Fight Snow: Buy Mulch

Fight Snow: Buy Mulch

Special to the Falls Church Times
March 4, 2015

For the past 22 years, the George Mason High School Athletic Boosters Association has sponsored a spring mulch sale, with proceeds helping meet the school’s athletics program’s pressing needs, including equipment purchases. Student athletes from all spring sports donate their time on a Saturday morning to load and deliver mulch to homes throughout the Falls Church area.

“This is like an old fashioned barn-raising,” said Robert Donovan, one of the event’s coordinators. “We have parents volunteering as drivers and a parking lot full of kids helping load the bags and head out for deliveries. Everybody participates.”

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Council Sounds Dubious About Plan to Move Library

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
March 3, 2015

Just one week after the developer of the Broad & West site unveiled a proposal to move the Falls Church City library to a spot near that prominent corner, the City Council on Monday night cast serious doubt that they would approve such a plan.

They didn’t take a formal vote. But one after another, Councilors made it clear they didn’t think the idea was a good one, either because of the cost, concerns with splitting the library into two (with the Virginia room staying at the current location), or because the City would not own the library but would lease it instead.

Builder Spectrum Development was not asking that the City move the library, but did research and crafted drawings for the idea in response to a suggestion from the City, company principal Peter Batten has said previously.

It would be a big change for the City to move the library from its current location in a charming structure opposite Cherry Hill Park, but it also would created a modern facility with ample parking on a very visible corner at the intersection of Park Avenue and West Street.

Councilor... [Read more...]


Wells Fargo Bank Robbed by Armed Duo

By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
March 2, 2015

Falls Church City Police are looking for two suspects who robbed the Wells Fargo Bank, 1000 W. Broad St., at about 12:42 p.m. today.

The suspects brandished small firearms in the robbery, and fled in a vehicle toward West and Broad Street. The suspects are described as one black male and one white male, dressed in black clothing.

Police were still on the scene at 2:30 pm, and the bank was cordoned off with yellow tape.

This is the second armed robbery of a City financial institution in the two weeks; the Apple Federal Credit Union, just two blocks away at 1118 W. Broad, was robbed Feb. 21 at 10 am, although there apparently was just one assailant in that case.

Anyone with information about either case should contact the Falls Church City Police at 703-241-5053.

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Street Sweeping Set for March 9

By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS and FALLS CHURCH TIMES STAFF
March 2, 2015

Proving that City officials are delusional with cabin fever after a record-breaking cold February, they have scheduled street sweeping to begin next Monday, March 9.

This implies that spring is coming, which certainly suggests they have gone crazy because of the weather.

But then again, maybe they’re right and spring is coming.

Residential areas south of Broad Street are scheduled for Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10; Wednesday, March 11 will be the day commercial areas and municipal parking areas are swept; and Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 residential areas north of Broad St. will be cleaned.

These dates are, alas, subject to change because of weather.

Street sweeping reduces the volume of pollutants entering local streams through the City’s 900 storm drain openings. Each cycle of street sweeping collects between 40 and 50 tons of debris from City streets. The materials intercepted include road salt, heavy metals, trash, and general sediment. The City anticipates collecting 200-250 tons of debris from... [Read more...]

Around Town









Broad & West Developer Suggests City Move Library to Site

Broad & West Developer Suggests City Move Library to Site

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
February 23, 2015

The mixed-use project proposed for the intersection of Broad & West streets has undergone many changes at the request of City officials, but a new change may be the biggest yet: owner Spectrum Development is suggesting including a new, 2-story Falls Church City library at the site.

The new library would be situated at the corner of Park Avenue and the new Mason Lane, a road which would run from West & Park south to Broad Street. It would be clearly visible from the Washington & Old Dominion Trail across West Street, and would have dedicated parking in a connected garage with apartments above it.

It would replace retail currently envisioned for that corner, and would add a third major non-residential component to the project, in addition to the Home 2 extended stay hotel and the underground movie theaters.

The idea of adding a new library at that location comes after months of discussions with City officials and just weeks after the board of the current Mary Riley Styles Library received the latest version of a consultant’s proposal to... [Read more...]


Broad & West Developer Submits New Proposal, Seeks Admissions Tax


By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
February 15, 2015

Revised plans for the project proposed for the northeast corner of Broad and West streets contain few surprises, but the big news is that to help make the financial numbers work, the developer is asking City officials to enact an admissions tax on tickets sold at the complex’s eight movie theaters.

The tax, if enacted, would be a real tax, levied by the City, but the revenue it raises would not wind up in City coffers. Instead, it would be conveyed to Spectrum Development, builder and owner of the proposed project, to help offset the high cost of the theater’s construction. The theaters would be underground and would feature food service at a patron’s seat.

It’s not clear why the tax, which would amount to a City subsidy to Spectrum, is needed, and Spectrum Principal Peter Batten did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

However, it’s likely that the amount of rent the national theater company that would operate the theaters is willing to pay for a lease at the site is not sufficient for Spectrum’s numbers to work,... [Read more...]


COMMUNITY COMMENT: You’re going to like the new West End Park

Steve Selby, Chair
Recreation & Parks Advisory Board
February 11, 2015

I enjoyed Mr. Siegel’s February 9 article on West End Park and appreciate the Times’ continued coverage of important local developments. As you point out, West End Park is undergoing a significant transformation.  The product of a decade of planning and community discussion, the new West End park will be a “signature” component of the City’s increasingly connected network of parks.  While not the largest of our parks, it might be the most visible.  With additional amenities and a new entrance on Broad Street, this transformed park will be attractive to residents and visitors alike.

The park combines many features important to our community.  The expansion will add arbor-like qualities with places for quiet reflection as well as additional walking trails.  Including skateboard features while ensuring other uses for that section of the park was the product of many robust discussions with the community.

Parks of course have value simply as places for recreation and quiet reflection. ... [Read more...]


City Hall Cleared of Suspicious Object That Forced Lockdown

By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
February 9, 2015

City Hall has been cleared of a suspicious object.

The object, a package that turned out not to be dangerous, was spotted at about 4 pm Monday in the lobby and the building was placed on lockdown.

Classes at the adjacent Community Center were told to shelter in place out of an abundance of caution.

Falls Church City Police and the Arlington County Fire Marshal’s Bomb Squad responded to the scene. The device was determined to be consistent with a training aid used by explosive K9 teams.

The object was seized, and City Hall and the Community Center were swept out of an abundance of caution. No malicious intent is suspected.

The evening meetings scheduled for City Hall (City Council, Planning Commission, Operation EarthWatch) have been cancelled. The Community Center will reopen at 8:15 p.m., and Little Falls St. and Park Ave. are expected to open shortly after 7:10 pm.

Meetings will be rescheduled for later dates; the City will post the dates on the website.

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