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 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 members would like neighborhood websites to be added to our site –email us.

email us
to get on our updates list.
 

Visit YouTube (left sidebar) for Meeting Videos.


SHORT TERM RENTAL MATTER:

VIDEO -  
MDC  4/17/18  COMMUNITY MEETING WITH COUNTY REPS

GENERAL CONCERNS:

Fairfax County is proposing to allow short-term lodging (STL) in residential districts, that is, rentals of rooms or dwellings for periods of less than 30 days. Currently, STLs such as those offered through Airbnb and VRBO, are prohibited in Fairfax County.

The county now proposes that STL rentals will be classified as “hotels” in the zoning ordinance and allowed to operate as such in residential districts in accordance with regulations available on line athttps://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-zoning/sites/planning-zoning/files/assets/documents/zoning ordinance/proposed amendments/shorttermrental.pdfThe prospect of STL hotels operating in our residential communities is an important issue for county residents and deserves our attention. A few pertinent questions are the following:


Compatibility: Are STL hotels compatible with the character of our residential districts?

  • Safety: Would STLs introduce safety and security concerns, in particular for our children?

  • Transients’ Casual Respect: Would transients’ traffic, spill-over parking, and offhand regard for our neighborhoods jeopardize our utilization and enjoyment of our homes?


Rationale for Proposal: The staff report states that STL rentals using on-line hosting platforms are “popular,” calling them an “emerging economic model.” Is the popularity of Airbnb, VRBO, and the sharing economy the reason the county is proposing to allow STL hotels after prohibiting them for decades?

  • Community benefit: What are the foreseen community benefits of STLs?

  • Boarding Houses: Has the county evaluated the possibility that STLs would foster a proliferation of boarding houses wherein several families crowd into a house more or less permanently. Upon inspection, six of the occupants could be justified as STL guests.

  • Low-income housing supply: What is the county’s assessment of the likelihood that STLs would undercut the supply of low-income housing when landlords move apartments from the long-term, low-income market to more lucrative short-term rentals?

  • Local hotel industry: What is the county’s assessment of the impact on our local commercial hotels which employ county residents and generate much needed taxes when the thousands of STLs siphon off their customers?


Enforcement: Is the county capable of monitoring and enforcing compliance with the proposed regulations?

  • Staff: How many additional staff does the county envision hiring to administer and regulate the thousands of STL hotels they anticipate? (Update: At our community meeting on April 18th we were told no additional staff would be added to Department of Code Compliance)

  • Funds: What source of funds would pay the additional staff?

  • Powers: Effective code compliance can be difficult today because of the limited authority of staff. What new powers would be provided staff to protect neighborhoods, for example, to quell noise from a loud party?


HEARINGS:

The Planning Commission hearing on STLs is scheduled for May 3rd at 7:30pm

The Board of Supervisors hearing will follow on Jun 19 at 4pm

Whether you approve or disapprove of the STL proposal, please write both the Planning Commission and the Board to express your opinion. Be sure to include your name and address on your email to verify that you live in Fairfax County, and ask that your email be sent to all members of the respective body.

Planning Commission Emailplancom@fairfaxcounty.gov
Board of Supervisors Email: Send to ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov
Mailing Address: Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035


County Working on Zoning Ordinance Changes to allow SHORT TERM 

RENTALS / LODGING (like Airbnb)


*Use link (left side) to view Short Term Rentals Resource Page*


UPDATED/REVISED COUNTY DRAFT and STAFF REPORT:

https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-zoning/sites/planning-zoning/files/assets/documents/zoning%20ordinance/proposed%20amendments/shorttermrental.pdf



Dec 12th  COUNTY DRAFT:

Dec 12 Draft Short Term Rentals/Lodging

TIMELINE - SHORT TERM RENTALS / LODGING:

Though many serious questions and concerns remain unaddressed (see MDC comments below), the county has discussed proceeding with the following timeline:

Mar. 20th Supervisors' Authorization of Public Hearings

May 3rd Planning Commission Public Hearing

June 19th Board of Supervisors Public Hearing


*Use link (left side) to view Short Term Rentals Resource Page*


MDC Requests Delay for STL Public Hearings 



Members of the Board of Supervisors,


Fairfax County's proposed zoning ordinance changes related to short term lodgings are critically flawed and need more work before public hearings.

