Tysons Corner, VA

The Town of Vienna decided to keep working with the developer to tweak a contentious, mixed-use project along Maple Avenue.

In June, the Vienna Town Council approved the redevelopment, which would add a four-floor building with ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units at 380 Maple Avenue.

Then in July, the Vienna Town Council decided to hold a public hearing on possibly rescinding the rezoning application after some councilmembers pointed to the town’s failure to notify the county about the project — along with other issues — as justification to revisit the project.

The joint public hearing last night (Monday) by the Town Council and the town’s Planning Commission started off with a tense conversation between councilmembers about whether a possible rescission would kick the application back to the Planning Commission or result in a repeal.

“We’re not here to kill the application,” Councilmember Pasha Majdi, one of the councilmembers who originally brought up possibly rescinding the project, said. “We’re here to rescind approval and send it back to the Planning Commission to fix some mistakes that have been made.”

Among the handful of “mistakes” brought up about the project during the hearing, several planning commissioners and councilmembers pointed to a debated road narrowing sparking safety concerns.

Planning Commissioner Stephen Kennedy noted the council’s desire to keep Wade Hampton Road at 36 feet instead of the project’s approved reduction to 32 feet. “It seems to be a contentious point for at least some of the neighbors and [some councilmembers],” he said.

“If we can figure out a way to go forward if the developer or the town is OK with the 36 feet, I think we would be saving everybody a lot of time in the interest of working together,” Councilmember Nisha Patel said. “Can we just make this happen somehow legally?”

Councilmember Howard Springsteen said that keeping the road at 36 feet could create a “win-win.”

Ultimately, the Vienna Town Council voted to negotiate the project’s proffers with the developer until Aug. 5.

Photo via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning

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The Vienna Inn has plans to celebrate National Hot Day Day on Wednesday (July 17).

Neary 60 years old, the Vienna Inn (120 E. Maple Avenue) is known for its hot dogs.

“We have many customers that have been coming in since they were kids and now, they come in with their children and even grandchildren, it’s become a rite of passage,” Owner Marty Volk said in a press release.

The restaurant will serve up $1.99 hot dogs and $2.29 chili dogs, which normally cost between $2.20-$2.60, the press release said. Diners can get their hot dogs plain or with cheese, chili, mustard or onions.

National Hot Dog Day is an annual event during National Hot Dog Month in July.

“The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council created National Hot Dog Day. The day was established in 1991 to coincide with a hot dog lunch on Capitol Hill every year on a Wednesday in July,” according to National Calendar Day.

Photo 1 via Vienna Inn/Twitter, photo 2 courtesy Vienna Inn

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A public hearing tonight (Monday) will determine the fate of a contentious, mixed-use development previously approved by the Vienna Town Council.

The proposed redevelopment would add a mixed-use, four-floor building with ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue.

After a long series of delays, the Town Council approved the development in June. A few weeks later, the new Town Council decided to hold a public hearing on possibly rescinding the project’s rezoning application, pointing to the town’s failure to notify the county about the project, along with other issues.

Now, the project faces a joint public hearing by the Town Council and the town’s Planning Commission tonight that will allow community members to give their opinions on possibly adjusting or rescinding the proposal. The event starts at 8 p.m. in the Vienna Town Hall (127 S. Center Street).

The Vienna Business Association will speak out at the meeting against the proposition to revoke the license.

According to a press release from the Vienna Business Association:

The question on July 15th is not whether we support the 380 Maple Avenue development, it’s whether we want to create in our Town the climate and reputation that will ensue from a rescinding vote.

  • The rescind motion also raises many questions:
  • Can businesses and developers be assured that the town is negotiating in good faith, or will negotiations suffer from a concern of “will they rescind this too?”
  • Do businesses and commercial property owners need to take proactive steps to keep their rights from being infringed by adjacent residents?
  • What legal liability does the Town create for itself by rescinding? Is the liability limited to the developer’s costs to date, or to the loss of future potential revenue from the development?

Image via Town of Vienna

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Updated at 9 a.m. on 7/9/19 — Updates FCPD list of road closures below. Only Kirby Road is still closed.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. — Fairfax County police said that the 1300 block of Kirby Road will be closed “for significant time” while the damage is assessed.

Updated at 5:35 p.m. — In Falls Church, S. Oak Street remains closed because the bridge’s surface was damaged by the rain and Hillwood Avenue did not have a sinkhole, but the road buckled from the rain. A temporary fix is in place for the avenue, and a permanent fix will be made this week.

Flooding has apparently closed Westmoreland Street (exit 68) by I-66 in Falls Church.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. — Updated FCPD list of road closures below.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. — Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust tweeted at 2:30 p.m. that a part of 1300 block of Kirby Road has been washed out and that “several agencies are on scene to find a solution to make sure residents can get to their homes.”

Updated at 2:15 p.m. — Updates FCPD list of road closures below.

Updated at 1 p.m. — The Fairfax County Police Department tweeted that Prosperity Avenue between Arlington Blvd (Route 50) and Little River Turnpike (Route 236) is buckled and could take up to seven hours for the water to recede. “Due to there being a lot of serious damage to the pavement, the road will not reopen this quickly,” FCPD tweeted.

