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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Behind the Annandale newsstand: Is it a junkyard or a 'shop'?

Yard behind the newsstand as it looked on April 6.

During the Annandale Cleanup on Saturday morning, Cyra Doty and her fellow volunteers were disgusted by a huge pile of junk behind Anna ’N Dales Newsstand and Advance Electronics on 7025 Columbia Pike.What appears to be trash, though, is apparently part of a small engine repair business.

Doty calls the junkyard a major health concern and actually saw a huge raccoon, or possibly a fox, living in the mess on Saturday. Also of concern is the type of businesses that might be operating in the newsstand, as a member of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Community Labor Force who was helping with the Annandale Cleanup was told he could be “taken care of inside” for $40.

Doty had actually complained about the junkyard to Fairfax County code compliance officials and Mason Supervisor Penny Gross about 10 months ago and followed up several times since then. Code compliance staff told Doty that the property owners have been given a chance to clean up the property.

A mountain of old lawnmowers.

The Department of Code Compliance issued a notice of violation to the previous property owner of 7025 Columbia Pike last month, said county spokesperson Brian Worthy. “There are several small structures that have been added on back that are not included on the approved site plan for this property,” he said. However, now that the property was recently sold, he said the department “will issue an updated notice of violation to the new owner.”

The Annandale Cleanup volunteers also found a drain in the pavement behind the Goodwill store that appeared to be a grease pit for waste from the Juke Box Diner (7039 Columbia Pike). If that is the case, the waste will eventually drain into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Worthy said the Fairfax County Health Department will investigate.

When the Annandale Blog showed up at the lot behind Anna ’N Dales Newsstand on Tuesday, we found huge piles of old lawnmowers, bicycles, and scooters—and George Guida, the proprietor of George’s Small Engine Repair.

The scooter and bicycle section of George Guida's shop.
Guida, a resident of Falls Church, said he’s been operating his business there for about three years. “This is a shop, not a junkyard,” he said. He charges $70 for a lawnmower tune-up and $60 for first-time customers. He also repairs and sells chainsaws, weed eaters, snow blowers, and whatever similar machines he finds.

Guida said the place used to be a lot messier, but a truckload of junk and two tents were removed about a month ago after a county code inspector told him to clean up. Guida said his former partner, who has left the area, used to go dumpster diving to find building materials which were piled up all over the yard.

According to Guida, the owners will let him stay—although it’s uncertain whether his rent, currently $300 a month, will be increased. “We’re going to stay here forever,” he said. 

George Guida with his invention: a combination bicycle/lawnmower.


  1. Hilarious.

  2. Is this the same guy that tried running this junk business out of his home in Holmes Run/Sleepy Hollow? Similar name, subject of multiple complaints to Fairfax County Code Enforcement, so now moved to another location and doing the same thing?? What a sketchy eyesore.

  3. Guida is a total nut. I was jogging by one day and he told me (yes told me) out of the blue to help him load a giant mower into the back of his pickup truck. I told him he was able to hire somebody to do manual labor for him and went on my way. I've also noticed a few people who appear to be homeless hanging around that back area. One guy in particular always wears the same coat and outfit no matter what the weather is. He can be spotted on an old dilapidated bike. I've always wonder if this guy made some extra coin by letting people live on the property for a few bucks. Considering how low $300 a month rent is, he could make some decent cash and it would explain the people hanging around at all hours of the night.

  4. Lets arrange a march on Penny's office and demand that she do her damn job

  5. You have to be real important to get Penny to do anything other than show up at a press event.

    I cannot say that the junk is visible from the street. You might notice it if you buy gas at ASC or take the Kmart shortcut.

    There have been many " interesting " individuals roaming Annandale since the late 60's. Some came down from their trip and others moved on.

  6. You can see it as you drive up Evergreen Lane. You noticed the tents and stuff piled up.

  7. First, kudos to Cyra Doty for her dedication to our community. Next, it sounds like Penny is doing her job. A complaint was filed with her office, it was handed over to Code Enforcement, they are giving this guy a chance to clean up before legal action is taken, which is fair (but annoying). It is also appears that Mr. Guida has some "issues" that I am sure is making this is a more challenging case.

  8. Its yet another small ding in the quality of life we hear so much about. A shame, but the public service provided by Annandale Blog and others help...

  9. Time to retire Penny, even if its a republican

  10. Agreed - we need a fresh new Councilman/woman to represent Mason. For years (thanks to this blog) we have been discussing:
    - illegal yard sales
    - loitering
    - overcrowding at local schools/FFX Cty unwillingness to cooperate to free up land
    - overcrowded dwellings
    - illegal boarding houses
    - declining quality and variety of business in A-town
    ...and on and on

    If our elected representative cannot show action - OR AT LEAST A SYMPATHETIC EAR - it's time to put in someone new. Penny Gross has simply stopped listening to the real concerns of the community and/or acts completely powerless to help. At community forums, she either changes the subject to things she feels she's doing well - or - she throws her hands up and says "well, this is the way it is, we can't change it!"

    I live ONE block outside Mason District, or else I'd run against her myself. And I'm a 35 year old housewife with no political experience... isn't there SOMEONE who will step up? Let us get behind someone who can express a hopeful future for Annandale/Baileys! (

  11. The grease pit has been moved and they replaced it with a clean one. YEAH!

  12. I do not think you are 35 if you use the term housewife. And, why should that be so preposterous that you would if you're "ONLY a housewife".

  13. According to Fairfax County officials, George’s Small Engine Repair does not have a business license, but businesses with gross receipts less than $10,000 do not need one.

    The property owner was sent a notice of violation for several small structures that have been added on back that are not included on the approved site plan for this property. Code compliance inspectors have not found any signs of hoarding and did not issue a violation for an illegal junkyard. Because the property is located in a commercial district, business owners are legally allowed to display their products even though some people might consider it an eyesore.

  14. I took 2 items and paid $80 and both still dont work. They will not give me a refund and have said they will fix them but I am afraid to go back there! I feel foolish to have tried them. STAY AWAY!

  15. Jorge A. Gabriel owner/operator of Anna N Dales newsstand died May 31, 2013, of respiratory heart failure at age 76.--- RIP --- FACTUAL TRUTH: he boarded various small businesses (truly a small business incubator. For those who got know him: we will miss his politically incorrect, irreverent jokes. RIP Jorge!

  16. With Anna and Dales closing, where am I going to get my porn mags now?