Post #G26: Back in the Town of Vienna, our water/sewer rate versus Fairfax County

This post only really matters if you use a lot of water outdoors during the summer.  Hence, it falls under gardening on this website.

People are often surprised to find out just how much water it takes to water a garden, or that running a lawn sprinkler for an hour typically consumes 1000 gallons.

And so, there’s sometimes some hubbub when the summer-quarter water bills come out, here in the Town of Vienna.  Particularly now, as Vienna is half-way through a planned five-year, 50% increase in the water/sewer rates.  People see an unusually high bill and attribute that to the rate increase.  When that may not be the whole story. Continue reading Post #G26: Back in the Town of Vienna, our water/sewer rate versus Fairfax County

Post #G25: Meanwhile, in the Town of Vienna, the latest water/sewer rates are being felt

This is another of my contractual obligation postings, relating to government of the Town of Vienna.

Recall back in Post #448, where I described the Town’s five-year plan to raise the water and sewer rates by about 50%.  The Town didn’t really go out of its way to advertise that, or to advertise that it planned to raise those rates every year for five years running. Continue reading Post #G25: Meanwhile, in the Town of Vienna, the latest water/sewer rates are being felt

Post #810: An air-curtain approach to indoor restaurant safety in the coronavirus pandemic

The CDC has finally started doing some epidemiology that will help ordinary citizens to judge the risks of certain activities.  And the very first thing their research highlighted was the risk from dining in restaurants.  In their small-scale study of a sample of individuals with COVID-like symptoms,  persons who tested positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have gone to restaurants in the past two weeks, compared to those who tested negative.

I started to write up my own analysis of this issue of risk.  But I got sidetracked by an email discussion about the coming crisis that restaurants in the Town of Vienna are likely to face, if COVID-19 gets any worse, or if the economy gets any worse.  We don’t need any more analysis.  We need a solution that would plausibly increase the safety of indoor dining.

So, instead of just analyzing the situation, I’m going to offer you my cheap solution for safer indoor dining.  In a nutshell, use ceiling-mounted box fans, with high-end air filters, to bathe each table in its own individual stream or “curtain” of clean air.  And to sweep any virus-laden air down to floor level, for further filtering and recirculation.

Detail follows.

Continue reading Post #810: An air-curtain approach to indoor restaurant safety in the coronavirus pandemic

Post #751: Shooting range?

I’ve been staying away from posting about the Town of Vienna.  But I just had a conversation with my next-door neighbor about the new Town of Vienna Police Station.  It left me shaking my head, saying, oh, that can’t be right.

Or can it?

I already knew that the new police station was going to be the biggest building they could squeeze onto the lot.  That’s the hallmark of the prior administration.  I knew the Mayor-elect would vehemently defend the proposed police station, because that’s what she was elected to do — defend the decisions of the Powers that Be in Vienna.

But I did not realize that part of the new police station — built like a fortress, as post-911 standards require — and three times the size of the current police station  — has a shooting range.  (Three times the size of what it replaces, with no more residents or police here than when the old police station was built.)

As if, what, they can’t use the Fairfax County range?  As if Town of Vienna police are that likely to have to draw a weapon in Town?  As if their duplicative “meeting space” area didn’t waste enough space?  (This building sits maybe 200 yards from the Community Center, yet has its own meeting rooms presumably for holding meetings with citizens.  That, somehow, the oversized Community Center cannot accommodate?)

I get the fact that if you want to build the biggest possible fill-in-the-blank, you have to use up the space.  I just didn’t realize that one of the reasons was having a handy area for honing gun skills.

To be clear, I’m not against having the cops being trained in the use of firearms.  That’s part of the real world.  I’m not that keen on un-trained people carrying weapons.  I’m a gun owner.  And a health economist.  I’m not strictly anti-gun, though my wife is.  I think that, as a public health measure, easy access to guns is a bad idea.  But that has nothing to do with police training.

It’s just odd to see a major piece of capital infrastructure dedicated to that task.  In a building that is vastly larger and far more imposing that what it replaces.  Given that the sum total of my interaction with Town police has been being pulled over for having a marker light out on my car.

There has been a petition circulated to defer the spending on this obese police station.  I didn’t think it would get any traction with Town government, because … well, that’s the way Vienna works.  A thousand people signed up against the 440 Maple West development, and the in-crowd just shrugged that off.  But maybe I need to rethink that, given this new rumor of Vienna’s own shooting range.

