Letters to the Editor: June 26 – July 2, 2014
Do Planners Know What ‘Infill’ & ‘Tear-Down’ Are?
Are both Planning Director, Jim Snyder, and Commissioner Lindy Hockenberry, suffering from amnesia or do they both have impaired IQs? I’m referring to your front page article “Planners Unanimously OK Center City Vision” in which you quote them as favoring in-fill over tear-downs and cite the examples of the Harris Teeter building project which tore down the old post office, the 2 Sister’s Coffee Co. and your legendary Anthony’s (which has now left the City of Falls Church and re-located to Fairfax County); and the erection of the new market and residences along the Maple Avenue-Washington Blvd. corridor which tore down the Audi dealer and Midas Muffler. Don’t your elected officials know the difference between “in-fill” which fills in empty lots and “tear downs” that tear down businesses? Don’t your elected officials realize that the destruction of these business and the demolition of their established, tax-paying stores were just torn down? They were there. Now they’re gone. Torn down! Kaput!
I was equally nonplussed by Synder’s desire to keep the downtown area pedestrian friendly and consider adding circulator buses. I am a walker (pun intended) but I neither see myself walking back and forth inside a bus nor think the smell of a bus’s exhaust will enhance my pedestrian (walking) experience. Give me the open clean air any time.
Finally, you mention Mr. Brown. It appears from previous articles that your fair city has long felt the need to oust Mr. Brown and tear down the very store that has anchored Falls Church City for nearly a century. Mr. Brown and his staff are the wisest, kindest, most intelligent people I’ve ever met, but now Hockenberry decides, “There is no issue here, as in the past, about whether or not Brown’s Hardware will remain.” What words will flow from Hockenberry’s lips next? “We’re not going to tear down George Mason High School! We’re not going to demolish Burke and Herbert!” Falls Church City, you are running out of feet to shoot yourselves in and I find your council’s past attacks on Brown’s Hardware to be unconscionable.
Reject Plans to Expand Mt. Daniel Further into Fairfax
Many of us in the Ellison Heights-Mount Daniel neighborhood completely reject any plans for the Falls Church Schools to expand the Mt. Daniel School in our residential neighborhood, which is outside of Falls Church City. Our neighborhood is already overburdened by traffic, air pollution, buses, excessive parking, damage to our streets and stormwater runoff.
The F.C. School Board can, and should, elect to expand the elementary school within Falls Church City, where children can walk to school instead of being bussed out to Fairfax County. We will be asking Fairfax County Council not to issue a special exemption to Falls Church City Schools to make a bad problem seriously worse and to begin charging “payments in lieu of taxes” to compensate the county for damages to our streets and a “surface tax” for the vast impermeable surfaces that the F.C. School system placed on the property.
Fairfax is under the same stormwater mandates as the City of F.C.. The F.C. School Board can replace all the parking lots and playgrounds with permeable materials or pay a “fee,” the same as they should in F.C. City. Fairfax County residents don’t need to continue to subsidize the richest city in America any longer.
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