David L. Meyer is serving his first term as Mayor.
Meyer served five terms on the City Council (2008-17). As a Councilmember, Meyer served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), as well as on the MWCOG Transportation Planning Board.
Meyer has served on the board of directors of Historic Fairfax City, Inc. and is a co-author of the book Fairfax, Virginia: A City Traveling Through Time. He was a member of the Livable City Task Force and the City of Fairfax Bicentennial Committee, and he served as president of the Old Lee Hills Civic Association. He was on the design committee for Daniels Run Elementary School and served as president of the Fairfax High School PTSA.
A city resident since 1981, he is an Assistant Scoutmaster and Eagle Advisor for Troop 187 at Fairfax United Methodist Church, where he is also an active member. He has supported and participated in service mission teams for the Appalachia Service Project. Meyer has also served as a Trustee of Randolph-Macon College.
Meyer retired in 2016 from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where he was a career member of the Senior Executive Service and was awarded the commission’s Meritorious Service Award. He earned a B.A. in political science from Randolph-Macon College and an M.P.A. from American University. Meyer also attended the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville and the Executive Education Program at the Kennedy School of Government in Boston.
He and his wife Cindy have two children.
Vision for Fairfax City
Response to Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth Feb. 2017
1) As Mayor you will be required to provide leadership to a relatively small City in the heart of a rapidly developing Fairfax County.
● What is your vision for the City over the next 20 years?
● What are the five most important things that need to be accomplished by the City in the next 10 years?
● What are the three most important things you would aim to accomplish during the next two years?
My vision for our City for the next 20 years is to have our City as a 21st century community that preserves the best of our traditions while ensuring Fairfax remains a superior city, both regionally and globally. I envision our City where a forward-focused sense of place is created and sustained, where people are connected to the world, and a place where residents can work, learn, and live together in a safe, healthy and productive environment. Over the next 20 years, our region’s population is expected to grow substantially. While our City is “fully developed,” the City can expect an increase in our population primarily because of the turnover in existing neighborhoods, as well as a modest increase in the number of housing units. As Mayor, I will lead our citizens and Council to ensure that we invest in maintaining our first-rate infrastructure to ensure we meet the needs of citizens, now and in the future, and so we can compete as a community both regionally and globally.
Over the next decade, our City must first complete its 2030 Comprehensive Plan and then consistently execute this plan to ensure that we maximize private capital investment to create the most optimal outcomes for the City as a whole. Secondly, we must focus on redeveloping the 3 nodes along Fairfax Blvd consistent with the Fairfax Blvd Master Plan. Third, we must complete our Multimodal Transportation Plan and ensure this plan becomes a seamless part of our 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Specific components of this plan must be implemented based on the principles of the Comp Plan, including Complete Streets, resulting in greater investment in and expansion of our trails system, bicycling designs, and walkable neighborhoods. Fourth, we will need to make significant investments in our school facilities, recognizing that our renovated buildings will be in the age range of 20-30 years old. We cannot afford to delay these upgrades, as delays will only result in even greater costs. Lastly, we need to increase the diversity of housing options for our population. The vast majority of our City’s housing was built between 1955-1975, and the needs and expectations for housing in this century are rapidly changing from 50-60 years ago. Upgrading our existing housing, through programs such as the Renaissance Housing Corporation, will help ensure that our City remains an attractive place for people to live. Additionally, the variation in housing needs by our population has increased significantly over the last three decades, and we need intentional investment in senior housing, affordable housing, assisted-living and accessible housing.
In the next two years, as Mayor, I will do all I can to help jump start the already-approved construction of Scout at the Circle and the Novus project at Kamp Washington. I will lead the Council in completing our 2030 Comp Plan and our first Multimodal Transportation Plan. I will ask the Council to initiate a national search for a top-flight firm to help design an overall plan for the redevelopment of Northfax. Additionally, as noted in Response 6 below, I will lead our citizens and Council to focus on the future housing needs of our City and develop specific plans and timetables for implementing these new initiatives.
2) Property tax revenues comprise over 47% of General Fund revenues (FY2017 Budget, General Fund Revenue Overview, C-8). The cost of providing quality education currently comprises 40% of our General Fund expenditures (FY2017 Budget, Budget Summary, B-10). An increased commercial tax base is necessary to relieve the burden on residential property taxes to maintain our excellence in education, and fund the quality services and parks system that the City is known for, as well as maintenance of our streets, pipes and other infrastructure. How do you propose to expand our commercial tax base?
The City’s commercial tax base must be expanded and redeveloped through high-quality new development. The City has already approved two major redevelopment projects in the City, the Novus development in Kamp Washington, and the Scout at the Circle project. These two projects will be high-quality construction and will incorporate design features consistent with smart growth principles. These two projects will expand the City’s tax base by $150 million, with both commercial and residential components.
The anticipated redevelopment of Northfax on 40+ acres of land on both the east and west sides of Chain Bridge Road offer the opportunity for significant investment in those existing commercial properties. The Northfax site is a key node incorporated in the Fairfax Blvd Master Plan and should be redeveloped comprehensively with a cohesive overall plan for the site.
