Connecting Communities in Mason District

The Mason District Council (MDC) is a non-profit, membership organization designed to act as a support network and communication forum for citizens, civic associations and home owner associations within the Mason District, County of Fairfax, Virginia. The organization partners closely with member-associations to promote the community’s general welfare through non-partisan, civic activities.  We are part of a larger organization - the
Fairfax Federation of Citizen Associations.  
To join us, please visit our membership information page.This site is designed to be a resource for neighborhoods in the Mason District of Fairfax VA. We hope this site will help all communities in our district connect! If you would like your neighborhood’s blog or website to be added to our site –  email us.

 If you would like to join in conversation with other area neighborhoods you may join our Yahoo Group site or email us
to get on our email update list.

Visit YouTube (left sidebar) for Meeting Videos.


Dear Mason District Neighbors,

The County has denied our request for a community meeting in Mason District to address Short-Term Rentals (like Airbnb). We have included correspondence below for your information.

As many of you know, short term rentals are not permitted in Fairfax County except in special circumstances. Despite this fact, hundreds of short-term rentals do operate illegally in the County (see flouting zoning laws remarks by Va. Sen. Stanley - Feb. 2017). Frustrated residents say the County is not doing enough to shut them down and are alarmed at harmful impacts to their neighborhoods and quality of life. Over the last few years, Mason residents have expressed great concern about the lack of enforcement of current zoning regulations on registered complaints. With the County now exploring changes possibly allowing short term rentals, concern is mounting about strains on the County’s resources, such as code compliance investigators and police, and their ability to handle potential growing numbers of these rentals in our neighborhoods. 

Please see highlighted section and links in correspondence below to find locations of scheduled community meetings and other ways (including a survey) to learn more and express your thoughts and concerns about short-term rentals operating in our neighborhoods.

A major concern with the county’s survey (link in correspondence), is that it does not contain a question asking survey-takers if they oppose or support Short-Term Rentals. Text boxes must be used to indicate this and other concerns. The survey closes August 31.

We encourage you to attend any of the community meetings and to express your individual thoughts and concerns or community association position or resolutions to the Board of Supervisors; the Planning Commission and the other contacts indicated in the correspondence included here.

It is important for you and your communities to become involved as the County looks at changes related to Short-Term Rentals.



The Board of Mason District Council of Community Associations

Debbie Smith – Chair
Carol Turner – Vice Chair
Debbie Fraser – 2nd Vice Chair
Clyde Miller – Secretary
Jon Clark – Treasurer


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mason District Council <>
Date: Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: Request STR Meeting for Mason District

To: "Pesto, Donna" <>
Cc: "Yegazu, Lily" <>, "Johnson, Leslie" <>, "Selden, Fred" <>, Mason BOS Email <>,,,,,,,,,,,




Your response is disappointing.


As you and others are aware, Mason District residents account for a large number of responses on the STR survey. There is obviously a great deal of concern in Mason District. A meeting here appears warranted and wise.


Our community members would like to participate in developing any proposed draft presented to the Board of Supervisors.


It is ironic, after Chairman Bulova’s Community Council initiative to explore how to reach and engage larger numbers of community members early-on in land use matters, that a request for timely participation would be outright rejected. 

Also, would you please explain how the County arrived at the locations for the only community meetings scheduled on STRs?


We encourage the County to reassess its decision and schedule a meeting in Mason District sooner rather than later.


Debbie Smith


Mason District Council of Community Associations


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Pesto, Donna <>
Date: Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: Request STR Meeting for Mason District
To: "" <>
Cc: "Yegazu, Lily" <>, "Johnson, Leslie" <>, "Selden, Fred" <>, Mason BOS Email


Thank you for your email inquiry regarding the zoning analysis of short term rental uses.  At this time, we are conducting a survey to receive input regarding the use of a dwelling for short term rentals, with the survey closing on August 31, 2017.  The survey can be found here:


After the survey closes, we will be compiling the responses for presentation at three community-wide meetings currently scheduled for September.  We will be soliciting any additional public input at these community meetings, which will be used to inform the drafting of a strawman of potential zoning regulations.  Those meeting dates/times can be found on our dedicated webpage:  These meetings are not specific to any group or district, but rather, all are open to all members of the public.

