Priorities and Goals - 2012 Board Retreat


The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors held a retreat on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 6-7. The two-day meeting, at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, was an opportunity for the Board to consider its priorities and set a course of action for a sustainable future.

It was announced that no votes would be taken during the retreat, and some issues may be discussed again at future venues.

Day 1 - Session 1 of 4: Priorities and Goals for Supervisory Districts and Countywide

The Chairman and each of the Board members gave an overview of issues in their districts and what they believe should be priorities of the Board of Supervisors over the next four years.

Countywide, Chairman Sharon Bulova

  • Goals and priorities were covered in the December inauguration speech.
  • Find a new County Executive to replace Tony Griffin.
  • Managing expectations and our budget as we emerge from very serious recession. Recovery is going to be slow.
  • Keep County workforce and community to continue to be with us.
    • We have had exceptional relationship with workforce and public – they were with us at the table during budget difficulties and it’s important that they continue to be engaged.
  • Transportation.
    • Rail to Dulles – Number 1 transportation priority.
      • Community wants to see it finish at Dulles, not end at Reston.
    • As HOT lanes are completed, we want to add express bus service on those lanes.
    • Work with VDOT to extend HOT Lanes down I-95 so it compliments Beltway HOT Lanes.
  • Affordable Housing.
    • Make sure housing is affordable and available to all of our residents so they can live near where they work.
  • Energy and Environment.
    • Clean air and water issues.
    • Encourage innovation for energy that is clean, sustainable and efficient for our businesses and residential communities.
  • Revitalization and Redevelopment.
    • Tysons and beyond - as retail and commercial areas age, our future is in redevelopment and revitalization.
    • Explore how best we can continue to engage and empower our residents, workforce and corporate neighbors. Some good examples of past engagements include:
      • Mount Vernon District visioning exercises.
      • Reston Land Use College in Hunter Mill District.
      • Planning of Merrifield and Tysons.
      • Budget Community Dialogues.

