The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – Happy Holidays! As the calendar year winds down, and celebratory activities bring families and friends together, it’s not unreasonable that everyone wants to get to those activities, and home, safely. Too many people – at this writing it’s 18 – have died as a result of vehicle/pedestrian collisions in Fairfax County. When they left their homes to go to school, or the grocery store, or to review Annandale revitalization projects, they fully expected to return home safe and sound. Instead, emergency responders whisked them, with lights and sirens activated, to the emergency room, and next-of-kin were notified to come for final farewells.
In September, Fairfax County launched a multifaceted countywide campaign, “Take A Moment,” with the goal of eliminating traffic-related deaths and injuries. Information about safety resources for every season, including tips for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers, is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/pedestrian-bike-traffic-safety. Too many families will be missing a loved one at the dinner table this season because of an avoidable accident. Slow down, pay attention to your surroundings, stay off your devices, and “Take A Moment” to ensure that you, and others, maintain safety practices, whether on foot or behind the wheel, day or night.
The 26th annual Mason District Holiday Town Gathering will be held on Monday, December 5, from 7 until 8:30 p.m., at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. The family friendly event is open to the public, and will feature live musical entertainment by the Four Winds Clarinet Quartet, refreshments, and door prize drawings. I also will give my annual “State of the Mason District Report.” I look forward to seeing you there.
Land Use News – Land use items of interest include:
- A public hearing before the Board of Supervisors is scheduled on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 3 p.m. for the McDonald’s Corporation’s Special Exception (SE-2021-MA-032) to permit the addition of a drive thru to an existing restaurant in a highway corridor overlay district. The restaurant is located at 6729 Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church, south side of Arlington Boulevard, between Annandale Road and Westmoreland Road. The proposal includes renovation of the building architecture, revision of the parking lot, improved landscaping throughout the site and construction of a 10 ft. wide trail along the property frontage. The turn lanes on Rt. 50/Arlington Boulevard will be modified for improved safety. To testify in person, residents may register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bosclerk/speakers-form, or by calling 703-324-3151; TTY 711, no later than 12 p.m. the day of the hearing. Video testimony must be submitted no later than 9 a.m. the day prior to the public hearing. Written testimony may be sent by first-class mail to Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 552, Fairfax, 22035, or by e-mail at ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov.
- On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, the Board of Supervisors will accept, or reject, individual nominations into the countywide Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process. Nominations that are accepted by the Board will be reviewed by county staff. Community meetings will be scheduled in early 2023 to ensure residents living and working near the nominated sites are aware about proposed changes and provide comments. The SSPA process allows anyone to nominate site-specific land use changes to the Comprehensive Plan - the guiding document for land use and development decisions in Fairfax County. Visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-development/plan-amendments/sspa for more information.
- The Planning Commission deferred its decision indefinitely for the Plaza 500 Property Owner, L.P.’s Re-Zoning Application (RZ-2022-MA-00001) to permit warehouse and other permitted uses in the I-5 District. Plaza 500 is located at 6295 Edsall Road in Alexandria, approximately 325 ft. west of the intersection of Edsall Ridge Place and Edsall Road.
- A public hearing about a proposed Photo Speed Enforcement pilot program is scheduled before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 4:30 p.m. The six-month proposal by the Fairfax County Police Department aims to change driver behavior by having mobile speed cameras installed at school crossing zones and highway work zones to help reduce excessive speeding. Upon approval of a new ordinance (amending Article 2 of Chapter 82 of the Fairfax County Code) by the Board of Supervisors, the pilot program would be implemented during the first quarter of 2023 to assess whether the effectiveness of speed cameras and fines would help prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities. To testify in person, residents may register at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bosclerk/speakers-form, or by calling 703-324-3151; TTY 711, no later than 12 p.m. the day of the hearing. Video testimony must be submitted no later than 9 a.m. the day prior to the public hearing. Written testimony may be sent by first-class mail to Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 552, Fairfax, 22035, or by e-mail at ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Mason District’s Holiday Town Gathering – Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross invites you to Mason District’s Holiday Town Gathering on Monday, December 5, 2022, from 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Enjoy live entertainment by the Four Winds Clarinet Quartet (formerly Main Street Clarinet Quartet), refreshments, and door prizes at this holiday event.
