Tysons, VA

The developer behind the Scotts Run development in Tysons wants to make some changes to the project.

The changes, which were proposed in November, include an adjustment to two heights to a parking podium connected to a residential building, according to Lynne Strobel, the attorney representing the Smith Group.

The developers want to raise the parking garage height from four stories to five for one building and from 4.5 to five for another, according to documentation from Strobel, adding that the height is still within the range originally approved by Fairfax County.

“The podium will appear to be an extension of the building with the use of glass and masonry,” the documents said. 

The 26-story building, which will primarily include residential housing, would no longer include underground parking with the proposed changes.

“It’s within the same range of units,” Strobel said, adding the changes won’t affect residents outside of an aesthetic design shift. 

When development changes are minor, a Fairfax County Planning Commission spokesperson said that it is not always necessary to host a public hearing or require the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to re-approve the proposal.

The upcoming buildings sit on roughly an acre of land, according to Fairfax County records and will be partially designated for affordable housing options.

Image via Cityline Partners

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The Fairfax County delegation to the General Assembly will hold a public hearing for the upcoming 2020 session.

The hearing will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway).

Residents interested in speaking at the hearing should register online or contact the county’s Department of Clerk Services at 703-324-3151 by Thursday, Jan. 2.

Only county residents can speak either on behalf of themselves or an organization serving county residents. All speakers will be allocated three minutes to address the delegation. The hearing will be streamed online.

The 2020 session convenes on Wednesday, Jan. 8. More information about key dates is available online.

This story was written by Fatimah Waseem and also appeared on our sister site Reston Now.

Photo via Fairfax County/Facebook

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With the upcoming holidays, several businesses and services around the area are making adjustments for their hours of operation.

Tysons Reporter compiled a list of key changes for community members who may be affected.

County-Wide

For people who take public transit, the Fairfax Connector will operate on a normal schedule on both Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), according to a Fairfax County Department of Transportation press release. On Christmas Day (Dec. 25) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) the buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Times for specific busses can be found online.

All Fairfax County government offices will be operating on a half-day schedule on Dec. 24 and be closed on Dec. 25.

The United States Postal Service will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Metro riders can expect trains to run on a varied schedule during the holidays:

  • Dec. 24: 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 25: 8 a.m. t0 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 31: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Jan. 1: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Vienna

The Town of Vienna Community Center will be closed on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. During New Year’s Eve, the center will be open but on a modified schedule, according to the website.

Government offices for the town will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with a half-day on Christmas Eve.

Trash collection services will be running on a normal scheduled on Christmas Eve but not in operation on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Falls Church 

The Mary Riley Styles Public Library will close at noon on Christmas Eve and 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. It will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

City Hall and the community center (223 Little Falls Street) will both close at noon on Christmas Eve and reopen Thursday (Dec. 26).

Most government offices will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, according to the city’s website and most meetings originally scheduled for the day will be canceled.

All curbside trash, rubbage or recycle collection originally scheduled for Dec. 24 will be moved to Saturday (Dec. 26). Collection scheduled for New Years Day (Jan. 1) will be moved to Saturday (Jan. 4).

McLean

The McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) will close early at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and the day after Christmas (Dec. 26) at 8 p.m. The center will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

Due to holiday festivities, Tysons Reporter won’t be publishing on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. We will be pushing on a shortened schedule from tomorrow (Dec. 24) to next Tuesday (Dec. 31).

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(Updated 12/19/19) Last night, the members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors were sworn in.

The 10-member board will see four new faces in the New Year, including Dalia Palchik, the new representative for Tysons.

Here is information on who will be in the seats at the board’s first meeting next year.

Chairman: Jeffrey McKay

McKay was first elected to the board in 2007, serving as the Lee District Supervisor until the end of this year, according to his county bio. Prior to joining the board, he was the chief of staff to former Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman from 1996 through 2007.

McKay beat three challengers to clinch the Democratic nomination for the county board’s chair in the June primary before defeating Republican Joseph Galdo in the November election.

Hunter Mill District: Walter Alcorn

Alcorn will fill the seat of Cathy Hudgins, who served on the board for five terms and announced her retirement at the start of this year. He beat five Democrat challengers in the primary.

Alcorn is a former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner and served on the Fairfax County Park Authority Board. He has also worked as a policy aide in the Providence District supervisor’s office and was the president of the Herndon High School PTSA.

Lee District: Rodney Lusk

McKay’s run for the chair left the Lee District seat open. Lusk beat three Democratic challengers in the June primary.

Lusk has been a Fairfax County employee for the past 29 years — including working for then-Supervisor Gerry Connelly as a land use zoning aide and most recently as the national marketing director for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, according to his campaign website.

Providence District: Dalia Palchik

Palchik grew up in the area after immigrating with her family to the United States at an early age from Argentina. She was elected to the Fairfax County School Board in 2015 and served as the Providence District Representative.

