In a result that surprised many on the Falls Church City Council, the 472 City of Falls Church respondents to a Falls Church Planning Department survey this summer overwhelmingly felt that the large scale mixed use projects at 444 W. Broad (the Mad Fox/Spectrum building) and 301 W. Broad (the newly completed Harris Teeter building and residences) contribute positively to the community character of the City. F.C. Principal Planner Paul Stoddard reported the results to the Council at a work session Monday night in advance of a scheduled Oct. 1 follow-up public meeting on the community’s vision for the future of F.C.
Stoddard said about the survey, conducted between Aug. 1 and Sept. 9 this summer, “respondents generally favor the small town charm of Falls Church and want to keep its sense of place. However, respondents overwhelmingly think the Spectrum (86 percent) and Harris Teeter (77 percent) have contributed to the City’s character.”
When asked what kinds of places in the region they liked best, respondents selected Old Town Alexandria and Shirlington, along with Falls Church, and areas they least liked included Tysons Corner and Ballston. There was also overwhelming support for the infrastructure improvements the City has made to its parks, especially the West End Park and the Herman Stream Valley Park.
In ranking the most important values for the City, citizens placed community character first (72 percent), followed by environment (52 percent), quality education (52 percent), commercial redevelopment (47 percent), transportation (39 percent) and diversity in housing (25 percent), with others totaling eight percent.