Updates from Letty – October 5, 2018

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,

As we head into the long weekend, remember most city offices are closed on Monday in honor of Indigenous People’s Day (and Columbus Day). If you’re cleaning out closets and getting ready for fall, whenever it may come, consider taking your items to support a donation drive to benefit the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota; donation boxes are in the Community Center and Library until October 21.

Also – one last PSA since you’ve got an extra day off: are you registered to vote? Have you moved recently? Or have a new neighbor who may not be registered yet? Remind them that the General Election is month away and the last day to register is Monday, October 15. And if you may be unable to vote on November 6, you may qualify to vote in person absentee which is already underway.

Thank you for the feedback and follow up questions on the FAQ round up from last week. I’m in the processing of writing a new set of FAQs. I will do my best to give you my honest take on a question and if I don’t have a complete answer, I’ll try to track one down. Just like in school, there are no bad questions! Chances are, if you have a question, your neighbor may have the same one. So keep ’em coming.



What Happened This Week:

(1) Falls Church Wins Top Honors at Annual VML Conference

Most of City Council was at the annual VML Conference (Virginia Municipal League – the association of cities, towns, and other municipalities in Virginia) at the beginning of this week. Besides learning from each other, the city took home multiple accolades including recognition for our HEAL program (Healthy Eating Active Leading), which includes a pilot of healthy vending machines in city buildings, and the highest award from VML for our curbside composting program.

Our family is a big fan of composting – wheeling out the garbage cans is one of the kids’ chores, but the boys only have to do it every other week because we barely fill up the trash! Are you part of the 20% of households who curbside compost, or do you drop off your compost or backyard compost? Find out more about your options to get started.

(2) City Council Work Session

With the VML conference, our work session this week occurred on Wednesday instead of the regular Monday. Before the closed sessions focused on the campus project and property acquisition, we had a fairly brief agenda during the open session. First was a review of a budget amendment on the FY19 budget that closed out this summer. Typically, the budget amendment that comes end of the year is meant to account for new grants and funds received + new spending since the budget was adopted last year. This year’s budget amendment includes $3.9M in grants received for the dual trails pilot on the W&OD (that will be passed through to the park authority who owns and maintains the trail), $150K needed to replace the storm-damaged signal poles at Annandale and Hillwood, and $100K appropriation from reserves to go towards the campus planning work,.

This week’s work session also included the proposal to rezone the GMHS campus property to B-2, central business. The 34.6 acres are currently zoned R1-A, low density residential, by default after the boundary adjustment with Fairfax County. B-2 is more in line with the planned new high school and adjacent economic development.

(3) New parking spaces completed

After a very wet summer, the addition of the new on street parking spaces on Park Ave and N. Maple was finally completed this week. Over the summer, new signs and paint were installed to designate 27 new parking spaces – the new spaces add to the supply of accessible and visible parking spaces and have a side benefit of traffic calming on those streets. This week, a new double yellow line was painted on N. Maple. While center lines are no longer best practice on smaller roads, with the the addition of a new parking lane on a curvy and hilly stretch of N. Maple, we have heard citizen feedback that a new center line would help drivers adjust, so that was implemented this week by city staff.

The parking task force is underway with other ideas in the pipeline, so keep sharing other thoughts or comments about parking in the downtown with me.


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What’s Coming Up:

  • Tuesday, October 9 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, Community Center)
  • Thursday, October 11 – VDOT meeting on the design of the W&OD Trail Bridge over Lee Hwy (630 pm, Yorktown High School)
  • Monday, October 15 – City Council Work Session (730 pm, Community Center)
  • Sunday, October 21 – Sunday Series Town Hall (2 pm, Community Center)
  • Monday, October 22 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, Community Center)