Tysons, VA

To celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., several places around the Tysons area will have free community events and service projects on Monday (Jan. 20).

From musical performances to parades to volunteering opportunities, here’s where to find MLK Day events:

Falls Church

The Falls Church City Council recently declared Monday, Jan. 20, this year to be an official day of service in the city.

The city is gearing up for volunteer projects that day, according to a press release. The activities include:

  • city councilmembers, board members and commissioners plan to work at the Miller House, a home for adults with differing abilities
  • the  Falls Church City elementary school community is invited to join Give Day, an event looking to raise $10,000  and collect food for Food for Others

On Give Day, elementary school families will be able to assemble ‘Power Packs’ filled with non-perishable food items that Food for Others distributes to for local students. The event is set to take place from 10 a.m.-noon at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (601 S. Oak Street).

The fourth annual march and commemorative program honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights history plan to take place in the City of Falls Church on Monday.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with the march proceeding down Lee Hwy to Falls Church Episcopal (115 East Fairfax Street).

“Area service organizations will be at the church providing information about volunteer opportunities in our local communities,” according to the event description. “A commemoration program with a keynote speech by Joan Mulholland, a Freedom Rider and civil rights activist, will take place in the church at noon.”

McLean

A tribute at The Alden on Thursday, Jan. 30, will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. with performances by musician Damien Sneed, a graduate of Howard University, and the Howard University Choir as part of the “We Shall Overcome” tour.

“We Shall Overcome” will feature spoken word from King’s recorded speeches combined with a variety of African American music traditions.

“When I saw ‘We Shall Overcome’ last January, I knew I had to bring it to The Alden,” The Alden Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said in a press release. “By the time I spoke with Mr. Sneed’s agents the following afternoon, Jan. 30 was the only available date.”

The event is set to start at 7 p.m. at 1234 Ingleside Ave. Tickets cost $45 for the public, $25 for seniors and students and $20 for McLean Community Center tax district residents.

Vienna

Several churches in the Vienna area are offering service projects on Monday, including the First Baptist Church of Vienna (450 Orchard St NW) and The Church of the Good Shepherd (2351 Hunter Mill Road).

People interested in finding more volunteer opportunities around the area can search the databases on the Corporation for National and Community Service website.

Photo by Brian Kraus/Unsplash

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Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

New Tenants in Tysons — Bisnow has a roundup of the new businesses that signed leases to come to Tysons. [Bisnow]

Metro Metrics Released — “People are returning to Metrorail but avoiding Metrobus, according to 2019 figures released Wednesday by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority suggest.” As for Metrorail, the fastest-growing stations were McLean, up 28%, and Greensboro, up 22%. [Washington Business Journal]

New Fitness Event in McLean — “The McLean Community Center is introducing a new event to help people work toward their goals. Be Fit McLean Health and Wellness Fair will happen from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18.” [Patch]

AJ Madison Showroom Opens in Tysons — “Michael Gross, Isaac Gross and Rabbi Chezzy Deitsch, together with a minyan of Chabad Tysons congregants, got together to open up a new premium appliance showroom.” [Connection Newspapers]

Sneak Peek: Tysons Reporter plans to cover the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals’ public hearing for Newport Academy’s proposed treatment facility along Kurtz Road in McLean.

Weekend Send Off: Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans for the weekend are in the comments section.

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Late this morning, a vehicle ran into the window of a building in downtown McLean.

The incident occurred in the 1400 block of Center Street shortly before noon, according to a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesperson.

An adult male driver drove into the front of a building, causing “minimal” damage, a Fairfax County police spokesperson said.

No one was injured, according to the fire department spokesperson.

It is unclear at this time what caused the incident. The fire department spokesperson said that there will be a police investigation.

The police spokesperson was not able to share the type of vehicle and specific building address.

Catherine Douglas Moran contributed reporting

Map via Google Maps 

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Appeals of a zoning determination for a controversial therapy facility proposed in McLean will head to Fairfax County’s Board of Zoning Appeals next week.

Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, wanted to open two treatment facilities — one along Davidson Road and another at 1318 Kurtz Road — but faced a backlash from neighbors and local officials.

Fairfax County Zoning Administrator Leslie Johnson issued a letter in May saying that Newport Academy’s three adjacent properties at 1620, 1622 and 1624 Davidson Road would be a congregate living facility.

