In what developed into a surprise Monday, the Falls Church City Council gave a unanimous approval for a preliminary first reading for the Spectrum Group’s gigantic mixed-use development project it hopes to build on four acres adjacent the intersection of W. Broad and N. West Streets in Falls Church. Council chambers at City Hall Monday night were jammed with citizens there to speak for or against the plan, but the first surprise was the number of immediate neighbors to the site who spoke in its favor, citing the “interesting” and “unique” components, including the prospect for a seven-screen movie theater as well as a 150-room hotel and over 300 residential units.
Councilman Nader Baroukh set the tone for the unanimous vote, however, whether or not it was what he intended. He offered to support the motion for the adoption of the approval if certain conditions were met pertaining to what would be expected of the developer between tonight’s first reading OK and when it comes back for a final OK after a run through all the City’s board and commissions in early December.
All of Baroukh’s conditions, it turns out, were vague enough that the developer, and others on the Council tending to support the plan, had no problem supporting. So when the vote was finally taken, it was unanimous: yes with not very ominous conditions.