 

A seriously flawed survey, errors in the staff report, and a failure to conduct a dialogue with county residents are several reasons to postpone the authorization of public hearings on short term lodging and take the necessary time to thoroughly and properly vet this serious zoning matter.

 

1) FLAWED STL SURVEY

 

Though the County has claimed that its survey was not intended to be scientific, the County is relying on its flawed survey to present the case for community interest in STLs. Several of the deficiencies with the survey include:

 

a) No question asking if residents oppose or support short term lodgings.

 

b) Absence of “None of the Above” option on every question.

 

c) Anyone who knew a Fairfax County zip code could complete the survey (multiple times). No control limiting respondents to county residents.

 

Supervisor Jeff McKay at the Oct 3 Board Dev. Process Committee meeting said “I will say 641 responses coming from zip code 22315 cannot be right. I want to see some evidence of that see 1 hr 51min 30 sec http://video.fairfaxcounty.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=821

 

d) Survey could be taken multiple times by same person on various devices:

Supervisor Gross asked planning and zoning representatives at the BoS Development Process Committee meeting on July 18, 2017 about controls on the survey because she heard that the survey could be taken more than once by the same person. Supervisor Gross was told by Donna Pesto that it could only be taken once but Ms. Pesto then quietly and quickly interjected “on the same device”: See 1hr 30 min 28 sec

http://video.fairfaxcounty.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=759

 

Lily Yegazu from planning and zoning stated that there was no control limiting individuals from taking the survey multiple times - see this Fairfax Connection article: "The survey was designed to be anonymous, so the county could not limit individuals from taking the survey multiple times, however; individuals could not take the survey from the same device twice, according to Lily Yegazu, senior assistant to the zoning administrator for the DPZ."

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2017/sep/27/fairfax-county-survey-results-allow-short-term-ren/

 

2) ERROR IN STAFF REPORT

 

Minimizing the negative impacts of existing short term lodgings operating in the County, staff has provided inaccurate calculations related to the percentage of complaints received. The percentage of complaints is more than 3x GREATER (3.6% instead of less than 1%) than the figure provided by staff. This error is misleading and does not engender confidence in the analysis and level of attention and seriousness being given to this matter and continues a pattern of skewed results.

 

County staff report excerpt with error:

Existing STLs

Staff research indicates that there are more than 1,500 active STLs—that is, STLs that have been rented in the past year—currently operating in Fairfax County. Assuming there are 1,500 active STLs operating in the County, only 54, or less than 1%, have been the subject of complaints for the STL use. While these numbers do not discredit the concerns raised, they do reflect that there may be a significant number of STLs currently operating without any negative impacts on their communities.

 

3) FAILURE TO ENGAGE RESIDENTS IN DIALOGUE

 

The work group the County created and met with on a continual basis did not include residents as was specifically requested by Supervisor Penny Gross.

 

From the staff report “...on March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors (Board) directed staff to form a workgroup to analyze the short-term rental of property in Fairfax County and recommend possible changes to the County Code and Zoning Ordinance. Staff from the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ), the Department of Code Compliance (DCC), the Department of Tax Administration (DTA), the County Attorney’s Office (OCA), the County Executive’s Office (CEO) and the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) comprised the County’s workgroup.” 

 

See Supervisor Gross remarks requesting citizen participation on the work group studying Short Term Rentals at March 14, 2017 BoS meeting at 1 hour 7 min 17 sec here: http://video.fairfaxcounty.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=607

 

Also see Supervisor Gross admonish planning and zoning representatives at Board Development Process meeting on Oct. 3, 2017 for not including community members in any formal or ongoing meetings or discussions related to STRs at 1 hr 42 min 38 sec http://video.fairfaxcounty.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=821

 

Furthermore, the board of the Mason District Council of Community Associations requested to be included in any workgroup studying STLs but was never included, see correspondence here:

 

-------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Supervisor McKay SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov
Date: Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force Follow-up
To: "masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com" <masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com>

 

Thank you for your email regarding short term rentals. Public input and participation is extremely important in deciding how the County will regulate this growing use. I agree that all interested stakeholders need to be engaged early in this process. I look forward to working with you regarding this issue.

