Tysons Corner, VA

Vienna residents will have the opportunity to share their input on the Vienna Town Council possibly extending the moratorium on new development applications for Maple Avenue.

The Vienna Town Council requested Monday night (Sept. 16) that staff schedule a public hearing on Nov. 4 to discuss extending the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone from Nov. 15 to June 2020.

The Town Council first put the moratorium in place last September to allow the town staff time to redesign the town’s guidelines. So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects and rejected one.

The Planning Commission will also hold a public hearing.

0 Comments

The owner of a mixed-use development told the Vienna Town Council that selling the project to an assisted living facility could address neighbors’ lingering concerns.

Dennis Rice, the owner of J.D.A. Custom Homes, told the Vienna Town Council at a work session last Monday (Sept. 9) that assisted living facilities are interested in buying his mixed-use development at 380 Maple Avenue.

“I think the town needs an assisted living facility, and it’s a good location for it,” Rice said.

Rice said that he has talked with interested assisted living facilities about plans to address lingering concerns from neighbors about the project by:

  • moving back the fourth floor by 15 feet so that it isn’t as close to nearby properties
  • reducing the number of entrances on Wade Hampton Road
  • adding a walking entrance to Maple Avenue
  • removing the balconies
  • keeping the width of Wade Hampton Road to 36 feet
  • including a cafe for visitors, residents and the public in the retail space

“I don’t want to name any particular companies,” Rice said. “We tried to come up with an outline that would address as many of the issues as we could.”

Rice also said that if the development houses seniors instead of families, it would eliminate concerns about the number of new students going to local schools. He added that traffic turning left out of the project could be controlled more if the drivers are employees of the facility instead of residents.

“We could approach six of seven major concerns,” he said, adding that he thinks the assisted living option for the development would be the “least onerous one to the neighbors.”

Rice reassured the Town Council that the building height would stay at 54 feet.

“Is this something worth allowing an assisted living company to pursue?” Rice asked the Town Council.

Councilmember Nisha Patel advised Rice to reach out to neighbors to get input on whether or not they have a preference for the building to become an assisted living facility or not.

“Obviously the property owner can sell to whoever they want to,” Mayor Laurie DiRocco said at the work session.

The interest in turning the approved development into an assisted living facility comes on the heels of the Town Council killing a proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. (Sunrise is currently suing the Town Council for allegedly discriminating against seniors and people with disabilities.)

The rejected Sunrise project came up several times during the councilmembers’ discussions about issues they would want to avoid — parking being the main one — if an assisted living facility buys 380 Maple Avenue.

DiRocco said that if Rice does sell the property to an assisted living facility, “I do think having a type of additional parking would be key.”

Rice said that the development has “more than ample parking” and that the companies he spoke to said that they have a no-driving policy. “I think by reducing the number of entrances, we pick up more parking on Wade Hampton,” Rice said.

If Rice sells the development to an assisted living facility, the new owner would need to bring changes to the Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals and Town Council for approval.

“I see the advantages of having an assisted living. I think that would be great,” Councilmember Linda Colbert said, adding that the Town Council would to “be smart about parking.”

“I think some of the changes to the building would be nice,” Colbert said.

Photo via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning

0 Comments

(Updated at 11 a.m.) A moratorium on new development applications for Maple Avenue set to expire in November may get extended again.

The Vienna Town Council is set to request tonight (Sept. 16) that staff schedule a public hearing on Nov. 4 to discuss extending the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone to June 2020. The matter would also go to the town’s Planning Commission.

The Town Council first put the moratorium in place last September to allow the town staff time to redesign the town’s guidelines. The moratorium was set to expire in June, but the Town Council voted to extend it to Nov. 15.

So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects:

  • a combination Chick-fil-A and Flagship Carwash Center at 540 W. Maple Avenue that has received public backlash
  • townhouse-style condominiums with retail at the northeast corner of W. Maple Avenue and Pleasant Street NW
  • a much-debated redevelopment that would add ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue
  • a controversial redevelopment of 430, 440 and 444 W. Maple Avenue into a four-story mixed-use development

The Town Council has also killed a MAC project — a proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. Sunrise is suing the Town Council for allegedly discriminating against seniors and people with disabilities.

The Town Council meeting tonight will start at 8 p.m.

