It’s Earth Day — The Fairfax County Park Authority launched a new Earth Day website this week to provide information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and ways to promote environmental stewardship. The annual occasion started in 1970 “to generate awareness and support for environmental protection.” [FCPA]
Community Raises $20K for Young Reston Soccer Player — “Aaron, a player in the Great Falls-Reston Soccer Club, recently told his coach that he couldn’t come to practice because he didn’t have any cleats. The elite soccer player explained that he was one of the 15 people who’d been displaced by a fire at the Stonegate Village Apartment complex in Reston on April 10.” [Patch]
No Development Planned for Seven Corners Shopping Center — “The Seven Corners Shopping Center is not going to be replaced with a mixed-use development, confirms Janet McCarthy, vice president of leasing at Saul Centers Inc., at least for the foreseeable future…Saul Centers expects to announce a new tenant for the Dogfish Head Alehouse spot by June 1.” [Annandale Today]
Firefighters Reunite with Rescued Vienna Resident — “Engine 402, Vienna, and Engine 430, Merrifield, A-Shift teamed up to assist an occupant out of a house fire last week. Engine 402 was thrilled to meet occupant recently, along w/Vienna Mayor Colbert, and saw he was well. #FCFRD is happy he is doing well after horrific event.” [FCFRD/Twitter]
Kingstowne Shopping Centers Change Hands — Federal Realty will acquire Kingstowne Towne Center and Kingstowne Shopping Center for roughly $200 million, the company announced yesterday (Thursday). The real estate firm says it will “amenitize” the towne center but has no immediate plans for redevelopment. The purchase doesn’t include the Regal cinema. [Washington Business Journal]
Herndon Satellite Company Prepares for Launch — “The long-delayed first launch of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from Virginia is now scheduled for late this year, carrying satellites for HawkEye 360. Rocket Lab announced April 19 it signed a contract with HawkEye 360 to deliver 15 satellites over three launches.” [Space News]
Spring Fest Returns to Mosaic District — Caboose Commons is bringing back its celebratory spring festival tomorrow (Saturday), promising food, live music, and games as well as beer, wine, and cocktail tastings. The festivities begin at noon and continue until 7 p.m. [Caboose Brewing Company]
Reston’s Water Mine Hiring Tomorrow — “Looking for a fun summer job? This Saturday (4/23/22) the Water Mine in Reston is hosting an open hire. Stop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to apply, interview, and if offered a position, complete hire paperwork on-the-spot.” [FCPA/Twitter]
Marshall HS to Open Musical Next Week — “After a successful fall play, the Statesmen Theatre Department at Marshall High School is preparing to perform its spring musical on two upcoming weekends. The spring musical at Marshall High School will be the Tony Award-nominated ‘A Year with Frog and Toad.’ Performances are scheduled for April 28 and 29 and May 6 and 7.” [Patch]
It’s Friday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 72 and low of 51. Sunrise at 6:23 am and sunset at 7:54 pm. [Weather.gov]
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority wants the public’s input on more than two dozen projects that could drastically change travel in the region.
The projects cover a six-year funding span and involve over $1.2 billion in requests, though the authority acknowledged it’s not immediately clear how much funding will be available.
Launched Friday (April 15), the public input period lasts through May 22. People can comment by email, an online form, voicemail or mail as well as in-person or remote testimony at a May 12 hearing.
Fairfax County has requested a total of $572 million — the most of any jurisdiction — for seven projects:
- Fairfax Connector: $10 million to buy eight electric buses for an express route between Tysons and Franconia
- Fairfax Station: $108 million to add two lanes to Fairfax County Parkway (Route 286) for a 2-mile stretch near Route 123
- Mount Vernon District: $80 million for a $730 million project to add bus rapid transit along a 7.4-mile stretch of Route 1
- Mount Vernon: $60.2 million for a $415 million project to add two lanes to a 3.1-mile section of Route 1 and provide other multimodal upgrades
- Reston: $73.8 million for the $235 million Soapstone Connector. The planned one-mile extension of the roadway over the Dulles Toll Road will span Sunrise Valley Drive to Sunset Hills Road, providing vehicular lanes with a middle turning lane, bicycle lanes, and sidewalks.