 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. McKay

Lee District Supervisor

 

From: Mason District Council [mailto:masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, June 2, 2017 6:49 PM
To: Sully District BOS <sully@fairfaxcounty.gov>; Leedist BOS Email LeedistBOSEmail@fairfaxcounty.gov
Cc: SupervisorMcKay <SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov>; smithk1110@gmail.com
Subject: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force Follow-up

 

Dear Supervisors Smith and McKay,

 

We are following up on our correspondence (see below) sent to you on April 28th to which we have received no response.

 

MDC board members are interested in participating in discussion of possible code or policy changes related to Short Term Rentals.

 

Early engagement of civic groups, homeowners and other interested stakeholders in this process seems beneficial and worthwhile.

 

Again, we look forward to hearing from you about the status of the development of the STR work group and further discussions or meetings.

 

Thank you,

Debbie Smith
Carol Turner
Clyde Miller
Jon Clark
Mason District Council of Community Associations Board

 

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mason District Council masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com
Date: Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:46 AM
Subject: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force
To: sully@fairfaxcounty.govleedist@fairfaxcounty.gov
Cc: SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.govsmithk1110@gmail.com,

 

Dear Supervisors McKay and Smith,

 

The Mason District Council of Community Associations (MDC) is requesting to be included in the short term rentals task force/group being developed by county staff (at your recommendation) in order to initiate an analysis of Short Term Rentals and study possible changes to county code and policies.

 

Our non-HOA citizens associations and residents are especially interested in this issue.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Mason District Council Board
Debbie Smith, Chair
Carol Turner, Vice Chair
Jon Clark, Treasurer
Clyde Miller, Secretary

______________________________________________________________________

 

For the above reasons, and many others not included in this e-mail, we urge a postponement of the authorization to advertise public hearings on short term lodgings in order to allow further, serious discussion and assessment of the issue.


Sincerely,

Debbie Smith - Chair

Carol Turner - Vice Chair

Debbie Fraser - Second Vice Chair

Clyde Miller - Secretary

Jon Clark - Treasurer

Mason District Council Board



COUNTY TO OVERHAUL ZONING ORDINANCE
This initiative must be followed closely.

Link to County SURVEY (closes Feb 14th) on the zoning ordinance overhaul.
Related Article: 


MDC LETTER TO CHAIRMAN BULOVA re: SHORT TERM RENTALS / LODGING and RESPONSE

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Chairman <Chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Date: Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 11:01 AM
Subject: RE: The STR Issue Not Addressed
To: Mason District Council <masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com>


Dear Members of the Mason District Council:

Thank you for sharing your position on short term rentals (STRs) in Fairfax County. I will certainly keep your comments in mind regarding the impact of short term rentals on the community as the Board of Supervisors takes this issue up later in the year.

As the Board of Supervisors prepares to take this issue up this winter, Fairfax County staff is engaging residents through a variety of ways to gauge their opinion of short term rentals. You can find more information on this process at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-zoning/zoning/short-term-property-rentals . I encourage you to share any additional thoughts you may have regarding short term rentals via the phone number or email address listed on the web page, and to be on the lookout for public meetings on the issue that will be scheduled in the future.

The hearings on STRs will focus on a multitude of issues, as the question of whether to approve these dwelling units and the specific regulations that would apply if so is a complex one. Community input will be a valuable component to the staff report and Board assessment of the issue of STRs in the county.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns on short term rentals. I look forward to continuing this conversation with the residents of Fairfax County as the Board considers how to address this issue.

Sincerely,

Sharon Bulova
Chairman

------------------- Original Message -------------------
From: Mason District Council
Received: 1/18/2018 9:46 AM
To: _ CRMPChairman; chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov
Cc: Clayton Medford; Clayton Medford
Subject: The STR Issue Not Addressed



Dear Chairman Bulova,

As you are aware, many citizens are gravely concerned about the potential consequences of short-term rentals (STRs) in our residential neighborhoods. The purpose of this email is to ask for the county’s plan to discuss and consult the community on the question whether STRs should be allowed in dwelling units in Fairfax County. The current narrow focus on STR regulations appears to overlook this central question.

