The weekend is almost here. Before you try to process the end of the Roe v. Wade era or head to bed for some much-needed sleep, let’s revisit the past week of news in Fairfax County.
Here are the 10 most-read stories on FFXnow this week:
- Here’s what will replace Clyde’s in Reston Town Center
- Three people injured while evacuating Tysons Corner Center, now closed after gunfire
- BREAKING: Metro takes control of Silver Line Phase 2
- South Lakes Village Center seeks to convert vacant bank into drive-thru fast food restaurant
- Frying Pan townhouse fire sparked by malfunctioning battery pack
- Man dies after drowning in McLean stream, police say
- JUST IN: Driver charged in Oakton crash that killed two teens
- Demolition of Georgetown Pike Bridge over Beltway starts this week
- Fairfax County police seeking D.C. rapper for Tysons Corner Center shooting
- Construction coming soon to replace Vienna’s Outback Steakhouse with a Chase Bank
Ideas for potential stories can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted as an anonymous tip. Photos of scenes from around the county are welcome too, with credit always given to the photographer.
Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans, or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below. Have a great weekend, Fairfax County!
Neighbors are frustrated by a lack of safety improvements in recent years in Oakton’s Blake Lane corridor, where a driver struck three pedestrians, killing two, earlier this month.
At a virtual community meeting last night (June 23), many people who live on and close to Blake Lane expressed anger at state and county officials for what they describe as inaction despite extensive advocacy efforts. One resident said they’ve been asking for improvements since one particularly bad crash 20 years ago.
“There’s a lot of anger and frustration in our community right now,” said one neighbor. “…There’s anger that we’ve been warning VDOT for years how dangerous this road is, and we’ve gotten a lot of signs but don’t feel like we’ve made much progress other than that. If we don’t address this, more people are going to die. I’m sure of it.”
Hosted by Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik, the meeting saw police, transportation, and schools representatives discuss potential solutions to help make Blake Lane safer near several schools, including Oakton High and Mosaic Elementary.
Vehicle speed, lack of safe pedestrian crossing areas, and educating young drivers are the big concerns that local agencies and residents hope to address.
The 18-year-old driver involved in the fatal June 7 crash was charged with involuntary manslaughter Tuesday (June 21). Police revealed that he was driving 81 miles per hour in a 35-mile-an-hour zone.
There have been 114 crashes on Blake Lane since 2017, according to data presented by the Fairfax County Police Department. Six of them involved pedestrians, and two crashes involved bicyclists. While 31 resulted in injuries, the June 7 crash is the only one that has been fatal.
Just over a quarter — 31 crashes — involved a “young driver,” between the ages of 15 and 20 years old.
Where Blake Lane intersects with Five Oaks Road, where the June 7 crash occurred, there have been 12 total crashes since 2017, including two involving pedestrians and four involving a young driver.
The county and state officials proposed potential measures but cautioned that many permanent changes are subject to reviews, audits and studies. Read More
Join us at the clubhouse at Reston National Golf Course on Saturday, June 25 for Reston Summerfest!
Kick off the summer season with live local music, kids crafts, artisan food trucks, great drinks, local vendors, and more at this fun, FREE family-friendly event!
Fairfax County has a plan to fix the Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection, but it will likely take another half-decade for the changes to fall into place.
Construction on the proposed realignment — which will split the X-shaped intersection into two T intersections — isn’t expected to start until the spring of 2027, finishing in fall 2028, Fairfax County Department of Transportation staff told the community in a pair of meetings this week.
The lengthy timeline partly stems from an extensive utility relocation process projected take up to 24 months. It could be shortened if the supply-chain issues that have slowed construction during the pandemic abate.
“Some of those [utility] poles are located right now where we’d need to put roadway stuff, sidewalks, whatever, so they have to be out of the way before we can begin construction,” FCDOT project manager Jared Kerr said during a virtual meeting on Wednesday (June 22).
An in-person meeting was held last night (Thursday) at Churchill Elementary School.
Local transportation officials say the wait will be worthwhile for McLean drivers, whose patience is regularly tested by traffic congestion in the central intersection between I-495 and Route 123.
