Tysons, VA

Update at 4 p.m. — Leesburg Pike appears to be clear to traffic again

Earlier: A car crash at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Pimmit Drive has resulted in two injuries, though police said neither appear to be life-threatening.

The crash occurred around 3 p.m. One person was taken to the hospital. The road appeared partially closed as emergency personnel responded to the scene, though police said it was unlikely to remain blocked for long.

The busy intersection is near the Idylwood Plaza shopping center.

Image via VDOT, map via Google Maps

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Wednesday Morning Notes

AMT Looking for Buyers or Partners for ‘City View Tysons’ Development — “On AMT’s behalf, Cushman & Wakefield recently began marketing 7901 Westpark Drive to interested buyers or equity partners. The ‘shovel ready’ development site is approved for a 215,547-square-foot building, per marketing material from the commercial real estate brokerage.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Bluesy Stoner Rock — “On Friday, Virginia’s dark, bluesy stoner rock outfit Pimmit Hills — featuring former members of King Giant — will release their new EP, Heathens & Prophets.” [Treble]

ManTech CEO Becomes Chairman of Board of Directors — “”Kevin has done an outstanding job as CEO and he is clearly the right individual to lead the board going forward,” said Barry Campbell, a ManTech independent director.” [ExecutiveBiz]

Providence District Council Polls Local Residents — The Providence District Council, a group of local citizens’ associations, has put out a survey asking locals what issues are most important to them. [Providence District Council]

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Fairfax County Police are searching for Navya Patury, a 16-year-old missing endangered juvenile.

Police said members of the Major Crimes Bureau and the Search and Rescue Team will be looking around the area of Leonard Drive in Pimmit Hills.

Patury is 5’5″ and around 100 lbs with brown eyes and black hair. Patury was last seen wearing a black jacket with a pink zipper and grey/pink sneakers. Patury is considered endangered due to a mental/physical health concern.

Anyone with information is asked to call 703-691-2131.

Photo via Fairfax County Police/Twitter

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As plans proceed for a newly approved pipeline in Pimmit Hills, a group of residents is continuing to push Washington Gas to reroute the project.

More than 100 Pimmit Hills residents gathered earlier this month to protest the installation of a new natural gas pipeline that Washington Gas plans to place in a neighborhood between Tysons and Falls Church.

The project, which was originally rejected twice by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), finally received the green light in late 2019.

The project includes roughly five miles of pipeline intended to support developmental growth in Tysons, according to documentation from the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association (PHCA).

Roughly five feet underground in the Virginia Department of Transit right of way, the pipeline will sit directly under the road, Washington Gas Spokesperson Brian Edwards said.

Lines will run under Cherri, Fisher and Peabody drives in Pimmit Hills, according to a map sent to Tysons Reporter by a member of the citizens association.

Major Concerns From Residents

PHCA Spokesperson Ashley Nellis told Tysons Reporter she worries that the 24-inch-thick and high-pressure pipeline will pose a risk to the safety of local families and cause “massive” disruptions to the area and the environment on several fronts.

The major concerns brought up by Nellis and other residents throughout Pimmit Hills include disturbances to the neighborhood during construction and long-term safety standards.

“This is a very dangerous proposition that has not gone well in other communities,” she said, citing an explosion that occurred in a town in Pennsylvania in 2018.

“We are the only residential neighborhood impacted by a high-pressure transmission pipeline that also happens to be routed along a known flood plain and next to the beginning of Pimmit Run Stream,” Robert Heilen, the president of the PHCA, said in a letter to VDOT.

Brian Edwards, the Washington Gas spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that the pipeline will not negatively impact the regional flood plain.

After being pressed about community concerns, Washington Gas remains steadfast in its certainty that the pipeline meets, if not exceeds, safety standards according to Edwards, who added that the pipe is built with strong material so there is little possibility of a rupture.

“It is being designed at a very high standard so if someone were to even hit the line with a backhoe it would withstand the damage,” Edwards said.

Due to the nature of the project, VDOT does not require an environmental impact report for the project, according to Edwards.

The Community Fights Back

Politicians including Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and State Sen. Janet Howell (D-32nd) and Del. Marcus Simon (D-53rd) are also backing the opposition efforts.

Along with its normal monthly meetings, the citizens association began hosting weekly pipeline committee meetings to discuss changes and efforts to halt the project.

As of today (March 16), more than 570 people have signed a Change.org petition to reroute the pipeline.

Currently, a community member is in the midst of filing a petition of appeal against the VDOT approval, aiming to halt the pipeline progress.

Though independently organized, PHCA set up a GoFundMe page to fund the lawsuit. So far, people have donated over $9,500 in two months. “It shows how adamantly the community is against this issue,” Nellis, the PHCA spokesperson, said.

The private community member is now in search of new representation after the original law firm dropped the case, Heilen added.

Edwards said he was not in a position to give a statement from Washington Gas.

Project Alternatives

Project leaders within the community originally hoped that VDOT and Washington Gas would install the new pipeline along Route 7 — an option that Washington Gas said would be more intrusive and time-consuming.

As it stands, the line construction in the Pimmit Hills neighborhood would affect roughly 7,000 commuters daily over the course of three years, according to Edwards. But, if the pipeline would instead be installed along Route 7, he said it would take six years — double the amount of time — and affect roughly 41,000 commuters daily.

For community members though, perks of moving the line to Route 7 include an increased sense of security for their families and easement of construction noise.

Edwards said that Washington Gas plans to proceed with construction block-by-block in order to lessen the burden on homeowners.

Next Steps

As community members continue to fight pipeline installation, Washington Gas is proceeding with preparation for the project.

Edwards wouldn’t give an estimated project start time but told Tysons Reporter that Washington Gas hopes the project will be completed by 2023.