Updated at 12:40 p.m. — A multi-vehicle accident on I-66 by N. West Street in Falls Church has closed the left shoulder and left lane heading eastbound, according to the Virginia Department of Transporation. 

Updated at 11:50 a.m. — Kirby Road is reportedly closed near Route 123 as Pimmit Run swells.

Updated at 11:25 a.m. — Maple Avenue is now open again, the Town of Vienna tweeted.

Earlier: Parts of Maple Avenue in the Town of Vienna and several roads around the Tysons area are closed this morning as flooding continues around Fairfax County.

The Town of Vienna tweeted shortly after 10 a.m. that Maple Avenue is closed between East Street and Beulah Road due to flooding.

Westbound Arlington Blvd (Route 50) just past Prosperity Avenue is closed due to flooding. Police told Tysons Reporter that they don’t have enough police to block the other side of the street, which also appears flooded.

Around 10:35 p.m., police said that all of the units in the county were currently deployed.

Fairfax County Police Department released a list of road closures. The ones closed due to flooding in the McLean Police District are:

1300 block of Kirby Road — damaged from flooding and will have a long-term closure

Shreve Road between Wieland Place and Buckelew Drive

Hilltop Road between Willomere and Old Lee Hwy

Meadowlark Road/Brookside Lane

Demsey Street/Old Chesterbrook Road

Old Courthouse and Besley roads

Georgetown Pike and Potomac River Road — one lane closed

6500 block of Old Dominion Drive

North Albemarle Street/Chesterbrook Road — flooding and debris

Westbound Arlington Blvd/Prosperity Avenue — one lane open

Jones Branch Road/Park Run Drive

Lewinsville Road/Lewinsville Mews Court

Beulah and Browns Mill roads

Oberon Way/Capulet Court

A fallen tree closed the 1400 block of Waggaman Circle, according to FCPD, but the road has since reopened.

People tweeted videos and photos of severe flooding along Georgetown Pike.

The City of Falls Church tweeted about several road closures and sinkholes in the city this morning.

Catherine Moran and Vernon Miles worked on this story.

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The Vienna Town Council rejected the rezoning for the Sunrise Senior Living Facility proposed for downtown Vienna.

The senior facility had previously faced a myriad of concerns around its parking, retail space and location at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street — although a staff presentation prior to the vote on June 17 demonstrated new changes meant to quell some of the issues.

According to a staff presentation, Sunrise reduced the maximum number of residents from 115 to 108, plans to determine the final locations for the bike racks during the site plan approval and added a proffer to secure at least 12 off-site parking spaces for employees — a move meant to address concerns about the project lacking enough parking.

“The intention is not to take from street parking,” Jerry Liang, the senior vice president of development for Sunrise, told the Town Council. “Rather this is Sunrise proffering to enter into an agreement with a property owner somewhere in the area for 12 spaces that employees will be able to utilize… and to handle overflow situations.”

Liang said that they would look away from the center of town that could be reached via a shuttle.

The new proffer seemed to satisfy Councilmember Linda Colbert’s and outgoing Councilmember Tara Bloch’s concerns about parking, leading Bloch to put forward a motion to approve the project.

Before the vote, several other councilmembers voiced issues with the project, and Councilmember Pasha Majdi noted that because of a protest petition, the motion would require five “yes” votes in order to pass.

“I’d hate to see it fail tonight,” Majdi said before the vote. “I’d like to see it be successful. I don’t know how it’s going to go.”

Despite Majdi’s suggestion that the council table the project, Bloch pushed forward the vote to approve the rezoning, which ultimately failed with a 3-4 vote.

Mayor Laurie A. DiRocco, Majdi, Howard Springsteen and Douglas Noble voted no. Bloch, Colbert and outgoing councilmember Carey Sienicki voted yes.

Rendering via Town of Vienna

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After voting a little more than two weeks ago to approve plans to redevelop 380 Maple Avenue, the Vienna Town Council has decided to hold a public hearing on possibly rescinding the rezoning application.

Back in May, the Town Council delayed voting on the proposed project after a resident questioned if the town had notified Fairfax County about the proposed rezoning, which the town hadn’t, and then again at the beginning of June to allow residents and the developer more time to try to reach a consensus through a mediation process.

The Town Council approved the redevelopment, which would add a mixed-use, four-floor building with ground floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units, during its June 17 meeting.

At the latest meeting on Monday (July 1), Town Manager Mercury Payton said that Councilmembers Howard Springsteen and Pasha Majdi requested in late June that a motion to rescind the rezoning application be placed on the agenda for the Monday meeting.

During the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Majdi shared some of the underlying reasons to revisit the project and, instead of having a motion to rescind, Majdi suggested a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission to review the issues.

“For the rezoning application, I think there were some mistakes made, and I think there are some changes in circumstances we need to recognize,” Majdi said.

First, Majdi said that there was an open question about whether Fairfax County ever received proper notification about the rezoning in a timely fashion. Additionally, Majdi said that safety concerns about the narrowing of Wade Hampton Drive and a new state law about proffers for rezoning applications as reasons for considering rescindment.

