A trio of Fairfax County Board Supervisors has pushed for the establishment of the Affordable Housing Preservation Task Force.
The task force was created through a board matter during a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on July 28. Chairman Jeff McKay and supervisors John Foust, Dalia Palchik, who represent the Dranesville and Providence districts, noted that the task force is essential in order to preserve affordable housing, especially as older multifamily rental and mobile home communities are threatened by demolition or redevelopment.
“These trends are slowly eroding the county’s market affordable housing stock and forcing families and individuals out of the communities where they work,” the board matter states.
The move comes as the county continues discussions on ways to improve its affordable housing and workforce dwelling unit policies. In 2016, the board calls for the development of a housing strategic plan that offers guidance on how to strengthen and preserve affordable housing.
According to an analysis by the Virginia Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech, there are 9,500 housing units in Fairfax County that are considered market affordable and target households earning 60 percent of the area median income and below.
The county is aiming to ensure that no market affordable housing units in the county are lost — a recommendation provided by the board-created Affordable Housing Resources Panel.
The board matter calls on the task force to develop a comprehensive preservation plan. The task force will provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on the following issues by the end of the first quarter of 2021:
- “Definitions for the types of preservation that can occur in communities;
- typology of properties at risk and characteristics to guide prioritizing properties or
- neighborhoods in need of action sooner; and
- a comprehensive set of preservation strategies that includes recommended policies and
- tools to achieve the county goal of no net loss of affordability.”
“The way to ensure no net loss is through clear articulation of preservation strategies,” the board matter states.
The task force will include a variety of stakeholders, including the private sector, county officers and local planners.
Earlier this week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced new regional restrictions to address a surge of COVID-19 cases in Hampton Roads.
The new restrictions, which go into effect today, lower the maximum number of people allowed at gatherings, limit late-night alcohol assumption at restaurants and cut back indoor dining for restaurants.
The eastern region’s beaches and non-compliance with public health guidelines and mandates appear to be some of the factors for why the area became a coronavirus hot spot.
While the eastern portion of the state has seen a rising number of cases, Northam noted that the percent positivity rates for Northern Virginia and the western region were below the statewide rate.
“There’s been a dramatic decrease in Northern Virginia,” Northam said, about the rate.
When asked by reporters earlier this week if he would consider domestic travel restrictions, Northam said that it’s an option he’s considering. Some states are asking travelers from “high-risk” states to self-quarantine following their arrival.
Let us know in the poll and comments section below if you think Northam’s regional effort is sufficient or if he should announce statewide restrictions.
Photo via Governor of Virginia/Facebook
Tysons Company Reduces Workforce — “MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ: MSTR) cut its workforce by 6% in early July as the company adapted to the business changes brought about by the continued spread of Covid-19 — and its recent cuts helped increase profitability for the Tysons business intelligence software company.” [Washington Business Journal]
Pizza Chain Struggling — “California Pizza Kitchen has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as the chain has been unable to surmount the challenges posed by a steep drop in sit-down dining due to the coronavirus pandemic… California Pizza Kitchen has five locations in Greater Washington, in Pentagon City, Bethesda, Tysons Corner Center, Fairfax Corner and Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg – all currently reopened in a limited capacity.” [Washington Business Journal]
Women’s Suffrage Month — “Fairfax County supervisors, after first being chided by one member, agreed July 28 that all the board’s members would sign a proclamation declaring this August as ‘Women’s Suffrage Month’ in the county.” [Inside NoVa]
Planning Commission OKs three-house subdivision — “Satisfied with planned noise-reduction measures, Fairfax County Planning Commission members on July 22 unanimously recommended the Board of Supervisors approve a three-home subdivision just north of Tysons.” [Inside NoVa]
Photo courtesy Joanne Liebig
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The Fairfax County Planning Commission postponed its decision on a rezoning application for a proposed residential building near the Tysons Corner Metro station.
The owners of J.R.’s Stockyards Inn want to replace the restaurant with a 26-story residential mixed-use building.
The restaurant opened in 1978, and the owners have been in the Tysons area for a long time, John McGranahan, Jr., the lawyer representing the applicant, told the Planning Commission. J.R.’s Stockyards Inn closed its daily restaurant operations in 2011, Tysons Reporter previously reported.
The proposal wants the 270-foot-tall building to offer up to 244 units and a small retail space on the property at International Place and Watson Street, according to county documents. The project also includes a public park and an underground parking structure.
“We designed this parcel to be the first piece of the puzzle… We think it will be a catalyst to redevelopment in this part of Tysons Corner,” McGranahan said.
Following a public hearing last night, the Planning Commission decided to delay voting on whether or not to support the rezoning application. The postponement will give county staff time to work with the applicant on several issues and to review the revised proffers submitted on Wednesday afternoon.
