Parking Situation Remains Uncertain for Patrick Henry Library in Vienna

Updated 2/26/2020 — Corrects D’Orazio’s title.

After months of deliberation, the Vienna Town Council still has not decided on a course of action for the parking situation for the upcoming redesign of the Patrick Henry Library.

At the council’s meeting last night (Feb. 24), Mayor Laurie DiRocco lead a conversation regarding a potential timeline for the project and deliberated cost and design options along with the fellow council members.

The parking will serve not only as parking for the library (101 E. Maple Ave) but also for nearby businesses in the town as well.

The parking was the main topic of debate. Currently, there are two options that the council can pursue, according to Michael D’Orazio, Vienna’s deputy director of planning and zoning. One option would include 84 spaces with two levels of parking above the ground-level library, while the option would have 188 spaces and three levels of parking.

Regardless of the option chosen, the town will be responsible for paying either 35% or up to a maximum of $1 million for the design phase, according to a presentation given at the meeting– meaning the town will be getting a better deal.

For the two-story option, the town will have to pay the smaller amount of either 25% or $4.5 million For the three-story option, the town will need to pay either 40% or $9 million.

Working on the current timeframe, the design phase of the project is expected to be completed by March 2022, according to the meeting presentation.

If the Town Council decides to back out of the project at this time, they would only receive a 50% rebate on design costs from Fairfax County, according to D’Orazio. If the town were to back out in Sept. 2021, it would receive an 85% reimbursement.

“That seems higher than I was told on this several years ago,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said at the meeting, expressing concern over the financial burden on the town.

To help pay for the costs, the mayor said that the town will be applying for grants to help supplement the budget.

To save money, Fairfax County also agreed to waive permit fees for the project, which will save roughly $400,000-$700,000 for the town, according to DiRocco, who said she wants to save the money for a “cushion.”

Going forward, town councilmembers said that they will continue discussions on the best course of action for the parking situation in the town.

Image courtesy Town of Vienna

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