Tysons, VA

Wawa plans to open its first store in the Town of Vienna next Thursday (July 16).

The store at 465 Maple Avenue W. used to house a Coldwell Banker branch. Now, the building has been retrofitted — the first time ever for Wawa, according to a press release.

To commemorate the opening, a ribbon cutting will happen with social distancing outside the store on the morning of its opening. Wawa is encouraging people to watch a celebratory video and take part in an online contest for limited-edition Vienna Wawa t-shirts.

The store will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday, according to the press release.

Roughly 40 employees will work at the 6,290-square-foot store, which will offer Tesla charging stations. People who don’t want to venture outside for hoagies can get food and drinks delivered from the store via DoorDash and Uber Eats.

The press release detailed Wawa’s COVID-19 measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:

Wawa made several key changes to ensure it has the safest, most convenient store environment. The changes include launch of The Wawa Clean Force, a dedicated and trained sanitizing swat team working at each store every day with one job: keeping Wawa stores clean, sanitized and safe. Additional protections and policies include masks and gloves for all associates; clear plastic safety guards at check out and food-service counters; even more frequent hand washing standards; and wellness temperature checks for associates before each shift. For customers, social distancing with friendly visual markers and more hand-sanitizer stations have been added in common areas.

Wawa also plans to launch an initiative that will donate $1,000 from the Vienna store’s first week of sales to the Capital Area Food Bank and donate $1,000 each and hoagies to charities picked by Vienna’s police and fire departments and Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, the press release said.

Additionally, people will be able to make donations to support military personnel and their families until Sunday, July 19, at any Wawa store, the press release said.

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(Updated 1:10 p.m.) Real Food For Kids has paired up with Pizzeria Paradiso to support Vienna families in need as a result of COVID-19.

Pizzeria Paradiso will send pizza kits to anyone who donates a minimum of $50. According to the fundraiser’s website, each pizza kit will include enough ingredients to make one Margherita pizza and one signature Pizzeria Paradiso pizza, the Bosco Pizza. The kits are coming from the restaurant’s Georgetown location. 

People who don’t want a pizza kit can make a direct donation.

The fundraiser is part of a new initiative called “Chefs Feeding Families,” which uses the donations for its meal distributions for families in need. Started by Real Food for Kids and chef David Guas, the initiative kicked off in March and has 17 different meal sites.

Pizzeria Paradiso is “currently providing over 1,000 hot meals per week to Vienna families” and has made more than 10,000 free pizzas for Fairfax County since April, according to the fundraiser’s website. 

Corrects name of the pizza restaurant

Photo via Pizza Paradiso/Facebook

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While many organizations facing budget constraints have eliminated staff during the coronavirus pandemic, a local program had a diametric response — increasing their staff to care for residents who are displaced from work.

Tysons-based Langley Residential Support Services is a program that serves adults with developmental disabilities as well as their families and communities through residential and community support services. The program has six homes that offer both intensive and supportive assistance.

Many nonprofits and organizations eliminated staff since the pandemic hit to save money. However, since Langely Residential residents aren’t at work during the day, the site needed more staff to care for the extra number of residents. 

“It’s really tapped out our budget,” said Betsy Schatz, the executive director of Langley Residential. “We have somewhat of a reserve. We’ve been very frugal in our approach to spending during this time since we don’t know how long this is going to affect us.”

An increase in staff isn’t the only change Langley Residential has seen. They have also had to adapt to government guidelines to ensure safety during the pandemic. Masks and hand sanitizer have been provided to whoever requests them, from residents to staff. 

“The safer they are, the safer we are,” said Schatz. 

The facility has limited family visits, allowing families to come to the house and take their loved one outside, but they must wear masks and keep 6 feet away from each other. They are also taking residents’ temperatures frequently. Residents were also given iPads to FaceTime with their families. 

“It’s nice to see that people can finally visit with parents and maintain that closer relationship that is so important to them,” said Schatz. 

When the pandemic first hit, Schatz recounted a struggle to maintain adequate supplies on hand. One of the biggest worries was whether they would have enough medical supplies to keep the environment safe for residents. However, now they’re fully stocked up and working with a medical supply company in Springfield.

To keep residents active, Langley Residential has purchased a variety of games including outdoor putting, Connect Four and different arts and crafts. The facility was initially planning a bowling tournament for the residents, but due to the pandemic, it was canceled.

However, they are planning on holding a formal event in the fall that includes wine tasting and a silent auction. Whether the event comes to fruition depends on what phase of reopening Virginia is in, said Schatz. 

