Village News, 4/23/20

Dear West Springfield Neighbor / Friend,

Lot of information this week. Most of the following is important to you and to our village. I may lack in journalistic skills, but I hope the message gets through. I am intentionally moving the virus update down below the fold since other stuff also needs your attention.

Accessory Dwelling Units READ THIS carefully. More density could be coming to our village. Fairfax County is looking for feedback on two zoning uses that are allowed in a dwelling – 1) accessory dwelling units (ADU) and 2) home-based businesses. The proposed ADU regulations would eliminate the current restrictions on the number of ADUs in neighborhoods. The County is also looking at ways to consolidate the different types of home-based businesses. Under current regulations, processes and regulations vary by business type. You can learn more about both of proposals here.

Learn more about the proposed changes by watching two short videos and submit feedback by taking the surveys. There is a survey for each (2 total, but will take a few minutes each).

Our village was built assuming Ozzie & Harriet types would live in each home with one or maybe two cars. Look at the current curbside parking – can we add more cars to that mix?

ADUs are helpful for parent(s)-in-law suites or for an elderly resident wanting to hire a live-in care provider. We opposed these ADUs for commercial purposes (rental income) about 8 – 10 years ago, but this go-around will be your individual input, not a majority opinion from the CAWSV.  Please do voice your opinion and the surveys are submitted anonymously.

Real Estate (RE) Property Tax Increase – let them know your opinion! On average, $172 will be added to our Real Estate Property tax if the proposed budget is passed including the increased assessments. County’s board of supervisors (BOS) did remove the proposed 3 cent tax levy increase, but the assessment increase remains.  

Two ways your RE taxes increase:  1) tax levy increase. It is now $1.15/$100 assessed value of your property and 2) increase in assessed value of our home and property. This year was to be a double whammy with both assessment and levy being raised. Even without the BOS raising the tax levy, I will still have to pay an additional $438.50 due to the increased assessment. The average increase according to the County Executive will be $172.00. (Not sure yet why mine is higher than the average).

Given all that has happened to our economy, jobs and the RE market, this is the wrong budget cycle to seek any increase in RE tax revenue.

No matter your support or lack of support for the revised budget proposal, I encourage you to share your opinion with the entire Board of Supervisors by emailing ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov. You can also use the online form option at https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/clerkservices/budget-public-hearing-testimony.

Rolling Road Project Property Acquisition – Morgan Perez (Rolling Road) received a certified letter from Bowman Consulting; re: scheduled property inspection. The rest who own Rolling Road property should have also received the same type of missive.

We have had two lawyers reach out to the village with offers to invest their time to help prepare us (RR homeowners) for what is now about to happen. Morgan spoke again with Mr. Mike Coughlin (703/680-4664) on Monday and signed a letter of engagement with his firm Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh PC). The other (Kevin DeTurris, 703/293-7235 of Blankingship & Keith) offered to take a portion of the difference between what VDOT would offer you and what they got from them as their fees.

Mr. Coughlin is still willing to discuss the issue via a Zoom meeting about eminent domain and how getting representation might help. He will provide an informative slideshow followed by a Q&A. If you aren’t comfortable with that, Morgan is happy to answer questions in a less formal setting like a FB video or something similar. 

If you are interested in the Zoom meeting and willing to grant permission for Morgan to provide your email address to Mr. Coughlin then respond to this enews (even if you previously responded) and include also your preference for which date works best for you. Mr. Coughlin is looking at evening on 4/27, 4/28, or any night after 4 May. 

COVID-19 Update: Food pantries are in desperate need for food donations to serve an increasing number of folks who need help. You in?