At this time, we aren’t scheduling additional citizen meetings to take public comment, but staff would be happy to meet with representatives of your group during regular business hours, should you want to schedule such meeting.  In the alternative, we are also accepting comments, resolutions, and other input via email at
. After a strawman is drafted and presented to the Board of Supervisors (likely at a Development Process Committee meeting), there may be additional community-wide meetings scheduled to take public input on the strawman.  If that is the case, we will make certain to schedule one in the Mason/Providence District area.

If you would like to set up a meeting, please contact Lily Yegazu ( or me to find a suitable time. 


Thank you,

Donna Pesto
Deputy Zoning Administrator


From: Mason District Council []
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 1:15 PM
To: Yegazu, Lily <>; Johnson, Leslie <>; Mason BOS Email <>

Request STR Meeting for Mason District


Dear Penny, Leslie and Lily,


The Mason District Council board requests that a county meeting on Short-Term Rentals (STR) be scheduled for Mason District. We have learned that county meetings are already on the calendar for several other districts.  As you know, the short-term rentals issue is generating concern with a large number of residents of Mason that we would like the opportunity to have addressed at a STR meeting in Mason District. 



Debbie Smith
Carol Turner
Debbie Fraser
Clyde Miller

Jon Clark


Upcoming County STR Community Meetings:

  Staff will present an update on the survey results and take questions and comments. 

    • September 5, 2017, 7:00 PM - Hunter Mill District Community Room, 1801 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA
    • September 13, 2017, 7:00 PM - South County Government Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA
    • September 25, 2017, 7:00 PM - Dranesville District Community Room, 1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean, VA

Meeting on August 15th, 2017 at Mason Government Center
MDC will co-host a community meeting with the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners Revitalization Corporation  (BC7RC) on August 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm. at the Mason District Government Center, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale. This meeting is open to all.
We will have a presentation by county representatives and discussion of:
1) Proposed Sign Ordinance changes as a result of a recent Supreme Court decision
and have also invited representatives to update us on the county’s initiative regarding
2) Re-purposing of vacant buildings
We hope you will join us on August 15th and take part in the conversation.

The county is exploring zoning regulations related to Short-term rentals (any dwelling rented for less than 30 days). Currently, the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance prohibits property owners from renting their homes as short-term rentals (unless the Board of Supervisors approves a Special Exception for a bed and breakfast use).  Early in 2017, the General Assembly passed legislation (SB 1578) preserving the authority of local governments like Fairfax County to regulate Short-term rentals. The County is now conducting a Short Term Rental Survey to gather feedback from residents. There has been concern expressed that the survey does not provide a questions allowing residents to indicate if they oppose Short-Term Rentals.  We understand that you can skip answering the questions and use text boxes to provide your thoughts and comments.

May 23, 2017 meeting of the Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) at Mason District Govt Center at 7:30pm.
(6507 Columbia Pike Annandale, VA 22003). You are asked to send designated representatives from your citizens, civic or homeowners association to speak as time is once again limited due to the number of items on the agenda.  We understand that the committee will set a final order of cases on the night of the meeting. If your neighborhood is not represented by an association and you are an interested party we understand that you can ask for time to speak. Others may be allowed time if presenting new information.
You may contact Supervisor Penny Gross if you have comments or concerns about this matter:


Supervisor  Gross asked the Board of  Supervisors to authorize staff to consider a proposed comprehensive plan amendment for consolidation of properties south of Gallows Road, north of Libeau Lane and east of the Raintree neighborhood near 495. 
The current Comprehensive Plan recommends residential use at a density of 1-2 dwelling units per acre.


The proposal is to amend the Comprehensive Plan to recommend residential use at a density of 5-8 dwelling units per acre. This could result in approximately 76 townhomes if a rezoning of the property is subsequently approved by the Board of Supervisors.


