Tysons Corner, VA

Vienna residents will have the opportunity to share their input on the Vienna Town Council possibly extending the moratorium on new development applications for Maple Avenue.

The Vienna Town Council requested Monday night (Sept. 16) that staff schedule a public hearing on Nov. 4 to discuss extending the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone from Nov. 15 to June 2020. The Planning Commission will also hold a public hearing.

The Town Council first put the moratorium in place last September to allow the town staff time to redesign the town’s guidelines. So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects and rejected one.

Councilmember Nisha Patel said that while she supports extending the moratorium, she would like to see the Town Council vote on new MAC guidelines before June. Mayor Laurie DiRocco said that town staff aims to have the plan go before the council by February.

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) A moratorium on new development applications for Maple Avenue set to expire in November may get extended again.

The Vienna Town Council is set to request tonight (Sept. 16) that staff schedule a public hearing on Nov. 4 to discuss extending the suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) Zone to June 2020. The matter would also go to the town’s Planning Commission.

The Town Council first put the moratorium in place last September to allow the town staff time to redesign the town’s guidelines. The moratorium was set to expire in June, but the Town Council voted to extend it to Nov. 15.

So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects:

  • a combination Chick-fil-A and Flagship Carwash Center at 540 W. Maple Avenue that has received public backlash
  • townhouse-style condominiums with retail at the northeast corner of W. Maple Avenue and Pleasant Street NW
  • a much-debated redevelopment that would add ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue
  • a controversial redevelopment of 430, 440 and 444 W. Maple Avenue into a four-story mixed-use development

The Town Council has also killed a MAC project — a proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. Sunrise is suing the Town Council for allegedly discriminating against seniors and people with disabilities.

The Town Council meeting tonight will start at 8 p.m.

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The Vienna Town Council is set to tackle proposed zoning amendments, as the moratorium deadline nears for new Maple Avenue projects.

The moratorium is scheduled to expire in November. The Vienna Town Council voted May 13 to extend the temporary suspension of the Maple Avenue Commercial (MAC) zone to November 15 — more than a year after it first went into effect.

So far, the Vienna Town Council has approved four MAC projects:

  • a combination Chick-fil-A and Flagship Carwash Center at 540 W. Maple Avenue that has received public backlash
  • townhouse-style condominiums with retail at the northeast corner of W. Maple Avenue and Pleasant Street NW
  • a much-debated redevelopment that would add ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue
  • a controversial redevelopment of 430, 440 and 444 W. Maple Avenue into a four-story mixed-use development

The Town Council has also killed a MAC project — a proposed Sunrise Senior Living Facility at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. Sunrise is suing the Town Council for allegedly discriminating against seniors and people with disabilities.

The work session is set to start at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall (127 S. Center Street).

In addition to the proposed zoning amendments, the Town Council is set to discuss alternative uses to the 380 Maple project tonight.

Final design guidelines and amendments are anticipated to be done this month.

Map via Town of Vienna

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(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) The Vienna Town Council is considering raising its fee for bad checks.

While the proposed change would increase the fee from its current $20 to an amount up to $50, the town is currently planning to charge a fee of $25, a spokesperson for the town told Tysons Reporter.

The town’s current fee is on the lower end in comparison to nearby jurisdictions, according to the Town of Vienna:

  • Fairfax Water: $20
  • Fairfax City: $25
  • City of Alexandria: $35
  • Loudoun County: $40
  • Arlington and Fairfax counties, Falls Church, Herndon and Leesburg: $50
  • Prince William County: $50 for the first offense and $75 for the second offense within two weeks

The town’s Director of Finance Marion Serfass told the councilmembers at a meeting last Monday (Aug. 19) that a public hearing will need to be held about the proposed change because it affects taxes.

A public hearing on the proposal is set for Monday, Sept. 16.

“We don’t have a lot of bad checks,” Serfass said.