In the Mar 14 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor McKay, in a motion made jointly with Supervisor K. Smith, proposed that staff analyze STRs with the possibility of proposing regulations. His motion was based solely on the Board’s policy “to encourage the new sharing economy.” There was no discussion of the foreseen community benefits of STRs or why they should be allowed. The Planning Commission STR workshop on Nov 1 was limited to discussing draft regulations developed by staff. No discussion of why or whether STRs should be allowed was relevant to the purpose of the workshop. A number of Development Process Committee and community meetings have been held in the same context: earnest discussion of regulations but little or no discussion from county representatives about whether STRs should be allowed. The county’s STR initiatives to date seem to be predicated on the assumption that STRs in dwelling units will be allowed. But, they are illegal and most residents appear to oppose them.

Section 10-302 of the Zoning Ordinance at #7 states that rentals in dwelling units as a home occupation are limited to the following:

7. The letting for hire of not more than two (2) rooms for rooming or boarding use for not more than two (2) persons, neither of whom is a transient.

A rental of less than 30 days is considered “transient’ and so is not allowed. Section 2-302 precludes the county issuing special permits for STRs in dwelling units because the use is prohibited by Section 10-302. The same prohibition would apply to an ad hoc county registry authorizing the operation of STRs. In this context, the current activity to develop regulations for STRs is limited to answering the question, “What regulations would apply IF the county were to allow STRs in dwelling units?” Actually allowing them to operate would require an amendment to Section 10-302 of the Zoning Ordinance. When are we going to talk about whether STRs should be allowed? On the current course, we risk not having the discussion.

The concern is that the Board and the community will debate regulations to a point where the Board will adopt regulations and then declare that STRs are legal because regulations have been adopted. The goal of this email is to prevent such an outcome. The task of formulating STR regulations is separate from the question whether STRs should be allowed.

The Board and the community are dealing with two questions and both need to be addressed:

(1) What regulations would apply if STRs were allowed?

(2) Should STRs be allowed?

It is recommended that the county clearly organize STR discussions to specifically address both questions. For example, discussions in Development Process Committee and community meetings formally should be in two parts: Part 1 - What regulations would apply? and Part 2 - Should STRs be allowed?. Supervisors and the public should address both questions.

The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings at the end of this process clearly should be on the question of whether STRs should be allowed given the final set of regulations proposed by the county. The staff report supporting the hearings explicitly should address both questions and should provide an informed assessment of expected community costs and benefits of allowing STRs in dwelling units in Fairfax County.

Please let us know the Board’s plan for addressing the question of whether STRs should be allowed. In addition, please provide your views on two questions:

() Should the STR hearings, in the end, focus on the question of whether STRs should be allowed in dwelling units given the final regulations proposed by the county?

() Should the staff report supporting STR hearings provide an informed assessment of expected community costs and benefits associated with allowing STRs in dwelling units in Fairfax County?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Debbie Smith - Chair
Carol Turner - Vice Chair
Debbie Fraser - Second Vice Chair
Clyde Miller - Secretary
Jon Clark - Treasurer
The Board of the Mason District Council of Community Associations

CC: Board of Supervisors

ALERT: JAN 11, 2018 SHORT TERM RENTALS
Short Term Rentals (like Airbnb) Found in Violation of Zoning Ordinance
 
Yesterday, in 2 separate cases, the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld the determination by the County Zoning Administrator finding the property owners in both cases in violation of the Zoning Ordinance for allowing use of their homes for transient occupancy-- less than 30 days (Short Term Rental). One of the cases involved a home here in Mason District and the other in Mt. Vernon District.

The Mason District Council of Community Associations wishes to acknowledge Mason residents who were actively involved in this matter and all who offered testimony, written or oral, for the BZA hearing.
 
Mason District Council of Community Associations presented the following testimony at the BZA public hearing on Nov. 29th, 2017:
 
The Mason District Council of Community Associations (MDC) urges that the Notice of Violation in this matter be upheld. 
 

The Staff Report (page 7) concludes that:

“Unless and until the Board amends the Zoning Ordinance to allow short-term rental, such a use of a dwelling is not a permitted use, in any circumstances, under the current Zoning Ordinance.”

 

The Staff Report also concludes (page 8) that:

“The intensity associated with transient occupancy of a dwelling … is such that the health, safety, and welfare of the community need to be considered prior to approval” (as a bed and breakfast).