There are maybe a couple of things to say about a petition to divert the spending on this building to other community-oriented purposes.

First, you can’t legally divert money from the capital budget to the operating budget in a Virginia town.  So, the fact that the prior administration “maxed out their credit card” on this police station is just, well, tough shit, from the standpoint of funding operating costs of the Town going forward.  The capital account (borrowed money) can’t be used for that.  Because, among other things, you can’t deficit-spend as a Virginia Town.

So even if you think that putting a dedicated gun range ahead of other needs is misguided, if that money is re purposed, it can only be spent on capital projects. You can’t legally use it to fund (e.g.) social services.

You might say that either our economic priorities are amiss, or our social priorities are amiss, or both.  Or maybe the Powers that Be are planning for the complete breakdown of social order.  Here in Vienna.  In which case, I’d wish they’d let me in on that, so I could get prepared.

As with so much of Town of Vienna government decisions, I can’t make head or tails out of it.  But, ditto, whatever They have Decided, It Cannot Be Questioned.  Which is how I take our new Mayor’s response to having been questioned about this expense.

Second, the ship sailed years ago on this police station project.  Two years ago, and then some.  And, believe it or not, the proposed building is only modestly above industry norms of space per occupant and cost per square foot.  You can read my analysis of that in this post, dated 9/4/2018, dating back to the time when this project was still being billed as a police station renovation.

All-in-all, Vienna has modestly more officers per capita, square foot per officer, and cost per square foot than what I estimated to be the average within the industry.  Particularly the square foot per officer part.  This building looks big, and objectively, it is big.  And when you multiply those three together, you get what you get.

If you want to have a clue to the high cost, just look at the specs.  From that posting:

And if you read further, you will see that the architects are not exactly planning for a friendly small-town police department.  The specs include blast film for the windows, concrete bollards to prevent ramming the building, steeply sloped window sills to prevent bomb placement, and special construction to withstand earthquakes.  This isn’t Andy of Mayberry.

The bottom line is that this building is in large part a reflection of the post-911 paranoid world.  It’s built to withstand terrorist attack.  It’s occupants receive regular training in the use of deadly force.  It truth, it would not surprise me if they had plans in place in case of a breakdown in social order  (e.g., riots), even here in bouzhie Vienna.  Because that’s modern thinking.  Earthquakes included.

And all of that predates the pandemic, and predates Black Lives Matter.  Community policing went out the window on 9/11/2001.  Pretty much, if you want Federal funds, you have to build a fortress designed to protect its occupants from you.  And those occupants have to be trained to deal with terrorism.  Because, as always, we’re fighting the last war.  You can put a nice face on it, and pretend otherwise, and include a “community meeting room” and such.  But a fortress is a fortress.

It’s not what you’d have in an ideal world.  But it’s what we’re stuck with.  For the next 50 years, here in the Town of Vienna.

With any luck, future generations will look back on this as being the high-water mark of the us-versus-the-rioters police architecture mentality.  The embodiment of the 9-1-1 non-war that we’ve been fighting for the past 20 years.  This building is of-a-piece with routinely being subjected to whole-body X-rays if you want to fly anywhere.  Of-a-piece with a government that can legally “disappear” you at will, as part of the PATRIOT act.  (Read it if you don’t believe me).  It is of an era where nobody would even question that every sleepy little high-income suburban town would of course have its own police gun range.

So I applaud the people questioning this building.  And, ultimately, questioning what I see as the post 9-1-1 mentality.  I don’t think they’ll make a dent in Town of Vienna government.  But I applaud them nevertheless.

And if we’re not lucky, and the Town actually needs its own little fortress?  If, down the road, people actually applaud the decision to build a police station that could withstand an assault?  Well, I just don’t want to go there.  I have more important things to worry about, in the here and now, to worry about what this building bodes for the future.

Post #705: Meanwhile, back in the Town of Vienna, plus ça change?

 

This post is about tonight’s Vienna Town Council meeting.  With the key question being, will there be any fundamental change in the Town’s plans for redeveloping Maple Avenue, once the new Town Council is seated?  Or, really, will there be any fundamental change in how it goes about meandering through various decisions?

In any case, tonight’s proximate issue is MAC zoning.  Meeting materials are here, and you can find instructions for watching it live here.  (For me, streaming only works with Chrome, FWIW).