Heilen said he was told that construction was supposed to begin in early April, but said he hasn’t received any updated information.

“Most of the route is already marked,” Heilen said. “I expect that once they feel the weather is stable, they will start digging.”

Photos courtesy Devin Buries

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Plans for a new speed hump aim to slow down drivers near a high school and senior center in Pimmit Hills.

Last Tuesday (Dec. 3), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors backed adding a speed hump to Griffith Road between Magarity Road and Lisle Ave.

The speed hump will be located in front of the building (7510 Lisle Avenue) that houses the Pimmit Hills Senior Center, the Pimmit Hills Alternative High School and the Pimmit Alternative Learning Center.

The county board voted to urge the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) to install the speed hump as soon as possible after residents in the area called for measures to reduce the speed of traffic on the road, according to county documents.

Back in October, FCDOT received support from the nearby community for the traffic calming plan for the road after FCDOT had an engineering study done on the road, the county said.

Now, the Virginia Department of Transportation will review the plan, which is a part of FCDOT’s Residential Traffic Administration Program.

The new speed hump is expected to cost $8,000, according to county documents.

Map via Google Maps 

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Families may have noticed that the playground at Tysons Pimmit Park isn’t open.

Located in Pimmit Hills just off of Leesburg Pike, the temporary closure at 7584 Leesburg Pike will allow for the replacement of the existing picnic shelter, according to Fairfax County.

“Work on the installation of a picnic shelter with new metal roofing is scheduled to begin Nov. 7 and continue through Feb. 28, 2020,” according to the county.

The project costs $120,000 and is being funded by the 2019 Park Bond, according to the county.

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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!

Tuesday (Sept. 24)

  • Ribbon Cutting: Zenola — 6-7 p.m. at Zenola (132 Branch Road SE) — Newly opened Zenola is hosting their grand opening in partnership with the Vienna Business Associaton and the Town of Vienna.
  • Laughs In The Lobby Bar — 8 p.m. at Jammin Java (227 E. Maple Avenue) — This free event lets people gather for an evening of comedy featuring a variety of experience levels. All ages are welcome. Those wishing to get on stage should show up at 7 p.m.
  • Happy Hour Mixer in Falls Church — 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn (706 W. Broad Street) — The Greater Merrifield Business Association and the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce are hosting a joint event with food, drinks and networking.

Wednesday (Sept. 25)

Thursday (Sept. 26)

  • Alya Salon Grand Opening Party — 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Ayla Salon (139 Park Street SE) — This new hair salon will celebrate its grand opening with food, drinks, music, various product samples and a mini-fashion show.

Friday (Sept. 27)

  • Friday Night Live — 8-11 p.m. at Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street) — Each week, this free event invites community members to gather for live music.

Saturday (Sept. 28)

  • Merrifield Fall Festival — 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Avenue) — This festival gives attendees the opportunity to enjoy some fall weather while listening to live music, enjoying brews from Caboose Brewing in Strawberry Park and shop at the local farmers market and on-site craft fair. This event is free to attend.

Sunday (Sept. 29)

  • Plant Swap — 11 a.m.-noon at Botanologica (817 W. Broad Street) –– This free event gives community members the chance to trade plants or clippings. Organizers ask that participants bring only healthy plants, label the species and provide written care instructions for the next owner.
  • Pimmit Hills Day — 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Olney Park (1840 Olney Road) — This festival invites community members to check out live music and various vendors offering live music, food and drinks. All ages are welcome to this free event. There will also be activities for kids.

Photo via Facebook

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After flooding in early July washed two dumpsters into Pimmit Run, the stream bed is now dumpster-free.

On Wednesday, Tysons Reporter found the two dumpsters — washed up on the bed of Pimmit Run near Old Chesterbrook Road.

Fairfax County officials said the bins that washed up on the stream bed roughly eight weeks ago and belonged to American Disposal Services and Republic Services.

The county alerted the companies about the dumpsters in July, Judy Pedersen, a spokesperson of the Fairfax County Park Authority, told Tysons Reporter.

“Over the past few weeks we have contacted these two companies six times in an effort to get them removed,” Pedersen said.

One Nextdoor user said they reached out weeks ago to Fairfax County Park Authority, DPWES, law enforcement and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust about the dumpsters.

“Admittedly, removing the dumpsters is going to be difficult,” the user wrote. “There’s no easy access for heavy equipment to reach them.”

Both bins were removed today (Sept. 5), according to Nathan Geldner, a spokesperson for Republic Services.

Geldner did not answer Tysons Reporter question about why it took so long to respond to the requests from governmental officials.

American Disposal Services promised to have both bins removed after the county’s Department of Code Compliance pressured the garbage companies to make changes, Matthew Kaiser, the spokesperson for the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES), told Tysons Reporter.

Kaiser said a contractor removed the bins. Tysons Reporter has not been able to confirm which company hired the contractor.

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A new restaurant is coming to a spot in a shopping center in the Pimmit Hills area.

Bing Bao is looking to open at 7505 Leesburg Pike, Suite D, according to a permit.

The spot currently appears vacant and a sign has fainting lettering indicating it used to be the home for Pella Windows and Doors.

No word yet on when Bing Bao will open or what’s on the menu.

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Emily’s Kitchen, a regional restaurant chain, has plans to open a new spot in Pimmit Hills.

The fast-casual restaurant is coming to 7600B Leesburg Pike, Suite 130, according to a building permit.

Founded in 2000, Emily’s Kitchen serves up sandwiches, deli meats, egg dishes, salads and soups.

Currently, the chain has two spots in Rockville, Md. and one in Herndon, Va.

Photo via Instagram 

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