ARLINGTON COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL CHECKLIST
Arlington County Administration Regulation 4.4 calls for assessment of the environmental impacts of
County projects. The attached environmental assessment guidelines are designed to help County staff
carry out such assessments. It provides a checklist for identifying environmental and energy impacts of
proposed projects and developing strategies to avoid or minimize them.
This form, or an environmental assessment, is not required for all projects. Admin Regulation 4.4
excludes such projects as road and sewer maintenance, and exempts others, such as those with no impacts
at all on vegetation, noise, or other environmental concerns. To determine whether your project is
excluded or exempt, please check sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the Regulation. If your project is exempt or
excluded, please complete only page 1 of this form, through question A, and submit it to the Department
of Environmental Services.
If your project is not excluded or exempt, you must either complete this form or provide a separate
environmental assessment report to comply with Admin Reg. 4.4. If you choose to provide a separate
report, please make sure it addresses all of the questions posed in the form. If you prefer to complete the
form, please answer the questions briefly. If you have already prepared other documents providing
information on specific questions, you are encouraged to attach them rather than rewriting the material on
We encourage you to seek community input into project design prior to completing this form. You may
want to solicit the views of civic associations, citizen commissions, and other groups as appropriate. For
applicable projects, the Environment and Energy Conservation Commission (E2C2) will hold a public
hearing on the project.
Please submit two (2) copies of the completed form with all attachments, printed double-sided, to the
Environmental Planning Office in the Department of Environmental Services. The submission will be
reviewed by DES staff and by the Environment and Energy Conservation Commission (E2C2). In rare
instances, a proposed project may raise significant environmental questions not fully answered by this
form. In such cases, DES or E2C2 may request additional information or analysis.
November 8, 2007
North Tract Park, Old Jefferson Davis Highway
Project Name and Address:
Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Erik Beach, Planner IV
Agency Point of Contact:
703-228-3328 703-228-3318 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: _____________________ Phone: ___________________ E-Mail: ________________________
Timeline for development process. On a separate page, please provide a checklist of the steps in the
design and implementation of this project, indicating which have already been completed and when, and
the schedule for completion of the rest. Your list might include planning, community input, compliance
with siting guidelines, consultation with citizen commissions (including E2C2) or other boards, budget
approvals, Site Plan review, Planning Commission Review, Board approvals, site design, Chesapeake
Bay Preservation Ordinance review, granting of required permits, construction start, estimated completion
date, and so on.
Architect/Design Engineer/Consultant (if any) Hughes Group Architects
Point of Contact: Amado Fernandez AIA
Fax: 703-834-1752 Phone: 703-437-6600 E-Mail: Amado@hgaarch.com
Based on the criteria specified in sections 3.2 and 3.3 of Reg. 4.4, this project is:
YES Subject to Reg. 4.4
_______ Excluded from Reg. 4.4 as specified in section 3.2
_______ Exempt from EA under Reg. 4.4 as specified in section 3.3
A. BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION (provide a brief description of the proposed project):
The first phase of park development at the North Tracts will create a great recreational
destination for Arlington and a gateway to the County. The design closely follows the vision for
the North Tract outlined by the North Tract Task Force, Design Advisory Committee, and County
Board, and will transform the site into a distinctive showplace of environmentally sound
redevelopment, with a central expanse of attractive public green spaces, high-quality outdoor
recreation facilities and environmentally conscious structures. The park’s key features include
A 2,350 feet long raised esplanade will connect all sections of the park and its recreational
facilities. For most of its length, the esplanade will consist of two parallel walking or bicycling
surfaces composed of an accessible surface and separated by planting areas and seating. It will
be raised up by vegetated and mechanically stabilized earth or by stone gabions. It is capable, in
later phases, of connecting Crystal City over the George Washington Memorial Parkway to the
Potomac River and the Mount Vernon Trail. The esplanade can accommodate strolling, casual
bicycling, train spotting, plane watching and small festivals, and will feature small flowering
trees that shade grass panels and benches that offer both water views and playing field views. At
night the Esplanade will be subtly lit for evening strolls.