Inova - opened a fourth Respiratory Illness Clinic in the City of Alexandria. Clinics are able to collect samples via physician ordered and coordinated vehicle-side appointments for COVID-19 testing, as well as screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Inova Urgent Care Centers at Dulles South, Tysons and North Arlington are operating as Respiratory Illness Clinics and are only evaluating patients with respiratory illness symptoms.
  • Tysons Respiratory Illness Clinic is operating 7-days per week, from 8am-8pm.
  • Dulles South and North Arlington Respiratory Illness Clinics are operating Monday

      Friday from 8am-8pm

  •   Inova Primary Care – Old Town Alexandria will operate as a Respiratory Illness Clinic         by appointment only, Monday-Friday from 1pm-4:30pm. To schedule a respiratory evaluation, call 703-683-7220. 
  •   All other Inova Urgent Care locations are seeing non-respiratory patients only. For          addresses and hours, visit this link. If you don't live near one of these facilities, Inova    says that COVID-19 testing is available if you meet criteria for testing outlined by the   CDC and the Virginia Department of Health.
  •   Is it safe to go to the emergency room? If you are experiencing a medical emergency,     please visit the ER or call 911 immediately. Delaying treatment can be a dangerous   decision. Inova ERs have taken precautions to provide a safe environment for all patients.
  •   Helping Inova: All in-person visitation is suspended. To limit exposure and the spread of       COVID-19, Inova has adopted a system-wide initiative that will allow patients to receive       a wider range of healthcare services without having to travel to an Inova healthcare           facility.
  •   Donate needed items, blood, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have           recovered, can donate blood plasma for research.

Jump Start Program from Northern Virginia Community College

  • NOVA is offering tuition-free online classes for approximately 70,000 Northern Virginia high school students this summer.
  • Classes are for rising and graduating seniors looking to earn college credit.
  • The program will run from June 1 to July 15.
  • Learn more here.

Financial Assistance – Read the guide that details financial assistance available to northern Virginians here. It details direct payments, explanations of unemployment insurance, information for federal workers and students, and more.

Misinformation - around the facts of this virus. The County launched a myth and rumor control page to make sure you have the correct information about COVID-19.

Water

  • Because of existing water treatment requirements and water quality standards, municipal drinking water is safe for consumption and hand washing.
  • Groundwater is also safe from COVID-19 because it undergoes natural processes to remove viruses, bacterial, and other microbial contaminants.
  • Read more on drinking water from the Virginia Department of Health.

Price gouging and other scams

  • As a result of Virginia’s state of emergency, it’s unlawful for any supplier to sell, lease or license, or to offer to sell, any necessary goods and services at an unconscionable price.
  • Consumers can contact the Virginia Attorney General and Fairfax County Consumer Affairs for information or to file a complaint.
  • Find contact information and learn more here.

Fairfax Connector

  • Fairfax County is asking that passengers wear non-medical face coverings while riding Fairfax Connector buses.
  • Service reductions and other updates can be found here.

Small Business Microloans - On Tuesday, the Board authorized a microloan fund in which small businesses can apply for loans of up to $20,000 at 0% interest.

  • County is working a proposal to extend similar resources to our County nonprofits.
  • Microloans will serve second to federal funding for businesses that may not qualify.
  • Applications will be taken starting 28 April and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Learn more here and how you can apply here.

Department of Family Services

  • DFS launched a Parent Support Line last Monday, 20 April.
  • Contact: 703/324-7720; buildingstrongerfamilies@fairfaxcounty.gov
  • Offered M-F, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • The line will be staffed with members of the child abuse prevention team who will assist parents and caregivers looking for resources or who have parenting questions. 
  • Spanish-speaking team members are available and other languages will be supported. 

Office to Prevent and End Homelessness - Contracts will be signed shortly to secure three hotels with a total of 223 rooms to serve people experiencing homelessness who either: 

  • Tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are symptomatic and pursuing testing or are awaiting testing for COVID-19
  • Have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Are at high risk of serious illness
  • Additional services are being procured this week for transportation, meal delivery, cleaning services, security, and more.

