2024-05-24 6:43 PM

Memorial Day 2024 Issue!

Editorial: $ From a Well- Planned Future

On top of all else going on these days, some more underlying achievements by the City of Falls Church’s City Hall team are laying the groundwork for some blindingly impressive new prospects. At the heart of it all is a deft combination of savvy and good will which has drawn in some of the City’s historic adversaries of past years.

At the top of the list is the cooperation going between the City and Fairfax County over the optimum development of (What shall we call it?, not Disneyland, that’s taken. No, best to name it may be the person whose critical vote is needed to pass it all! We’ll have to see), you know, those 42 contiguous acres encompassing the City’s 10 acre dense mixed use project, the Virginia Tech site, and the Metro property around the West Falls Church Metro rail station.

That cooperation, incentivized by the amazing revenue potentials to all parties, is new. Barely a decade ago, Falls Church and Fairfax County were locked in a nasty staredown in a manner consistent with the full duration of their co-existence. The issue over the control of the water system serving huge regions in the county outside the City of Falls Church was among the most contentious imaginable, but somehow wiser heads prevailed and the matter was resolved by a deal to trade ownership of the whole system to the county in exchange for some very prime real estate to be transferred to the city. It’s that real estate, upon which the City’s new high school now sits and the 10-acre mammoth development is bracing to boom (in the good sense), which is integral to the current cooperation.

Not only are the developers of the site the best in the business, but as the City benefits from some very sage advice, it is playing ball at a very high level, including the latest step, plans unfolding now for the authorization of a new governmental entity, a “Community Development Authority,” to enable those planning to build out the 10-acres with some upfront bond financing for key infrastructure elements of the site.

The F.C. City Council has been meeting behind closed doors (as in, alternative video conferencing platforms) the last couple of weeks to work with consultants to hammer out the best deal for the City in a way that also supports the needs of its private sector development team.

Gone, thankfully, are the days when resentful citizens influenced City policy way too much, not out of any rational considerations, but out of endless allegiance to their own pet gripes. Even some most inclined still to fall into such behaviors are biting their tongues for now, and so a lot is actually getting done.

Check out the new high school, the renovated City Hall and the newly renovated library that’s poised to reopen soon. Where’s the money coming from for all this? It’s coming from a well-planned future, actual

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