Beginning south of the park at Crystal Drive, the esplanade will rise gently to an elevation of
approximately 29, approximately 10 feet above the height of the adjacent railroad tracks, and
overlooking Roaches Run Waterfowl Preserve with views toward the Capitol and the Washington
Monument. To its west, the esplanade will pass a gently sloping tree shaded earth form or
meadow grove. It will narrow where it crosses the historic location of Roaches Run, and
interpretive panels will explain the history of landscape change on the site. West of the
Esplanade, a three-quarter acre raingarden will infiltrate runoff from the park’s parking lot and
sports fields into a planted garden of native shrubs and perennials. The Esplanade will widen
opposite a remnant of the original bottomland forest that once occupied the area, and where
Arlington County has discovered a number of significant plant communities. Finally, after
passing another sloping landform, the Esplanade will culminate in a large raised overlook, where
visitors will be able to circle up to elevation 43 for an expansive view of the park, Arlington and
the national monuments.
Two rectangular lighted multiuse fields with synthetic infill turf surfaces will allow for intensive
organized sports throughout the seasons. The fields are located immediately east of Old Jefferson
Davis Highway, and are raised above it to avoid excavation in the former Davis tract portion of
the site. Field A is located to the north and Field C to the south of a central parking lot serving
the entire park. The playable area of field A is 360 by 210 feet, and field C is 330 by 210 feet.
Both fields have an additional 15-foot (five yard) run-out surrounding the area of play. A fixed
fencing barrier will prevent balls from leaving the park to the south of field C, or from rolling
into the parking area. Access from Old Jefferson Davis Highway and from the parking lot will be
by walkways with less than 5% slopes, and by site stairs.
Situated along the western edge of the fields and providing frontage to Old Jefferson Davis
Highway are a series of 900 square foot one-story buildings that provide park concessions, toilets
and storage facilities for the various leagues and field maintenance. Two buildings will be
constructed in the first phase, and two in a later phase, with the completion of field B. Separated
by equal points along the edge of the fields, the buildings provide multiple points of access along
this shared edge. The buildings also fit within the overall fabric of the park design and are
visually integrated into the trellis framework that runs along the field perimeter path. Phase One
includes a public restroom building and a field and league storage building with a small office
and vending alcove to serve the public during events.
(Complete only to here if your project is excluded or exempt from Reg. 4.4
B. CURRENT CONDITION OF SITE (briefly describe topography, slopes, number and species of
trees, extent and location of bushes, low ground cover, and impervious surface)
Phase I of the North Tract park project includes parts of two sites. The main tract, referred to as
the Arlington Industrial Area (AIA) is a 21.5-acre County-owned site located between the
highway corridor of Old Jefferson Davis Highway and I-395/US Route 1,and the CSX railroad
tracks, and north of the former Davis Scrap Yard and Crystal City. It is fallow industrial land.
Former uses included a concrete company, towing and auto storage yards, and a trucking
concern. The parcel is roughly triangular in shape, wide at its base in the south, and extending
north in a long strip that parallels the CSX tracks. At its southern end, the parcel includes parts
of the block between 6th and 10th streets, including old warehouse structures, one of which housed
the Clark Street Theatre. This part of the site is not included in this project. A 4.5-acre site in the
center, the former Davis Industries Scrap yard, was the subject of a lawsuit to determine
responsibility for clean-up of environmental contamination. This site is bounded by the CSX
tracks to the east, 6th street to the south, Old Jefferson Davis Highway to the west and the
majority of the AIA tract to the north. After initiating actions the late 1980s, Arlington County
and other parties, principally former customers of the scrap yard, later resolved their litigation in
a court-sealed agreement that apportioned remediation responsibilities. The site was
subsequently cleaned-up and parts sealed with an asphalt cap.
The sites are relatively flat, and contain limited numbers of volunteer vegetation and associated
urban birds and wildlife.
C. CHARACTER OF SURROUNDING AREA (provide a brief description of the surrounding area,
including a description of the current property use, including whether the property is developed or
undeveloped, adjacent land uses, topography, vegetation, etc).
See description above.
D. SUBSURFACE CONDITIONS
(1) Will the project disturb soil or subsurface conditions?
√ Yes ____ No
If yes, describe the extent of the disturbance (for example, how much soil will be disturbed, to what
depth, will the soil be replaced, what is the nature of the soil to be disturbed, will the lot be regraded, will
additional backfill be added and what type). What measures will be taken to minimize such disturbances?
