What About Concept J?

Info on the last concept design for Kitty Pozer Garden expansion.

Council members briefly mentioned an 11th concept design for Kitty Pozer park in downtown Fairfax at Tuesday's council meeting. The design came as a surprise to some, as the version hadn't been widely shared with the public or posted on the city's website.

Here's a quick rundown of how concept design J differs from the council-approved H plan:

  • J keeps about 20 parking spaces next to Old Town Hall along University Drive. H only offers 12.
  • Kitty Pozer Garden still expands to the west, taking over the corner of University and North Street but nixes the idea of a public plaza. Instead, the corner is devoted to a fountan surrounded by seating areas and lanscaping.
  • The date on J is Jan. 24 (the night of the council vote), while concept H holds a Jan. 12 stamp.

"We discussed [concept J] with council members, and actually proposed something like that as a compromise, yet the mayor brought it up and not one person on council really even acknowledged it [Tuesday night]," said owner Stan Darke.

Over a dozen business owners spoke against the proposed Kitty Pozer expansion on Tuesday. They are afraid that their shops will suffer with the disappearance of the temporary parking lot next to Old Town Hall. 

"[Concept J] was requested after talking with the downtown businesses about trying to add more parking. I am not an engineer or an architect so I wasn't sure if it could be done, but I did feel that we owed it to them to at least explore options," said Councilman Dan Drummond. "When we got concept J, I was taken aback by how much open space was taken away and that was something I certainly didn't want to see."

After the hearing, to go ahead with concept H, with . 

"While I considered other options, I wanted to fulfill my commitment to open space on the old Weight Watchers’ property," said Councilman Scott Silverthorne. "Plan J would have taken away a large portion of the town square/open space concept that I had envisioned."

Check back for more details on the approved concept H Kitty Pozer plan as well as a story on other parking and development opportunities in downtown Fairfax.

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B N January 26, 2012 at 08:45 PM
"Consider the parking that is already available nearby: on the street.......On street parking has the.....benefit of acting as a buffer between pedestrians and traffic, increasing the attractiveness of walking" From the publication "EPA Parking Spaces /Community Places, Finding the Balance through Smart Growth Solutions" On street parking is available throughout "Old Town" Alexandria and D.C. -- why not have it on North Street & University? In the 1991 New Dominion magazine, an article was written about the City of Fairfax downtown. Advice given to a prospective business owner in downtown -- "don't go there--it's the kiss of death. There's no parking." Perhaps these are words to ponder.
Douglas Stewart January 27, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I agree with B N. I don't believe parking is at the root of businesses' struggles in Old Town, and surface parking lots do not create a pedestrian-friendly environment. But more on-street parking would help stimulate business, and calm traffic on North Street.
Eric Snyder January 27, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Today the businesses downtown struggle with the parking they have. Two private lots, the 28 spaces at 10409 Main Street and 70 spaces at the Bank of America plus the 39 spaces at Old Town Hall are the most heavily used parking lots and act as the parking for Old Town Fairfax. Concept J provides a little more parking than H and neither addresses the real parking issue that the downtown is short 275 parking spaces according to the city zoning ordinance. This does not count the 75 spaces needed to park Old Town Hall or the new park. On street parking makes downtown friendlier and safer for pedestrians but you can’t make enough spaces to solve the parking problems the city is creating with concept H or J. T^he city has hurt the downtown with its actions and needs to address the parking shortage.
David Pumphrey January 27, 2012 at 03:44 PM
We can also provide on street parking bt going back to the one way street pattern downtown. Making North Street one way flowing west would allow for on street parking on at least one side if not both. The one way pattern will also reduce congestion by reducing the number of light cycles that are currently required with all of the turning lanes and would provide the opportunity for increasing the amount of time for pedestrians to cross. Compromising on the open space is not the best option.


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