The main issues for county staff and the applicant involve the proposal’s elevated deck over an access road, what Capital One will do with its nearby property and how much of a financial contribution the applicant should make to further Tysons’ grid of streets.
The Planning Commission will reconsider the rezoning application on Sept. 16.
Rendering via KGD Architecture
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station plans to close permanently tomorrow (Friday).
Renita Shelton, the eatery’s manager, posted the announcement earlier today on the Facebook page for the location (2672D Avenir Place).
Bruster’s is known for its variety of cold treats including ice cream, shakes, floats, sodas and cakes.
Shelton called the upcoming closure a “bittersweet moment,” sharing that “the decision to close the shop at this given point in time was necessary for your safety as well as ours.”
Shelton thanked customers who “traveled far and wide” to come to the shop and other D.C. area locations for the ice cream chain.
Tysons Reporter reached out to the store earlier today and will update this story if more information becomes available.
LEON, a natural-based fast food restaurant, is finally arriving in the Mosaic District. The restaurant plans to open its doors on Thursday, Aug 6.
Originally, the restaurant was aiming to open in the winter at 2905 District Avenue, Suite 160. It’s unclear what caused the delay.
To celebrate their opening, LEON is holding a giveaway contest, according to a post on their Facebook page. The winner will receive free LEON through the end of the year. To enter, participants must download the app and create an account.
The restaurant aims to provide a natural take on fast food, offering many options to accommodate people with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans. Their goal is to “make it easier for everyone to live and eat well,” according to their website.
The online menu includes breakfast items like shakshuka and avocado toast, along with all-day dishes ranging from salads to the “LOVe burger” made with a beetroot-soy patty.
LEON was founded in 2004 and has more than 60 locations across the world, including Norway, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
Photo via LEON/Facebook
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A proposed late-night cafe along Leesburg Pike will head to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Last night, the Fairfax County Planning Commission OK’d rezoning plans for the proposed sit-down restaurant on the first floor of the commercial building at 7787 Leesburg Pike.
According to county documents, the restaurant would be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. every day, employing four people and serving up to 72 customers. The second story of the building would continue to be used for office space, county staff said.
“We believe there is a void in this area in terms of cafes and restaurants,” the applicant told the Planning Commission last night, noting that the nearby dining options are not open late at night.
The applicant said that the restaurant, which would be located in Tysons’ East Side neighborhood, aims to complement the area’s continued urbanization.
“We want to establish ourselves there as a to-go location for food in the area,” the applicant said.
Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, the commissioner for the Providence District, said in brief comments that he agrees with county staff’s recommended approval of the proposal, saying that it will support surrounding offices and contribute to the transformation of Tysons.
As for concerns about traffic, the applicant and county staff said that the restaurant’s focus on evening dining is not expected to impact traffic along Leesburg Pike.
“We do anticipate to generate any more traffic than is usual [for that area],” the applicant told the commissioners.
Image via Google Maps
The Fairfax County Park Authority Board plans to present an award to Meridian Group for helping to create Quantum Field in Tysons.
The Meridian Group, which is behind the new Tysons development called The Boro, teamed up with the county’s Board of Supervisors and Park Authority to transform a former parking area into Quantum Field as a proffer agreement for The Boro.
The multisport athletic field fits into the vision for “a robust park system” in Tysons, according to the county’s announcement about the award on Tuesday (July 28).
The development company will receive the Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award, which is named after a former Park Authority board member and honors teamwork to add state-of-the-art facilities, during a virtual ceremony in November.
More from the county:
Through this unique partnership between developers and park planners, Meridian agreed Quantum Field would be operated by the Park Authority and built in accordance with FCPA standards. The agreement stipulated that Meridian would maintain ownership of the property and grant an easement to the FCPA, outlining the terms of maintenance and operation of the field. This partnership allowed Meridian and FCPA to overcome challenges with the site related to utility easements and the field’s location adjacent to the Capital Beltway.
The field, which opened in 2019, is built with synthetic turf and has a playing surface of 180 feet by 360 feet. It offers play for five sports and includes black vinyl perimeter chain-link fencing, concrete walkways, bleacher pads, parking lot lighting, sound-containing walls and landscaping.
Because it was built with synthetic turf, Quantum Field allows for year-round use and is not affected by weather to the degree of natural turf fields. Lighting allows for extended use into the evening hours. Concrete walkways make it accessible for all; landscaping enhances its aesthetic appearance; and the sound barriers benefit area residents who are not using the field.
The field, along with the county’s other athletic fields, is open for organized and permitted use as long as people follow COVID-19 guidelines from the governor, local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the county.
Synthetic fields can accommodate up to 250 people as long as people keep 10 feet away from each other when possible and officials, coaches and players undergo a COVID-19 screening before entering the fields.
Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority/Flickr