Important County Changes


Two Consolidated Departments Get Their Start as a Result of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Restructurings

Department of Code Compliance

Do you have concerns about neighbors parking in the grass, junk in the yard, overcrowding or unpermitted construction? Starting Thursday, July 1, the new Department of Code Compliance (DCC) will investigate these and other quality of life complaints across the county.
DCC will look into and enforce violations of multiple codes and ordinances, including: Zoning, Property Maintenance, Building (non-permitted construction), Grass, Blight, Hoarding, and some segments of Health and Fire.

This multi-code enforcement agency consolidates the Department of Planning and Zoning’s Zoning Enforcement Branch and the Code Enforcement Strike Teams. The Health Department and Fire and Rescue Department will continue to enforce specific codes and also provide staff to work closely with the new department.

Why did the county decide to combine two agencies into one consolidated code enforcement agency? “Some cases only require one code to investigate a complaint,” says Jeff Blackford, director. He went on to add that, “Other complaints clearly require multiple disciplines — a good example would be a boarding house. Having multi-code teams also gives us flexibility to use the various disciplines to address current or future problems.”

Does this change the way we report things to the county? Not a bit. At the Braddock District level we will have a set team to work with, allowing us to have better communication and develop an even better relationship with the county staff assigned to our area. That team will cover many different complaints, so citizens no longer need to guess what agency they should call.

The Department of Code Compliance can be reached at 703-324-1300. If you have any further questions, you can call our office at 703-425-9300.

Department of Neighborhood and Community Services

The Board of Supervisors appointed Christopher A. Leonard as the director of the new Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS). This agency is the result of the consolidation of the Department of Community and Recreation Services (CRS) and the Department of Systems Management for Human Services (DSMHS).

The new department will implement a regional service delivery model for teen, senior and community center services. The mission of NCS is to engage, connect and collaborate with individuals, organizations, neighborhoods and communities to strategically plan, provide responsive services and build capacity to support community and neighborhood solutions. This consolidation will save in administrative costs while providing better service, as programming will be located in one place instead of two.

The county is currently in the process of consolidating the work of CRS and DSMHS into NCS. In the meantime, please visit both the CRS website and the DSMHS websites for information about their programs and services. Both agencies look forward to continuing to serve their existing participants and welcome new participants to join them at any time.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us at 703-425-9300.

 

Personal Property Tax Bills Include New Vehicle Registration Fee

2010 Fairfax County Personal Property Tax bills are currently being mailed by the Department of Tax Administration (DTA) and are due on Oct. 5. This bill includes a new $33 registration fee for cars ($38 for vehicles in excess of 4,000 pounds) normally located in the county as of July 1, 2010. There is no county windshield decal to purchase or display.

This fee was adopted by the Board of Supervisors in April, 2010 and is expected to result in approximately $27 million in additional revenues. Supervisor Cook voted against this additional levy.

Fairfax County residents must register vehicles with DTA that are normally garaged or parked in Fairfax County, even if the vehicle is registered in another state. Failure to locally register vehicles on time will result in additional penalties. Register online or call 703-222-8234 (TTY 703-222-7594). In addition, make sure your address is correct with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Vehicle Registration Fees:
        $18 for motorcycles.
        $23 for any taxi or other vehicle that is kept for rent or hire operated by a chauffeur for the transportation of passengers. An additional fee of $5 is charged if the weight of the vehicle is more than 4,000 pounds.
        $23 for a bus used exclusively for transportation to and from church school, for the purpose of religious instruction, or church, for the purpose of divine worship. If the empty weight of the vehicle exceeds 4,000 pounds, the fee is $28.
        $33 for all other vehicles with a weight of 4,000 pounds or less.
        $38 for all other vehicles with a weight of more than 4,000 pounds.

More detailed Vehicle Registration Fee Information can be accessed at this link: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/cartax_veh_reg_fee.htm

 

Cuts In State Funding to VDOT Will Impact Residential Traffic Calming

Until recently, we could work with neighborhood groups to see if they qualified for traffic calming measures, which usually involved installing stop signs, speed humps/tables, median islands or chokers to narrow the roadway on streets with a 25 mph speed limit and a high volume of traffic exceeding the speed limit.

However, traffic calming measures may be the latest victims of Virginia’s depleted transportation revenues. Officials with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said last week that the county has essentially exhausted available state funding for its neighborhood traffic-calming program, and the Virginia Department of Transportation has said that it won’t fund the program anymore. Communities can still apply for traffic calming, and county staff will use county funds to asses those applications. Right now, however, there is no plan to fund their implementation.

So, what can be done if there is no money for these types of measures?

Well, there are other strategies that can be applied to try to control speeding. There are several roads that do not qualify for traffic calming because they have posted speed limits greater than 25 mph. In those areas, signs reading “$200 Additional Fine for Speeding” could be placed along qualifying roadways.
Signs indicating that children are at play can also be requested. And in some areas with excessive truck traffic, through traffic measures could be implemented. All of these options are explained in an easy to read format at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/rtap.htm#traffic_calm.

If you have questions about anything in this article, please feel free to call Ann Sharp in our office at 703-425-9300


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