 

MDC strongly supports these conclusions. MDC supports current law prohibiting short term rentals, which promote private gain but offer little or no benefit to the broader community. We believe it is premature to presume that any particular changes will be made in the current Zoning Ordinance.

 

As a matter of policy the Mason District Council believes that zoning laws on the books should be, and must be, enforced. The intensity associated with short term rentals poses substantial risk of harm to the health, safety, and welfare of our established residential communities.

Thank you. 


WATCH: Board of Supervisors Committee Discusses Short Term Rental/Lodging - MANY CONCERNS REMAIN
MASON DISTRICT COUNCIL COMMENTS ON SHORT TERM RENTALS:

Supervisor Gross,

Thank you for meeting with members of the Mason District Council Board (MDC) and community on October 30. It was a productive conversation.

As we discussed, MDC urges your support in opposing STRs in Fairfax County for the following reasons:

1.     There is No Demonstrated Need

·        Very few Fairfax County residents appear to be interested in STRs. No more than a handful of advocates for STRs have attended the county meetings.

·        You told us that you do not have a large number of constituents seeking this use.

·        The County’s own survey cannot be relied upon for soundness since it was susceptible to multiple entries by individuals using various devices and also had no controls limiting entries to county residents only. Supervisor McKay identified a suspiciously large number of responses from a single zip code within his district.

2.     Avenues for Room and Whole Home Rentals Already Exist

·        Under current law, rooms and entire homes can be lawfully rented month-to-month. One family can take in up to two renters or up to four unrelated people may live in one house. This can all be arranged by individual property owners or lessees without paying service fees to a STR platform.

3.     Harmful Impacts to Quality of Life/Character of Neighborhoods/HOAs

·       Zoning laws have historically protected residential neighborhoods from incompatible transient use and commercial activity.

·        Problems related to STRs reported by neighbors include: lack of parking, large parties and events, increased noise, activity and crime – loitering, trespass, public intoxication, underage drinking, public urination, vandalism, destruction of property, theft and littering.

·        Increased tensions and hostilities within neighborhoods.

·        HOAs with documents that do not specifically address STRs, or do not have rental minimums, will need to consider amending or changing their association documents in order to limit or prohibit STRs in their communities. This is often a laborious and expensive legal process and would impose a significant burden on thousands of County residents.

 

4.     No Demonstrated Benefit to Neighborhood

·        Cities and towns around the nation and world are further restricting and sometimes banning STRs.

·        STRs offer no benefits at all for the vast majority of county residents.

 

5.     No Work Group with Community Members

·        No meaningful ongoing discussions/meetings with community representatives were conducted to review and assess this possible sweeping zoning change with the potential to affect all residential zoning districts.

·        When we met with Planning and Zoning officials in August they admitted they had only spoken to one neighborhood leader in the County.

 

6.     Questionable Cost Benefit

·        The cost of enacting and enforcing a new STR ordinance could likely exceed revenue generated by the use.

·        Increased strains on County budget for additional staffing to process permits, as well as enforce regulations, i.e., inspectors for public health and safety, police officers and code investigators, as well as taxation office personnel.

·        Recent reports by Arlington Commissioner of Revenue show after eight months of STR legalization, just 67 business tax accounts have been created.

·        Through July of 2017 Arlington assessed only $18,000 via the 7.25% transient occupancy tax (TOT) which is split between the local and state governments and only $780 via the business license tax.

·        Harmful impacts to existing hotels and hospitality businesses operating in Fairfax County must be considered.

 

7.     Compliance and Enforcement Concerns

·        Residents at County meetings consistently rate inadequate code enforcement as a top concern.

·        There are just 33 DCC investigators that work 7,000 to 10,000 cases per year.

·        County representatives readily admit enforcement challenges currently exist even though STRs are not permitted in Fairfax County.

·        At County meetings the public has been told there are no plans to increase budget and staffing for DCC.

·        MDC members have, for years, been vocal in their disappointment and lack of confidence in County code enforcement.

·        DCC representatives at County meetings cite 36 STR complaints (by address, not number of overall calls) since the beginning of the prior year. DCC served just 3 Notices of Violation, with 2 more in the works, and 15 open cases.

