By GEORGE BROMLEY
Falls Church Times Staff
May 17, 2011
Planning commissioners and City Council members were not impressed with the latest design for the proposed Hilton Garden Inn (706 W. Broad St.), which was presented at last night’s joint work session.
Officials felt more brickwork was needed and that the overall design inappropriate for a city as old as Falls Church. ”I don’t think you could have built this down in Fredericksburg,” said a disappointed Lindy Hockenberry.
Commission chair Melissa Teates called the facade ”unacceptable, especially on Broad Street.” ”I’m not happy with the [building's] sides but can live with it; the front has to look different,” she said. “I don’t think it meets our design guidelines.” Mayor Nader Baroukh concurred, stating that he thought the design needed a significant amount of work.
As now proposed, the hotel will offer 110 rooms and 121 parking spaces. It is expected to generate $540,000 in tax revenue. A two story office building on Park Avenue, which was not part of the original 2008 proposal, has been dropped.
City Manager Wyatt Shields said he hoped the project will be submitted for first reading on June 13. If a special exception amendment and rezoning are approved by the Council, the project would be referred to boards and commissions for review and returned for second reading on July 25.
The Council and the Planning Commission also reviewed a request by owners of first floor space at The Byron (513 W. Broad St.) to allow professional and office use for space designated for retail. The area involved is on the far right side of the structure and has never been occupied since the building opened in 2006.
Retailers have considered the space unattractive because it is far removed from the building’s non-resident parking spaces and has a narrow front. The parking problem cannot be corrected as residents have assigned spaces, while the commercial and retail spaces are shared.
The mayor asked the applicant’s attorney to furnish information on the efforts to market the space and whether the owner would consider joining it with the adjacent space, previously occupied by Verizon. Mr. Shields said that the matter may be ready for Council action next Monday, assuming a prompt response to the mayor’s request.
The joint work session concluded with a discussion of a homeowner’s request that the City vacate 1,638 square feet of unimproved space at the end of Park Place near the State Theater. Mr. Shields recommended the Council approve the vacation, however Mr. Baroukh expressed some reservations, given that the City might build a parking facility near the location. Planning Director Jim Snyder said that his staff would review the matter.
CDC Future - The Council then was briefed on the status of the Child Development Center (201 S. Cherry St.). The building, which was built by private funds, has been leased to Easter Seals for nearly 50 years. The current 25 year, dollar-a-year lease is expiring in November, but the leasee would prefer an extension until at least the summer of 2013 so it could secure another facility. Easter Seals would be willing to pay $50,000 annually for the space.
City Schools have asked to assume control of the property in July 2012 in order to house the preschool education programs currently located at Mt. Daniel. This option also would free space to permit the relocation of the Falls Church Community Center preschool program. Other options include leasing the facility to another day care provider or another commercial user, selling the property for residentinal use, or converting the space to City government offices.
School Superintendent Lois Berlin told the Council that waiting an additional year to acquire the property would result in “underserving” of students. Pre schoolers now are receiving three hours of classes instead of the more desirable five. She said that two trailers at Mt. Daniel are used for half day pre school, but that an additional class was needed due to the increase in special needs students.
Vice Mayor Dave Snyder called for more analysis of the options, including possibly combining government and school use. “A dollar a year is history” he said, stressing the need to obtain the maximum value of the property for taxpayers.
Mayor Baroukh asked Mr. Shields for an updated staff report on the issue, ideally by next Monday. School Board member Kieran Sharpe advised that the Board also would discuss the question at Tuesday’s meeting and submit input.
TJ Renovation Status - Mr. Sharpe and Dr. Berlin advised the Council that there will be a public forum on the renovation at the school on May 26 at 7:00 pm. Ceremonial groundbreaking will be held on June 13 at 9:30 am. The School’s Architecture Selection Advisory Committee will begin to review the RFP and design.
3rd Quarter Financial Report - CFO Richard La Condre reported that the City revenues were at or higher than budgeted and that expenditures are running at or close to budget. He advised that the projected fund balance would be $4.9 million at the end of the fiscal year, an increase of a little over $900,000.
Economic Development Incentive Policies - A draft resolution has been prepared for referral to City boards and commissions for comments. Final Council action will occur in June.
Closed Session - The work session concluded shortly before 10:00 pm. The members then withdrew for another conference on the water refunds case.
Video of the public meeting is available at the City website.
By FALLS CHURCH POLICE DEPARTMENT
May 17, 2011
Larceny from Building, 300 W. Broad St. ( Stratford Motor Lodge). On May 10, 4:17 p.m., a laptop was reported stolen from the victim’s unsecured guest room.
Damage To Property, 500 block Spring St. On May 17, 10:38 a.m., the victim reported a BB gun pellet damaged the front window to the victim’s residence sometime overnight.
Defecating In Public, 7200 block Lee Hwy. On May 11, 6:51 p.m., an officer responded to the area for a report of a suspicious person. A 47 year old Hyattsville, MD man was arrested for Defecating In Public.
Public Drunkenness, 501 Roosevelt Blvd. (Oakwood Apartments). On May 12, 12:23 a.m., an officer responded to the location for a report of a disturbance outside the apartments. A 28 year old The Woodlands, TX woman was arrested for Public Drunkenness.
Assault & Battery and Disorderly Conduct, 917 W. Broad St. (El Zunzal). On May 12, 11:16 p.m., an officer observed a patron striking the victim. The patron attempted to engage other customers in a physical altercation. The patron, a 31 year old Springfield man, was arrested for Simple Assault and Disorderly Conduct.
Driving Under the Influence and Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Test, 100 block E. Annandale Rd. On May 13, 12:58 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation. The driver, a 26 year old Alexandria man , was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Test.
