Tysons Corner, VA

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!

Tuesday (April 16)

Wednesday (April 17)

  • Maibock Tapping Party6-8 p.m. at Gordon Biersch Brewery (7861 Tysons Corner Center) — The Tysons Corner Center’s Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant is tapping party to raise funds for the Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Department. The event is planned to include tastings, appetizers, live music and more. A quarter will be donated to the department for every pint served, and 15 percent of all restaurant sales during the party.

Thursday (April 18)

  • Monty Python’s Life of Brian Screening — 7-9 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center (2911 District Ave.) — The Angelika Film Center in the Mosaic District will host a screening of the controversial satire The Life of Brian. Tickets are $15.

Friday (April 19)

  • Earth Day Party5-9 p.m. at the Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — The Tysons Biergarten is hosting a live music and drinking party to celebrate Earth day, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Rainforest Trust. Bring a printed flyer for the event or a screenshot of the event page and show it to the bartender.

Saturday (April 20)

  • Spring Fest10 a.m.-12 p.m. at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave) — The McLean Community Center is hosting a spring festival with a mix of live entertainment and self-guided arts and crafts. The program aims at children ages 3-8. Registration in advance for $5 is required.

Sunday (April 21)

  • Early Mornings in the Garden6-10 a.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct.) — Photographers, birdwatchers, and other interested parties are invited to a special early morning walk through the gardens. The gardens typically open at 10 a.m., but early visitors will have a chance to see some of the birds in their most active times. Standard garden admission — $3 to $6 — applies.
  • Easter Brunch9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mad Fox Brewing Company (444 W Broad Street) — The Mad Fox Brewing Company is opening early for a brunch buffet aimed at accommodating entire families. Adults tickets are $28 and kid tickets are $12.

Photo via Facebook

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Most of the detached homes in our area do not belong to a homeowners association (HOA).

Most are regulated by county or town ordinance, but there are some that belong to an HOA. Some people love or hate this. Many of the HOA’s around Tyson’s include very little, maybe some yard maintenance in common areas, sometimes trash removal, but usually maybe one community party a year. If you see a townhouse, assume those always have an HOA.

I put together a list of HOAs in Vienna, McLean and Falls Church that actually give you something for your annual fees. Below is a list of the name and location, along with what the amenity included is. If you’re thinking you want to skip that 8 year wait for the Vienna Woods pool, try one of these neighborhoods instead (listed alphabetically):

Vienna

  • Edgemoore — Tennis courts
  • Estates at Great Falls — Outdoor pool, tennis courts, basketball courts
  • Hunter Mill Estates — Outdoor pool and tennis courts
  • Lakevale Estates — Outdoor pool and tennis courts
  • Oakton Glen — Tennis courts and basketball courts
  • Shouse Village — Outdoor pool and tennis courts, basketball courts
  • Williamsburg Commons — Outdoor pool

McLean

Falls Church

  • Walnut Hill — Tennis courts
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Be warned, Fairfax County is under a wind advisory and it’s beginning to have residual impacts across the region.

Winds are expected to last all day with the strongest winds around noon.

According to the National Weather Service, the maximum wind gusts up to 50 mph are expected throughout the region, with most locations seeing up to 30 or 40 mph wind.

The strong winds are also having an impact on some local roads. Early this morning, Westmoreland Street at Orland Street in McLean was closed due to low hanging wires. The situation has been resolved since then and the street is now open.

Image via Twitter

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After a large amount of local consternation over the group homes for a rehab facility proposed near McLean High School, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and other local officials are putting together a meeting to clear things up.

The Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, recently purchased three residential homes (1620, 1622, and 1624 Davidson Road) in McLean with the intent of using them as a treatment facility.

Another project is also planned for 1318 Kurtz Road in the Salona Village neighborhood.

The meeting is planned for Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in the McLean High School Auditorium (1633 Davidson Road).

Foust is expected to be joined at the meeting by a pair of local state lawmakers, Dels. Rip Sullivan and Kathleen Murphy. Representatives from Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and from Monroe LLC  — the company that runs the Newport Academy — are also planning to attend, to explain the new facility.

According to Foust’s office:

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the operations of the homes, licensing and permitting authority, relevant legislation and regulations, and resident concerns. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.

Photo via Google Earth

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Be warned if you’re planning on displaying any Carolina Hurricanes gear in McLean: your new neighbor Evgeny Kuznetsov might take exception.