Schatz emphasized that the residents have been doing extremely well with the changes in lifestyle. While the pandemic hit them “out of the blue,” staff and residents have adapted and seem to be upholding the values of the facility and maintaining a feeling of home. 

“Our approach is to serve people as long as we can meet their needs. We want people to age in place, we want to make sure that people know that this is their home, not just a facility that they live in,” said Schatz.

Photo by Ava Green

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Vienna Welcomes New Elected Officials — “The new Town Council members, elected during a year with a bumper crop of candidates but virtually no door-to-door campaigning, already are working well together, [new mayor Linda] Colbert said.” [Inside NoVa]

Citizens Group Calls for More Police Accountability — “The Fairfax County Police Department implemented multiple measures following a series of controversial incidents in recent years, but the McLean Citizens Association’s board of directors wants the department to do even more to make officers accountable.” [Inside NoVa]

New Names — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants school districts across the state to change school names that honor Confederate leaders, writing Monday in a letter to school board leaders that those names ‘reflect our broken and racist past.'” [Patch]

Call to Defund SROs — “Fairfax County NAACP and State Del. Kaye Kory (D) sent a letter to Gov. Ralph Northam Tuesday asking him to reallocate state funding away from supporting police officers in schools and putting it toward more school counselors.” [Patch]

Local Companies Land “Inno on Fire” List — Both McLean-based Somatus, which focuses on kidney care, and Tysons-based RunSafe Security made DC Inno’s list of the companies, organizations, people and initiatives focused on innovation. [DC Inno]

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Vienna officials shared the plan for addressing racial inequities in the town, especially involving policing, following a petition for officials to reexamine its project for a new police station.

The petition, which was started by 23 James Madison High School alumni, urges town officials to halt work on the new station until there are more community conversations and a commission report on racial justice and policing in the town. Currently, the petition has more than 1,500 signatures.

Mayor Linda Colbert read a statement shortly after the Town Council meeting began last night, saying that the town agrees with the “underlying spirit” of the petition but plans to continue work on the $17 million project.

“While we believe that a conversation on racial injustice must go forward, we do not believe it would serve the ultimate goal of racial equality to delay the process of building a new police station,” Colbert said.

Colbert said that delaying the police station project would jeopardize the safety and security of residents, listing the problems of the current station from too small locker rooms for female officers and lack of storage for evidence.

“The current building is unsafe,” Colbert said as a slideshow showed photos of the facility. “The current building is not community friendly because there is not a private lobby or a space in which a resident can file a complaint and there is no community room to hold interactions with town residents.”

Colbert added the current “substandard” police station could detract the town’s ability to hire the best police candidates and said that the town has already borrowed funds at a low interest rate for the project, which will be paid for with meals taxes.

Colbert also pointed to the classes the police department provides, including ones on self-defense and crime prevention, and Vienna’s high rankings as one of the safest localities in Virginia.

“We are proud of the Vienna Police Department,” Colbert said. “We have a dedicated and committed group of officers who protect our citizens every day. They are community-minded and have a very positive reputation among residents.”

Colbert outlined steps the town plans to take, including an already-completed review by the police chief of the department’s use of policies, two upcoming events with Town Manager Mercury Payton, and mailings about the police department’s use of force policies, which ban chokeholds.

Colbert added that she signed the Obama Foundation’s Commit to Action — also known as the mayor’s pledge — to review use of force policies, engage diverse input in the review, report the findings and reform the policies.

Reva Joshi, one of the locals behind the effort to reevaluate the police station, thanked the Town Council last night for the response, but said it does not address the petition’s calls for a report of the use of force policies from a commission made up of diverse community members.

“I don’t think I need to point out here that [the police chief] will be extremely biased towards his own department,” Joshi said.

Joshi said that the petition is not against upgrading the police station — instead, it questions the “unnecessary” additions like a new shooting range and community spaces that add to the $17 million price tag.

Joshi said that she disagrees with calls to continue the police station because of the planning that has already happened. “Also, it seems that the only criticism of our group’s efforts is that we are just a bunch of young people who are frustrated and just want to see something happen,” she said.

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As of today, South Block is now open to the public in the Town of Vienna.

The juice and smoothie bar has outdoor patio seating, along with indoor seating at half capacity, at 207 E. Maple Avenue, according to a spokesperson. South Block was previously located at Jammin Java.

The menu includes cold-pressed juice, toast and salad, smoothies and bowls, along with smoothie bowl kits that don’t require a blender, the spokesperson said.

Customers can place orders for pick-up and delivery via the South Block and Uber Eats.

