1998/1999/2000 Developments in Kingstowne
(12/15/2000) The following article came from the Springfield Times:
Move would pay for area transportation and education projects
A one-cent increase in the sales tax for Northern Virginia would generate the money needed to pay for school and transportation projects, according to a proposal presented to county board members Monday by Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield).
Saying that the state would probably not come up with the money to pay for Fairfax County's expected needs in those areas and pointing to Virginia's relatively low tax rate, McConnell said a one-penny hike in the sales tax would produce more than $2 billion for
the Northern Virginia region in about 10 years. "This comes out of total frustration in delays with so many unfinished roads in my area," she told her fellow board members. "I do not think in my wildest dreams the state is going to give us this much money."
|Here are some of the projects McConnell says the area gets for a one penny tax increase for the next 10 years:
- 16 new schools (11 elementary, 3.5 middle, 2 high)
- Renovation of 22 other schools
- Widen Fairfax County Parkway to 6 to 8 lanes and add 27 grade-separated interchanges
- Widen routes 7 and 28
- Build the Tri-county Parkway
- A $100 million contribution to the Dulles Rail project
Her proposal, which she suggests should be adopted by a referendum, would include a sunshine clause that ends the tax in 10 years unless reaffirmed by the public. It would also be regional, not a statewide tax. McConnell said a sales tax makes sense because tourists and passers-through pay in addition to residents.
While many of the board members commended her work in identifying needed funds, they also had worries. "My concern is, and will remain, that we not let the state off the hook," said Supervisor Gerald Connolly (D-Providence). McConnell said she agreed that the state should not be let off easy, "but I again
have to deal with reality and I don't think we're going to see that kind of increase from the state."
"Let's face it," she added, "we're outvoted down there." Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville) said he didn't think the proposal would expedite projects without some kind of public\private partnership, but McConnell adamantly disagreed. She said her numbers indicated that wasn't the case and she
also said bringing more local control back would give the county an opportunity to take advantage of its assets.
"One other thing I think is important is we control the projects," McConnell said, adding that Fairfax County has an valuable asset in its Department of Transportation director Ho Chang, a former employee of the Virginia Department of Transportation. Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee) said he liked the idea of
starting the discussion at the local level, and noted that the "public referendum aspect of this is critical."
He suggested offering public information meetings early on to answer residents' questions. The Monday proposal was the first time McConnell presented it to board members. She said she kept it from the other members so they would not have to suffer any criticism it incurs.
(12/8/2000) The following is an article from the Springfield Times:
Springfield's arts community is working diligently to find a central location in downtown Springfield to foster the visual and performance arts. The search for space for a cultural arts center comes after years of frustration on the part of local theater and musical groups who have long bemoaned the lack
of available space for performances. Other artists in the community have also searched in vain for a place to display their work.
Interested citizens gathered last Wednesday to discuss the future of the cultural center and to alert the community of the different services they would like to see incorporated into the center. The proposed cultural center has become part of Springfield's revitalization effort, but it will probably be years before a
building for this use is constructed. "What we need now is a presence," said Dorothy MacConkey, a volunteer in the effort. The arts groups are looking to occupy a building in the interim where they can display work and set up a headquarters.
The meeting allowed community artists to develop a "wish list" of all the components they would like to see included in the cultural center. At the top of the list was adequate performance and practice space, including auditoriums of varying seating capabilities and plenty of storage space. The dancers requested
dance studios with sprung floors and affordable rehearsal areas. The musicians stressed the importance of proper acoustics, asking for an acoustic expert to weigh in on the design and architecture of the center. Visual artists said display and gallery space were at the top of their list, as well as work areas including a print
shop, pottery studio, glass blowing area and painters' workshop.
While the groups are still looking for that temporary space, they are moving forward on other fronts. The cultural center became an incorporated, not-for-profit organization in November and will apply for 501-C status after the first of the year, making donations tax deductible. The cultural center is already supported by
local artists, Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman's (D) office and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. "The opportunity is really here for changes in central Springfield," said Central Springfield Area Revitalization Council (C-SPARC) President Bob Gray, who is also treasurer of the cultural center.
"We think the cultural center is really an integral part of the new downtown." Kauffman said a cultural center has been on C-SPARC's list of goals since 1989. Skeeter Scheid, with the Springfield Art Guild, said the art guild has spoken of organizing a communal art center for years. "Here we are 14
years later and it looks like we are actually going to do it," Scheid said. The building will hopefully attract outside performances and art shows and will act as a home to all the various artists residing in the greater Springfield area.
The group invites people to visit its Web site at www.springfieldculturalcenter.org to learn more information, submit ideas or join the effort.
(12/8/2000) The Kingstowne Cat Clinic has officially moved to its new location at 5830 Kingstowne Center Drive, Suite 120.
(11/21/2000) The following is an article in today's Washington Post about our cable services:
A prospective competitor has applied to compete with Cox Communications for Fairfax County's lucrative cable television business, even as county officials fined Cox for providing poor customer service and county supervisors yesterday lambasted a company executive for
offering a substandard product.
Starpower, a joint venture of Pepco already providing some local service, proposes to build a system to provide subscribers with cable television, local and long-distance phone service, and high-speed Internet access. Supervisors will hold a public hearing next month on Starpower's proposal.
The entry of a challenger to Cox's monopoly on the county's 240,000 cable subscribers came as welcome news to supervisors, who have long been critical of Cox and its predecessor, Media General, for providing subpar service at some of the highest rates in the region. Cox does not provide cable service anywhere
else in the Washington area.
Yesterday, that criticism reached new intensity, as supervisors warned Cox General Manager Gary T. McCollum that they were losing patience. Complaints to their offices about the cable service have skyrocketed in recent months, they told McCollum.
"They are your customers, but they are my constituents," said Supervisor Penelope A. Gross (D-Mason). "When they are angry at you, they are angry at me, and I don't like that."
For the first time, county officials this month fined Cox $14,600 for failing to live up to contractual standards that require its customer service representatives to answer phone calls in an average of 60 seconds. The company failed to meet that standard for 73 days during the third quarter, officials reported
Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock) told McCollum that if he did not resolve customer complaints soon, she and other supervisors were willing to help the marketplace do it for him.
Referring to Starpower's application, Bulova reminded McCollum that "we do not have an exclusive franchise with Cox. I would like to point out that competition is underway."
McCollum told board members that he is aware of the increasing complaints. But he attributed the problems to the company's ongoing effort to replace aging coaxial cables with high-speed fiber-optic cables.
That work has prompted a doubling of calls to Cox customer service centers, he said. The company has added Sunday service and hired 300 more workers but still cannot handle all its calls, he said.
"We continue to believe we are moving in the right direction," he said. "A customer calling today on a Sunday may have an extended wait. But remember, a year ago there was nobody around to answer their call."
McCollum said the rewiring will be complete by mid-2002, and he promised that by then, customers will see improvement in picture quality and customer service response times.
Those comments did not seem to mollify supervisors, who last year delayed Cox's purchase of Media General while they demanded answers to long-simmering complaints. Customers in the county have long complained that they are forced to use outdated cable converter boxes that make it impossible to record one show
while watching another or to use features of their television sets, such as picture-in-picture. McCollum said fiber optics will solve those problems.
"We expected more progress than we have seen so far," said Supervisor Gerald E. Connolly (D-Providence).
County officials said they hoped that Starpower's interest in Fairfax will help spur improvement. Throughout the industry, cable companies face new competition from satellite companies even as they attempt to compete with phone companies and Internet providers.