0 Comments

The Town of Vienna Police Department is seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect linked to dirt bike theft along Maple Avenue.

Police tweeted that they are looking for the “subject seen at the Shell gas station (545 W. Maple Avenue) attempting to put a stolen dirt bike into a possible silver 2002 Mercedes CLK320.”

The incident happened around 4 a.m. Wednesday (Sept. 11). Police said the dirt bike was reported stolen from Paris Court SW.

“The subject is a black male, mid 30s, 6’2, slender, short cut beard, bald,” police said. “He was last seen wearing a tan cap, light grey or white shirt and black jeans.”

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

Chick-fil-A is now looking to hire workers as the restaurant chain prepares to open in the Town of Vienna.

The restaurant will be on the ground floor of an enormous castle-looking building that will also house a Flagship Carwash on the second floor at 540 W. Maple Avenue.

Franchise owner Jeff Hubley is looking to hire up to 100 people for full- and part-time positions, including leadership development, hospitality and training, according to a press release. Employees can expect to have Sundays off and scholarship opportunities for continuing education.

Construction is still in progress on the project, which was one of several new projects approved under the town’s contentious Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zoning process.

The site has faced a series of delays and public backlash.

No word yet on when the Chick-fil-A or the carwash will open.

Last image via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning 

0 Comments

The Vienna Town Council is set to tackle proposed zoning amendments, as the moratorium deadline nears for new Maple Avenue projects.

The moratorium is scheduled to expire in November. The Vienna Town Council voted May 13 to extend the temporary suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone to November 15 — more than a year after it first went into effect.

So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects:

  • a combination Chick-fil-A and Flagship Carwash Center at 540 W. Maple Avenue that has received public backlash
  • townhouse-style condominiums with retail at the northeast corner of W. Maple Avenue and Pleasant Street NW
  • a much-debated redevelopment that would add ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue
  • a controversial redevelopment of 430, 440 and 444 W. Maple Avenue into a four-story mixed-use development

The Town Council has also killed a MAC project — a proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. Sunrise is suing the Town Council for allegedly discriminating against seniors and people with disabilities.

The work session is set to start at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall (127 S. Center Street).

In addition to the proposed zoning amendments, the Town Council is set to discuss alternative uses to the 380 Maple project tonight.

Final design guidelines and amendments are anticipated to be done this month.

Map via Town of Vienna

0 Comments

Local Schools Receive “Common Sense Recognition” — Chesterbrook Elementary School in McLean and Cunningham Park Elementary School in Vienna are two of the 23 Fairfax County Public Schools recognized for their digital citizenship. [FCPS]

Ramen Chain Coming to The Boro — “A Japanese ramen chain that has 61 shops in 10 countries will make its D.C. area debut this fall, when it’s expected to open a branch in Tysons Corner… [Santouka] is expected open inside a modern, brick-lined space in the new Boro mixed-use development (1636 Boro Place, McLean) by early November.” [DC Eater]

Parking May Arrive Along Maple Avenue — “A consulting firm aiming to squeeze some additional parking in Vienna’s commercial core has come up with a unique option: Turn parts of Maple Avenue into parking strips.” [Inside NoVa]

Capital One Hosting Code Fest — “Girls Computing League, a nonprofit working to empower underrepresented groups in technology, will host its first national code fest InnovateGCL later this month. The Sept. 14 event at the new Capital One headquarters in Tysons Corner, Virginia, will have over 150 students showcase and develop new ideas on the topics of artificial intelligence, health, finance, education and many more.” [WashingtonExec]

Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Falls Church Pawn Shops — “An Arlington man previously convicted of a pair of bank robberies in Alexandria is facing more jail time. Budder Khan, now 29, pleaded guilty today to robbing two pawn shops in Falls Church, federal prosecutors announced. [ARLnow]

USAID Deploys Fairfax County Rescue Team to the Bahamas — “Members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team [were] deployed to the Bahamas as part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) responding to Hurricane Dorian.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Blue, Yellow Line Metro Stations Reopen — “The six Blue and Yellow line stations south of Reagan National Airpor — Braddock Rd, King St-Old Town, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield — will reopen as scheduled Monday, September 9, with completely rebuilt platforms and several customer improvements.” [Metro]

0 Comments

The City of Falls Church is looking to implement a pilot program for scooters as a deadline nears for scooter regulation.