Springfield District, Supervisor Pat Herrity

  • Focus in three areas – all related.
    • Cutting spending and homeowner taxes.
    • Making transportation a County priority.
    • Protecting our suburban neighborhoods.
  • Cutting spending and homeowner taxes.
    • Taxes doubled between 2000 and 2007, from $2,400 to $4,800.
    • We have held the line since 2008, but we can do better and be smarter.
    • It is not just about reducing spending, it is also about protecting and growing our commercial tax base.
      • Knowing the impact of our development decisions on the commercial tax base.
      • Improving our processes and reduce regulation so we remain open for business.
      • Further investing in the EDA.
      • Being prepared for the cutback in federal spending by diversifying our business base – health care IT a big opportunity.
      • Working to bring the FBI to Springfield.
      • Making transportation a County priority.
  • Making Transportation a County Priority.
    • Some successes.
      • I-66, Fairfax County Parkway, 495 Express Lanes, Rail Phase I.
    • There are areas where we have missed the boat on transportation.
      • Tysons when we passed the largest density increase in our history without a transportation plan or a way to fund it.
    • There was a time when transportation was a priority in land use and proffers.
      • Real transportation dollars and commitments for density increases.
      • Today it is TDMs or promises not to drive, affordable housing, green roofs.
        • Not much in the way of real proffers.
      • Times have changed, but our priorities should have changed too.
    • Await info from staff.
      • TDM’s – auditor look at promises not to drive and effectiveness – NGA.
      • Proffer dollar information from transportation.
    • Looking forward
      • Decisions on Dulles Rail Phase II.
        • We need to look at how to improve the project now while we have the chance or we risk the chance of doing harm to our economic engine.
        • We seem to be taking the “it doesn’t matter we are going to pass it approach” rather than the “we have to do everything we can do to have the best deal on the table approach.”
        • Not aware of any county efforts to ensure a voluntary PLA, look at alternative financing sources - etc.
      • Executing a Long-Term Plan for I-66
        • Made some good progress – this year will be important as the phased EIS is completed and we look to solutions.
      • Visioning a Long-Term Plan for the Fairfax County Parkway.
        • The Parkway is one of our main streets.
        • We need to make sure it does not get as congested as I-66 before we make plans.
        • Working with VDOT and DOT to look at visioning
      • Connected Rapid Transit.
        • Study is underway on the interconnected mass transit vision.
        • This makes a lot of sense and is a cost effective way to get people out of their cars and into transit.
  • Protecting Our Suburban Neighborhoods
    • We tend to focus a lot on urbanization and TOD but we need to remember what still makes Fairfax great is its suburban neighborhoods and schools.
      • We need to continue to work to protect them.
    • Eliminating the Blight of Illegal Road Signs.
      • An area we need to move forward on in 2012
      • We are the only county in the state that tolerates this blight.
    • Accotink TMDL
      • Need to take a hard line against the EPA on the Accotink TMDL.
      • The EPA has overstepped its bounds and it will have an adverse impact on both homeowners and businesses.
    • Lyme Disease
      • The 4 poster pilot is finally underway and hopefully the results will lead to the next steps at fighting this dreadful disease.
    • Prepare for the aging of our community
      • Revision of the 50+ plan, NVCF and Old Dominion Partnership are preparing needs analysis, and then the Board will look at revision of plan.
      • Need to look at programs like Home Share that will address aging in place as well as provide affordable dwellings.
    • Relationship with the School Board
      • Big critic of the previous School Board primarily for their lack of independence from the Superintendent.
      • Happy to see the new Board has found its independence and the ability to question the Superintendent and staff.
      • Our schools have major challenges and it is critical that they remain among the best in the nation.
      • Have already met with many of the new members and looking forward to much improved relationships.
    • School facilities and renovating West Springfield High School.
      • Address ageing schools at joint retreat on the Feb. 25.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Hiring a New County Executive –clearly one of our big challenges.
    • Pension Study.
      • Was disappointed at the study but still looking forward to the answer to the question the Board asked.
    • Concussion Prevention.
      • Area I think we can be a leader in the nation – taking the lead from the schools.
    • Making Affordable Housing Affordable for Taxpayers.
      • We will likely continue to disagree on this area.
      • Will never be in support of our scarce tax dollars going to support housing for those making $80k to 120K or for the need to house people in accommodations better than most of the taxpayers that are funding them.
      • Want the Board and public to understand exactly what it is costing the county and its residents in terms of lost tax revenue, opportunity costs in addition to the hard dollars.
      • There is no such thing as a free lunch and devaluing 20% of the residential property in Tysons will have a long term impact on the tax base and our taxpayers.
    • Mandate Reform.
      • Heading to Richmond to testify for mandate relief.
        • This is only the first step for the Task Force.
        • We will be tackling the bigger challenge of the state and local balance of funding and delivery of service and hope to continue to get the Board’s support on these efforts.

Mount Vernon District, Supervisor Gerald Hyland

  • Cell Towers
    • Where do we place them?
    • Distributed antenna system.
    • Challenge us to find places throughout the County to be connected – throughout all of the County.
    • Planning Commission looking at this.
  • Stormwater Bond
    • Protect Huntington and BelleView/New Alexandria.
      • Either redevelop Huntington or build levee and pumping station.
  • Marine Patrol
    • Need to retain in the FY 2013 Budget.
  • Richmond Highway Revitalization.
    • Need EDA, SFDC and Revitalization to collaborate in promotion and marketing of Richmond Highway.
  • Lorton Arts Foundation
    • Need to continue investment we have made to support LAF.
  • Lorton
    • Fastest growing part of the County right now.
    • Have opportunity to make it a green energy corridor.
    • Want to encourage businesses to come here – want to make Lorton better than it already is.
  • Meals Tax
    • Have brought this forward in the past.
    • Would help us keep our tax rate as low as it can.

