Falls Church Eatery Facing Eviction — “The Falls Church location of Hot N Juicy Crawfish is staring down an eviction lawsuit filed on June 1… The governor of the commonwealth put a moratorium on evictions earlier this week, but it only applies to residential tenants. The family-run business now finds itself fighting for its future in the neighborhood.” [Washington City Paper]
Farmers Markets Are Back — The McLean Farmers Market opens today and the Vienna Farmers Market returns on Saturday. [Tysons Reporter]
It’s Almost Showtime — “Just last week, AMC Theatres said it had ‘substantial doubt’ that the company could keep operating if pandemic-related closures continued. However, the company announced Tuesday it expects to reopen almost all of its locations worldwide by mid-July.” [Patch]
Law Enforcement Legislation — “Lawmakers in Virginia will take up the issue of police reform when they meet in a special session later this summer. The legislature joins the growing ranks of jurisdictions in the Washington region that are planning on tackling an issue that has taken increased urgency in the wake of widespread national protests sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.” [DCist]
Test Backlog — “State health officials announced Monday that 13,000 test results backlogged at the health department will be added to data tables that are updated daily to reflect the number of COVID-19 tests and cases in the state. Staff had prioritized positive test results, according to the statement, so the backlog largely includes negative test results.” [Inside NoVa]
(Updated 2/13/2020) A bill that would let the Town of Vienna have unique tree canopy requirements has passed the Virginia House of Delegates.
Del. Mark Keam’s (D-35th) bill would let the town require developers to plant bigger trees so that they grow faster.
Keam told Tysons Reporter that he’s been trying to get different versions of this bill passed for about four years ever since town officials considered tree conservation on their legislative agenda a few years ago.
“I’ve had some luck in moving the needle,” Keam said about his latest attempt.
Keam said the bill was originally going to be in a larger package of tree-related bills in the House of Delegates. “Mine escaped,” he said.
While Keam said that he’s heard about the backlash Wawa received from some residents for chopping down trees it wasn’t supposed to in the town, he said that the Wawa incident did not influence the bill.
Still, Keam said he’s “not surprised” about the backlash and that he hears complaints “all the time” about developments’ impact on trees.
Keam said that the bill would put bigger trees in the ground so that the tree canopy requirements are met sooner. The bill is meant to improve the aesthetics and stormwater management in the town, he said.
“We are very proud of our trees,” Keam said, mentioning Vienna’s history as a “Tree City USA.”
The Virginia House passed the bill with bipartisan support yesterday (Tuesday, Feb. 11). Three Republican legislators voted “nay,” while 95 legislators voted in support.
Keam said that he believes the bill’s opponents thought it gave a local government too much power over developers and could have a negative economic impact on home builders.
“I am concerned that the requirement may have a negative impact on efforts to provide affordable housing,” Del. Mark Cole (R-88th) told Tysons Reporter for why he voted against the bill.
Since the bill affects a specific locality, it will need two-thirds approval to pass in the Senate. A Senate version of the bill from State Sen. J. Chapman Petersen (D-34th) was most recently in the Committee on Local Government.
Tysons Reporter reached out to Petersen’s office to find out when the bill might head to the Senate floor for a vote and will provide an update when more information is available.
“I’m hoping it survives,” Keam said about the bill’s prospects in the Senate.
Del. Mark Keam (D-35hth) and several other Virginia lawmakers are looking to honor the late Clarene Vickery, who founded the Parkwood School in Vienna.
After founding the school in 1956, Vickery served as its director and owner for more than 60 years. Vickery also helped create the Virginia Association of Early Childhood Education and the Providence Baptist Church in Tysons.
For her 100th birthday, several public officials recognized her achievements with a formal resolution during the 2018 session of the Virginia General Assembly.
Vickery died last year at the age of 101.
Now Keam, along with Del. Ken Plum (D-36th), State Sen. J. Chapman Petersen (D-34th), Del. Vivian Watts (D-39th), have a formal resolution for the 2020 General Assembly session to celebrate her life.
“Clarene Vickery impacted her community in meaningful ways outside of education,” the resolutions says, noting she was the president of the Ayr Hill Garden Club in Vienna, grand marshall of the 2006 Vienna Halloween Parade and an active member of the Vienna Baptist Church for 65 years.
Both houses of the Virginia General Assembly have agreed to the resolution, which is expected to be presented to Vickery’s family.
Photo via Mark Keam/Facebook
With the risk of solar installations delaying or stopping altogether, Fairfax County is pushing politicians in Richmond to enact legislation that would lift renewable energy restrictions.
