News to Use Podcast Transcript: June 25, 2013


 

 Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast. Coming up, learn about a $100 million transportation bond, zoning rules affecting food trucks and results from the task force considering a meals tax referendum. Links to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.


At its June 17, meeting the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized a $100 million transportation bond referendum for this fall. This action allows the county to petition the Circuit Court to order the referendum. It will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot if so ordered. Under state law, the county must petition the court to put the referendum on the ballot. Fairfax County voters will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on the proposed bond that will improve roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails. If approved, the money is intended to provide:

  • $16 million for spot roadway improvements to increase roadway capacity, reduce congestion, improve safety and improve transit access.

  • $77.5 million for pedestrian improvements to improve capacity, enhance safety and complete missing pedestrian links that connect neighborhoods and improve access to schools, Metrorail stations and activity centers.

  • $6.5 million for bicycle improvements that include developing new bicycle facilities, constructing trails, adding bicycle parking and enhancing accessibility.

The projects proposed for bond funding were identified through the Countywide Dialogue on Transportation, a public outreach and engagement effort.

Fairfax County is considering new zoning rules that will make it significantly easier for food trucks to do business. The proposal allows these trucks to operate at construction sites and commercial and industrial properties, such as office buildings and shopping centers. The suggested rules were developed in consultation with industry. While the new regulations were being formulated, the county gave zoning approvals to 14 trucks last year to vend at primarily commercial locations. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized moving forward on the proposal at tis June 17 meeting. The Planning Commission is anticipating holding a public hearing on July 30, and the board is expected to conduct its public hearing on Sept. 9. Food trucks still may not park on public roads to sell food, however. This continues to be prohibited by Virginia Department of Transportation regulations and county code, regardless of whether the proposal passes. The proposed zoning rules only apply to private property.

 

The Task Force to Consider a Meals Tax Referendum presented its final report to the Board of Supervisors on June 17. The communitywide task force was convened in April by Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and co-chaired by two former chairmen of the Board of Supervisors, Thomas M. Davis and Katherine K. Hanley. To assist the board in making a decision about whether to put the question of levying a meals tax in Fairfax County as a referendum on the ballot, the task force developed pros and cons, which are included in the report. The task force made no recommendation on whether or not to proceed with a referendum. For more information on the meal tax referendum, including the final report by the task force, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mealstax.

 

Finally, you’ll want to subscribe to “Weekender,” the county’s weekend arts and entertainment enewsletter so you can stay in touch with activities and events going on right here in Fairfax County. “Weekender” brings together offerings from around the county including theater, concerts, outdoor adventures, gardening workshops, presentations on nature and history, family fun and much more, and delivers them right to your inbox every Thursday evening.  Don’t miss out on fun happenings throughout the county.  Subscribe to “Weekender” today at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/email/


That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.  


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