Town Council News

Town Council News

<sh>Sounds and Smells

<bt>During the receipt of petitions from the public at Monday's Town Council meeting, Linda Ebersole of Holloway Court, N.E., complained to the council that the mulcher off Beulah Road has continued to be a nuisance to neighbors in spite of a new sound barrier built by the Department of Public Works and new odor control efforts. She said noise from trucks, as well as the mulcher, starts at 7:30 a.m. during mulching season and that the smell still lingers now, after the mulch pile is gone.

Mayor Jane Seeman said the town is doing what it can to mitigate the effects of the mulcher and continues to seek a better means of odor control.

In the mayor's report, Seeman said the Green Hedges School on Windover Avenue, N.W., is planning an extensive, three-phase expansion, which is only in the early phases of gaining the necessary permits and approval but has caused some concern among neighbors.

She also reported that state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis has offered to accompany town officials to talk with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) about what might be done to minimize tree-cutting on Beulah Road when the road is rebuilt and power lines are moved.

<sh>Continuing to Continue

<bt>A public hearing on the adoption of the new Town Comprehensive Plan, which had been continued from the March 6 meeting, was again continued after council members differed over wording in a section making recommendations about the central business district on Maple Avenue.

Councilmember George Lovelace said he felt that some of the language presupposed the adoption of a form-based zoning overlay for the area. The council would vote later in the evening on whether to grant a contract for a feasibility study to evaluate the desirability of such zoning for Maple Avenue.

It was agreed that a sentence stating that voluntary guidelines should be provided to developers if form-based zoning is adopted could be struck, as it did not address any other option. However, Councilmember Mike Polychrones did not support the removal of all mention of form-based code because, he said, this would reduce flexibility.

Lovelace had called for the deletion of a paragraph encouraging "vertical mixed usage with retail stores on the lower floors and office and/or residential usage on the upper floors," which is more or less what a form-based zoning overlay would call for.

It was decided that each council member would write their own rewording of the section, and the council will vote on them at a later date.

The council later voted to award the contract for a feasibility study of zoning options for Maple Avenue to Duncan Associates, in association with Ferrell Madden. The study will cost $10,000 and is scheduled to be completed within 10 weeks of the kickoff meeting, the date for which has not yet been set.

Lovelace also asked that a land use policy in the Comprehensive Plan, reading, "The Windover Heights Historic District should be maintained," be changed to read "will be maintained."

Windover Heights resident Michael Covel took the opportunity afforded by a public hearing to ask whether being on the town's Register of Historic Structures, addressed in another section of the plan, carried any preservation controls and guidelines and whether one could request to be removed from the register.

He was told that designation on the register is voluntary and carries no regulations. Covel concluded that the mention of the register in the Comprehensive Plan was questionable.

<sh>In Other Matters ...

<bt>* A date of May 8 was set for a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the town code to allow a greater portion of a scoreboard or other functional athletic device to be occupied by a sponsor's name, logo or registered mark. Because the town wishes to recognize the two companies sponsoring the new scoreboard at Waters Field, and because of difficulty in obtaining working equipment that meets the current size limitations, the Department of Planning and Zoning has proposed increasing the maximum area allotted to a sponsor from 12 square feet or 10 percent of the total area, whichever is less, to 40 square feet or 25 percent of the total area of the sign or device, whichever is less.

* The council approved the subdivision of a lot on Mashie drive into two separate lots and also approved a waiver from the requirements of installing a curb, gutter and sidewalk on the property, as there is no existing sidewalk around the property, and its installation would require the loss of several trees. Instead of sidewalk construction, the applicant, Jordan Land Design LLC, will place funds into escrow.

* Approval was granted for the town's Department of Parks and Recreation to lease land along the W&OD Trail from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for the coming Town Green.

* Also, the lease agreement between the Northern Virginia Model Railroaders, the town and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority will be renewed, with the burden of maintenance expenses no longer resting primarily on the town and with expanded hours of operation at the station.

* The town will contract with Sagres Construction Corporation for the emergency replacement of a drainage pipe in the area of the Wright Building, where the Town Green will be built. The cost is estimated at $46,341.

* The council approved another one-year extension of a contract with Sagres for concrete repair and installation for another $180,000.

* The town will purchase a construction vehicle called a vibratory roller from Washington Air Compressor for an estimated $24,900.

* Authorization was given to purchase a new traffic sign machine, the TAPCO Tips Traffic System 2006 FlexiExpert 7.6, for an estimated $15,385.