The project includes a significant amount of site grading to create the esplanade and landforms
described earlier. Current estimates are that proposed earthwork will involve balancing
approximately 150,000 cubic yards of earth movement, including a large quantity of materials
placed on site in advance from excavation at other County project sites. Some disturbed soils may
need to be removed from the site as part of planed remediation of possible lead contamination in
the AIA portion of the property.
(2) Will the project affect groundwater?
____Yes √ No
If yes, describe the effect(s) and the steps taken to minimize the effects:
Note: If yes, please contact DES/Environmental Planning staff if you have questions.
E. STORM WATER MANAGEMENT
(1) Describe the current water/storm water drainage at the site (e.g. location of storm drains, retention
areas, streams, etc.):
There is a storm system on Old Jefferson Davis Highway that drains into the existing box culvert
under 6th Street. The system on 6th Street consists of four 48” diameter discharge pipes which
carry the flow beneath the CSX railroad corridor to the Roaches Run Waterfront Sanctuar near
Gravelly Point which subsequently flows to the Potomac River. The site drains to the CSX
corridor to the east, Old Jefferson Davis Highway to the west and 6th Street to the south. The site
is mostly semi-pervious with no existing improvements other than the police impoundment lot.
There are some concrete structures remaining from prior industrial and commercial uses and an
asphalt cap required for environmental reasons on the former Davis Industries site.
(2) Storm water management - All projects should consider implementing innovative and
environmentally beneficial stormwater management techniques such as bioretention or use of pervious
paving. Describe the design for managing storm water or attach any stormwater flow or drainage plans
prepared for the project.
The site will drain to the southeast where a proposed rain garden will both retain and clean site
stormwater. This system will meet the CBPD for BMPs and mitigate the increase in run-off from
the site. The temporary parking to be constructed between fields A and C will use pervious paving
and there may be reuse of rainwater for irrigation proposes.
(3) Describe your erosion and sediment control plan, or attach your E&S document.
The E&S plan is attached and will meet all County and State requirements to ensure that there
are no harmful impacts to the surroundings due to construction activities.
F. FLOODPLAINS, WETLANDS, CHESAPEAKE BAY ISSUES
(1) Is the project in the 100-year floodplain? (as per Chapter 48. Floodplain Management Ordinance)
_____ Yes √ No
If yes, describe how the project complies with the requirements of the Floodplain Management
(2) Is your site:
NOT within Resource Protection Area (RPA) as defined in the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance?
If yes, you must contact DES and DPW about compliance with the conditions set out in the Chesapeake
Bay Preservation Ordinance.
YES, within Resource Management Area (RMA) as defined in Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance?
If your site is in RMA, describe the measures taken to comply with the criteria for such development
under the Chesapeake Bay ordinance (minimize impervious cover, retain/maintain vegetation to the
maximum extent practicable, minimize site disturbance).
The E&S plan is attached and will meet all County and State requirements to ensure that there
are no harmful impacts to the surroundings due to construction activities.
_____ exempt from compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance?
If your site is exempt, please specify the category of exemption:
G. WATER QUALITY (excluding stormwater)
(1) Will the project result in the discharge of pollutants directly into a surface water body, thus requiring
a state discharge permit (Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, VPDES)?
√ No (proceed to next question)
____ Yes (provide confirmation of compliance with VPDES requirements)
(2) Will the project discharge to the waste water treatment plant?
____ No (proceed to next question)
√ Yes (provide confirmation of compliance with limits for discharge to local treatment plant)
The park will include a restroom building and storage building with janitor’s sink. Discharge will
be minor in comparison to commercial uses that have historically occupied the site.
H. AIR QUALITY
(1) Will the project cause increased air emissions? (for example, from vehicles, lawn mowers and
other landscape maintenance equipment, generators, boilers, etc.)
√ No (proceed to next question) ____ Yes
Describe source and nature of emissions, and measures taken to reduce or minimize them:
(2) Will the proposal create objectionable odors?
√ No (proceed to next question) ____ Yes
Describe source and nature of emissions, and measures taken to reduce or minimize such them:
I. FLORA AND FAUNA
(1) Please describe impacts on vegetation (for example, change in species diversity, removal of trees
or other vegetation), how the project will minimize and mitigate such impacts, and how you will comply
with the County's tree replacement policy. All vegetation planted on the site should be native species;
contact the County's urban forester for more information.
