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Fairfax County Government Center (staff photo by James Jarvis)

As anticipated, Fairfax County is looking at a tight budget for the coming year that will once again lean primarily on residential property owners to offset a declining commercial tax base.

County Executive Bryan Hill has proposed a 4-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, even as he presented an advertised fiscal year 2025 budget to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday (Tuesday) that largely limits spending to obligations like public schools and employee compensation.

If adopted, this would be the county’s first real estate tax rate increase in six years, Hill said in a message to the board. Last year, Hill proposed a flat tax rate that the board ultimately reduced by 1.5 cents to $1.095 per $100 of assessed value, though property owners still saw their bills go up by $412, on average, due to rising home values.

The proposed tax rate of $1.135 per $100 for FY 2025, which starts on July 1, would raise the average tax bill by just over $524 and generate $129.28 million in revenue, according to the county.

“We are seeing some residential growth, but our commercial values have declined, resulting in an overall real estate growth of just over 2.7%,” Hill said. “Paired with significant expenditure pressures — particularly for employee pay and benefits, transportation requirements, and continued inflationary impacts — balancing this proposed budget has required difficult decisions.”

Home values up, commercial values down

Real estate tax revenue provides about 66% of the county’s general funds, which supports most county operations, from public safety agencies to libraries and parks. For FY 2025, more than three-quarters of that revenue (76.7%) will come from residential owners, who are facing an average assessment increase of 2.86% for 2024.

Though the number of home sales in the county last year declined, prices have continued to climb “due to low inventory,” Hill said. The average value of the county’s over 357,000 taxable residential properties for 2024 is $744,526, up from $723,825 in 2023.

By contrast, non-residential property values have dropped for the first time in three years by 1.24%, a dip mostly driven by a struggling office market. About 21.6 million square feet, or 17.2%, of the county’s 119.5 million square feet of office space is vacant — an uptick from last year’s rate of 16.7%, which was already a 10-year high.

With another 1 million square feet of office space under construction, mostly in Metro’s Silver Line corridor, the pressure to revitalize or replace under-utilized office buildings will likely only intensify going forward.

“That space is going to be snapped up quickly, which is going to create situations around our county that will be then vacant,” Hill said when asked by Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk about possible remedies. “We have to figure out ways to fill those spaces, whether it is converting or doing something different on that plot of land. We have done a pretty good job in certain areas of revitalizing…but we need to do more.”

Schools and compensation dominate spending

With some growth projected from other sources, including an 8.8% increase in personal property taxes and a proposed 10-cent-per-pack increase in taxes on cigarettes, the county anticipates getting $363.22 million more in revenue than it did this budget year.

However, Hill says he proposed spending only on “adjustments which I feel are essential to maintain the quality workforce and dependable services upon which our residents rely.” Read More

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Morning Notes

A mural in Fairfax Circle depicts the Old Town Square splash pad (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

TSA Gives First-Ever Tour of Springfield Warehouse — “In a non-descript building right off I-95 in Springfield, Virginia, there are thousands of artifacts from the Transportation Security Administration. Old X-ray machines, explosive detectors, TSA call kiosks, counterterrorism pamphlets and guides are all stored, in a warehouse containing the wall-to-wall physical history of the agency.” [NBC4]

Tysons Developer’s Real Estate Plans Unclear — “Lerner Enterprises hasn’t announced any acquisitions, sales, renovations or new office leases since 2022. The 72-year-old firm also hasn’t provided updates on the millions of square feet of planned development it has in its pipeline, including the fate of two demolished shopping malls where communities have been waiting years to see activity.” [Bisnow]

Reston Resident Details CIA Career in New Book — “Over the course of her 27-year CIA career, Jonna Mendez, pulled off dazzling capers…Now 78 and living in Reston, Mendez’s career as a master of disguise is revealed with jarring transparency in her new memoir, In True Face: A Woman’s Life in the CIA, Unmasked, available March 5.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Navy Veteran Celebrates 100th B-Day at Local Hooters — “For the 10th year in a row, U.S. Navy veteran Glenn Ward celebrated his birthday at the Hooters in Fairfax City. But this year was a little different, because on Friday, the Arlington resident turned 100. Friends and family members from California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada showed up…for a party that included balloons, cake and chicken wings.” [Patch]

