Post #516: Public meetings this week regarding MAC zoning

There are two meetings this week with some relevance to MAC zoning.

Monday, 1/27/2020, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, the Town Council meeting will include a public hearing on the proposed Sunrise assisted living facility at 380 Maple West (Maple and Wade Hampton).  This will (probably) be the final public hearing on this building.  Citizens may speak for up to three minutes on this topic.

In addition, the final item on the agenda addresses funding for a commuter parking garage at the Patrick Henry Library. 

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=746847&GUID=7123CD94-74C2-42CC-BF61-7F257806DD5E&Options=info&Search=

Tuesday, 1/28/2020, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, the Transportation Safety Commission meeting may or may not include a report from town staff on actions taken (if any) to enhance pedestrian safety where the Chick-fil-A drive-through exit crosses the Maple Avenue sidewalk. 

Meeting agenda is here, but it is not possible to tell from the agenda whether or not this will discussed:
https://www.viennava.gov/Archive.aspx?AMID=56

Post #509: Public meetings this week relevant to MAC zoning.

There are two meetings this week with some relevance to MAC zoning.

Monday, 1/13/2020, at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, the Town Council work session will include discussion of projects to undertake from the Maple Avenue Multimodal transportation study, and discussion of the scope of work for the contract to rewrite all the zoning rules in Vienna, including MAC zoning.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=746846&GUID=1854A3F9-B0DC-4553-9492-7A352244EE40&Options=info&Search=

Thursday, 1/16/2020, at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, the last item for the Board of Architectural Review meeting is a request to add screening to the Flagship Car Wash to prevent interior lighting from that building from disturbing the neighbors.

The relevant materials can be found here.
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4301148&GUID=29032CE5-B558-470B-84FE-BBF90083669E&Options=&Search=

Commentary:  Of these, the public discussion of the scope of work (ground rules) for rewriting Vienna zoning comes as a surprise.   This item was only added to the agenda as of last Friday, and the last I had heard, that discussion was supposed to take place in private via a “Noah’s Ark” meeting.  I’m not sure what, if anything, has changed about .

Post #486: Public meetings this week regarding MAC zoning

The Town broadcasts Town Council and Planning Commission meetings on Cox channel 27, Verizon FIOS channel 38, and streaming at http://vienna-va.granicus.com/player/camera/3?publish_id=5

The Town does not broadcast work sessions, but audio recordings are available after-the-fact in the “archives” section of this web page: 
https://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?NID=567

There are two meetings this week with some relevance to MAC zoning.

Monday, 12/9/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, a Town Council meeting will address several MAC-related items, including the proposed Sunrise assisted living facility at 380 Maple West, and a proposal to stop work on Town Council efforts to amend MAC zoning, and instead include MAC changes in a Town staff rewrite of all of Town of Vienna zoning.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=719393&GUID=5E996136-2D14-4359-8F43-53EE3EAC510B&Options=info&Search=

Wednesday, 12/11/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, the Planning Commission will consider the proposed Sunrise assisted living facility at 380 Maple West (Maple and Wade Hampton). 

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=673423&GUID=EE2610F2-5202-485C-8DE4-7E25679684C8&Options=info&Search=

The Town reserves the right to change or cancel meetings on short notice, so check the Town’s general calendar before you go, at this URL:
https://www.viennava.gov/Calendar.aspx?NID=1&FID=220

Post #484: Tonight’s Town Council meeting

It should be an interesting night, because tonight’s Town Council agenda has something for everybody.  If you want a seat, you’d best show up early.  Start time is 8 PM, in Town Hall.

Here are links to my summaries of the agenda items (below).  I’ll post the agenda itself at the bottom of this page.

You can also catch it live, on cable or streaming, following the directions shown in the middle of this Town of Vienna web page.  (Be aware that the streaming is kind of glitchy, and the only browser I’ve ever gotten to work with it is Chrome.)

You can find the agenda and meeting materials on this web page.  Looking at the agenda, my guess is that this might end up being a long meeting.

As is traditional with the Town of Vienna, the agenda gives few clues as to the importance of individual items, either in terms of dollar amounts involved, or in the amount of time that Town Council expects to spend on an item.