For decades, companies such as Cox have operated as monopolies, being the only source of cable television stations such as CNN, the Cable News Network. Starpower, which is fairly new to the region, could change all that.
"Their intent is that . . . ultimately, everybody who has access to Cox will also have as an alternative access to Starpower," said Ron Mallard, the county's chief cable regulator. "It's the condition we've been striving for for a long time--competition in the marketplace."
But county residents probably will have to wait quite some time for intense competition to make a difference, even if supervisors approved Starpower's application as early as next month.
It would take eight to 10 years before the company's system is fully built in Fairfax, Starpower officials said, although some Fairfax residents might be able to order service within a year to 18 months after county officials approved the franchise.
Starpower is building systems in Arlington and Montgomery counties and in Falls Church, and it has temporary approval to offer cable in the District. The company has subscribers in Washington, Gaithersburg and parts of Silver Spring.
(11/17/2000) The highlights of the Kingstowne Annual meeting are as follows:
WTS, the firm which operates the Fitness Center and activities, announced that they will start selling gift certificates for fitness classes.
Copies of the Kingstowne marketing video are available at the KROC Business Office for a nominal fee
The monthly assessment will go up about $2 per month but it is one of the lowest in the area.
Renovations for the tot lots will begin next spring.
The KROC joined the Great Springfield Chamber of Commerce to end the divergence of goals between the two organizations.
The Fairfax County Police announced that enforcement of the county tax stickers will start 11/16.
Supervisor Kauffman had these announcements:
The Lee District Land Use Committee approved the changes for the Expo Design Center
The Board of Supervisors approved the expansion of the North Center for use as fitness facilities.
The Metro has been authorized to start using more cars for the trains going to the Franconia-Springfield and Huntington stations
Some small retail shops and services may be added to the ground floor of the Metro Station.
Belauh Street will have it widening completed necxt year.
The plan to put Van Dorn street under the intersection with Franconis Road has been approved.
There will be 2 new office buildings near the medical campus in addition to the existing ones recently leased out.
(11/5/2000) Fairfax County has issued a reminder that Virginia voters are required to provide identification or sign an ``Affirmation of Identity" at the polls, following legislation adopted this year by the Virginia General Assembly.
Acceptable forms of identification are: a Virginia Voter Information Card; Virginia driver's license or special identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles; valid United States passport; military ID card; any federal, state or local government-issued ID card; employer-issued photo ID card;
or a Social Security card.
A voter who fails to bring acceptable identification to the polls may still vote after signing, under oath, an ``Affirmation of Identity," which is the voter's certification in writing that the name and address information provided to the election officials at the polling place is correct.
For information, contact the Fairfax County Electoral Board at (703) 222-0776. REMEMBER TO VOTE! CHOICE OR LOSE!
(11/5/2000) One of our readers has reported that a class action suit against manufacturers of water heaters installed in parts of Kingstowne has come to a conclusion. If you had a water heater installed between 1993 and 1999, you are covered in all probability. These heaters have a defective part
called a dip tube which if it fails can do major damage to a homes plumbing system. The settlement will provide a certificate which can be used to make the repair which costs approximately $200. The court has set up a web site at www.diptubesettlement.com which gives all the
information and a claim form.
(10/31/2000) The Lee District Planning Committee of Fairfax County, VA will be meeting on November 6 to discuss a proposed EXPO Design Center in Kingstowne in place of the movie theatre. This page, sponsored by EXPO Design Center, has been created
to provide our community with information on the design center. To see their new site about their proposed store in Kingstowne, go to: Expo Design Centers
(10/10/2000) EXPO Design Center has commissioned DITT~Inc to create a web page to provide information on its proposed store in Kingstowne. To see their new site about their proposed store in Kingstowne, go to: Expo Design Centers
- (10/9/2000) In a letter from Supervisor Dana Kauffman to the Kingstowne community, the following are the current status of local projects:
- Fairfax County has negotiated with landowners to acquire 102 acres for wetlands mitigation which is next to Huntley Meadows Park and the USCG installation. This area will kept in their natural state forever.
- The County is also designing and building storm water detention ponds. The design has been completed for the dredging of the ponds within the Greendale Golf Course. In addition, the design of the new pond at the intersection of South Van Dorn Street and King Centre Drive is almost
completed and the final plan submission is underway.
- Road construction on the South Van Dorn Street extension may begin as soon as spring 2001 depending on the completion of the stormwater management projects.
- (9/29/2000) The following is an article from the Springfield Times. Late last week Bolvin announced to the Manchester residents that VDOT approved the much desired stoplight. "The stoplight has been a very important issue for many of our residents, because their only way out
of their community is at that intersection," said Lisa Goodfriend, president of the Manchester Lakes Master Association.
- The Manchester Lakes community houses 1,390 homes located on both sides of the boulevard. The only access to the Kings Crossing and Tiers Two communities is at the intersection. The residents on the north side of the street have the option to drive through their
community to the Hayfield light, or wait, "up to 10 minutes," Goodfriend said. "It will really help the neighborhood community to get out of their homes," Bolvin said.
VDOT conducted a survey of the intersection in August of 1999, and "at that time the volume did not meet the signal warrant," said Joan Morris, VDOT spokeswoman. "We have since learned that there is development coming to the area that will significantly increase the traffic and will then meet our signal
warrant," Morris said. Instead of waiting for a fatal accident to occur, Bolvin said he is being "proactive."
VDOT engineers are currently working on the signal design, which should be completed by early November. "From that time it will take up to a year, it could be sooner, but we've got a long list. I am giving you the worst case scenario," Morris said.
Roberta Cain, Kingstowne community grounds manager, is hesitant about the light. "A lot of people run the light at Beulah and the parkway. I see an accident happening," Cain said. Goodfriend believes that the flow of traffic will not be interrupted if the lights are staggered correctly.
According to Morris, the majority of the funding for the traffic light, which can cost upwards of $100,000, is coming from a developer's proffer.
- (9/15/2000) The Eton Square Board of Directors have recently voted to discontinue its web site due to a lack of response to the site. The Board is exploring various options to keep its homeowners informed.
- (9/14/2000) The following are the highlights of the Kingstowne meeting at Hayfield Secondary School tonight. First, the theater concept is being retained in the plans but it will be downsized to a 15,000 square foot cinema with 2-4 theaters which will be placed on the side of a large
store. The large store will be an Expo Design Center (a division of Home Depot which focuses on high-end home design and renovations). The Expo Design Center will take 105,000 sq ft. and have its own parking for 450-500 cars. It will include a cafe, library, and many stores within a store. Second, the Towne
Center will include a gourmet style Safeway (67,000 sq ft) which will open in SEP 2001. The nearest Expo Design Center is currently in Fairfax by Fair Lakes. Applications for zoning changes have been submitted for this change of plans. Third, the Towne Center will include three or four major restaurants (Pizza Uno, Panera
Bread, and another yet to be signed) and 2-3 minor ones. About 25,000 sq ft of store space is still available in the plaza area. Construction work on the office towers will begin soon. Finally, work on the South Van Dorn extension will begin the Summer, 2001.
- (9/14/2000) The KROC has made the following announcements. The Kingstowne Residential Owners Corporation will hold its 2000 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 14th, beginning at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lane Elementary School, 7137 Buelah Street. In addition to electing two
members of the Board of Trustees, this year's meeting will also include the election of Neighborhood Association Board (NAB) members.
- (8/20/00) The following is a report from the AUG 16 edition of the Springfield Times. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved plans for a hotel and a service station with fast food and a car wash for the Kingstowne community. "What was approved helps preserve 4 acres
of buffer zone and brings a hotel to the area," said Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D-Lee).
