Tysons, VA

McLean Automotive Service Center (1387 Chain Bridge Road) is a beloved local landmark of old town McLean, having been around since 1953. Now, the shop has transitioned into a Craftsman Auto Care, the latest in a local franchise of auto shops.

Just as so many car owners have trusted their vehicles to the shop, owners James and John Justice said in a press release they are turning the brick and mortar establishment over to Matt Curry, owner of Craftsman Auto Care.

“I’ve seen how Matt operates and how he treats his customers and employees, and I’d like that for my business,” James Justice said. “I’ll miss the people, but I know I’m leaving them in good hands. It’s time to let someone else tackle the challenges of keeping up with technology, and I’m ready to enjoy retirement away from the auto repair industry.”

The McLean location is the fifth for Craftsman Auto Care, joining Alexandria, Chantilly, Fairfax, and Merrifield.

“We are honored that the Justice brothers trust us with the legacy their father started when he opened McLean Automotive in 1953,” Curry said. “It’s a big responsibility, and I was humbled when I learned Craftsman was the only business that they considered to carry on their heritage.”

Craftsman Auto Care is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Photo via Google Maps

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For the second year in a row, U.S. News and World Report has ranked Falls Church as the third healthiest community in the United States, a slight decline from its number 1 ranking in 2018.

The ranking, which looks at everything from population health to public safety and infrastructure, put Falls Church at the top of the charts in the economy (100 points), population health (98 points) and education (96 points) rankings.

In population health: the Falls Church life expectancy of 81.8 years surpassed the national average of 77.9 years while the smoking rate of 12.8% and the percent of population without insurance of 3.7% were both well below the national average.

For the economy: the median household income of $124,796 was more than double the national average of $49,888. The poverty rate of 2.7% was less than the national average of 14.7% and the unemployment rate of 2.2% was lower than the national average of 3.9%.

Falls Church scored lowest in equity (46 points) and housing (35 points). Under equity, the rankings indicated that Falls Church is significantly less diverse than the national average, along with a higher racial disparity in educational attainment and a higher premature death disparity.

While Falls Church scored highly in housing quality, it was ranked low in both housing affordability and housing capacity. The average person would need to work 54 hours to pay for affordable housing in Falls Church, above the national average of 41 hours. The vacancy rate is also substantially lower, at 0.5%, compared to the national average of 2.4%.

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The last time the Town of Vienna made sweeping changes to the zoning code, astronauts were taking their first steps on the Moon.

At a joint work session with the Planning Commission tonight (Wednesday), the Vienna Town Council is looking at completely overhauling the town’s zoning code that has largely remained intact for half a century.

“The vast majority of provisions in the Zoning Code were initially adopted in 1956 and then carried forward as part of the 1969 code with piecemeal updates to address certain changing conditions over time,” staff said in a report. “A complete overhaul of the Zoning Code has not been undertaken or completed to date. Efforts to shoehorn design-based zoning districts in commercial corridors, specifically the Maple Avenue Corridor, have been repealed.”

The upcoming overhaul will start with an assessment of what’s outdated and what still works. While the zoning code has gotten high marks for keeping the single-family residential character intact, that inflexibility has led to some challenges as well. One of the areas identified in the study of the zoning code as being the most challenging is providing housing suitable for all age groups, with narrow zoning definitions for housing have made difficult. Read More

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Wednesday Morning Notes

AMT Looking for Buyers or Partners for ‘City View Tysons’ Development — “On AMT’s behalf, Cushman & Wakefield recently began marketing 7901 Westpark Drive to interested buyers or equity partners. The ‘shovel ready’ development site is approved for a 215,547-square-foot building, per marketing material from the commercial real estate brokerage.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Bluesy Stoner Rock — “On Friday, Virginia’s dark, bluesy stoner rock outfit Pimmit Hills — featuring former members of King Giant — will release their new EP, Heathens & Prophets.” [Treble]

ManTech CEO Becomes Chairman of Board of Directors — “”Kevin has done an outstanding job as CEO and he is clearly the right individual to lead the board going forward,” said Barry Campbell, a ManTech independent director.” [ExecutiveBiz]

Providence District Council Polls Local Residents — The Providence District Council, a group of local citizens’ associations, has put out a survey asking locals what issues are most important to them. [Providence District Council]

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When students at Cooper Middle School (977 Balls Hill Road) in McLean eventually do return to their classrooms, they could find their school in the middle of a sweeping overhaul.

At a School Board meeting last week, the Board unanimously approved a contract to make a series of improvements to the school, including a renovation of all systems and spaces in the building.

Some of these changes are technical and behind the scenes, but others are more prominent.

“This includes new HVAC, IT, electrical, plumbing, and life safety systems in their entirety,” said John Torre, executive director of communication and community relations for Fairfax County Public Schools. “Approximately 69,000 [square feet] of new space will be added to the existing building.”

