Tysons, VA

After a large amount of local consternation over the group homes for a rehab facility proposed near McLean High School, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and other local officials are putting together a meeting to clear things up.

The Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, recently purchased three residential homes (1620, 1622, and 1624 Davidson Road) in McLean with the intent of using them as a treatment facility.

Another project is also planned for 1318 Kurtz Road in the Salona Village neighborhood.

The meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in the McLean High School Auditorium (1633 Davidson Road).

Foust is expected to be joined at the meeting by a pair of local state lawmakers, Dels. Rip Sullivan and Kathleen Murphy. Representatives from Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and from Monroe LLC  — the company that runs the Newport Academy — are also planning to attend, to explain the new facility.

According to Foust’s office:

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the operations of the homes, licensing and permitting authority, relevant legislation and regulations, and resident concerns. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

Photo via Google Earth

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A teen-focused rehab center is planned to open across from McLean High School and some nearby residents are not pleased.

The Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, recently purchased three residential homes (1620, 1622, and 1624 Davidson Road) in McLean with the intent of using them as a treatment facility.

An employee at the Newport Academy confirmed that a new center is planned for McLean, but that the facility is still going through state and medical licensing.

The employee said the new facility is several months away, at least, from opening. But the company does have at least 18 jobs listed as available for the site, from an executive director to tutors and chefs.

A discussion group was started on Facebook on April 4, with some neighbors expressing concerns on everything from increased street traffic to drops in home values. A few others pushed back against the concerns and said they hoped neighbors would avoid “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome.

In an email to local residents, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust wrote that group homes in residential neighborhoods are typically considered “by right” uses, meaning there’s no requirement of public notice and no zoning approvals needed from the county.

Foust also noted that the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of a handicap or disability and that the Code of Virginia requires local zoning ordinances to consider a “residential facility in which no more than eight individuals with mental illness, intellectual disability, or developmental disabilities reside, with one or more resident or nonresident staff persons, as a residential occupancy by a single family.”

While the group’s license application is still pending before the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Foust said approval would hinge on qualifications and quality of care, not local land use concerns.

Photo via Google Maps

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Falls Church Police are investigating after a teacher at a city elementary school discovered vandalism involving a swastika.

Police say the vandalism took place at Mt. Daniel Elementary School (2328 N. Oak Street). A teacher found a bit of fabric at the school’s playground canopy cut in several places, including one set of cuts in the shape of a swastika.

Investigators believe the playground was defaced sometime between 1:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 22) and 12:30 p.m. yesterday (Monday). The canopy was removed immediately and the city’s school superintendent notified parents, they added.

“The City of Falls Church takes acts of anti-Semitic vandalism very seriously,” Police Chief Mary Gavin said in a statement. “Our community will not stand for this unacceptable crime of hatred. We urge anyone with information to reach out to us immediately.”

Falls Church Police are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact the department at 703-248-5053.

There have also been other reports of a swastika spray-painted on a drainage tunnel near the intersection of McLearen Road and West Ox Road in Fairfax County, but it’s unclear if the incidents are related in any way.

Photo via Google Maps

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While local representatives were quick to call for Gov. Ralph Northam’s resignation over a blackface controversy, the public response has been slower to controversies involving Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-10th District), who made headlines last year when she unseated Republican Barbara Comstock, expressed unequivocal support for Vanessa Tyson, who accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting her in 2004.

Congressional Reps. Don Beyer (D-8th District) and Gerry Connolly (D-11th District) have been silent so far on the accusations against Fairfax.

Other local representatives, like State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st District), shared a neutral statement from VA Senate Democrats but have made no other public comment.

The National Organization for Women, however, did call for Fairfax’s resignation Wednesday.

Photo via Facebook

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Morning Notes

Kaine and Stewart Debate in Tysons — U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and GOP challenger Corey Stewart faced off in a televised debate from Capital One headquarters in Tysons last night. The candidates traded barbs as NBC’s Chuck Todd moderated. [Washington Post, NBC News]

No Unmarked Graves at Development Site — “Conducted because of concern from Vienna Town Council members and local residents about possible unmarked graves at a new subdivision near West End Cemetery, a ground-penetrating-radar search on Sept. 25 found no evidence of such burials.” [InsideNova]

Del. Keam Blasts Prison Tampon Ban — Del. Mark Keam (D), who represents part of Tysons, is incensed at a rule at Virginia state prisons that banned visitors from wearing tampons and menstrual cups. The rule was recently suspended amid a public uproar. Wrote Keam on Facebook: “This policy should be BANNED and never reconsidered. In fact, I will draft and introduce legislation in the next General Assembly session to do exactly that.” [Facebook]

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