Hunter Mill District, Supervisor Catherine Hudgins

  • Transportation
    • Continue critical transportation improvements through Hunter Mill District to maintain the economic vibrancy and the high quality of life.
    • Work to ensure the completion of Phase 2 of Dulles Rail project by 2017.
    • Continue to encourage early implementation of TSAM and RMAG improvements to provide connectivity for Tysons, Vienna and Reston communities when Phase 1 arrives.
    • Create a multimodal bicycle and pedestrian system through northern Vienna connecting the town of Vienna and Tysons Corner.
    • Expand Fairfax Connector Services into vibrant neighborhood bus services, with shorter headways, bus shelters and state-of-the-art technology.
    • Transition Route 7 corridor to include bus transit, carpooling and pedestrian/bicycle links into Tysons Corner.
    • Incorporate bike share program in Reston area before rail to better facilitate current and future transit use.
    • Complete analysis implementation plan of multimodal crossings of the Dulles Toll Road (Soapstone Connector and Reston Underpass).
  • Health and Human Services
    • Develop a plan for the delivery of adequate and accessible services to the community members in need.
    • Support with funding the initiative to Prevent and End Homelessness (Homeless Blue Print) by 2020.
    • Develop strategies for successful implementation of proposed zoning ordinance amendments in support of Single Residential Occupancy (SRO) or Residential Studio Units (RSU).
    • Determine the gaps in services and plan to address in the Hunter Mill District.
    • Explore the integration and co-location of services in a one-stop facility based on the Connections for Hope model.
    • Increase the coordination of family services between County agencies, agency partners and public schools.
    • Work with Fairfax County Public Schools to ensure, together with Fairfax County, that children from early childhood through K-12 have the needed services that will contribute to social, emotional and academic success.
      • Consideration of community school pilot – possible in Tysons/urban school design.
      • Consider the value of replicating the South County Opportunity Neighborhood program in North County and Hunter Mill District.
    • Complete Reston for a Lifetime (aging in place) pilots with the opportunity of expanding similar service further into Hunter Mill District.
  • Parks and Recreation
    • Address deficit in recreational facilities.
    • Assist in implementing the South Lakes High School field project, with community sports organizations and Park Authority.
    • Install synthetic turf on the stadium field and develop a practice field with turf and lights for expanded community use.
    • Master plan at Baron Cameron Park – 64 acre park now in PA inventory.
    • Construct the Lake Fairfax Park skate park.
  • Planning and Development
  • Hunter Mill District must remain an economic driver for Fairfax County.
  • Position the Herndon/Dulles Corridor for the integration of transit facilities and transit oriented developments, while keeping the character of the adjacent communities.
  • Complete Comprehensive Plan recommendations for Reston and Dulles Corridor Station areas.
  • Complete planning for the Fairfax County North County property, such that growth of current services (Reston Regional Library, Embry Rucker Shelter, North County Human services, Police Department, affordable dwelling units) will address the future long-term needs of northern Fairfax County and Hunter Mill District.

