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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Truck parking ban approved for three streets in central Annandale



Daniels Avenue across the street from American Legion Post 1976.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution Oct. 8 prohibiting commercial trucks from parking on Poplar Street and parts of Daniel Avenue and the Little River Turnpike service road in central Annandale.

The parking restriction would ban commercial vehicles, recreational vehicles, and trailers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Owners of businesses in the area, as well as members of the Annandale Chamber of Commerce and Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee have long complained about large trucks lining those streets, including many from out of state, and urged Mason Supervisor Penny Gross to take action.

The service road at Little River Turnpike.
These roads have become “a public storage area,” Gross said at the hearing. “This is a problem that has been vexing the community for quite some time. One person’s prized vehicle is another person’s nightmare.” While it is an aesthetic issue, it is primarily about safety, she said.

The parking restriction will take effect as soon as the signs are put up, which is expected to take a couple of weeks, Gross said. If trucks move to other streets in central Annandale, the parking ban could be expanded.

The only person who spoke at the hearing against the parking ban was Darius Bly, a long-time Annandale resident and Annandale High School graduate who owns the A. Settles Turf Farm in Culpeper County. He told the BoS he used to rent property in Annandale for parking, but “those areas have long been developed,” so he’s been keeping his single-axle flatbed truck on Popular or Daniels for the past 15 years or so. That area is convenient for his employees, he says.

“I was very worried and surprised” to hear of the proposed parking restrictions,” Bly says. “Losing this parking area would be a great hindrance to me,” he says, noting he’s never heard any complaints before. He says he might have to park his truck at the driveway at his house in Camelot but doesn’t think his neighbors would like that.

Another Annandale business owner, Elliott Guzman didn’t speak at the hearing, but told the Annandale Blog earlier this week that he opposes the parking ban, too because it would present a hardship for his business, EGC Enterprises, which uses a couple of dump trucks to haul materials to and from construction sites. He parks the trucks on Daniels Avenue because it’s close to his home.

At the hearing, a man representing a property owner at 7137 Little River Turnpike urged the BoS to support the parking restriction because “enormous commercial vehicles” create a hazard for drivers entering and exiting the parking lot by limiting the line of sight. They also block the visibility of businesses, making it hard to customers to find them. Businesses located at that address are Ara Restaurant, Dolce Bakery & Cafe, and Lambros Goldsmith.

Richard Semmler, speaking on behalf of the Annandale Gardens condominium association, urged the BoS to support the ban, citing the safety of the growing number of children in the area. He also noted there’s a large box truck always parked at the Popular/Daniels intersection that block drivers’ visibility.

John Vincent, a long-time resident and employee of Annandale Gardens, asked the BoS to extend the parking restriction to include the rest of Daniels Avenue in front of the condos. Otherwise the trucks would just move there, he said.

Maria Turner, a senior transportation planner with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said large commercial vehicles are already banned from that area because it is zoned R-20, although recreational vehicles and single-axle trailers could park there.

Local business owners who also spoke about the danger to pedestrians and customers include Mike McGill of McGill’s Famous Pizza and Buffet on Little River Turnpike and Gwen Estep, owner of a business at 7272 Poplar Street.

Roy McCracken, commander of American Legion Bicentennial Post 1976 on Daniels, said the post has about 700 members and just 20 spaces in its parking lot. When the post has large social events, some veterans in wheel chairs or with canes have to park a quarter of a mile away because the nearby streets are full of trucks, many with license plates from Maryland or D.C.

“Each truck takes up two or three spaces that should really be for the convenience of our veterans,” added Dick George, also representing Post 1976.

12 comments:

  1. The only people who are upset are the owners who GASP now will have to pay to store their commercial vehicles. The street is not a free storage area because you want to cut costs and save some time. You can always pay somebody like the United Methodist Church on Columbia Pike to store your vehicle overnight. I see they allow massive tour buses to park there.

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  2. Yay! Could this be the beginning of the beautification of Annandale?

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    1. Though I do agree the trucks on Daniels need to go, I think Annandale is plenty beautiful already - it has more character and charm than most towns in NoVA, and more than places like Burke or Fair Lakes will ever be able to hope for.

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    2. Hardly get all of the illegals off the streets and make all the Asia's / Korean's change their business signs to English. This is AMERICA!!

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    3. Yeah... This is America, where your white ancestors killed natives, animals, and natures just to have a better life..

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    4. Your comment doesn't make any sense to my previous comment. And please don't make speculations about my ancestors, you DON'T know me!

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  3. Clarification please? Does Maria Turner's comment about commercial vehicles already being banned because of R-20 zoning refer to the 3 streets in the article or just to Daniels Ave in front of the condos?

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  4. She is referring to the section of Daniels in front of the condos. That area is R-20. The rest of Daniels and the other streets where parking will be restricted are zoned commercial. Truck parking is legal in commercial areas unless it is specifically banned.

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  5. Funny... if you look at the Google Maps satellite view of these streets, there are big trucks parked on them in the satellite view.

    Darius Bly's logic (that it's okay to park in front of a business unrelated to him, but his neighbors would object if he parked in his own driveway) is a head shaker. Can't he see that what his neighbors object to is also what other property owners object to?

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  6. I was thinking the same thing as the above poster. Bly cannot be serious. He said he doesnt want to park it at HIS house because the way it looks so he parks it outside of other peoples businesses and thinks thats okay?

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  7. Making this new law is NOT the biggest problem Annandale has ! I've been a resident of this city for 28 yrs. and sad to say I'm embarrassed to call it my home. This city is trashy, and over populated with foreigners. Banning commercial trucks to park on the street owned by small businesses is the least of the city's concern. How about they focus on getting all of the illegal Mexican's off every corner, who constantly loiter and solicit young women who walk by. Or all the Asian Korean restaurants that only advertise in their native language. For God sake this is America!

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