Local Commentary

Editorial: F.C.’s Future Is Bright

So much for the lazy days of summer. It’s always with a slight sense of desperation that time is slipping by and not enough is getting done that the first signs of Labor Day appear on the horizon.

How has been your summer this year? How does it rank compared to the year before? Are you ready for it to end? Do you feel renewed by whatever you did in the name of vacations and holidays? Do you feel better about what the fall season holds now than you did at the beginning of the summer?

The two biggest events of the summer in the City of Falls Church have been the opening of the Harris Teeter smack in the middle of town after all those many years of merely guessing what it would be like, and the glowing appraisal given our City by commercial developers earlier this month as a conference on how growth in the region should proceed from here on.

The Harris Teeter opening speaks for itself. Among other things, it will do wonders for residential property values of everything around it. Now that the apartments above it are being filled, and those just down the street at the Lincoln at Tinner Hill are about to as well, population in “The Little City” is striding toward 14,000, then 15,000, then even higher.

Sourpusses complain that this is all a big pain, that new people bring new costs to educate the young, and that means taxes will go up.

But there is a new breeze that is flowing through the City now, and it is perceptible. It is the fresh air brought by a younger demographic, even it is only in its beginning phase. These represent the future, don’t fear density but welcome it, because with people comes vibrancy and a diversity of neighbors and classmates that enrich the lives of everybody.

Not that old sourpusses have nothing good to offer. After all, it was many of them who fought to maintain and develop the community structure that is Falls Church over many years when its transition from sleepy suburban to new urban community was barely perceptible, if inevitable.

Through their efforts, the kind of new urban that Falls Church is now more evidently sporting is what has the regional development community in such awe: an ongoing strong sense of community, of place, of appreciation for a diversity of goals, the primary being education and including open space, walkability, progressive social values, and more.

So, thanks to older, grumpier ones, Falls Church has a very bright future grounded in doing it the right way from the get-go. They should appreciate that about themselves, their community and the direction it is now headed.

You can’t, and shouldn’t, stop the future. Just keep it cordial, generous and people-centric.

For us, the summer has been good. We feel revitalized and revved up to make our town work even better going forward.