Legislation passed during the General Assembly session in January allows localities to regulate scooters and motorized skateboards, however, the localities have until Jan. 1, 2020 to take action to implement any regulations. After that date, the scooter companies can zoom around as they see fit.

Scooters, an increasingly popular alternative transportation option, are already around the area.

The City Council is set to discuss the proposed pilot program, which would allow the city to regulate bicycles and motorized skateboards, scooters and bicycles for hire, at a work session tonight (Tuesday).

The proposed program would allow the motorized vehicles and bicycles for hire to ride on the sidewalks and streets and would limit speeds to 20 miles per hour for bicycles and motorized bicycles and to 10 miles per hour for scooters and skateboards.

Additionally, the city would cap the maximum number of devices to 25 per company, allowing the company to increase the number with extra permit fees. Each company would have to pay a permit fee of $100 per device.

The proposed pilot program is set to go before the City Council for a review on Sept. 23 ahead of a planned adoption in October or November.

The City Council is also scheduled to discuss spot pedestrian improvements tonight.

“The ultimate goal is to provide an adequate and safe walkway system and for the city to ultimately achieve ‘Walk Friendly Community’ designation,” City Manager Wyatt Shields wrote in a memo to the mayor.

City staff chose several projects recommended by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation totaling $100,000 — the amount set aside in the FY 2020 city budget for short-term spot improvements for pedestrian safety.

One project costing $45,000 would install a new sidewalk at S. Oak Street near Seaton Lane to close an 80-foot “missing link” along the busy corridor near TJ Elementary School.

The staff also recommended a $40,000 improvement that would install a new sidewalk at 304 S. Maple Avenue, closing a 60-foot gap in the sidewalk.

Finally, the staff plan to use $15,000 to install handicap-accessible ramps at locations that need them.

Some of the projects identified by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation didn’t fit the city’s budget, like removing utility pole obstacles.

0 Comments

Vienna police are looking for the suspect who brandished a knife at customers inside the Panera Bread along Maple Avenue.

The incident occurred shortly before 9 p.m. last Friday (Aug. 23) at 136 W. Maple Avenue.

“A subject walked into the store and brandished a knife at customers inside the store,” police said. “The subject then left the store on foot prior to police arrival.”

A Panera Bread employee called the police, according to the report.

In a separate incident, police are investigating an attempted fraud involving the Giant at 359 E. Maple Avenue yesterday (Thursday).

Shortly before midnight, “a person called into Giant and impersonated a security officer for the supermarket chain in an attempt to scam one of their store employees out of a large amount of money,” police said.

“The employee realized it was a scam and hung up the phone before completing the unusual request,” police said.

Photo via Facebook

0 Comments

New proposals to address transportation issues in the Town of Vienna will be unveiled and up for community discussion at a meeting next week.

The town commissioned the Maple Avenue Corridor Multimodal Transportation & Land Use Study to look at transportation needs and impacts from development. Kimley-Horn, a consulting firm that focuses on transportation, planning and engineering, started the study in the spring.

The study area spanned Maple Avenue from James Madison Drive to Follin Lane and also along Church Street from Lawyers Road to East Street, as well as Courthouse Road and Locust Street.

The $80,000 study was funded through capital improvement bond funds, according to a press release.

The study was broken into three phases:

  • looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the current transportation conditions
  • estimating the impact of future development
  • brainstorming and evaluating possible strategies

Project Manager David Samba said in a press release that Maple Avenue’s dual functionality as a local street and a regional road in one of the challenges noted in the study.

“When you look at Maple Avenue, the first thing people tell you is that there’s too much traffic,” Samba said. “So some of our recommendations are geared toward finding ways to alleviate traffic congestion and bottlenecks.”

Kimley-Horn will present recommendations from the study at a meeting next Wednesday (Sept. 4).

“Transportation recommendations could include changes to vehicular access, geometric and operational modifications to specific intersections or locations, transit service improvements, enhancements to bicycle and pedestrian networks, and transportation demand management policies and strategies,” according to the Town of Vienna.

Ultimately, the town is looking to implement near- and mid-term solutions for transportation woes — like safety and accessibility — along the corridor.

“The firm received more than 150 responses to a community survey and obtained feedback and insights at two previously held community meetings,” according to the press release.

The community meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Council Chambers (127 S. Center Street).

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list