Tysons, VA

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

McLean and Vienna are not HOA heavy areas, in my opinion, as compared to areas out in Loudoun County.

We have a short list of neighborhoods that have mandatory participation, which is the main difference between a civic association and an HOA. An HOA has a mandatory fee you have to pay if you buy a property within that area, which also means you have to obey the rules and regulations of that neighborhood. A civic association may also have a fee, but it’s strictly optional if you want to participate, and usually it’s very small.

Now some people like the rules of an HOA so they can keep the neighborhood looking “clean,” for example if a neighbor’s lawn gets too long, or there’s a bunch of trash/old cars in a yard. However, the downsides to an HOA are that any changes you want to make on the outside require approval (usually). Adding a shed, renovations, a pool, etc. all require review and approval. With a civic association, you can usually do whatever you want and only have to adhere to Fairfax County regulations.

The other big thing to know is that when you’re buying or selling homes within an HOA community, the seller is required to provide a copy of all of the bylaws, budget, meeting notes, etc. to a purchaser who has a 3 day review period, during which they can void for any reason.

Want chickens and the HOA documents say no? Void the contract without a penalty. A civic association is not subject to this 3 day period since participation is optional. However, it still might be nice to know what the civic association does. It might give insight into neighborhood parties, events, resources, etc.

Some example of civic associations are:

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Bruster’s Real Ice Cream on Avenir Place is closing for the winter later this week.

A sign on the door says that the location (2672 Avenir Place) by the Dunn Loring Metro station will temporarily shut down beginning Thursday (Oct. 31).

The chain serves up a variety of cold treats including ice cream, shakes, floats, sodas and cakes.

Partons can grab a sweet-treat on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. before Bruster’s closes for the season.

The shop will reopen on March 1, 2020, according to the sign.

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Autonomous vehicles connecting the Mosaic District to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro may arrive as soon as next spring.

Earlier this year, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decided to start a pilot program for self-driving vehicles as a shuttle service. Dominion Energy and the county decided to partner up on the program.

Deputy County Executive Rachel Flynn said at a Bisnow event today (Thursday) that the autonomous vehicles are expected to arrive in the spring or summer.

The vehicles will come from EasyMile, which is based in France, she said.

Flynn also said that the county has received a grant from the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, but did not disclose the amount.

Photo via Facebook/EasyMile

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A new craft beer store is coming to Avenir Place by the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Black Dog Beer Shop is set to open this fall at 2672M Avenir Place, according to a liquor license application.

“The goal of Black Dog Beer Shop is to provide a craft beer store with a large variety of local craft beers,” according to the beer shop’s website.

People can expect to find local brews at the shop, including Port City Brewing, Aslin Beer Co. and Ornery Beer Company, along with taps for growler fill-ups.

Owner Tyler, who is a disabled Marine veteran, said on the website that he is opening the store because “I wanted a place to grab a beer with my dog.”

As for the dog behind the store’s name?

“Ash, the black dog in Black Dog Beer Shop, is currently 8 months and well over to 80 lbs… Some of his favorite chew toys include stainless steel, wood and iron. Don’t leave your beer unattended around him, he will definitely steal it!” the website says.

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A husband and wife team have opened a business franchise that cleans and does maintenance on homes in the Tysons area.

Carmen Hendricks and Chad Akers, who both have backgrounds in real estate, decided to join the TruBlue Total House Care franchise after looking for affordable home care in the area, according to a press release.

“There was definitely a need for a holistic, reasonably-priced approach to exterior and interior home maintenance in this area that could help seniors stay in their homes longer and be great for busy professionals, like ourselves, who want to spend less time working on their own homes and more time with family and friends,” Hendricks said.

TruBlue Total House Care of Vienna provides handyman, maid, lawn and seasonal services in Vienna, Oakton, Tysons, McLean, Great Falls, Falls Church and Dunn Loring.

The business offers a monthly maintenance program, along with services to homeowners, realtors and rental property owners who need help with moving maintenance and commercial services for business clients.

“We both love this area, but have never felt like we’ve gotten to know the community or the people who live here, other than those we have met through work,” she said. “We want to be the neighbor you can trust with all of your house care needs.”

Photo courtesy TruBlue Total House Care of Vienna

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A new convenience store may soon open in Merrifield.

The Bodega will move into a space at 2730 Gallows Road near the Dunn Loring Metro station.

It is unclear when the business will open, but the owner recently placed a banner outside the shop announcing the new location saying the bodega is “coming soon.”

A pending liquor license application indicates that the shop wants to sell beer and wine.

Tysons Reporter reached out to but did not hear back from the owner.

Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this story. 

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A person has been struck by a train at the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

The incident was first reported by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue around 2:15 p.m. Firefighters were “working to access” the person struck by the train, the fire department said via social media; the person has since been extricated from under the train and taken to a local hospital.

Orange Line trains heading toward Vienna are instead terminating at West Falls Church, Metro said, with shuttle buses running between the West Falls Church and Vienna stations.

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Fairfax County police are investigating a burglary at a McLean pool and tennis club over the weekend.

Police said that two men broke into the Hamlet Swim and Tennis Club (8209 Dunsinane Court) around 1 a.m. on Sunday (June 23) and stole a safe.

“Both suspects are described as white and in their late teens,” according to the police report.

Other crime incidents over the weekend in the Tysons area include a burglary in a home in the 7400 block of Old Maple Square around 4 a.m. on Friday (June 21).

In a separate incident on Friday, police said a man grabbed a woman from behind and stole her wallet around midnight in the 2600 block of Avenir Place by the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

“The man was described as Asian, in his 20s, 5’8″ and skinny,” according to the police report.

Image via Google Maps

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A proposal to launch an autonomous shuttle program in Merrifield was awarded a state grant, making it the first state-funded pilot of its kind in Virginia.

The Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board approved $250,000 in grant funding for Fairfax County to test driverless technology in public transportation, according to a press release. Fairfax County will provide $50,000 in local match funding to the pilot.

The program was the topic of extensive discussion at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors work session yesterday (Tuesday). The pilot project will have an autonomous shuttle running from the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station to the Mosaic District, closing a 1-mile transit gap between the two locations.

The project is a collaboration between Fairfax County and Dominion Energy, which would identify, select and purchase the shuttles.

The shuttle would be free to ride with no ticket or pass needed.

The work session included a discussion of safety challenges related to operating an autonomous shuttle, particularly the challenge of getting the shuttle across Lee Highway. The press release noted that the shuttles will undergo extensive testing before passenger service can begin and a safety steward will be on board to monitor operations.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set to consider the formal partnership agreement at the Tuesday, June 25, Board of Supervisors meeting.

Rendering via Optimus Ride

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