Village News, 6/4/20

Dear West Springfield Neighbor / Friend,

Short on time today, asking in advance for your understanding any mistakes below. 

COVID-19 Update: Fairfax County and Northern Virginia will remain at Phase One as most of Virginia moves into Phase Two. The percentage of positive cases continues to decrease and  Fairfax County continues to have sufficient capacity to test those with symptoms. The latest on reopening in Fairfax County can be found here.

Accessory Dwelling Units and Home-Based Businesses - the surveys on accessory dwelling units and home-based businesses have closed, but County still wants to hear from you. Short informational videos are posted on the zMOD website. Please send questions and submit feedback on all aspects of zMOD, including on accessory dwelling units and home-based businesses, to: DPZZMODComments@fairfaxcounty.gov.

An ADU for a an older relative or a relative who requires more family assistance is one thing, but to open this up without case-by-case review and input from neighbors to rentals, air b&b or even to increase the number of unrelated adults in a home from 4 to 6 smacks of congestion and potential re-development. Given that we are an R2C subdivision – the ADU has to be attached to tor inside the house.

Home-based businesses other than what we now have permits for is another invitation for increased vehicle travel and parking. Again, what we have now is no real issue, but to allow county to decide without review and input from immediate neighbors is where I see issues.

Recycling in Fairfax County – Marion Plummer from the Solid Waste Management Program is working during the virus slow down to increase our awareness of recycling in our county. Here is some of her effort to increase awareness.

1. Recyclables should be:

  • Clean – no liquid, food, or grease left inside the container
  • Dry – if you rinse something out (which you should) give it a little time to dry before you put it into the bin. Mostly, don’t put a half-full bottle of water in the bin – empty it first.
  • Empty – pour out remaining liquid, try to scoop out any remaining food.
  • Loose – recyclable should not be bagged since the bag itself is a problem for most recyclers.
  • Leave the lid on – it really is for the best.

2. What is recyclable in your curbside bin? These are the things that you should put into your curbside bin or toter:

  • Paper – mail, newspapers, cereal boxes, juice boxes, homework, etc.
  • Plastic - #1 and #2 bottles, jugs, and jars. This is just about anything that held a beverage, including milk, OJ, soda, or water.
  • Metal – beer cans, canned vegetables, tuna and cat food cans.

3. There are the things that should never go into your recycling bin since they contaminate the rest of the recyclables and end up in the landfill They are the Filthy Five:

  • Plastic bags – get tangled in the recycling equipment.
  • Tanglers – things like hangers, garden hoses, and rope.
  • Diapers – no, they really aren’t recyclable. They may even be a bio-hazard.
  • Take out containers – they may have the recycling symbol, but no.
  • Shredded paper – it just doesn’t survive the trip to the recycler and ends up as litter.

4. Glass Recycling - Your hauler is no longer required to collect glass in your recycling bin. If you put it in your recyclable bin or torer, it will not be recycled, but adds to the cost of 3rd party sorting. Take your glass to a purple glass recycling bin. The closest one to us is in the parking lot of the Springfield Government Center (6140 Rolling Road) almost directly behind the post office. Last resort, put your glass in the trash. 

5. Yard Waste - Finally, yard waste should be placed in a durable container (like an old trash can) or in paper yard waste bags. Plastic bags are eventually going to be phased out to include the green “biodegradable” plastic bags. 

Utilities Disconnect Charges - Last week we included an article about exorbitant disconnection charges from Washington Gas Light (WGL). Another resident searched her records for the fine print charge to disconnect, but could not find any nor did WGL mention it during her phone conversation. Lesson is the same – look before you leap.

Library Curbside Service – from Dan Emrick (SVD) - Fairfax County Library has announced a curb-side service that began 1 June.  It's limited but appears well planned. The goal seems to be to get books circulating again while maintaining staff and patron safety. Web page is https://www.fairfaxcountygov/library/ . Click on the banner near the top about "Branches closed." The next page has the details of closing PLUS info on how curb-side service works as well as the expected conduct of library patrons. This is good news for the Emrick household; hopefully it will be for yours as well.

