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 – Summer seemed much too short, students are embarking on a new school year, and the Board of Supervisors has a full agenda for the fall, including land use applications, the One Fairfax resolution, and proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments. Tuesday Board meetings in the Board Auditorium are televised live on Channel 16, but earlier this year, our committee meeting room was enlarged, and outfitted with audio and visual capability. Now, on Tuesdays when Board committees meet, you can watch the discussion live on Channel 16, stream it live on-line, or view on-demand after the meetings. For more information, log on to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/.
As I write this, the nation's focus is on the Houston and the Gulf Coast area, and the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey. Many expect that federal government agencies will step in and assist with the overwhelming clean-up after the flood waters subside. Local government officials know, however, that the initial response, indeed, most of the follow-up, is the responsibility of the local government – police and fire, emergency management and human services agencies, even the animal shelter. That's why, at the local level, we plan and test, and then plan and test some more, not only for emergency response, but associated issues, such as storm water requirements for new development and redevelopment.
Hopefully, this region never will experience a storm like Harvey, but we have had our own Hurricane Isabel, Tropical Storm Lee, and the derecho in recent years, so updating both county and personal emergency plans is a good idea. Be sure you have emergency supplies stashed where they are easily accessible, make a plan with your family, have extra batteries, medications, and food that does not need cooking (for your pets, too). Keep your portable devices powered up, and watch the fuel level in your vehicle. During an emergency declaration is not the time to try to find a service station. When the electricity goes out, the fuel pumps won't work! Same thing goes for cash – ATM machines don't work in a power outage.
Building Resiliency, both internally and externally, will be the focus of a Resiliency Summit I am hosting on Thursday, October 12. More information will be available soon, but mark your calendars for the event, which will feature a lot of helpful information for you and your family – and our community – to be safe and prepared.
FCPS Hosts Community Meeting to Discuss Renaming J.E.B. Stuart High School – The Fairfax County Public Schools will host a public meeting to gather names for consideration, along with the opportunity for presentations, questions, and discussion, on Saturday, September 9 at 10 a.m., at the J.E.B. Stuart High School Auditorium, 3301 Peace Valley Lane in Falls Church. As outlined in Regulation 8170, residents in the J.E.B. Stuart High School pyramid may vote for the name of the high school on Saturday, September 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Only one vote per household. After review of the community's recommendations, the Division Superintendent will formulate a recommendation consisting of one or more of the most popular choices, according to community input. The Division Superintendent shall then transmit the recommendation to the School Board, which is solely responsible for consideration and action. For more information, visit www.fcps.edu/renaming.
Lincolnia Planning District Study – A long-range planning study of the Lincolnia area is reviewing potential changes to Comprehensive Plan guidance (Plan Amendment 2013-I-L1) for the Lincolnia Planning District. A community task force will be meeting on Tuesday, September 12, and Tuesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at Holmes Middle School multi-purpose room. The meeting is open to the public. Information about the study, and the meeting schedule, is available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/lincolnia. For more information, contact Faheem Darab, senior planner, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by call 703-324-1351. Subscribe to the Lincolnia Planning District Study by e-mail at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/lincolnia/listservsubscribe.htm.
SPA Forest Coming to Mason District
– C.Castle Group is proposing to repurpose the 145,255
square foot office building at 6432 General Green Way into a high-end
spa concept called SPA Forest. In addition to the spa, the
building will include several floors of pools, a children's play
area, saunas, and a restaurant. The Fairfax County Planning
Commission recommended approval of this application on Thursday, June
29, 2017. The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing
for a final approval of this application on Tuesday,
September 12, in the Board Auditorium, 12000 Government Center
Parkway in Fairfax. The Board agenda and public hearing
schedule is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/government/board/.
OEM Reminder: Hurricane Season Is Here - Are You Prepared? - The Atlantic hurricane season is in effect through November 30. If you have not done so already, update emergency plans, refresh supplies for your family and pets, and be ready should a tropical storm affect our region. The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for significant emergency events that may occur in our community. Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts, or call 571-350-1000. Information about hurricane hazards is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/hurricane.htm.
Reports of Underage Solicitors – The Fairfax County Police Department and the Department of Cable and Consumer Services, Regulation and Licensing Branch, has received reports that children, ages 10 to 15, are going door to door in Fairfax County illegally soliciting donations by selling candy and other items. Often these children have no affiliation with any Fairfax County school, and they are not raising money for any school activities. The children are driven to Fairfax County from other areas, and dropped off in neighborhoods during the day or night to solicit donations door to door. Please note that it is against the law for children under the age of 16 to solicit in Virginia, except for children who, under adult supervision, are participating in a bona fide fundraiser for a local school or registered charitable organization, such as Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. If this is occurring in your neighborhood, please call the Fairfax County Police's non-emergency number 703-691-2131 immediately to report this activity to the dispatch staff. Also report this activity to Henri Stein McCartney, Chief of the Regulation and Licensing Branch, Department of Cable and Consumer Services at 703-324-5845, or send an e-mail to Henri.SteinMcCartney@fairfaxcounty.gov. Please remember that legitimate door-to-door solicitors will have a peddlers license issued by Fairfax County that has a picture of the solicitor and an expiration date on the front of the license. For information about peddlers licenses, visit the Department of Cable and Consumer Services Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer/regulation_and_licensing/solicitor.htm, or call 703-324-5966.
Disposing of Expired Prescription Medications – Here are six reasons why you should properly dispose of prescription medications:
- Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.
- The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends – and the home medicine cabinet.
- Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor's supervision.
- The non-medical use of prescription drugs ranks second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
- Unused prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.
