Updated at 5:50 p.m. — Fairfax County detectives are still investigating and looking for a suspect in a homicide at Willston Place in Seven Corners, but the shelter-in-place order has been rescinded.
Earlier: Residents of The Villages at Falls Church have been told to shelter in place, as police search for a possible suspect in a homicide in the Seven Corners area.
Officers are currently on the scene in the 2900 block of Willston Place, the Fairfax County Police Department said just after 4 p.m. today (Wednesday).
Police say officers found a dead woman inside an apartment, and a witness reported seeing a Hispanic man wearing a white hat, light blue shirt, and khaki shorts “running” from the scene.
The FCPD advises community members to avoid the area.
Please avoid the area as officers continue to search for the suspect. Call 911 w/info. More updates to follow. https://t.co/KfiwPLndJq
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 10, 2022
The investigation is occurring just blocks away from where police were conducting an undercover drug operation last week that ended with a detective shooting a man.
Area residents were also subjected to an hours-long barricade that Tuesday (Aug. 3) when a man at the Barcroft Hills condominiums was seen carrying a gun and yelling threats from a balcony.
This month, Fairfax County residents in need will have a couple of opportunities to stock up free fresh produce and other food.
The Cathy Hudgins Community Center at Southgate is taking part in the Capital Area Food Bank‘s Community Marketplace program, which provides fresh produce every second Saturday of the month. The next distribution is slated for Saturday (Aug. 13) from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the center, which is located at 12125 Pinecrest Road in Reston.
The partnership is the product of an alliance between the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services and the food bank, which aims to bring food distributions to communities in need.
Lately, nonprofit partners have reported high levels of food insecurity in the state and the county. Food insecurity is a growing challenge for moderate-income families in what is becoming a high cost-of-living area.
According to the food bank, one out of 10 residents in the D.C. region is food insecure, nearly a third of them children.
The Willson Multicultural Center in Seven Corners will also hold a food distribution this month through a partnership with Comunidad, a nonprofit in Falls Church that aims to engage and help locally rooted community leaders.
The event serves over 250 families each month, and volunteers take boxes of food to the homes of local Ukrainian families.
The community marketplace concept intends to bring farmers-market-style opportunities with high-quality, fresh produce for people who are food insecure. The events often include cooking demonstrations, utility assistance, health screenings and descriptions for recipes.
Photo via Anne Preble/Unsplash
Two Face Drug Charges After Seven Corners Police Shooting — “Two men have been charged after an officer-involved shooting that occurred last night at approximately 10:45 p.m. in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard in Seven Corners…The officer involved in the shooting has been identified as an 11-year veteran assigned to the Street Crimes Unit.” [FCPD]
Local LGBTQ+ Student Group Speaks Out — Fairfax County’s Pride Liberation Project released a statement backed by more than 600 students criticizing a proposal from the state Department of Education that they fear will classify any references to LGBTQIA+ people and events as sexually explicit. The guidelines address a new law that requires parents to be notified when school materials include sexually explicit content. [The Washington Post]
Meet Reston Association’s New CEO — “On Thursday, July 28, the Reston Association board of directors voted unanimously to confirm Mac Cummins, AICP* as the next chief executive officer of the non-profit organization…Cummins sat for a Q&A with the Connection Newspapers on Friday, July 29.” [Connection Newspapers]
Police Chief Addresses Staffing Emergency — The Fairfax County Police Department declared a personnel emergency last week, requiring officers to work mandatory overtime to compensate for staff shortages. Chief Kevin Davis says the department’s 189 operational vacancies are exceptionally high, though 51 recruits currently in the academy will eventually join the force. [ABC7]
Back in Nature, Snake Found in Fairfax Is Healing — “K2C Wildlife Encounters, LLC, received a call on June 5 from a Fairfax resident who had a snake in their backyard that they wanted removed…The female, eastern ratsnake had a torn jugular vein, a hole in her trachea, a protruding eye, numerous lacerations, and broken ribs.” [Patch]
New FCPS Teachers Prepare for School Year — “Minutello and Edinborough are among the newest teachers in Virginia’s largest school system, and are starting at a time when staffing challenges are making headlines. The county had hundreds of vacancies at the end of the last school year, but 97% of staffing positions have been filled as of last week, Superintendent Michelle Reid said.” [WTOP]
Centreville’s Ellanor C. Lawrence Park Lot to Temporarily Close — “The parking lot and entrance for Cabell’s Mill will be closed from Aug. 8 through Oct. 7, 2022, for construction. Work related to the new Stewardship Education Center will include a larger parking lot that will include features and a design that will better control and filter water from rain and runoff from the adjacent neighborhood.” [FCPA]
State Sales Tax Holiday Starts Tomorrow — “The 3-day sales tax holiday starts the first Friday in August at 12:01 am and ends the following Sunday at 11:59 pm…During the sales tax holiday, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products without paying sales tax.” [Virginia Department of Taxation]
It’s Thursday — Humid throughout the day. High of 95 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:14 am and sunset at 8:18 pm. [Weather.gov]
A Fairfax County detective shot a man last night (Tuesday) during what police say was a narcotics investigation in the Seven Corners area.