The Plan amendment website can be viewed online at:


A community meeting about this matter was held on April 17th and a video of the meeting can be viewed at MDC’s YouTube site: Video of Gallows Road Meeting April 17, 2017


6060 Arlington Blvd.  PA- 2017-I-B1

Supervisor  Gross asked the Board of Supervisors to authorize staff to consider a proposed comprehensive plan amendment  for approximately 3.64 acres of land located at 6060 Arlington Boulevard  immediately east of the Seven Corners Target store (Tax map # 51-4 ((1)) 5A).


The current Comprehensive Plan recommends office use at an intensity up to .20 Floor Area Ratio (FAR).


The proposal is to amend the Comprehensive Plan to recommend residential use at a density up to 12 dwelling units per acre. This could result in approximately 43 townhomes if a rezoning of the property is subsequently approved by the Board of Supervisors.


The Plan amendment website can be viewed online at:

Community meeting on Columbia Crossroads rezoning application held by Supervisor Gross May 4th, Mason District Govt Center 7:30 pm
A community meeting on the Columbia Crossroads rezoning application will be held by Supervisor Gross on May 4th at 7:30pm in the main conference room of the Mason District Govt Center (6507 Colombia Pike Annandale VA, 22003).  The subject parcel is in the Bailey’s Crossroads SE Quadrant - east of Moncure Avenue and south of Columbia Pike approximately 500ft southwest of the interchange with Leesburg Pike. County staff and the applicant’s representative will be there to brief the community on the rezoning application and for questions/comments.

The Board of Supervisors approved a real estate deal that will bring new housing, a site appropriate for a future new county or private office building, and a future connector road to the neighborhood. The agreement is with Columbia Crossing, and it involves a land swap that gives the county and developer consolidated properties for their respective plans.

Columbia Crossing proposes to build approximately 355 mid-rise apartments along Moncure Avenue, and the county wants a consolidated parcel for a future office building and road extension to connect Seminary Road and Columbia Pike. Under the deal, the county and the developer also agreed to seek a joint rezoning that will be needed before either can move forward.


Bailey’s Crossroads Shelter Advisory Council Meeting May 10th at 6:30 pm 3525 Moncure Ave Falls Church (Bailey’s Community Shelter)

Northern Virginia Family Service which operates the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter is recruiting members for their Shelter Advisory Council. Advisory Council members are advocates who act as ambassadors between the shelter and the greater community. Residents, businesses, civic officials, nonprofits and faith organizations can all participate and play a central role in addressing community concerns.  The next community meeting will be held on May 10th at the shelter at 6:30pm.

Please contact Meghan Perkins if you are interested in the Advisory Council:

Meagan Perkins, MSW
Community & Volunteer Engagement Specialist
Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter|
Northern Virginia Family Service
3525 Moncure Avenue | Falls Church, VA 22041
703.820.7621 ext. 216 | 703.379.3890 fax
Shelter Donation Needs |  |  facebook  |  twitter  |  LinkedIn

Important Community-Wide Meeting on Gangs
Video of Mason District Townhall on Gangs – March 29, 2017
A Town Hall on Gangs will be held Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 at 7 p.m., at the Mason Government Center (6507 Columbia Pike) by Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross.
Representatives from the police department, school system, county agencies, and nonprofit organizations are expected to speak.
The recent, shocking discovery of two bodies in Holmes Run Stream Valley Park related to gang violence is causing widespread concern in Mason District.
Please advise your neighbors about this meeting.

Feb 22, 2017

UPDATE!  Short-Term Rentals
Short Term Rental Bill 1578S1 passed the House without amendment by a vote of 86-14. It is now on its way to the desk of the Governor. Thank you to all who participated in this process.

Feb 21, 2017
ACTION -  Email Delegates Today to Vote to Support  SB1578S1

A bill addressing Short Term Rentals (like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway) has passed the Senate and is expected to reach the floor of the Virginia House for a final vote tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 22nd.

SB1578S1 reflects the main concerns of community members at our October Short Term Rental Forum -- to preserve the authority of local governments (like Fairfax County) to allow or prohibit and also regulate Short Term Rentals.

Please email Fairfax County Delegates to Richmond and urge their support of SB1578S1 and all the powers it maintains for local governments.