Record Low Mortgage Rates – from Sharon Kline (Ontario Street) - The month of April 2020 ended with record-low mortgage interest rates. To keep the trend going, May 2020 ended with even lower rates, hitting a new record low yet again.

"The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has again hit the lowest level in our survey’s nearly 50-year history," said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater in a press release "breaking the record for the third time in just the last few months."

This is great news for home buyers and home owners alike. As many states begin reopening, and home shopping resumes, buyers will benefit from a boost in purchasing power while low rates last. Low rates have been fueling refinance activity for the past several weeks. Refinance activity has increased 176% year over year according to a recent Mortgage Bankers Association report.

"Refinance activity remains elevated and low mortgage rates have been accompanied by a $70,000 decline in the average loan size of refinance borrowers this year," said Khater.

Sharon Kline is a Loan Officer (NMLS 1633338) with Allied First Bank SB You can reach her at 703/615-1313 or skline@alliedfirst.com.

6th Grade Car Parade - the Rolling Valley Elementary PTA has organized a 6th grade car parade to celebrate their graduation. 6th grade families will line up in their cars beginning at Rolling Valley and drive through the West Springfield Village neighborhood before ending back at the school.  We would love for neighbors to come out to cheer and clap for them!

The map may be difficult to enlarge, but the parade will start at the School - to Harland to left onto Greenview Lane to right onto Holford to right onto Greeley to left onto Rivington to right onto Greenview to left onto Harland to right onto Barnack to left onto Springfield Village Drive left onto Ontario Street to left onto Landor to right onto Vancouver Road to right onto Barnack Drive to finish back at Rolling Valley ES.

Welcome to the Village - Amanda and Brian Taugher (Ontario Street) welcomed Kevin to their family. Kevin was born yesterday (3 June) and is doing great (as is Amanda). They hope to be home soon.

Theft from Parked Cars and Vandalism – It is that time of the year when those who would rather steal from others than work are out searching for soft targets. Don’t leave valuables in your parked cars and certainly none in plain sight. Lock your cars when not in use even in the relative safety of our village streets or your garage. And, remain vigilant. Most of the reports we hear about come from surrounding communities, but we did have one parked car recently damaged by vandals. 

American Trash Services – well – that didn’t go well. We needed 100 to continue negotiations and we got less than 20 responses (5 of which said thanks, but no thanks!). We are standing down on this initiative, but do want to thank VP Bernie Koehle for his efforrts.

2020 Village Directories – we have extras if you need another copy and / or if you would like to give a copy to a new neighbor who arrived the village after 1 November 2019. Let me know and plan to stop by 8131 Edmonton Court to pick one up from our front porch.

4th of July Pride – from Tim Royster (Smyth, 571/275-0871), Royster Hearth Group.

           “We are pleased to announce a July 4th community flag project, sponsored by The Royster Hearth Group.  Flags measuring 12" x 18" on a 31.5" wooden staff will be displayed next to your mailboxes between Wednesday, 1 July and Friday, 3 July.  All the flags will be removed on Monday, July 6th for storage until the next holiday”. 

“If you do not wish to have a flag placed in your yard, please e-mail Tim with your address at troyster1108@gmail.com by Monday, 29 June.” 

Volunteers Will Be Needed to help place and remove the flags. If you are interested, please e-mail Tim at troyster1108@gmail.com.  We ask that volunteers practice social distancing and to place the flags only with members of your household”. 

Village Angels – from Mary Eskelund (Glover Court) – “I want to thank the angels who have gotten us groceries and especially the bottles of distilled water that arrives often at our front door.  We are old folks so it takes a few minutes to get to the door and no one is in sight, At times when we go for a prescription we always look for the distilled water and most time there is no distilled water available.  Many thanks Angels”.

Stay safe, cool and healthy!

John Cooley, CAWSV

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