Fairfax County and surrounding areas will be under a Flood Watch and a Wind Advisory on Thursday, as heavy rain and strong winds rake across the region.
About 1-2 inches of rain is expected to fall starting tonight through midday Thursday, potentially causing flooding in low-lying areas and along streams and creeks.
More from the National Weather Service:
…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT… * FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON * RAIN WILL OVERSPREAD THE AREA THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT. THE HEAVIEST RAIN IS EXPECTED OVERNIGHT AND THURSDAY MORNING. TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS AROUND 1 INCH ARE EXPECTED, WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS OF 1.5 TO 2 INCHES POSSIBLE. * EXCESS RUNOFF FROM A NEARLY FROZEN GROUND AND SATURATED SOILS WILL CAUSE THE POTENTIAL FOR STREAMS AND CREEKS TO RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS AS WELL AS POTENTIAL FLOODING IN LOW LYING URBAN AREAS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A FLOOD WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR FLOODING BASED ON CURRENT FORECASTS. YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE ALERT FOR POSSIBLE FLOOD WARNINGS. THOSE LIVING IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING SHOULD BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLOODING DEVELOP. &&
In addition to the rain, damaging winds are possible.
…WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO NOON EST THURSDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WIND ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TO NOON EST THURSDAY. * TIMING…THURSDAY MORNING. * WINDS…SOUTHWEST 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH. * IMPACTS…GUSTY WINDS WILL BLOW AROUND UNSECURED OBJECTS. TREE LIMBS COULD BE BLOWN DOWN AND A FEW POWER OUTAGES MAY RESULT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WIND ADVISORY MEANS THAT WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH ARE EXPECTED. WINDS THIS STRONG CAN MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY FOR HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. &&
More via Twitter:
Both flood watch and wind advisory in effect for DMV Thursday morning. Over an inch of rain possible, and wind gusts to 40 to 50 mph as strong cold front sweeps through. More info: https://t.co/zDJoNCDXkq pic.twitter.com/ZTVbjaHKoj
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) January 23, 2019
Wind Advisory (brown) for the DC/Baltimore Metro areas & S MD from 6 AM-Noon tomorrow. Wind Advisories/High Wind Warnings along the Blue Ridge/Allegheny Front are currently in effect and go through 6 AM Thursday. 50+ MPH gusts, scattered tree damage and power outages possible. pic.twitter.com/vjMWH7SM9R
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 23, 2019
Photo (top) via National Weather Service
One month into the government shutdown, Fairfax County is starting to feel the squeeze.
Accordingly, state and local governments have started enacting measures to try to give relief to furloughed workers. On Jan. 14, Virginia’s Department of Social Services announced that SNAP (food stamp) recipients will receive the February food benefits in January.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is also hosting its third hiring event tonight (Wednesday) to give furloughed workers a chance to work as substitute teachers. The event is set to run from 5-7:30 p.m. at the FCPS administration building in Merrifield (8115 Gatehouse Road).
“We always have a need for substitute teachers,” said John Torre, public information officer for FCPS. “On average, we hire 900 to 1,100 subs every day. For furloughed workers, we are expediting the hiring process and many of those who attended the first two events have already been placed in schools as substitute teachers.”
At yesterday’s (Tuesday) meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors even considered delaying the Feb. 15 deadline for car tax payments.
But Professor Frank Shafroth, director of the Center for State and Local Leadership at George Mason University, warned that delays in payment collection could have a ripple effect on county services. According to Shafroth:
“There will be significant and hard issues in a county affected by thousands of residents abruptly working without pay — issues such as the county’s needs to try and fill in the gaps in emergency services (inability to pay utility bills, purchase enough food, get a child to the doctor, etc.). I know the county has already considering steps to delay some car tax payments — sort of a double whammy, because it would reduce revenues to the county, even as it is providing desperately needed services over and beyond its adopted budget. The impact will be disproportionate in Fairfax county, because that is the home to nearly 20% of all federal workers in our region.”
Shafroth said there are roughly 5,000 families that rent in Fairfax, and there are concerns inside the county government that those families could be evicted if they’re unable to pay rent or unable to access work, pharmacies or groceries if they’re not able to continue making car payments. In providing relief for these vital services, Shafroth says the county government will have to do triage on the services at risk for families of federal employees and work with providers to continue those services.