The approval involved swapping the zoning designation for about 4 acres of one of the proposed plots with about 4 acres of open space.
The area needs a hotel, Kauffman said, because Kingstowne compares to Falls Church in terms of population, but does not have a hotel.
The plans call for a four-story, 120-room, L-shaped hotel with 137 parking spaces along South Van Dorn Street between King Centre Drive and Kingstowne Boulevard.
Kauffman said that it would likely be an extended-stay hotel. The 3,500-square-foot six-pump gas station with fast food and 41 parking spaces will be constructed in front of the hotel. An attached 3,840-square-foot building will house a car wash.
"The service station actually induces competition," Kauffman said, pointing out that Kingstowne has only one gas station now.
The board also approved a 38,000-square-foot, three-story office building on Kingstowne Centre Drive.
"This basically mirrors the highly successful first office building Kingstowne put up," Kauffman said, adding that offices help keep the area busy during the day by attracting companies to the offices and high quality retail to the surrounding shopping centers.
Ronda DeSplinter, executive director for the Kingstowne Residential Owners Corp., said the community welcomes the new building.
"We're very pleased with the quality of office buildings," she said. "We're extremely pleased."
DeSplinter also said the organization would have architectural control of the new developments.
Kauffman said that plans were in the works for another five-story office building in the Kingstowne Town Centre.
(8/20/00) Fairfax County offers free double-shredded wood and leaf mulch at seven sites. The program is self-serve and self-haul.
Locations and hours are: I-95 Landfill, 9850 Furnace Road, Lorton, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and the I-66 Transfer Station, 4618 West Ox Road, Fairfax, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The mulch is also available at five county parks during daylight hours: Baron Cameron, 11300 Baron Cameron Drive, Reston; Lewinsville, 1659 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean; Pine Ridge, 3401 Woodburn Road, Annandale; E.C. Lawrence, Route 28, Centreville; and Grist Mill, 4320 Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway,
Alexandria section. For information, call the Mulch Hotline at (703) 324-5995.
(8/14/2000) The following is an article by Dusty Smith of the Springfield Times concerning the ban on parking RVs and boats:
Communities all across the county gained a new right at the Board of Supervisors' last meeting of the summer session--the ability to ban recreational vehicle parking on public roads within their communities. Residents of Manchester Lakes in Lee District have been seeking a way to ban parking by such large vehicles for years, not
simply because they are community eyesores, but because they pose a safety hazard for drivers, they say.
"Our biggest concern was the safety," said Lisa Goodfriend, president of the Manchester Masters Association.
She said that large recreational vehicles in the Manchester Lakes area block the view of drivers entering main public roads from the private "stem" roads where houses sit.
She said the blocked view caused several near misses in the past year. In addition, during the winter, snow plows cannot properly clear the streets, say residents of Manchester Lakes and Kingstowne. Only enough snow can be plowed to allow one car to pass between the boats and trailers.
"Since these vehicles just sit, we can't get the roads plowed," she said.
Even without snow, some of the residents told supervisors during the Aug. 7 public hearing that they had to cross into oncoming lanes to get by some wide vehicles.
"Manchester Lakes Drive is so narrow and some of the parked boats and RVs are so wide that it is necessary to cross over the double yellow line to pass them," said Thomas Sachs, president of the Townes at Manchester Park Homeowners Association.
He also pointed out the visual interference caused by large vehicles parked near intersections.
Many communities already ban RVs on private roads.
"All of the people that moved into Kingstowne signed a document," said Kathleen Snyder, president of the Kingstowne Residential Owners Corp., explaining that RVs are banned in her community.
Snyder said that about two years ago, responsibility for some of the main roads in her community were relinquished to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Before VDOT took control, she said a simple note left on the vehicles usually was enough to get the owners to move them.
Once the control of the roads changed hands, she said, the boats and RVs arrived and her community joined Manchester Lakes in pursuing the right to ban them.
"In a community as dense as ours, it's a decision you have to make," Snyder said, adding that there just isn't enough space in the area for such large vehicles.
She also said residents believe many vehicles belong to people from other areas of the county.
"Unfortunately, we truly believe at least 50 percent of the vehicles do not belong to people who live here," she said.
Supervisor Dana Kauffman urged Virginia Sen. Linda "Toddy" Puller (D-36th) and Del. Tom Bolvin (R-43rd) to push the bill through the General Assembly. The bill passed during the last session of the assembly, clearing the way for the county to act.
Kauffman's office received 155 letters and e-mails in support of the ban, 10 in opposition and one requesting more information.
"Without your enacting this code, Manchester Lakes is an accident waiting to happen," Sachs told the board.
Kauffman faced skepticism from some other board members who said they felt allowing the ban in Fairfax County would just cause the vehicles to be moved to communities without the ban.
In the end, all voting members agreed to give communities the right to petition for such a ban. Supervisor Stuart Mendelsohn (R-Dranesville) did not vote and Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully) was not present.
Now communities can request that the board approve a ban in their communities if 75 percent of the affected households, not individuals, sign a petition.
Manchester Lakes residents believe they already have enough support for the ban.
"Overall, we've had a majority of people who support the ban," Goodfriend said. "We had not had anyone come up to us and say we want to keep the boats here."
In fact, she said on Tuesday that a call had already been placed to Kauffman's office to request the necessary information to proceed.
(8/11/2000) The Kingstowne Cat Clinic is moving the end of the year. Don't panic; it is only moving a mile down the road into the Kingstowne Shopping Center (where Giant and Ross are located). The clinic's staff is all excited about this. They will go from having 1200sf to 2800sf.
(8/6/2000) Construction has started on a new Courtyard Marriott where Blackie's used to stand on Commerce Street in Springfield. It will be four stories and have 141 rooms. And addition, Marriott will be building an extended stay hotel, Townplace Suites, across from McDonalds on the North Side of I-95
(8/6/2000) FYI, there will be some artwork to added to the Springfield-Franconia Metro Station soon by the Kiss and Ride.
(7/18/2000) There will be a Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on 8/7/2000 on the Parking Issue and proposals to ban or limit the parking of boats, RVs, etc.
(7/16/2000) The building which use to have MJ Designs will be split three ways. One part will become Ross For Less (as advertised outside), one will become a mortgage company, and another will be the Kingstowne Cat Clinic after it moves this fall.
(7/16/2000) The new senior citizen apartment complex in Manchester Lakes behind the new Rite Aid has opened up yesterday.
(7/6/2000) The Kingstowne Board of Trustees announced the following developments with the Towne Center:
- The developer has confirmed the following retail stores: a prototype of a new gourmet Safeway food store, TJ Maxx, The Avenue (women's clothing), Wolf Camera, the World Market, and a bakery. The first retail stores will be open in early 2001.
- The construction on the first restaurant, a Pizzeria Uno, will start later this month.
- There still will be a 150,000 sq. ft. office tower, which has a three level parking garage built in to match the building's design.
- There are currently negotiations for bringing in a Toys R Us and a Lazy Boy Furniture Gallery.
- The movie theater project is currently on hold. Sony was had previous made a commitment to build a theater in Kingstowne, backed away in a effort to build a site at the Springfield Mall. However, Fairfax County rejected Sony's plans. The costs for Sony to change its plans to meet the County's
will make building at the Springfield Mall are prohibitive. So, in effect, Kingstowne is awaiting word from Sony on whether it wishes to pursue the Kingstowne Tome Center option again. An attempt to bring in another company, Edward Communications, failed to the general slowdown in the construction of new theater
projects due to major financial losses of the theater chains due to overbuidling and lack of new movies.
