Town Hall Notes


FIVE FOR FRIDAY: A weekly roundup of Public Policy News

FIVE FOR FRIDAYWelcome 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. VRE considering free rides for September
VRE could be going fare-free this fall. As part of a proposed initiative presented to VRE’s Operations Board Friday morning, all VRE rides would be free for the month of September. Then, for the month of October, rides from Zone 3 to Zone 1 and vice versa – from Backlick Road on the Manassas Line and Franconia-Springfield on the Fredericksburg Line up to Union Station – would be free. “This concept came to basically promote VRE service. We’re not recommending, at this point anyway, anything permanent,” Dalton said at Friday’s Operations Board meeting.

2. Richmond's first 3D-printed home sold
First-time homebuyer Tiffany Terrell was almost ready to quit looking for a house before she visited a 3D-printed home for sale on Carnation Street in South Richmond. It had what she wanted for her and her 14-year-old daughter, Makayla Terry, in their price range: a kitchen with an island countertop, a nice backyard and an updated interior. After a six-month search, she now has the 3D-printed home, the first of its kind in Richmond, under contract for $235,000.

3. Metro takes control of Silver Line extension, starting testing phase
Metro announced Thursday it is taking control of the Silver Line extension, moving the long-delayed project a step closer to passenger service after years of delays. Transit officials said riders could begin boarding trains this fall if testing and safety accreditations are completed. The handover between the transit agency and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of the 11.4-mile rail extension to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, is one of the final hurdles to the project’s completion.

4. Alexandria West Plan Area Community Planning Process to Launch this Fall 
On Tuesday, June 14, the City Council adopted the FY 2023 Long-Range Planning Interdepartmental Work Program, which includes a community planning process that will be launched this fall to update the long-term vision for the 1992 Alexandria West Small Area Plan and integrate the 2012 Beauregard Small Area Plan. Additional information on the planning process and ways to get involved can be found on the project website.

5. ‘Missing middle’ proposal prompts intense debate, competing signs at County Board meeting
Sparks flew during the County Board meeting on Saturday (June 18), where supporters and opponents of the proposed missing middle housing framework faced off. Supporters of the proposal like YIMBYs of Northern Virginia, which supports denser housing options, filled rows of seats at the meeting. They held up signs saying “Missing middle yes,” “Arlington is for everyone” and “Won’t you be my neighbor.” Meanwhile, opponents like Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) — an advocacy group against increased housing density — packed the other side of the room.

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