Just days after current Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth announced in December that she wouldn’t seek election, Palchik jumped into the race and defeated four Democratic challengers in the June primary. In November, she beat Republican Eric Anthony Jones.

Sully District: Kathy Smith

First elected to the board in 2016, Smith was re-elected as Sully District Supervisor in November, beating Republican Srilekha Palle.

Previously, Smith served as the Sully District Representative to the Fairfax County School Board for 14 years, including as the chairman three times, according to her county bio. She was also a teacher for seven years and taught in her home state of New Jersey.

Mount Vernon District: Daniel Storck

Storck was first elected as Mount Vernon District Supervisor in 2015 and reelected this fall.

He has developed and owned healthcare, benefits and insurance consulting firms and was previously a school board member from 2004-2015, according to his county bio. Notable resume item: he also was an Abraham Lincoln impersonator.

Braddock District: James Walkinshaw

Walkinshaw, a former chief of staff to Rep. Gerry Connolly, announced his run for the seat to replace Republican John Cook, who retired. He beat Republican Jason Remer and independent candidate Carey Chet Campbell in November.

Walkinshaw previously volunteered as a mentor to at-risk boys through Fairfax County’s Befriend-A-Child program and joined Fairfax County’s Council to End Domestic Violence, according to his campaign website.

He serves on the Board of the Ravensworth Farm Civic Association and is a volunteer with the Friends of Lake Accotink Park, the bio says.

Dranesville District: John Foust

First elected to the board in 2007, Foust was reelected to represent McLean, Great Falls and Herndon residents on the county board. He defeated Republican Ed Martin in the November election.

Originally from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Foust has been living in Northern Virginia since 1981 and in McLean since 1987, according to his county bio. Foust worked in steel mills and practiced construction law in Northern Virginia.

Mason District: Penelope Gross

In the November election, Gross was able to keep her seat, defeating Republican Gary Aiken. She was first elected to the board in 1995, according to her county bio.

Previously, she worked as a staffer in various congressional offices, served on the Board of the Lincolnia Park Civic Association and was on the Executive Board of the Mason District Council of Civic Associations, her bio says.

Springfield District: Pat Herrity

Herrity hung onto his seat, beating Democrat Linda Sperling. He was first elected to the board in 2007, according to his campaign website. Herrity’s father was a former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

With Cook retiring, Herrity will be the only Republican on the board in 2020.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to have their first meeting in 2020 on Jan. 14.

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The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) announced today (Monday) that it has poached another one of Arlington’s economic development officials.

Back in July, Fairfax County hired Victor Hoskins, the then-head of the Arlington Economic Development (AED) who helped bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Arlington, to become FCEDA’s president and CEO.

Now, FCEDA is hiring Alex Iams as executive vice president, according to a press release.

Iams served as AED’s interim director after Hoskins left for the Fairfax County position.

“Iams has spent 13 years at AED, including five years as [an] assistant director before being named interim director,” the press release said. “The position is a new one at the FCEDA.”

AED’s bio for Iams says:

Alex Iams has spent the last 16 years working in economic development experience, including the past 12 with Arlington County. He has been the Assistant Director at Arlington Economic Development (AED) since 2014, focusing on efforts to lower the office vacancy rate and diversify the local economy. Before joining the director’s office, Iams worked on the land use and infrastructure finance plans for the redevelopment of Crystal City and the Columbia Pike area.

In addition, he has served in various leadership roles in Arlington County government, including a four-year term on the Arlington County Employee Retirement System Board of Trustees and as Acting Assistant Director of the Department of Environmental Services.

Iams has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington.

Iams is set to begin his new job on Jan. 21.

“The EDA’s talent initiative is unprecedented in this region, and I am excited to have the chance to make a difference in such a large community and one that is emphasizing transit-oriented development,” Iams said in the press release.

Photo via Arlington Economic Development

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Tysons-area companies made up nearly half of Fairfax County’s list this year of top workplaces for commuters.

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors recognized 17 companies on Tuesday (Dec. 3) who have taken steps to become more commuter-friendly.

The eight companies in the Tysons area include:

Three companies in Reston, three in Herndon, two in Fairfax and one in Alexandria also made the “Best Workplaces for Commuters” list.

Fairfax County offers a program through the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) provides employers with information about ridesharing and other transportation alternatives for workers, according to a press release.

“We are excited to celebrate the first 100 Fairfax County employers leading the nation in providing high-level commuter benefit programs to their employees,” Marcus Moore, FCDOT’s lead employer outreach specialist with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said in a press release. “Employers offering commuting alternatives receive value through enhanced recruitment and retention of staff, decreased parking expenses as well the ability to limit employee absenteeism. It’s a win-win for the employers, the employees and Fairfax County.”

The annual “Best Workplaces for Commuters” lists stems from the county’s partnership with a membership program managed by the Center for Urban Transportation Research at the University of South Florida “to recognize employers who have excelled in implementing green commuter programs, including ride-sharing, transit benefits, biking and walking, teleworking, alternate work schedules and other strategies,” according to the county.