·        Residents are deeply concerned about additional strains on our police to address increased calls related to parking, noise, nuisance and property crimes and other crimes often associated with STRs.

·        Many regulations for STRs are complicated and unrealistic to monitor and enforce.

·        Airbnb and others have facilitated illegal short term rentals in Fairfax County by allowing hosts to advertise on their platforms.

·        Airbnb has been accused of manipulating data to avoid regulations in other jurisdictions.

In closing, even though a small minority of landlords may be looking to cash in on STRs, that doesn’t justify the many significant problems STRs create for the larger community.

Sincerely,

Debbie Smith – Chair
Carol Turner – Vice Chair
Debbie Fraser – Second Vice Chair

Clyde Miller - Secretary
Jon Clark - Treasurer
Board of the Mason District Council of Community Associations


SHORT TERM RENTALS (like Airbnb) UPDATES:

Video of Nov. 29th, 2017  Board of Zoning Appeals hearings on the appeals of homeowners in Mason District and Mt. Vernon District cited for allowing Short Term Rental of the their homes. 

Video of Nov. 1, 2017 Planning Commission Workshop and Public Comment/Questions on Draft Short Term Rental Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment:

Draft Design Guidelines prepared without contacting immediate neighborhoods

Without contacting the immediate neighborhoods around 7 Corners/Bailey’s Crossroads or the Mason District Council of Community Associations, the County has completed a draft of future design guidelines of these areas.

Mason District Council is communicating with county reps to learn how and when community input was sought and provided.

Meanwhile, the county will share it’s draft design guidelines at the Tues., Nov. 28th meeting of the Mason District Land Use Committee at the Mason District Government Center at 7:30 pm (6507 Columbia Pike Annandale 22003).

Please see here for information about the draft. http://www.fcrevit.org/programs/UDGupdate.html


Please Attend the Short Term Rental Workshop:
Take part in the conversation and planning.

November 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM

 Planning Commission Workshop

Board Conference Room, Government Center

Staff will update the Commission and seek input on proposed regulations, followed by discussions and public comments


IMPORTANT UPDATE: SHORT-TERM RENTALS
COUNTY DENIES MDC's REQUEST FOR COMMUNITY MEETING 

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 clerktothebos@fairfaxcounty.gov; the Planning Commission plancom@fairfaxcounty.gov 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.

Sincerely,

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 <
masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 11:39 AM
Subject: Re: Request STR Meeting for Mason District

To: "Pesto, Donna" <Donna.Pesto@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Cc: "Yegazu, Lily" <
Lily.Yegazu@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Johnson, Leslie" <Leslie.Johnson@fairfaxcounty.gov>, "Selden, Fred" <Fred.Selden@fairfaxcounty.gov>, Mason BOS Email <Mason@fairfaxcounty.gov>, chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov, braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov, dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov, sully@fairfaxcounty.gov, springfield@fairfaxcounty.gov, hntrmill@fairfaxcounty.gov, mtvernon@fairfaxcounty.gov, leedist@fairfaxcounty.gov, provdist@fairfaxcounty.gov, Clayton.Medford@fairfaxcounty.gov,

 

Donna,

 

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.


Sincerely,

Debbie Smith

Chair

Mason District Council of Community Associations

 

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

 

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:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/short-term-rentals.

 

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:  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/shorttermrentals/shorttermrentals-calendar.htm.  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 ordadmin@fairfaxcounty.gov
. 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 (lily.yegazu@fairfaxcounty.gov) or me to find a suitable time. 

 

Thank you,

Donna Pesto
Deputy Zoning Administrator
703-324-1314

 

From: Mason District Council [mailto:masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 1:15 PM
To: Yegazu, Lily <
Lily.Yegazu@fairfaxcounty.gov>; Johnson, Leslie <Leslie.Johnson@fairfaxcounty.gov>; Mason BOS Email <Mason@FairfaxCounty.gov>
Cc:

Subject:
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. 