(7/6/2000) Supervisor Kauffman has announced that Phase III of the South Van Dorn Street extension to Telegraph Road will be done in a year and a half.
(7/6/2000) Across from the Festival at Manchester Lakes, there is construction of the following: a Rite Aid drug store, a day care center, a bank, and two restaurants. Unfortunately, the opening of the day care center and the Rite Aid store is being delayed until the builder puts in a proffered traffic
light. Supervisor Kauffman's office is working with VDOT to develop a plan which will allow for an alternate exit and entrance until the traffic light is installed.
(7/6/2000) the North Village Center will be expanded renovated to accommodate new gym facilities once the finally approval is granted at a meeting of Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on AUG 7.
(6/6/2000) Delegate Tom Bolvin of the 43rd District will host a Town Hall meeting on
Tuesday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the Kingstowne Thompson Community Center, located at 6090 Kingstowne Village Parkway Kingstowne, VA 22315.
Delegate Bolvin will use the meeting to brief the community on various public policy initiatives, recap some important legislation and address local issues in the District. All citizens are encouraged to attend and participate in the forum. Delegate Bolvin encourages questions and ideas from the public.
Questions: If you have specific topics or issues you would like to discuss at this forum, please call George E. Koklanaris, Legislative Aide to Delegate Bolvin, at (703) 719-7301 or email them to either firstname.lastname@example.org or Higgins@kingstowne.org.
Directions: Call the Kingstowne Business Office at (703) 922-9477.
(6/4/2000) According to reports from the Springfield Connection, the Fairfax County Police are investigating a series of peeping incidents in Kingstowne and Manchester Lakes. There have been two suspects. One is a white male, 5'11", 210 pounds, possibly driving a Ford Explorer or a Toyota
Pathfinder. The other suspect is a black male, 6' tall, and weighing about 195 pounds. Most of the incidents occur between 8 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. If you see these suspects, please call the Fairfax County Police at (703) 691-2131.
(5/28/2000) According to a Springfield Times report, the Fairfax County Fire Marshall's Office and the ATF have charged Paul E. Dickson of Springfield with burning a church and entering a church to commit a felony in connection with the fire at the Kingstowne Baptist Church back in March. Judy Dickson, his
wife, stated that he accused her of having an affair with Rev. Clyde Duncan, the pastor of the church. In addition, Mr. Dickson had made threats to the minister. Rev. Duncan had counseled the couple on marital problems. In addition, Mr. Dickson faces domestic assault charges from his wife and stepson and
tampering with his wife's car. Mr. Dickson's trial will start June 1. The rebuilding of the church will start in a year. Meanwhile, services for the church will continue at the South Center.
(5/12/2000) Volunteer Fairfax reports has posted many opportunities for community service in the area. Groups seeking helpers include the Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton, Project Word/Encircling Families, Fairfax County Court Services in General District Court, Fairfax County Department of Family Services,
Fairfax Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Literacy Council of Northern Virginia,
Fairfax County Park Authority, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's Alcohol and Drug Services, and Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services. A wide range of volunteer positions is available, from receptionists to furniture-movers to gardeners. Call (703) 246-3460.
(4/30/2000) according to a report by the Springfield Times, there is a proposal to open a Medieval Times restaurant across from the Huntington Metro Station on Route 1. It would be large restaurant (60,000 sq feet) which specializes in Medieval European fare while knights joust on horses in a tournament. It
the Fairfax Board of Supervisors is considering the project but it would require a zoning change first.
(4/30/2000) The Mid-Atlantic Golf Center in Kingstowne is now open for business! Its hours of operation will be 8:00 am - 9:30 pm Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am - 11:00 pm Friday through Sunday. For more information, call Glen Barrett at (703) 924-2600.
(4/30/2000) The KROC Board of Trustees will be sponsoring an Open House for Realtors on May 2, at 10:00 - 12:00 p.m. at the Thompson Center.
(4/30/2000) The Kingstowne Baptist Church will continue meeting at the South Center throughout May.
(4/30/2000) The KROC Business office has announced the following developments:
- There will be 20 single family homes built at the corner of Kingstowne Village Parkway and Beulah Street (across from Amherst Village). The developer is Cortland Homes. For more info, call (703) 658-6073.
- There is a proposal for 75 single family homes at the corner of Kingstowne BLVD and South van Dorn Street. Porten Homes is the developer.
- Ryland Homes is building 88 townhomes on Greendale Village Drive, north of Green Dale Ave.
- Just outside the boundaries of Kingstowne, Nelson Estates is now building three single family estates between the Kingstowne Baptist Church and Bristol Gables.
(4/11/2000) Please note: The Kingstowne Baptist Church is meeting at the South Center during the month of April due to the damage from the fire. Please e-mail us about further news or developments.
(4/8/2000) As a follow up to last week's story, donations to rebuild the First Baptist Church of Kingstowne are being received at Crestar Bank at Kingstowne Circle Drive. If anyone knows where services are being held, please e-mail us and let us know.
(4/6/2000) Fairfax County will conduct two public meetings to receive residents' comments on proposed bus changes in Springfield and Lorton. The adjustments affect Fairfax Connector routes 204, 303 and 383. Following approval by the Board of Supervisors, implementation
of the changes is scheduled for this summer. The meetings are set for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, APR 8 at Key Middle School, 6402 Franconia Road, Springfield, and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, APR 9, at Lorton Community Library, 9520 Richmond Highway, Lorton. For information on the proposed bus route changes, contact the
Department of Transportation at (703) 324-1172 or TTY (703) 324-1102, or visit the Web site at www.fairfaxconnector.com. Comments may also be provided by phone or in writing by April 21. Mail comments to: ATTN: Comments for Service Change Proposals, Fairfax County
Department of Transportation, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 1034, Fairfax, Va. 22035, or call the Department of Transportation. For current Fairfax Connector route and schedule information, call the Information Center at (703) 339-7200, TTY (703) 339-1608.
(4/1/2000) Supervisor Kauffman has announced that the Kingstowne Library will be open on June 24, 2000.
(4/1/2000) During the latest meeting of the KROC Board of Trustees, Halle Enterprises presented a plan for the development of a gas station (probably Texaco) with a car wash and an extended-stay hotel (probably Ramada) in the lot adjacent to Kohl's department
store. Leases are being finalized for three major restaurant (which were not named) near the entrance to the Towne Center.
(4/1/2000) There will be new Aerobics Center opening at the South Center on APR 3. Listing for different classes are listed in the Kingstonian. Aqua aerobics will be starting on JUN 13.
(3/27/2000) The First Baptist Church of Kingstowne near the South Center was destroyed by a fire this morning at 3:00 a.m. The fire was believed to have started near the church's kitchen. Temporary space in several locations during the rebuilding has
been offered, more details to follow as we get them.
(3/25/2000) The new Kingstowne Post Office will officially open on Monday, 27 MAR 00. There will be a Grand Opening ceremony on Friday, 31 MAR 00 at 10:30 with refreshments and tours of the new post office. The post office is located at 5900 Barclay
Drive, Kingstowne. Its business hours will be 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., Monday - Friday and 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Its customer service number is (703) 719-7780.
(3/22/2000) Contrary to previous reports, the building at Hayfield Road and Manchester Boulevard in the Silver Lake Development is not the Chili's. It seems that a child care facility names the Chesterbrook Academy, which is now currently enrolling students will be
(3/22/2000) Our sources have been told that the Silver Lake Development has two restaurants in consideration and should sign a lease in April. Their names have not been released.