Continue reading Post #484: Tonight’s Town Council meeting

Post #482: Public hearing tomorrow on the $35 million Town of Vienna bond issue.

 

This was originally an afterthought from the last posting, but it got so long I decided to post it separately.  And so that leads to a major caveat:  I haven’t had the time to do my homework on this one.  I’m usually pretty good about getting the facts straight before opening my mouth.  But for this one — which comes up tomorrow — I started to look at it, and I kept coming up with what I thought were some fairly important questions that I don’t think I’m going to be able to answer in time for that meeting.

Anyway, tomorrow’s Town Council hearing looks to be a real Duesy.  You might want to have a look at the agenda (.pdf), and maybe even take a look at the meeting materials if something catches your eye.  Maybe plan to be there, or at least catch it on cable or internet (as described halfway down this Town of Vienna web page.)  I’ll post the agenda at the end of this article, below, for ease of access.

Among other things, Town Council is holding its one and only public hearing on a borrowing $35 million for various construction projects and reserves.  It is a legally required public hearing, and if you have any thoughts on that bond issue you can speak for up to three minutes.  But I suggest you do some homework on it first, because the more I look at that, the less I understand it.  If I have the time, I’ll amend this posting to add links to prior Town discussions of this bond issue.

The amount of the Town’s borrowing represents a significant departure from the past.  In fact, that by itself is so noteworthy that I ginned up that little graph at the top of this post, right out of the Town’s 2019-202 budget, using data take from pages 359 and forward, and adding in the proposed $35 million.  As you can see, we’ve never done anything like this before.

I haven’t looked at the details/done my homework, but my guess is that, in large part, this is made possible by the 50% increase in your water bill (Post #448).  Of which you have only seen the first 20%, so far.   (Some portion of water bill receipts are used to cover the Town’s debt issuance (“capital fund”) costs.)

But now that I think that through, if the Town is counting on those water bill receipts to pay off this debt issue, doesn’t that makes the next three annual votes to raise sewer and water rates kind of a joke?  Has Town Council really put us in a position of “raise the rates the full 50%, or default on our bonds”?  I’ll have to look into that, but that’s my first question.  Are they predicating the payback of these bonds on rate increases that they haven’t yet voted on?  I would certainly hope not, but I don’t know.

Anyway, the proposed sewer and water projects are on top of the Town building itself a new police station, and a few other things, and … hmm.  I don’t really know how they plan to fund even that piece, in the normal fashion (meals tax and hotel room tax), because that, by itself, the police station and other projects amount to twice our normal bond issue.  I guess I really haven’t done my homework.  I sure hope our Town Council has.  I wonder just how much of this is projected to be funded by the water bill increase?

And let’s not forget that the Town capital budget includes $0 to pay for the nearly $5 million Patrick Henry garage.  Yep, we assume that’s free, because we think the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is going to be stupid enough to pay for all of our merchant/restaurant parking at that site, even though that organization has absolutely no business doing so (Post #446 and Post #447).  (Oh, and let’s not forget that we assume they’ll pay for about half the cost of a garage on Church street, just for good measure.)

If you add in the capital projects that we think we’re getting for free or at half price (the two garages), we’re looking at another, oh, $7 million or so in liabilities on top of that.   (Alternatively, this may be why Town staff are asking for about … you guessed it … $7 million in additional funding as part of the overall $35 million debt issue, to provide “reserves” that, somehow, are earmarked for as-yet-unnamed property acquisition within the Town?)

Anyway, no matter how you cut it, that’s a heck of a departure from tradition.

N.B.:  If you took $35 million in hundred-dollar bills and laid them in a straight line, they would stretch from Vienna to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  So we’re borrowing a a pretty good-sized pile of cash.

And there are a couple of other deusies on that agenda, in addition to the bond issue.  Check it out for yourself.  But in typical Town fashion, the agenda often gives no clue as to the dollar value or other importance of any one item.  So you have to read it carefully, then check the Town web page cited above for whatever details have been made public.

Agenda-66

 

 


Post #455: Public meetings this week regarding MAC zoning

There is just one meeting this week with some relevance to MAC zoning. 

