Town Council Agenda – May 5 and May 14, 2015

May 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

By

Councilmembers

Singh and Mitchell

 

A.  PUBLIC HEARINGS (Public Comments Permitted)

1.       Home-Based Child Daycare Located at 450 Virginia Ave.An Application to Increase the Number of Permitted Children

a.      Number of Children Currently Permitted = 9

b.      Requested Limit = 12

c.       Regulatory Limit = 7

Sample Questions: How should the increase in local traffic be considered? Does the increase in the number of children change the character of the neighborhood? When is a daycare overcrowded? How should the ages of the children be taken into account?

2.      Replacement of Siding and Windows – 955 Locust Street: Appeal of the Heritage Preservation Review Board’s decision by a Neighbor.  The HPRB approved the following two items:

a.      Wood double hung windows

b.      Hardiplank siding

 The neighbor says that the HPRB should have required the owner of the house at 955 Locust Street to repair the old double hung windows and install wood, rather than Hardiplank, siding.

 Key Questions:  Is the use of Hardiplank as a substitute material for wood siding really legal in the Heritage Preservation Districts? If so, why shouldn’t the use of asphalt shingles as a replacement product for metal shingles also be legal?

 Should a homeowner be required to repair the existing windows (as apparently mandated by the HPRB guidelines) rather than be allowed to install new and more energy efficient wood windows?

 Should the HPRB, of its own accord, consider the physical and architectural condition of the entire property before approving individual components such as windows, siding, roof, etc.?

 3.      Capital Projects FY 2016 – FY 2021:  Town residents may not be able to influence the budgets of individual departments, but they can influence the timing, scope and funding of the town’s Capital projects.  They have done so in the past.  Capital-Improvement-Projects (CIP) is used to set priorities for the town’s development.  Several projects, especially the controversial ones have been taken off the CIP in the past by one council, only to be put back in by a future council.   Currently, there are 49 projects on the list.  They are expected to cost $71 million dollars; however, this estimate might be low as the town faces additional expenditures for the development of the Downtown and Metro Areas.  The level of capital expenditure is strongly influenced by the “proffers” that the builders might contribute (or the Town might strong-arm the builders to contribute).  Traditionally, the town has not asked the builders to contribute much, if at all.  For example, the properties in the Metro Area were rezoned without including any provision of obtaining proffers from the builders.

The CIP comes up for the Town Council’s consideration at least twice a year and our citizens (including Councilmembers) have opportunities to add or subtract from the list or to change the timing of the projects.  

 

B.  GENERAL ITEMS (Public Not Permitted to Give Comments)

4.      Park Avenue and Monroe Street Intersection – Contract for Making Improvements: The Town staff and many councilmembers believe that a project listed on CIP should not be subjected to public hearings even if it has never gone beyond the “idea” stage.  I (Singh) and Connie Hutchinson, a councilmember on the 2010-2012 Council made concerted and eventually successful efforts to put this project on the TC’s agenda.  Lengthy and contentious public hearings resulted in extensive changes to the project’s design.  With a preliminary design in hand, the Town was able to obtain 50% of the funds from the State.  Now, three years later, the Town is ready to award the contract to an engineering firm.  The project should be completed during the summer. Back in 2012, many believed that the new design had not improved safety of the intersection.  We are close to finding out whether those beliefs had merit.

Park&MonroeDesign

C.  DISCUSSION ITEMS (These Items Are Expected be the Subject of Future Public Hearings)

5.      Low Water Bills followed by Extraordinarily High Water Bills – Development of a Special Policy in Such Cases:  Last year, two residents contacted me (Singh) after receiving very high water bills.  One resident had received a bill for $1600+ and other had received a bill for about $900.  The high bills had occurred after receiving very low bills (around $30 dollars each; the normal quarter bills about $140 in one case and $300 in the second case.  The Town by focusing on the high bill claimed that there must have been a leak and that the resident could apply for a credit under the existing policy.  However, I asked the Town to explain the low water bills, but so far, it has not provided any explanation.  Extraordinarily low bills, I strongly believe, result from erratically functioning water-meters and that the high bills were also a reflection of this malfunction.  The Town presented its version of the policy to the TC in the last work session.  I strongly disagreed and the TC agreed to put this issue up for a public hearing.  I plan to keep you informed and engaged.    

6.      Sterling Road Sidewalk Update (Public Input Being Sought by the DPW):  On the north side of Sterling Road from the Herndon Parkway to Rock Hill Road, there is no sidewalk; consequently, people do not walk on that side of the road.  The DPW has developed a preliminary design and is using it to obtain public input.

Click here: SterlingRoadSidewalk

7.      Strategic Plan Update Future projects associated with each goal of the Town’s 2035 Vision are presented in this update.  Former Mayor Steve DeBenedittis developed the first Vision statement and should be credited with initiating something that is likely to have a major impact on the development of the Town.  The current council revised the vision statement last year and now the Town Manager has assigned projects to various goals and assigned specific town staff to each project.  The document should initiate interesting discussion among our residents.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

Proclamation to recognize the 10th Anniversary of the Herndon Senior Center; Resolution to award contract RFP #15-01 – Custodial Services for Herndon Municipal Center and Town Hall Facilities; Resolution, to amend the fee schedule at Chestnut Grove Cemetery; and, Resolution, to cancel IFB #15-04, HVAC Maintenance

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