The Falls Church City Council has delayed a decision on two proposed changes to the city master plan, including a controversial change that would allow public housing to be built in the city's Cherry Hill neighborhood.
The council expects to make a final decision on the zoning proposals at its meeting Oct. 14.
The Falls Church Planning Commission has recommended that zoning for 1.5 acres on West Annadale Road in Cherry Hill be changed from a business district to zoning that would permit parks, townhouses, appartments for low- and moderate-income residents or a fire station.
In addition, the city Planning Department has "highly recommended" that the vacant land, in the 200 block of West Annandale, be used for a cooperative housing project for low- and moderate-income persons.
While the Cherry Hill issue drew throngs to Planning Commission hearings, only eight residents spoke at a council hearing earlier this week. Most speakers urged the council to use the land, most of which is owned by the city, for a park.
Mary Steadham, representing 150 residents of the nearby Shirley-Gibson apartment complex, said there would be "no breathing space left" in the 2-square-mile city if the few remaining open spaces are developed.
Stewart Edwards, president of the Cherry Hill Community Association, said the association believes the property should be developed as "a modest park area . . . with benches and tables, maybe with chess-checker tops . . . (and some playground equipment . . ."
If the city wants to build a housing project, Edwards said, there are better sites in the western part of the city.
Former mayor Harold Miller and his wife, Ruth, were the only advocates of the proposed housing project, which they said would meet the city's housing shortage.
Esther Bodolnick, whose husband owns a small section of the land, complained it would be unfair to downzone the property.
The other piece of land under consideration for zoning changes, the Old Brick House property on West Broad Street near West Street, drew no speakers. The Planning Commission has recommended that zoning for the land, which is sandwiched between two restaurants, be changed from multi-family residential to general business to conform with development in the area.