Newsletter

Morning Notes

Woman Dies After Seven Corners Crash — Alexandria resident Maria Pascoe died on Oct. 15 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash that occurred in Seven Corners at 9:27 a.m. on Sept. 29. Fairfax County has seen 14 non-pedestrian deaths from traffic incidents so far this year, compared to 10 over the same time period in 2020. [FCPD]

How to Celebrate Diwali Safely — The Fairfax County Health Department encourages people who celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, by gathering virtually, with members of their household, or outdoors. While festivities last for five days, Diwali itself takes place today (Thursday), with participants performing a Lakshmi Puja ritual to bring good health and fortune in the new year. [FCHD]

Spring Hill Apartment Building Sold — “Greystar sold the 404-unit Ascent apartment building in McLean for $150.5 million in a transaction that closed Oct. 1, according to Fairfax County records. An affiliate of Brookfield Properties was the buyer…Brookfield has begun marketing the property by its address, 8421 Broad, with rents that start at $1,900 a month.” [Washington Business Journal]

County to Hold Town Halls on Parking Changes — Fairfax County will hold four virtual town hall meetings starting on Monday (Nov. 8) to discuss its “Parking Reimagined” initiative, the first full review of the county’s rates and regulations for off-street parking in more than 30 years. The review will include an “extensive analysis” of parking supply and demand as well as local, regional, and even national trends. [Fairfax County Government]

Vienna Police Awarded for Saving Life — “About this time last year, George Hunt went into cardiac arrest and collapsed on Maple Ave. following a traffic accident, and these Vienna Police officers immediately provided CPR. With gratitude for their life-saving actions, Mr. Hunt presented certificates of appreciation to officers Kenny Smith and Chip McElhattan at last night’s Vienna Town Council meeting. Because of them, he says he was able to celebrate his 60th birthday.” [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

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A woman was sexually assaulted in her hotel room in the Spring Hill area of Tysons, the Fairfax County Police Department said this afternoon (Thursday).

According to police, the incident occurred yesterday morning in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive. Officers responded to a report shortly after 5 a.m. from a woman who said “that an unknown man entered her hotel room, displayed a knife and sexually assaulted her.”

“The woman was treated for injuries that were not life threatening,” the FCPD said.

The department’s Major Crimes Bureau detectives are now seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect, who is described as a “heavy set” black man in his 40s and about 5-foot-10 in height. He had a full beard and was last seen wearing glasses, a gray shirt, sweatpants, and a small black backpack.

The bureau can be contacted at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477), by text, and online.

“Anonymous tipsters are eligible for cash rewards of $100 to $1,000 dollars if their information leads to an arrest,” the FCPD said. “If you would like to be contacted by a detective, please provide your contact information.”

Police sketch of the suspect in a sexual assault reported in the Spring Hill area (via Fairfax County Police Department)
A map of a power outage in McLean, caused by a tree that fell on utility wires on Spring Hill Road (via Dominion Energy)

(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) 302 people in McLean are without power after a tree fell and took out some utility wires on Spring Hill Road overnight.

Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox says the fallen tree broke one pole and two cross-arms, bringing down four spans of wire.

Spring Hill Road has been closed between Georgetown Pike and Old Dominion Drive so that crews can work to address the downed pole and restore power, WTOP reported.

According to Dominion’s outage map, a crew is currently assessing the damage caused by the tree, and the estimated time of restoration is between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., a timeframe confirmed by Fox.

The Spring Hill Recreation Center (1239 Spring Hill Road) is temporarily closed due to the ongoing power outage, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority.

“Summer camps have been relocated to the school next door,” the park authority said on social media. “Indoor classes are temporarily canceled. Outdoor classes are being held as scheduled, but check with your instructor.”