Wednesday, 11/13/2019, at 7:00 PM in Town Hall, the Planning Commission will hold a work session on Sunrise Assisted Living at 380 Maple West (Maple and Wade Hampton).  They will consider changes to the proffers for 380 Maple West and discuss the conditional use permit that Sunrise will need to operate an assisted living facility at that location.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4217120&GUID=1C455D37-3102-4E09-A93B-41C6D85EE47B&Options=&Search=

Post #444: MAC-related public meetings this week

There are several public meetings this week with some relevance to MAC zoning.

Monday, 11/4/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will hold a meeting that includes several MAC-related items. 
1)  They will hold a public hearing on extending the MAC moratorium through June 30 2020.  Citizens are invited to speak.  Three minute time limit.
2)  They will consider a resolution to request grant funding for a three-story parking garage/library to replace the current Patrick Henry library.
3)  They will examine (and likely approve) the modified rear facades of the Marco Polo/Vienna Market MAC project.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=716363&GUID=DC46C9A8-009B-49C0-93BE-A2BB7BFFB61B&Options=info&Search=

Thursday, 11/7/2019, at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will hold a work session to obtain their final briefing on the Kimley-Horn “Maple Avenue Corridor Multimodal Transportation and Land Use Study”.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4213345&GUID=7038D400-8A10-4B9D-AE3D-8F5E05930CAB&Options=&Search=

 

Friday, 11/8/2019 at 8:00 AM (AM), the Board of Architectural Review will hold a work session on the new building proposed for 380 Maple West, a Sunrise assisted living facility.

The relevant materials can be found here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=735324&GUID=CEE00DFC-1728-44FD-B567-C1B14E4BA0D5&Options=info&Search=

The Town reserves the right to change or cancel meetings on short notice, so check the Town’s general calendar before you go, at this URL:
https://www.viennava.gov/Calendar.aspx?NID=1&FID=220


Commentary:

On the Monday Town Council meeting, I would have expected the extension of the MAC moratorium to be cut-and-dried.  Would have, except that it was anything but that at the preceding Planning Commission meeting.  The actual discussion was in fact for more convoluted than I said in my brief writeup (Post #440), and included some legal arguments to block any consideration of an extension of the moratorium

Also, the Town Council is being asked to approve a grant request for funding the largest parking structure option that the Town’s consultant offered them.  I had not realized that the Town had made the affirmative decision to go with that option.  If that’s a done deal, I certainly wish they would reconsider (e.g., Post #367, Post #369, Post #371).

Separately, the Town is also going to ask for about $240K in grant funding for Capital Bikeshare bike racks.  I’ve already expressed the sentiment that this is almost sure a near-total waste of money, given the lack of use of these rental bikes in Tysons and other remote suburban near-Metro locations (Post #387).

On the Thursday Town Council work session, to me the big question is how they’ll deal with the estimated traffic impact of MAC development.  The rest of the items — the proposed projects for the Town to undertake — seemed fairly weak to me.  You can see can see my analysis in Post #358 and subsequent posts to Post #364.  It is worth bearing in mind that the traffic impact analysis does NOT use current traffic as baseline, which is why (e.g.) redevelopment of the currently empty BB&T site was estimated to reduce traffic on Maple in that study.

The Friday BAR session is a bit of a puzzler to me, as it is not clear to citizens that (e.g.) Sunrise has actually signed a contract with the current owner of 380 Maple West, and so on.  This is due, in part, I think, to the fact that this isn’t a MAC application.  Formally, it’s a request for changes to the existing, approved MAC building.  (I.e., new building, new owner, new purpose, new conditional use permit and so on, and yet all done within the context of the land already having been rezoned to MAC instead of standard commercial development.)

Post #432: Public meetings relevant to MAC, week of 10/28/2019

Some topics to be discussed this week include:

For Town meetings and work sessions, audio recordings will be available the “archives” section of this web page:  https://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?NID=567

In addition, for Town Council and Planning Commission meetings, the Town broadcasts meetings, the Town broadcasts those live on Cox channel 27, Verizon FIOS channel 38, and streaming at http://vienna-va.granicus.com/player/camera/3?publish_id=5


Monday, 10/28/2019, at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will hold a work session to discuss, among other things, the scope of a proposed (roughly) quarter-million-dollar contract for a consultant to help update the Town’s zoning ordinances.  Separately, they will discuss a proposal to allow 30% lot coverage in residential areas (up from the current 25%) if homeowners implement a stormwater management system.  