Bailey’s Crossroads Office Set for Demolition Has History — “A soon-to-be-demolished office building in Bailey’s Crossroads once housed a company that played an important played a role in the Cold War. The two-story cinderblock building at 5623 Leesburg Pike…is being torn down to facilitate a second drive-through lane and an expanded parking lot for the McDonald’s next door.” [Annandale Today]

New Amenities Coming to Woodlawn Ballpark — “Following several years of grassroots fundraising and advocating with Fairfax County, the Woodlawn Little League will soon witness the groundbreaking of a comfort station and concessions building at McNaughton Fields Park.” The 784-square-foot facility will feature “a concession stand, restrooms and storage.” [On the MoVe]

Tysons-Based Capital One to Buy Credit-Card Rival — “Capital One’s $35.3 billion deal to buy Discover is a long way from being completed. But consumer advocates and some lawmakers are already raising questions about how the proposed merger could affect credit-card users — many of whom are already under pressure from high interest rates and record debts.” [NBC News]

Tysons Show Featured in Netflix Comedy Special — “That’s how Taylor Tomlinson opens her new Netflix standup special ‘Have It All,’ which premiered this past week on Feb. 13 and currently ranks in the Top 10 TV Shows on Netflix. It was filmed at Capital One Hall…on Nov. 18, 2023, just weeks after announcing her new late-night talk show ‘After Midnight.'” [WTOP]

It’s Wednesday — Expect sunny skies and a high of 49 degrees, accompanied by a light, variable wind that will increase to around 6 mph from the southeast in the morning. The night will remain mostly clear with temperatures dropping to about 32 degrees, and a gentle southeast breeze blowing at 3 to 5 mph. [Weather.gov]

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Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology’s current admissions policy will remain in place after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a lawsuit alleging that it discriminates against Asian students.

The Supreme Court denied a petition for a hearing today (Tuesday) by the Coalition for TJ, an advocacy group that sued the Fairfax County School Board in 2021 after the admissions process for the highly competitive magnet school was revised with the goal of diversifying the student body.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case ends a legal battle that lasted nearly three years and could’ve upended diversity initiatives in public education nationwide.

“We have long believed that the new admissions process is both constitutional and in the best interest of all of our students,” said School Board Chair Karl Frisch, who represents Providence District. “It guarantees that all qualified students from all neighborhoods in Fairfax County have a fair shot at attending this exceptional high school.”

The school board voted in December 2020 to eliminate a standardized test and application fee that were previously required for students seeking admittance into Thomas Jefferson High School (TJ). The board also raised the minimum grade point average for applicants, guaranteed eligibility to the top 1.5% of eighth graders at each middle school and added essay requirements and consideration of “experience factors” such as a student’s status as a recipient of free meals or involvement in special education.

Spurred by student activism after Fairfax County Public Schools reported that fewer than 10 Black students had been accepted in both 2019 and 2020, the policy overhaul has resulted in more diverse classes at TJ, particularly in terms of geography and income, since the changes took effect in 2021 for the Class of 2025.

Though Asian students got 61.6% of offers for the freshman class that entered last fall, compared to 19% for white students, 6.7% for Black students and 6% for Hispanic students, the Coalition for TJ has argued that the revised policy was designed to reduce the number of Asian students at the school, violating Constitutional protections against racial discrimination.

A district court judge agreed with the coalition in 2022 that Asian American students were “disproportionately harmed,” ordering FCPS to scrap the new admissions policy. However, that ruling was overturned last May by an appeals court panel that found the coalition had failed to prove that the school board “adopted its race-neutral policy with any discriminatory intent.”