This new space includes:

  • new two story classroom addition
  • new library space
  • new courtyard
  • additional classroom space in a new second floor that will be built over a portion of the existing first floor
  • new main entrance
  • reconfigured administration space
  • cafeteria expansion
  • main gym expansion

The existing Kiss and Ride circulation outside the building will be improved in the renovations, with parking at the school reconfigured and expanded. A new paved play area will be provided, Torre said.

“This project is currently scheduled to begin in mid-October 2020 with an end date of late summer 2023,” Torre said.

Image via Google Maps

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In lieu of rolling down the window to put some cash in a firefighter’s boot, those looking to help out their local Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary can get dinner at Chipotle on Maple Avenue today..

A portion of the proceeds from orders placed at the Chipotle at 213 Maple Avenue E. in Vienna today (Tuesday) between 5-9 p.m. will go to the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. If the event page is brought up on a smartphone or the cashier is told you’re there to support the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 33% of the proceeds will be donated to the organization.

For those reticent to buy from the restaurant in-person, orders placed on Chipotle.com or through the Chipotle app for pickup can use the promo code FV32C9F.

Another fundraiser-for-dinner option is the Chick-Fil-A, which is having a mobile order fundraiser where those ordering from the Vienna location can have a portion of their order go to Flint Hill Elementary School if they mention it in the order.

Photo via Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxillary/Facebook

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A Stuff the Bus food drive this weekend will give Tysonians several opportunities to contribute to some of their neighbors in need.

Fairfax County has typically held Stuff the Bus food drives — where volunteers contribute food to those in need — twice a year. But the pandemic and economic downturn has left more in need than usual, so the county is holding more Stuff the Bus events than usual.

Stuff the Bus food drives in May collected 33.6 tons of food for local non-profits to distribute over two days.

This Saturday, Sept. 26, buses will be parked at 21 locations throughout the county from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. to collect donations.

Locations close to Tysons this weekend are:

  • McLean Government Center (1437 Balls Hill Road)
  • Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Avenue East)
  • Providence District Supervisor’s Office (3001 Vaden Drive)
  • James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Road)

The buses will be parked in less frequently used lots to avoid crowding.

The County included a list of frequently requested items from non-profits:

  • Canned Tuna, Salmon or Chicken
  • Soup
  • Canned Pasta
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Canned Fruit (in light syrup or juice)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Bag (Dry) Beans
  • Rice – Brown or White
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Pancake Mix
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Hot and Cold Cereal
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Beans
  • Healthy Snacks (e.g. raisins, granola bars)

Image via Fairfax County

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McLean’s MPAartfest 2020 is kicking off early next month with a planned drive-in concert with some prestigious Motown alumni.

The concert “Voices of Classic Soul” will take place at the McLean Community Center parking lot (1234 Ingleside Avenue) with a showing at 4 p.m. and at 6 p.m.

The concert will feature Joe Coleman from The Platters, Joe Blunt of The Drifters, and Theo Peoples from The Temptations and The Four Tops. The group is scheduled to perform some of the big hits from their respective groups.

Tickets are $25 per car, with cars guided to spaces to ensure proper distancing.

The concert kicks off two-weeks of MPAartfest, a primarily digital program this year and live-streamed concerts.

Image via McLean Project for the Arts

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A portion of Dorr Avenue, a street that runs parallel to Gallows Road through a stretch of offices and businesses in Merrifield, will be closed for the next four weeks as crews relocate underground utilities.

The street will be closed off at the intersection with Prosperity Avenue. Traffic to locations along Dorr Avenue, like ArtsFairfax and Prosperity Flats will be redirected to Merrilee Drive one block east.

The closure is expected to start this Thursday, Sept. 24, and last until Thursday, Oct. 22.

“Vehicular traffic from Prosperity Avenue will not be allowed to turn south on to Dorr Avenue,” VDOT said in a press release. “A detour will use Prosperity Avenue, Merrilee Drive, and Merrifield Avenue. Vehicles can access properties along Dorr Avenue from the south during this work, but will not be able to continue through to Prosperity Avenue.”

VDOT said the closure will not impact pedestrian and bicyclist traffic on the sidewalks.

Image via Google Maps, map via VDOT

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The Angelika Film Center (2911 District Avenue) in the Mosaic District is planning a series of films by Alfred Hitchcock to celebrate October and Halloween.

Most of the shows are $10 with advanced tickets required.

The theater has reopened with new precautions as a result of COVID-19, like decreased seating capacity.

The lineup, according to the Angelika Film Center website:

  • Rear Window — 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7, 2 p.m. on Oct. 7
  • The Birds — 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14, 2 p.m. on Oct. 14
  • Vertigo — 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Oct. 21
  • Shadow of a Doubt — 7 p.m. on Oct. 27 and Oct. 28, 2 p.m. on Oct. 28

Image via Angelika Film Center

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