- Seven Corners: $94.8 million to start the first segment of a “ring road” at the often congested and circuitous intersection
- Springfield: $145.2 million to extend Frontier Drive to Loisdale Road, reducing trip times and providing new access to the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and co-located Virginia Railway Express station
Saturday Morning Shooting in Herndon Under Investigation — “Officers are investigating a shooting in the 2100 block of Astoria Circle in Herndon. One person taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Suspect(s) believed to have left the area in a silver sedan.” [FCPD/Twitter]
New Route 123 to I-66 Ramp to Open Tomorrow — “The new permanent ramp from Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) South to I-66 West is planned to open during the early morning hours on or about Tuesday, April 19. The current temporary left turn and connector ramp from Route 123 South to I-66 West will close as part of this work.” [VDOT]
Fight Leads to Stabbing Near Fairfax Circle — “Officers were called to the location for reports of a group of men fighting. When they arrived, the victim was found with a stab wound to the upper body. The victim was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The victim’s condition was later upgraded, and the victim remained hospitalized. Preliminarily, this does not appear to be a random act.” [FCPD]
Seven Corners Alehouse to Close — “Dogfish Head Alehouse in Seven Corners is closing. Its last day is May 15. A message from the restaurant on social media says ‘Upon renewal of our lease, we were not able to come to terms with the property owner and as such our time has come to an end.'” [Annandale Today]
T-Mobile Might Be Coming to McNair — Multiple commercial real estate firms reported that telecom giant T-Mobile has signed a lease for almost 200,000 square feet at 2340 Dulles Corner Blvd. An update from one firm suggested the deal had not yet closed, but if accurate, it would be the largest first-quarter lease in Northern Virginia. [Washington Business Journal]
Walkability Still a Challenge in Tysons — “The area known to county planners as Tysons East…has seen significant investment over the past decade…But those areas are separated from each other and neighboring developments like the Tysons Corner Center Shopping Center and Tysons Galleria by major highways, limiting the suburb’s ability to truly feel like an urban center.” [Bisnow]
New Reston Fire Station Celebrated — “Thank you @ChiefJohnButler and @ffxfirerescue for a great grand opening of the new Reston Fire Station this morning (4/16) We appreciate all you do for our community!” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
FCPS Hires New HR Assistant Superintendent — “Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has named Sherry Wilson, who currently serves as director of Human Resources in Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools, to the role of assistant superintendent, Department of Human Resources, effective June 1, 2022.” [FCPS]
It’s Monday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 47 and low of 39. Sunrise at 6:29 am and sunset at 7:50 pm. [Weather.gov]
School Board to Appoint New Superintendent Tonight — “The Fairfax County School Board will be announcing the final candidate for the next Superintendent of Schools at tomorrow night’s School Board meeting. The Board will also vote on the candidate’s appointment.” [FCPS]
School Board Defends TJ Admissions Policy to Supreme Court — The Fairfax County School Board said in a filing to the U.S. Supreme Court that an appeals court was “entirely within its authority” to let the admissions policy for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology stay in place while legal proceedings continue. [WTOP]
Seven Corners Senior Housing Project Advances — “The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan April 12 that clears the way for an affordable housing project on the grounds of First Christian Church in Seven Corners. The project calls for a four-story 113-unit apartment building for seniors to be developed by Wesley Housing.” [Annandale Today]
Public Transportation Mask Mandate Extended — “The TSA’s mask mandate has been pushed back another 15 days. The mandate – on airplanes, buses, trains – is now set to expire May 3. The CDC ordered this two-week extension due to the rise in cases from BA.2.” [Fairfax Connector/Twitter]
Reston Association Lake Monitoring Begins — “RA’s Watershed team and Aquatic Environmental Consultants will be kicking off the 2022 lake monitoring season on Thursday, April 14. The lake’s monitoring data is used to track water quality over time, identify potential issues, & provide information for targeted lake treatments.” [RA/Twitter]