Due to the limited nature and poor quality of existing tree and shrub cover, at the completion of
Phase I, vegetation will be almost entirely new material planted as part of the project. Proposed
plant materials will be native or cultivars of native materials, or similar materials selected for
their successful performance in urban park environments.
(2) Please describe impacts on fauna and wildlife habitat (e.g. butterflies, birds, small mammals) and
how the project will minimize or mitigate such impacts. Consider both design and timing strategies to
No impacts, other than positive ones, are anticipated on fauna and wildlife habitat. The
completed first phase will include the creation of a raingarden with a range of native species.
This will provide over an acre of new bird and butterfly habitat.
Will the proposal result in increased noise levels?
√ No (proceed to next question) ____ Yes
If yes, please describe your abatement procedures to comply with the County's Noise Control Ordinance,
As observed in the field, and as attested to by local residents in some of the public meetings, the
operation of trains creates frequent episodes of very loud noise, ranging from wheels screeching
on trains slow to approach and negotiate the curving track in this area, air horns, the noise of
prime diesel movers and the sound of heavy freight cars passing over tracks. Train noise is
exacerbated by aircraft takeoff and landing noise. This noise can be expected to affect park use,
but park use will not add appreciably to ambient noise.
K. LIGHT and GLARE
If the project involves outdoor lighting, describe how it has been designed to avoid nuisance light that
disturbs neighbors, minimize glare, and protect dark skies.
The proposed lighting system includes two lighted rectangular playing fields. The adjacency of
the site and the playing fields to the runways of Ronald Regan Washington National Airport will
have a profound impact on the lighting for these fields. FAA restrictions limit pole height for the
Phase I fields to 45’ and 50’ above grade when pole heights of 70’ would be normal for this type
of application. While designed light levels (average 30 fc maintained) and uniformity (3 max to 1
min) correspond to IESNA recommendations for NCAA Class III play, increased glare from
floodlights as compared with a typical installation will be unavoidable. In addition, direct
lighting of balls at heights greater than 40’ or 50’ will fall off greatly (though indirect light from
the field may prove to be sufficient against dark skies). The 45’ and 50’ maximum pole height is
set by their location on the southeast side of the playing fields. The lighting design has been
coordinated with Musco Lighting and they have verified all light levels and uniformities with
calculations. Their 1500 watt “Green Generation” fixture head being used has excellent cut off
regarding light outside of field boundaries and reduces upward light with the reflector design.
The remainder of the lighting is distributed throughout pedestrian walkways and at the parking
lot. Site walkways and esplanade will be illuminated with pedestrian scaled pole lights with
ceramic metal halide lamps. Uniformity of the lighting will be up to 10:1 (avg:min) in this area
with an average light level of 1.0 to 1.5 fc. Temporary parking lots lighted with metal halide
single and double-headed fixtures are being used in this area on 25’-0” tall poles.
L. HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES/WASTE
Will the project involve the generation, storage or management of hazardous substances or hazardous
_____ No (proceed to next question)
√ Yes. Please provide a description of the measures taken to prevent the release of such
substances/waste. Copies of plans or similar documents required by law may be provided in lieu of a
As mentioned in Section B, the project site is on the AIA and the former Davis site parcels.
Environmental activities at these two parcels are being conducted through the Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP with DEQ
input and approval).The soil at the AIA parcel has been impacted by past releases and
contaminants, primarily lead, are present at concentrations greater than the regulatory level that
makes them hazardous waste “by characteristic” if/when excavated. This lead-impacted soil will
be excavated for the installation of the parking area in between Fields A and C. As part of the
remediation plan, the excavated soil will be stockpiled in 1,000-cubic yard piles and individually
tested to determine if they are hazardous by characteristic. Characteristically hazardous soil will
be treated on-site via stabilization techniques. Both treated soil and non-hazardous impacted soil
will be placed in the core of the observation tower to the north of Field A. This placed soil will be
wrapped with a geotextile fabric that will serve as a barrier for exposure as well as a physical
marker. A minimum of two feet of clean soil will be put around the wrapped soil to minimize any
potential exposure. A deed restriction regarding future earthworks in and around the observation
tower will be implemented. A Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP) is being developed and will be
submitted to the DEQ for their review and concurrence. In planning meetings between County
and DEQ personnel, DEQ has agreed to the fundamental principles of this remedial approach.
