Updates from Letty – Jan 21, 2016

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,

I hope everyone is staying warm and your preparations for the weekend blizzard are going well.

What happened this week?

Monday’s Council Meeting

This past Monday’s City Council meeting was mainly a closed session with the School Board to discuss the George Mason/MEH project. Before the closed session, Council did spend work session time on the 2 year Work Plan and Council appointments to committees and liaison roles to Boards and Commissions. More to come on 1) upcoming Council retreat where we will plan priorities and refresh the Work Plan and 2) community visioning process, so we can engage everyone in the community on a shared vision and future for Falls Church.

While it will be official next week – as a sneak peak, I will be the Council liaison to the EDA (Economic Development Authority), Housing Commission, and Arts and Humanities. Strategic economic development, housing affordability, and promoting a vibrant arts community – all of which contributes to high quality of life in Falls Church – are all personal priorities of mine, so I’m very excited to be able to learn and work with these Boards and Commissions.

To find out more about what these and other Boards and Commissions do, including current vacancies, visit here: https://www.fallschurchva.gov/130/Boards-Commissions

What’s coming up?

Weather Closings and Blizzard Info

  • Besides FCCPS being closed tomorrow (Friday), the Library and Community Center just announced they will close tomorrow at noon and remain closed Saturday and Sunday. Time to stock up on books before the weekend!
  • Know your snow emergency routes – ticketing and towing may occur if you park on snow emergency routes. https://www.fallschurchva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=251
  • For other helpful info about preparing for the blizzard and phone numbers for utilities in case of outages, see here: https://www.fallschurchva.gov/1697/Blizzard-2016

Next Week’s Council Agenda

If next Monday’s Council meeting is not delayed due to snow, we are expected to review a number of topics. A few key highlights:West Broad Area Plan, which is a vision document that guides re-development and planning in the Broad St. commercial corridorTO 15-13, an ordinance to revise to parking regulations, which the Planning Commission approved 4-3 this past week. It includes changes to reduce required parking ratios, bicycling parking, and new parking design requirements, such as minimizing column encroachments that make spaces unusable. Past studies have shown many current parking spaces go unused, so bringing our parking standards in line with neighboring jurisdictions will increase our economic competitiveness. If approved, I think work needs to be done to improve wayfinding and signage for available parking spots so visitors and residents can easily find parking.

VML (Virginia Municipal League) Lobbying Day 
Next Wed, Jan 27 – I, along with Vice Mayor Connelly and Councilman Duncan will be heading to Richmond for a day of lobbying with the General Assembly. Council adopted its legislative agenda last fall, so that includes many of the key priorities we will be advocating on your behalf. We had a prep session this morning and the key bills we will be focusing our discussions include: school funding, gun free school zones, school stop arm camera, towing fees, transportation, and legislation to reduce plastic grocery bags.I would love to hear from you about your priorities at lhardi@fallschurchva.gov. Feel free to also email our Falls Church delegation – Delegate Marcus Simon and Senator Dick Saslaw in support of bills or areas of concern: DelMSimon@house.virginia.govdistrict35@senate.virginia.gov

Stay warm and safe,