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As the Town of Vienna awaits Fairfax County’s renovation of the Patrick Henry Library, the Town Council continues to drive forward a proposed public parking garage.

The Town Council is set to hear a presentation tonight (Monday) from Grimm and Parker about several ideas that could incorporate public parking in the project.

Opened in 1971, Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) is set to be rebuilt as part of a $91 million bond referendum to upgrade the county’s aging libraries. Mayor Laurie DiRocco previously said that the library got moved up in the county’s renovation schedule from 2026 to 2022.

Ultimately, the town wants cost-effective public parking that will create a synergy between the library and the surrounding commercial area, according to a report from Grimm and Parker.

“Parking is critical to the success of the Patrick Henry Library. The current parking supply often does not meet the demand,” the report said. “Additionally, the Town of Vienna is experiencing a parking shortfall for the Maple Avenue Corridor.”

According to the report, the three designs concepts for the library and parking are:

  • a stand-alone, two-story building with surface parking for 90 cars;
  • a single-level library with an integrated parking garage with 125 spots for the library and 84 for the town;
  • or a single-level library with an integrated parking garage with 125 spaces for the library and 188 for the town

Prior to the meeting, the Town Council will hold a work session about the final phase of the scope of work for the multimodal transportation study of the Maple Avenue Corridor that is being done by Kimley-Horn.

“Based on the future land use scenario results, Kimley-Horn will present potential multimodal transportation improvements for discussion with Town citizens in a workshop format,” according to the town’s website.

The final community workshop for the study will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m.

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Tequila Grande will have a new home this fall as owners AJ Prakash and his wife Renu Prakash plan the restaurant’s relocation to Oakton.

They are currently awaiting a city permit so they can move into the former Bob Evans location at 10443 White Granite Drive. The owners hope the new location will be in a position to start serving food to customers by late October.

Tequila Grande announced the move on their Facebook page and asked for recommendations or feedback. Patrons commented on the post — almost all of them praising the current menu and asking to keep it as-is.

“We are super excited to be working towards our relocation,” the post said.

The decision to move comes after controversy when the Vienna Town Council slated and approved the restaurant’s current location (444 W. Maple Avenue) for redevelopment.

Council member Howard Springsteen expressed disapproval of the decision to remodel the existing buildings in the vicinity and turn it into a four-story mixed-use development.

“Look at the turnout tonight and the signs around town. People are not happy, so I’m not going to vote in favor of this,” Springsteen said before the vote passed 5-2.

For the time being, Tequila Grande is still open for business at their Vienna location 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The restaurant offers guests a variety of Mexican cuisine and happy hour specials.

Image via Google Maps

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The Town of Vienna decided to keep working with the developer to tweak a contentious, mixed-use project along Maple Avenue.

In June, the Vienna Town Council approved the redevelopment, which would add a four-floor building with ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units at 380 Maple Avenue.

Then in July, the Vienna Town Council decided to hold a public hearing on possibly rescinding the rezoning application after some councilmembers pointed to the town’s failure to notify the county about the project — along with other issues — as justification to revisit the project.

The joint public hearing last night (Monday) by the Town Council and the town’s Planning Commission started off with a tense conversation between councilmembers about whether a possible rescission would kick the application back to the Planning Commission or result in a repeal.

“We’re not here to kill the application,” Councilmember Pasha Majdi, one of the councilmembers who originally brought up possibly rescinding the project, said. “We’re here to rescind approval and send it back to the Planning Commission to fix some mistakes that have been made.”

Among the handful of “mistakes” brought up about the project during the hearing, several planning commissioners and councilmembers pointed to a debated road narrowing sparking safety concerns.

Planning Commissioner Stephen Kennedy noted the council’s desire to keep Wade Hampton Road at 36 feet instead of the project’s approved reduction to 32 feet. “It seems to be a contentious point for at least some of the neighbors and [some councilmembers],” he said.

