F.C. Council Gives Prelim OK for Arts Funds
By a 6-0 vote Tuesday, the Falls Church City Council voted to reinstate $50,000 in its budget for the construction of a 3,000 square foot performing and visual arts center on the street level of the new Pearson Square apartment condominiums on S. Maple Street.
Its final OK will come at its Oct. 27 meeting, but a major outpouring of support for the funding and the project made a big impact. Former Falls Church vice mayors Marty Meserve and Lindy Hockenberry, former Council woman Jane Scully, Nikki Graves Henderson of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, Marty Behr and Michele Black of the Falls Church Arts, businessman Garrett Rambler of Vantage Fitness, Falls Church marketing company principal Matt Smith, also chair of the Business in Education Alliance, Jennifer Tibola, Murray Reinsdorf, Chamber of Commerce “Pillar of the Community” winners Barbara Cram and Nick Benton, owner-editor of the News-Press, and Laura Hull of the Creative Cauldron, all testified.
F.C. Council Moves to Limit Car Dealerships in City
In an attempt to stem the expansion of low-yield car dealerships in the commercially-zoned areas of the City of Falls Church, the Council gave a preliminary OK Tuesday to a measure designed to ban auto dealership or car rental use in the City, with the exception of existing businesses. Eighteen such businesses currently occupy 21 acres in the City, a full 11 percent of the inventory of commercially-zoned land. Rick Goff, the City’s economic development czar, told the Council that car dealerships contribute only $49,000 per acre to the City’s tax coffers, compared to the first six large-scale mixed use projects built here since 2001 that yield $279,000 per acre. He said that unless a law is passed prohibiting further car dealerships, there are another 12 to 15 acres “at risk” of the low-yield use. (It is rumored there are plans for a Car Max dealership to go onto six acres on the former Noland Company property on Wilson Blvd.) Goff added that the prohibition would match similar laws already enacted in surrounding jurisdictions.
Hekemian Site on N. Washington Gets Site Plan OK
The Hekemian Company’s Northgate mixed-use, rental residential project approved by the City Council for the site of the former Pearson Funeral Home on N. Washington St. received the approval of its site plan from the F.C. Planning Commission last week by a 3-2 margin. Despite objections from some neighbors to the site, the site plan went through the final significant hurdle to the construction of the project.
Deadline Extended for Halloween Painting of F.C. Businesses
Falls Church Arts is urging all City residents, grade three through adults, to get into the holiday spirit by coming out to paint windows of City businesses downtown on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 8 a.m. to noon. To participate, families should fill out a form at 111 Park Avenue indicating the subject of their drawing will be. They should then attend a brief training meeting on Oct. 23, before going out to exhibit their creativity. The deadline for entering has been extended to Oct. 20.
‘Be the Change’ Club at GMHS Wins Award
Shelby Taylor and Katie Potrykus, seniors at George Mason High School, told the F.C. City Council Tuesday that their “Be the Change” Club had been named a winner of a Fairfax Partnership for Youth award. The club, with 50 members from grades eight through 12, was set up following the first Challenge Days at GMHS, which sensitized students to respecting differences in each other. “Our theme is to respect each other and not judge,” Taylor said, noting that the club was set up to keep the spirit of the Challenge Days alive throughout the year. They will be presented the award at the Fairfax Partnership’s annual award banquet on Oct. 28 in Reston.
Free Rides to City Hall for Absentee Voting
Those wishing to vote in the Nov. 4 election by absentee ballot now can call “Falls Church Votes” ride coordinator Kim Maller at 703-237-0106. The registrar’s office in City Hall is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and all day long on the two Saturdays before the election.
Correction: Proposal Cuts 87 Jobs, Not 200
In last week’s News-Press, the article headlined, “Fairfax Family Services Face Severe Cuts,” it was erroneously reported that the Department of Family Services is proposing eliminating 200 jobs due to budget pressures. The correct number is 87.