Editor’s Update: 7-Eleven regional manager confirms that the 7-Eleven on West Street will close at the end of September, confirming information in the community that the 7-Eleven contract have been bought out.
Editor’s Note: While many of us in Falls Church City have been on summer mode, a small cadre of involved citizens have been following the Founders Row project closely; for years. They’ve attended meetings, taken notes and shared information via email to a list of other citizens. Thanks to their involvement, many of us know more about Founders Row then we would have. Now it’s time to tell the Planning Commission and City Council your thoughts.
The “Public Notice Proposed Land Use Change” sign is now up near the 7-Eleven on North West Street. A public hearing for comments on the site plan is scheduled for the July 16 Planning Commission Meeting, while a public hearing for comments on the requested amendment to the previously approved project is scheduled for the August 13 City Council meeting.
The Planning Commission should hear your comments on the overall look, feel and flow of this project, prior to approving the site plan. (Architectural elevations, landscaping plans, and more are on the City’s web site) City Council should hear the concerns and thoughts on the amendment* requested from residents who occupy all parts of the City, not just those who live on the streets closest to the proposed site. New voices are necessary, as it is possible (probable?) they no longer hear the words of those who have been speaking out the loudest and longest.
What is decided for this particular project could influence decisions made for future projects (to include the West Falls Church property).
- Ask yourself, what is exemplary about this project now that there is only one anchor?
- Do a theater and a 100-tap restaurant justify an exception to the height?
- Is reducing the amount of available parking from 1084 spaces to 1026 parking spaces the right thing to do?
- Does it ensure the residents of 394 apartments, attendees of an 815-seat movie theater, employees in the office space, diners at the aforementioned restaurant and patrons of the other retail offerings are able to find on-site parking?
- Is there parking allocated for guests (short term or overnight) of the residents who live in the apartments?
If you cannot attend as you will be out of town or have other commitments, please send your comments to both the Planning Commission and the City Council. The web site does not list individual email addresses for the commissioners; address comments regarding the site plan for the commissioners to review to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments will be included in the package distributed the Thursday or Friday before the Monday meeting.
You can send your comments directly to each council member. Their email addresses are: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. If you also include firstname.lastname@example.org, Celeste Heath will include your comments in the package distributed to each council member the Thursday or Friday before the Monday meeting.
*The amendment requests removal of the second anchor – the hotel – from the design and converting that space to 72 age-restricted apartments plus reducing the number of parking spaces provided for the entire project while keeping the special exception granted to build up to 85 feet in height. Modifying the hotel to apartments causes the ratio for this project to go from 32% commercial/68% residential to 17.5% commercial/82.5% residential on a prime piece of commercial property on one of the two main roads in the City.