“If we can figure out a way to go forward if the developer or the town is OK with the 36 feet, I think we would be saving everybody a lot of time in the interest of working together,” Councilmember Nisha Patel said. “Can we just make this happen somehow legally?”

Councilmember Howard Springsteen said that keeping the road at 36 feet could create a “win-win.”

Ultimately, the Vienna Town Council voted to negotiate the project’s proffers with the developer until Aug. 5.

Photo via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning

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There is a new job opening for an economic development manager in the Town of Vienna.

This opening is part of a larger plan to revitalize local businesses. Responsibilities of the manager will include supporting unique and independent businesses, along with working under the town council to execute a new economic strategy.

Vienna Town Council members began discussing the implementation of the new position two years ago, in order to expand economic development and diversity business, Public Information Officer Lynne Coan told Tysons Reporter. She hopes that the new position will expand the opportunity for growth and bring in residents from neighboring communities to shop and dine.

The Town Business Liaison Committee and Vienna Business Association also support the implementation of this position, she said. Coan said the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors takes the two groups’ opinions on such matters into consideration, especially the Vienna Business Association, which is run by a private group.

Though specific tasks will be required of the new manager under the economic development plan, the manager will have room to “build on their strengths,” Coan said.

According to the job listing:

Bachelor’s degree, with major work in economics, business administration, marketing or closely related field; five years’ experience in corporate or municipal administration, economic development or marketing; some experience in commercial real estate, site selection process; substantial experience in interacting with and marketing to senior-level executives.

The pay ranges from $79,475-$127,956, per year, depending on experience. Funding for the new position will come from the general town budget.

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A public hearing tonight (Monday) will determine the fate of a contentious, mixed-use development previously approved by the Vienna Town Council.

The proposed redevelopment would add a mixed-use, four-floor building with ground-floor retail and more than three dozen multi-family residential condominium units to 380 Maple Avenue.

After a long series of delays, the Town Council approved the development in June. A few weeks later, the new Town Council decided to hold a public hearing on possibly rescinding the project’s rezoning application, pointing to the town’s failure to notify the county about the project, along with other issues.

Now, the project faces a joint public hearing by the Town Council and the town’s Planning Commission tonight that will allow community members to give their opinions on possibly adjusting or rescinding the proposal. The event starts at 8 p.m. in the Vienna Town Hall (127 S. Center Street).

The Vienna Business Association will speak out at the meeting against the proposition to revoke the license.

According to a press release from the Vienna Business Association:

The question on July 15th is not whether we support the 380 Maple Avenue development, it’s whether we want to create in our Town the climate and reputation that will ensue from a rescinding vote.

  • The rescind motion also raises many questions:
  • Can businesses and developers be assured that the town is negotiating in good faith, or will negotiations suffer from a concern of “will they rescind this too?”
  • Do businesses and commercial property owners need to take proactive steps to keep their rights from being infringed by adjacent residents?
  • What legal liability does the Town create for itself by rescinding? Is the liability limited to the developer’s costs to date, or to the loss of future potential revenue from the development?

Image via Town of Vienna

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Bey Lounge is at risk of losing its live-entertainment permit after a slew of noise complaints got the restaurant and bar in trouble with the Town of Vienna.

The town’s Board of Zoning Appeals is set to hold a public hearing next Wednesday, July 17, on potentially revoking the Bey Lounge’s live entertainment permit.

Located at 303 Mill Street, Bey Lounge offers Lebanese cuisine, hookahs and live music. Over the last several months, the lounge received a number of noise complaints.

Town Attorney Steve Briglia told the Town Council on Monday, July 1, that a General District Court had found Bey Lounge guilty of three noise violation cases, ordering the hookah bar to pay $1,500. Briglia said that the cases won’t be appealed to the Circuit Court.

Zoning Administrator Frank Simeck filed an application to revoke the hookah bar’s live entertainment permit, prompting the public hearing next week, which starts at 8 p.m.

Photo via Google Maps

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