Lee District, Supervisor Jeffrey McKay

  • Happy to see the retreat here, especially in the south part of the County.
  • Lee District
    • Competes with Mason District in terms of diversity – very diverse district.
    • Three main parts of the district:
      • Central Springfield – revitalization district.
        • Transformation to economic engine is underway and impressive.
          • Largely due to BRAC announcements.
        • Getting FBI would be a huge plus to the County.
        • Springfield Mall.
          • This will be the year they will break ground on the mall hopefully.
          • The economic analysis shows this is the largest retail opportunity in the country.
        • There is a strong sense of African-American history.
          • Franconia museum and the governmental center capture much of the history of the district.
        • Parks and Meadows.
          • Blessed with Huntley Meadows Park and Lee District Park.
        • Franconia-Kingstowne
          • Experiencing growing pains.
        • Richmond Highway Corridor – revitalization district.
    • Challenges.
      • Transportation growing pains.
        • Ramps at Mark Center.
          • No ramp would hurt transportation on 395.
        • Widening Mulligan Road
        • BRAC – overspill from Fort Belvoir onto other roads is already being felt.
          • Widening of Route 1 is critical.
          • East-West connections between Route 1 and Springfield.
      • Affordable Housing.
        • Be strategic in what we purchase.
          • Locations should be near jobs.
        • Continue to invest in aging and existing affordable housing.
      • Citizen Access to the County.
        • Need to take advantage of technology to make government easier.
          • Location of government center makes it difficult to conduct County business or to testify at meetings.
          • Aging population and busy lives.
      • New revitalization opportunities.
        • Rest of County (ROC) has different needs than Tysons.
        • Staff is measuring success of zoning applications versus Tysons and it’s a different model.
        • Need to have different economic engines in County, and they are fundamentally different.
        • Need to develop new incentives to revitalize.
        • Emphasize benefits to revitalization.
      • Budget
        • Need to address County workforce morale.
        • Need to diverse tax base to keep living affordable.
      • Replacing the County Executive.
      • Parks
        • Positive response to Kingstowne Dam failure.
        • Facilitate park master plan.
      • Support for County human service nonprofits.
        • They have been through difficult time due to economy.
        • We can’t do what they do, and we need to invest resources to ensure their success.
        • Include coaching and training in addition to budget.
      • County workforce
        • Pretty big gap between how some agencies communicate with the Board of Supervisors.
        • Difficult to figure out whom to go to in each agency.
          • Blend old and new technology.
        • Requested copies of updated County org charts, especially for Board offices.
      • Get a better handle on what’s going on in the schools.
        • FCPS is biggest part of budget.
        • Dropout rate and graduation rate are a challenge.
        • Where do we need to focus our efforts?
        • Don’t want to be the School Board, but schools should be a high priority of both boards.
        • Whatever happens in schools reflects on the County as a whole.
    • Successes
      • The way the Board has handled budget over the past couple years.
      • Public-private partnerships.
        • Spray Park in Lee District.
      • Springfield Mall will be a success.
      • Zoning enforcement – complete agency transformation in code enforcement.
        • Number of complaints down.
        • Community has provided positive feedback over the past couple years.
        • Builds on safe community and respects privacy.
      • The stability and relationships of this Board.
        • We’ve done a good job the last four years.
        • Residents and business appreciate the stability.

Braddock District, Supervisor John Cook

  • Agree with Supervisor McKay that code enforcement has been a success.
  • Principal initiative.
    • Citizen governance – get people more involved in policy issues and government decision-making.
    • There is a problem with people feeling disconnected with their government.
      • Good place to change that is at the local level.
    • District Visioning Conference on May 5.
      • Look at what other districts do with citizen committees.
      • Need for a land use committee in Braddock – number of cases has gone up four-fold in last six months.
      • Will also look at budget, transportation and education.
    • Bigger emphasis on constituent engagement.
  • Transportation
    • West campus connector road – George Mason University.
      • Residents have been engaged in this process.
      • We were able to solve resident concerns in the design phases by involving them early.
    • Burke Centre – pedestrian-oriented project near elementary school.
      • Burke Walk Safe and Green - citizen committee.
      • Whole community became engaged – grew from safe walk to school to a large, communitywide initiative.
    • Bus service from Burke to Tysons.
      • If we can expand VRE service, it will help ease congestion on roadways.
      • Braddock Road needs dedicated bus lanes.
      • Strategic transportation plan to connect bus, rail and cars. Most bus service is in traffic with the rest of the cars. Needs to be a time advantage to riding a bus.
    • Secondary road devolution.
      • Going to have to look at it whether we want to or not.
      • County staff has told us it’s easier from a management perspective.
      • Funding formula – will it cost our residents less if devolution occurs due to current funding structure.
  • Northern Virginia Training Center.
    • We need to give the community confidence that every person served is taken care of.
    • Started talking about ways to use that land to serve residents with disabilities, such as group homes.
  • County Workforce.
    • Opportunity to upgrade our EEO training and HR training in regards to the disability act and family medical leave act.
    • Pension reform – disappointed in presentation we received earlier this year.
      • Investments need to be planned for.
  • Education
    • Minority test scores are below other jurisdictions.
    • Vocational training needed for the business community.
    • Do we need to adjust our priorities with the CIP?
  • Budget
    • How do we address the new and visionary things in addition to maintaining current strategies?
    • We need to look at multi-year budgets instead of year to year.

