City Receives Unsolicited Proposal for New High School

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
March 19, 2015

City officials have been meeting for over a year to discuss ways to commercialize 10 acres of the new land gained in the water sale in order to help to finance a new George Mason High School. But it’s not yet clear how much interest there will be from developers, or how much revenue could be realized.

However, City officials disclosed Thursday that they have received an unsolicited proposal from a developer who would build a new high school along with some new commercial establishments on the site. That would seem to indicate the site may be in considerable demand.

Details are sketchy. Officials aren’t offering any, saying that the proposal is exempt from public scrutiny under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, which generally requires government officials to release information on such proposals, with some exceptions.

It’s exempt presumably to protect the developer’s information from the prying eyes of other developers that might also wish to bid on a new George Mason.

Without any information, it, of course, makes it hard for residents... [Read more...]


City Manager Proposes 2016 Budget With 4 Cent Tax Rate Increase

By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
March 10, 2015

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields proposed a Fiscal Year 2016 budget of $83 million, an increase of 3.14 percent over the previous fiscal year that requires a 4 cent increase in the property tax rate to 1.345 per $100 of assessed value.

The proposed Budget provides for a 1.5 percent increase in general government operating expenditures and a 5.3 percent increase in the transfer to the school division, as requested by the School Board.

Mr. Shields is required by city code to include the School Board’s request in his proposed budget, but the City Council can reduce the school board’s request as it deems appropriate. The Council will adopt a final budget on April 27 after three public hearings and two town hall meetings. The 2016 fiscal year runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

In the budget document, Shields writes, “The fiscal year 2016 budget will require tough decisions, given the gap between expenditure growth and revenues generated from economic growth in the City. As the Council and community work through these decisions, the City’s... [Read more...]


Street Sweeping Delayed Until Next Week

By FALLS CHURCH CITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
March 10, 2015

Falls Church City officials have delayed street sweeping one week because of last week’s inclement weather. The seasonal cleaning of the roads will now begin the week of March 16 and is still subject to change for weather.

Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 residential areas south of Broad Street will be swept; commercial areas and municipal parking areas will be addressed Wednesday, March 18; and residential areas north of Broad will be handled Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20.

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 five sweep cycles throughout the year.

Residents are asked to move vehicles off of residential streets scheduled for sweeping between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. When cars are parked on the street, the effectiveness suffers greatly,... [Read more...]


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.”

 Read More →

Around Town









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.

 Read More →


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...]


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...]


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