Ahead of Saturday’s snow storm, some three dozen mostly leaders of City of Falls Church boards and commissions joined with City Planning Department staff as City Planning Director Jim Snyder unveiled a draft W. Broad Street Small Area Plan covering the commercial areas of W. Broad from Little Falls to the W&OD Trail. Following an initial presentation and overview, the participants broke down into four smaller groups for a more participatory engagement with the issues.
The plan, which is expected to win a final City Council OK as a guide map to developers and citizens, alike, as to what the City would encourage to have happen in the area, is the fourth of its kind to come from the Planning Department, the others dealing with the downtown around the intersection of Washington and Broad, and the North and South Washington areas.
Following an welcome by Mayor David Tarter, Snyder laid out the parameters of the new area under review, noting that the Urban Land Institute of Washington, D.C. recommended an overall floor-to-area ratio of 2.5 for the narrow sector. He singled out a notion for the construction of a modest replica of the old train station that used to be at the W&OD trail at N. West Street in an area that is now City parkland behind the Wells Fargo Bank branch there.
It would follow the model of similar uses for old train stations in Vienna, Herndon and Purcelville, he said, being a “pit stop” for users of the trail with water fountains, rest rooms, benches, minimal bike repair facilities and space for a small “Welcome to Falls Church” history room.