Selected out of three options proposed when the county first brought the project forward in 2018, the T-intersection concept will move traffic more efficiently by reducing driver confusion and relocating signals so vehicles are less likely to block residential driveways, FCDOT staff say.
By 2045, the changes will shave almost two minutes off the average morning rush-hour delay and three minutes off peak afternoon travel times compared to what would happen if nothing is done, according to a staff presentation.
Those couple of minutes could mean the difference between sitting through one or two traffic signal cycles and limit vehicle queues to 125 to 150 feet long. Currently, queues on Balls Hill can extend over half a mile, backing up to The Langley School, one resident at Wednesday’s meeting observed. Read More
A new Chinese restaurant is opening soon at Lake Anne Plaza.
Big Wonton, a Chinese restaurant that already has another delivery concept in Reston, will take up space at 14438 Washington Plaza, according to its website.
Items on the menu include street food, dim sum, dumplings, sushi and other traditional Chinese staples. Big Wonton has been selling frozen dumplings and other Asian food via home delivery throughout Northern Virginia.
The business has not yet announced when it plans to open, but its website says an opening is planned soon. The owner did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow.
Big Wonton has a sister location called The Kitchen at 2303-B Soapstone Drive. It also has a Book Cafe in Gaithersburg, Md.
Photo via Big Wonton
Here’s a look at some of the open houses taking place in Fairfax County this weekend:
- 2053 Rockingham Street, McLean
6 BR/6.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: Wine refrigerator, media room, deck
Open: Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (Sahba Samimi – Right Address Realty)
- 908 Walker Road, Great Falls
5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: 13 foot ceilings, white oak flooring, three car garage
Open: Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (The Prendergast Team – Washington Fine Properties, LLC)
- 303 Salsbury Lane NW, Vienna
5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: Elevator, covered front porch, two mudrooms
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Karen Kealoha-Bray – Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc)
- 6164 Mori Street, McLean
4 BR/3.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: Exercise room, finished garage, oak stairs
Open: Saturday, 1-4 p.m. (KW Metro Center)
- 2247 Sandburg Street, Dunn Loring
6 BR/6.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: Private .70 acre lot, custom garage, theater room
Open: Sunday, 1-4 p.m. (Long & Foster – The Total Homeownership Experience)
- 203 Patrick Street SW, Vienna
5 BR/4.5 BA Single-family home
Noteworthy: Gas fireplace, wine refrigerator, walk-out lower level
Open: Saturday, 1-4 p.m. (Christina Rice – Pearson Smith Realty, LLC)
See all Fairfax County open house listings here.
Want your open house to appear here? You can now submit sponsored listings.
* Denotes sponsored listing
203 Patrick Street SW image via Google Maps
(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade today (Friday) in a landmark decision that will effectively ban abortion in more than a dozen states.
Abortion remains legal in Virginia, which doesn’t have so-called “trigger laws” that would go into effect with the court’s ruling.
However, shortly after the news broke this morning, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) told The Washington Post that he will seek to ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Youngkin put out a statement in response to the decision:
The Supreme Court of the United States has rightfully returned power to the people and their elected representatives in the states. I’m proud to be a pro-life Governor and plan to take every action I can to protect life. The truth is, Virginians want fewer abortions, not more abortions. We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life. That’s why I’ve asked Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, Senator Steve Newman, Delegate Kathy Byron and Delegate Margaret Ransone to join us in an effort to bring together legislators and advocates from across the Commonwealth on this issue to find areas where we can agree and chart the most successful path forward. I’ve asked them to do the important work needed and be prepared to introduce legislation when the General Assembly returns in January.
The decision will also not immediately impact the legality of abortion in neighboring D.C. and Maryland.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano, the county’s top prosecutor, stated that he will never prosecute women for having an abortion, even if the state laws change, a sentiment he previously shared in a New York Times op-ed.
No matter what the law in Virginia says, I will not prosecute a woman for having an abortion, or for being suspected of inducing one. pic.twitter.com/kgDD1KGWPd
— Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Descano (@FairfaxCountyCA) June 24, 2022
Most of Fairfax County’s representatives expressed outrage, describing the ruling as a rollback on human rights and a “dark moment.”
