Welcome to the Donaldson Run Civic Association web site!

This site has been created to provide information about DRCA to our neighbors.  Located in Arlington, Virginia, the boundaries of the Donaldson Run Neighborhood can be seen on this map. 

DRCA is an active civic association that is engaged in community affairs. The organization is administered by elected volunteers.  DRCA is not affiliated with any political or religious organizations. Our goals are to:

  • Promote information sharing about issues affecting the neighborhood

  • Provide leadership and advocacy about neighborhood interests

  • Preserve and enhance the assets of the neighborhood

  • Promote a sense of community

Membership:  If you live in the neighborhood, you can become a member of DRCA by paying dues which are $15 annually.  The membership application can be found here.

DRCA Email List:

  If you live in the neighborhood and want to be kept up to date on the news, sign up for DRCA's Email List here.

Planning for the future of Lee Hwy/Langston Blvd 

development will be the focus of the fall DRCA meeting which is scheduled on October 6.  The meeting will take place in person  at Taylor School.  A social half hour will start at 7:00 and the meeting agenda will begin at 7:30.  Please note that masks are required for visitors in school buildings.  Additional information about the meeting is available here.

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NEWS-September 27, 2021

Read DRCA's letter to the County Board about the deer population problem in Arlington here.

NEWS-September 13, 2021

Read DRCA's response of July 2, 2021, regarding Plan Lee Highway's preliminary designs/proposals here.

NEWS-January 18, 2021

Links to recent information about the Tributary B stream restoration: 

Field Report December 2020

County Response to Field Report-January 2021

County web site for the project

NEWS-December 23, 2020

The results of the first DRCA holiday light contest are in, and the neighborhood ​is really decked out this year. Thanks to all who participated. You can see the winning entries here.

NEWS-February 2, 2020

Read DRCA's letter to County Board about zoning ordinance issue (large tall houses, lot coverage, loss of trees etc.) here.

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President's Letter

Bill Richardson

bill@drca.org

September 2021

Now that non-virtual school is back in session this year, I would like to invite you join us in returning to Taylor Elementary School for our next Donaldson Run Civic Association (DRCA) membership meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6, at Taylor Elementary.  We will continue our tradition of beginning with a 7:00 p.m. social half hour, followed by our meeting at 7:30.  Note that masks are required by Arlington County for visitors in school buildings.  https://www.arlingtonva.us/covid-19/face-coverings/.

 

We have decided to devote our October 6 meeting to the state of plans by the County to govern future development along Lee Highway (to be renamed Langston Boulevard next year).  In particular, we would like to inform the County about your views concerning the preliminary plans to govern redevelopment of the specific areas that include the Lee Heights Shops, the area to the west of those shops leading to Glebe Road, and the area to the east through Cherrydale and the Lyon Village Shopping Center.

 

In these areas, County staff’s preliminary designs indicate a preference for an “urban neighborhood” with a “mix of low-, middle- and high-rise buildings” as high as seven to ten stories, with taller buildings closer to the street, wider sidewalks, outside eating areas, added street trees, and reduced “large surface parking lots.”  While not contemplating rezoning of single-family zoning districts, the preliminary sketches refer to “lot consolidation” and the combination of parcels to encourage mixed-use development, including multi-family residences designed to address the County’s lack of affordable housing options in north Arlington.  We urge you to review County staff’s initial take on future development in this part of the Lee Highway corridor, designated as “Area 3” and “Area 4,” which can be found at this site: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/plans-studies/land-use/lee-highway/.

 

Sometime this fall, County staff plan to proceed to the next phase of this process, which will be a “Preferred Concept Plan.”  In July, DRCA invited County staff to join us at our October 6 meeting in order to learn more about their thinking and provide more input from our membership about the concerns we raised in a July 2 letter about these preliminary proposals.  Staff responded to our letter by “want[ing] to hear from the community,” and “to open the door to meaningful discussions with the community.”  However, in response to our invitation to the October 6 meeting, staff advised us that they were “unable to confirm if we can attend,” because they have “not determined yet what the engagement strategies will be” this fall.  Because of our concerns that staff will not have adequate input from you on this “Preferred Concept Plan,” we have followed up with the County Board for help in providing staff for our meeting.  We are currently exploring with staff whether or not they’ll be able to join us virtually.  In any event, we also plan to invite others who have devoted careful study to this project in order to give you the most up to date information on it.    

 

This past summer, we sent you our July 2 letter by e-mail, which is also posted on our website at www.drca.org.  This letter expressed concern that staff’s preliminary designs had not reflected accurately the expressed viewpoints of DRCA in opposing the “canyonization” of the Lee Highway corridor, and the Lee Heights Shops in particular.  We also identified further issues:  (1) the adequacy of parking in light of the increased density reflected in these proposals, (2) the impact of increased development on schools, parks, and other facilities, (3) the stormwater management challenges associated with greater density of development, (4) the views of older DRCA residents more likely to be planning for aging in place, and (5) the inadequacy of “street trees” as a replacement for the potential loss of mature trees associated with “lot consolidation” and “infill development” contemplated in these scenarios -- particularly in the DRCA area, which the staff report recognizes has “a higher tree density than others.” 

 

We would like to ensure that the County is fully apprised of these (or other) views you may have on the redevelopment of Lee Highway in the Lee Heights Shops and surrounding areas, which have formed an important part of our neighborhood life.   Please join us on October 6 at Taylor School for a discussion of these issues.