The Arlington County Board today accepted the updated Bluemont Neighborhood Conservation Plan, allowing the Bluemont Civic Association to pursue funding to transform the neighborhood to an “urban village” with slower traffic, better sidewalks and revitalized commercial corridors.
“With this update, Bluemont residents — the people who know Bluemont best — have crafted a vision to guide development in their neighborhood for years to come," said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada.
The Board voted 5 to 0 to accept the plan.
Key recommendations from the neighborhood include:
Street conditions — improve existing sidewalks, especially along both sides of Wilson Blvd., and install new sidewalks where they are missing throughout the neighborhood.
Traffic management and transportation — install enhanced crosswalks and yield signs for pedestrian safety, calm traffic at key intersections and road arteries and improve traffic signage.
Commercial and business areas — upgrade the overall quality and appearance of the Wilson Boulevard business district, using elements of urban town center design and focusing on local businesses that serve the neighborhoods. Retain a grocery store at the current Safeway site.
“The updated Bluemont Conservation Plan represents the community’s vision of how best to ensure that our neighborhood remains a great place to live,” said George Rovder, President of the Bluemont Civic Association. “A diverse and dedicated group of neighbors, led by David Van Wagner, volunteered countless hours of their time to bring us to this milestone. We look forward to working together with the County to implement the plan’s recommendations.”
The Bluemont Civic Association began this planning effort in the spring of 2010 by distributing a survey to more than 2,000 Bluemont residences. More than 350 residents helped identify priority improvements for the neighborhood. Based on their recommendations, the Bluemont Civic Association drafted an updated plan.
At 580 acres, Bluemont is one of Arlington's largest neighborhoods. Located next to Ballston, in west central Arlington, it is a diverse community of 6,000 people, with a 22 percent minority population.
Unlike Ballston, which is a high-density, heavily mixed-use area, 90 percent of Bluemont is low-density residential and park land. Most of the housing is detached single-family homes, but there also are townhomes, garden apartments, low-rise apartment buildings, and condominiums. The main commercial area is an older, low-density, four-block stretch along Wilson Blvd.
Bluemont also features an award-winning garden, a wetland refuge and beaver pond, historic sites, the satellite campuses of two major universities, miles of bike trails and an abundance of parks.