Clothing Stores to Fill Former L.L. Bean — The now-closed L.L. Bean at Tysons Corner Center will be divided into smaller parts, including a two-story store for the fast fashion chain Primark. Plans indicate that Old Navy and Lululemon Athletica will also relocate to new spaces, leaving about 10,000 square feet left for other tenants. [Washington Business Journal]
Firefighters Flock to Woodson High School — “An early morning fire on damaged at least one building in Fairfax County Public Schools’ Woodson Complex off of Main Street on the eastern border of Fairfax City on Sunday. The complex is home to the school district’s Office of Facilities Management, which houses FCPS’ central operations, grounds operations, receiving, and food service.” [Patch]
FCPS Recognizes More Religious Holidays — The Fairfax County School Board approved a calendar for the 2022-2023 school year that designates Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Diwali, and Orthodox Good Friday as student holidays. The year will start on Aug. 22, and Veterans Day is also now a student holiday and staff work day. [FCPS]
Tysons-Based ID.me Partners with IRS — “You’ll soon have to prove your identity to a Virginia-based security company called ID.me in order to file a return, check tax records, or make payments on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website. Your old username and password credentials–if they still work–will stop working in the summer of 2022.” [Fast Company]
GMU Changes COVID-19 Vaccine Policy — George Mason University students are now “strongly encouraged,” rather than required, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after new Attorney General Jason Miyares said on Friday (Jan. 28) that state universities can’t mandate the vaccine without enabling legislation. About 96% of the university’s students are vaccinated. [The Washington Post]
Virginia Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Possible Snow — “The National Weather Service is calling for 2 to 3 inches of snow in the District of Columbia and the immediate suburbs in Northern Virginia, along with Fredericksburg. Western Fairfax and Prince William counties, along with Loudoun County, are in the zone where only 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected.” [Patch]
Regular Metrobus Service to Return — Metro will restore regular weekday bus service on Feb. 7, as COVID-19 case rates among employees start to decline. The transit system has been operating at only about 75% of its usual service since Jan. 10 due to a shortage of drivers, leading to reports of buses not showing up and students being stranded. [DCist]
Four Displaced by VITA Tysons Fire — An unattended candle started an apartment fire in the 7900 block of Tysons One Place at 4:02 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 26). The fire was extinguished by a sprinkler, but four residents were displaced, and there was $3,000 in property damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. [FCFRD/Twitter]
Vienna Seeks New Planning Director — “Vienna Planning and Zoning Director Cindy Petkac has stepped down, town officials said at the Vienna Town Council’s Jan. 24 meeting. Petkac departed in December last year because she ‘wanted to pursue other professional opportunities,’ said Town Manager Mercury Payton.” [Sun Gazette]
Founders Row Restaurants Confirmed — The new casual, American concept Ellie Bird will be joined at the upcoming Falls Church development by Arlington-based seafood restaurant Chasin’ Tails, the fast-casual Roll Play Vietnamese Grill, and Vietnamese restaurant-bar Nue. Founders Row is under construction now but reportedly nearing completion. [Falls Church News-Press]
McLean Central Park Meeting Postponed — “The virtual public meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 to present the revised McLean Central Park Development Concept Plan has been rescheduled. A new meeting date is now confirmed for Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 7 p.m.” [FCPA]
Two Injured in Fire at CIA HQ — Two CIA employees were transported to a hospital for possible smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at the agency’s headquarters in McLean on Saturday (Oct. 2). The “small building fire” was extinguished by sprinklers around 12:30 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, and the cause hasn’t been determined. [WTOP]
Parents Protest Outside McAuliffe Campaign Office — Fairfax County police responded to a protest of about 20 people outside Terry McAuliffe’s campaign office on Jones Branch Drive in McLean on Friday (Oct. 1). A passerby told Tysons Reporter that the parents, who police said “were peacefully demonstrating,” were “incensed” by the Democratic gubernatorial nominee saying in a recent debate that he doesn’t think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Founders Row Welcomes First Residents — “After a decade since the project was first proposed, the first 20 residents began moving in this Monday [Sept. 27] to the massive 4.3 acre Founders Row development project at the intersection of W. Broad and N. West Street in the City of Falls Church.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Tysons Corner Bloomingdale’s Burgled — “COMMERICAL BURGLARY: 8100 Tysons Corner Center (Bloomingdales), 9/27/21, 4:40 a.m. Someone forced entry into the business and took property.” [Fairfax County Police Department]
Police Face Pressure from Understaffing, Reform Advocates — The McLean Citizens Association’s recent public safety forum highlighted a number of issues facing the Fairfax County Police Department, from struggles to recruit and retain officers to calls for additional reforms to address civil rights concerns and improve transparency. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
All Terrain Vehicle Caused Building Fire in Tysons — “Building fire on 4/24 at 1:49 PM in 1500 block Spring Hill Rd, Tysons. Crews located ATV on fire in repair shop. Fire extinguished by fire sprinkler system. No injuries reported. Cause: an electrical malfunction involving the wiring circuit of ATV. Damages: $6K.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Twitter]