McLean’s Oldest Boy Scout Troop Names First Female Eagle Scout — “Rishika Singh, a member of Girls’ Troop 128, was the first girl from her troop to achieve the Eagle Scout rank. The Eagle Scout rank is the highest rank of Boy Scouts of America and requires a service project, merit badges and other requirements.” [Patch]
Capital Bikeshare Coming to Fairfax City — “Capital Bikeshare is coming to Fairfax City! The city has proposed locations for 13 bikeshare stations and is seeking public input through the end of April.” [City of Fairfax/Twitter]
Invasive Species Removal Planned in Vienna — “Volunteers are sought to help restore the natural habitat at Glyndon Park in Vienna at two upcoming invasive-species-removal efforts. Volunteer efforts are slated for Saturdays, April 16 and 30, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the park. Gloves, shovels and small hand tools will be provided.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Thursday — Possible light rain in the evening. High of 73 and low of 57. Sunrise at 6:35 am and sunset at 7:46 pm. [Weather.gov]
A 113-unit independent living facility for seniors in Seven Corners is moving forward in the Fairfax County’s planning and approval process.
The Board of Supervisors will consider a plan next month by First Christian Church and developer Wesley Housing to build a 113-unit living facility, along with up to 5,000 square feet of medical and general office space at 6165 Leesburg Pike. A public hearing is slated for April 12.
The 7-acre parcel is developed with the roughly 27,500-square-foot church, which was built in 1965.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal — which implements changes to the Comprehensive Plan — at a meeting on Wednesday night (March 23).
At previous meetings, residents and community members expressed concerns about tree canopy preservation and stormwater management.
Mason District Commissioner Julie Strandlie said many concerns can be addressed once the proposal moves forward to the zoning process.
“The comprehensive plan outlines priorities and aspirations for the community,” she said. “A zoning application will drill down to specifics about the building parking stormwater management tree canopy and more.”
To move the project forward, the county has to amend its Comprehensive Plan. The review process began in January 2021 and has involved analyses of impacts on stormwater management, tree preservation, landscaping, and parking.
As part of the review, the county is conducting a transportation analysis of Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a mosque in Barcroft, just outside the Seven Corners Community Business Center, that is eyeing expansion in the near future.
Currently, the area is mostly developed with residential neighborhoods.
In a report, staff said the plan has minimal impacts on existing county services like parks, schools, and the overall transportation network.
A Mason District Task Force created by the board voted unanimously in January to support the project. But it encouraged the county to consider if other transit options could lessen the need for new parking spaces in order to minimize their use.
Tree preservation and minimizing environmental impacts will maintain a critical part of decision-making, county staff said in their report.
Staff expects that the amount of parking will be evaluated during the entitlement review process.
The application to amend the comprehensive plan was part of a two-year-long process that courted site-specific revisions from the public for the South County area.
In public hearings, residents of the neighboring Ravenwood Park neighborhood shared concerns about major flooding in their neighborhood. One resident reported “sleepless nights during storms” and more than $50,000 in repair costs.
Strandlie said the county is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to address flooding issues and stormwater management.
Fairfax County police officers arrested and charged a 21-year-old Falls Church man after two men were stabbed just before 2 p.m. yesterday (Thursday).
Police were called to Seven Corners at Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive for an assault and determined a man was involved in two separate assaults that escalated when he stabbed both men, police said.
“Officers found the suspect nearby and took him into custody without incident,” a department spokesperson said in an email.
The two men and the suspect were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Alex Ostorga was arrested and charged with two counts of malicious wounding.