“That is, without any uncertainty how long the President’s shut down will last, the county is under pressure to put health and safety of its citizens first,” said Shafroth. “That will impose hard choices on the county’s leaders: in effect, the White House is shifting a fiscal burden to the county: will that mean the county will have to consider higher fees and taxes? What will it cost to help an estimated 5,000 families at risk of losing rental assistance?”
Among the services at risk, Shafroth said free and reduced-price meals at public schools could eventually be on the chopping block and other necessities for low-income residents.
“Because there is a disproportionate number of families who either work directly or by contract for the federal government, the county is projecting the potential hole in housing assistance payments could total as much as $5 million a month — in this bitter weather, that is hardly an option,” said Shafroth. “Fairfax County will find itself not only overwhelmed by demands for public service — especially those involving lives at risk — but all coming even as revenues will be depleted from receiving less in sales and use taxes, and other revenues: the candle will be burned at both ends.”
- Hotline available for assistance: Individuals in need can contact Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services Planning staff at 703-222-0880 (TTY 711) for assistance in connecting to resources. This service is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The multilingual staff can assist callers in multiple foreign languages.
- Unemployment benefits: Federal government employees who have been separated from their job due to the shutdown and have questions about benefits should contact the Virginia Employment Commission. The phone number for the Customer Contact Center is 866-832-2263.
- Free lunch program: FCPS announced on Jan. 8 that meals for breakfast and lunch will be provided to all students regardless of their ability to pay, and unpaid balances will be allowed to build up without immediate repercussions for the duration of the shutdown.
- Northern Virginia Community College: NOVA’s Workforce and Economic Development Office is offering a free (non-credit) class to furloughed federal employees and contractors. Employees can choose from select Business & Management, IT & Computer Skills, and Professional Development classes. Some classes have prerequisites and proof of federal employment is required. Call 703-878-5770 or visit the web site for further information.
- George Mason University’s School of Business will hold career skills workshops — free to furloughed workers and government contractor employees affected by the shutdown — on Jan. 31 at its Arlington campus.
- Child Care Assistance and Referral Program: For families in the CCAR program with a 12-month eligibility, those without income can request that child care co-payments be lowered. CCAR staff are available discuss their ongoing child care needs. Call 703-449-8484 or email [email protected].
- School Age Child Care: Families impacted by the federal government shutdown may continue to use services and apply for a reduced fee and/or develop a payment plan. Alternatively, families may request temporary inactive status, which allows families to maintain a child’s enrollment in SACC. Call 703-449-8989 or email [email protected]
- Free Connector Bus Rides: Fairfax Connector will provide free rides system-wide for federal government employees affected by the government shutdown who are still required to report for work. Eligible riders must present a federal photo ID to the bus operator. For schedules and route information, estimated arrival times, and more, sign up for email and/or text alerts through Fairfax Connector BusTracker.
- Reston Community Center is waiving summer camp fees for children of families affected by the shutdown.
- Pet Supplies: The county Animal Shelter has pet food and a limited amount of other supplies available for furloughed federal employees. The supplies are available during shelter business hours and no is appointment needed. For information, call 703-830-1100 or email [email protected]
Photo via FCPS
If you’re one of the commuters who likes to rush along the twists and turns of Bellview Road, your joyriding days may be numbered.
Bellview Road is a two-lane street running through a neighborhood north of Wolf Trap littered with mansions, but it also has the distinction of being a favored route of various map applications connecting Old Dominion Drive to Leesburg Pike.
“It’s a windy, narrow road and one that deals with a significant amount of cut-through traffic,” said Supervisor John Foust.
A series of traffic calming measures approved at yesterday’s (Tuesday) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting will add seven new speed humps along Bellview Road and one on Ingleside Avenue, closer to downtown McLean.
As VDOT was planning its restrictions of cut-throughs in McLean, Ingleside Avenue was considered but was ruled ineligible for some of the larger restrictions but was considered qualified for other traffic calming.
In November, the Dranesville District Supervisor confirmed that the local community was in support of the traffic calming measures. Foust said there’s no specific date determined for when the speed humps will be installed, but said they would be installed “as soon as possible.”
Photo via Google Maps
Welcome to Luxury For Less, a weekly column highlighting the best deals in luxury real estate. Written by Brandy Schantz of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury For Less offers tips and tricks navigating the competitive real estate market and securing the home of your dreams. To learn more, visit ttrsir.com.
