The Latest News on Kingstowne!  PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)

Now for something really interesting">

The Latest News on Kingstowne!  PE03257A.gif (4096 bytes)

Now for something really interesting, Welcome to Dittmer's Domain

  • (8/4/2006) The Potomac News discusses the hearings that Congressman Tom Davis is scheduling on the impact of the transfer of more than 22,000 workers to Fort Belvoir:

          Potomac News Online | Officials discuss plans for Belvoir

  • (11/27/2005) Kingstowne finally has a theatre!  Consolidated Theatres opened The Kingstowne 16 at 5910 Kingstowne Towne Center.  For more information, call the Movieline at (703) 822-4956 or the Main line at (703) 719-0784. 
     
  • (11/1/2004) Lost Parrot-Small green Quaker Parrot lost in August in the Springfield (Newington Forest area).  REWARD.  Please contact (703) 455-2415 with any information.
  • (5/23/2003) The Springfield Times has a report on Fairfax County supervisors granted $60,000 to implement the Richmond Highway Facade Improvement Program.

The Springfield Times - Facade Upgrade Due For Route 1

  • (5/6/2003) The Springfield Times has a report on the new office complex development south of the Springfield Mall:

The Springfield Times - Half a Million Square Feet of Office Space, Hotel Planned

  • (5/6/2003) The Springfield Times reports on the Mixing Bowl project reaching the halfway point.

The Springfield Times - Mixing Bowl Hits Halfway Mark

  • (9/3/2002) The Springfield Times has a report on Architectural Review Committees in our area, including Kingstowne:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Springfield Times

  • (7/28/2002) The Springfield Connection reports on two of our newer restaurants:

Connection Newspapers

  • (6/30/2002) The Springfield Times reports on the latest news concerning Fairfax County's attempt to improve Cox Cable's services:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Chantilly/Centreville Times

  • Some new laws to watch out for:

The Journal Newspapers Online

          The Journal Newspapers Online

  • The Springfield Times has a review of one our new restaurants:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Reston/Herndon

  • (4/6/2002) The Springfield Times  and The Washington Post reports on Cox taking over from Road Runner as the area's cable broadband provider and raising rates.

Cox Internet Users See Rate Increase

  • (2/7/2002) The Springfield Times reports on Fairfax County's population growth:

County Population Close to a Million

  • (1/21/2001) A C-SPARC task force is developing plans for a new business center in Springfield:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - C-SPARC Plan focuses on a community center

  • (11/25/2001) The Springfield Times reports on $80,000,000 in federal money to boost emergency services in Northern Virginia:

Arcom Publishing Inc. - Region gets $80M in Emergency Funds

  • (11/25/2001) The Fairfax Journal has an article about the pace of school construction:

The Journal Newspapers Online: Construction, renovation face cutbacks

  • (10/27/2001) The Washington Post has an article about how the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will be seeking cash proffers which may affect future development in the Kingstowne area:  Fairfax Eyes "Cash Proffers'  by Buildeers

  • (10/27/2001) Supervisor Dana Kauffman (D) will host his annual town meeting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 27 at Lane Elementary School, 6137 Beulah St. in Kingstowne. Kauffman also has organized a bicycle tour of the district for Oct. 28, with 1.5-mile, 15-mile and 30-mile routes planned. Registration is mandatory; for information about when and where to show up for each route, call 703-971-6262 or log on to www.co.fairfax.va.us/gov/bos/ld/ld.htm. 

  • (9/30/2001) The Springfield Times has a report on plans to revitalize the Springfield area:

Citizens Discuss Revitalizing Springfield

  • (8/25/2001) The KROC Board of Trustees has announced that the South pool to remain open on Saturday, 8 Sept and Sunday, 9 Sept, extending the pool season for two more days.  The hours of operation will be from 10AM to 7PM on both days. 

    Both pools will close at 7:30PM on Labor Day and the South pool will be open for the weekend.