- Unused drugs that are flushed contaminate the water supply. Proper disposal of unused drugs (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/dontflush) saves lives and protects the environment.
Drug Disposal Kits are available at Health Department Offices and other locations. To safely dispose of prescription meds, you can pick up a biodegradable drug disposal kit, at any of our Health Department's clinics (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/hdclinicsite.htm), or through the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board's REVIVE! classes ( www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/learn-how-to-revive-someone-from-a-drug-heroin-overdose). Call clinics to confirm availability of the kits.
Partnership with Schools Gives New Life to Old Computers – Thanks to an innovative new partnership between the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools, the Office of Public Private Partnerships, the Department of Information Technology (DIT), and the Virginia Student Training and Refurbishment Program (VA STAR), computers being replaced in county offices will have new lives in the homes of students. Starting this fall, the county will donate used computers to VA STAR; students in after-school technology clubs will refurbish them; and then the computers will be donated to FCPS students in need. The after-school program, currently supported at seven of our middle and high schools, teaches students how to install new hard drives and RAM, replace missing and broken parts, and install operating systems and security software. VA STAR Club members gain valuable hands-on technology experience, while giving back to the community. The Foundation for FCPS is the coordinator for the program in Fairfax County. For more information about this and other programs, visit www.fcpsfoundation.org.
Need a Notary? – Notarial services are available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Office of Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, located in the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Please call 703-256-7717 to schedule an appointment.
Semi-Annual Book Sale at George Mason Regional Library! – The Friends of George Mason Regional Library will hold its semi-annual book sale September 28 - October 1 at the library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale. Customers with disabilities needing special arrangements should contact the Friends of George Mason by Tuesday, September 26 to make special arrangements to access the sale. The hours are Thursday, September 28, 3 - 9 p.m.; Friday, September 29, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, September 30, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, October 1, Noon - 5 p.m. Community service hours are available for high school students. Interested students must sign up no later than Sunday, September 10 via e-mail at GeorgeMasonFriends@gmail.com. For updates and sale previews, visit georgemasonfriends.blogspot.com, or call 703-813-6616.
Community Meeting for Office Building Repurposing Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Planning Division, is hosting a community meeting on Monday, September 25, from 7 - 9 p.m. at Bailey's Upper Elementary School, 6245 Leesburg Pike, in Falls Church. Learn about the proposed comprehensive plan amendment that will facilitate the repurposing of vacant office buildings in mixed-use activity centers and industrial areas. Repurposing means a change in use such as a conversion from office to residential, live/work, institutional, public facilities, or light industrial uses.
What will the plan amendment do?
- Facilitate the timely repurposing of vacant structures into occupied uses
- Achieve a more efficient review process while ensuring community involvement
- Add to the economic success of Fairfax County
For more information, please contact Sophia Fisher, project manager, at 703-324-1349, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or visit the project Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/fairfaxforward/pa/officebuildingrepurposing/
Farmer's Market Continues this Fall at Mason District Park – The Farmer's Market at Mason District Park is open every Thursday morning, from 8 a.m. until 12 noon at Mason District Park, 6621 Columbia Pike in Annandale. For a complete schedule, and information about the Farmer's Markets visit the Fairfax County Park Authority Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/farmersmarkets/, or call 703-642-0128; TTY 703-803-3354.
Save the Date: Taste of Annandale Set for October! – The third annual "Taste of Annandale" is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., along Tom Davis Drive, between Columbia Pike and John Marr Drive. This community event opens with a 5K Race at 10 a.m. Runners can register for the 5K at www.njuko.net/2017tasteofannandale5k/select_competition. For more information, visit the Taste of Annandale Web site at https://tasteofannandale.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TasteAnnandale2017.
Reminders: Hurricane Season Is Here - The Atlantic hurricane season is in effect, with the peak season from mid-August to late October, through November 30. Update emergency plans, refresh supplies for your family and pets, and be ready if a tropical storm affects our region. The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is responsible for coordinating preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for significant emergency events that may occur in our community. Sign up for Fairfax Alerts at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts, or call 571-350-1000. Information about hurricane hazards is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/hurricane.htm.
SAVE the DATE - Youth Art Re-Imaging Community Dialogue: Moving Toward A Vision – All are invited to an art exhibit, free barbecue, and community dialogue on Saturday, September 30, 2017, 1-3 p.m. at the James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Road in Falls Church. This event, hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Mason Police Station, and the George Mason University School of Art, will provide adults and youth with the "art space" to be inspired by art, while participating in a visioning process for a better future. Barbecue outdoors, and art exhibit and dialogue indoors. Childcare provided. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Brittany.Burns@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-533-5701.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – Book sales, meeting rooms, computers, eBooks, Library apps, programs, events, and more. The Fairfax County Public Library offers something for everyone, with a multitude of resources to help you with your quest. If you have not been to your local library lately, you are missing out! The September edition of Mason Matters!, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Jessica Hudson, director of the Fairfax County Public Library, and Fran Millhouser, Mason District Appointee to the Library Board of Trustees. 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.
Mason News and Updates–To receive news and updates about Fairfax County services and events in Mason District, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe. If you wish to unsubscribe, send an e-mail and include unsubscribe in the subject line to remove your e-mail address from the subscription list.
The Quick 411 – Now that the pool season has wrapped up and summer is ending, I am looking for a family-friendly outdoor activity. Are Fairfax County's mini-golf courses still open? Yes. The Fairfax County Park Authority operates four miniature golf courses, in Oakton, Springfield, Falls Church, and Fairfax Station. Operating hours are reduced after Labor Day, but there is still time to enjoy mini golf fun for family and friends through October! Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/minigolf for more information, including locations and hours of operation.
More news and information can be found at the NewsWire.