Monday was a holiday in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Congress designated this day as a national day of service and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
This federal agency that leads service and volunteering, launched an effort to make the third Monday in January a “day on, not a day off.” In honor of Monday’s day of service, I would like to highlight volunteer opportunities in the Tyson’s Corner area that you can dedicate some time to throughout the year.
Volunteer service has always been an essential principal in my life and I am proud to be a member of an organization such as TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, a brokerage firm that truly supports local communities.
Nationalservice.gov highlights volunteer opportunities in your area. These opportunities are typically available all year round and always in need of help. Volunteer Fairfax declares volunteering a new year’s resolution worth keeping.
Their website has a database of local opportunities so you can find the right one for you. If you can’t find something there, Volunteer Match offers another database of opportunities and don’t forget to get your kids involved! There are many benefits to volunteering and I hope that 2019 can be a year of service for you.
Now back to house hunting! It’s brutally cold outside so head inside to a great open house this weekend or look at some of these warm interiors:
- 6616 Jill Court McLean (Reduced $25,900)
- 7507 Fisher Drive Falls Church (Reduced $151,000)
- 495 River Forest Drive Great Falls (Reduced $149,000)
- 9102 White Chimney Lane Great Falls (Reduced $20,000)
- 514 SW Meadow Lane Vienna (Reduced $30,000)
- 7008 Churchill Road McLean (Reduced $40,000)
The properties listed are a small selection of properties available in the Tyson’s Corner area. For a full list of properties listed on MLS and private exclusives, please contact Brandy Schantz.
There are plans in the works for nearly every corner of Tysons East, and a distinctive curved glass building called “One Tysons East” is planned for a corner of Route 123 near the McLean Metro station.
“The proposed development of 1690 Old Meadow Road will fill in one of the final remaining pieces of developable property adjacent to the McLean Metro Station,” Fairfax County staff wrote in a report on the project. “The property is completely surrounded by… prior Tysons development approvals.”
To the north, across Route 123, is the sprawling Capital One development that was completed last month. The Scotts Run South development abuts the property on two sides. Working inside the tight confines of this space, the report says the proposed building is “a unique visual feature at a prominent location.”
The applicant, Akridge, proposes a single office tower on the property with ground floor retail accessible to pedestrians. The building designs show that it would be accessible from every frontage. Encouraging bicycle transit is a key part of the development proposal as well, with a bicycle storage room and changing rooms included in the design.
One Tysons East would include 250,000 square feet of office and 12,000 square feet of retail.
The property is currently a two-story brick building constructed in 1977, formerly a GEICO training facility, which will be demolished as part of the construction.
The building has been in the works since at least late 2015, when Akridge acquired the brick building. According to the Fairfax County government website, the development is still under review by county staff.
In a robotics competition featuring 35 schools and 2,500 students from across the state, a team from Vienna’s St. Mark Catholic School walked away with a third place win and $16,000 in scholarships.
According to a press release from the school, eighth-graders Valentina Roza and Frankie Anstett took home a bronze award during the finals for the Cyber Robotics Coding Competition (CRCC), held at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Engineering on Jan. 12. The pair missed second place by only one point, the school said.
The competition features a graphical simulation of a robotics kit, where students use a coding interface to direct the robot to carry out a series of complex tasks and missions.
Two seventh-grade students from the school, Ava Romeo and Finley Tarr, placed 10th in the competition.
All four students were awarded the scholarships, which are applicable only if the students attend VCU.
“We are so proud of our students for shining in this state-wide event,” Darcie Girmus, principal at St. Mark Catholic School, said in the press release. “We feel strongly that by focusing our instruction on critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and teamwork, that they will succeed in any number of challenges across multiple disciplines, including coding.”
