January 24-30, 2008
F.C. Planners Begin Review of City Center Plan
The ball was in the Falls Church Planning Commission’s court Tuesday to begin a review of the Atlantic Realty-City of Falls Church City Center’s project slated for 8.9 acres in downtown F.C. The massive project was given a preliminary 7-0 approval by the City Council last week. This week, members of the City Council will tour three Marriott Residence Inn locations in the region to get an idea of how that hotel product might fit into the City Center. Also, City staff remains in contact with the Levine School of Music, the Council was told at its work session Tuesday. The Council will have its usual public petition at its Jan. 28 business meeting, and the Planning Commission has set a public hearing on the City Center for Jan. 31. The Council will convene a hearing of all City board and commission members on Feb. 5. The Council hopes to be ready for a final vote on the project Feb. 25.
F.C. Council to ‘Grandfather’ Current Parking
The present crazy quilt of varying parking restrictions around the 2.2 square miles of the City of Falls Church will be “grandfathered” into a new parking ordinance that will come before the City Council for a first reading next Monday night. The latest permutation of the seemingly endless, recent years’ efforts by City staff to craft a policy acceptable to the widely varying wishes of City residents was met with dispassionate agreement by Council members at its work session, Tuesday. It marks a step back from City Manager Wyatt Shields’ hope for a parking ordinance that would at least temporarily keep the same arrangements, but could be modified in the future toward a more uniform approach.
Byrne Raises $115,000 in First Two Months
In two months since announcing her candidacy, former U.S. Rep. Leslie Byrne reported yesterday that her campaign raised $115,000. Byrne is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Congress in the 11th District, currently held by Republican Tom Davis in the fall. She will likely face Fairfax County Board chair Gerald E. Connolly and Doug Denneny in a June primary election. Byrne has already won the endorsements of seven labor unions and area elected officials, including State Del. Bob Hull, State Del. Margi Vanderhye, State Sen. Chap Petersen and Fairfax School Board members Kaye Kory and Kathy Smith.
No Anti-Gay Bills in Richmond This Session
Equality Virginia reported this week that as of the Jan. 18 deadline for introducing bills into the current legislative session in Richmond, none were identified as hostile to the interests of the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) population, marking a departure from the past. It could mark a “turning point” for GLBT rights in Virginia, the group said. Eight non-discrimination bills addressing GLBT needs have been introduced, including bills sponsored by Del. Jim Scott, Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple and two by Del. Adam Ebbin, but only one is considered likely to become law, according to sources. All eight bills, however, were endorsed by the board of the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club on Saturday.
Car Strikes F.C. Pedestrian, No Charges Yet
A female Falls Church pedestrian suffered mild bruises when she was struck by the female driver of a 1995 Toyota Avalon while crossing W. Broad St. at S. Virginia Ave. on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 7:20 a.m. She was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital and soon released. An investigation is on-going and no charges have yet been filed. No witnesses have yet come forward.