“Proffers are probably the most important of a rezoning application,” Majdi said. “The proffer law has changed effective today [July 1].”

The council voted 5-2 — with Mayor Laurie DiRocco and Councilmember Linda Colbert voting no — to hold the public hearing on Monday, July 15.

The meeting on Monday also saw two newcomers sworn onto the council — local small business owner Nisha Patel and Steve Potter, who is a founding member of the Vienna Citizens for Responsible Development.

Photo via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning

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As thunderstorms roll through northeastern Fairfax County today (Tuesday), more than 1,000 residents in the Town of Vienna are without power.

The Dominion Energy map shows about a dozen power outages in the Town of Vienna spanning from Maple Avenue to I-66 as of 4:50 p.m. today (July 2) totaling 1,148 affected customers.

Dominion expects that power will be restored later tonight between 6-11 p.m.

Map via Dominion Energy

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (July 1)

  • Laughs in The Lobby Bar — 5-8 p.m. at The Lobby Bar (227 E. Maple Avenue) — A free comedy open mic will take place at the bar in Jammin’ Java.

Tuesday (July 2)

  • The Cat Returns” — 7 p.m. at Angelika Film Center & Café at Mosaic (2911 District Avenue) — The anime movie follows a schoolgirl’s journey into a feline world. Tickets cost $14.50.

Wednesday (July 3)

  • Women’s World Cup — 3-5 p.m. at Strawberry Park (2910 District Avenue) — People can watch the semifinal game featuring Netherlands vs. Sweden for free starting at 3 p.m. in the park in the Mosaic District.
  • Jackson Browne — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — The singer-songwriter from the 1970s is coming to Wolf Trap. Tickets start at $45.

Saturday (July 6)

  • Help Meow-t! Cat Adoption — 1-4 p.m. at Loyal Companion (2905 District Avenue) — The Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation is hosting an on-the-spot cat adoption event.
  • Sean Chuyn at Caboose Commons — 1-4 p.m. at Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) — D.C.-area musician Sean Chuyn will perform live music at the beer garden and coffee house.
  • Athena Styles Patio Pop Up — 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Famille (700A W. Broad Street) — Outside on the Famille patio, an Athena Styles pop-up shop will sell handmade jewelry, accessories and gifts.

Sunday (July 7)

  • Summer Sunday Concerts in the Park with Dupont Brass — 5 p.m. at the McLean Central Park Gazebo (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) — The free concert series continues with a “new” brass band playing everything from songs by Miles Davis to Jay-Z. Free parking will be at the McLean Community Center or the Dolley Madison Library.
  • Josh Groban — 8 p.m. at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road) — The singer, songwriter and actor is coming to Wolf Trap during his Bridges Tour. Tickets start at $42.
  • AIR [An Outdoor Experience] — 8-11 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Every Sunday this summer, the beer hall has dancing, DJing, food, hookah and drinks. Tickets cost $5 for early bird registration or $10 at the door.

Last week, Tysons Reporter rounded up a list of local Fourth of July events.

Photo via Sean Chuyn Music/Facebook

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As new developments crop up around Vienna, even the Money and King Funeral Home at 171 W. Maple Avenue — Vienna’s oldest business — isn’t immune to change.

The funeral home was founded in 1881 — the same year President Garfield was assassinated and a gunfight took place at the O.K Corral. From then until earlier this year, the business was family owned. But when the last of that family line turned 80 this spring, the business was passed on to others who had worked closely with the family over years.

But President and General Manager Robert Carmical, who has worked at the funeral home since 1994, says that while some things have evolved over time, the service hasn’t changed.

“We’re here to help,” said Carmical. “The [work we do] is in the little things, like printing booklets and arranging the music. It’s a celebration of this person’s life.”

Over time, Carmical said there’s been some evolutions in the funeral industry. Most funerals were traditionally held in homes or in churches, but with the slow erosion of church connections, Carmical said businesses like his are seeing more people asking to hold the services at the funeral home. Accordingly, the old church-style pews have been replaced by chairs.

He also said cremation has become more popular as an alternative to burial.

Carmical’s favorite thing about funerals is learning about people.

“You learn things about people, like their hobbies,” said Carmical. “These are things some people don’t know about [their friends], like they collected stamps or toys, or how everyone has a sweet tooth.”

Ashley Hopko contributed to this story

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Cong Wang really likes bubble tea, and he opened his new Gem Tea at 155 W. Maple Avenue to share that passion with more people.

One of the big things Wang says drives people away from bubble tea is the idea of inflexibility. At Gem Tea, Wang says customers can feel free to adjust the tea as they like, offering non-dairy milk options and a wide variety of fruit flavors.

If enough people request something, Wang said he’s open to adding things to the menu. For instance, yesterday someone came in asking for a protein powder to be added to his tea, so Wang is looking into how to make that work.

The restaurant is open seven days a week, opening at 11 a.m. and closing between 8-9 p.m. The quick-service restaurant had a soft opening on May 16, but held its grand opening on June 1.

Wang said Gem Tea isn’t part of a chain. He’s from Vienna and just wanted to open a tea place in his neighborhood.

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