Long-Term Care Facilities

  • The Fairfax County Health Department is in contact with long-term care facilities before a case of COVID-19 occurs to reduce risk.
  • If a case of COVID-19 does occur, engagement and support is ramped-up to reduce the risk of infection being transmitted.
  • An experienced communicable disease physician or nurse provides guidance to the long-term care facility on issues like isolation of infected persons and contacts and recommendations for protective equipment of staff.
  • A rapid response team is dispatched to the facility to provide training on best PPE use.
  • A nurse also visits the facility daily to identify additional needs, ensure that measures to prevent infections are being rigorously applied, and to review whether anyone with symptoms needs to be tested.
  • Facilities are also asked to communicate transparently with residents and their families.
  • Read more here.

Other updates

  • The Animal Shelter has begun the adoption process again through virtual adoptions. Read more.
  • The Park Authority has launched the Virtual Exploration Center, which offers tools for kids to stay healthy, connected, and engaged from home.

Live Oak's Mother's Day Delivery Plan - We are going to sell Mother's Day Brunch Baskets consisting of a bottle of Prosecco and Orange Juice, Deviled Eggs, Fruit, French Toast Casserole (with baking instructions) Benton's Tennessee Bacon (raw), Scrambled Farm Egg and Potato Souffle (with baking instructions).  This will be available for delivery (only to the West Springfield Village members) the Saturday (9 May) prior to Mother's Day. Owner / Operator and Village Neighbor Jeremy Barber is offering to deliver to the neighborhood as a thank you, otherwise orders will be picked up at Live Oak Restaurant, 1603 Commonwealth Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301.  Mother’s Day orders will need to be placed no later than Wednesday, 6 May. 

Rice & Spice (Thai Cuisine) – Owner / Operator and Village Neighbor, NatalieTantivejakul also reports that her restaurant, 6466 Landsdowne Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22315 is also open for carry out or delivery during normal hours. www.ricespiceva.com, Facebook @ricespiceva, Instragram #ricespiceva.

Chick-fil-A coming to Kingstowne. It will occupy the building that had been Fiona’s Irish Pub and will include an interior play area, 110 indoor seats and 32 outdoor seats. Chick-fil-A anticipates hiring 75 employees for this location.

In other Kingstowne news, Ashley Furniture will fill a roughly 30,000-square-foot portion of the former 53,000-square-foot Toys R Us store at 6100 Kingstowne Village Parkway. Aldi has already obtained permits to build out its 23,000-square-foot store, and the furniture dealer is taking the remainder of the now-demised space.

And across the street, Fairfax County has OK’d construction to build 646 multifamily units on an undeveloped portion of the Kingstowne Towne Center, in addition to a 34,000-square-foot plaza featuring a splash park in the summer and ice rink in the winter. It will be the first residential in the mixed-use center.

Contractor Recommendation – Gus and Sons (703/775-0000) – from Gaye & Marion Evans – found Gus as a small business owner for home services. Gaye reported that he was prompt to respond and to create an appointment. He did some electrical work as well as took some stuff from two different houses to the dump at a very reasonable cost. Gaye said that she would definitely call on Gus again to address home services. Gaye said that she was happy to support a small business, especially one from our local community. NOTE: Gus is a general contractor, but has branched into smaller scale construction (handyman) to keep his crews game fully employed. They specialize in decks, sheds, porches, landscaping and during this virus - most outdoor jobs.

COVID 19 Tracking Site – Mike Mariner (Loudoun Lane) shared this valuable and informative COVID track, trending, and mapping site at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/.

Happy Birthdays! Jane Lomax (Edmonton Court) and my wife WrongWay (A.K.A. “Suzanne” MCormick). Both claim to be just a day or two over 29, or was it 39? Either one, Happy Birthday!

Free Day Lilies and some Irises Toobring your shovel to 8129 Edmonton Court and help yourself. The lilies are pretty in bloom and tend to spread making them good ground cover for unused portions of backyards. They do well in deep pots & planters if you want to control them. The Irises are mixed in with the lilies, but both thrive in the same space.

Need Help? Let your immediate neighbors or me know if or when you need help or are close to being out of essential items – we have about 30 folks who have volunteered to help shop for you or pick up meds or whatever they can do as they do for themselves.

Thanks! Many of you are designated essential personnel and remain on the job while the rest of us hunker down in our homes.

John Cooley, CAWSV

 

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