  • (8/25/2001) The Washing Post has the following article concerning the new restrictions for access to Ft. Belvoir:

Ft. Belvoir Delays Plan to Restrict Access
 

By Jeff Baron, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, August 24, 2001; Page B03

Fort Belvoir officials have postponed plans to control all access to the Army post in southern Fairfax, saying they lack the personnel to do the job.  Fort Belvoir spokesman Don Carr said the first of two planned tests of the restricted-access plan demonstrated that more military police officers are needed to handle traffic at the installation's six entry gates. Traffic during Tuesday morning's exercise backed up more than half a mile from the main gate onto Route 1, for example. Fairfax County officials earlier had raised concerns about gridlock on nearby roads, especially during rush hours.

The plan for Fort Belvoir, which had been scheduled to take effect Sept. 4 as part of a nationwide security crackdown ordered by Army leaders, requires that each vehicle entering the 8,656-acre post display a Department of Defense decal or a visitor's pass and enter and leave via one of six roads.

The Belvoir Eagle newspaper quoted Col. Kurt A. Weaver, the garrison's commander, as saying that the installation will implement as much of the access-control plan as it can by Sept. 4 and do the rest as resources allow. Weaver was not available to comment yesterday afternoon.

About 20 access points on the post have been closed or will be as of Sept. 4. The hours of operation for the six gates that will remain open have not been decided.

Carr said Fort Belvoir will continue testing its plan, including another exercise Tuesday, but will not fully staff the six gates until it has the resources to do so for the long haul.

The Army's heightened security effort follows a study this year that found that its posts are more accessible to the public than the bases of any other military service. Approximately half of the Army's installations in the United States -- including Fort Meade in suburban Maryland -- have had open-post policies during the past 30 years, officials said.
 

  • (5/7/2001) The following article came from The Springfield Times:

Target coming to Springfield Mall  By Molly Villamana
Springfield Mall is being outfitted for a new store, and Target appears to be the winner of the vacant spot.
The now-vacant Montgomery Ward store was purchased by the Target Corporation after Wards declared bankruptcy in January, Target officials said.  "I can confirm that the Springfield Mall store is one of the 35 stores" Target bought from Wards, said Kristin Jahnke, a Target spokeswoman.  "We are working to open as soon as possible," Jahnke said. "We are working on developing remodeling or development plans for the location."

Montgomery Ward owns the store in the Springfield Mall, which left Wards responsible for finding a new occupant. Springfield Mall was unable to confirm the future of the Wards store.  Nancy-Jo Manney, executive director of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, said she was under the impression the plans had not yet been finalized, because Wards still needed to wait for a judge ruling on bankruptcy issues.

"The mall has concerns, and I understand their concerns; Target sells everything that you can buy in the mall in one store, so that may hurt some of the tenants," Manney said.  "We would have liked to see a department store, like a Hecht's, go in there, to bring everything up," Manney said.  Springfield Plaza hosts a Kmart, while Kingstowne features a Wal-Mart. There are currently Target stores in Alexandria off Jefferson Davis Highway; in Burke; Manassas; at Potomac Mills and in Reston.
  • (4/22/2001) The following article comes from The Springfield Times:

Developer KSI is again planning to change the face of Springfield with a planned development that will bring new apartments, office buildings and hotels to a site near the Springfield Metro Station.
The new development will be located on the property known as Springfield Station. Tysons Corner-based KSI will construct 347 luxury apartments, office buildings and hotels at the former hydro-conduit pipe plant.  "We are trying to create a high-density, mixed-use urban village that ties into a rail stop," said Dick Knapp, vice president of multifamily development for KSI.

Just over 10 acres of the 25-acre site will be dedicated for apartments, which will include one eight-story building with 107 units and seven four-story garden-style apartments with 240 units. Future residents can choose either a two-bedroom, one-bath; a two-bedroom, two-bath; or a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment, Knapp said.

Knapp stressed the high density, pointing out that there will be almost 30 units per acre.  "The goal here was to have urban high-density living," he said.  The garden-style apartments will open at the end of this year as part of phase one of the development and the mid-rise should open in spring 2002, Knapp said. 
Two hotels are slated to be built on the property as well as two professional office buildings.