Fairfax County Hypothermia Program Begins December 1 – The Hypothermia Program begins operations daily, county-wide, on Thursday, December 1, 2022 through Friday, March 31, 2023. At the Bailey’s Shelter and Supportive Housing, the most needed items are new and laundered, gently used cold weather clothing, bath towels, and wash cloths. Volunteer opportunities also are available. To learn more about what is needed and to sign up to volunteer, contact Michelle Hook at email@example.com, or call 703-578-8852. Information about hypothermia prevention is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/hypothermia-prevention-program. For information about shelters for families with children, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/emergency-shelters. If you see someone who is unsheltered and may be at risk for hypothermia, call 703-691-2131 so a police officer may conduct a wellness check. If you see an individual in distress, please call 911.
Inova Hospitals Urgently Need Blood Donations – Recent increases in trauma cases are depleting blood supplies at Inova hospitals. The most-needed blood is Type-O for which currently there is less than a two-day supply. To make a blood donation, schedule an appointment online at www.inovablood.org, or call 866-256-6372. Donors also may walk-in to one of Inova’s local donor centers. For a donor center near you, visit www.inovablood.org/donate-blood/where-can-i-donate/. Your blood donation may save someone’s life.
Reminder: Running Bamboo Ordinance Takes Effect January 1, 2023 – The new ordinance takes effect early next year to address bamboo that is not controlled and spreads beyond public and private property lines. Running bamboo is an invasive grass that destroys our natural environment, suppresses native plant species, and prevents forest regeneration. Information about how to contain running bamboo is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/running-bamboo. Need help containing running bamboo? Contact Fairfax County’s Master Gardeners at https://fairfaxgardening.org/. Running bamboo that spreads to an adjacent property or right-of-way may be reported to the Department of Code Compliance at 703-324-1300; TTY 711, or at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code.
Police Stations Serving the Mason District
Mason District Station Hosts In-Person CAC Meeting – Join the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at 7 p.m. CAC meetings are open to ALL residents in the Mason Police District to enhance communication between the police department and the public by offering residents the opportunity to speak directly with their local officers at the Mason District Station, located at 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. For more information, contact PFC Evan Dicker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Coffee with a Cop – Come by the Starbucks at 6365 Columbia Pike in Falls Church on Saturday, December 3, 2022, between 10 a.m. – Noon, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood by asking questions and sharing your concerns. Officers also will be accepting new, unwrapped toy donations for Gary Clause and the Pajama and Socks Drive (children ages 0-17 years) that is hosted annually by the Mason District Station.
- Child Car Seat Safety Inspections Offered – A NHTSA-certified Child Passenger Safety Technician can inspect your child’s car seat and ensure it is installed correctly on Saturday, December 3, 2022, at the Mason District Station, from 3 - 5:30 p.m.; no appointment is necessary. Child car seats are inspected on a first-come, first-served basis, with the last car seat inspection beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call 703-256-8035, press zero for the front desk.
- Gary Clause and PJ/Slippers and Socks Drive – Now through Sunday, December 11, 2022, donations for new, unwrapped toys, pajamas, and slippers/socks are being accepted in the lobby of the Mason District Police Station. Each year, officers distribute toys the Saturday before Christmas, and the pajamas, slippers, and socks on the Sunday before Christmas, to children in need in our community. For more information, contact PFC Evan Dicker at email@example.com.
McLean District Station Hosts Monthly In-Person Community Engagement Meetings – The McLean District Station’s in-person Community Engagement Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2022, from 7-8:30 p.m. in the station’s Community Room, 1437 Balls Hill Road in McLean. Community Engagement Meetings are held the second Thursday of the month for residents in the McLean District Police service area so they may discuss their concerns with command staff and learn about the crime trends and statistics. For more information, call the station at 703-556-7750.