The approved Plan (assuring compliance with RCRA regulations) will be followed; however,
until DEQ formally accepts this approach via review of the RAWP, this approach is subject to
(1) Will the project:
YES generate additional traffic?
YES add to existing parking facilities or create demand for new parking?
NO have a substantial impact upon existing transportation systems or traffic flow?
NO create or increase a hazard to pedestrian or bicycle traffic?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, please describe the impacts and how they can be avoided or
mitigated (for example, incentives for mass transit or pedestrian/bike use, design to avoid traffic flow
problems, etc.). Please describe, summarize, or attach any traffic studies.
The playing fields in North Tract Phase 1 will generate a limited amount of additional traffic in
the peak hour. A limited amount of parking demand will also be created. Both traffic and
parking demand were analyzed in a comprehensive study prior to the start of design. Refer to
original North Tract Multimodal Transportation Study.
Due to potential impacts of traffic arriving and departing from the fields, a southbound left turn
lane into the proposed site parking lot is being considered for Old Jefferson Davis Highway
(OJDH) as part of a separate project to upgrade of this roadway to support the park.
The proposed parking lot is being added to the site to accommodate the demand for parking 2
fields of play and for use of the first phase’s walking trails, esplanade and raingarden.
Two transit stops are also being added to accommodate users of the new recreation facilities who
wish to choose transit as their transportation mode to and from the park.
(2) Describe what you are doing to facilitate bicycle and pedestrian access to and within your site:
Bicycle and pedestrian access is a top priority of the design of the North Tract Park and the
reconstruction of Old Jefferson Davis Highway. For the park, a multiuse trail (the Esplanade) is
being designed for the park's eastern edge, which will tie to the bicycle routes on Crystal Drive
and 12th Street South. Wide sidewalks will link the park to the adjacent streets and land parcels.
On the reconstructed Old Jefferson Davis Highway, bicycle lanes are being considered in each
direction. The lanes and multi-use trail will ultimately tie to regional trails.
N. ENERGY CONSUMPTION/CONSERVATION
Describe energy consumption and measures to promote energy efficiency in your project (e.g., measures
to reduce heating and cooling energy loads, minimize lighting power density, harvest daylight, use solar
technologies, or meet EPA Energy Star or Consortium for Energy Efficiency performance levels):
Situated along the western edge of the fields are a series of 900 square foot one-story buildings
that provide park concessions, toilets and storage facilities. The buildings ability to “breathe”
and the incorporation of other environmentally conscious details are a key to the buildings’
design. Low vents along the western street-side edge provide a steady stream of cross ventilation
through the upper louvers on the eastern field-side walls. A canopy along the eastern field
provides shade to people viewing the games. Solar photovoltaic panels are fitted onto the roof
and feed energy back into the power grid, resulting in annual energy savings for each building.
Proposed flush-less urinals and dual flow toilets cut down the excessive water use. These green
details contribute to the character of the building, and reflect a true desire to design with larger
concern for the space around structures as well as the space within the structures themselves.
O. GREEN BUILDING
Describe your compliance with the US Green Building Council's LEED standards or submit your LEED
checklist and related descriptive materials:
In this primarily park design, it is the design team’s intention to obtain a LEED certification.
Included with this application is a LEED scorecard to date reflecting the areas in which the
design is expected to achieve points and several areas that are currently being investigated. Due
to the nature of Phase 1 in this park design, the service and utility buildings play a small role on
the site - the design team is considering alternative ways to achieve points that would otherwise
be credited to a building that would occupy a much larger portion of the site. Eventually, in
future phases of this park design will also include a Parks and Recreational building which is
intended to reach a Silver Rating in LEED.
P. CULTURAL/HISTORIC RESOURCES
Will the proposal
NO result in the alteration or destruction of a prehistoric or historic archaeological site?
NO result in adverse physical or aesthetic effects to a historic building, structure, or object?
NO have the potential to cause physical change that would affect unique cultural or historic values?
If yes, please describe or attach related documents.
Q. GENERAL QUESTIONS
Beyond the specific areas identified above, do you anticipate that the proposal individually or in
association with similar projects or other projects within the same area has the potential to cause
significant adverse impacts on the environment, either short-term or long-term?
If the answer is yes, and your response has not already been addressed above, please describe such
impacts and how they will be minimized or mitigated.