(3/17/2000) Gov. Gilmore has signed legislation that allows Fairfax County to regulate or prohibit parking of watercraft, boat trailers, motor homes, and camping trailers on any public highway in the county. It becomes effective July 1, 2000, or after Fairfax
develops its guidelines. Time to move that boat or camper!
(3/10/2000) The new Kingstowne Post Office is now slated to be open at the end of March according to a query done last night at the Franconia Post Office.
(3/10/2000) In an article by Robert White in the Fairfax Journal, two Northern Virginia legislators are pushing the federal government to ease traffic congestion by getting more federal employees to take mass transit or work from home. U.S. Rep. James P.
Moran Jr., D-8th District, has asked the Defense Department to proceed with a program offering subsidies to its Washington, D.C., area employees to get to work via bus or subway. "All federal agencies in the Washington area should act aggressively to encourage the use of mass transit by federal workers," Moran
wrote in a March 1 letter to Defense Secretary William Cohen. The federal government is the largest employer in the region, with the Defense Department having the most local employees, Moran noted. The Pentagon told Congress earlier last month that it does not have money available to offer the subsidies, although it
is trying to develop a program allowing employees to use pre-tax earnings to pay for mass transit fares. Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th District, yesterday continued his push to expand the federal government's telecommuting programs and making more federal
employees eligible for reduced mass-transit fares. About 20 percent of the region's 350,000 federal workers are currently eligible for the reduced fares. President Clinton has not signed an executive order expanding those benefits, so Wolf yesterday brought the fight to the House Appropriations Committee,
successfully attaching the provision to a supplemental spending bill. The legislation moves to the full House next week. "This is too important to our region," Wolf said in an interview yesterday morning. "For every car you take off the road, you enable the traffic situation to get better." Last
week, Wolf introduced legislation establishing a $500 annual tax credit for private or public sector employees who telework - work from home or at a satellite office - at least 75 days per year. A new study by George Mason University in Fairfax concluded that for every 1 percent of the regional workforce that does not
commute to the office, there is a corresponding 3 percent decrease in traffic delays.
(3/4/2000) According to the Springfield Connection, Armstrong Management is requesting that VDOT perform another study to have a traffic signal posted at the intersection of Manchester Blvd and Manchester lakes Drive. A study done in 1999 stated that the area has
not built up enough in terms of traffic numbers and accident rates to warrant another light but many area residents have become concerned that traffic speeds are 15 to 20 MPH over the posted speed limit of 35 MPH. VDOT has stated that another study is under consideration.
(3/4/2000) The Friends of Huntley Meadows Park have received a Community Interpretive Service Award from the National Association for Interpretation. The award is presented to an individual, group or organization that has furthered the efforts of interpretation in a
community. The Friends were cited for their funding support for interpretive programs, signs and resource management as well as support of the summer intern and day camp programs at Huntley Meadows Park. The group was nominated by the Fairfax County Park Authority's Resource Management Division. The National
Association for Interpretation is a professional organization for park naturalists, heritage interpreters, zoo and museum educators, and park managers, with more than 3,800 members.
(3/4/2000) Fairfax County Park Authority has acquired the Lamond Property, a 17.9-acre wooded site on Fort Hunt Road in the Alexandria section. Park officials say the land will remain as a quiet refuge for visitors in its natural setting. An historic 1940s home on
the property will be used for community meetings, seminars and receptions. Call (703) 324-8662.
(2/14/2000) Ross Dress for Less has announced that it open soon at the former site of MJ Designs at the Kingstowne Center Drive.
(2/12/2000) Delegate Tom Bolvin's House Bill 1466 passed the Transportation Committee on 2/10/2000 with 25-0 Yes in Favor of the Parking issue being presented (see 2/9/2000 article). It has had a First Reading in the House today, 2/11/2000.
(2/12/2000) Chili's will be a new restaurant in Silver Lake Development across from the Festival at Manchester. It's currently under construction in lower left side of the development down from the new Rite Aid.
(2/12/2000) According to the Fairfax Journal, the Fairfax County Park Authority voted unanimously this week to revoke a policy that allowed Board of Supervisors and Park Authority members to bring three guests along when they golf for free at the county's public
courses. The policy, adopted Jan. 12 by the 12-member board, came under fierce opposition from anti-tax activists and county supervisors, who said it was an inappropriate perk. Supervisors and Park Authority members will still be allowed to bring one guest along for a free 18 holes of golf. The Park Authority plans to review its
entire benefits policy, which permits about 100 current and former public officials and more than 500 parks employees to use nearly all Fairfax recreation facilities free of charge.
- (2/9/2000) During a meeting of the Manchester Lakes Master Association, was announced that legislation has been introduced by Senator Linda Puller and Delegate Tom Bolvin on the Parking Issues that face Fairfax County. Manchester Lakes has had concern on the issue since last June, and our newly elected officials have
introduced legislation House Bill 1466 by Delegate Bolvin and Senate Bill 474 by Senator Puller. In essence if enacted would eliminate the parking of boats, and other types of recreational vehicles on residential streets in the Fairfax County! It will be going before the General Assembly this session.
- (2/9/2000) J C Penney at Landmark will close April 1, 2000. Savings at 25-50% now. It will be replaced by Lord & Taylor in the summer. May Department stores will be the major stockholder at Landmark Mall owning both Hechts and Lord and Taylor stores.
- (2/6/2000) According to an interview with employees at the Fronconia Post Office, the new Kingstowne Post Office should be open for business around March 1st.
- (2/6/2000) Manhattan Bagels at the Manchester Lakes Festival will be opened at its new loccation between Jerry's Subs and Blockbuster Video around March 1st.
- (1/30/2000) According to a recent Fairfax Journal article by Joanne Kelly, a Virginia Department of Transportation crew worked yesterday to repair an immense pothole - estimated at 3 feet wide and 15 feet long - that caused a tractor-trailer to crash into a dividing wall on the Capital Beltway near the Van Dorn Street
interchange in Alexandria.
The force of the crash, which occurred about 6 p.m. Wednesday, was so great, police said, that the truck almost crashed through the wall and into oncoming lanes of traffic. The vehicle also lost more than 100 gallons of fuel.
The pothole, and two others near it, became evident within a day after Tuesday's major snowstorm swept into the area.
The two left lanes of the Beltway were closed until 9 p.m. Wednesday during the accident cleanup. Then transportation officials opened those lanes and closed the right lanes to fill the potholes. Construction work continued yesterday between morning and afternoon rush hours, also causing traffic backups.
Officials said they have yet to see many potholes in Northern Virginia this winter, although some have been spotted on Interstate 395 near Edsall Road, and others are expected to develop near the Telegraph Road exit on the Beltway's Outer Loop.
- (11/27/99) Calling it a vote for stability, Fairfax supervisors promoted Deputy County Executive Anthony H. Griffin to the local bureaucracy's highest post Monday afternoon. Supervisors opted to forgo a lengthy and expensive national search to replace outgoing County Executive Robert J. O"Neill, turning instead to
their number two man for the past decade.
Rather than have a major disruption and do a search that would"ve taken months and created a disconnect while we waited for the new county executive ... we realized continuity was more important to us,- said Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield), who was said to be one of Griffin"s strongest proponents.
Griffin"s appointment is effective Jan. 15, pending salary negotiations. O"Neill, who earned $177,000 a year in salary and benefits, resigned recently after two years with Fairfax to take over a national government think tank.
Griffin, 52, is a former Marine who got his start in local government with Arlington County. He came to Fairfax in 1989 after spending six years as the Falls Church city manager. He lives in western Fairfax County with his wife, Lucy. The couple has a son, who is a college freshman, and a teenage daughter, who attends a
Fairfax County high school.