Photo via KETTLER/Facebook

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Tysons Partnership will receive up to $1 million from Fairfax County to help rebrand Tysons and rethink the group’s business model.

Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler to rebrand the area to encourage economic growth and is also looking to establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

Currently, the members of Tysons Partnership pay dues, Sol Glasner, the nonprofit’s president, told the board in September.

The Board of Supervisors approved the funding, which comes from Economic Opportunity Reserve, on Tuesday (Dec. 3).

The funding could get allocated toward placemaking events, branding efforts, sponsorship and media outreach Joe LaHait, the debt manager for the Department of Management and Budget, told the county board in September.

Tysons Partnership aims to have the rebranding study done by the end of the year, which it will share with Fairfax County, according to county documents.

As part of the approval of the funding, the county requires that the recommendations from the final report do not overlap with the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and that Tysons Partnership consider funding options as part of a new business model that provide long term sustainability, according to the county.

More from the county:

EOR funding will result in an equal match from the Tysons Partnership, who are fundraising their allocation from their membership. The county will request from the Tysons Partnership at the end of each financial quarter a summary of their fundraising amounts.

The county will then provide an equivalent EOR allocation to the Tysons Partnership. This process will continue following successive quarterly reviews up to a maximum county contribution of $1,000,000.

Several Fairfax County supervisors, including Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth, have said that the funding could help revitalize Tysons with a more “sophisticated” branding approach. In the past, branding efforts have included water tank decals and streetlight banners, Smyth said.

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Fairfax County officials say that a newly approved parking rate for the county’s largest malls would not adversely affect Tysons malls.

Yesterday (Tuesday), the Board of Supervisors approved the zoning ordinance amendment that will allow lower parking rates at the four largest malls in the county — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center.

The proposal was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.

The county’s planners stressed that the focus of the zoning amendment was meant to help Fair Oaks Mall, yet it sparked concern about whether it would create parking problems at Tysons Corner Center and also about the lack of data for the Tysons malls.

Nelson/Nygaard study’s evaluated parking data for Fair Oaks Mall and the Springfield Town Center, but the study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons.

“It really has no bearing on Tysons,” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said yesterday, noting that Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, which allows for lower parking rates. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in.

“There has been concern raised in the community that it would [cause issues in Tysons], but I agree with Supervisor Smyth that the real impact is in Springfield and Fair Oaks, where we need to reduce the parking requirements,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said.

The change now lets shopping centers with 800,000 square feet of gross floor area or more to have a parking rate of 2.5 instead of four spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

In addition to the zoning change, the county board also approved directing staff to prioritize review of the parking rates in phase two of the zoning ordinance modernization effort.

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Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors approved funding to help the Town of Vienna find economic development solutions.

The Town of Vienna approached the county earlier this year about splitting the cost of an economic development strategy and market study totaling $100,000.

The town set aside its $50,000 half when it approved its fiscal year 2020 budget.

Recently, the town has taken steps recently to work towards boosting its economic development and address vacancies plaguing Maple Avenue.

The town created its first-ever economic development manager position in the summer and hired a business development manager in Arlington County for the role in November.

The town had a 15% vacancy rate with 138 vacant spaces — 68 of which are on Maple Avenue, Scott Sizer from the Department of Economic Initiatives told the Board of Supervisors during a Budget Committee in September.

The new strategy and study — which could take up to a year to complete — are meant to revitalize Maple Avenue, find more efficient use of resources to address the vacancies, discover how to aid business recruitment and create place-making strategies, Sizer said.

“The proposed project is an opportunity to support [the] revitalization of the Town’s Maple Avenue corridor and improve property tax revenues for the county and town,” according to county documents, noting that the new economic development manager will oversee the studies and implement the recommendations.

The board approved the $50,000 yesterday (Tuesday). The funds are coming from the Economic Opportunity Reserve.

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Thanksgiving is tomorrow (Thursday). For people in the Tysons area, some government facilities will be closed and public transit options will be operating on modified schedules.

Here’s a list of public services that will be affected by Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

County-wide

  • Fairfax County government offices will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.
  • Public libraries run by Fairfax County will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.
  • Fairfax County Public Schools are on break from today (Wednesday, Nov. 27) to Friday.
  • The Metrobus and Metrorail will run on holiday schedules for Thanksgiving and resume typical service on Friday.
  • The Fairfax Connector will operate Sunday service on Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekday service on Friday.
  • United States Postal Service offices will be closed on Thanksgiving.

Vienna

  • The Vienna Community Center will be open on Friday (Nov. 29) from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The Town of Vienna’s government offices will be closed Thanksgiving and Friday.

McLean

Falls Church

  • The City of Falls Church’s government offices and buildings, the community center and the Mary Riley Styles Public Library will be closed Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
  • Falls Church Community Center will be closed Thanksgiving and open from 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday.

Speaking of closed offices, Tysons Reporter will be on a break as well on Thursday and Friday.

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