Connecting Communities in Mason District


 
ABOUT US
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 also facilitates the efforts of its member-associations by promoting 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 usIf 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.

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

Neighbors,

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: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?161+sum+SB416

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.

Panelists
: Sen. David Marsden, Sen. Richard Saslaw, Del. Kaye Kory, and representatives from Fairfax County
Date
: Wednesday, October 5th
Time
: 7:00-9:00 pm
Place:
  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

Mason District Council of Community Associations


Update:
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:   http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2016/no-temporary-relocation-for-baileys-shelter.htm

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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, ashford.annandale@gmail.com, 571-243-4364.

For information about sponsorship and vendor opportunities, contact Camilo Quila, 571-645-8345, tasteofannandale@gmail.com

People interested in volunteering with the Taste of Annandale should contact Alejandra Cabellero, Alejandra.Caballero@fairfaxcounty.gov





Reminder:

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: https://sites.google.com/site/stoptheshelter2016/


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 plancom@fairfaxcounty.gov 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: plancom@fairfaxcounty.gov and clerktothebos@fairfaxcounty.gov.
 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:  plancom@fairfaxcounty.gov

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


FAIRFAX COUNTY BUDGET:
Neighbors,
 
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: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2017/advertised/fy2017-town-hall-meetings.htm)
 
If you are unable to attend a town meeting, please use this form to provide feedback and comments on the proposed budget or Email dmbinfo@fairfaxcounty.gov 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.

Sincerely,

Mason District Council of Community Associations

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

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Connecting Communities in the Mason District

www.masondistrict.org

 



NEXT MEETING:
 
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.

TESTIMONY TO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Jan. 12, 2016
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.



UPDATE:  DMV NOT MOVING TO BARCROFT PLAZA
see here:  http://annandaleva.blogspot.com/2016/01/dmv-will-not-move-to-barcroft-plaza.html