- (9/19/99) Fairfax County is holding a series of meetings for County residents to comment on the proposed Northern Virginia 2020 Transportation Plan developed by the Northern Virginia Transportation Coordinating Council (TCC). The 2020 Transportation Plan is a comprehensive 20-year study that: identifies bus, rail transit,
roadway and non-motorized transportation needs; suggests improvements to increase mobility and reduce congestion; and updates the previous 2010 plan. The 2020 Transportation Plan has evaluated short, medium, and long-term transportation needs in Northern Virginia, and has recommended specific improvements that should be
All local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia will be holding public information meetings between Sept. 1 and Oct. 15, 1999. Once the TCC completes its evaluation of the comments provided by citizens, additional work will be conducted to establish transportation priorities and identify possible funding methods. Your input now is
important as the TCC makes these decisions. The meeting for the Kingstowne area will be on Saturday, Oct. 9, 1999 at 9 a.m. at the Lee District Franconia Governmental Center on 6121 Franconia Road in Alexandria.
- (5/24/99) The Kingstowne Post Office is finally under construction.
- (4/23/99) According to the Fairfax Journal, Cox Communications Inc.'s planned $1.4 billion acquisition of Media General Cable should have little impact on Media General's 240,000 subscribers in Fairfax County, the cable system's chairman said. "Cox is a company that has a philosophy a lot like ours," said
Media General Cable CEO Thomas E. Waldrop. "They have a strong commitment to their employees, customer support and community outreach."
Atlanta-based Cox, a leading cable television and telecommunications provider, serves 450,000 customers in southeastern Virginia and Roanoke and 3.8 million nationwide. In addition to its holdings in Fairfax, Media General Cable has about 20,000 subscribers in Fredericksburg.
Cox has pledged to retain the cable system's 500 employees in Northern Virginia, said Waldrop, who expects to remain as CEO of the new company.
- (4/23/99) According to the Burke Times, Congressmen from Northern Virginia are working this week to clear away road blocks put up by a federal judge, effectively stalling work to replace the deteriorating Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
In a ruling last week, U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin in Washington, D.C., said a more detailed environmental review must be done before work can continue on replacing the region�s main Potomac River crossing.
In addition, Sporkin said the Federal Highway Administration did not adequately consider a smaller 10-lane alternative,
which was pushed by a group of local activists who filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Originally designed to carry 75,000 vehicles a day, the bridge now handles nearly 200,000 cars and trucks a day. Highway officials say the bridge can last another five years under current conditions.
A new 12-lane bridge is slated to be built directly south of the current crossing. If it's not replaced before then, officials say a heavy truck ban will have to be enforced in order to prolong use of the existing bridge.
That prospect alarms local leaders, who said truck traffic would have to be rerouted to Interstate 395, Route 1 or the
American Legion Bridge via the Beltway. It's not yet clear whether Sporkin's ruling will be appealed. Federal officials
are looking at whether the additional studies would take just as long as an appeal. In the meantime, design work will
continue on the new bridge, according to John Undeland, spokesman for the bridge project. The court
order only stops construction, but the planned timetable has little flexibility, he added. "We're under a tight schedule, and any delay makes it difficult to meet our goals to replace the bridge before it structurally fails," Undeland said.
Fairfax supervisors are worried about the added wear and tear such a ban would put on the Beltway. "The material effects of a truck ban is that traffic backs up almost to the Mixing Bowl, and that worries me,"said Supervisor
Dana Kauffman (D-Lee). The prospect of having more truck traffic roll through Old Town Alexandria via Route 1 doesn't appeal to Mayor Kerry Donley (D) either.
- (4/15/99) Allied Communications will be opening a new telephone store next to the Burger King in Kingstowne.
- (4/15/99) There will be a new Hard Times Cafe opening soon at the Springfield Plaza.
- (4/15/99) VDOT will open an Springfield Interchange Information Store at the Springfield Mall on 1 MAY 99.
- (4/15/99) A Federal judge decreed that the Wilson Bridge may not be reconstructed with a 12 lane design, now the project may be delayed up to a year while a 10 lane design is being developed.
- (4/3/99) The Kingstowne Farmer's Market will reopen on Saturday, 15 MAY 99. It will be open for business on Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. - Noon.
- (4/3/99) The beginning stages of construction on the Springfield Interchange will be visible next week. The far right lane on northbound I-95 south of Route 644 will be closed the night of Monday, 5 APR 99, so that concrete barriers can be placed along the shoulder.
- (4/3/99) As a means to reduce congestion around the Springfield Interchange, Fairfax County has approved a new bus
system which will connect the Metro Station, the Springfield Mall, the Springfield Hilton, the Springfield Plaza, and the
Brookfield Palza starting this fall for at least a year. The project will include four 20 passenger buses that will run on
weekdays. it will run every 24 minutes in each direction during the morning and evening rush hours, and every 30 minutes
from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Most of the funding of for the project is coming from a federal grant of $650,000 and a county match of $180,000. The service will start in this fall.
- (4/3/99) GOV Gilmore has approved $104,000,000 in bonds for road improvements including Route 1 in prince William County, Lee Highway in Fairfax City, Route 123 between Burke and Occoquan. In addition, the Governor sign a bill which will send $30,000,000 in lottery proceeds to the Fairfax County Public Schools.
- (4/3/99) Supervisors Kauffman and Hyland introduced a plan to provide rabies vaccine pellets for wild animals in the
southeast corner of Fairfax County at parks and large dumpsters. Supposely, the peelts do not pose a risk to domesticated animals or humans. This is in reaction to a number of attacks by rabid animals in the last few years in the area.
- (3/14/99) Attention drivers! Local police departments in the area will be participating in the state-wide Operation Clean & Sober program. The operation is aimed at cracking down on aggressive driving and traffic violations which may endanger other drivers. This operation will go on 15-21 MAR 99.
- (3/4/99) Under a proposal by the Fried Company, a 23 acre tract of land a mile east of the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station which has been in the Walker Family since 1860 will undergo the following developments:
- A one room schoolhouse that was originally built in 1884 will be restored. It used to be school to be school for African-American children in the days of segration.
- A set of office buildings, a hotel, a gas station, and two restaurants. This project will be known as the Metro Park.
- (3/4/99) The Inova Health medical office complex will have its groundbreaking this spring on10.5 acres at the northeast corner of the Franconia-Springfield Parkway and the railroad tracks. It will be adjacent to the metro park site.. The facility will include an ambulatory surgical center, a 24-hour emergency
room, and an after hours pediatric clinic. The Fried Company has assured neighbors that Lewin Drive and Acro Lane will not be used by commerical vehicles.
- (3/4/99) The Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. has requested an indefinite postponement of an informalconference being held by the Virginia Health Commissioner on why the proposed Springfield Hospital should be approved anyhow. this appears to place further doubt on the future of the project.
- (3/4/99) Fairfax County Police are looking for a man who robbed the First Virginia Bank branch at 7000 Bland Street in Springfield at about 9:30 a.m. on 27 FEB 99. Poice said a white man in his late 40s or early 50s entered the bank and approached a teller and demanded cash. The man fled on foot after the teller
relinquished an undisclosed sum. The Police described the robber as 5 feet, 5 inches tall with a thin build, gray mustache, wearing a dark knit cap, sunglasses, gray sweatshirt and navy sweatpants.
- (3/1/99) There will be a meeting concerning the Kingstowne Towne Center at Hayfield High School on Friday, 26 MAR 99 at 7:00 p.m. This is a joint venture of the KROC and Supervisor Kauffman's office. More details to follow.