- Santa’s Ride 2022 – For more than 30 years, the police motor unit has collected toys and delivered them to children in area hospitals and local charities during the holidays. Help support the Santa’s Ride by dropping off new and unwrapped toys, books, or games in the lobby of the McLean District Police Station, 1437 Balls Hill Road (or Mason Station), before Monday, December 12, 2022 at 9 a.m. Questions? Call the station at 703-556-7750. Thank you for your generosity this year and every year!
- Child Car Seat Safety Inspections Available – The McLean District Station hosts child safety seat inspections twice a month on a first-come, first-served basis. The next child safety seat inspection is scheduled for Saturday, December 17 and 31, 2022, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Women’s Self Defense Program – Learn crime prevention and personal safety information and techniques, followed by hands-on self-defense practices, on December 6, 8, 13 & 15, 2022, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, 14601 Lee Road, in Chantilly. This is a FREE four-night program and attendance is required for all four nights to build on the principals and techniques learned in previous classes. To register, click here. If registration is full, please check the link periodically for a cancellation/available space.
Franconia District Station Hosts In-Person CAC Meeting – The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) has an in-person meeting on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 7 p.m., in the Community Room of the Franconia District Station, 6121 Franconia Road in Alexandria. The featured speaker is APO Richard R. Majauskas, who will discuss the FCPD Auxiliary Police. After the presentation, station commanders will provide a crime update and community members are welcome to ask questions or share their concerns.
- Child Car Seat Inspections – The Franconia District Station offers child safety seat inspections twice a month on a first-come, first-served basis. The next child safety seat inspections will be held on Saturday, December 3 and 17, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Questions? Call the station at 703-922-0889.
- Franconia District Police Traffic Town Hall (Virtual) – A virtual interactive discussion about traffic safety and other concerns in the Franconia Police District is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. For more information and to register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/franconia-district-police-traffic-town-hall-virtual-tickets-458606523457.
- Subscribe to Newsletter – The Franconia Community Report is an e-mail newsletter with information for Franconia District community members, and includes crime statistics, tips to stay safe, community events, crime prevention programs, and more! To subscribe visit https://form.jotform.com/FCPD/newsletter-registration-nextdoor.
West Springfield District Station Hosts In-Person CAC Meeting – The West Springfield District Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will meet in-person at the station, 6140 Rolling Road in Springfield, on December 6, 2022 at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will be from the FCPD Tysons Urban Team. For more information, contact MPO Tony Capizzi at 703-277-2363.
- A Virtual Introduction to Neighborhood Watch will be held on Thursday, December 8, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. for anyone interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch in your community, or would like a fresher. The meeting will be held via Zoom. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here, Password: 829701, or call USA 636-651-3141, USA 877-402-9753 (US Toll Free), Conference code: 404496. Questions? Contact MPO Tony Capizzi at 703-277-2363 or Anthony.Capizzi@fairfaxcounty.gov.
- Holiday Food and Toy Drive – Donations of non-perishable and canned food, and new, unwrapped toys will be accepted by police officers and community members from the West Springfield District on Saturday, December 10, 2022, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Giant Food, 8320 Old Keene Mill Road in Springfield. Food donations will benefit the Ecumenical Community Helping Others (ECHO), assisting people with short-term emergencies. The toys will be delivered by the Motor Squad’s Santa’s Ride to children at Inova Children’s Hospital and the Georgetown Hospital Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Questions? Contact PFC Liam May, community outreach officer, at 703-277-2357.
- Scout Night – Officers from the West Springfield District Station will host a Scout Night on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. A presentation to the scouts will be held in the station’s community room, a video tour of the station, and a hands-on tour of a police car outdoors. One den/troop every half hour, and current available times are 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. If older scouts need specific requirements for a merit badge, please contact PFC Liam May at 703-277-2357 or MPO Tony Capizzi at 703-277-2363 to discuss arrangements.
- Car Seat Inspections – Before traveling this holiday season, ensure your child's car seat is installed properly on Saturday, December 17, 2022, between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the station. No appointment needed, and car seats will be inspected on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon arrival in the lobby, additional information will be provided. Questions? Contact MPO Tony Capizzi at 703-277-2363. Note: Car seat inspections also are available by appointment every Tuesday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Call the station at 703-644-7377 and press zero to schedule an appointment on Tuesdays.