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Morning Notes

Vienna Resident Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering — A Vienna resident pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to a money laundering scheme tied to the terrorist group Hizballah. Prosecutors say the decade-long scheme was deployed to ship electronics equipment to a television station in Lebanon. [Patch]

Spring Hill Turf Field to Be Replaced — Spring Hill Park in McLean will undergo maintenance work starting on June 21 to replace a synthetic turf field. Work hours will be limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, though the contractor can work on Saturdays to avoid project delays if there is inclement weather. The project is expected to be mostly complete by Labor Day. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Maryland to Downscale Beltway Project — The Maryland Department of Transportation will limit its planned Capital Beltway expansion to the construction of a new American Legion Bridge and the addition of two toll lanes in each direction on the bridge from I-270 to I-370. The project is considered critical to the success of Virginia’s 495 NEXT project to extend the I-495 Express Lanes to the bridge in McLean. [DCist]

Longfellow Finishes Second in National Quiz Bowl — “A quiz-bowl team from Longfellow Middle School finished second in the nation in the 2021 Middle School National Championship Tournament, held online the weekend of May 1. Longfellow’s “A” team made it 20 rounds into the competition before losing to the eventual champion, the “A” team from Winston Churchill Middle School of Carmichael, Calif.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

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The Fairfax County Park Authority has purchased an historic property in McLean that previously belonged to President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The county park authority announced on Monday (Nov. 2) that it had acquired the 5.45-acre land known as Spring Hill for $2.4 million funded through park bonds. Located in the Dranesville District, Spring Hill sits near the intersection of Spring Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive in McLean.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust says he is grateful to the park authority for preserving the Spring Hill property and “many other beautiful properties in our county, for the use of current residents and future generations.”

“I also appreciate the Brzezinski family’s desire to protect the natural beauty and cultural significance of this property, and their willingness to work with the Park Authority to make sure that happened,”¬†Foust said.

As the longtime residence of former National Security Advisor¬†Zbigniew Brzezinski, Spring Hill has hosted many foreign leaders, according to Fairfax County’s Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen.

Brzezinski’s wife, the renowned artist Emilie Brzezinski, previously worked on her signature wood sculptures out of a studio built in the house.

Spring Hill’s former residents, size, and attractiveness make the property historic and a remarkable acquisition for the county.

“The attraction on that property is, first and foremost, the beautiful land,” Pedersen said. “A piece that size in the McLean area is an unusual find.”

Pederson says the county acquires land in advance and later makes plans for what to do with it.

“It’s not on this year’s work plan,” Pedersen said. “Future work is going to be aligned to the availability of capital funding, and that’ll be used for planning for the design and construction process.”

Those plans also include inviting the community to voice their ideas on what to do with the property.

“That’s the discussion that we’ll go back and have with the community at some point, about what is the appropriate and most sought-after use for this lovely property,” Pederson said.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority

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This afternoon, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved rezoning for two developments near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons.

Georgelas LLC’s two¬†mixed-use projects¬†— West Spring Hill Station and North Spring Hill Station — would¬†redevelop car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road.

The projects include eight buildings, four parks, a new connection to the Dulles Toll Road and a sports deck that will include entertainment atop a building.

Elizabeth Baker, a senior land use planner who is representing the developer, told the county board that the companion developments move forward the vision to turn Tysons into a city.

“It’s really becoming a unified, urban environment,” Baker said about the area around the Metro station.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the developments back in September, but delayed the vote until this year to give staff and the developer time to work out issues with West Spring Hill Station.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said that the two projects¬†“substantially improved” since when they were first proposed, praising the Dulles Toll Road Connection and “prominent parks.”

Images via Fairfax County 

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The fire station in Tysons is at the top of¬†Fairfax County Fire and Rescue’s list of old fire stations that need updates.

During the Planning Commission’s¬†hearing on the¬†Capital Improvements Program for fiscal years¬†2021-2025,¬†Assistant Fire Chief Jason Jenkins said that Tysons Fire Station 29 is one of six stations built in the 1970s and 1980s that the fire department wants to revamp.

“Any of the fire stations built in the 1970s through the 1980s are reaching the end of their life,” Jenkins said. “Their capabilities, their flexibilities, their workforce — it becomes challenging to have to relocate personnel due to the lack of capabilities.”