The coalition petitioned the Supreme Court to pick up the case after the justices ruled in June 2023 that colleges can’t explicitly consider race as part of their admissions processes, ending decades of affirmative action programs intended to boost Black, Hispanic and other often underrepresented students.

Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Joshua Thompson, who represented the Coalition for TJ, says the Supreme Court “missed an important opportunity” to address admissions policies like the ones adopted for TJ that don’t explicitly consider race but still affect student demographics.

“Today, the American Dream was dealt a blow, but we remain committed to protecting the values of merit, equality, and justice,” Coalition for TJ co-founder Asra Nomani said in a statement. “…For the courageous families who have tirelessly fought for the principles that our nation holds dear, this decision is a setback but not a death blow to our commitment to the American Dream, which promises equal opportunity and justice for all.”

In a statement from FCPS, Frisch noted that TJ has accepted students from every Fairfax County middle school and maintained an average grade-point average for its incoming classes of 3.9 over the past three years.

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Inova Center for Personalized Health (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The University of Virginia is expanding its presence in Fairfax County.

The Charlottesville-based institution will add a new site for its Northern Virginia campus next year in Merrifield, where it has leased 55,000 square feet at the Inova Center for Personalized Health (8095 Innovation Park Drive), the Washington Business Journal reported last week.

According to the WBJ, UVA will move into the second and third floors of Building C on Inova’s campus, which opened in 2015 and features a conference center, a sports medicine hub, a fitness and rehab center, and cancer services in the Schar Cancer Institute. Designated for office and educational uses, Building C already hosts health care programs for Shenandoah University.

Intended to serve the university’s significant base of students from the D.C. area, UVA Northern Virginia’s Fairfax site will house a variety of degree programs as well as classes for high school students and workforce training, the WBJ says:

The university’s new space, slated to open in January, would serve as a D.C.-area base for programs across the university’s schools and departments, such as master’s degrees in health or engineering. It’s also designed to serve as a hub for education beyond its degree programs: classes for high schoolers in creative writing, forensic science and coding set for this summer; or, perhaps, trainings for companies, in which employers would cover the costs for their employees.

The site will also be used as a space for testing new programs that could later be expanded to other campuses.

“The populations are different,” UVA Northern Virginia Dean and CEO Gregory Fairchild told the WBJ. “Thinking and testing you’ll see us do will probably — potentially, over time — lead to something different here that we wouldn’t do in Charlottesville.”

UVA launched its Northern Virginia campus in Rosslyn on Sept. 22, 2021, offering courses for its schools of business, engineering, education, data science and continuing and professional studies. Officials said at the time that the Arlington site was “just the beginning” of their plans for the region.

The university previously shared space with Virginia Tech at the Northern Virginia Center (7054 Haycock Road) in Idylwood, but it left in 2020 after declining to support a redevelopment. The property was sold last fall to a development team that will transform it into a construction hub with housing, a Virginia Tech research lab and a headquarters building for HITT Contracting.

UVA’s new site at the Center for Personalized Health will build on its existing collaboration with Inova Fairfax Hospital, which serves as a teaching hospital for the university’s medical students.

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Shake Shack has staked out an opening date in Tysons.

The fast-food restaurant’s new location at Pike 7 Plaza (8350 Leesburg Pike) will welcome its first customers at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). Free merchandise, including custom mugs, phone Pop-sockets and stickers, will be available for roughly 100 patrons.

In addition, Shake Shack says it will donate $1 for every sandwich sold on its opening day to Northern Virginia Family Service, a nonprofit that provides financial and housing assistance, physical and mental health services, early childhood education programs and other community resources for those in need.

This is Shake Shack’s fifth location in Northern Virginia and its second in Tysons, where it can be found just east on Leesburg Pike (Route 7) inside Tysons Corner Center. The company also has restaurants at the Mosaic District in Merrifield, inside the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly and in Arlington.

The Pike 7 Plaza location, however, utilizes a relatively unique concept.

