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.

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