The following was among actions taken at the June 6 meeting of the Arlington County Board. For more information, call 558-2261.
DMV PROPOSAL WITHDRAWN -- The board denied a request by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to expand its sole Arlington facility on South Glebe Road. The proposal had drawn significant neighborhood opposition.
Although the state did not need approval from the County Board to go ahead with expansion, DMV officials had indicated that if the board rejected the plan, they would withdraw the proposal. They did so Saturday.
The small DMV office at 501 S. Glebe Rd., a trailer set up as a temporary facility in the mid-1970s, has the capacity only to renew driver's licenses and automobile tags. People seeking new licenses or title transfers must travel outside the county. DMV officials have said this is inconvenient and proposed building a full-service operation on the site. Officials estimated that the expansion, at a cost of nearly $2 million, would have increased customer service from 350 to 600 people a day.
But neighborhood opponents have argued that the expansion would be inappropriate in a residential area and would at least double the traffic on already congested Glebe Road.
Earlier this spring, 30 members of the Arlington Heights Civic Association, the area civic group, approved a resolution opposing expansion. Since then, half of the group's 800 members signed a resolution and presented the petition to county officials.
Late last year, DMV officials purchased three residential properties adjacent to the current facilty. Their plan was to raze the houses on those properties, which cost $190,000 each, remove the 800-square-foot trailer and construct a two-story, 12,000-square-foot building. In the process, parking would have increased from about 45 to 70 spaces. Construction and parking expansion would have cost $1.4 million.
In late May, the Arlington Planning Commission, bowing to citizen concern, voted not to recommend the project for approval.
In withdrawing their proposal, DMV officials told the board they would draw up plans for a smaller one-story office on the site. They gave no indication of when the plans would be ready.