Fairfax County Delegates to Richmond

Update Feb 8, 2017 Short-Term Rentals
SB 1578  re: "Airbnb"/Short Term Rentals passed through the Virginia Senate Local Govt Committee.  Watch the committee hearing held Feb 2nd:

February 1, 2017 Short-Term Rentals
We received Supervisor Gross’s email below regarding proposed legislation in Richmond related to Short Term Rentals (rental of homes or parts of homes for lodging of less than 30 consecutive days such as arranged by Airbnb, Homeaway, VRBO and similar hosting platforms)We included the summary and links for proposed Senate Bills 1578 and 1579 referenced in Supervisor Gross’s email.
At our October MDC forum on Short Term Rentals, concerns were raised about Short Term Rentals which are currently not allowed in Fairfax County Many residents expressed concern with commercialization of neighborhoods and for safety. Many also focused on the importance for localities (i.e. Fairfax County) to retain power to decide if short term rentals should be allowed rather than have the State make this determination. The proposed Senate Bill 1579 (Patron - Senator Stanley) seems to best address this concern.
Please be in touch with elected representatives to Richmond regarding yours questions, thoughts or concerns. 
Fairfax County members of the Senate Local Government Committee: Marsden, Favola, Surovell
Thank you,
Mason District Council of Community Associations
Debbie Smith - Chair
Carol Turner - Vice Chair
Clyde Miller - Secretary
Jon Clark - Treasurer

Text of proposed Senate Bills:
S.B. 1578 Short-term rental; registration of persons offering property for rental.
Patron: Norment
Short-term rental of property. Authorizes a locality to adopt an ordinance requiring the registration of persons offering property for short-term rental. The bill defines "short-term rental" as the provision of a room or space suitable for sleeping or lodging for less than 30 consecutive days. Persons and entities already licensed related to the rental or management of property by the Board of Health, the Real Estate Board, or a locality would not be required to register. The bill authorizes localities to impose fees and penalties on persons who violate the registry ordinance or who offer short-term rentals that have multiple violations of state or federal laws or ordinances, including those related to alcoholic beverage control. The bill amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Act to clarify that certain property rented on a short-term basis is considered a bed and breakfast establishment for purposes of ABC licensing and that the exception from ABC licensing for serving alcoholic beverages to guests in a residence does not apply if the guest is a short-term lessee of the residence.
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 4.1-100, as it is currently effective and as it shall become effective, and 4.1-200 of the Code of Virginia and to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 5 of Chapter 9 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-983, relating to the short-term rental of property.
S.B. 1579 Short-term rental; affirms rights of localities to regulate rental of property.
Patron: Stanley
Short-term rental of property. Affirms the rights of localities to regulate the short-term rental of property, defined as the provision of space suitable for sleeping or lodging for fewer than 30 days. If a locality allows short-term rentals, the locality shall require that the person offering property for rental notify adjacent landowners in writing, obtain local permission to offer the property for rental, and carry a minimum of $500,000 of commercial premises liability insurance. If a locality prohibits short-term rentals, any person or entity, including an online hosting platform, that advertises the availability of a short-term rental in the locality shall be subject to a $10,000 fine per violation.
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 5 of Chapter 9 of Title 15.2 a section numbered 15.2-983, relating to the short-term rental of property.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mason BOS Email <>
Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 12:33 PM
Subject: Short Term Rental hearing in richmond
To: ""

All: Just got word that the AirBnB bills (SB 1578 and SB 1579) will be heard tomorrow morning (February 2) at 10 a.m. in the Senate Local government Committee in Senate Room A in the General Assembly Building.  This will be a special meeting of the committee (which was just announced).  The three Fairfax County members of the committee are Senators Dave Marsden, Scott Surovell, and Barbara Favola.  The bills that have been introduced are helpful to local governments, but I understand that AirBnB will be proposing a substitute bill that brings back some of the problematic issues from last session.  Now is the time to weigh in with legislators with phone calls and emails.  It also would be helpful to arrange a trip to Richmond to testify in person. 

Hope this is helpful information.