The hotel toward the northern end of the property and closer to the Franconia-Springfield Parkway will be built first, hopefully opening in 2003, Knapp said. It is still in the rezoning process and under contract, Knapp said. He expects both hotels to be seven stories with 160 rooms each.

Springfield Station is intended to be an upscale mixed-use development, with easy access to the Metro station. A jitney (bus) service will operate from the development, transporting residents and future employees to and from the Metro Station.

The site abuts the General Services Administration (GSA) storage buildings, land being considered to house the proposed Springfield bioinformatics business incubator.  Knapp said KSI studied not only the 25-acre parcel it controls but also the area surrounding it to complete the true mixed-use development. If funding for the incubator is approved by the Board of Supervisors when it adopts a budget on April 30, as expected, the incubator is expected to attract jobs in the biotechnology sector, fitting in with Inova's nearby medical campus.

In developing the former pipe plant, Knapp said, "We are recycling an older industrial facility and turning it into a high-end use." Former industrial sites are often expensive to buy and come laden with environmental concerns, but Knapp said, "There was nothing we weren't able to overcome" in developing the site.  After construction is complete, KSI will own and operate the apartments, but will sell the office buildings and hotels. There will be parking garages for hotel guests and surface parking for residents.

KSI will build the main road into Springfield Station, Metropolitan Center Drive, initially as a two-lane road, expanding to four lanes after the office buildings are built. The company is hoping to build a private connector road for bus transport and pedestrian traffic to the Metro for community members.

Future children in the community are expected to attend Forestdale Elementary School and Lee High School.  Forestdale is currently overcapacity by 40 children. Lee High School is at capacity.

KSI has built or refurbished 6,000 apartment homes in 30 communities within the Washington metropolitan area and Northern Virginia since 1990. Within the next three years, KSI expects to complete 4,000 more multifamily units.

 

  • (3/18/2001) The latest demographic data on Fairfax County which reflects the county's growing diversity can be found at: Fairfax County Area Info

  • (3/18/2001) The following article comes from the Fairfax Journal

Reapportionment of the Board of Supervisors will be the subject of a public hearing at 5 p.m. Monday, MAR 19, in the Fairfax County Government Center's Board Auditorium, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax.

Virginia law requires the board to consider the reapportionment of its membership during 2001, and indications are that the board will have to reapportion following the release of population data by the United States Bureau of the Census, according to the county.

At Monday's hearing, the board will consider adoption of a resolution setting forth the goals and criteria for reapportionment. A copy of the proposed resolution is available for public inspection in the Office of the Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 533, Fairfax. The board also will obtain preliminary input from the public on how reapportionment should be conducted, including whether the board should establish an advisory citizens' committee.

When the board was last reapportioned, in 1991, the board established an advisory citizens' committee that included representatives from a variety of communities in Fairfax County, including a member appointed by each district supervisor and a member appointed by the chairman. The group also included one member each from the black, Hispanic and Asian communities. Additional members will be sought to represent the Korean and Vietnamese communities for the 2001 reapportionment.

Other representatives included one member each from: the Federation of Citizens Associations, League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Fairfax County Republican Committee and the Fairfax County Democratic Committee.  To sign up to speak at Monday's hearing, call the Office of the Clerk to the Board at (703) 324-3151 or TTY (703) 324-3903.

  • (3/2/2001) The following article came from the Washington Post

Man Pleads No Contest in Va. Church Fire

By Tom Jackman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, February 28, 2001; Page B05

Even though virtually all the evidence against him had been thrown out, a Kingstowne man pleaded no contest in Fairfax County Circuit Court yesterday to setting his church on fire last year. Paul E. Dickson entered his plea after authorities told him he faced a new round of prosecution in federal court and a possible 15-year minimum sentence.

