The Pimmit Hills neighborhood has officially reached the “let’s put on a show” stage of its battle against a planned Washington Gas pipeline.
Faced with escalating legal fees, residents have banded together to stage a “Protect Pimmit Hills Hoedown” benefit concert from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday (June 3) as a fundraiser for four of their neighbors who were sued by the utility company.
The concert will be held at Pimmit Barn (1845 Cherri Drive) with “limited” food available for sale from the food truck, The Big Cheese. Providing the music will be the Pimmit Hillbillies, a band that neighborhood residents formed for this occasion.
“We hope this concert helps reinforce our community spirit by getting neighbors out and meeting each other to join fight this project that affects us all,” resident guitarist Tom Gillespie said. “We will bond over great tunes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies while we talk about our ongoing pipeline battle.”
Filed by Washington Gas on March 3, 2022, the lawsuit challenges a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals ruling that a special exception permit and 2232 review are required for the natural gas pipeline, the last phase of the Strip 1 Tysons project to upgrade about five miles of pipe from Tyco Road to Pimmit Drive.
A bench trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court had been scheduled for April 25 and 26, but the judge postponed it to the first week of September after the Virginia Supreme Court voided the zoning ordinance that guided the BZA’s decision, according to Christina Chen Zinner, one of the Pimmit Hills residents involved in the case.
Because of the trial delay, Zinner and her fellow defendants shared earlier this month that they need to raise an additional $20,000 to cover their legal costs, which have climbed to $45,000. With the help of a recent neighborhood pizza party, they’ve made progress on that goal, raising $38,700 through Gofundme.
The Pimmit Hillbillies hope to finish the job. The band emerged from a virtual meeting, where residents brainstormed fundraising ideas.
“Knowing that I like to sing and play guitar, and compose my own songs, [my wife Stephanie] challenged me during the meeting to compose a protest song to help us promote our Gofundme drive,” Gillespie recalled. “I feel so passionate about fighting this pipeline that the lyrics and notes just flowed out of me.”
Gillespie presented a demo of the song — “That Pipe Don’t Belong Here!” — and soon, other residents volunteered their own musical abilities, from additional singers and another guitarist to Zinner on the violin.
The band also has an electric bassist, a drummer, a saxophonist, and a singer who plays the banjolele, a cross between a banjo and ukelele.
In addition to “That Pipe Don’t Belong Here!,” songs planned for Saturday’s hoedown include covers of protest tunes like Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is My Land” and retro classics, such as the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” and Tom Petty’s “Refugee.”
The concert is open to all community members, with Del. Marcus Simon (D-53) among the supporters expected to attend. Former Pimmit Hills resident Greg Garcia — creator of the TV shows “My Name Is Earl” and “Raising Hope” — has also backed the fight against the 24-inch-wide pipeline, which residents argue will be too big and high pressure for a residential neighborhood.
According to Gillespie, Garcia recently shared “encouraging words” with the current residents of Pimmit Hills, which inspired the fictional Pimmit Hills Trailer Park in “My Name Is Earl”:
Once a Pimmit Hillian, always a Pimmit Hillian, and as a proud alumni of your neighborhood I applaud your efforts to keep the neighborhood safe for you and your children. Stay strong and continue to fight the power. Or fight as long as you can, and then have a block party barbeque but use charcoal instead of natural gas. That’ll show ’em! Good luck!
Good Thursday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
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For the first time since it was established in 1921, the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) has expanded its vehicle fleet to three ambulances.
The newest ambulance began operating out of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s Station 1 (1455 Laughlin Avenue) on Feb. 21 and will get an official, public reveal this Saturday (March 2) at the annual “I Love McLean” celebration.
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.
Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.
Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and