Newly constructed in the shopping center’s parking lot, the 3,200-square-foot building features outdoor patio seating and a “drive-up” window exclusively for drivers picking up online orders. The drive aisle for the window can fit 11 to 12 vehicles, according to the plan that Fairfax County’s board approved in 2022.

A Shake Shack representative says the company has “a few” other drive-up locations, but this is the first one in Northern Virginia.

“We’re delighted to bring a new Shake Shack location to our loyal fans in Northern Virginia at Pike 7 Plaza,” a Shake Shack spokesperson said. “This easily accessible spot, complete with a drive-up window for added convenience, allows us to connect with our guests more effectively and meet them where they’re at. Our team is excited to become part of the community, offering our signature warm hospitality, top-quality ingredients, and a menu filled with exciting options.”

Started in 2001 as a hot dog cart in New York City, Shake Shack opened its first restaurant in 2004 and now has over 500 of them around the world. Recently, it has focused on expanding digital sales and adding drive-thru locations, which were introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the milkshakes suggested by its name, the business sells burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, crinkle-cut fries and frozen custard. It’s also currently serving a limited-time “Korean style” menu featuring a fried chicken sandwich, barbecue burger and spicy Korean barbecue fries.

The Pike 7 Plaza restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Online orders can be placed through Shake Shack’s website and mobile app.

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Morning Notes

The Trillium Tysons is taking shape in the next phase of The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another Pedestrian Killed in Richmond Highway Crash — “A man is dead after a hit-and-run crash Sunday night in Fairfax County, Virginia. Police said it happened just before 10:45 p.m. on Richmond Highway at Buckman Road in Woodlawn…Police told WTOP that witnesses described the striking vehicle as a white Lexus. Officers found the car and the man about two miles away from the scene and arrested him for felony hit-and-run.” [WTOP]

No Metro Funding in Senate’s Budget Proposal — “Democrats who control Virginia’s General Assembly set out battle lines with Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Sunday over the state budget and teed up their own conflict between the Senate, which did not include budget plans for the Metro transit system or a sports arena in Alexandria for the Capitals and Wizards, and the House of Delegates, which did.” [Washington Post]

Two Injured in Sunday House Fire — “#FCFRD is on scene of a house fire in the 6600 blk of Chestnut Ave in West Falls Church. The fire is under control. One civilian being transported with life-threatening injuries. One firefighter is being evaluated for a minor injury.” [FCFRD/Twitter]

Reston Man Dies From Bacterial Disease — “The statewide outbreak of meningococcal disease has claimed the life of a Reston man, his family says…In Virginia, that strain of meningococcal disease has been detected in 32 people in Virginia since June 2022. An outbreak was declared in September. Six people have died across the state.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Nearby: Firefighter Killed in Sterling House Explosion — “Authorities have identified the firefighter killed in Friday night’s ‘catastrophic’ house explosion in Sterling as 45-year-old Trevor Brown…Eleven other firefighters and two civilians were injured in the explosion, which one fire official called ‘total devastation.'” [Inside NoVA]

Scholarships Offered to People in Subsidized Housing — “People who live in affordable housing supported by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) will have the opportunity to apply for academic scholarships beginning March 1, 2024. Up to ten applicants will receive a $5,000 scholarship for postsecondary education including technical training.” [FCRHA]

Business Leaders Suggest Ways to Boost Development — “Executives representing five Northern Virginia construction and development companies offered suggestions to Fairfax County leaders on how to improve the development process. The suggestions came during a panel discussion about Reston and Herndon’s residential, office and retail markets that took place Thursday morning in Reston Station.” [Patch]

Reston Art Exhibit Explores Impact of A.I. — “Reston Art Gallery and Studios presents AI & Us, an exclusive pop-up art exhibit of works created by numerous artists exploring the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our society. The concept for this special exhibit is the brainchild of Leah Zhang, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSS).” [Tysons Today]

It’s Tuesday — Expect mostly sunny conditions with temperatures reaching a high around 48 degrees, accompanied by a gentle east wind of 3 to 7 mph. As evening comes, the sky will turn partly cloudy, and the temperature will drop to around 28 degrees, with the east wind slightly decreasing to 3 to 6 mph. [Weather.gov]

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Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column alternating with “Exploring Fairfax” that takes a deeper look around Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris and Aaron Nichols of McEnearney Associates Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479 and Aaron at 703-915-9852.