 

Sincerely,

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

MASON DISTRICT COUNCIL SENDS EMAIL TO TWO SUPERVISORS REQUESTING TO PARTICIPATE ON WORK GROUP STUDYING SHORT TERM RENTALS BUT RECEIVES NO RESPONSE; MDC FOLLOWS UP AND RECEIVES GENERIC RESPONSE WITH NO ACTION

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SupervisorMcKay <SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Date: Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force Follow-up
To: "masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com" <masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com>

Thank you for your email regarding short term rentals. Public input and participation is extremely important in deciding how the County will regulate this growing use. I agree that all interested stakeholders need to be engaged early in this process. I look forward to working with you regarding this issue.

 Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. McKay 
Lee District Supervisor

From: Mason District Council [mailto:masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com
Sent: Friday, June 2, 2017 6:49 PM
To: Sully District BOS <sully@fairfaxcounty.gov>; Leedist BOS Email <LeedistBOSEmail@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Cc: SupervisorMcKay <SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.gov>; smithk1110@gmail.com
Subject: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force Follow-up

 Dear Supervisors Smith and McKay,

We are following up on our correspondence (see below) sent to you on April 28th to which we have received no response.

MDC board members are interested in participating in discussion of possible code or policy changes related to Short Term Rentals.

Early engagement of civic groups, homeowners and other interested stakeholders in this process seems beneficial and worthwhile.

Again, we look forward to hearing from you about the status of the development of the STR work group and further discussions or meetings. 

Thank you,

Debbie Smith
Carol Turner
Clyde Miller
Jon Clark
Mason District Council of Community Associations Board

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mason District Council <masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:46 AM
Subject: Short Term Rentals - County Task Force
To: sully@fairfaxcounty.govleedist@fairfaxcounty.gov
Cc: SupervisorMcKay@fairfaxcounty.govsmithk1110@gmail.com

 Dear Supervisors McKay and Smith,

The Mason District Council of Community Associations (MDC) is requesting to be included in the short term rentals task force/group being developed by county staff (at your recommendation) in order to initiate an analysis of Short Term Rentals and study possible changes to county code and policies. 

Our non-HOA citizens associations and residents are especially interested in this issue.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Mason District Council Board

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



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.

SHORT-TERM RENTALS (like Airbnb) SURVEY
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.


UPDATE: GALLOWS RD CONSOLIDATION
REMINDER:
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: mason@fairfaxcounty.gov

GALLOWS RD CONSOLIDATION  PA-2017-I-A1

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:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/fairfaxforward/pa/gallowsrdconsolidation/.

 

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).

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/comprehensiveplan/area1/baileys-sevencornerscbc.pdf#page=169)

 

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:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/fairfaxforward/pa/6060arlingtonblvd/

 
 
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. http://ldsnet.fairfaxcounty.gov/ldsnet/ZAPSMain.aspx?cde=RZ&seq=4230589
 
Background:

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. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2017/real-estate-deal-revitalize-baileys-crossroads.htm

 

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   mperkins@nvfs.org
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 | www.nvfs.org  |  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. http://annandaleva.blogspot.com/2017/03/two-bodies-found-in-local-park-as-gang.html
 
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 http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/short-term-rentals.htm. 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.
17100761D
 
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.
17100686D
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mason BOS Email <Mason@fairfaxcounty.gov>
Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 12:33 PM
Subject: Short Term Rental hearing in richmond
To: "
masondistrictcouncil.org@gmail.com"

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.

Penny

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.  www.baileyscrossroads.org
 
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 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/lincolnia for additional info and to offer comment.

Contact staff:

Faheem Darab - faheem.darab@fairfaxcounty.gov / 703-324-1351

Michael Burton - michael.burton@fairfaxcounty.gov /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, 2016 
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, Supervisor Penny Gross, 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

Additional Info Short-Term Rentals:

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/property/property-rental.htm

 

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


A Community Sample STR Resolution

http://www.propertyrightsmatter.org/


https://fcnp.com/2016/09/21/front-row-kaye-korys-richmond-report-3/

Contacts: 

Del. Kaye Kory:
DELKKORY@HOUSE.VIRGINIA.GOV 

Sen. David Marsden:
district37@cov.virginia.gov

Sen. Richard Saslaw:
district35@cov.virginia.gov

Elizabeth Palen - Virginia Division of Legislative Services:
epalen@dls.virginia.gov

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors:
clerktothebos@fairfaxcounty.gov


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

__._,_.___
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