Citizens Group Unimpressed by Proposed Falls Church School Names — A group of citizens led by a former Falls Church City mayor and two former vice mayors says that none of the names proposed as replacements for George Mason High School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School “resonated” with them. The school board is scheduled to choose new names tonight (Tuesday). [Falls Church News-Press]
Vienna to Put Cottage Housing on Display — “Cottage housing…increasingly is in demand as home prices skyrocket and people’s desires for simpler living increase. To give the public a sense of how such a collection of diminutive dwellings might be arranged, the Vienna Planning and Zoning Department from May 8 through 23 will display a scale-model development using dog houses at the Vienna Town Green.” [Sun Gazette]
Meat-Centered Restaurant Reopens in Mosaic District — The B Side, a restaurant supported by Red Apron Butcher, started offering indoor dining again for the first time in more than a year earlier this month. Chef and butcher Nathan Anda marked the occasion with a brand-new menu that features everything from schnitzel to a wagyu pastrami bowl. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Lifted — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration determined Friday (April 23) that the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine should resume. Its use was halted on April 13 due to reports of rare blood clots in 15 cases out of the 8 million people who have received the vaccine. [Patch]
Smoking Materials Caused Vienna Fire — A building fire in the 100 block of Church Street in Vienna on April 22 was the result of improperly discarded smoking materials. The fire caused about $18,750 in damages, but no one was displaced or needed medical assistance. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Bijan Ghaisar Case Moved to Federal Court — A federal judge decided on Friday that the case against two Park Police officers who shot McLean resident Bijan Ghaisar after a vehicle pursuit in 2017 should be moved from state to federal court, where the defendants’ attorneys hope to have the case dismissed. A Fairfax County grand jury indicted the officers on manslaughter charges in October. [DCist]
McLean District Police Report Commercial Burglaries — The Fairfax County Police Department reported three commercial burglaries in the McLean District in its most recent weekly recap. The incidents occurred at CosmoProf (2976 Gallows Rd.) on April 16 and at Merrifield One Hour Photo (2833 Gallows Rd.) and Tobacco Plus 1 (7640 Lee Highway) on April 17. [FCPD]
Early Voting Begins Today — At 9 a.m., Fairfax County voters can start casting their ballots for the June 8 Democratic primary. Early voting has expanded from previous years, with all registered voters now allowed to participate and the county immediately offering three locations with Saturday hours. [Fairfax County Government]
McLean Downtown Plan Public Hearing Pushed Back — The Fairfax County Planning Commission will defer a public hearing on the McLean Community Business Center study that was scheduled for next Wednesday (April 28). A new date for the public to comment on the much-debated draft plan will be announced on April 28. [Fairfax County Planning Commission]
I-66 West in Dunn Loring Closed Tonight — “All lanes of I-66 West approaching I-495 will be closed during the overnight hours Friday, April 23, to allow for continued installation of bridge beams for new ramps at the I-66/I-495 Interchange. All I-66 West traffic will be detoured around the closure via Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) West and I-495 South.” [VDOT]
Man Arrested for Capital Beltway Crashes — Virginia State Police arrested a 26-year-old man yesterday (Thursday) for allegedly crashing into two vehicles around the 53-mile marker of I-495 in Fairfax County and punching the drivers in an attempt to carjack their vehicles. The suspect is in custody in Maryland with charges pending as he awaits extradition to Virginia. [WTOP]
Fire Temporarily Closes Vienna’s Church Street — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded to a fire in the basement of a building on the 100 block of Church Street NE in Vienna yesterday. The fire was extinguished with no reported injuries, but the activity temporarily closed the road between Center and Mill streets. [Patch]
Capital One Airport Lounge Coming to Dulles — “Capital One Financial Corp. plans to open its Dulles International Airport lounge sometime in 2022 and we now have renderings that show what the 9,100-square-foot space could look like. The Dulles location will be the second of a network of lounges the McLean-based financial giant is branding, Capital One (NYSE: COF) announced Monday.” [Washington Business Journal]
Improperly discarded smoking materials produced a fire in a one-story, single-family home in the Vienna/Dunn Loring area last night, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported this morning.
Units from the county and City of Fairfax were dispatched to the 2600 block of Bowling Green Drive just off of Cedar Lane at approximately 9:28 p.m. for a reported house fire.
Upon arriving at the scene, first responders found that a fire on the house’s rear deck was starting to spread toward the building itself. The fire was extinguished, and no injuries were reported to either the firefighters or the two people who were at home when the fire started.
“One of the occupants observed fire on the deck while looking out a window,” the FCFRD said. “Both occupants evacuated and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms activated, but after the fire was discovered.”
Both residents have been displaced as a result of the fire, which caused around $116,400 in damages. Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature.