The shooting occurred near the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Patrick Henry Drive, the Fairfax County Police Department tweeted at 11:27 p.m.
As part of a drug investigation, undercover narcotics detectives in the area that evening identified people “who were allegedly involved in the illegal distribution of narcotics,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a media briefing.
“When they went to make the arrest, the persons were inside a motor vehicle. They took off at a high rate of speed,” Davis said. “They drove very recklessly, as you can see from the scene behind me, and when we attempted to take them into custody, a Fairfax County detective discharged his firearm.”
Officer-involved shooting: Detectives were conducting an investigation near Arlington Blvd/Patrick Henry Dr. Prelim, suspect was shot as officers attempted to arrest him in a vehicle. The man was taken to hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening. No officers injured. pic.twitter.com/viAZ3BoIOQ
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) August 3, 2022
A preliminary investigation of the incident indicated that the car had “jumped a couple of curbs” before police blocked the vehicle in, Davis said.
According to Davis, the man who got shot was transported to a local hospital with an injury to an “upper extremity,” possibly his arm, but he’s expected to make a full recovery.
No other injuries were reported, including to a person in the vehicle’s front passenger seat or the police officers.
Criminal and administrative investigations into the shooting are underway. The detective who fired his gun is now on “a routine administrative status,” Davis said.
“It’s a very thorough criminal investigation. It’s a very thorough administrative investigation,” Davis said. “We work hand-in-glove with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, and we conduct a best-in-practice officer-involved shooting investigation.”
The shooting occurred just over a mile away from where police were engaged in an hours-long standoff with a man at the Barcroft Hills condominiums who had been spotted carrying a rifle and making threats.
Fairfax County police officers have now shot five people this year, two of them fatally at Springfield Town Center in late June and at a McLean home in early July. Police also shot a man in Lorton who was reportedly armed with a rifle in February and a man wielding a bow and arrow in Chantilly on Jan. 6.
Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday (May 10) to allow time for a homeless shelter replacement proposal to come to fruition, extending a review period to Aug. 10.
The capital project will transform the 9,500-square-foot Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Seven Corners to a new 24,000-square-foot permanent supportive housing facility with 16 units and a multipurpose room.
The extension of the 2232 review, which is required for proposed public facility projects, will give the county more time to acquire land rights needed for construction, according to Department of Public Works and Environmental Services spokesperson Sharon North.
“This complex land acquisition is necessary to receive all zoning and permitting approvals for the project,” North said. “As a result, the project schedule has been extended beyond what was originally anticipated.”
The building at 3080 Patrick Henry Drive is part of the Hollybrooke II Condominium complex, which was originally built as apartments in 1952. The county bought the building in 1985 and converted its 10 units into emergency housing shelter.
The units were expanded into the current shelter in 1996 and 2006.
Per a March application on the new project:
The existing structure is in poor condition, not code compliant, has multiple accessibility barriers and does not meet the program change to permanent supportive housing units. There is a critical lack of permanent supportive housing to serve the County’s homeless population. Studies show that no other method is proven more effective than supportive housing for ending chronic homelessness.
The new facility will be four stories and have five 2-bedroom units, eight 3-bedroom units, and three 4-bedroom units to continue serving large families experiencing homelessness.
While the Board of Supervisors owns the existing building, which will be demolished, the surrounding land and parking areas are controlled by the Hollybrooke II Condominium Association.
“For that reason, the [board] must obtain land rights in order to commence construction of the project,” North said. “With final approvals and purchase, the separation and ownership will transfer to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.”
The project is currently being reviewed by the county’s land development and planning staff. North says approvals from both departments are expected to come late this year.
Voters approved $48 million in bond money for the project and three other shelters in 2016. Those include the Embry Rucker Shelter in Reston, a joint fire station and Eleanor Kennedy Shelter relocation project in Penn Daw, and the Bailey’s Crossroads facility that opened in 2019.
The county has been working to increase its permanent housing assistance, making 1,645 beds available this year — a 12% increase from last year, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ annual Point-in-Time count released May 4.
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
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.