- (2/27/99) An update on the developments on the Kingstowne Towne Center:
- Both the restaurant park and the single-family home issues will be heard by the Planning Commission on 11 MAR 99. The Board of Supervisors will reschedule a hearing and issue a final ruling shortly afterwards.
- The Planning Commission will have a hearing concerning the flex office building on 31 MAR 99.
- (2/27/99) TGI Friday's is building a new restaurant next to Pier One at the Springfield Commons shopping center.
- (2/11/99) Long-term Kingstowne Community Manager, Mary Coscarelli has resigned to pursue new professional interests. Roberta Cain is now serving as Acting Community Manager with assistance from Armstrong Management.
- (2/11/99) The KROC Board of Trustees and Supervisor Kauffman have requested a "town meeting" with a representative from the Halle Company to discuss the development of the Towne Center. The meeting is anticipated sometime in March.
- (2/11/99) The KROC Board of Trustees is developing a plan to meet with the Neighborhood Advisory Boards and individuals to improve direct communications. The Board plans to have its first meeting sometime in March.
- (2/11/99) After reviewing activities during 1998, the KROC management has decided that there will be security personnel at all social functions at all three community centers. With security personnel in place, the following changes have been made:
- Residents will no longer have to retrieve a key.
- Security codes will not be necessary.
- Security personnel will open and close each function.
- (2/10/99) Home Depot at the Springfield Commons Shopping Center is now open!
- (2/5/99) The Fairfax County School Board voted last week to put a proposal for a $45,000,000 secondary school in the South county area on the list of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). This is intended to relieve overcrowding at Hayfield Secondary School due to the rapid population growth in the area. Currently, there is an
available site at the corner of Huntsman BLVD and the Fairfax County Parkway, known as the "Pohick Site." In addition, the School Board added $400,000 to the CIP budget to study building a new middle or secondary school in the area. The next required step towards getting the school built is to obtain funding in the
form of a bond resolution. A bond recommendation will be presented to the School Board on 25 MAR 99, followed by a working session on 26 APR 99. There will be a combined meeting and vote on 29 APR 99. After that point, the bond proposal will go to the Board of Supervisors, which has the power to sell bonds.
- School Superintendent Daniel Domenech and the School Board are hoping to obtain $30,000,000 in state funds over the next two years as a result of GOV Gilmore's proposal to channel state lottery funds into Virginia's public
schools. More word on this development will be coming in March.
- Interesting facts: According to the Springfield Connection, Fairfax County has only been receiving 4% of state
education funds while the county has 14% of the state's student population. Fairfax County has the same number
of students being educated in 550 trailers as Roanoke's County entire school poluation!
- (2/5/99) The plans for the proposed Springfield Hospital became even more doubtful when the Arlington Health Foundation withdrew from its allaince with the Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. in order to keep its tax-exempt status.
Columbia/HCA Healthcare has decline to comment if it intends to continue its plans to build the hospital by itself. It will
have to make a decision before an informal conference at the Commonwealth's Health Commissioner's Office in Richmond on 30 MAR 99. This conference is expected to help the Commissionor which a final decision in choosing between the application of the two proposal by Columbia and Inova Health Systems (which has proposed building
an urgent care center in Springfield).
- (2/5/99) GOV. Gilmore has authorized a pilot program which will extend the hours that westbound commuters on I-66 can use the shoulder lanes. Starting on 1 Mar 99, drivers can use the shoulder lanes from the Beltway to Route 50 from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. for the next eight months. There is also a proposal to add a half an hour
in the morning to the time when communters can use the shoulder lanes. Currently, you can drive on them between 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.
- (2/1/99) In its first official scoop, the Kingstowne Connection found out the reason why the development of the Kingstowne Towne Center has been delayed. The reason for the delay is that when Sony bought the Cineplex Odeon theater chain, it essentailly took the development theater space in Kingstowne. After
the sale, Sony expanded the plans for the theater, delaying the construction. The plans are now for a 20 screen (which was originally planned for 14) screen Loews theater, which caused the developer, the Halle Company to redesigned the plans for adjunctant retail spaces and roadways. In addition, the theater plans
were expanded from 65,000 sq. feet to 91,000 sq. feet. The theater will also include stadium style seating. In related developments:
- According to an article by Carl Sell in the Mt. Vernon-Lee Vantage, there have been several other proposed changes to the Kingstowne Towne Center plan, including:
- The Lee District Land Use Advisory Committee will hold a special meeting on Saturday, 6 FEB 99 to hear an update from the Halle Company concerning the requested changes. Subsequently each proposal will be the subject of a public hearing before the Fairfax County Planning Commission and the Fairfax County Board of
Supervisors. Included among the changes are:
- The development of a restaurant park next to the future Post Office(There are already Letters of Intent signed by Pizzeria Uno and Don Pablo's. Tony Roma's is close to signing as well.
- A flex office building behind Wal-Mart at the site which was going to be the ice rink.
- An extended stay hotel (possibly Marriot) and a gasoline station on South Van Dorn Street.
- A switch to single family homes rather than apartments at the intersection of Van Dorn Street and Kingstowne BLVD for a reduction in density of 101 units and a request for an increase of 26 townhouses in an adjacent section off Greendale Village Drive.
- To meet the demand for single family homes in Kingstowne, the developer proposes to delete 176 multi-family units and build 75 single family homes to match those in Eastbourne across the VA Power easement.
- On 18 FEB 99, the Planning Commission will hear the request to increase the density in to 88 townhouses in Section 47 which is adjacent to the VA Power easement.
- Both the restaurant park and the single-family home issues will be heard by the Planning Commission on 11 MAR 99. The Board of Supervisors will reschedule a hearing and issue a final ruling shortly afterwards.
- The Planning Commission will have a hearing concerning the flex office building on 31 MAR 99.
- (1/28/99) The Manchester Lakes Board of Directors has been working on the parking issue on Manchester Lakes Drive and Charles Arrington. Campers, Boats, Snow Plow Blades (only chained to poles) are being considered for being banned from the road. Since it's a VDOT road, they are trying to limit some of the parking due
to safety issues with all the boats and campers and the wideness of Manchester Lakes Drive.
- (1/28/99) The Rite Aid will move from the Festival probably in September if all goes well. The new store at Manchester Lakes Festival will be a stand alone store, hopefully it will be complete by Labor Day, Rite Aid is moving in the direction of stand alone stores vs being in malls. The Oak Post and others will move to
the vacated stores on the lower area of the Festival. The Manhattan Bagel is moving to where Chicken Roast was, and the rumor is that Shoppers will expand to the Rite Aid Store and become a Shoppers Club.
- (1/17/99) Gov. James Gilmore decided to include funding for four park and ride lots as part of the "Mixing Bowl" construction project. The lots will costs $4.7 million and will provide parking for 1,200 vehicles. It is hoped that these lots will help to reduce the congestion in the area during the
construction project. This decision overrode the recommendations of VDOT's Chief Engineer. Fairfax County officials estimate that the lots will reduce traffic in the Mixing Bowl by 1,000-2,500 cars daily.
- (1/17/99) Construction of the Greyhound Lines bus ticket office and waiting room at the Springfield-Franconia Metro station was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The 588 sq. ft. building will be located across an access road from the transportation center's parking garage and near an existing bus
loading and Kiss-and-Ride area.
