By a vote of 4-1 the Arlington County Board approved a request by the Marriott Corporation to add 189 hotel rooms and expanded parking and recreational facilities on the present 5.35 acre site of the Key Bridge Marriott.
The new facilities would include an enlarged pool, a new health club, meeting rooms and the expansion to four levels of the current two-story parking garage.
In return Marriott agreed to construct an eight foot sidewalk along Lee Highway and landscape the area, two actions recommended by the county Planning Commission.
Several citizens, most of whom had opposed the initial construction of the hotel in 1967, testified against the request. James McCaskill, president of the Arlington County Civic Federation said his group opposed the plan because he feared it would bring incsreased traffic and pollution.
Board vice-chairman John W.Purdy disagreed. "I don't see the impact here. It's well within (zoning density). I think we'd be overstrepping our authority to deny this." Joseph S.Wholey, chairman of the Board agreed. "It looks like a good project." Board member Walter L.Frankland voted against the proposal. The Board will hold a punlic hearing on the zoning change involved on Nov.19.
In other action the Board voted 4-1 to raise the dog license fee from $5 to $10, beginning in January and 4-1 to delete a proposed overpass in the vicinity of Highland Street from the highway master plan. The overpass, supported by Wholey, was opposed by the citizens groups in the surrounding Lyon Park, Arlington Heights and Ashton Heights neighborhoods. It would have crossed Rt.50, Which is planned as a limited access highway.
County staff and citizens groups will instead spend the next year formulating alternatives to the overpass. Any changes in existing traffic patterns must also be approved by the Virginia Highway Department, because Rt.50 is a state road