- Let’s Talk: West Springfield District Station – The station covers more than 66 square miles, has more than 200,000 community members, 40 public schools, 70 houses of worship, nearly 110 police officers, and 10 different patrol areas. Learn more about the district, crime prevention, or just have your questions answered by MPO Tony Capizzi at a virtual community meeting on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here, Password: 206210, or call USA 636-651-3141, USA 877-402-9753 (US Toll Free) Conference code: 404496. If you have any questions before the meeting, contact MPO Tony Capizzi at 703-277-2363.
- IN-PERSON: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) and STOP the BLEED – While we hope it never happens, an active violence event can happen anywhere in the world. On Wednesday, December 28, 2022, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., learn about attackers, disaster response, and how to prepare for and respond to being trapped in a building during an active violence event. STOP the BLEED is an hour-long class that will cover direct pressure, wound packing, and proper tourniquet application. To register, click here. A VIRTUAL version of CRASE also will be offered on Wednesday, December 28 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android by clicking here, Password: 095832, or call USA 636-651-3141, USA 877-402-9753 (US Toll Free) Conference code: 404496. Questions? Contact MPO Tony Capizzi at the West Springfield District Station at 703-277-2363.
FCPD Victim Services Division Hosts Holiday Gift Card Drive – The Ninth Annual Holiday Gift Card Drive continues until Friday, December 16, 2022, to places like grocery stores, local restaurants, clothing stores, general merchandise stores, and discount department stores. Gift cards will allow parents of child victims of crime to be active participants in purchasing practical needed items, and gifts for each child. In 2022, the Victim Services Division worked on more than 350 cases involving child victims and witnesses of domestic and sexual violence, and children who lost a loved one to homicide. Some gift cards can be used to purchase toys and other gifts, and, for others, the gift cards will be used to purchase winter clothing for the children, or to purchase food for their holiday meal. Gift cards may be delivered or mailed to: Saly Fayez, Director, Victim Services Division, Fairfax County Police Department, 12099 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035. Questions? Contact Saly Fayez at Saly.Fayez@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-246-2465.
Improvisational Textile Art Featured at Mason District Governmental Center – Abstract designs in fabric by Cindy Grisdela will be featured at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Grisdela creates abstract designs in fabric focusing on color and line. The designs are improvisational, a bit like jazz music, where each decision about color and shape influences the next. Grisdela earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History from the College of William and Mary, and a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. She is a Juried Artist member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, and a member of the Art League of Alexandria, Virginia. Information about Grisdela’s work is available at www.cindygrisdela.com. The artwork will be on display in the Supervisor’s Office beginning December 5, 2022 through January 31, 2023.
Mason E-Newsletter and Updates – To receive the monthly E-Newsletter and periodic 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.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – Ever wonder how a jurisdiction as populous as Fairfax County manages to run smoothly and efficiently? It starts with a good organizational structure, effective leadership, and trust in exceptional staff who understand their mission – to serve our Fairfax County residents. The daily functions of our local government involve many disparate agencies, but much like an orchestra conductor, someone must oversee how all the instruments complement each other to produce a symphony. Our county executive, who is appointed by the Board of Supervisors, is our conductor, and his senior management team of four deputy county executives; a chief financial officer; and a chief equity officer, oversee the administration of daily operations in their various portfolios, not unlike a section leader. The December edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Ellicia Seard-McCormick, deputy county executive for administration. 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 online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
The Quick 411 – I heard the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently adopted the county’s first-ever Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan. Is more information available? Yes. The Board of Supervisors adopted Resilient Fairfax, the county’s first-ever climate adaptation and resilience plan. As we face increasingly “warmer, wetter, and weirder” conditions on average, the new Resilient Fairfax plan will help the county boost the resilience of our population, infrastructure, public service systems and natural resources to climatic hazards. To learn more about the plan, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/environment-energy-coordination/resilient-fairfax-adoption.
By requesting e-mails from Fairfax County, please know that your contact information is protected from release under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) unless you specifically tell us otherwise. Should you wish for your contact information to be released in response to a FOIA request for the same, then please email FOIA@fairfaxcounty.gov.