Mason District Home
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
Welcome to the Mason District homepage! It is designed for easy use, and I hope you will find the information both helpful and timely. Special features include Mason Matters!, my twice-a-year newsletter, information about reserving the public meeting rooms at the Mason District Governmental Center, and other meetings and activities throughout Mason District. Links to county agencies also are included. Please refer to the Web site often, and don't hesitate to contact me.
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – September heralds many new beginnings, as students in Fairfax County embark on a new school year. For the kindergartner or first-grader, taking the big yellow bus to school may be the first real and exciting transition in a young life. For high school students, taking the bus may be a last resort as they anxiously await the responsibility of a drivers' license and the possibility of driving themselves to school.
In any case, safety should be paramount, whether riding the bus or walking to classes. Drivers are reminded that passing a school bus when its red lights are flashing can result in a reckless driving ticket, including $2500 in fines, loss of your license for six months, and/or 180 days in jail. All drivers must stop when a school bus is loading or unloading (identified by the flashing red lights), unless there is a raised median or wall between the travel lane and the stopped school bus. Most of our residential streets do not have raised medians or walls so, in nearly every case where a school bus is stopped, you should assume that the red lights are about to start, and be ready to stop. Please pay attention, too, to school zones marked with "25 MPH" flashing signs called Wink-o-Matics. The lights are activated to flash 30 minutes before school starts, and for 30 minutes after class dismissal. Speeding through a Wink-o-Matic sign can result in a ticket, higher fines, and increased points against your license.
Morning and afternoon traffic around schools also may increase this month, as parents and students become accustomed to the schedules and rhythms of a new school year. If your commute takes you past a school, please exercise additional caution and patience. Everyone – drivers, students, and teachers – wants to get to their destination safely. Let's make sure they do.
Urban Design Guideline Survey - The Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization is in the process of developing or updating urban design guidelines for some of the County’s Commercial Revitalization Districts, including Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners. The guidelines will provide detailed urban design and streetscape information to complement each area’s existing Comprehensive Plan. They will also provide guidance on the design of publically accessible plazas and open spaces in the areas.
As an initial step in creating the Urban Design Guidelines, the County would like to establish a theme for the design character of Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners. The chosen theme will be used to build a sense of place and community identity, and will be used in the design of spaces and in the choice of materials. We would like the citizens who live and work in and near the areas of Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners to assist in determining an appropriate theme for each area. Please consider taking this survey to help us decide an appropriate character for Bailey’s Crossroads and Seven Corners.
Taste of Annandale October 1, 2016 – The Annandale Roundtable, Inc. proudly presents a “Taste of Annandale” on Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Tom Davis Drive. Enjoy a variety of cuisines, a full lineup of multicultural music and dance performances, and a children’s playground with a variety of equipment and a full schedule of free child development activities. A 5K certified race at 8 a.m. will kick-off the event. Register online at https://tasteofannandale.com. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/tasteannandale2016,or contact Camilo Quila at (571) 645-8345. Admission is free to the public.
Back to School Night! – The 2016-17 School Year is fast-approaching, and that means Back to School Night! To view the schedule of Fairfax County Public Schools' Back to School Nights, visit www.fcps.edu/news/backtoschool/index.shtml. For more information, contact your child's school.
Little River Turnpike Bicycle Corridor Study – Fairfax County is planning to improve conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians along Little River Turnpike. The Board of Supervisors allocated $7.5 million to make the corridor safer and more inviting for people to walk and bike. The study kicked off in early 2016 and, with the help of community input, is heading toward completion. The goal of the study is to recommend short-term projects for implementation, and long-term recommendations for the corridor that are missing from the current bicycle master plan. The final meeting of the study, which will include the recommended projects, will be held on Monday, September 26, 2016 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Annandale High School, 4700 Medford Drive in Annandale. Additional meetings for implementation of the actual projects will be scheduled in the future. For more information, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike/littleriverturnpikebicyclestudy.htm. Watch for more bicycle projects in 2017, and find more information at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/bike or contact the FCDOT Bicycle Program at DOTBicyclePrograms@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Redevelopment of 5600 Columbia Pike Planned – Novus Property Holding LLC has proposed to repurpose the vacant office building located at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Carlin Springs Road near the Fairfax/Arlington County border. The applicant offers an E-Loft concept where the tenant can choose to live, work, or do a combination of both, in their unit. Upon approval of a zoning application, Novus plans to renovate and convert the 10-story 166,000 square foot building into 157 loft units at roughly 1,000 square feet per unit. This would be the second E-Loft building in the region after the alteration of a vacant office building in Alexandria just off King Street near Shirlington. A schedule of public meetings about the proposal will be announced soon.
