Welcome to FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy Issues and Headlines from around the Northern Virginia Region, the Commonwealth and on Capitol Hill.
1. Fairfax County executive proposes budget with tax-rate freeze, less pandemic austerity
Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill proposed a budget Tuesday that would freeze the residential property tax rate while spending more on county services — part of a push to end fiscal austerity in Northern Virginia amid signs of economic stability during the pandemic. “These past two years have certainly been a challenge for all of us, but it seems that we may have turned the corner,” Hill told the county Board of Supervisors during a presentation Tuesday. Related: 2022 Fairfax Real Estate Assessments Now Available; Average Residential Increase of 9.57%
2. Bi-County Parkway ‘back with a vengeance’
Prince William County transportation officials are asking county supervisors to consider their support for a new, 10-mile bypass connecting western Prince William and Loudoun counties that would provide a link between U.S. 50 near Dulles Airport and Interstate 95 in Dumfries. At a planning commission work session on Wednesday, county transportation staff said they would seek the board’s approval to add the bypass, formerly known as the Bi-County Parkway but recently renamed the “Va. 234 bypass North,” back into the county’s comprehensive plan later this year.
3. NAR Comments on Proposed Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
NAR submitted a comment letter in response to the Financial Crime Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on anti-money laundering regulations for the real estate sector.
4. Duplexes vs. McMansions: What makes a house too big for neighbors?
The owner of a two-family home near Crystal City says he may cancel his redevelopment plans because county approval processes have delayed construction and run up costs. It’s an outcome that Planning Commission members have said would be avoided if homes like his — duplexes on nonconforming lots — enjoyed the simpler, cheaper reviews that allow owners and developers to replace aging single-family dwellings with larger, luxury homes, sometimes referred to derisively as “McMansions.”
5. New Broadband Internet Options Close To Approval In Alexandria
Alexandria City Council took the first step to approving ordinances allowing new broadband internet providers Tuesday. In November, City Council voted to seek proposals for franchise agreements to construct and provide broadband internet services to city residents. Currently, Comcast is the only broadband internet provider in the city. Four companies responded to the request for proposals, but only two —Lumos and Ting — are continuing to seek a franchise agreement. At Tuesday's meeting, City Council approved the ordinances granting broadband franchises on first reading. A public hearing and final approval are scheduled for March 12.