Local area news for the week of August 24, 2006.
Hockenberry: No Eminent Domain Planned
City of Falls Church Vice Mayor Lindy Hockenberry denied that there are any plans to invoke the jurisdiction’s right to “eminent domain” over private commercial property owners in the area targeted for City Center redevelopment. Hockenberry responded to reports about this prospect that came to in the form of a question to her following her remarks at a meeting of the Falls Church Lion’s Club Tuesday. “Eminent domain is a viable tool of government, but we don’t wish to use it, ever,” she said. “I don’t think it would be good.” Hockenberry joined F.C. Mayor Robin Gardner and Council member Hal Lippman in making remarks to the venerable F.C. service club. It was reportedly the first time three Council members had been present at a F.C. Lions Club meeting in its history.
Winter Hill Residents Claim Damage by Pearson Project
Claiming that “the City (of Falls Church) failure to ensure that Atlantic Realty and its contractors installed adequate shoring to protect Winter Hill II residents from excavation activities has led to economic damage and potentially significant safety hazards to several residents,” Carl W. Anderson, president of the Winter Hill II Homeowners Association, filed a formal protest with the City Council earlier this month. The association represents 194 town homes adjacent Pearson Square development that is currently under construction on S. Maple St. Many of the Winter Hill units back up to the rear boundary of the project. “The shoring problems were recently exacerbated by the heavy rains that affected all of Northern Virginia” in June and July, the protest noted. “Shortly after these rains, a ground slump approximately eight feet long by four feet wide developed on the edge of the Pearson Square excavation, but on the Winter Hill II side of the property line” within a few feet of a Gundry Drive residence, Anderson wrote. “Toward the front of this home, large flagstones located about two feet from the chimney have dipped sharply in the direction of the Pearson Square excavation during the past several weeks.”
Akridge Proposal Receives “Smart Growth” Recognition
A jury formed by the Washington Smart Growth Alliance recognized seven new development proposals in the greater D.C. region for special recognition this month, and one of them is the Akridge Company’s proposed “Falls Church Gateway” project now in the planning stages for construction on N. Washington St. The Alliance is a joint effort of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, the Metro Washington Builders’ Council, the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the Urban Land Institute of Washington. The mission is to “research, identify and encourage land use, development and transportation policies and practices that protect environmental assets and enhance the region’s quality of life.” In the case of the Akridge project, the Alliance noted it “will provide a mix of residential, retail and commercial uses…that will step down to respect the adjacent residential neighborhoods” and a “mix of uses, including neighborhood-serving retail, with a pedestrian friendly mews street and a ‘village green’ open to the public.” The project’s open space will connect to Isaac Crossman Park and Four Mile Run, one of the region’s most heavily used bike trails, it notes.
Jamestown Theme for Fairfax Child Care Kick Off
This Monday, 600 teachers in the Fairfax County’s School Age Child Care program will kick off the new school year by gathering for their annual orientation at the the Dulles Expo and Conference Center in Chantilly. This year’s theme will be Jamestown, with a 50-foot replica of the ship, Godspeed, on hand, and a Powhatan Indian Village commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Fairfax County’s nationally acclaimed School Age Child Care program provides before and after school child care at 134 elementary schools throughout the county for children from kindergarten through sixth grade, as well as at the Key and Kilmer centers which serve children with multiple types of disabilities, ages 5 to 21. SACC also offers programs for children during spring, summer and winter holiday breaks.
Health Survey Underway in Fairfax County
Random Fairfax County adult residents will among 7,000 from 15 counties nationwide asked to participate in an annual comprehensive health and nutritional survey beginning Aug. 29. Past results of the Centers for Disease Control survey have helped lead to improved diets and lowered cholesterol levels.
Fairfax Election Specialists Honored
Fairfax County Election Specialists Katheryn Mickey and Sonia Skipper completed this month the necessary course of study to become certified elections/registration administrators, the highest professional achievement for election and voter registration officials.