Kuznetsov, a Russian-born 26-year-old center for the Washington Capitals, and his wife Anastasia purchased two adjacent properties in McLean along Spring Hill Road, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The properties cost a combined $5.95 million and the sale closed on March 26. Kuznetsov signed a $62.4 million contract with the Caps in 2017, making him one of the few millennials able to afford a house in wealthy McLean on their own.

If Kuznetsov is looking to grab a post-work drink with some colleagues, Sakura Japanese Steak and Seafood House in Tysons seems to be a favorite of one of his teammates.

Photo via Facebook

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A teen-focused rehab center is planned to open across from McLean High School and some nearby residents are not pleased.

The Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, recently purchased three residential homes (1620, 1622, and 1624 Davidson Road) in McLean with the intent of using them as a treatment facility.

An employee at the Newport Academy confirmed that a new center is planned for McLean, but that the facility is still going through state and medical licensing.

The employee said the new facility is several months away, at least, from opening. But the company does have at least 18 jobs listed as available for the site, from an executive director to tutors and chefs.

A discussion group was started on Facebook on April 4, with some neighbors expressing concerns on everything from increased street traffic to drops in home values. A few others pushed back against the concerns and said they hoped neighbors would avoid “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome.

In an email to local residents, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust wrote that group homes in residential neighborhoods are typically considered “by right” uses, meaning there’s no requirement of public notice and no zoning approvals needed from the county.

Foust also noted that the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of a handicap or disability and that the Code of Virginia requires local zoning ordinances to consider a “residential facility in which no more than eight individuals with mental illness, intellectual disability, or developmental disabilities reside, with one or more resident or nonresident staff persons, as a residential occupancy by a single family.”

While the group’s license application is still pending before the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Foust said approval would hinge on qualifications and quality of care, not local land use concerns.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated April 8) As Sunrise Senior Living haggles through the approval process in Vienna, the assisted living franchise also filed permits earlier this week for a new facility in downtown McLean.

On March 11, Sunrise Development filed a special exception application to allow a senior living facility at 1515 Chain Bridge Road, replacing the existing McLean Medical Building.

In the application, the business noted that the need for assisted living facilities is high in Vienna.

Despite immense need, the McLean CBC does not currently contain any assisted living facilities. Per Fairfax County’s compiled demographics for the McLean Census Designated Plant , 92% of households in McLean have one or more people over the age of 60, which is more than double the 43% of households for the rest of the County.

Sunrise isn’t wrong on that count. McLean is disproportionately elderly and has struggled to create housing that allows local residents to age in place. Sunrise Senior Living isn’t cheap, so it probably doesn’t hurt that McLean is also one of the wealthiest places in the United States.

The proposal for a Sunrise facility in McLean also comes at that area is in the middle of a planning process to reshape the center of town.

The application notes that the new facility would be located within Subarea Two of the McLean Commercial Business Center, an area outside of the main downtown and planned to have very little change. The Sunrise facility would be replacing an existing medical office building, which it argues is in keeping with the intent of the plan.

While the Vienna location is locked in a struggle with the Vienna Town Council over whether or not the building fits within local height parameters, the McLean facility is half the size allowed by-right on the property and 10 feet shorter than the existing building.

The project is tentatively scheduled for a Planning Commission hearing on Sept. 11 and a Board of Supervisors hearing on Sept. 24.

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There are plenty of activities coming up at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave) throughout April, mostly involving day-trips to unique spots across the region.

The events are open to the public, though some age restrictions may apply, and McLean residents are eligible for discounts on any program involving tickets.

  • April 5: Shazam Day — 8 a.m.-6 p.m. — Teens are invited to bounce at the Launch Indoor Trampoline Park before catching a screening of the new superhero film Shazam. Tickets are $55 or $45 for McLean residents.
  • April 13: Spring Garage Sale and Kids’ Corner — 9 a.m.-1 p.m. — Locals are invited out to McLean’s largest spring garage sale to peruse a selection of household items, furniture, sporting goods and electronics. A special kids-themed garage sale will also be set up at the site.
  • April 15: Maryland Zoo trip — 8 a.m.-6 p.m. — The Old Firehouse in McLean is hosting a trip up to the Maryland Zoo to feed giraffes, groom goats and see a variety of animals. Tickets are $55 or $45 for McLean residents.
  • April 16: Hershey’s Chocolate World — 8 a.m.-7 p.m. — A trip is leaving from the MCC to Hershey’s Chocolate World, where participants will create their own Hershey Bars and explore the factory via trolley. Tickets are $65 or $55 for McLean residents.
  • April 17: Dave & Buster’s — 8 a.m.-6 p.m. — The MCC is hosting a trip to Dave and Buster’s for a game day. A buffet lunch and a $25 game card with unlimited arcade play are included in the trip’s $70 fee, or $60 for McLean residents.
  • April 18: Indoor go-carting — 8 a.m.-6 p.m. — Part of the Old Firehouse’s “spring break trip” will include a trip to an indoor go-carting arena. Tickets are $80 or $70 for McLean residents.
  • April 19: Skyline Paintball and Laser Tag — 8 a.m.-6 p.m. — The last part of the Old Firehouse events is a trip to a paintball and laser tag facility. Tickets are $75 or $65 for McLean residents.
  • April 20: Spring Fest — 10 a.m.-12 p.m. — A program aimed for children ages 3-8, participants will engage with self-guided arts and crafts and get a chance to take a photo with a bunny mascot.
  • April 30: Lynchburg Garden Tour — The MCC is hosting a day-trip to Lynchburg, Virginia for view the gardens and historic homes around town.