President Joe Biden, who previously said he’d look to shore up abortion rights, is expected to deliver remarks on the decision at 12:30 p.m.
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement that he’s “deeply concerned about the future of women’s rights and healthcare in our nation” but noted that the Supreme Court ruling won’t immediately affect abortion access in Virginia. Read More
A new ice cream shop is coming to the Town of Vienna, promising a sweet respite for residents and visitors trekking along Maple Avenue.
The Pennsylvania-based company Bruster’s Real Ice Cream has applied for a permit to renovate the retail space at 237 Maple Avenue in Glyndon Plaza, according to Fairfax County records.
Processed on May 13, the permit description states that the store will consist of an ice cream preparation kitchen and walk-up windows for customers to place and pick up their orders, but there won’t be indoor seating for patrons.
Some Tysons area residents may be familiar with the business from its location on Avenir Place near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station. That store was open from roughly 2015 to 2020, when the franchisee opted not to renew their lease, a Bruster’s public relations representative told FFXnow.
The Vienna store will occupy a 1,300-square-foot corner suite in Glyndon Plaza that had been filled by Ocean Cleaners since 1995. The dry-cleaning business has permanently closed, according to its Yelp page.
“The demographics and the location of this new site present a great opportunity to further build the brand connection in the community,” Bruster’s said by email.
Based in Bridgewater, Pennsylvania, Bruster’s opened its first store in 1989 and started franchising in 1993. It now has over 200 independently owned locations across 22 states, Guyana and South Korea, according to its website.
The company touts its “old-fashioned” approach to making ice cream, developed by founder Bruce Reed, and the variety of flavors it has in rotation, with each shop offering at least 24 options every day.
“Our handcrafted recipes always start with a proprietary homestyle mix delivered fresh from our own dairy to each ice cream shop,” Bruster’s said. “We serve premium flavors and artisan desserts made right in the store where they are served, including crunchy handmade waffle cones, customized sundaes, candy-filled blasts and thick milkshakes.”
The store is expected to open late in the third quarter of 2022, which ends on Sept. 30. The company confirmed that means the opening will be sometime this fall.
Bruster’s will be the second artisan ice cream shop to find a home in Vienna this year. Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream celebrated its grand opening at the Cedar Park Shopping Center yesterday (Thursday) after a quiet rollout in April.
A trio of candidates is seeking the position of mayor for the Town of Herndon, typically a non-competitive race.
Councilmembers Sean Regan and Jasbinder Singh are running against current Mayor Sheila Olem to fill the seat for the upcoming 2023-2024 term.
Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and polling locations correspond with locations for the national elections.
Regan says he wants to create a collaborative environment where diverse opinions are heard and welcome. His top priorities are housing, the redevelopment of downtown Herndon, and traffic and parking.
“We will disagree at times but we don’t have to be disagreeable. We can argue joyfully,” Regan said.
Olem said she hopes to continue leveraging her 12 years of experience as mayor and council member going forward.
“With the arrival of Metro, my goal is to keep the hometown feeling of community that brought many of us tot he Town of Herndon,” Olem wrote in a statement.
Singh did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow. In 2020, Olem faced Roland Taylor after longtime mayor Lisa Merkel stepped down.
On the side of the Herndon Town Council, nine candidates are running for six seats for the 2023-2024 term.
Current council members include Naila Alam, Cesar del Aguila, Pradip Dhakal and Signe Friedrichs. The other candidates are Clark Hedrick, Stevan Portr, Keven LeBlanc, Donielle Scherff and Roland Taylor.
The election is administered by Fairfax County.
An application to build a new townhouse development on Beulah Street, a mile from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station, was filed with Fairfax County last week.
Beazer Homes is looking to bring a 26-unit development called Devonshire to the corner of Beulah Street and Alforth Avenue, according to a rezoning application was sent to the county’s planning and development department last Friday (June 17).
Devonshire would include a 1,500-square-foot “tot lot,” public plaza space, a picnic area with grills and tables, and a walking trail. A new private street and a sidewalk will be constructed, connecting the development to Beulah Street.
