Letters to the Editor: August 10 – 16, 2017
J.E.B. Stuart Should Be Renamed NAACP High
In light of the decision made by the Fairfax County School Board on July 27, 2017 to move forward with renaming the J.E.B. Stuart High School without consulting the local community, perhaps you should rename the school to NAACP High School, after all, they were the ones that forced the school board to completely ignore the thousands of local community voices that were saying “Can someone please ask us first?”.
This is America, we live in a democracy, and the school board is elected to serve the local community, not the NAACP.
This entire matter was handled extremely inappropriately, period.
I am sure if the renaming issue were properly presented to the local community, a name change would have been welcomed and perhaps even embraced, but this did not happen.
The result is that thousands of local “Stuart” community members feel they were completely ignored in this process, and this is a profound failure of the school board.
Thankfully the board “allowed” the local community to be involved in choosing the new name, but that does not change the fact that we do not appreciate how this decision was made behind closed doors.
To make sure this does not happen again with Robert E. Lee High, Lanier Middle and Sangster Elementary, etc. the board should immediately take on the task of clearly defining the process and criteria for a school name change.
On a wider note, someone needs to do something about the NAACP forcing their will on local communities all over the country, this is not right, this is America, we all have rights.
Shocked at Price Tag of J.E.B. Stuart Name Change
We were shocked to see the cost to county taxpayers (we live in Fairfax County) of changing the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. Nearly $900,000 to change the name? Outrageous. That county taxpayers should have to shell out $678,000 of that amount is atrocious. Were county taxpayers ever made aware of the true costs of this name change? Shouldn’t there be a referendum on an issue such as this?
N. Maple Zoning Change Would Only Benefit 1 Family
Monday night the planning commission narrowly approved a comprehensive plan change and rezoning of the 300 block of North Maple from R1A to R1B (increasing density on the block to allow the Snyder family to build a second home on their property) and adding T1 zoning on the rear of historic properties to allow parking for Columbia Baptist Church. The proposal goes before City Council this coming Monday.
City Council must not approve this proposal. Rezoning of the entire block benefits only one family — the Snyders — to build one home. The Snyder family can’t do this without acquiring a sliver of property because they don’t own enough land by themselves. As a condition of selling this sliver, Columbia Baptist wants the City to grant additional zoning changes to permit construction of a parking lot in the back yards of three historic homes. There is no benefit to the city.
Promised proffers include a sidewalk (partially using the existing public street) and landscaping of the church parking lot (something the church is required to do anyway). But the precedents set are enormous. Residential land owners all over the city could find their neighborhoods under assault by all sorts of rezoning applications to increase density and new uses never conceived when they bought their homes.
The City zoning code exists to “preserve and protect” the residential nature of our town. Approval of the Snyder-Columbia proposal does neither. A no vote is in order.
Fire Shows Why Railroad Cottages Are Ill-Conceived
As a long time resident of Fowler Street in Falls Church City (30+ years) I was alarmed to awaken to multiple sirens at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, August 6. Upon further investigation, I saw that there was a convoy of emergency vehicles from multiple regions (Fairfax, Falls Church) that extended from the end of Railroad Avenue, across Ellison Street to the 1000 block of Fowler Street. The fire was at the house next to the impending location of the “railroad cottages.” The one lane access street to this dead end area could not accommodate all the emergency vehicles, and clogged the street.
As a taxpayer and resident of Falls Church City, I am alarmed by the lack of planning and consideration for the future safety of the existing residents of Railroad Avenue and Fowler Street. This incident illustrates that the construction of these cottages is ill conceived and a poor addition to the quality of life in the city. Our local government should focus on keeping our community safe, and relishing the little city that it is. No to railroad cottages.
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