3) The City has several retail and commercial areas that would benefit from redevelopment. These include Northfax, the Courthouse shopping center, the area between University Drive and 123 south of Sager, and Kamp Washington. What is your vision for redeveloping these areas?
Northfax – The 40+ acres on both the east and west sides of Chain Bridge Road offer the most significant opportunity for a comprehensive redevelopment of a commercial center in the City. I believe Northfax should be developed consistent with the principles of the Fairfax Blvd Master Plan, and should include a walkable “pedestrian village” that contains high-quality residential units, innovative commercial spaces (e-lofts, grocery, retail, and restaurants), creative and strategically designed public spaces, and a street grid that supports public transportation. If elected Mayor, I will lead the Council to search and select a superior design firm of with a national reputation to help the Council, our citizens, and property owners to develop a design plan for the entire site on which consensus can be reached. My goal for the selection of a design firm is no later than September 30, 2017.
Courthouse Plaza Shopping Center – I continue to advocate razing the entire existing shopping center building that includes the Safeway and CVS, as well as the former McDonalds and the former Joe’s Pizza buildings. I strongly believe that the adjacent brick office buildings to the immediate south of the site on University Drive between the shopping center parking lot and the library also be razed. I propose that Whitehead Street between Chain Bridge Road and University Drive be extended to intersect with Old Lee Highway and that a walkable pedestrian grid be developed internally for the site. The internal site would be supported by a multi-tiered parking facility, and would include a new grocery store and pharmacy, as well as retail on the first level. Also on the ground level could be several entertainment venues, including perhaps a multi-screen theater, a draft house, a micro-brewery, and a multi-use live performance space for music and theater/playhouse. The upper levels ought to include high-quality residential units in sufficient quantity to ensure the site’s economic viability.
Area between west side of University Drive and Chain Bridge Road (south of Sager) – This area is currently underutilized and much of it covered with impervious surface. I believe a comprehensive approach to all these parcels will result in a more optimal use of this area. I do not support the proposal submitted by Paradigm for the Davies property. This property should be developed with a density and design consistent with existing adjacent residential neighborhoods. The balance of the area moving north to Sager should also include open green space in an adequate amount and at one or more locations to mitigate existing stormwater runoff and create areas for urban respite. For the area closer to Sager, the City may want to consider multi-family units with an ownership component, as well as some restaurant/commercial on street level.
Kamp Washington – A high priority must be initiating construction of the approved Novus project on the Britt property. I believe the Novus project can be a catalyst for high-quality redevelopment of other sites to the west of Novus, as well as the commercial center to the east of the historic Jermantown cemetery.
) The City is in the midst of updating its comprehensive plan, including a major update of its transportation plan. The Mayor and City Council also agreed on a set of goals in transportation, redevelopment and other areas for 2016-18. A good plan is tracked over time, to ensure it is being implemented and guides major City decisions and investments. What is your perspective on how we improve our plans and their implementation to enable the City to advance our goals?
A best practice in urban design and planning ensures that transportation of people, goods, and services is central to community development. As the City of Fairfax rewrites its Comprehensive Plan, the City’s Multimodal Plan currently under development must be a central driver for how the Comp Plan addresses the redevelopment of commercial centers, new housing initiatives, and associated transportation needs. This integrated planning can contribute significantly to limiting or even eliminating traffic congestion in these centers and in adjacent residential neighborhoods. Including creative and bold transportation design concepts consistently and continually throughout succeeding generations of Comp Plans will result in far greater connectivity of commercial and residential areas whose original design and purpose is increasingly disconnected from what we not only want, but from what we need.
5) Complete Streets is a transportation design practice that aims to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Do you support a Complete Streets approach to new road projects and road improvement projects? Why, or why not?
I am a strong advocate for adopting and including the principles of “Complete Streets” in our Multimodal Transportation Plan and specific projects for new roads and road improvement projects in the City. When reconfiguring our streets, especially in particular key arteries, we need to ensure space is allocated and design features included for all forms of transportation, including pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, as well as mopeds, motorcycles, and automobiles. Our reconstruction of key roadways, such as Old Lee Highway, should consider and reflect both current and future uses of these right-of-ways with creative design features that can accommodate possibly unforeseen transportation needs and technologies decades in the future.
6) The City must continue to address meeting the housing needs of a diverse population. People working in and around the City have a wide range of household incomes, and there is a corresponding need for a wide range of housing options. How can we address this?
The issue of “housing” is as varied as the housing needs we face. Recognizing this, if elected Mayor, I will lead the Council to establish within 30 days a Special Commission on Housing to examine in detail the City’s needs for (1) senior housing; (2) affordable housing, including but not limited to workforce housing; (3) assisted-living housing; and (4) accessible housing for persons with limited mobility, among other possible needs. This Commission will be directed to develop or obtain all needed data, develop findings, report back to the Council with specific recommendations, including scope and target dates for initiation, by September 30, 2017. These recommendations and schedules will then become the basis for funding for the Council’s consideration and adoption in the FY 2018 budget.
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By David Meyer
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David Meyer is Elected Mayor
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