Fire Station 29 in Tysons (1560 Spring Hill Road) was built in 1978 and is roughly 9,500 square feet, according to the CIP presentation.

Jenkins gave an overview of the plethora of deficiencies at Fire Station 29, which include:

  • too few apparatus bays (three)
  • inadequate living quarters for women
  • limited gym and fitness area
  • lack of decontamination area
  • lack of fire sprinklers in apparatus bays

As the population boom continues in the county, Jenkins said that the fire facilities need to be able to expand.

In response to Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner’s question “How do we do fire fighting in the high-rise level?” Jenkins said that fire stations need to have double the equipment to cut back their response times, which are increased due to building heights.

“So in lieu of waiting for a neighboring station to respond to a high-rise, you have duplicative resources that can respond simultaneously,” he said, adding that those resources include double the engines and paramedic units.

Now, the fire department is looking to double the size of the fire station, which would have five drive-thru bays, with funding from development proffers.

A proffer for the fire station that was negotiated in 2011 currently covers about 10% of the project’s cost.

More from the proposed CIP:

$1,417,152 has been received to date from negotiated proffer obligations to support the design and construction of a 5-bay replacement Tysons Fire Station. Additional proffer funding for the fire station will be provided as the designated Tysons development occurs.

“We have enough funding to start the design of the project,”¬†a staffer from the Department of Public Works said.

Originally, the fire station was going to be built on the bottom of high-rise, but the plans fell through, Laurie Stone, a planner for the fire department, said. Now, the developer is providing the proffer funding over time.

“It was going to be the first proffered fire station,” Stone said. “We’re going to need the station before we have all of the proffer funding.”

The design process for the fire station begins early this spring, Jenkins said. Elsewhere around Tysons, work is underway to build the new Fire Station 44 near the McLean Metro station.

Image via Google Maps

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The Fairfax County Planning Commission is delaying its decision on two mixed-use developments by the Spring Hill Metro station again.

Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, who represents the Providence District, asked the commission last night (Wednesday) to push its vote on the proposed project to next month.

Niedzielski-Eichner said the postponement is to give more staff more time to review a resubmission and changes by the developer, Georgelas LLC.

The project is split into two parts — North Spring Hill Station and West Spring Hill Station — and would transform current¬†car dealerships along the north side of Tyco Road into¬†commercial and residential units.

Previously, the project has been held up over¬†Fairfax County planners’ concerns that the West Spring Hill Station doesn’t fulfill the¬†Tysons Comprehensive Plan.

The decision was previously postponed from December, when Niedzielski-Eichner said that the Georgelas LLC asked for more time on the application.

The project is now scheduled to go before the Planning Commission on April 22.

Images via Fairfax County

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When a Honda van T-boned a sedan near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons, a third driver caught it all on camera.

The crash happened on Tyco Road near the Adaire apartment building. The van pulled out of the parking lot for the Audi Service Center and Tysons Collision Center right before hitting the sedan, which was in the left-hand, southbound lane.

The video shows the driver of the van throw his hands above his head right after the crash.

The sedan’s fender and the van’s front bumper appeared damaged after the vehicles both pulled into the parking lot.

A Reddit user posted yesterday the minute-and-a-half video capturing the crash. Already, the post has 436 upvotes and 136 comments.

“The irony that he was pulling out of an auto service center vastly improves this,” another user said in the comments.

Driving home from Tysons last week from r/nova

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Fairfax County police said gang activity may be behind the New Year’s Day shooting that injured three people in the Spring Hill area.

In an update today (Thursday), police said that two men and one woman had gunshot wounds after a shooting¬†in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive early in the morning on New Year’s Day.

The three people were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released from a local hospital, police said today.

John Lieb, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that one scene was located in the parking lot of the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, while another was in a breezeway of the buildings.

Lieb was not able to confirm if any of the people involved in the shooting had been staying at the hotel.

“The suspects were described as black males,” police said. “Detectives believe this shooting is gang-related.”

Map via Google Maps

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