Dranesville District, Supervisor John Foust

Transportation

  • Dulles Rail Phase I
    • We continue to deal with numerous community impact issues relating to rail construction.
    • There is a significant sound wall construction project ongoing at Connector Road.
  • Dulles Rail Phase II
    • Financing is the big concern.
      • Dulles Toll Road users are expected to pay too much of the costs.
      • Need to talk to Airports Authority to explore using Dulles Access Road as another funding source.
        • If DTR users are required to pay for rail to Dulles, then equitable to ask persons going to airport to share burden.
      • Need more State funding.
    • Need to work on pedestrian, bike, and transit access plans to the Herndon and Route 28 stations.
  • Route 7 – widening from Tysons to Reston Avenue.
  • Support re-establishing VDOT state forces.
    • Not having state forces has increased cost and delayed smaller projects such as sidewalks.
  • Pedestrian/Biking/Spot Improvements.
    • Need to streamline process for smaller projects– too much time to get things done.

Tysons Corner

  • Intersection improvements to help community.
    • Fund and implement the recommendations from the Neighborhood Traffic Impact study.
  • Need plan for financing infrastructure.
  • Mitigate impact on McLean, particularly concerning community amenities such as libraries, fields, parks, recreation centers, traffic, etc.
  • Parking for commuters at Tysons rail stations.
  • Pedestrian and bike access to stations.

Budget

  • Compensation for County employees should be a priority.
  • Maximize savings and efficiencies through FOCUS project.
  • Possibly increase funding for Consolidated Community Funding Pool to support non-profit community.
  • Pursue County/FCPS efficiencies.
  • Resource allocation in light of changing County demographics, specifically regarding issues around aging population.
  • Continue to look at outsourcing opportunities (especially to non-profits).

Schools

  • Restore summer school.
  • Need smaller class sizes – 36 currently is too large.

Parks and Fields

  • Park decisions have become more reliant on profit impact and revenue generation instead of serving the community priorities.
  • Examine relationship between FCPA and NVRPA.
  • Possible increases of park bond to ensure community priorities are funded.
  • Langley Fork Park – Planning for transition of ownership.
  • Salona, McLean Central Park, Langley Fork and River Bend Parks’ Master Plans
  • Gym at Spring Hill.
  • Work with Park Authority, NCS, youth sports groups on possible new field sites.

Seniors

  • Aging in community efforts underway in McLean, Great Falls and Herndon.

McLean/Falls Church/Vienna

  • Downtown revitalization.
  • Undergrounding of utilities.
  • Possible expansion of McLean Community Center (budget and surplus issues).
  • Construction of new Lewinsville Housing and Social Services Center .

Great Falls

  • Georgetown Pike trails (surface and maintenance issues.

Herndon

  • Fire station and Dulles Rail.