Each house is anticipated to have a deck and a 200-square-foot private yard, the renderings show.
The development’s total area of land appears to be about 3.3 acres, though about half of it will be open space. The lot also contains five single-family homes that were built between 1934 and 1950, per a note in the application. Those homes are expected to remain.
Since Devonshire would have fewer than 50 units, it does not need to adhere to the county’s Affordable Dwelling Unit requirements. However, Beazer Homes notes in the application that it “will consider a contribution to the Housing Trust Fund.”
This appears to be Beazer Homes’ sixth development in Northern Virginia, though only its second in Fairfax County.
With the development in the permitting stage, it remains unclear when construction will start and might be completed. FFXnow reached out to Beazer Homes, but didn’t receive an answer prior to publication.
With its close proximity to the Metro station, that area of Franconia is set to see a lot of development and changes in the coming years.
Plans for a multi-million dollar expansion of the Inova HealthPlex on Walker Lane could be approved later this month. If it is, construction would potentially start in late 2023 and be completed in 2027.
Franconia is also slated to get a new 90,000-square-foot building that will house a government center, police station, and library. Construction was expected to begin this summer and be completed in 2024.
The medical campus would be located less than a mile from Devonshire, while the county government facility would be essentially across the street.
Inova Plans New Recovery Hospital — Inova Health System will open a Critical Illness Recovery Hospital at the Mount Vernon Hospital in Fort Hunt in the first half of 2023. Operated by the provider Select Medical, the 32-bed facility will provide specialized clinical support for patients who require an extended stay but no longer need intensive care — an option currently not available in Northern Virginia. [Inova]
Jollibee Opening in Lincolnia Area Sunday — “Filipino chicken chain Jollibee announced that, after some earlier delays, the Lincolnia location is scheduled to open this Sunday, June 26. The restaurant is opening at 4809 Beauregard Street in the Plaza at Landmark shopping center.” [ALXnow]
Fairfax City Mayoral Race Adds New Candidate — “Fairfax City Council member Sang Yi announced on Wednesday that he was running in the Nov. 8 general election to be city’s next mayor…Sang will be running against Catherine Read. Mayor Daniel Meyer previously announced that he wouldn’t be running for reelection.” [Patch]
Car Wheels Stolen in Newington — “Two car owners in Newington in Fairfax County woke up this morning to find their cars propped up on bricks and all the wheels stolen. One of the car owners…tells me he works hard to provide for his family and is very frustrated by this. It’s part of a troubling trend that’s been going on for years in the DC area.” [NBC4]
Fairfax County Is #1 in Country for Mental Health — Northern Virginia had a strong showing in a “Healthiest Communities” ranking from U.S. News & World Report and CVS Health, which graded 500 localities nationwide. At #17 overall, Fairfax County got its highest mark for mental health based on reports of mental distress, depression, and death rates related to suicide and substance issues. [U.S. News & World Report]
NOVA Parks Seeks Input on Five-Year Plan — The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has released a draft 2023-2027 strategic plan and is accepting feedback via an online survey until 5 p.m. on July 8. Priorities proposed by the plan include a $6 million investment in trails, a visitor center for the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, and a commitment to plant over 50,000 trees. [NOVA Parks]
Merger Gives Tysons Another Corporate HQ — “Defense contractor Vectrus Inc. and government services company Vertex Inc. are moving forward with a $2.1 billion merger that will move the rebranded company’s headquarters to Northern Virginia…V2X is expected to be based in McLean, where Vectrus already has an office at 7901 Jones Branch Drive.” [Washington Business Journal]
Vienna Cuts Ribbon on New Mural — “The new mural, a nod to the month-long Liberty Amendments Month celebration and painted by local artist, Teresa Ahmad, was unveiled today at the Patrick Henry Library! Everyone is encouraged to check out this beautiful addition to the Town!” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]
Celebrate Hummingbirds in Lincolnia — “For those who can’t get enough of the beauty of hummingbirds, a group of local photographers are mounting an exhibition this summer at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria…The show runs from June 28 through Oct. 16, 2022, at the Historic House at Green Spring Gardens and is free to the public.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 82 and low of 64. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:40 pm. [Weather.gov]