Penelope A. Gross
Mason District Supervisor
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Upcoming Meetings and Volunteer Opportunities

BC7RC January Meeting
The next meeting of BC7RC, the Bailey's Crossroads Seven Corners Revitalization Corp., will be held on January 17th at 7:30 pm, in the large conference room of the Mason District Governmental Center. This month, Jack Weyant, the new Director of Fairfax County's Dept. of Code Compliance, has offered to speak about issues specifically affecting Mason District. He will be joined by Susan Epstein and may be joined by Joan McGuire, both DCC employees who support Mason District.
Chairman Bulova Seeks Volunteers for New Community Council
We hope many of you will consider applying to participate in this group.
From January 2017 Bulova Byline:
“Beginning in February I will be convening a Community Council tasked with identifying ways to enhance and improve community engagement during the process of Planning and Development of Land in Fairfax County. Meetings of the Council will begin with a look back at planning and zoning as it evolved from the early years of our county to the present. It will conclude with adoption of a slate of recommendations for how we can best involve interested and/or affected residents of the County when change to land use is being considered. The Community Council will meet at 7:30pm at the Fairfax County Government Center approximately four or five times. If this is something you are interested in, please let my office know.”
Lincolnia Planning Task Force

A planning study of the Lincolnia area is ongoing. The study will result in changes to the Comprehensive Plan, a document that guides development in Lincolnia and the broader county.

Your input is critical. Get involved in the community task force, which will regularly hold open meetings.

Visit for additional info and to offer comment.

Contact staff:

Faheem Darab - / 703-324-1351

Michael Burton - /703-324-1394


Recent video uploads to MDC YouTube Page:

Next Membership Meeting with Elections:
Oct. 26th at 7:15 pm Belvedere Elem.

Community Meeting - Oct. 5th
re: Short-term Rentals (i.e., Airbnb, VRBO)


All residents are invited to attend a meeting on issues related to the growth of short-term lodging/rentals in our neighborhoods (i.e., Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway).

Please join state and county government officials to discuss concerns about legislation in the Virginia General Assembly (SB416, The Limited Residential Lodging Act passed on April 1, 2016 that is undergoing further study to be completed by Dec.1, 2016).

SUMMARY AS PASSED on April 1, 2016:

Limited Residential Lodging Act; penalty. Establishes the Limited Residential Lodging Act (the Act), which allows persons to rent out their primary residences or portions thereof for charge for periods of less than 30 consecutive days or do so through a hosting platform. Localities are preempted from adopting ordinances or zoning restriction prohibiting such short-term rentals, but authorized to adopt ordinances requiring persons renting their primary residences to have a minimum of $500,000 of liability insurance, prohibiting persons from renting their primary residences if they fail to pay applicable taxes, and requiring persons renting their primary residences to register with the locality. A hosting platform must register with the Department of Taxation to collect and remit all applicable taxes on behalf of the property owner using the hosting platform. The bill defines "limited residential lodging," "booking transaction," and "hosting platform" and provides for penalties for violations of the Act. The bill contains a reenactment clause and directs the Virginia Housing Commission to convene a work group to further study the issues presented in the bill and make recommendations for consideration by the 2017 Session of the General Assembly.

The Mason District Council is pleased to work with our government representatives to offer this informational meeting to residents.

: Sen. David Marsden, Sen. Richard Saslaw, Del. Kaye Kory, Supervisor Penny Gross, and representatives from Fairfax County
: Wednesday, October 5th
: 7:00-9:00 pm
  Sleepy Hollow Elem School - 3333 Sleepy Hollow Road

Please let your community members know about this upcoming meeting.

Thank you,

Debbie Smith, Chair
Carol Turner, Vice Chair
Clyde Miller, Secretary
Jon Clark, Treasurer

Additional Info Short-Term Rentals:


Virginia Housing Commission Short-Term Rental Workgroup Meeting Summary July 14, 2016

A Community Sample STR Resolution


Del. Kaye Kory:

Sen. David Marsden:

Sen. Richard Saslaw:

Elizabeth Palen - Virginia Division of Legislative Services:

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors:

There will be No Temporary Move of Bailey's Homeless Shelter

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors overruled as moot the Planning Commission’s decision approving an application to temporarily move the Bailey’s Community Homeless Shelter to a field on the Lincolnia Senior Residences/Day Center property until a permanent shelter is built.

