Letters to the Editor: June 28 – July 4, 2018
Kudos to F.C. for RFP’s Environmental Targets
Congratulations to the Falls Church City Council and staff for including strong environmental targets in the West Falls Church Economic Development Project RFP.
In addition to walkable, pedestrian, bike-friendly streets, the RFP requires a LEED for Neighborhood Development certified neighborhood and LEED Gold certified buildings. The RFP also requires on-site management of stormwater using green infrastructure, which means landscaping practices like rain gardens that will both capture stormwater and beautify the site. On-site stormwater management at this site will also help the City more cost-effectively comply with Chesapeake Bay stormwater requirements. With these requirements included at this early stage of the project, the community is much more likely to see a dynamic neighborhood that incorporates environmental design. This is great progress for the City.
That said, at Environmental Sustainability Council panel discussions, experts advised the city to go further — to ask for zero energy buildings, a site designed to capture and reuse 100 percent of stormwater, and other strategies to prepare for the increased heat and precipitation that climate change will likely bring over the lifetime of this project. We were advised to set high goals to encourage a race to the top, and to make clear that, all else equal, we will select the proposal with the highest environmental performance.
If you believe the City can and should do more to reduce environmental impacts and protect our City from the physical impacts of climate change — and if there are other environmental issues you believe the City should address — please participate in the public process to update the Comprehensive Plan’s environmental chapter. This essential document guides decision-making for the City, and you have a chance to shape our environmental goals by participating. Please watch for the announcement of a community meeting to be held in July. I hope to see you there!
Chair, City of F.C. Environmental Sustainability Council
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