On Wednesday, 8 Jul, the Board of Zoning Appeals will hold a hearing on SP 2019-MA-054, an application for a special permit to establish a place of worship at 3528 Gallows Rd in Annandale.

In February, Mason District Council of Community Associations (MDC) submitted comments to the BZA recommending a number of permit provisions to better assure temple compatibility with the surrounding residential community.

On 1 Jul, MDC delivered copies of the Feb comments to a few neighbors nearby the temple.  The handout included a letter recommending that neighbors participate in the 8 Jul hearing if reasonably possible.

 

 

Fairfax County’s zMOD program is reorganizing the zoning ordinance with the objective of improving clarity and accessibility for users.  Surprisingly and alarmingly, the county has used the occasion to introduce controversial and consequential amendments to the zoning regulations themselves.

Amendments to regulations for accessory dwelling units and home-based businesses are the subjects of the linked paper.  The proposed amendments substantially increase the scope and intensity of the two uses while severely limiting both transparency for residents and the ability of residents to participate in land use decisions affecting their communities.  The linked paper explains the concerns and recommends revisions to the zMOD proposals.

Hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors are expected over the next several months.  Residents concerned about the zMOD amendments may wish to express those concerns to the Commission and the Board.  Click here for instructions for emailing both.

The fall meeting of HRVCA was held at Beech Tree Elementary School from 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Wednesday, 6 November.

The agenda included a summary of recently approved development plans for the INOVA Center for Personalize Health and Fairview Park North, an invitation to join an initiative to improve the Holmes Run stream valley, Neighborhood Watch opportunities to strengthen our links with the Fairfax County Police Department, election of officers, status of issues with Iglesia Pentecostal Cristo Vive Church, plans for redevelopment of Graham Park Plaza, and news re several neighborhood activities.

The report of meeting_results and the meeting_slides are on our blog.

Our next meeting is scheduled for the Wednesday in the third week of March.

Clyde Miller

On 20 Aug, HRVCA Board members Mike Cook, Jacke Zeiher, Mike Paup, and Clyde Miller met with Kari Cafeo, Head of School at Montessori School of Northern Virginia, for 45 minutes. The purpose of the meeting was to review the Transportation Procedures Manual and calendar of activities for the new school year and to hear MSNV’s plans for better landscaping the school’s front yard.  Inadequate landscaping at the front of the school has been an issue for the 10 plus years the school has operated in the community.

Kari provided the current TPM and the 2019-2020 calendar via email prior to the meeting.  Both are well done and compliant with the special exception (SE) that allows the school to operate in our neighborhood.  The school is fully enrolled for the coming year.  No 2020 summer camp is planned at the present time.

MSNV has engaged a landscaping company to improve the grounds both front and back.  New plants were added at the back of the school this summer.  Kari intends that the fall planting will bring the landscaping at the front of the school into full compliance with the SE.

Last school year, MSNV did not take the three self-monitoring traffic counts required by DC 16c of the SE.  They misunderstood the SE requirement.  They will take the counts this year.

Jacke asked that the school clean up storm debris along the back fence adjacent to her home. Her concern was for the safety of the children and the health of trees entangled in the debris.   Kari responded that she would ask her maintenance manager to take care of it.  Kari also agreed to remind Will to provide a corresponding combo lock with alternative key and to ensure a path at the fence clear of brush and new growth prior to the beginning of the school year.

Leaving the building, the group examined the sign at the front of the school and agreed that it is not attractive.  Kari did not rule out the possibility that a new sign could be installed in the not very distant future.

The next meeting is planned for the fall after the landscaping at the front of the school has been renovated.  Kari will call Jacke to schedule it.