The options on the table are to extend the current moratorium, or to kill MAC zoning entirely.  Best guess, based on what went on at the corresponding Planning Commission meeting, they’ll vote to kill it.  (It was almost-but-not-quite funny to look at the tape of the Planning Commission meeting, and see that the pro-MAC members there really would not pick up on the very strong hints that killing MAC is the what the Powers that Be want now.  Clear the decks, so that they can rewrite the commercial zoning to allow MAC-like buildings by right.  Even I understand the game plan, and I’m not exactly privy to their thinking.)  We can only trust and hope that they will do that in a fashion that doesn’t allow a few developers to slip in proposals after the June 30 end of the current moratorium.  (You’d think I wouldn’t have to say that but … somehow two proposals made it under the wire the last time.)

But the longer-term issue is whether or not things will change with the seating of the new Town Council in July.  As I see it — and predicted it — the pro-development Mayor-Elect won because candidates Majdi and Springsteen split the moderate-development vote.  (My January 2020 prediction was off by a bit, but not much (Post #697).  With the Mayor-Elect as the last remaining member of the original solidly pro-MAC faction that once controlled Town Council, what’s going to happen next?  Are they actually going to moderate plans for development along Maple?  Or do they figure they’re just one election away from regaining control?

(And will they please, please, please let Ed Somers run the meetings.  In case you missed it, he was the other person on the Colbert/Somers non-slate.  The one who got the exact same number of votes as Mayoral candidate Colbert.  But it wasn’t a slate.  Nuh-uh, no way, only evil carpetbaggers need to run as a slate.  Anyway, based on what I saw at the Transportation Safety Commission, he really knows how to run a meeting, and that’s a talent that Town Council ought to make use of.)

Anyway, beats me whether we’ll see change or not.  I’ve just been asked to write one more blog entry about Town of Vienna government and the path ahead.  So here it is.  Think of this as my contractual obligation posting for the week.

But if I had to guess, my guess would be, as the French put it, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  Which I translate loosely as “you can put new butts in those chairs, but chances are they’ll generate the same crap.”  I make some predictions about the Patrick Henry Parking Garage, below, to illustrate what I think I’m talking about.


Things have changed a bit recently.

To be clear, given the ongoing global pandemic …

Source:  That’s my best guess.  The only hard fact is that, as of today, just under 1% of the Fairfax County population has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (per the Virginia Department of Health website).  The actual fraction who have been infected is not known, but can be guessed at based on various studies using various biased samples-of-convenience of various populations showing antibodies to COVID-19 using various tests with different false-positive rates.  If you don’t understand what can go wrong there — particularly the bias in using samples of convenience (e.g., grocery shoppers), and in particular if you don’t understand why even a small false-positive rate for an antibody test skews the results of such a test for this purpose, then you probably shouldn’t opine on what the “true” infection rate is.  (E.g., if nobody was infected, but the false positive rate for a test is 1.7%, then the test is going to show 1.7% infected.  If you think that’s just an academic exercise, search “Literally every single one could be a false positive” in this article to see why this matters so much, when you are trying to identify a disease with a relatively low prevalence in the population.  The upshot is that  most of what you’ve read in the popular press (and a fortiori on right-wing blogs trying to convince you that some huge fraction of the population has already been infected) is wrong.  If forced to guess, I’d guess that at most 5 percent of the Fairfax County population has been infected with COVID-19, based mainly on studies of California cities, on a study of consensus of opinion among a random sample of US physicians, and on a high-quality study of Spain showing that, despite a severe epidemic, only 5% of the Spanish population has antibodies for COVID-19.  I would be surprised if our true prevalence were higher than that of Spain.  For what it’s worth, the CDC is gearing up to do a systematic study of this issue.   Maybe a year from now they’ll be able to give us a really accurate estimate of what the true prevalence was.  Finally, if you don’t know what “case fatality rate” means, as opposed to “infection mortality rate”, then you also should not opine about how the mortality rate of COVID-19 compares to the mortality rate of influenza, because the flu data are case fatality rate data,   As with COVID-19, if you got the flu, but not badly enough to see a physician and be diagnosed, you weren’t counted in the denominator of the widely-cited case fatality rate statistics for flu.  The apples-to-apples comparison of COVID-19 and (e.g.) swine flu is COVID-19 deaths divided by diagnosed individuals (either via PCR test, or based on symptoms as presented to a health care provider.)

The potential for a global economic recession or depression …

Reduction in demand that hits the mix of small business on Maple Avenue particularly hard, with its heavy reliance on restaurants and personal services  …

Source:  See Post #201 for details on methods and underlying data.