Leading up to this week, South Block held a soft opening last week.

Photo via South Block/Facebook

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More Falls Church Businesses Get Micro-Grants — “This round was open to a wider range of small businesses and non-profit applicants than those awarded to 84 businesses in a first round in May… All 42 eligible applicants will receive funding thanks to the [Falls Church] EDA.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Ransomware Attack — “A DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) subsidiary has experienced a ransomware attack on some of its systems, the Tysons tech firm disclosed Monday. Xchanging is a global standalone insurance managed services business, according to a release from DXC. The company does not believe that the attack compromised any customer data, however, some customers currently do not have access to the platform.” [Washington Business Journal]

“Vienna is for Lovers” — “To aid small businesses during the pandemic, the Vienna-based owner of custom apparel maker French Press Printing has held T-shirt fundraisers in Vienna and Oakton. Now French Press Printing’s Sarah Bohn is featuring a local artist’s original work and donating a portion of proceeds.” [Vienna Patch]

Citizens Group Backs Subdivision — “The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors passed a resolution July 1 in favor of a rezoning that would allow a three-house subdivision to be built at 8801 Jarrett Valley Drive.” [Inside NoVa]

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Vienna officials want to fix the erosion along a stream of Bear Branch Tributary.

The Vienna Town Council is set to vote on awarding the design contract for the stream restoration project, which will improve roughly 1,900 linear feet of the stream and its banks from Cottage Street SW downstream to I-66, according to town documents.

In total, the project costs approximately $2 million. In September, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved giving roughly $1 million to the town for the project.

“Town DPW staff will lead and manage the project, and Fairfax County staff has pledged support with plans and review if requested,” according to town documents.

Earlier this year, town staff reviewed nine design proposals and narrowed their selection to the one from Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. The town is set to vote on awarding the contract to the firm tonight.

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I have heard from so many clients and friends that would have otherwise drew a hard no in the sand about having a pool in their backyard, that the pandemic has changed their opinion on that.

Many are now considering either installing a pool or moving to a home that has a pool existing. I don’t blame them — with the run on blow up pools from Amazon and Target, you’d think we’d have a shortage on water now, not toilet paper!

If you’re thinking of building a pool, here are some basic concepts to think about:

Town of Vienna

  • Don’t forget that 25% lot coverage which applies to the deck of the pool, HOWEVER, coping/surrounding walkways of under 5 ft from the edge of the pool will not be counted towards the lot coverage
  • Pools must be at least 10 ft from any side or rear lot line, and is measured from the edge of the actual pool; also must be at least 20 ft from any alley line
  • Can only be in the rear yard
  • A permit is required through the Town

Fairfax County: Vienna and McLean

  • Require a building permit, plumbing permit and electrical permit
  • Pool can be in rear or side yards, and lots that are over 36,000 sq. ft. can even have the pool in the front yard
  • Mechanical pool equipment must be contained within 10 ft of width, and at least 5 ft from any lot line
  • If you have well and septic, you’ll need at least 20′ from them for the pool

What do you think about having a pool now? With these blistering heat days, coupled with 45 minute times slots at the public pools, would you consider installing a pool now?

Now, the age old question of resale value.

Most people think if you have a pool, it’s a deal breaker for many people. I think maybe that’s true, but you’ll also find a group of buyers who want the pool. And honestly, if the pool is old and needs work, it might be cheaper to just fill it in than deal with upkeep. I’ve told clients before, you build a pool to enjoy it, not to sell the house. It’s not like a kitchen renovation where you’re adding value. Someone else will come in and love the pool too.

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Citizens Group Raises Concerns About Tysons Project — “A proposed Tysons development might be the right thing for a spot now occupied by low-rise commercial buildings, but the applicant should resubmit the proposal after making several improvements, McLean Citizens Association board members said July 1.” [Inside NoVa]

FCPS Town Hall Tonight — “Join FCPS Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services Sloan Presidio, and director of the office of special education procedural support Jane Strong for an FCPS virtual Town Hall on Monday, July 6, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Tysons Company Donates Thousands of Masks — “Fairfax County received a donation of 15,000 FDA-approved KN95 masks from Portals Global, a Tysons-based consulting firm. Portals Global’s CEO Omo Igiehon said he chose Fairfax County as the donation recipient in order to give back to the community that he has lived in for 21 years.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

New Mayor, Town Council Members — “New Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert and the new Town Council will be sworn into office at a public ceremony on July 6. The ceremony will be held outside the Vienna Community Center at 6 p.m.” [Patch]

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