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On May 20, Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association Board members Clyde Miller, Mike Cook, Jacke Zeiher, and Mike Paup met with Kari Cafeo, MSNV Head of School, to review the relationship between the school and the community.  The former head of school, Betsy Mitchell, retired at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.  The meeting was the first time the board had met with Kari.
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Discussion was supported by three documents:
() A summary of the development conditions in SE 2007-MA-028, the document that allows the school to operate in the community,
() The original landscape plan taken from the MSNV site plan (19576 SP-001-2), and
() A map of the neighborhood.
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Review of Development Conditions:
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Review of the development conditions focused principally on:
() DC15, the requirement for MSNV to provide HRVCA three items: the name of the individual serving as the on-site community point of contact, an annual calendar of activities, and expected and actual school and summer camp enrollments.
() DC16a, the requirement for MSNV to provide HRVCA the name of the individual(s) serving as the Transportation Management Plan Coordinator.
() DC 16b, the requirement for MSNV to provide HRVCA a copy of the Traffic Procedure Manual.
() DC 16c(iii), the requirement for MSNV to take traffic counts three times per school year and to make the log of traffic counts available to HRVCA upon request.
() DC 16d(v), the requirement that drivers are not allowed to turn around in neighborhood streets or driveways.
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During the meeting, Kari stated that current enrollment is 90 students, and no summer camp is planned this year.  In addition, Kari identified Will Sacarelos as the person to contact for access to the log of traffic counts.
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Jacke noted that, in lieu of parents turning around in the neighborhood, an effective route from the school back to Sleepy Hollow Rd is via Hickory Hill Rd, Slade Run Dr., and Valley Brook Dr.  The route is cited in the current Transportation Procedures Manual, and it may be helpful to remind parents of the recommendation.
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On 22 May, Kari provided a follow-up email that:
() Identified herself and Oahn Tran as the on-site community points of contact,
() Identified Will Sacarelos and Oahn Tran as the Transportation Management Plan Coordinators,
() Provided the current Transportation Procedure Manual and a transportation policies paper, and
() Provided a calendar of activities.
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Jacke is the HRVCA point of contact for MSNV.
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Landscaping:
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The community has expressed its concern regarding the sparse vegetative screen at the front of the school a number of times over the years the school has been in operation.  MSNV has not established and maintained the landscaping required by the SE.  On 31 Mar 2017, the HRVCA Board sent an email to Betsy Mitchell requesting the “establishment and execution of a definitive MSNV program to implement and maintain the required vegetative screen at the front of the school.”  The response from MSNV was a small modification to the attached (original) landscape plan. The modification replaced some plants with hollies on the south side of the northern-most driveway.  HRVCA does not have a copy of the modified plan.
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Within the next few weeks, Kari agreed to review the landscaping with her staff and notify HRVCA of planned updates, if any.
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Other Items:
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Kari agreed to ask Will to meet with Jacke re school use of the gate at the back of Jacke’s property.  Jacke will introduce Will to Bill Bailey, the Neighborhood Watch Block Captain for the area of the school.
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Kari also agreed to paint the white boards on the school’s sign to match the color of the structure.
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Jacke will send Kari and Oahn invitations to join Nextdoor.com.  Clyde will add them to the HRVCA email list service.
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Next Meeting:
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Participants agreed that the meeting was productive and selected 4:00 PM, Tuesday, 20 Aug, as the time for a second meeting at the school.
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The spring meeting of HRVCA was held at Beech Tree Elementary School from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, 27 March.  The agenda included news from the 2019 General Assembly session provided by Delegate Kaye Kory, status of our Neighborhood Watch Program, working with the Department of Code Compliance, renovation of the community entrance at the top of Rose Lane, neighborhood concerns about activities at the church on Holloman Rd, the Sleepy Hollow Road Walkway Project, redevelopment of Graham Park Plaza, and cancellation of plans for the Woodburn Manor redevelopment.

Here are the links to the report of meeting results and the meeting slides.

Our next meeting is scheduled for the Wednesday in the third week in October.

Clyde Miller

 

 

 

The association met at Beech Tree Elementary School at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, 7 Nov, for our fall meeting. The agenda included an update on the formation of our neighborhood watch program, activities of the Fairfax Federation, election of officers, community aesthetics and code compliance, and county development activities affecting our community.

Please note that the 7:30 PM starting time was an error that violated our intention to start our fall and spring meetings at 7:00 PM.  Future meetings will be scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM.

The report of meeting results includes links to two sets of slides, the meeting slides that were used for most of the agenda items and a set of slides contributed by Jacke Zeiher on the status of our neighborhood watch program.

If you would like to see the slides and meeting report separately, here are the meeting slides and here the neighborhood watch slides.

Our next meeting is scheduled for the Wednesday in the third week in March.

 

The association met at Beech Tree Elementary School at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, 11 April, for our spring meeting. Business included report on the association’s Feb/Mar survey of member interests and concerns, distribution of the new HRVCA hot sheet, summary of a recent experience with the county’s Department of Code Compliance, and an update on county planning activities.

The meeting report includes links to the survey results and the hot sheet.  Survey results and hot sheet also are available on the blog by clicking on Citizens Assoc under Pages on the right side of the Web page.

Clyde Miller

Your neighborhood association, Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association (HRVCA), would like to solicit your support and provide resources to bolster the quality of our environment. We are not a formal homeowners association with architectural board and restrictions, but we all have a stake in preserving and enhancing our property values and assuring that your community is safe and attractive.

In response to a general desire and a few concerns about keeping our neighborhood attractive, a group within HRVCA has formed to develop a progression of measures that can be taken informally to meet challenges, and, if necessary, formally address county code compliance issues.

In order to gain your input and perspective, we ask that you provide your opinions and ideas in either of two ways by February 18. We will report the results of the survey at the spring HRVCA meeting.

The first option is to take a concise 15-question anonymous survey at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HRVCANeighborhoodFeedback

Alternatively, please email your comments and concerns to HRVCAFeedback@gmail.com.

In your email please address the following topics.  In addition, please include the name of your street or your full address to verify that you reside in the HRVCA community.

  • How satisfied are you with the quality of life in your neighborhood?
  • What do you like most and least about your neighborhood?
  • What, if anything, concerns you regarding safety and quality of the environment?
  • What changes/improvements do you recommend?
  • Should HRVCA establish a Neighborhood Watch Program, an initiative of the Fairfax County Police Department to increase community awareness of crime issues and how to better protect our homes and property?
  • If HRVCA established a Neighborhood Watch Program would you participate in the county’s four-hour training session at a local location?
  • What would better encourage your participation in spring and fall HRVCA community meetings?

Thank you for participating in the survey.

The association met at Beech Tree Elementary School at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, 8 Nov, for its fall meeting. Business included election of the HRVCA Board of Directors, county proposal to repurpose office buildings, maintenance and inappropriate use of neighborhood properties, and short-term rentals.

The following links access the Agenda and Handout as well as the Meeting Report.

Clyde Miller