Public Drunkenness, 1150 W. Broad St. (CVS Pharmacy). On May 13, 4:35 a.m., an officer responded to the location for a report of an intoxicated man. A 55 year old Falls Church man was arrested for Public Drunkenness.
Domestic Assault, 1200 block Ellison St. On May 13, 1:30 p.m., a 23 year old City of Falls Church man, was arrested for Assaulting a Family Member.
Larceny from Building, 100 block Chanel Terr. On May 13, 5:00 p.m., the victim reported an unsecure bicycle was stolen from the residence overnight.
Public Drunkenness, 6795 Wilson Blvd. #18 (Pho Bien Restaurant). On May 14, 11:16 p.m., an officer observed a disturbance in the restaurant. One female involved in the disturbance was intoxicated. A 27 year old Cumberland, MD woman was arrested for Public Drunkenness.
Driving Under the Influence, Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Test, and Driving With a Suspended License, 100 block Park Ave. On May 15, 2:53 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop for a motor vehicle violation. The driver, a 24 year old Springfield man, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Test, and Driving With a Suspended License.
Vandalism, 400 block Jackson St. On May 15, 12:52 p.m., three tires of the victim’s vehicle were reported slashed sometime overnight.
Begging on the Streets, 1000 block E. Broad St. On May 15, 3:58 p.m., a 28 year old man of no fixed address, was arrested for Begging on the Streets.
Public Drunkenness, 100 block N. Washington St. On May 15, 11:43 p.m., an officer observed an intoxicated man on the sidewalk. A 44 year old man of no fixed address was arrested for Public Drunkenness.
Underage Possession of Alcohol, 7124 Leesburg Pike, (George Mason High School). On May 16, 10:24 a.m., a 17 year-old juvenile male was arrested for Underage Possession of Alcohol.
World War II Navy Flier Pat Russell, will share his research into “Ferrying Warbirds During WWII.” Two veteran WASPs (Women’s Air Service Pilots) may also attend. No charge. 10:00 am – noon, Falls Church Community Center, 221 Little Falls Street. 703-248-5020. The Forum meets every other Friday, same time, same place.
The forum’s final 2010-11 presentation will be on May 27, when George Kralovek will speak on April 1865, The Month That Saved America. The forum will begin a new season of lectures on September 9.
Members of the George Mason High School club ice hockey team recently presented Mustang Athletic Director Tom Horn with a team jersey before a game against Yorktown High School.
In photo from left are Adam Fendley, Hunter Olson, Hans Olson, Coach Horn, Connor Rhodes, Eddy Marshall, Jack Stricker, Marsden Davis, Andrew Williamson, and Stan Fendley, coach of the hockey team.
The team also presented Marshall with a trophy in appreciation of his play as goalie and leadership as the team’s only senior.
The Mustang hockey team was founded in 2010 and plays other club teams in the Northern Virginia Scholastic Hockey League.
Following the presentation to Horn and Marshall, the Mustangs took the ice to beat Yorktown 7-2. The team is undefeated in spring league play with a record of 5-0-1.
By Falls Church Times Staff
Creative Cauldron presents a variety of musical performances this weekend, May 20 – 23, at ArtSpace Falls Church: bluegrass and blues, pop, jazz and Broadway.
On Friday, May 20 at 8 pm, “Stories on Steel, Wood and Ivory” is a singer/songwriter concert feautring Ben Mason, Jeff Severson and Jeff Smith. With over a century of professional songwriting experience among them, these three long-time friends will share their stories through their music. Ben Mason has been a performing musician in the DC area since the 60′s playing at the Birchmere, Blues Alley, the Cellar Door, and the Kennedy Center. He wrote two nationally aired film scores for NBC TV and was the grand prize winner in the 10th Annual Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Contest. Jeff Severson is a finger-style guitarist from Arlington VA who has released 8 CDs of original material. Better known around the DC area for being a member of the 80’s power pop band 4 out of 5 Doctors, Jeff has opened for other guitar greats including Kaki King, Pierre Bensusan, Adrian Legg and Pepino D’Augustino and has appeared as a guest soloist with the band America. Jeff Smith received praise for his debut album from Las Vegas Music Scene magazine: “The Human Wilderness is as welcome as a roadside diner on a lonely highway. These heartfelt songs about life in small town USA are true masterpieces of American music.” Recently signed to Heavy Hitters Music Group in LA, Jeff was their featured artist for the month of February 2011 and had the good fortune of having his song “You” placed in an episode of The Young and Restless.
Tickets are $15 for “Stories on Steel, Wood and Ivory” Singer/Songwriter Concert and can be purchased in advance at www.creativecauldron.org or by calling 571-239-5288.
A jazz concert by “Kaos Theory” starts at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 21. The experimental jazz group is led by keyboardist-composer Mark Deffenbaugh and features TJ Turkman on bass and Graham Doby on drums. The group explores the outer limits of electronic funky jazz. Mark Deffenbaugh is an innovative and provocative keyboardist, composer, and producer, and has composed hundreds of pieces of music, including a sonata for vibraphone and guitar. He is also the CEO of DreamLand Records, an independent record label dedicated to jazz and electronic music, located in the Washington DC area.
“Kaos Theory” tickets for the Saturday evening performance are $15 for Adults and $12 for Students/Seniors.
The weekend at ArtSpace extends into Monday, May 23 at 8 pm with Open Mic Night, a fun and friendly event in which both professional and amateur performers share selections from their songbooks and writers share original poetry or writing. Non-performers are welcome to come enjoy the amazing talent that assembles at each of these monthly gatherings. An accompanist is provided and light refreshments are served. Admission is $10 donation at the door. Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church is located at 410 S. Maple Avenue in the Pearson Square building. Free parking is available in the garages at 410 and 400 S. Maple Avenue. For more information, including advance ticket sales, go to www.creativecauldron.org