The temporary move of the homeless shelter is no longer necessary because on September 14, AvalonBay terminated its plans to build an apartment building on the county-owned site of the Bailey’s homeless shelter. The development deal between the county and AvalonBay required the shelter’s relocation.

See here:

Come to the Taste of Annandale Oct. 1

Celebrate community at the Taste of Annandale, a family-friendly, all-day festival on Oct. 1, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., on Tom Davis Drive in the heart of Annandale, Va.

 The first Taste of Annandale, in June 2015, was a huge success, attracting thousands of people, and this year’s festival will be bigger and better.

There will be food from a variety of local vendors offering a mix of cuisines, all-day live music and dance, a chili cook-off pitting the police against firefighters, and more. There is no charge to attend.

This year we’re having a children’s corner, with a full schedule of activities, in the playground at the ACCA Child Development Center. There will be a puppet show, stories, crafts, music, face painting, a bubble machine, and costumed characters.

There will also be a 5K Race at 8 a.m. on Oct. 1, with the winners announced at the Taste of Annandale opening ceremony. Click here for more information about the 5K and to register online.

The purpose of the Taste of Annandale is to encourage community engagement, celebrate Annandale's diversity, and shine a spotlight on local restaurants and businesses.

The festival is organized by the Annandale Roundtable, a group of private/public stakeholders and community residents. Revenue generated by the event will benefit a fund to support youth-led projects in Annandale.

For more details, visit the Taste of Annandale website and Facebook page.

Contact Ellie Ashford for general information,, 571-243-4364.

For information about sponsorship and vendor opportunities, contact Camilo Quila, 571-645-8345,

People interested in volunteering with the Taste of Annandale should contact Alejandra Cabellero,


A Planning Commission Schools Committee meeting to further discuss a comprehensive plan amendment related to proposed  policy changes for public school locations and character has been scheduled for 7pm on September 14 in the Board Conference Room at the Fairfax Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment - School Facilities

August 15, 2016

Update – Relocation of Bailey’s Crossroads Homeless Shelter:

On July 28, the Planning Commission approved the county’s application to relocate the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter to a recreational field that serves as the backyard of the Lincolnia Senior Home/Center at 4710 North Chambliss St. The county’s plan is to locate the shelter on the Lincolnia site through late 2019 at which point it would be moved to a permanent location. Mason District Commissioner Julie Strandlie recommended that the commission approve the application for the shelter relocation in spite of the fact that the Mason District Land Use Committee had voted 5 to 3 to not approve the application. Land use committee members expressed concerns about the loss of green space at the senior center and the importance of retaining the field as a community recreational resource in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan. The Lincolnia site proposed by the county is surrounded on four sides by residential communities.

Two days before the July 28 commission hearing, the county announced that a contract had been signed to purchase the property at 5914 Seminary Road in Mason District to serve as the permanent location for the shelter. According to staff testimony during the hearing, establishing the shelter at that location will also require a Comprehensive Plan amendment and a special exception both of which entail potentially controversial public deliberations.

On August 8, Lincolnia residents, with legal counsel, appealed the Planning Commission decision to the Board of Supervisors, and a lawsuit has also been filed.

Resources re. Shelter Relocation: 

Video of July 20 Planning Commission Public Hearing (at 1 hr, 54 min on tape): Public Hearing Video 

Video of the July 28 Planning Commission Decision-Only Hearing (near the beginning of tape):  Decision Video 

Lincolnia Residents Opposed to Shelter Move Website:

Update: Proposed Changes to Policy for Public School Facilities:

Also on July 28, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on their proposed revision of Comprehensive Plan policy regarding provision of public school facilities. The principal changes proposed allow placing schools in surplus commercial office buildings, in commercial areas, with outdoor recreational space confined to garage rooftops and school properties limited in size to the minimums allowed by the zoning ordinance. A number of the school facilities policy changes proposed by Fairfax County do not comply with Virginia Department of Education guidelines.