- (1/17/99) According to the Springfield Times, the Fairfax County Police arrested Harvey Tunstall from Yadkin Court in Springfield on 6 JAN 99 for six counts of robbery, seven counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and two counts of attempted robbery. Tunstall is suspected in a series of eight
robberies in the last month including the Book Rack, the Baskin Robbins, and Blockbuster Video at the Festival of Manchester Lakes plus the 7-Eleven on Beulah Street. In response to the robberies, the Franconia District Station sent patrol units, bike patrols, and detectives to catch the suspected robber. They caught
him attempting to rob Blockbuster Video at Manchester Lakes.
- (1/17/99) There will be a new deli, Bozzelli's Deli opening at Ft. Belvoir in Building 1189, in the Home & Garden Shop on Monday, 18 JAN 99. For more information, call (703) 781-1997.
- (1/17/99) The Citizens for Springfield Community Hospital are asking local residents to indicate their support for the hospital by calling one of the following officials:
- Supervisor Dana Kauffman at (703) 971-6262
- Supervisor Elaine McConnel at (703) 451-8873
- Chairman Kate Hanley at (703) 324-2324
For more information on this issue, call (703) 912-6000 or see one of the articles below, dated 12/6/98.
- (1/8/99) The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals has granted approval to the Springfield Golf and County Club to
replace the clubhouse on Old Keane Mill Road. The new structure will be twice as large but the amount of parking will
remain the same. The $5.3 million project should start this spring.
- (1/8/99) At a recent forum at West Springfield High School, there was a massive debate concerning a proposed school
on the 35-acre Pohick site at the intersection of Huntsman Blvd and the Fairfax County Parkway. Supporters railed
against the current long commute to hayfield Secondary School, while opponents stated a new school will leave other
facilities underutilized. According to the Springfield Connection, another factor is the uncertainty in the timing and scope
of the development on the grounds of the Lorton correction facility.
- (12/23/98) A new Episcopal church, the Church of the Spirit, has open behind behind the Kingstowne Wal-Mart. For information on the church, call (703) 971-5242.
- (12/17/98) A new musical instrument store, Mars-The Musicians Planet, has just opened at the Springfield Plaza. In addition, Barbeques Galore, Bikes USA, and Blinds to Go have opened too. The Home Depot is ready to open soon too.
- (12/17/98) KSI, Inc (a development company) has changed its plans for its tract of land (where Springdfield's old hydro-conduit plant is now) next to the Metro Center in its rezoning application to Fairfax County. According to a Springfield Times report, the company now plans to build a hotel and townhouses on the 25
acre tract of land in addition to the proposed Springfield Hospital. Recently, the proposed hospital has been facing opposition by local officials. See the 12/6/98 report for more details.
- (12/16/98) Currently, the Silver Lakes development is being built directly across from the Manchester Lakes Shopping Center, at the intersection of Beulah Street and Manchester Boulevard. At the location will be a drive-in bank, a sit-down restaurant, a day-care center, and a separate free-standing senior citizen
housing units (similar to the Sunrise Community in Springfield). In Phase I, there will be 272 units built in two separate buildings. Phase II will contain an additional 349 units, but will only be built if a need exists. There will be a shuttle bus to the Metro for Silver Lake residents. Leases for some of the
commercial units which already been signed include Applebee's Restaurant and Rite Aid Pharmacy.
- (12/16/98) The Landsdowne Shopping Center is being built at the corner of Telegraph Road and will be adjacent to the Landsdowne community. The shopping center will include a 25,600 square foot two-story commercial structure which will include low-density retail and eating establishments. Another two-story
building will have small retail components on the upper level and a 15,000 square foot Fairfax County community library which will have a homework center, community meeting rooms and a quiet area. The library will be open by late summer 1999.
- (12/6/98) According to the Washington Post, the staff of the Virginia Department of Health Services have recommended denying the application of the Columbia Arlington Healthcare System to build a 160-bed hospital in Springfield near the Metro Station. This is the second recommendation against the proposed
hospital. In October 1998, a panel of Northern Virginia officials and others recommended against the application due to the belief that competition from the hospital could hurt nearby medical facilities such as those which are already operated by INOVA in the area. However, the Columbia Arlington Healthcare System
contends that projected growth in the Springfield area indicates a need for a new hospital. The final decision will be made by Acting Health Commissioner William R. Nelson in the next several weeks.
- (12/3/98) The KROC Board of Trustees has voted to support the Fairfax County Planning Commission's latest plan for the park proffers for the proposed 74 acre park area in Kingstowne. A formal letter to the County will be sent soon.
- (12/3/98) The KROC Board of Trustees has voted to make all of its facilities smoke-free.
- (10/24/98) Construction has now started on both the Kingstowne Post Office and the Golf Center.
- (10/24/98) Borders, Staples, and Party City are now opened across the street from the Springfield Mall.
- (10/14/98) KLNB has a letter of Intent from a national furniture store with 30,000 square feet of showroom which is an upper end furniture establishment.
- (10/14/98) KLNB is working on getting Letters of Intent from a card and party store, a women's apparel shop and a shoe retailer.
- (10/14/98) The following restaurants have signed Letters of Intent with KLNB to lease at the new Restaurant Park near the site of the new Post Office: Don Pablos, Pizza Uno, Carrabas.
- (10/14/98) Construction has started on the Kingstowne Golf Center.
- (10/14/98) Still Hungry? Good news! Subway is open on Kingstowne Center Drive behind the Kingstowne Mobil station. At the same building, Kingstowne Jewelers is opened too.
- (10/8/98) Construction has started on the new Post Office in Kingstowne!.
- (10/8/98) King Street Blues is now opened this weekend on Kingstowne Center Drive the new building behind the Kingstowne Mobil station.
- (10/4/98) The Dairy Queen has opened for business by the Mobil station.
- (9/28/98) The Guard Black Belt Studios has opened next to mail Boxes Etc. on Kingstowne Center Drive. For more information, call (703) 719-6700.
- (9/23/98) A branch of Chevy Chase Bank has opened at the Giant supermarket at Kingstowne Center Drive. It is open 7 days a week and include ATMs and video banking plus some regular tellers as well.
- (9/15/98) Mailboxes Etc. has opened in the new building behind the Kingstowne Mobil station.
- (8/28/98) Next Day Blinds will open soon behind the Kingstowne Mobil station.
- Construction is nearly complete on the Springfield Commons Shopping Center across the street from the Springfield Mall on Frontier Drive. It is a 233,000 square foot complex which will include the following stores: Borders Books, Home Depot, Old Navy, Staples, Party City, the Bicyle Exchange, and Pier 1.
Most stores are expected to open by November 1998.
- CVS has opened a new store across from the Franconia Government Center on Franconia Road.
- The park proffers for the Towne Center will be discussed at a meeting of the Fairfax County Planning Commission in at a meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in November 1998.
- Construction has started on the new shopping center across from Manchester Lakes Festival. The new shopping center will include a new Rite-Aid drugstore.
- Construction on Storage USA is done, it is now open for rentals.
- Construction continues at the site of the new Kingstowne Towne Centre.
- Dress Barn for Women opened on Aug 14th, 1998 at the Kingstowne Center Drive!
- MJ Designs opened on July 27, 1998.
- Sony has finally signed the leasing agreement for the theater at the Kingstowne Towne Center. FYI, Sony has bought the Odeon Cineplex theater chain.
- Learning Express at Kingstowne Circle Drive is now open!
- The new Burger King was opened on Monday, March 9, 1998 by the shopping center across from Blockbusters. KFC and Taco Bell just opened on May 19th in the same building. In addition, King's Buffet, a Chinese-style buffet restaurant has just opened in the same building.
- Rack Room Shoes has just opened.
- Nail Club has just opened right next to Sally's Beauty Supply at Giant shopping center
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