Post #320: The 7/16/2019 Town Council/Planning Commission joint meeting

Posted on July 16, 2019

This was a joint meeting of Town Council and Planning Commission to consider a motion to rescind the rezoning of 380 Maple West (37 condos plus retail, Wade Hampton and Maple).

The meeting lasted nearly six hours.  I went there, but could not stomach it, so I left before it started.  My wife lasted until about 1 AM.   I recorded the Town’s live stream, but even now I don’t have the stomach to watch the entire thing.

In all that time, near as I can tell, they never did make or consider a motion to rescind the zoning.

Instead, the meeting ended with a vague direction for Town Staff to negotiate with the builder about maybe possibly not narrowing Wade Hampton to 32 feet (Post #301), and perhaps keeping the street parking that is there (Post #238r).

All told, what can I say in response to that?  I am reminded of a quote from Tom Lehrer:  “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”

And, as with the bait-and-switch with the Marco Polo proposal, there was not even a hint that the Town would ask how this happened in the first place.  How is it that Town staff unilaterally decided to narrow the road, to the benefit of a developer.  Asking such questions is apparently — vulgar or something.  It’s just not done in the Town of Vienna.  Do Town staff retain the power to do those sorts of things in the future?  Did they go rogue?  Did the Mayor order it?  Did they just consider it business as usual?  Was the Town Manager aware of these actions at the time they occurred?  Guess we’ll never find out.

The two newcomers I supported in the last election put in a less-than-stellar performance.  Literally phoned it in, in one case.  Clearly not as prepared as possible in the other.  The net effect was arguably a lack of effectiveness in the meeting.  I retain an abiding faith that they will get the lay of the land and that if there is a next time, they’ll be more effective next time.

At any rate, between 444 Maple West and this one, the Town has more-or-less doubled the number of people living in my neighborhood.  The most stress-free way for all of them to get to I-66 and Metro in the morning will be by coming down my street.  (Which is, by the way, a whopping 20′ wide.  But who’s counting.)  This graphic is a little outdated (the 40 should now be 37), but it gives you the gist of what’s happened so far.  And they are just getting started.


Ah, well, what’s a little collateral damage, right?

So, crazily enough, I moved within the Town of Vienna, a dozen years ago, so I could have a house in a quiet residential district within easy walking distance of Maple.  Paid a hefty premium to do that.  In hindsight, that was not one of my smarter investments.