applicant seeks to expand the learning lab at its 194 acre
indoor/outdoor technical school site. The Arlington Outdoor
Education Association (AOEA) has been in existence since
1967, prior to the Zoning Ordinance. Its primary purpose is
to provide school children, who live in Arlington, an
opportunity to learn science, outdoor skills, arts, and
humanities. Staff notes that the proposed building
expansion and use require Special Exception approval. The
applicant indicates there are no changes to the number of
participants or type of activities that have historically
activities that takes place at the Arlington Outdoor
Education Association (AOEA) are daily science programs for
outdoor nature exploration. The AOEA is a non-profit
volunteer organization. Membership fees and donations help
fund maintenance of the site. Costs associated with
educational programs are funded by Arlington County Public
Schools. The AOEA is responsible for maintaining the site
and provides “camperships” to needy students who otherwise
could not afford the fees.
is used primarily for Arlington County Public School
children. The day generally starts with in the learning lab
(building) with an orientation and some demonstrations
before going outside. During inclement weather the children
have to stay within the building, thus, the need for
additional interior space.
improvements associated with the Learning Lab expansion
include provision of an ADA accessible parking space
adjacent to the building. The increase in the building
represents a 22% increase in size from the current 3,565
square feet to 4,571 square feet.
offered every school day during the year from 9:00 a.m. to
2:30 p.m. The number of participants ranges from twenty
(20) to sixty (60) students and six (6) to twenty (20)
adults (AOEA staff, teachers, and parents).
also offers accessory activities that include an overnight
science program for Arlington County School children during
the school year and in the summer months. These activities
are two (2) days and one (1) overnight during the school
year and five (5) days and four (4) overnights during the
summer. The frequency is approximately twenty-five (25)
times during the school year and three (3) events during the
summer. In addition, some groups such as scouts, arrange
for overnight camping. There are also a few community open
houses each year, scheduled on weekend days. The open
houses typically have about 150 guests and eight (8) AOEA
children are transported to the site by school bus.
Parents, instructors or other visitors may also attend. The
overall estimate of total daily trips is no more than thirty
(30) trips per day.