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A U.S. Postal Service truck in Vienna during the Jan. 19, 2024 snowstorm (photo by Amy Woolsey)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) The northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will close tonight (Friday) in anticipation of some snowfall, the National Park Service says.

The closure will start at 7 p.m. and extend from the Capital Beltway (I-495) in McLean to Spout Run in Arlington.

“This closure is necessary to ensure the proper treatment of the roadway and to restore the parkway to safe travel conditions,” the park service said in its announcement of the closure this morning. “Crews will work diligently to treat the road for safe passage of drivers. Drivers should anticipate delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway as crews are required to use smaller equipment than usual to accommodate the lane widths and configurations.”

Drivers are advised to plan to use an alternate route.

As rehabilitation work continues on the northern GW Parkway, the NPS instituted a policy this winter of closing the road whenever 2 or more inches of snow are forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory this morning for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County that will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Two to four inches of snow are expected, though some areas could potentially see as many as six inches, according to the advisory.

The impending storm has already prompted the Town of Vienna to cancel classes that were scheduled for tomorrow at the Vienna Community Center and Bowman House.

“The Community Center is expected to open at 10:30 a.m. for rentals and public use,” the town said in a tweet.

Fairfax County Public Schools has nixed all activities set to take place on school grounds before noon tomorrow, including extracurricular activities, athletic team practices and non-FCPS community and recreational programs.

Here’s the full advisory from the NWS:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST SATURDAY…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated totals up to 6 inches possible under heavier snow bands.

* WHERE…Portions of central Maryland, The District of Columbia, and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 11 PM this evening to 7 AM EST Saturday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible for a few hours under the heaviest snow bands. Visibility may be reduced to less than one half mile at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

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Traffic on Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) facing Seven Corners (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax County is continuing talks on a proposal that could allow some residents to better access their homes in areas with certain traffic restrictions.

Cut-through mitigation restrictions prohibit turns into neighborhoods from major transit corridors during rush hour. While the restrictions aim to prevent local roads from getting jammed by drivers trying to evade traffic, it can make it challenging for residents to legally access their homes on those streets.

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is proposing a residential cut-through permit zone that would exempt residents in affected neighborhoods from the restrictions by providing permits for their vehicle. Signs that restrict turns would be changed to say “resident permit required.”

After first proposing the permit program in early 2023, FCDOT presented an update to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at a transportation committee meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 15).

Currently, the county is considering introducing the program in three areas with existing cut-through restrictions.

  • Carolyn Drive and Nicholson Street in Lake Barcroft
  • Oxford Street and Downing Street in Annandale
  • Thomas Avenue in Great Falls

“There are approximately 350 addresses that are impacted, and that could initially seek impairments if this program were implemented,” county transportation planner Henri Stein McCartney said.

Another seven communities are in the process of implementing cut-through restrictions.

“If all seven projects were implemented, we would expect to have approximately 1,300 addresses county-wide that could participate in the program,” McCartney said.

Fairfax County currently has seven communities requesting cut-through traffic restrictions (via FCDOT)

In January, the Board of Supervisors directed FCDOT to work with the Department of Tax Administration on revenue collection options for the program.

“In those conversations, tax administration recommended that we speak with the vendor that they currently have under contract for the county’s parking enforcement software,” McCartney said. “We are very early in our conversations with this vendor.”

FCDOT will return to the committee in June with additional information on using the vendor, she added.

The department is proposing a $25 permit fee for residents participating in the program. If the permits are implemented for all of the areas that have or are currently considering cut-through traffic restrictions, the county could collect an estimated $33,000 to $99,000 in gross revenue.

