighborhood.

Each year there are a number of project proposed for NC Program funding.  Points are awarded on several criteria, a significant one is how recently the NC Plan of the neighborhood was completed or updated.  As noted above, Glencarlyn is at a competitive disadvantage with those neighborhoods that have already recently completed or updated their plan, so it is important that we complete the update quickly.

The update to the Glencarlyn NC Plan is based largely on two neighborhood surveys, one to identify the desires and concerns of the residents, and the second to vote on proposed recommendations.  The work on the Plan included over 15 residents who prepared and compiled the survey and data, met and drafted the Plan. The Plan includes chapters on the History of Glencarlyn; Land Use and Zoning; Parks and Recreation, Natural Environment and Cultural Sites;  Institutions such as schools and the hospital; Village Center;  Transportation; Streets And Sidewalks;  and Other Infrastructure and County Services,

For information on the County's Neighborhood Conservation Program go to  and type in "Neighborhood Conservation Program" in the search box.


Overview of the Neighborhood Conservation Program

The introduction to the Neighborhood Conservation Program Handbook states

"The Neighborhood Conservation program is a unique grassroots initiative that utilizes County bond funds for capital improvement projects in neighborhoods. The program ensures that neighborhood improvements are tailored to the needs of participating Civic Associations through extensive public outreach.

Improvements include the installation of sidewalks, curbs, gutters, traffic management, park improvements, and other similar capital improvement projects. Through the Neighborhood Conservation Program, residents commit to conserve and improve their neighborhoods’ character by preparing and updating a Neighborhood Conservation Plan that reflects community needs; participating in the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC); and by nominating plan-based improvement projects for bond funding. "

The Arlington County's Neighborhood Conservation Program Guidebook  NCP Guidebook.pdf  (6 MB pdf) describes the program and processes in detail (page numbers below refer to the handbook).

In summary, for a project to be approved:

· The neighborhood needs to participate in the Neighborhood Conservation Program

· Sean Dudley is our delegate to the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC)

· The neighborhood needs a Neighborhood Conservation Plan - (the Glencarlyn one is Glencarlyn Neighborhood Conservation Plan )

· Projects need to be submitted and prioritized by the Glencarlyn Citizens' Association

· Certain projects – curb / gutter / sidewalk, streetlight and those projects including traffic calming must also be supported through block petitions. (Glencarlyn has let the various blocks initiate the curb and gutter projects )

The Neighborhood Conservation Program’s capital projects usually fall into five categories

1. Street Improvement & Street Beautification Projects

2. Streetlight Projects

3. Parks & Open Space Beautification Projects

4. Neighborhood Sign Projects

5. Missing Link Projects - installation of missing sidewalk sections


Glencarlyn Street Sidewalk Plan

A Glencarlyn requested project funded by the Neighborhood Conservation Program was the development of a Glencarlyn Neighborhood Street and Sidewalk Master Plan (11 MB pdf) which was completed in May 2006. The purpose of the Street and Sidewalk Master Plan is to address residents’ concerns by conducting a thorough analysis of pedestrian conditions in the neighborhood and developing a comprehensive plan to increase pedestrian safety while maintaining Glencarlyn’s unique character, with the County's requirement for sidewalks to be constructed on at least one side of the street as part of curb and gutter requirements. Specific recommendations were made regarding sidewalk location and design, intersection crossing, street width, street tree preservation, drainage, lighting and parking.

Glencarlyn accepted the overall document as a third party suggestions for possible reference in future projects, not a blueprint for future projects. There were and still are a number of concerns about specific recommendations.  Individual blocks will retain the right to propose specifics for their projects.