A recently-added City of Falls Church fee for any group wishing to hold a block party around town was removed by the City Council in its work session Monday night. The Council did a preliminary review of all the fees charged for various services that includes a number of increases.
Two areas where Council members balked at proposed fee hikes from City Hall were (1) fees for sidewalk cafe uses by local restaurants and (2) increased fees for getting basic information and services from the government. In the first case, encouragement of economic growth would be deterred by a fee, Council members concurred, while requiring a permit when the use is on public property was considered appropriate.
In the second case, Council member David Tarter argued strongly that increasing fees for basic government services, such as an increase from zero to $1,000 for a zoning opinion from City Hall, “impacts people’s willingness to ask questions.” He intoned, “The cost of getting information from the government must remain reasonable.”