Updates from Letty – February 16, 2024

Blog posts are the personal views of Letty Hardi and not official statements or records on behalf of the Falls Church City Council

Dear Friends,

After last week’s long catch up post, this week’s will be briefer. Read on for the much-anticipated first look at the new mural for the garage wall at the West Falls project – I’d love to hear your thoughts. This is timely as next Tuesday, we’re also discussing a refresh of the art in City Hall in conjunction with the city’s 75th anniversary – a good opportunity to use art to tell a fuller story about our history.

Office hours! I’ll be holding my February office hours next Friday, February 23 at 10 am at The Happy Tart. And in anticipation of the annual Mayors’ Fitness Challenge across Falls Church, Vienna, and Fairfax and warmer weather around the corner – I’ll be switching it up and hold walking office hours this spring (maybe some running ones too for any fellow runners) – stay tuned for those dates and times and join me on a walk.

Happy Year of the Dragon,

What Happened This Week:

(1) Meeting Highlights:

  • We granted a real estate tax exemption to non-profit Wesley Housing as part of an affordable housing partnership with Wesley at Virginia Village.
  • We held a public hearing and continued to discuss the Quinn/Homestretch senior housing project ahead of a planned final vote on February 26.
  • The City Manager reported on the 2024 property assessments which should be hitting mailboxes soon. It’s notable that with new construction and rosier office vacancy stats, our commercial real estate values are much healthier than many of our neighbors’ ahead of what may be a difficult FY25 budget season for the region.

(2) West Falls Mural

Yesterday, the Arts and Humanities Council got the first look at the proposed mural on the garage facade at the West Falls project. (They saw two concepts, but this was the unanimous favorite.) What do you think?

(3) Delegate Simon & Senator Salim’s mid session town hall – ICYMI, see the meeting materials

(4) Do your part – lower your utility bills and meet our climate goals!

Weatherization not only helps with your utility bills, but also helps lower our city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving efficiency in the city’s buildings is a key strategy to help us meet our 2050 carbon neutral goal. One of my new commission assignments is serving on the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, a good opportunity to partner with colleagues across the 13 Northern Virginia jurisdictions. In last month’s NVRC meeting, we learned about no-cost weatherization options for the community, using funds designated by VA Department of Housing and Community Development.

Non-profit Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Solutions helps improve homes and apartments across Virginia with no-cost, government and utility-funded improvements to increase the energy efficiency, health, and safety of your home. This can include installation of insulation, LED light bulbs, heating & cooling repairs and upgrades, and more! All improvements are provided at no cost, and are based on a site assessment and program guidelines.  

Homeowners AND renters can see if they qualify by calling 888–229–3714 or by visiting www.chpenergysolutions.org.

What’s Coming Up:

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 – City Council Work Session*

Monday, February 26, 2024 – City Council Meeting*

Monday, March 4, 2024 – City Council Work Session*

*Mondays (except 5th Mondays and holidays) at 7:30 pm. You can access the agenda and livestream here, including recordings of past meetings