Arlington is setting sail towards a new boathouse after 20 years of planning and proposals.
The project has been in the process of gaining direct access to the waterfront for Arlington residents since the 1980s, and the National Parks Service (NPS) recently reported its findings that there would be no significant impact on the environment or surrounding areas based on the proposed boathouse plans in the area of Theodore Roosevelt Island in Rosslyn.
The findings come after an almost five-year-long delay of the environmental assessment from the NPS, which gave no reason back in 2014 for it being postponed. The NPS owns part of the land that the proposed boathouse structures would be built on, so proper analysis and approval are needed, despite public and legislative support.
This original proposal to NPS included other locations in the area, such as Gravelly Point near Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, but the Rosslyn site was preferred due to its calmer waters , its short distance from the Rosslyn Metro station (and other transportation-accessible options such as bus stops and the Custis bike trail), as well as its existing parking infrastructure.
The proposed facilities, with one upper and one lower across the river from Theodore Roosevelt Island, include a 300-foot-long floating dock, a staging area and 14,000 square feet of boat storage at the lower location, as well as educational facilities including an office space, locker rooms and handicapped parking at the upper location.
This report allows Arlington County to move forward with finalizing plans for the proposed structures in Rosslyn, and continue on with its established funds for future development. Future construction will continue to require state and federal permit, as well as state funding. The project is currently supported by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, the Arlington Boathouse Foundation and local legislators including Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia’s eighth district.
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