Yesterday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted in favor of supporting Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw ‘s proposal to back several bills introduced during the 2020 General Assembly that would promote a transition to a low-carbon economy
The bills include:
- HB 572 introduced by Del. Mark Keam (D-35th)
- HB 912 introduced by Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd)
- HB 1184 introduce by Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-49th)
- SB 710 (known as Solar Freedom Bill) introduced by State Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-9th)
“These bills remove statutory barriers to distributed solar electricity generation thereby allowing local government along with Virginia residents and businesses to invest in and benefit from on-site solar generation,” Walkinshaw said.
Fairfax County is facing statutory barriers as it looks to expand its use of solar energy, Walkinshaw said.
“Fairfax County and other non-residential customers are essentially unable to use purchase power agreements due to statutory barriers including a power purchase agreement pilot program limit of 50 megawatts in the service area of Dominion Energy Virginia,” he said.
If the legislation does not pass, Fairfax County won’t be able to proceed with on-site solar installations that would total more than 40 megawatts of electricity, he said.
“I think the key message to the General Assembly is that our projects are ready to go,” Walkinshaw said. “If this legislation doesn’t succeed this year, they will stop.”
Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and other board members shared support for Walkinshaw’s proposal.
“Over the past several years, I’ve had conversations with people who do this energy work nationally or internationally, and to continually here from them that Virginia is one of — if not the most — challenging place to get any of this done, I think it’s time to turn that corner,” Palchik said.
Chairman Jeff McKay said it was “frustrating” for advocates when similar legislation failed in the General Assembly last year.
“This is an issue really critical to us here,” he said.
The board voted 9-0, with Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity absent, to send the letter to the General Assembly delegation and Gov. Ralph Northam.
Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) has introduced a House bill that would let the Town of Vienna require developers to meet tree requirements 10 years sooner than other jurisdictions.
His proposal, which was filed last Monday (Jan. 6), comes months after Wawa received backlash from residents for chopping down trees it wasn’t supposed to in the Town of Vienna.
Vienna officials are currently working on a plan to prevent anything similar from happening again.
The bill would allow:
the Town of Vienna, by ordinance, to require that a subdivision or development provide for the preservation or replacement of trees on the development site such that the minimum tree canopy 10 years after development is projected to meet specified coverage criteria.”
Currently, the criteria apply to coverage 20 years after development.
The measure has been referred to the Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns.
Welcome to the first, revamped Morning Notes of 2020! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:
Toll Lane Plan Zooming Ahead — “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday afternoon that he and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) plan to approve the next step of the much-debated proposal to add toll lanes to interstates 270 and 495.” [Bethesda Magazine]
General Assembly Convenes Tomorrow — “Already, Democrats submitted more than 260 bills for consideration in the upcoming session… It’s been 20 years since the Democrats have had this kind of control in Richmond, but more realistically, those with the kind of progressive values of the current majorities have never come close to running the show in Richmond before.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Here’s a “Decade Review Story” for Tysons — “The last decade was a period of rapid transformation in Tysons, with the opening of four new Metro stations, the tallest building in the D.C. region and major mixed-use projects like The Boro.” [Bisnow]
FCPS to Close Early Today — “Light snow is expected between noon to 7 p.m. today (Tuesday) in the area. Fairfax County Public Schools will close two hours early today.” [Reston Now]
Snow will be affecting the area today, and will be heavy for a couple of hours this afternoon. Biggest concerns are the timing and intensity of this burst. Find the most likely start time on the graphic. Full details at https://t.co/ZOlvESgJ2H. pic.twitter.com/ih7HuDpN4T
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) January 7, 2020
You asked, we have answers: One reader asked what happened to House of Fortune in McLean. The restaurant’s Facebook page said that it closed Nov. 3, 2019. An employee said the restaurant closed after the owner became sick.
Sneak Peek: Looking ahead to stories later this week, Tysons Reporter will spotlight local thrift stores and provide more information about an upcoming “toy library.”
Have a great Tuesday and look out for Morning Notes again on Friday, Jan. 10.
Locals will have a chance to learn about Virginia policy at an upcoming town hall with politicians next weekend.
State Sen. Chap Petersen (D-34th) and Del. Mark Keam (D-35th) are hosting the event to talk about the upcoming 2020 General Assembly session.
The General Assembly convenes next Wednesday (Jan. 8).
The town hall is set to take place at Vienna Town Hall (127 Center Street S.) next Saturday (Jan. 11) from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
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