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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Supervisors approve Afghan funeral chapel on Braddock Road



A rendering of the funeral chapel planned for Braddock Road.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning special exception Jan. 27 to allow the construction of a funeral chapel at 6839 Braddock Road serving the Afghan community.

The applicant, Keith Martin, representing the Afghan Academy, agreed to a long list of development conditions, including limiting occupancy to 90 seats and adjusting the hours to reduce the impact on traffic at the busy Braddock/Backlick intersection.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Redevelopment under consideration for Annandale Kmart




Negotiations are under way to redevelop the Kmart property in Annandale with a mixed-use project, most likely consisting of apartments with retail on the ground floor. The discussions involve Sears Holding Corp., the parent company of Kmart and Sears; Amerikor Investment Group, the Maryland-based company that owns the Kmart shopping center; and the office of Mason Supervisor Penny Gross.  

Construction of Bailey's Upper play areas won't happen until 2016 at the earliest



The site plan for Bailey's Upper Elementary School, showing the proposed gym (red), outdoor play space (green), and sports court (blue). Leesburg Pike is along the bottom edge.

The gym and play area planned for Bailey’s Upper Elementary School probably won’t be built until 2016 or beyond.

Brady Rauch, of the design and construction department in Fairfax County Public Schools, told the Mason District Land Use Committee Jan. 27 that construction of the outdoor hard-surface sports court and green creative play area have to be built during the summer.

Mason land use committee opposes Baileys Gateway project


5600 Columbia Pike.

The Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) voted Jan. 27 to oppose a multifamily development at 5600 Columbia Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads. The committee’s role is advisory, so the vote means the MDLUC recommends the Fairfax County Planning Commission reject an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan to facilitate the project.

Scene around A-Town: Mr. Liberty



What was “Mr. Liberty” doing dancing around on Columbia Pike in Annandale on a bitterly cold afternoon yesterday? Adam Ghoneim, 19, wearing a turquoise Statue of Liberty hat and robe was trying to drum up business for Liberty Tax Service, at 4301 John Marr Drive, which is owned by his mother, Leslie Ghoneim. Adam, a graduate of Robinson Secondary School, works for Liberty 9-5 Monday through Thursday. When he’s not serving as a human billboard, he works at Papa John’s.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gross encourages property owners to remove unwanted donation boxes


A donation in a corner of the Choong Hwa Woon restaurant on John Marr Drive in Annandale.

Concerned about the proliferation of donation drop-off boxes sprouting up all over privately owned parking lots, Mason District SupervisorPenny Gross has written to commercial property owners advising that they have the right to remove boxes that have been placed without their permission. In Mason District, the boxes often become magnets for trash.

“I have received many constituent complaints about donation drop-off boxes and their blight on the community,” Gross writes in the Jan. 21 letter. “At my request, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning is working on language for a zoning ordinance amendment that would establish regulations for donation drop-off boxes.”

New friends group forming to support Audrey Moore RECenter



The pool at the Audrey Moore RECenter.

A new Friends of Audrey Moore RECenter group is being formed to obtain community input to identify, encourage, and advocate for improvements to the recreation center at Wakefield Park in Annandale.

The public is invited to a meeting, Feb. 5, 7:30 p.m., at Braddock Hall in the King’s Park Library building, 9000 Burke Lake Road, Burke, to discuss the organization and objectives of the friends group.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Police station commanders talk crime and safety with neighborhood leaders



From the left: Capt. David Smith (Mason), Capt. Kathleen Sefchick (West Springfield), and Capt. Jeff Powell (Franconia).
The commanders of the three police districts that cover parts of Mason District – Mason, West Springfield, and Franconia – spoke about crime and safety issues Jan. 24 at the first session of Supervisor Penny Gross’ 2015 leadershipseminar series.

Gross said Fairfax County has one of the lowest crime rates in the country among counties of similar size, noting there were only 16 homicides last year, most of them related to domestic conflicts. [That’s twice as many as the eight homicides reported in 2013, however.]

Redevelopment under consideration for Route 50 shopping center


Graham Park Plaza

Federal Realty Investment Trust, the owner of Graham Park Plaza, the shopping center on Route 50 formerly known as Loehmann’s Plaza, is considering redevelopment options, including a mixed-use building with multifamily housing on the upper floors and retail on the ground floor.

The company has asked Mason Supervisor Penny Gross’s office to solicit feedback from local residents about what type of retail they would like to see there and what benefits and concerns they might expect with new construction.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Stuff the Bus donation program will be in Annandale Feb. 14

Remember to pick up some extra food for Stuff the Bus when grocery shopping. [Fairfax County government]
Stuff the Bus: Helping Fairfax Families, the annual campaign to collect food donations for the needy, will be in Annandale Feb. 14.

A Fasttran bus will be in the Annandale Giant, 7137 Columbia Pike, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to drop off nonperishable items to help local food pantries restock after the holidays, a period when donations tend to reach the lowest point of the year.