Chairman Jeff McKay questioned how the program would be enforced, saying it could put law enforcement in “awkward positions.”

“I don’t think we want our police checking every car that comes down the street during a certain period of time to verify residency,” he said. “I mean, to me…there’s a whole lot of problems with that.”

In its presentation, FCDOT noted that some neighboring jurisdictions, including Fairfax City, Vienna and Alexandria, have turn restrictions but don’t require permits for residents to legally access local roads. The only jurisdiction that does offer residents permits to get around turn restrictions is Falls Church City.

“Why did they decide to not offer permits and then how do they do enforcement? Because to me, that’s a really critical question here,” McKay said.

An officer with the Fairfax County Police Department conceded “it would probably be difficult to enforce,” adding that he couldn’t speak to what other localities are doing.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn asked county staff to look into automated enforcement as an option.

McCartney said she was unaware of any other jurisdictions currently using automated enforcement, but the vendor they’re working with offers it.

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Patrick Henry Library in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Town of Vienna’s future library will bear a name with close ties to its past.

Fairfax County Public Library’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved “Vienna-Carter” as the new name for Patrick Henry Library at its meeting on Wednesday (Feb. 14). The name change will officially take effect once the library reopens after an expansion project that’s expected to start later this year and finish in fall 2026.

The vote inspired applause at the back of the George Mason Regional Library meeting room where the board convened. Among those clapping were Hoyt and Dee Dee Carter, a grandson and cousin, respectively, of Patrick Henry Library’s new namesakes, William and Lillian Carter.

“I’m very thrilled,” Dee Dee Carter said after the meeting adjourned. “I’m elated because it was unanimous. Nobody did a pushback, and I’m glad they’re in favor of it.”

Aware of the upcoming renovation, the Carters, who still live in Vienna, proposed last year that Patrick Henry Library be renamed after their family, who were instrumental in getting Fairfax County to integrate the facility when it launched in 1962.

Before Patrick Henry was established, Vienna’s only library was a one-room building on Maple Avenue that only served white residents. One day in the 1950s, the Vienna Library Association’s board of trustees even came to the Carters’ home and took back books that a white woman had checked out for their children, including Hoyt Carter’s father.

That incident spurred the Carters to start an informal “Friends of the Library” group in 1958 that met in their living room, according to a family story recounted in Christopher Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre’s book “Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries.”

With an interracial membership that included Kenton Kilmer, the son of poet Joyce Kilmer, the friends’ group successfully desegregated Vienna’s library, overcoming the opposition of the library association’s president to revise its charter to allow all patrons regardless of race.

Dee Dee Carter says one of her cousins, Sharon Honesty, was one of the first African American patrons to use Patrick Henry when it opened in Vienna’s Maple Avenue Shopping Center in 1962. The library moved to its current site at 101 Maple Avenue East in 1971.

“We were talking about Blacks being able to go in and use the library and use books from the library, so I feel that it’s a wonder to have this now happen,” Hoyt Carter said of Patrick Henry getting renamed after his grandparents.

Though the vote was unanimous, some board members reported getting questions and emails asking why the name change was being considered.

While the renaming wasn’t subject to a public hearing, FCPL Director Jessica Hudson said community members had several opportunities to weigh in at board meetings, including before the board approved an update to its facility naming policy last November.

The change had gotten the support of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn and some Vienna Town Council members, though the council didn’t take an official stance, according to FCPL Board Chair Brian Engler.

Dee Dee Carter told FFXnow that she hasn’t heard anyone object to the new name, which was initially proposed to be “Carter-Vienna.” FCPL’s policy requires library names to reference their geographical location, and the board ultimately decided that the location should go first.

Suzanne Levy, the board’s vice chair and Fairfax City representative, expressed hope that the renaming will draw attention to the library system’s history.

“We’re not hiding what the county used to do,” she said. “It opens discussion and shows that we’re moving forward.”

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