Tysons, VA

After people in Tysons noticed roughly 100 trees were cut down on the edge of an upcoming townhome and condominium development, a community Twitter account asked its followers who might be responsible.

Tysons Reporter found the answer — the property along Magarity Road is slated for redevelopment by the Toll Brothers Group. The group claimed responsibility for taking down the trees.

Previously, the property named The Commons at Mclean was abandoned and overgrown by weeds until taken over by the new developers.

Eric Anderson, the president of the Toll Brothers Group, said that the trees were in a development right of way and needed to be taken down.

“Per the [Tysons Comprehensive Plan], there were requirements in place to allow for [a] future right of way on all sides of the property,” he said, adding that the space will be used to build a bike lane, sidewalks and an expanded roadway.

“I ran that trail this morning. Missing the sweet smell of pine. They were old-growth trees as well, probably 40-50 yrs old each,” one person commented on Twitter.

By the time the new development is complete, Anderson said that 355 new trees will be planted on the property.

Photo courtesy @TysonsVA /Twitter

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After Wawa chopped down trees it wasn’t supposed to, Town of Vienna officials want to create a plan to prevent anything similar happening again.

Town Manager Mercury Payton told the Vienna Town Council on Monday (Dec. 9) that a committee is working “to identify more efficient communication with residents about construction incidents.”

The town announced last month that Wawa’s actions were a result of “misunderstanding and human error.” The loss of the trees sparked an uproar among locals — what Councilmember Steve Potter called an “extremely emotional” incident at the Monday meeting.

Payton apologized to both the residents who live behind the Wawa site and all of the residents in the town.

“I feel awful about the fact that the town played a role in initiating the action that Wawa took in removing the trees,” Payton said.

Payton told the councilmembers that the town’s urban arborist told Wawa about the health of the trees that Wawa eventually cut — even though they were not included in the approved site plan.

“It is in my view that if the town urban arborist had not brought the matter up to Wawa, Wawa would not have brought the trees down,” Payton said. “They would have stuck to the site plan and the issue would not have occurred.”

Payton said that the arborist should have advised Wawa that a site plan change was necessary, but that, ultimately, the site plan is Wawa’s responsibility.

Payton later said the arborist did not do anything incorrectly when pressed by Councilmember Pasha Majdi about the roles and responsibilities of the arborist.

“I don’t think the best way to run this town is to say that someone should have done something that they are not tasked with doing and it’s not required and it’s not explicated to that staffer,” Majdi said.

“From our perspective, we try to go above and beyond,” Payton responded.

Currently, the town’s departments each manage their own communication with residents about projects, Payton said. The internal review is meant to identify how the departments can follow a unified communication plan.

Several councilmembers expressed support for the internal review, including Councilmember Douglas Noble, who requested to see the outcome of the committee’s findings and recommendations.

“I always like to see what the problem is first… and then work forward,” Noble said.

“The trees are dead. They aren’t alive,” Potter said. “There are a lot of trees that this could happen to again.”

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After extreme weather took a toll on Cherry Hill Park, the City of Falls Church has turned the remaining parts of the destroyed trees into art.

Recreation and Parks Director Daniel Schlitt commissioned a local artist to create statues from leftover stumps created by a violent storm last year that killed a few trees, Susan Finarelli, a city spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Artist Andrew Mallon lives in Falls Church and specializes in chainsaw log-art. He began work on the installation in early August after Schlitt hired him for the job, Mallon told Tysons Reporter.

The installation includes four different statues, each scattered throughout the park.

The logs portray animals that would be found in neighboring forests, Mallon said. The art includes baby animals, because he thinks of parks as gathering places for families.

Mallon declined to say how much money the city paid him for the work, and Finarelli did not respond to a follow-up email.

The carvings were completed last Friday (Aug. 23) and are now on display for public viewing at 312 Park Avenue, Mallon said.

Photos via City of Falls Church

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As a storm moves through the area, some residents in McLean are impacted by fallen trees and power outages.

A preliminary local storm report from the National Weather Service says that there is a “tree down with power lines down on Spring Vale Avenue.” ABC 7 meteorologist Alex Liggitt tweeted that trees are down in McLean.

Another NWS report says wind damage was reported in Tysons.

The Dominion Energy map shows two power outages currently in McLean as of 4:50 p.m. today (May 2) — one affecting 30 customers by the Old Dominion School Site Park and another one affecting 61 customers in between Scott’s Run Nature Preserve and I-495.

Dominion expects that power will be restored later tonight for both outages — between 7-10 p.m. for the Old Dominion area and between 8-11 p.m. for the one by the American Legion Bridge.

First map via Google Maps and second map via Dominion Energy

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Monday Morning Notes

Downed Trees Block Roads — A High Wind Warning is in effect for Fairfax County for most of the day. A number of trees are reported to have fallen in parts of the area, blocking roads, including in McLean on Old Dominion Drive at Franklin Park Road and on Georgetown Pike near the Beltway. [Twitter, Twitter]

Police Department Mourns Fallen K-9 — “Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler, Jr. announced the unexpected death today, Feb. 22, of K-9 Doby, one of our K-9 officers.” [FCPD]

FCPS Gets More Than Half of Budget — “For the second year in a row, Fairfax County plans to grant all of the transfer funds requested by the county school board… FCPS accounts for 52.9 percent of the county’s general fund budget. Hill’s proposed county transfer to the public school system exceeds the $2.1 billion requested by the school board.” [Fairfax Times]

The Case for Suburb-to-Suburb Transit — “The Purple Line, which is expected to begin service in late 2022, will provide an important suburb-to-suburb link, and local officials should seriously consider constructing extensions to Tysons Corner and Largo.” [Greater Greater Washington]

More Childless Households in Falls Church — “While the 2.4 million population in the Northern Virginia region, overall, is characterized by a continuing growth in numbers of children, and households with children, this is not true for Falls Church… the number of households with children in the City has actually decreased by 5.3 percent in that same period.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Local Doc Goes on Medical Mission Trip — “On Jan. 26, 2019, a team from… Virginia Oral, Facial & Implant Surgery of McLean flew from Dulles Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic” on a medical mission trip to treat “both children and adults of Dominican and Haitian background.” [McLean Connection]

New Look for Tysons Reporter — Tysons Reporter is debuting a new, cleaner look for our site today. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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Morning Notes

Fatal Pedestrian Crash on Route 50 — “Officers responded to the report of a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian on Arlington Boulevard near Summerfield Road, at approximately six [Friday] night. The pedestrian was crossing Arlington Boulevard, not in a crosswalk, and was hit by a dark colored mid to full-size pickup truck with an open bed. The truck did not stop and drove away from the scene. The pedestrian, 93-year-old Pericles Apostolou, from Falls Church, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.” [FCPD]

Road Closed Due to Downed Trees — Amid high winds and power outages, Spring Hill Road in McLean was closed for an extended period of time Sunday due to downed trees and wires. [Twitter]

Tegna Auctioning Office Fixtures — Broadcast conglomerate Tegna is moving from its current Tysons home to the Boro development. As part of the move, it’s auctioning off furniture, TVs and other items of value from around the office. Bids close Thursday. [Washington Business Journal, Rasmus Auctions]

Local Hackers Gather in McLean — “All day Monday, the NoVa Hackers held their SchmooCon Epilogue in McLean… Over 150 members attended topical lectures, competed in MetaCTF challenges, and participated in discussions about cyber and information security between insider groups.” [WDVM]

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