Another Tysons Firm Moving to Boro — “Alion Science and Technology Corp. is leaving one Tysons tower for another. The engineering firm, headquartered at Lerner Enterprises’ 1750 Tysons Blvd., has agreed to lease 16,000 square feet at Boro Tower… Alion will join KPMG LLP (roughly 168,000 square feet), Tegna Inc. (46,000 square feet), Hogan Lovells (44,500 square feet), and Womble Bond Dickinson (24,239 square feet).” [Washington Business Journal]
Weather Delays Silver Line Repairs — “Promised sealant for problem concrete panels at Silver Line stations due to open next year is on hold. The sealant is intended to prevent the panels, which were revealed last year to have an incorrect mix that could create problems, from deteriorating over coming decades.” [WTOP]
Tysons Development Quiz — “How much do you know about construction, leasing and development activity in Tysons? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.” [Bisnow]
Hunter Mill District Races — Two candidates are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, which is being vacated by incumbent Pat Hynes. Meanwhile, long-time Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins announced yesterday that she will retire after her term ends. [Reston Now, Reston Now]
Reminder: Drone Meeting Tonight — A meeting to discuss a comprehensive plan for Fairfax County’s use of drones, particularly for public safety, will take place tonight at the McLean District Governmental Center. [Tysons Reporter]
Fairfax County is scheduled to make nearly $3.9 million off of the sale of a property in Tysons West to Dominion Energy, in order to turn the vacant plot into an electric substation.
The item was scheduled for consideration at today’s (Tuesday) Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting, but was deferred by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins without discussion to March 5 at 4 p.m.
The property includes two parcels proffered to the county via rezoning processes. According to the agenda item, the funding raised from the sale will be allocated to public facilities projects in the Tysons area.
The new substation is planned to be constructed just south of Spring Hill Road near Leesburg Pike. The property is west of the Dominion Square development.
According to the staff report:
Because the parcel is not needed for right-of-way purposes, and since the small size of the parcel and its isolation from other public land make it unsuitable for any other public use, the County will serve the greater public benefit by conveying the parcel to Dominion Energy for redevelopment.
Photo via Fairfax County
The fences are up and construction is underway on the site of the former Chili’s in Tysons as Fairfax-based Great American Restaurants prepares for the opening of its latest restaurant later this year.
The new restaurant will occupy a large new building which looks like a cross between a church and a warehouse. It was built on what was once a Chili’s and an On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, before both closed and were torn down.
The manager at another Great American Restaurants location said the new eatery will serve American cuisine. A name hasn’t been selected yet, but the manager said the food would be somewhere between the cuisine of Mike’s American in Springfield and Jackson’s in Reston, two of the company’s other locations.
Great American Restaurants currently operates 10 locations across Fairfax, including Coastal Flats in the Tysons Corner Center mall. Its headquarters are also located in Fairfax, near Merrifield.
On Reddit, several users said the new Tysons restaurant would have a sports bar component. The manager said the location would also contain a bakery, similar to the Best Buns Bread Company in Arlington, and is planning to open in June or July.
This past New Year’s Day brought new resolutions — and, in Virginia, new state vehicle inspection stickers.
The new stickers were first issued by inspection stations at the beginning of January, according to Virginia State Police.
The stickers are smaller, in response to complaints that the new sticker placement on the bottom left of the windshield, which started in 2018, resulted in reduced visibility for drivers. The stickers also come on a backing that reminds drivers to move over for emergency vehicles stopped along the side of the road.
More from a VSP press release:
The Virginia State Police Safety Division is rolling out a newly-designed vehicle safety approval inspection sticker that now includes a traffic safety message. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, all certified Virginia inspection stations began issuing the sticker which has been reduced from 2.75 inches in height to 2 inches and from 4 inches in length to 3 inches. The year of expiration is now permanently affixed to the right side of the sticker, with the only insert being the month of expiration. Even though the overall size has been reduced, the month has been enlarged to provide better visibility.
“The change in size is in response to the feedback State Police received from Virginians following the sticker’s relocation to the bottom left corner of the windshield in 2018,” said Captain R.C. Maxey Jr., Virginia State Police Safety Division Commander. “We heard from a number of motorists who had difficulty seeing around the sticker, so we worked to reduce its size to slightly smaller than the average credit card.”
The sticker’s security features have also been enhanced in order to discourage and prevent unauthorized removal, tampering and counterfeit practices. The changes in size and design do not apply to motorcycle or trailer safety inspection stickers. Vehicle rejection stickers also remain unchanged.
Another new feature of the inspection sticker enables State Police to reach an estimated 8.2 million motorists annually with a reminder about Virginia’s “Move Over” law. This portion of the sticker is not for display on the front windshield. Instead, it is detached by the inspector and provided to the customer. Virginia’s “Move Over” law requires motorists to move over a lane when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law applies to all vehicles equipped with red, blue and amber lights.
The placement of the sticker was changed in 2018 from the center of the windshield to the bottom, left corner due to safety concerns related to automotive innovations in recent years. The center placement of the sticker could prevent a vehicle’s crash avoidance system from operating properly.