Newport Academy, which has hinged its claim on the two locations being by-right uses — a use that won’t require approval by the Board of Supervisors — originally appealed the Davidson Road decision.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust previously told Tysons Reporter in the fall that Newport Academy plans to sell the properties and wants the determination reversed so that the zoning determination won’t negatively impact future plans.

Newport Academy, though, has withdrawn its appeal regarding the Davidson Road facility.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will just hear the three cases regarding the Kurtz Road facility in the Salona Village neighborhood.

In August, Johnson issued a letter saying that the Kurtz Road facility is a group residential facility — a win for Newport Academy that McLean residents are trying to appeal.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will consider the three appeals at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan 22.

A Facebook group of local residents that has been fighting Newport Academy’s attempt to open the facilities is urging people to come to the appeal hearing.

Image via Google Maps

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For the ninth year in a row, people can taste chocolate from local chocolatiers at an annual festival in McLean.

The McLean Chocolate Festival is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of McLean — proceeds go to local organizations.

Last year, the festival raised more than $21,000 people and had more than 3,100 attendees, according to the website.

The festival is set to take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Jan. 26 at the McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue).

Attendees can expect a children’s game room and live entertainment. Admission is $2, but kids ages 3 and under can attend for free.

Photo via Burke & Herbert Bank/Facebook

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A power outage is affecting 144 Dominion Energy customers near the intersection of Georgetown Pike and the Beltway (I-495).

The outage is mostly north of Old Dominion Drive between Swinks Mill and Spring Hill roads.

Crews are investigating the cause of the outage, and customers can expect power to come back between 4-7 p.m., according to the Dominion Energy power outage map.

Peggy Fox, a Dominion Energy spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that the outage was first reported at 11:55 a.m.

Map via Dominion Energy 

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Diners looking to eat Greek cuisine at the newly opened Archontiko in McLean will need to wait a month.

The restaurant is temporarily closed, according to a sign in the window.

“Due to remodeling and [the] hire of [a] new executive chef we will be closed until January the 29th,” the sign says. “We are sorry for any inconvenience and hope to see you all again soon with exclusive tasty Greek dishes and our vast variety of wines.”

After a year of delays, the restaurant opened in the former spot of Mediterranean restaurant Evo Bistro (1313 Old Chain Bridge Road) in the fall.

While Tysons Reporter isn’t sure when the sign first appeared, a tipster emailed us about the sign yesterday.

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With the new year almost here, the editorial team at Tysons Reporter took a look at the archives to gear up for 2020.

Here’s a look at some of the biggest things that we’ll be keeping an eye on and covering next year.

Spanning the Tysons Area

E-Scooter Regulations Begin

Fairfax County has approved regulations that limit how many (and how fast) scooters can zip around their areas. The new rules start Jan. 1.

Newly Elected Officials 

New faces are joining the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board, including Dalia Palchik, who will oversee the Providence District on the Board of Supervisors.

Orange Line Shutdown

The Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations will tentatively be closed between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Meanwhile, the West Falls Church station will stay open with trains running less frequently from the station. At the East Falls Church Station, trains will still pass through the station even though it will be closed to riders.

Tysons

What Happens to the Proposed Valo Park Redesign?

The owners of Valo Park want to open the office complex to the public by adding restaurants, a 9/11 memorial and a bocce court. The plans are tentatively scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on March 25, 2020.

State of Proposed Spring Hill Project

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is set to decide on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station in March. The project would bring more commercial and residential units near Tyco Road.

New Fire Station Before 2021

Construction is aiming to be done on the new Scotts Run Fire and Rescue Station 44 in Tysons East by Dec. 31, 2020. The station is designed to relieve the overburdened Fire Station 29, which currently covers the entire Tysons area.

More Openings at The Boro

Dozens of stores and eateries opened in the mixed-use development this year, including Whole Foods and Ethan Allen. For next year, we’ll be keeping an eye on when ShowPlace ICON opens, along with the El Bebe and Open Road eateries.

Rebranding for Tysons

Tysons Partnership is working with Gensler to rebrand the area to encourage economic growth and is also looking to establish a “sustainable business and funding model” for the nonprofit association.