Providence District, Supervisor Linda Smyth

  • Completion of the HOT Lanes project and how that impacts 66 and other transportation networks.
  • A lot of primary roads go through the Providence District.
    • Row availability will be an issue for new construction projects.
  • Purchasing rights of way is a major issue when talking about transportation projects.
    • Gallows Road rose from $40 million to $120 million.
  • I-66 corridor.
  • Vienna Metro station.
    • Metro West development will put roads in public VDOT system instead of WMATA.
  • Two Metro stations under construction in Providence right now.
  • Merrifield is going great.
  • Tysons.
    • Gold rush mentality for applications has slowed down a bit.
      • Not many ready for FDP submittal.
    • Complimented staff on working with developers on expectations versus what’s possible.
  • Everything is in transition.
    • The dust will settle, and people can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Mason District, Supervisor Penny Gross

  • Mason District is the most diverse and densely populated district in the County.
  • District currently has two revitalization areas: Annandale and Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners.
  • Transportation.
    • Beltway HOT lanes are being constructed along the western edge of the district.
    • Traffic adjustments planned to alleviate traffic going to BRAC will impact Mason District.
    • Mason District has substantial bus service (including the new Seven Corners Transit Center), but no Metrorail stations.
      • Pike Transit, a modified streetcar project, has been in the planning stages for years and will hopefully come to fruition soon.
        • Potential to connect Annandale, Tysons Corner and the Alexandria campus of NVCC and the BRAC location in Alexandria.
  • Industrially zoned land disappearing around Beltway.
    • Trying to maintain the industrial parks.
    • Must do all we can to keep what we have and make it attractive.
    • Skyline was negatively impacted by BRAC.
  • Housing.
    • Mason District has about 43,000 units.
    • Affordability is a concern.
    • Multiple occupancy is an issue in single family neighborhoods and apartment complexes.
    • In-fill proposals are creating pushbacks as newer homes are replacing those from the 1950s and 60s.
    • Plan to reduce and end homelessness is working in Mason District.
  • Region II Human Services Center is moving to Annandale area from the Falls Church area.
  • Environment.
    • We have done a good job educating residents about water quality.
    • Chesapeake Bay restoration is an important environmental driver, and funding will be a challenge.
  • Snow removal the previous two years was an issue and the County was blamed despite the responsibility belonging to VDOT.
  • Future funding is needed for traffic calming, which is now managed completely by the County.
  • Funding also needs to be allocated for asphalt and walkway maintenance.
  • Better coordination needed within County agencies when working on revitalization issues.
  • Communication cable migration is a problem from old or damaged utility poles.
  • Need to look at cost of Wi-Fi at County facilities.
  • Litter is a problem.
  • Reduction of paper – land use cases and County Attorney’s Office. Need more electronic and paperless strategies.
  • Falls Church High School renovation needs.
  • Retirement/pension study – will anticipate a robust discussion of the report at the Personnel Committee on Feb. 21.
  • Engaging the diverse community is becoming more and more difficult. Need to expand our outreach to new Americans.

Sully District, Supervisor Michael Frey

  • Sully has changed a lot over the past several years.
  • The real economic engine of the County is Dulles Airport – it’s critical to Northern Virginia economy.
  • Land use is stable in Sully.
  • There are more new businesses opening and under construction than other areas of the County.
  • Diversity in Sully – highest percentage of Asian Americans. Diversity is much more spread out, and there are a lot of second and third generation groups.
    • It is a challenge to engage some of the groups.
  • Transportation
    • Traffic problems to the west (Route 15 and Route 234).
      • Traffic comes through Sully – we need to plan for where it should go.
    • Route 66/Route 28 interchange has to be number 1 priority – it backs up every day.
    • Dulles Rail does not serve Sully and the more we limit parking the less it will.
    • Battlefield bypass has made significant progress. It was the only way we will ever widen Route 29.
  • Parks
    • Historic District is slowly taking shape – we have made a lot of progress. There are still some parcels we want to buy.
    • Master plan has been adopted for Sully Woodlands.
  • Biggest challenge - cutbacks at federal and state level are going to greatly impact us.
    • We will continue to see growth in services that we must provide.
      • Responsibility with no funding.

 

Board of Supervisors Retreat 2012

  Day 1

  Day 2

  Presentations & Related Media



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