With a retail vacancy rate that was average, but may or may not stay that way.

Source:  See this post for details.


But will Town Council change how it does business?  My litmus test.

I don’t  mean the current Town Council.  They’ve been set on full-speed-ahead, almost without exception.  Nothing would deter them from continuing as they have started.

And, near as I can tell, their answer to any question regarding buildings is “the biggest one that will fit on the lot”.  Example:  What is the optimal size for the new police station?  What is the best choice for a Maple Avenue parking garage.  And repeat.

No, to me the question is whether the new Town Council, seated in July, will do business any differently.  In particular, if there’s going to be any rethinking of schedule and purpose given this backdrop of some fairly large uncertainties.

E.g., if this has permanently damaged the local restaurant industry, then the face of Maple Avenue retail moving foward might look quite different from the past.  You’d then think that your planning would change accordingly.  And you might think that, maybe, you’d slow down your decisionmaking until you could get more of a sense of how this will all shake out.

But put the issue of the commercial zoning rewrite aside for now.  There’s a simpler, more straightforward test that doesn’t depend on what the Town’s consult tells the Town it needs, for new commercial zoning.

There’s a much simpler way to take the measure of the new Town Council.  Let’s see what (if anything) they do with the Patrick Henry Parking Garage (and library). 

That’s the illustration at the top of this post.  And the question is, will the new Town Council rethink any of what had gotten us that design, at this point?

Let me start off by listing a few of the many things I hate about the proposed design for the Patrick Henry Parking Garage (and library).

First, we’re trying to con somebody else into paying for it, based on the outright lie that this new garage will be a commuter garage.  (We’re not dumb enough to say that in the Town’s own documents.  There, we refer to it for what it is — shopper/diner parking to serve the nearby Maple Avenue merchants.  It’s only in trying to sell it to the local traffic-relief authority that we make up a story about commuters driving into the heart of Vienna, in rush hour, so that they can park in this garage and take the once-per-half-hour bus to Vienna Metro.)

We should call that — obtaining money under false pretenses — exactly what it is — fraud.  (See Post #515, with a better explanation in Post #446).

Everybody on the current Town Council understands just how ludicrous this story is.  Commuters, in large numbers, are not going to drive into Vienna, park, and take the occasional bus to the Vienna metro.  Yet every one of them was willing to support the use of that story in order to con the funding out of a local transportation congestion-relief funding authority.

Will the new Town Council be any different?  Will even one new Town Council member object to obtaining tax funding based on the lie that our shopper/diner parking is actually a commuter parking garage?  Will anyone object to our describing it for what it is, in Town of Vienna documents (shopper/diner parking), then trying to sell it to funders based on a completely different and totally fictional description?  That will be interesting to see, but my guess is, no. 

Second, how big a garage does Vienna need there?  BRRRT.  Wrong question.  The answer is “”the biggest one that will fit on the lot”.  So, as I understand it, the Town will do some sort of parking demand study — long after they’ve made the commitment to go for the garage as planned.  So, the extent of “thoughtful” planning is to go for the biggest garage that will fit on the lot.  Full stop.  Then justify that after-the-fact.

At some point, I’d have argued for getting the order of operations reversed there.  Figure out what you need, then build, instead of vice-versa.  But after seeing the Town’s last traffic study, I’m not convinced that any consultant study overseen by Town staff can produce an unbiased estimate of anything.  It’s more akin to commercial research (support the product line) than it is to academic research (determine what’s true).  So now my feeling is, given that any such study is just a fig leaf for whatever decision has already been made, let’s just skip it and save the money.  The idea of making the commitment to the building, then funding the analysis of how much parking is needed, is just stupid and wasteful.  If they are going to do it in that order, at least have the good sense to kill the after-the-fact parking study.

Even absent a formal parking study, won’t anybody question the “small town” feel of making a big parking garage literally the centerpiece of the town? Because I sure haven’t heard that from anyone in power so far.  I guess, with all the open parking lots, this will fit right in?

Does anybody even care that this locks Maple in to the current (circa 1961) configuration, pretty much for eternity?  We’ve seen what it would take to get traffic flowing on Maple, and per Fairfax County, it would take more lanes.  Will that ever even get on the table as a topic of discussion, or has it Already Been Decided, and no discussion is allowed?