Photo via Maryland Zoo/Facebook

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Welcome back Nats fans!

Baseball season is back in session. My husband and I took our kids to Opening Day at Nationals Park last week and I always love the excitement of going to a game, especially on a nice day. The kids are excited, there’s fun music, good food and the hope for a winning season.

We make it to a lot of games throughout the season. Here are my favorite tips and tricks (with or without kids).

Tips For A Kid-Friendly Trip

Drive. The metro trip from Vienna is long and waiting for the train at the end of the game when it’s packed, the kids are tired and coming off their ballgame sugar high is no fun. Buy parking ahead of time. Check pricing between Spothero and ParkWhiz.

Get there early to get food. The lines get long once the game starts. Check the full list of concessions here to scout food. You can buy bottled water outside for $1 and bring it in with you as long as it’s unopened (1 per person). They also do allow outside food as long it’s served in single serving bags or factory-sealed containers can be brought in.

The Nats offer a $5 discount on tickets for Military, Seniors, Government Employees, and students under 18 with valid ID at the box office on the day of the game.

The Presidents race in the middle of the 4th inning. It’s one of the highlights for kids, so make sure you don’t miss it! As soon as the race is over, head over to section 131 where the President’s line up for a photo opportunity with fans during the 5th inning.

If you have kids who need to get some energy out, there’s a PenFed Kids Zone for kids under 10 on the 100 level of right field. Slides, climbing structure, place to run etc. One tip though: it’s all plastic, so on hot days when the slides are too hot, they close it to the public.

On Sundays, the kids can run the bases after the game, ages 4-12. From the Nats site:

Kids will start their run at first base and they will be directed around the bases to home plate. Sliding into bases is prohibited. An adult must accompany each participating child to the field – adults will drop children off at first base and meet them near home plate. Please note that adults may not accompany children as they run the bases. One adult will be permitted onto the field per child participating in Kids Run the Bases. The line for Kids Run the Bases forms outside the ballpark on the First Street sidewalk – participants should exit the ballpark through the right field gate and proceed to the line. The run will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game and the event usually lasts about an hour. Jr. Nationals Kids Club members age 12 and under receive access to an exclusive line that goes onto the field first.

Parents start lining up early because the Kids Club (see below) get in first and way worth it.

For $20, you can join the Nationals JR Kids Club. We did this for my son and it was totally worth it. They get coupons for free food at the ballpark, a Harris Teeter coupon, free birthday message on the screen during the game and other freebies.

Keep your eye out for special kid-friendly days at the park, like Bobble Head giveaways, kids watch giveaways, etc.

If you are bringing a diaper bag, make sure you read the new bag policy. You can bring a diaper bag but it must be smaller than 16″x16″x8″. There’s a nursing lounge for mother’s to feed babies, pump, change diapers or cool off with the air conditioning. You’ll find that space adjacent to section 223.

Kids under 2 are FREE

Adult Only Tips

Ignore steps 4-11 above. Grab a beer/cocktail in the right field bar and have a great time!

Go Nats!

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The Washington Revels, a musical group from Silver Spring, is planning a concert in McLean this weekend for a second annual celebration of a local church’s history.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the group is planned to hold a performance in the Historic Pleasant Grove Church at 8641 Lewinsville Road in McLean from 3-5 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The church was established in 1896 by the descendants of freed slaves. Services at the church were discontinued in 1968, but today the site holds a museum and hosts several public events.

According to the group’s website, the performance will feature traditional music from African American congregations in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

The program is planned to open with a short presentation on the history of the church and the surrounding area, with refreshments and a social hour after the show.

Photo via Facebook

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