Letters to the Editor: August 27 – September 2, 2015
F.C. Could Use More Anti-Development ‘Bias’
As a 36-year resident of the Falls Church community, I marvel at the “any growth is good” mindset of the city’s current leaders. That view is slavishly endorsed in issue after issue of the News-Press, but the two front-page articles in the August 20-26 issue reached ridiculous heights. First, there was the fawning profile of the “visionary” developer Todd Hitt, a man who is doing all he can to turn “The Little City” into “Tysons East.” That puff piece read like a story written by a gushing high school freshman about the star senior quarterback. About the only positive attribute that wasn’t heaped on Mr. Hitt was the ability to walk on water.
The second front-page story in that issue was a classic of slanted journalism. The headline itself set the tone for the piece, screaming that the desire for low-density development in the 1980s was a “bias” rather than a policy, and that such a viewpoint “constrained” city growth rather than reining in the sort of congestion-inducing mega-growth we see today. In the story itself, the former stance against high-density development is loftily dismissed as a “prejudice.”
Personally, I feel that Falls Church could use a little more of that 1980s anti-development “bias” and “prejudice.” Without it, the day may come when the Falls Church Episcopal Church is replaced by a Sheetz gas station, which will be needed to serve the glut of cars pouring into the city. Or perhaps a Walmart will be built in Cherry Hill Park, an “underutilized” plot of land that could surely produce more tax revenue. How “visionary” that would be.
Ready to Revolt Against Aggressive Development
Do the citizens of Falls Church really know of all the “envisioned” projects the Economic Development Authority has in mind? How many of them will the Planning Commission vote on to approve?
With more seven- to eight-story tall buildings along W. Broad, (the city’s most developed one-mile section; It already has the Broadway, the Spectrum, the Read Building and the Hilton Garden Inn) The Stratford Motor Lodge will be replaced by a seven- or eight-story “project” and the Exxon Station at W. Broad and N. Virginia also will be replaced by a seven- or eight-story building. W. Broad will become a canyon except that there will be a lot of traffic in this one.
Consider, three new supermarkets – all with floors for condos or apartments above hem. The huge “Avalon” development on Cherry St. between Hillwood and Route 50. What streets will all these new residents be using? At 25 miles per hour?
The Mason Row project involves an even more “significant exposure of residential neighborhoods behind it.” One would suppose that we should be grateful “there was no suggestion to move the St. James Church or school.”
Does anyone else not think this is too much? The Mason Row plan includes Spring St., a two-way street and installing parking meters along Park. How could we ever have existed without parking meters?
In early September the Planning Commission will take up the plan “to clean up” the look of W. Broad. Still to come are “small area plans” for sections further west.
If there’s a revolt going on to stop all of this aggressive development, I’m ready to join. Enough is enough!
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