Dickson, 52, maintains his innocence in the March 27 burning of First Baptist Church of Kingstowne, which ultimately leveled the 28-year-old sanctuary and caused $700,000 in damage. Dickson told investigators and The Washington Post days later that he witnessed the fire shortly before 3 a.m. but wasn't the arsonist. He said he was perched in a tree waiting to see whether his wife would rendezvous with the church's pastor for an affair.  Fire marshals felt Dickson's comments showed knowledge only the suspect would have. Based on Dickson's statements, the investigators got a search warrant for Dickson's car and found tools that could have been used to break into the church. Investigators determined the fire was set in the office of Pastor Clyde Duncan and in the church attic.

But in a series of rulings by four Fairfax judges, Dickson's statements were declared inadmissible because he hadn't been given Miranda warnings or had made them involuntarily. As a result of those rulings, the judges also threw out the results of the search warrant.  That's when federal prosecutors stepped in and offered to seek another indictment against Dickson. Double jeopardy wouldn't apply because Dickson never went to trial in Fairfax. Dickson would have had to launch another round of challenges to the evidence, and similar evidence suppressions "would not happen in federal court," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mellin said.

So Dickson's attorney, James G. Connell, worked a deal. In exchange for a plea in Fairfax to one count of arson, Dickson would receive a five-year sentence with three years suspended, and federal authorities would stay on the sidelines. The plea was presented to Circuit Court Judge Leslie M. Alden, the fifth judge to hear the case. Alden said she wanted to examine Dickson's criminal record before accepting the arrangement and sentencing Dickson at a hearing in May.  Dickson entered an Alford plea, in which he did not admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict him. Connell said after the hearing that Dickson still says he didn't set the fire.

"He feels like he was railroaded," Connell said. "But he's looking at that 15-year mandatory minimum [in federal court], and the sentencing alternatives here are much greater and more flexible." Because he has already been in jail for several months, he will have less than two years to serve if Alden accepts the plea agreement, which she said she was inclined to do.  Dickson had been having marital problems and told investigators that he was 90 feet up in an oak tree the morning of March 27, watching his estranged wife's house, waiting for Duncan to arrive. He told The Post that his eyes started burning with smoke, that he looked at the church and saw "a pickup pulling away from the church. I saw who was driving the pickup," a man he wouldn't name.  Duncan denied having affairs with anyone.

Fire investigators checked Dickson's story, Capt. David M. McKernan said, and found that he couldn't have seen the church from his vantage point and that smoke wouldn't have blown toward him that night. They also investigated Dickson's suspect and learned he had an alibi.  "We didn't do anything wrong," McKernan said, responding to defense claims that he and investigators offered to get pending charges against Dickson dropped if he cooperated. He said fire marshals offered only to summon a prosecutor to discuss a deal in exchange for Dickson's cooperation. Dickson later pleaded guilty, without a deal, to misdemeanor charges of assaulting his wife and stalking one of her friends.

Duncan said the church has raised about three-fourths of the money needed to rebuild but probably won't break ground on a new building before at least midsummer. He said that every day he looks for some item -- old sermons, notes, a paper cutter -- before realizing it was lost in the fire.  No one was hurt in the blaze.

  • (2/17/2001) Feb. 26 is the nomination deadline for the Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards. Anyone may nominate individuals and groups for volunteering their time, energy and expertise to meet community needs.      More than 1,000 residents and businesses have been recognized by the Volunteer Fairfax award since 1993. This year's nominees and award-winners will be honored at an April 24 breakfast ceremony at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. For details, call (703) 246-3460 or visit www.volunteerfairfax.org.

  • (2/17/2001) The following article came from the Washington Post:

 Formula for Dividing Transit Authority Votes Debated           

By Craig Timberg and Michael D. Shear, Washington Post Staff Writers, Friday, February 16, 2001

State lawmakers breathed new life yesterday into Northern Virginia's top legislative goal for this year as a Senate panel revived the plan for a regional sales tax hike to pay for school and transportation projects.  Meanwhile, the plan to create a regional transportation authority for Northern Virginia moved forward in the House, but lawmakers there rewrote the bill to modify the way power would be shared among the local governments involved.