In spite of the fact that the proposed changes would affect every public school in the county, only three speakers appeared to testify. All three were from Mason District and all expressed opposition. The Planning Commission deferred a decision in order to allow time to consider the comments received.

Please send your comments on the amendment to the Planning Commission. The record for public comments on the proposed amendment will remain open until September 28. Send your comments to and include your name and address so the commission can verify that you are a county resident.

Resources re. Policy for Public School Facilities:

Video of July 28 Planning Commission Public Hearing (at 1hr. 56 min on the tape): School Policy Video

The proposed revised school facilities policy is here:

Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment - School Facilities

A Planning Commission Schools Committee meeting to discuss and revise the amendment has been scheduled for 7pm on September 14 in the Board Conference Room at the Fairfax Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

The commission has scheduled a decision-only hearing on the amendment at 8:15 PM, September 29.

The Board of Supervisors public hearing is scheduled for October 18 at 5:30 PM.


July 2016

Public Schools Facilities Policy Plan Proposed Changes
Fairfax County has proposed significant, county-wide policy changes to support “urban”/vertical schools and to change the criteria for the character and location of public schools

Proposed amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan: Urban Schools Policy Plan Amendment.
Some proposed changes:
  • Supporting urban/vertical schools in areas like Bailey’s Crossroads, Seven Corners and where compatible with existing or planned development
  • Co-locating different levels of education within the same building or site and sharing facilities
  • Co-locating schools on sites with other public uses
  • Locating schools in mixed-use/commercial areas
  • Re-purposing existing buildings for school/educational use
  • Providing outdoor recreation areas on converted rooftops and underutilized surface parking lots
You may send comments about these changes to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors at: and
 Subject line: Plan Amendment 2016-CW-1CP

July 2016
REMINDER: Planning Commission Public Hearing on County Proposal to Relocate Bailey's Community Homeless Shelter to share the property of Senior Assisted Living/Day Center in Lincolnia 
When:  July 20th, 8:15 pm
Where: Fairfax County Govt Center 12000 Govt Center Pkwy
Board Auditorium
Send comments:

Membership Meeting June 22nd 7:15 pm Belvedere Elem
(6540 Columbia Pike Falls Church, VA)

Fairfax County’s FY 2017 budget planning process is underway.  See Citizen's Guide to FY 2017 Advertised BudgetCounty Executive's Summary FY 2017 Advertised Budget Plan.
The Board of Supervisors has advertised a 4 cent increase to the current real estate tax rate of $1.09 per $100 of assessed value to $1.13.  This means the increase in the real estate tax rate  for 2017 may be up-to or lower than 4 cents but may not exceed 4 cents.  If the maximum is approved it would raise the average homeowner’s bill by nearly $304.   Advertised Tax Rate and Real Estate Assessment Information.
To learn more or to provide input on the County’s finances, you are encouraged to attend the Mason District Budget Town Meeting on Wed., March 16, 2016, 7 p.m. hosted by Supervisor Gross at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. (Town meetings:
If you are unable to attend a town meeting, please use this form to provide feedback and comments on the proposed budget or Email through mid-April.  Given the volume of comments, individual responses will not be possible.
There are also several opportunities for you to provide comment at the Board of Supervisors public hearings:
A public hearing on the effective tax rate will be held on Tuesday, April 5, at 3 p.m. in the Fairfax County Government Center Board Auditorium.

Public hearings on the proposed FY 2017 Budget are held in the Government Center Board Auditorium:

  • April 5, 4 p.m. (following the 3 p.m. public hearing on the effective tax rate)
  • April 6, 1 p.m.
  • April 7, 1 p.m.

Those wishing to speak at a public hearing can sign up online  to place their name on the speakers list or contact the Office of the Clerk to the Board at 703-324-3151, TTY 703-324-3903. The public hearings will be held in the Board Auditorium, Fairfax County Government Center and will be shown live on Fairfax County Government Channel 16.