New Concept From The Owners Behind Tysons Biergarten

Tysons Biergarten is now closed by the Greensboro Metro station, but sometime in the spring, a new concept called The Shipgarten — made of shipping containers — aims to open at Scotts Run. Diners can expect a biergarten with German and Belgium beers, Asian fusion cuisine, barbecue food and a Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant.

No More Dropped Calls in the Tysons Metro Tunnel

Metro plans to have cell coverage in the tunnel between the Tysons Corner Center and Greensboro Metro stations by June. The tunnel is one of the last set of areas Metro is working to complete wireless coverage for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon customers.

Merrifield

More Mosaic District Newcomers

Fairfax County permits indicate that SephoraDrybar, a Connecticut-based eatery called The Granola BarMadison Reed and several new food options like Neapolitan pizza chain Pupatella and Urban Hot Pot are coming to the Mosaic District. While opening dates haven’t been announced yet, Tysons Reporter will be following up to find out when people can expect the newcomers.

Self-Driving Vehicles

A pilot program with autonomous shuttles from EasyMile is set to start transporting people from the Mosaic District to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station in the spring or summer.

City of Falls Church

Solutions for Stormwater Issues

After severe flooding in July, officials in the Little City have been working to fix the damage, while also planning how to prevent future issues. A newly formed taskforce is set to work until July on updating the list of priority projects for stormwater improvements in the Watershed Management Plan.

Whole Foods Expanding NoVa Footprint in Falls Church

Weeks after opening in Tysons, the grocery chain signed a lease in early November to anchor the redevelopment of the corner of E. Broad and N. Washington streets. Tysons Reporter is looking to find out when the store plans to open and what community members think the new store’s impact will be on local businesses.

Progress of Little City Commons Development

Tysons Reporter will continue to provide updates on the construction of the new commercial area in Falls Church known as Litty City Commons.

Town of Vienna

New Tavern Opening Along Maple Avenue

The owners of Bear Branch Tavern said they want to open later this winter, adding a restaurant with two bars, a patio, indoor and outdoor fire pits, an oyster bar, frozen drink machines and bike racks to 133 E. Maple Avenue.

New Zoning Maple Avenue Guidelines

The Vienna Town Council extended the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone to June 2020. Town officials are working to redesign the rules for new development applications for Maple Avenue.

Senior Living Facility Moving Forward?

Sunrise’s proposal to build a senior living facility at 380 Maple Avenue will go before the Vienna Town Council next year.

McLean

The Future of Claude Moore Colonial Farm

The National Park Service is trying to decide what to do with Claude Moore Colonial Farm property. Three different proposed plans were presented to the community in the fall for feedback. NPS is hoping to release a final proposal in spring 2020.

The Fate of Overcrowded McLean High School

Fairfax County wants to shift students from the overcrowded McLean High School to the under-capacity Langley High School. Boundary scope meetings are expected to continue into the spring, followed by a public hearing on the proposal and then a vote, so that the change can impact the 2020-2021 school year.

Tell us in the comments which pf these upcoming things you’re most interested in.

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Visit Fairfax has made its list of the top five tackiest lights displays in the county — and homes in Vienna and McLean are included.

In McLean, the house at 6530 Heather Brook Court has a “Start” button for a 10-minute show set to music, according to the list. Over in Vienna, the house at 10203 Lawyers Road has lighted animals.

Visit Fairfax wants to remind people that the lights may be off when it’s raining or snowing.

Visit Fairfax also has tips for Christmas lights viewers, saying that 6-8 p.m. is the best time window for watching lights shows and that viewers should respect homeowners’ properties.

For people looking for more holiday lights, Tysons Reporter spotted several sparkly spots in the Ingleside and Langley areas of McLean.

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A fire that broke out in a McLean house earlier this week caused the death of the family’s dog and displaced five residents.

The firefighters responded to the fire, which started in the basement of a house in the 6800 block of Old Chesterbrook Road, on Wednesday (Dec. 18) morning. The fire had spread to other floors. By around 12:30 p.m., firefighters had the blaze extinguished.

“A family dog was located in the basement but unfortunately did not survive,” Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said in an update today (Friday).

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“No occupants were home at the time of the fire,” the fire department said. “The fire was discovered by a neighbor who called 9-1-1 and then flagged down a Fairfax County Police Officer.”

The human occupants and firefighters were uninjured.

“Five occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined,” the fire department said. “Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $100,000.”

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