Study for Lincolnia Comprehensive Plan to Begin this Fall – The Lincolnia Planning District Land Use Study will commence this fall to consider designating a portion of Lincolnia as a Community Business Center (CBC) within the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan. Based on its outcome, the study will provide planning guidance, particularly land use and development intensity recommendations. The study also will provide review and updated planning guidance for the entire Lincolnia Planning District. A citizen task force will lead the community participation and guide the study. There will be numerous opportunities for public participation through community meetings and other venues. For an interactive map of the study area, please visit the Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/fairfaxforward/lincolnia/interactive-map/lincolniaplanningdistrict.htm. For more information, please visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/lincolnia/,or call 703-324-1380 to speak with either planner Faheem Darab or Michael Burton.
Election Officer Training Dates Scheduled in September – Fairfax County needs Election Officers a few days a year, including the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, at each of the 240 precincts in Fairfax County to run the polls and assist the voters. Election Officers are offered a stipend of $175 for serving a full day. Classes and locations for (New) Election Officer Training and Experienced Officer Training (EXP) are available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/eotraining.htm. Bilingual citizens are urged to serve, as language assistance is needed in many precincts. Residency in Fairfax County is not required. For more information visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/working.htm, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-324-4735; TTY 711.
Graham Park Plaza Plan Amendment Advances to Next Step – On January 27, 2015, the Board of Supervisors authorized the consideration of a Comprehensive Plan amendment for Graham Park Plaza, formerly Loehmann's Plaza in the Jefferson Planning District. The current adopted Plan for this area recommends community-serving retail uses. The Board requested that county staff consider a mix of residential and nonresidential uses. Additionally, Plan analysis should provide attention to transportation, while planning for high-quality design for the shopping center. On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, county staff will present the draft Plan text to the Mason District Land Use Committee. The meeting will take place at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Plan Amendment also has public hearings before the Planning Commission scheduled for Thursday, October 20 at 8:15 p.m., and before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, December 6 at 4 p.m.
Semi-Annual Book Sale at George Mason Regional Library! – The Friends of George Mason Regional Library will hold its semi-annual book sale September 29 - October 2 at the library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale. The hours are Thursday, September 29, 3 - 9 p.m.; Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 1, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, October 2, Noon - 5 p.m. Sale includes more than 50,000 books, DVDs, CDs and sheet music. For more information, send an e-mail to email@example.com, stop by the library, or call 703-813-6616. Community service hours are available for middle school and high school students. Interested students must sign up no later than Sunday, September 11 via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – The September edition of Mason Matters! , the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features James "JJ" Banachoski, Traffic Safety Specialist with Fairfax County Public Schools' Office of Safety and Security, and Master Police Officer Shayna Nickolas, School Resource Officer at Falls Church High School. Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes shorter days and the start of a new school year. It is important to remember that, with the start of school, comes school traffic. It has become increasingly important to exercise caution on the roads throughout the school year. Rudimentary rules and practices, such as never passing a stopped school bus, sometimes seem to have been forgotten. It is crucial for drivers, students, and parents alike to remember and follow traffic safety rules to cultivate a safe learning environment. Mason Matters! airs on Cable Channel 16 every Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and daily on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
The Quick 411 – Is it o.k. to feed geese? Our wildlife officials urge residents to stop feeding geese. In addition to health and environmental consequences, geese rapidly can become dependent on human-provided foods. Much of what we use to feed geese (bread, corn, popcorn, pastries, etc.) provides little or no nutritional value, and can cause significant health problems for geese and other wildlife. Left on their own, geese will feed on a variety of nutritious foods that are available (e.g., grasses, sedges, berries, grains and seeds) and will move to new locations when resources have been depleted. For more information about wildlife in Fairfax County visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/wildlife. For information on managing wildlife interactions including geese, call the Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline toll-free at (855) 571-9003.
Mason News and Updates – If you know someone who would like to receive news and updates about Fairfax County services and events in Mason District, send an e-mail to email@example.com to subscribe. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter or the news and updates, please send an e-mail and include unsubscribe in the subject line to remove your e-mail address from the subscription list.
More news and information can be found at the NewsWire.