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Friday, February 22, 2013

Mason District Council urges county to take action on litter

Litter by a parking lot in central Annandale.
The Mason District Council (MDC) passed a resolution Feb. 21 calling on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the Fairfax County Police Department to enforce the state law banning litter and to “adopt more stringent standards in litter prevention by increasing litter enforcement throughout the year.”

Under state law, dumping trash on highways or private property is a class-one misdemeanor. Those found guilty are subject to jail terms up to 12 months and fines of $250 to $2,500. The resolution also urges county officials to facilitate the issuance of VDOT permitting for the Adopt-a-Highway program and to use the Fairfax County Office of the Sheriff’s Community Labor Force program to pick up litter.

Litter has been an ongoing issue for the MDC, which represents civic and homeowners associations throughout the Mason District. According to a survey conducted by the MDC, the physical condition of area businesses and roadways is the number-one concern of Mason residents. The survey results were discussed at the MDC’s Town Hall in January.

MDC is encouraging neighborhood groups to schedule cleanup events. There will be an Annandale cleanup on April 6, and the annual Culmore Cleanup Day will be April 20. See the Annandale Blog calendar or MDC website for more information on those and other cleanup events.

The MDC also passed a resolution aimed at promoting transparency in Fairfax County Public Schools financial and program audits. The resolution urges the school board to remove FCPS managers from the School Board Audit Committee and add two or more voting community representatives to the committee who are qualified financial experts and are independent of FCPS management. It also calls for the establishment of a separate, independent school board office to perform audits. 

The MDC encouraged its member community associations to endorse the efforts by Concerned Residents of Landmark, a coalition of neighborhood groups fighting a ramp under development on Interstate 395 between the Edsall Road and Duke Street exits. The group charges the project will lead to dangerously high levels of air pollution and VDOT failed to conduct an appropriate environmental impact study.

Also at the meeting, Eileen Garnett described efforts by the Annandale Commercial Business District Planning Committee to maintain the Annandale streetscape and encourage new businesses to follow the committee’s design guidelines. If it hadn't been for those efforts, central Annandale would be in much worse shape.


  1. A major source of ongoing litter is due to a lack of trash receptacles along busy pedestrian walkways and especially at bus stops. Transit prohibits carrying food and beverages on board, so often people have no option but to abandon their trash at curbside.

    In the cases where trash cans or bags are offered, they are frequently left overflowing for days, leaving a literal trash heap to blow around. (See stop on John Marr in front of Kmart as a prime example.)

  2. I applaud Ms. Garnett and others for their efforts at improving the appearance of Annandale, but until Fairfax County addresses the problem of illegal overcrowding of apartments in Annandale, no number of brick pavers, acorn lights, or landscaping is going to improve the appearance of the day laborers loitering all day long. Until the underlying cause of the loitering is addressed (the overcrowding of apartments in violation of county code), Annandale is going to continue to have a poor appearance and reputation.

  3. In the words of the late Betty Davis, and excuse me if I miss quote: "What a dump!"

  4. mason district is the dirtiest place i have ever lived in or seen. it looks like a 3rd world country. penny gross refuses to enforce the laws dealing with overcrowding, littering, parking etc. she needs to be voted out of office and someone voted in who actually cares. she runs on a platform of being enviromentally concerned. but that is a joke. it is time for her to move on. our neighborhood is filled with overcrowding, garbage everwhere, shopping carts in the neighborhoods etc. the streets, trees etc., are full of garbage. the people who work with her at the mason district office shame on them for not enforcing the law. how many of these officials actually live in mason district?

  5. Someone drives down my road every single night and tosses out soda bottles, fast food soda containers, and other trash. A neighbor goes out every morning for a walk and picks it up. I've offered, to the Police, the use of my property to set up a camera to catch them; I don't know if they weren't interested or if some law prevents them from doing this to capture evidence of someone regularly breaking the litter law. So between the strip of park land that is never tended by VDOT and the trash thrown out nightly, my little neighborhood is fast becoming an eyesore.