Citing this fire as an example of what could happen, the FCFRD cautions that improperly discarded cigarettes and other smoking materials, like ashes, can be especially hazardous on days like today. Fairfax County is currently under a Red Flag Warning for weather conditions that could contribute to fires.
The fire department says smoking materials should not be left in mulch, shrubbery, or potted plant soil, which can be highly flammable in dry weather. Ashtrays and sand are the best options for safe disposal.
The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Fairfax County and the rest of the D.C. region today, signaling that weather conditions could breed fires.
The warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It replaces a Fire Weather Watch that had been issued yesterday and was scheduled to begin at noon today.
“A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” the NWS says. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.”
Here is more from the alert:
The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has issued a Red Flag Warning for low humidity and gusty winds, which is in effect from 11 AM this morning to 6 PM EST this evening. The Fire Weather Watch is no longer in effect.
* WINDS…Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph.
* RELATIVE HUMIDITY…20 to 30 percent.
* IMPACTS…Critical fire weather conditions are likely to develop today. All outdoor burning is discouraged, as fires could rapidly spread and become uncontrollable.
* FUEL MOISTURE…5 to 8 percent for fine fuels.
Virginia already prohibits open-air burning before 4 p.m. for fires that are within 300 feet of the woods or dry grass which can carry the fire to the woods. The 4 p.m. Law takes effect every year from Feb. 15 to April 30, since the combination of elevated winds and low humidity traditionally results in increased numbers of fires, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry.
“You are allowed to burn between 4 p.m and midnight as long as you take proper care and precaution and attend your fire at all times,” the Department of Forestry says.
Evidence of the heightened risk of fires was on display last night in Vienna, where a house fire caused by improperly discarded smoking materials resulted in $116,400 in damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported.
“These conditions are ripe for an improperly discarded cigarette/smoking material, thrown into mulch or other brush, to spark a significant fire that can then spread to homes and buildings,” the FCFRD said. “Many times, these fires have the potential to spread to homes and buildings that are close by.”
The fire department says cigarettes and other smoking materials should be discarded in an ashtray or bucket of sand, and butts and ashes should be completely doused with water before being thrown away. Cigarettes should never be disposed of in mulch, shrubbery, or potted plant soil, which can be highly flammable in dry weather.
. @NWS_BaltWash has issued a Red Flag Warning Today 11 AM-6 PM! Strong winds (gusts up to 30 mph), low relative humidity, & warm temps may promote rapid spread of outside fires. Don’t Dispose Of Cigarettes In Bushes/Mulch! Sink It Or Soak It! More: https://t.co/4qI4ClY984 #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/TovFhAj0Mv
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) March 11, 2021
Home Depot Buys Tysons Property But Plans Are Unclear — “The Atlanta-based home improvement giant paid $35.9 million for 2000 Chain Bridge Road, a 7.08-acre site at the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and Leesburg Pike, according to public records.” [Washington Business Journal]
Bridge Work Reduces I-66 Approaching Cedar Lane to One Travel Lane — “Overnight lane closures and traffic stoppages are planned on I-66 East and West in Vienna area Monday, January 25, through Friday, January 29, for overhead bridge work at Cedar Lane. This work is part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.” [VDOT]
Vienna Storage Room Fire Still Under Investigation — The cause of a storage room fire that occured on Dec. 19 at the 9300 block of Lee Highway remains under investigation. Fire investigators are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying three persons of interest and getting information about vehicles that may have been damaged at the time. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]
Walmart Partners with Tysons Startup on Home Deliveries — Walmart announced on Jan. 12 that it will partner with the Tysons-based startup HomeValet on a pilot project to test temperature-controlled smart boxes that could allow groceries to “be delivered, contact-free, to the secure box and kept cold at any time — even if the customer isn’t at home.” [TechCrunch]
Tysons Tops D.C. Suburbs in Number of New Apartments — “According to RENTCafé, 2,562 new units have been completed in Tysons in the past five years, putting the locale tenth nationwide for the most suburban apartment construction.” [DC UrbanTurf]
Major Falls Church Developments Seek Changes — The City of Falls Church is considering proposed revisions to its agreements with developers on the Gateway, Founders Row, and Broad and Washington projects. The city council will vote on the latter two tonight (Monday). [Falls Church News-Press]
Staff Photo by Jay Westcott
Emergency responders with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department are on the scene of a house fire in the 1100 block of Pine Hill Road in McLean.
The blaze was visible through the house’s second floor when crews first arrived around 10 a.m. today (Tuesday).
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) December 22, 2020
The FCFRD reported at 10:21 a.m. that the fire has been extinguished, and crews are now clearing smoke from the home. No injuries have been reported.
Responders from Arlington County and Montgomery County provided assistance.
UPDATE: house fire in the 1100 block of Pine Hill Road in McLean area. Fire is out. No extension. Crews clearing smoke from home. No reported injuries currently. @mcfrs and @ArlingtonVaFD assisting. #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/ODGI3KsPtb
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) December 22, 2020