Won’t anybody even question the legitimacy of having taxpayer pay for the parking, so that Town Staff can reduce the amount of zoning-required parking in any new construction in that area?  Is this really little more than taxpayer subsidy to local businesses?

So, will the next Town Council be able to step back and ask, how big does it really need to be?  That would be nice to see, but my guess is, no.  It’s going to be the biggest building they can squeeze onto the lot.

Third, can we at least change the design so that the library isn’t underneath the parking garage?  I think that’s a really horrendous mistake, if you are looking for a library that is a pleasant center for community-based activity.  And, for sure, I looked, and you cannot find a single suburban library in the DC area that’s built into the first floor of a parking garage.  The fact that nobody else builds a library like this really ought to be a red flag, if anyone is paying attention.

Weirdly, will anybody on Town Council even realize that the design looks the way it looks because it had to fit in with MAC zoning?  Yeah, the same MAC zoning that they are about to get rid of.  That’s why it looks like a 15′ glass-fronted shopping mall on the bottom floor.  Because that’s what MAC zoning mandated.  So the look of the proposed library is a remnant of the zoning that they are in the process of killing.

My own suggestion to all of this (Post #371 and earlier) was to put the parking underground, pay extra for doing that, and use the free space at ground level for a one-third acre park, adjacent to the new, airy, spacious library.  In effect, you get to buy park land, along Maple, for at or below the current market-clearing rate of about $6M/acre.

More generally, is there any chance that the new Town Council will, I don’t know, maybe ask current library users what they think of the basement-of-the-parking-garage design?  Maybe crowd-source a design by having a contest for local citizens?  Or reconsider the current library-as-afterthought design in any significant way?

Otherwise, I think the current course for the Patrick Henry Parking Garage pretty much sums up what I disliked about decision-making by current and prior Town Councils.  The funding is based on a lie.  And everybody just winks at that.  The design was done that way for a reason that no longer matters (i.e., to match MAC zoning).  Yet the design appears locked in.  The true public purpose here, a library to serve as a center for the community, is subservient what the local commercial interests want to see that land used for (more parking to feed their businesses, and then to allow relaxed on-site parking requirements moving forward).  To the point where the proposed design — library-under-parking-garage — is something that nobody else in the DC area has chosen to build.  For good reason.

Oh, and we’ll do the study to see how much parking we need, after we’ve decided how much we’ll build.  I don’t know about you, but something tells  me that study is going to tell Town Council that they made the exact right decision.  And that’s exactly the wrong way to go about getting good decisions made.

 

Post #697: Town elections, see Post #508

See Post #508, from January 9, 2020 and earlier, on splitting the vote and political suicide.  My numbers were a little off.  But not much.

Votes Percent
Colbert 1545 43%
Majdi 1172 33%
Springsteen 869 24%
Total 3586 100%

Post #675: Meanwhile, back in Vienna, VA, it’s the gestation period for son-of-MAC.

I have been asked once again to post on Town of Vienna issues.  This directly relates to MAC zoning, so it gets back to the original purpose of this website.

I refuse to take a lot of time with this.  So here goes.

1:  You may recall that the Town passed MAC zoning in 2014.  Then, in 2015 or maybe 2016, depending on who’s counting what, the Town revised its comprehensive plan to match what MAC zoning called for.  And, to be clear, yes, that is in fact backwards, and no,  that’s not how it’s supposed to work, and yes, that’s another classic ready-fire-aim episode by the Town of Vienna powers that be.

But that’s what the Town did.

2:  There’s currently a moratorium on new MAC applications.  This ends in June.  The Town needs to extend that, as I have already described, prior to the pandemic (Post #542).  At the Monday 4/27/2020 Town Council meeting, they made the formal motion to start that in progress.

3:  But, in fact, the plan is to set this up so that the outright repeal of MAC zoning will be Councilmember Noble’s last act in office.   (Why the last-minute high drama, I don’t quite grasp, but it is what it is.  I only ever worked with business people, not politicians, so the fact that I find this un-business-like really isn’t a deciding factor.)  I wrote about that in Post #539, after Councilman Noble corrected a post that I wrote about the moratorium.

4: At the last meeting, Councilmemeber Majdi, with support (only) from Councilmember Patel moved that, if we’re dropping MAC from our zoning, then, logically, we should also drop those MAC-like provisions from the Comprehensive Plan.  Because, ultimately, if you follow the letter of the law in Virginia, any subsequent zoning has to match the Comprehensive Plan.   (The fact that Vienna ignored that, when passing MAC in the first place, is water over the dam.)  If you leave it in the Comprehensive Plan, then you haven’t really killed it. You’ve just pretended to.

