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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Repaving, bike lanes planned for Mason District

Evergreen Lane

The Virginia Department of Transportation has confirmed that Annandale Road will be repaved this summer, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross told the audience at a public meeting on bicycle lanes March 25 at George Mason Regional Library. Repaving and bicycle lanes are also planned for Evergreen Lane, but that project has not yet been confirmed by VDOT.

Repaving projects provide a good opportunity for the county to designate bicycle lanes in accordance with the county’s Bicycle Master Plan approved by the Board of Supervisors last fall.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Residents want a do-over of Seven Corners plan

Fairfax County staff and members of the Mason District Land Use Committee discuss Seven Corners.
Residents of the Seven Corners community urged the Mason District Land Use Committee to defer a recommendation on the redevelopment plan approved by the Seven Corners Task Force. Their concerns about the plan were expressed at the MDLUC meeting March 25 following a presentation by Fairfax County staff.

Residents are concerned the plan would allow too much residential density, that there is no funding for the transportation improvements, and that there weren’t enough opportunities for community input.

James Lee community mourns football coach Frank Grant

The community lost a “quiet titan” when Frank Grant III, the football coach and commissioner of the James Lee Community Center Sports Association in Falls Church, died suddenly on March 18, reports Will Nelson, whose son used to play on the team. Grant, 51, suffered from a heart attack.  

A candlelight vigil is planned for Saturday, March 28, at 5 p.m., at the James Lee Community Center, and other events are planned to commemorate Grant will be held throughout the year, says his colleague, Donald Lee. The funeral will be held on Monday, March 30, at 11 a.m. at Galloway United Methodist Church, 306 Annandale Road, Falls Church, preceded by a viewing at 10 a.m.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spectrum shopping center goes back to the drawing board

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted March 24 to “defer indefinitely” the rezoning application for the proposed Spectrum shopping center on Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads.

Following many discussions with the community and the developer, “we asked the developer to go back to the drawing board and rework the plan for the shopping center,” said Mason Supervisor Penny Gross. She doesn’t expect the new plan to be available until later this spring or early summer.

Habitat for Humanity renovates bug-infested house for first-time homeowner

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia has turned a roach-infested, heavily damaged townhouse in Annandale into a beautifully redone home for a lower-income first-time homebuyer.

The four-bedroom house at 4537 Garbo Court, in the Cavalcade community off Ravensworth Road, was donated to Habitat in winter 2014 by Mary Ann Elliott.

Rev. Jon Smoot, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, describes Elliott as “an extremely generous person of means” who had heard about “a struggling homeless single mother with four children who had just secured work and was moving out of homelessness.”

“Out of the generosity of her heart, Mary Ann contacted the family a couple of years ago and bought the townhouse for them,” Smoot says. All the woman had to do was keep up with the utility bills and homeowner association fees. Once she got on her feet financially, she would be expected to pay rent.

Juvenile arrested for DWI, hit and run

A Fairfax County police officer attempted to stop the driver of a vehicle for suspected driving while intoxicated on March 22 at about 2 a.m. on Leesburg Pike near Nevius Street in the Culmore area.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Residents urge new approach to Seven Corners redevelopment

Del. Kaye Kory and several local residents plan to ask Mason Supervisor Penny Gross to revisit the redevelopment plan for Seven Corners recommended by the Seven Corners Land Use and Transportation Task Force.

The Mason District Land Use Committee is scheduled to review the Seven Corners Task Force proposal March 24. The residents plan to ask the MDLUC to delay that discussion. The Seven Corners plan is  on the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s agenda for May 7.

Fairfax County officials educate neighborhood leaders

Jeff Blackford, director of the Department of Code Compliance, and Rachel Perrott of the DCC.
About 300 or so local residents – including many civic association and homeowner association board members – attended Fairfax County’s first-ever Neighborhood and Community Leaders Conference March 22 at Luther Jackson Middle School.

At a session on code compliance, staff from the Department of Code Compliance (DCC) talked about violations involving the county’s building codes and other regulations. “Life safety is our top priority,” said Cat Lunsford.

Woodrow Wilson Library reopens


The renovated Woodrow Wilson Library reopened March 21. Opening day festivities for the library, on 6101 Knollwood Drive in the Culmore area, included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, Rep. Gerry Connolly, and other county officials and children’s entertainment. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Annandale Terrace planning 50th anniversary celebration

Annandale Terrace in the 1960s. Do you recognize anyone?
Annandale Terrace Elementary School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. A community celebration at the school will take place June 5, 6-8 p.m.

“The plans are evolving as we hear from more and more people,” says Principal Andrea Garris. Former students and staff members will be invited, including principals Mary Ann Ryan, who led the school in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, and Chris Dickens, who was principal until 2010.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dominion plans to bury some power lines in Columbia Pines

Sue Hollcroft of Dominion explains the process for burying power lines. [Photo by Mary Ellen Dawley]
By Bob Kovacs

About 10 residents of the Columbia Pines neighborhood in Annandale attended a presentation by Dominion Virginia Power March 18 on the company’s plans to replace overhead power lines with underground lines on Brenda Lane, Bruce Lane, and a section of Terrace Drive between Murray Lane and Larchmont Drive. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Glory Days Grill won't be coming to Barcroft Plaza

Fairfax County shut down Han-Sung Oak in 2013 for failure to comply with building codes.
Plans for a Glory Days Grill at Barcroft Plaza on Columbia Pike have fallen through. A couple of other non-restaurant tenants are being considered for the site, which has been vacant since the Han-Sung Oak Restaurant closed in August 2013. A spokesperson for the shopping center owner, Federal Realty Investment Trust, won’t disclose the tenant until the agreement is finalized.

Jeff Newman, president of Glory Days Inc., is disappointed the deal didn’t work out. Noting that there aren’t any other similar casual restaurants/sports bars nearby, he said, “Barcroft would have been perfect. Federal Realty thought so, too. But at the end of the day, it comes down to numbers, and they feel they can do better.”