Additionally, Fairfax County is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of its nearly 400 Lines of Business (LOBs) as a part of a multi-year planning initiative. LOBs can be reviewed online, and residents are encouraged to share their feedback by completing a LOBs survey.  

Relevant Links:

Your participation is valuable.  Please take time to review the budget, provide comment or attend a meeting or hearing.


Mason District Council of Community Associations

Debbie Smith – Chair
Carol Turner – Vice Chair
Clyde Miller  - Secretary
Jon Clark – Treasurer


Connecting Communities in the Mason District


General Membership Meeting
Wed., Feb. 24th, 7pm Belvedere Elem. (6540 Columbia Pike Fall Church, VA)

Guest speaker, from the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative will make a presentation to our membership on human trafficking in Northern Virginia. 

The membership meeting and discussion will follow at 7:30 pm.

POSTPONEDWed., Jan. 27th at 7pm at Belvedere Elem. (6540 Columbia Pike, Falls Church)

Guest speaker, Kay Duffield, Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative will make a presentation to our membership on human trafficking in Northern Virginia. 

The membership meeting and discussion will follow at 7:30 pm.

MDC will provide updates on the DMV relocation, The Bailey's Crossroads Southeast Quadrant Land Swap/Shelter relocation, The Charles Street Project and other items.

re: Bailey's Southeast Quadrant Land Swap/Purchase and Homeless Shelter Relocation

On behalf of the members of the Mason District  Council, the executive board is requesting a deferral on this land swap and purchase deal until the community has a reasonable amount of time to fully evaluate it.


With just two business days prior to this public hearing, Supervisor Gross hosted a community meeting on this issue.  And, as you may recall, the decision to advertise the public hearing  came as a last minute addition to the board’s Dec. 8th meeting agenda -- during the heart of the holiday season.  This has not allowed our community adequate time to devote to this matter. 


While revitalization of this area is welcome by our community, the current proposal does not comport with previous, lengthy and costly county-led community planning efforts which did not involve the removal of the shelter.  Today’s deal would dispense of the work of those residents who crafted a vision for the southeast quadrant for the benefit of the entire community and particularly sensitive to the plight of the most vulnerable – who will now, it appears, be relegated to a temporary site and modular structure in order to make way for new housing for the more fortunate.


Of utmost concern is that Supervisor Gross and Mr. Stalzer do not have a new site for the homeless shelter and were unable to elaborate on the plans for its relocation during the Jan 7 community meeting. The move of the shelter is integral to this real estate deal.   Without a location in place and necessary, notification, inclusion  and discussion with affected community members,  it would be premature to conduct a vote at this time.


In addition to the uncertainty  surrounding the move of the shelter, the community has also not been provided other essential information.  Interested residents would like to evaluate the county’s proposed purchase price for the Landmark Atlantic property; however no such information is included in the documents available to the public.  


Inexplicably, the county’s online tax assessment website is missing the historic valuation of the property for the past 14 years -- showing instead, only a single year of data.  The historic valuation data are especially critical given the apparent discrepancy between the proposed purchase price of the Landmark property ($6.6 million) and its current assessed value ($3.85 million).  This has raised the question  that if the fair market value is truly $6.6 million why is this property so drastically underassessed? 


As far as planning for a future east county human services center,  is the county  exploring possible alternative locations and if it finds one, would that alter the need for this real estate transaction?  Chairman Bulova has launched a building repositioning effort to explore repurposing the growing number of vacant buildings in the county.  The vacant office building at 5600  Columbia Pike for example  is 169,000 sq feet and is assessed at $7 million.  If the county paid the same 70% over assessment that is proposed here today for the Landmark Atlantic property, it could have a location for the east county human services center for a little under $12 million instead of the projected $125 million for a new construction.  In addition, since the county already passed a comprehensive plan amendment on March 3,  2015  to allow 5600 Columbia Pike to be redeveloped with multi-family use, the county could potentially incorporate the shelter, housing for those transitioning out of the shelter and the services required by this population all in the same building. 


We ask the board to defer a vote today to take our concerns into account and to provide the community with more information and time to fully weigh in on this important matter.

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