The version of the transportation authority bill that passed a House committee yesterday would give Fairfax and its nearly 1 million residents � half the population of the region � one vote on the 18-member panel, the same as tiny Manassas Park, which has about 7,800 residents.  Fairfax would lose some influence to push projects over the objections of its neighbors. But under the new rules, Fairfax would gain a powerful new tool: It alone could exercise a veto over anything proposed by the other members.  That's because under the changes adopted yesterday, every vote would require support from members representing two-thirds of the region's population. Fairfax, with more than half of the population, could stop such a supermajority.  Fairfax officials said they were happy with that change.

"If Arlington and Prince William are in favor of giving Fairfax a veto, we're certainly not going to object to that," said Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Katherine K. Hanley (D). Fairfax representatives have argued that an authority would be meaningless unless its membership reflected the county's huge population. But the county's smaller neighbors have said a population-based voting formula would give Fairfax too much power to decide how and where transportation money would be spent.  Del. John A. "Jack" Rollison III (R-Prince William), who led the push for the changes in the House Transportation Committee, where he is co-chairman, said the new version "forces consensus." "In order to have a strong regional transportation planning, you have to have regional consensus," Rollison said.

Disputes among Northern Virginian lawmakers about the transportation authority and the sales tax have alarmed the region's business leaders, who believe such proposals would help solve traffic congestion. "If they don't agree to work together, it doesn't matter how you put [the authority] together," said J. Douglas Koelemay, lobbyist for the Northern Virginia Technology Council. 

The delegation from Northern Virginia was moving yesterday toward a possible compromise over whether a sales tax increase in the region should fund both school and transportation projects.  The Senate Finance Committee approved a measure backed by two powerful Fairfax County lawmakers, Sen. Richard L. Saslaw (D) and Republican Del. James H. Dillard II that would schedule a referendum vote on raising the sales tax in Northern Virginia by a penny per dollar. A half-cent would pay for renovations and new schools, the other half-cent for roads and transit.

Supporters made a concession to lawmakers who backed a tax increase only for transportation. The increase for school spending would end after 10 years and be limited to raising cash � $110�million a year � rather than debt. And the transportation fund would expire after 35 years, although it could pay for more than $2�billion in bonds.  "This way, the plan is going to get some added support," Saslaw said. Over a decade, the extra school money "would solve most of the region's capital school needs," he said.  The measure now goes to the floor of the Senate, which has backed both education and transportation funding. If it passes there, the bill will head to the House of Delegates, which last week passed a version of the sales tax bill backing transportation only.  "Education has got to be a central part of this," Dillard said. "I'm very optimistic we're going to get the votes."

A Northern Virginia business coalition, anticipating rough going in the House, asked all 100 House delegates to support the Saslaw-Dillard proposal as a much-needed "regional self-help mechanism."  The coalition representing more than 15,000 businesses made a special appeal to lawmakers from other parts of the state, saying in a letter that the regional sales tax is "a first step in addressing a statewide challenge" of increasing education funding for all.  Leaders of the region's smaller local governments said yesterday's action on the transportation authority was a plus for them because it gave every local government the same number of votes on the panel. Even some lawmakers from Fairfax said they appreciated the concerns of the other governments.  "Fairfax sometimes likes to flex its muscle," said Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D-Fairfax). "I can understand the worries of the smaller jurisdictions."

Much negotiation remains ahead on the transportation authority legislation. The Senate gave final approval yesterday to a second version of the authority. It would give Fairfax County double the voting power of any other jurisdiction but no veto. Both versions also would delay the authority from taking power until July 2002. A study during the interim year could lead to changes in the authority's power structure before it took its first vote.  Sen. William C. Mims (R-Loudoun), the lead sponsor on the transportation authority, predicted the negotiations would lead to an equitable balance of power. 

            To see other previous developments in Kingstowne, click on: 1998/1999/2000

            To learn about long-term developments in the Kingstowne area, click on: Long-Term

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