5:  That was met with strenuous objection from the usual cast of characters.

6:  Let me now explain why.  In a nutshell:  If you leave it in the Comprehensive Plan, then you haven’t really killed it.  You’ve just pretended to.  And that’s the point of leaving it in, from the Old Guard’s perspective.

6.1:  The Town is moving ahead with its quarter-million dollar consulting contract for rewriting the entire Town of Vienna zoning code.

This, despite the fact that all of those cute little “community engagement” activities that were part of the work plan, for getting “citizen input” on the zoning, are no longer possible.  (And will certainly be inadvisable for the forseeable future.)  Thus, to me, anyway, revealing just how little it matters what citizens think about this.  It’s almost as if the Department of Planning and Zoning already knew what answer it was going to get, without needing input from the citizens.

6.2:  If the MAC-like provisions (medium-density mixed-use on Maple) remain in the Comprehensive Plan, the Town’s quarter-million-dollar zoning consultant must include that as part of the overhaul of commercial zoning.  That’s literally written into the Scope of Work for the contract.  Zoning must match the Comprehensive Plan.

6.3:  So, by keeping the “MAC” portion of the Comprehensive Plan, the Old Guard and the Department of Planning and Zoning guarantee that MAC lives on.  The new commercial zoning will be Son of MAC. Because they have successfully fought to keep it in the Comprehensive Plan, and have required that the new consultant tailor the revised zoning to match the Comprehensive Plan.

So the new zoning for Maple will have those MAC-like provisions, but they will now be by-right zoning.  No more messy public hearings and such.

And Town Council can pretend to have clean hands about new development along Maple.  Oh, we didn’t do that.  We had an expert consultant tell us to do that.  It’s by-right, there’s nothing we can do about it.

7..  And so the upshot of a 1000-signature petition against 444 Maple West, and defeating incumbents in the last election, with a huge voter turnout, and so on ….  The upshot of all of that is to have son-of-a-MAC crammed down our throats as by-right development. 

8.  If you wonder why I endorsed Majdi, wonder no more.  His position on this is forthright, logical, easy to grasp, and matches what (e.g.) Fairfax County does.  If you are sincere about getting rid of MAC zoning, then strip the MAC-like provisions from the Comprehensive Plan.  Zoning is supposed to match the Comprehensive Plan.   Doing anything but that is just a smoke screen.

And if you wonder why I can’t stomach the Old Guard any more, it’s exactly for crap like this.  In the middle of a pandemic, with high risk of a global great depression, with the US Senate talking about amending the law to allow States to go bankrupt, with public gatherings extremely inadvisable even where not outright banned … they’re just continuing to push their agenda.

Next thing you know, Planning and Zoning will be meeting with developers, figuring out how they can best tailor the new zoning to meet their needs.  While you, the public — you’re in lockdown.

I guess from their perspective, if life hands you lemons, make lemonade.  But man am I sick of these people.

I have other things to worry about.

 

 

Post #542: Needless risk

Source:  Town of Vienna.  This is the agenda for tonight’s Town Council meeting.

Dear Town Council and Planning Commission:  Please extend the MAC moratorium, right now.   Please don’t wait until the last minute, because that’s looking like an increasingly risky strategy.

If you agree with that, you don’t need to read the rest of this.

Edit:  I needed to make two corrections to the original post.  One is for the Vice-Mayor, which I misstate.  A more substantive correction is that, in this case, the Planning Commission’s role is purely advisory.  They would make a recommendation to the Town Council, but Town Council could chose to ignore such a recommendation.

Continue reading Post #542: Needless risk

Post #536: Last night’s “Community Conversation”, 1: A brief review, and one useful fact about requesting Town services

Source:  Town of Vienna Website.

Last night (3/2/2020) the Town held a “community conversation“.  Admirably, they already have the video posted at this link.

Nominally, the “conversation” was about the two topics chosen by the Town.  These were a proposal to expand the single-family-home lot coverage limit beyond the current (and long-standing) 25%.  And, separately, what priority should be given to (what appears to me to be a subset) of projects recommended in the Town’s multimodal transportation study.

Offhand, I’d say that the room was full and that the number of speakers was in the low dozens.

Continue reading Post #536: Last night’s “Community Conversation”, 1: A brief review, and one useful fact about requesting Town services