(Updated 9/18) After hours of passionate public input at their meeting Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed a ban on carrying guns on county property.
The Board of Supervisors passed the ordinance 9-1, immediately taking effect and applying to County buildings, parks, recreation and community centers.
The state law that let Fairfax County ban guns on public property, is something that Jeff McKay, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, said the county has been asking for decades. Similar bans were implemented in Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church.
“There is also a lot of fear in this community about guns,” McKay said. “So while gun rights advocates are concerned for their own safety, you have to understand there [are] a ton of people in this county worried about guns — period.”
In April, Gov. Ralph Northam signed a new gun control law enabling local governments to ban guns on public property and spaces. The bill followed a charged legislative session in Richmond, where armed pro-gun protesters showed up to the state capital as the legislature was considering proposed gun control measures.
It’s a clean slate for the Claude Moore farm area.
At a meeting, last night (Thursday) at the Madison Community Center in Arlington, the National Park Service (NPS) opened up the public discussion for what should happen for the Claude Moore Colonial Farm property, which until late last year was operating as an 18th-century American-style farm.
“This is the first step in the process to develop a plan,” Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said. “We’re getting ideas and comments and hoping to give people a sense of the process. We’re starting with a blank slate and we want a robust and transparent process.”
Display boards around the room highlighted a variety of potential directions the park could take, asking attendees if they are more interested in casual activities, like tending to a community garden or learning basket weaving, or active uses like nature walks with park rangers or a junior ranger program.
“One option is to still run a colonial-style farm, but we could also look at active recreation or a more relaxed nature-based park,” Anzelmo-Sarles said.
The Claude Moore farm area was fairly isolated in its earlier use, and one of the options the NPS is considering is whether or not to make the property more connected to other properties and trails.
“There are existing trails in the area that don’t really connect,” Anzelmo-Sarles said. “And there are some trails around the Langley Fork Park area that are in active use. Are there different ways we can build more access to the park or do we want that access to go away? Everything is on the table.”
Redevelopment as a commercial space, though, is not an option, she said.
From the sticky notes posted around the boards, keeping the area as a farm was a popular choice. The public comment period is open through May 25.
After that, Anzelmo-Sarles said the NPS will take the feedback and develop a few potential options for the park, followed by narrowing the choices down to a final concept plan presented within the year.
Lee Highway Blocked — Updated at 9:05 a.m. — “Lee Highway is shut down in both directions at Kalmia Lee Court in Falls Church due to utility wires across the roadway. Please use an alternate route as you travel this morning.” [Twitter]
Longtime Local Firefighter Retires — “Today Master Technician George Hood from Station 13, Dunn Loring, B-Shift is serving the residents of Fairfax County one last time. He will be retiring after 34 years of dedicated service at the end of this shift.” [Facebook]
McLean Girl’s Struggle with Arthritis — “Last August, 2-year-old Reese Sheers began waking up, saying she was stuck and couldn’t move her arms. Then it started happening every two hours, and she couldn’t roll over or sit up in her crib. She would get better as the day went on, but the pain would become frequent enough that the family would seek medical help.” [Patch]
Author Signing Books in Tysons Tonight — Columnist Michael Tomasky will be signing copies of his new book “If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved,” at the Tysons Barnes & Noble store tonight. [Instagram]
Discussion of the Gender Pay Gap — “The Women of Temple Rodef Shalom (2100 Westmoreland St., Falls Church) will be hosting a comprehensive forum titled, ‘Gender Pay Gap and You’ as a part of the fifth annual Women’s Empowerment Program on Sunday, Feb. 10.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Another Tysons Firm Moving to Boro — “Alion Science and Technology Corp. is leaving one Tysons tower for another. The engineering firm, headquartered at Lerner Enterprises’ 1750 Tysons Blvd., has agreed to lease 16,000 square feet at Boro Tower… Alion will join KPMG LLP (roughly 168,000 square feet), Tegna Inc. (46,000 square feet), Hogan Lovells (44,500 square feet), and Womble Bond Dickinson (24,239 square feet).” [Washington Business Journal]
Weather Delays Silver Line Repairs — “Promised sealant for problem concrete panels at Silver Line stations due to open next year is on hold. The sealant is intended to prevent the panels, which were revealed last year to have an incorrect mix that could create problems, from deteriorating over coming decades.” [WTOP]
Tysons Development Quiz — “How much do you know about construction, leasing and development activity in Tysons? Take this quiz to test your knowledge.” [Bisnow]
Hunter Mill District Races — Two candidates are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, which is being vacated by incumbent Pat Hynes. Meanwhile, long-time Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins announced yesterday that she will retire after her term ends. [Reston Now, Reston Now]
Reminder: Drone Meeting Tonight — A meeting to discuss a comprehensive plan for Fairfax County’s use of drones, particularly for public safety, will take place tonight at the McLean District Governmental Center. [Tysons Reporter]
Tysons East Aims to Keep ‘Creative Class’ Around — “Lots of people come to the glitzy, suburban Tysons East neighborhood to work, but most of them leave as soon as the workday is over. Tysons wants to change that.” [Greater Greater Washington]
USA Today ‘Firmly Entrenched’ in Tysons — “The company split in 2015, spinning off TEGNA as a separate broadcast television and digital media entity that will soon to move to a new home atop Boro Tower in Tysons Corner. Gannett and USA Today remain firmly entrenched on Jones Branch Drive in the impressive, two-tower campus now known as Valo Park, where the news of the nation and world continues to be filtered through a bustling newsroom.” [FCEDA]
Local Companies Making Acquisitions — Two Tysons-based companies are making notable acquisitions. Global IT services provider Avineon is buying Michigan-based InfoGraphics, Inc. while Capital One is acquiring Wikibuy, a “tech start-up used by millions to price-check while shopping on Amazon.” [Citybizlist, CNBC]
Forum on Anxiety in McLean — “The Safe Community Coalition and McLean High School PTSA will host a screening of the documentary ‘Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety’ on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the high school.” [InsideNova]
McLean Citizens Reject Ramp Closure Resolution — “After debating nearly two hours over a pair of conflicting resolutions regarding the Virginia Department of Transportation’s proposal to temporarily close an on-ramp to northbound Interstate 495 during weekday afternoon peak hours, McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board members on Nov. 7 rejected both resolutions.” [InsideNova]
Fire at Madison High School — A fire broke out in a classroom at Vienna’s Madison High School Friday night, but was brought under control by a sprinkler system. [Twitter]
Vienna Legislative Priorities — “The Vienna town government’s draft 2019 legislative agenda looks decidedly similar to ones of yore and continues to ask the General Assembly to maintain adequate state funding and not further reduce local authority.” [InsideNova]
New Retail Concept Coming to Mall — “Macerich this weekend is launching a concept known as ‘BrandBox’ at Tysons Corner Center just outside Washington, D.C., one of the most valuable shopping malls in the U.S. There, it will house six brands, including apparel retailer Naadam and makeup company Winky Lux, for six to 12 months. Each brand will have its own mini store inside an 11,000-square-foot space, with new retailers funneling in and out each year.” [CNBC, Glossy]
Opioid Epidemic Discussion in Vienna — “It might be a scary topic, but still an important conversation to have: TOV’s Club Phoenix is hosting a parent discussion at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, on Understanding the Opioid Epidemic.” [Twitter]