The relevant materials can be found here:

https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=718283&GUID=A00DD1B9-01A1-45EE-9437-BE5A6B2DE849&Options=info&Search=


Tuesday, 10/29/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, the Transportation Safety Commission will meet to discuss, among other things, a pilot program for rental electric scooters (and other “shared mobility devices”) in the Town of Vienna.  Separately, they will discuss red-light and speed cameras in Vienna. 

Prior to this, starting at 7 PM, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety advisory committees will meet, but no agenda is yet available for that meeting.

The .pdf agenda for the meeting (no materials are provided) can be found here:
https://www.viennava.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=4387


Tuesday, 10/29/2019, at 7:30 PM in the Community Center, there will be a meeting to introduce (probably) Sunrise Assisted Living as the (possible) new owner of the 380 Maple Avenue (Maple and Wade Hampton) MAC development.

As far as I know, there has been no official public announcement of this by the Town of Vienna.  I believe that some individuals received an email.  Citizens are welcome to hear Sunrise’s plans and to ask questions or offer concerns.


Wednesday, 10/30/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on extending the MAC moratorium to June 30, 2020.  (The extension should not be controversial, but this public hearing is a legal requirement.)  Prior to this, starting at 7:00 PM, they will hold a work session for discussions with the Town Attorney.

This is a public hearing, so I believe citizens may speak for up to three minutes.

Public hearing materials are here:
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=673421&GUID=7151C270-9A02-4776-8671-ED1C81520C81&Options=info&Search=
Prior work session notice is here (read the .pdf agenda to see the content of the meeting).
https://vienna-va.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=35871&GUID=5F43A6E1-E522-486D-A271-B83ED29861B9

 

Post #425: CORRECTION: Public meetings this week regarding MAC zoning.

CORRECTION:  Tonight’s Town Council work session is in the Community Center, not in Town Hall as I stated previously.

 

There appear to be two public meetings this week relevant to MAC zoning.

 

Monday, 10/21/2019, at 8:00 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will hear a petition to appeal final approval of the Marco Polo/Vienna Market project.  At issue is white siding covering the backs of the (otherwise) brick buildings.  MAC statute “design criteria” appear to require that the front and back of a building match, when the back is visible to the public.  A citizen filed a petition asking the Town to enforce that and so require that the backs be covered in brick, not siding.

Because this is a public hearing, I believe that citizens may speak for up to three minutes.

The relevant materials can be found here:

https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4196801&GUID=9E136D70-BC3F-4CAB-AC39-C1B1D1981FE2&Options=&Search=

The Town broadcasts Town Council meetings on Cox channel 27, Verizon FIOS channel 38, and streaming at

http://vienna-va.granicus.com/player/camera/3?publish_id=5

Tuesday, 10/22/2019, at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will hold a work session to discuss draft amendments the Town’s MAC zoning and other commercial zoning. 

Work session materials can be found here, including statements from each of the Town Council members.

https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4196990&GUID=475644E0-5F03-4761-A9BA-A63D099B44A6&Options=&Search=

The Town does not broadcast work sessions, but audio recordings are available after-the-fact in the “archives” section of this web page: 
https://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?NID=567

Post #410: Public meetings this week related to MAC zoning

There appears to be just one public meeting this week relevant to MAC zoning.

Wednesday 10/9/2019 at 7:30 PM in Town Hall, Town Council will have a work session on revising the Town’s zoning statutes, including both MAC and other commercial zones.

The work session materials can be found here:

https://vienna-va.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4154420&GUID=92E12C5A-91A8-4BB6-90A0-18379C40EE4E&Options=&Search=

Please note that the Town does not broadcast work sessions, but it now typically makes audio recordings of those meetings available after-the-fact, at the bottom of this page on the Town of Vienna website:

https://www.viennava.gov/index.aspx?NID=567

The Town reserves the right to change or cancel meetings on short notice, so check the Town’s general calendar before you go, at this URL:
https://www.viennava.gov/Calendar.aspx?NID=1&FID=220