News Briefs: August 10 – 16

F.C. Council Gives Preliminary OK to T-Zone Modifications

By a 5-2 vote, the Falls Church City Council gave preliminary first reading approval to an ordinance modifying the rules for development in the City’s tiny transitional zone areas. A final vote is tentatively scheduled for October.

Following an exhaustive public hearing, including a brief shouting match, adding to a year’s worth of such comments pitting sharply divided views, the vote for “first reading approval” was taken near midnight Monday.

One petitioner said the matter “strikes at the heart of our small town character,” another said it would create a “visual prison” that would “seal my future,” while a large contingent spoke in favor of “more diversity in housing,” citing data saying the U.S. will need 320,000 new housing units in the immediate future.

Voting “no” were Mayor David Tarter and Councilman David Snyder.

Quinn-Homestretch Project Gets Preliminary OK

The F.C. Council voted a preliminary OK for the Quinn-Homestretch senior living project on S. Washington Street Monday that is slated to include a 10-story building and options for either $1.9 million one-time affordable dwelling contribution or two residential units at 60 percent of regional median income.

The project envisions 233 units with a range of senior living amenities. The “first reading” was approved 6-0.

Rep. Beyer Welcomes Latest Fusion Achievement

U. S. Rep. Don Beyer of Falls Church, founder and chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus in the U.S. House, issued a statement this week welcoming the announced replication of December’s first-ever human-controlled fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF). The new reaction produced the second ever human-controlled fusion ignition on July 30, reportedly yielding more energy than the initial reaction in December. Beyer led a bipartisan fusion energy CoDel earlier this year which included a tour of the NIF facility where the first- and second-ever successful human-controlled fusion energy reactions took place.

“December’s historic fusion reaction was a long-awaited scientific breakthrough, but we know that getting from that watershed moment to actually providing power to the grid via fusion reactions is a long road. One of the first and most important steps on that road was replicating December’s success, which the team at LLNL have now accomplished,” said Rep. Beyer. “America’s nascent push to develop fusion energy has seen a series of wins in the past year along many fronts: scientific and technological, governmental, commercial, and much more. I will continue working with policymakers across government to help sustain these successes and keep working towards the incredible promise of economic and environmental benefits which fusion energy offers.”