Update at 6:45 p.m. — The fire department has cleared the scene and all lanes of Fairfax Drive are back open.
The Arlington County Fire Department is investigating a hazmat incident at George Mason University’s law school in Virginia Square.
The incident happened on the third floor of the law school building, at 3301 Fairfax Drive, and involves a suspicious envelope containing a “powdery substance,” according to fire department spokesman Lt. Jeff Crooke. One person who opened the envelope is being evaluated but is not believed be suffering any medical issues at this time.
Police have blocked the westbound lanes of Fairfax Drive due to the emergency response.
The law school was recently renamed the Antonin Scalia Law School, after the late Supreme Court justice.
Map via Google Maps
Larson joined the Sheriff’s Office in September 2008. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office and supervised its Administration, Corrections and Judicial Services Divisions.
Before joining the Sheriff’s Office, Larson worked for the Arlington County Police Department from 1988-2008. With the police, he commanded the department’s Criminal Investigations Section, the Third Patrol District, the Special Operations Section and the Internal Affairs Section.
“Chief Deputy Larson has had a tremendous impact on the office during his tenure and I appreciate his commitment and dedication,” said Sheriff Beth Arthur in a statement. “He has been an impactful member of Arlington County public safety and the county during his 28+ years of service.”
Retired Major Dave Kidwell will succeed Larson as the next Chief Deputy. Kidwell spent more than 25 years in the Sheriff’s Office, and retired in September 2015 as Director of Corrections.
“His experience, character and loyalty to the Sheriff’s Office will make this transition as seamless as possible,” Sheriff’s Office representatives said in a statement. “He has the values, dedication and passion to continue the strong traditions of the office and understands the challenges that the law enforcement profession faces in the future.”
A new local co-op has been formed to drive down the cost of home solar installation.
The Greater Arlington Solar Co-op is holding two free information sessions this week, in Arlington and Alexandria, to educate the public about solar and the benefits of joining their group. Co-op members can save up to 20 percent off the cost of going solar by doing so in a group.
“We’re forming this co-op to make saving money with solar energy as simple as possible,” said Chris Somers, community energy specialist at AIRE, in a statement. “Working with the group helps members learn about the technology so they feel confident in their decision to go solar.”
Joining the group is not a commitment to purchase solar panels. Once the group is large enough, it will solicit bids from local installers and select the best proposal for the group. The chosen installer will then develop personalized proposals for each co-op member, who review the plan.
The information sessions are taking place Wednesday at the Navy League Building (2300 Wilson Blvd Suite 210) and Thursday at The Pavilion at Mark Center (5708 Merton Court) in Alexandria, both starting at 7 p.m.
A brief manhunt that closed part of Army Navy Drive in Pentagon City Monday morning happened after two suspects peeled away from a traffic stop on I-395, went the wrong way down a ramp and then bailed out and fled on foot.
The Arlington County Police Department released additional details about the incident in its Tuesday crime report.
An 18-year-old Maryland man and a juvenile were both taken into custody after police established a perimeter and used a helicopter to search for them. Police say the car they were driving was stolen.
More from ACPD:
RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO (Significant), 2017-05080041, 2300 block of Arlington Ridge Road. At approximately 4:08 a.m. on May 8, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling without its lights on. The vehicle initially stopped, then allegedly accelerated at a high rate of speed and fled the scene by traveling the wrong way on the ramp to I-395. The vehicle continued on and eventually sustained damage that disabled its tires, causing the suspects to flee by foot. A perimeter was established with the assistance of the United States Park Police helicopter. An officer observed the two suspects nearby and they were taken into custody without further incident. Upon further investigation, it was determined the suspects had previously stolen a vehicle and were being investigated by Virginia State Police. Gabriel Neris, 18, of Hyattsville, MD was arrested and charged with GLA x2, 2 Credit Card thefts, Conspiracy, Felony Eluding, Reckless Driving, No Operator’s License and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Charges were also filed on one juvenile suspect.
After hearing from residents and prospective providers, Arlington will formally explore ways to add child care options in the county.
Under the recently-approved fiscal year 2018 budget, a full-time employee will join the Dept. of Community, Planning, Housing and Development to suggest changes to Arlington’s zoning ordinance that would help child care centers open.
The County Board also directed $50,000 be spent on an independent study to determine gaps in child care offerings by age and location.
County Board vice chair Katie Cristol, an advocate for more child care options in Arlington, said zoning ordinance tweaks could be key in adding more centers.
“I am strongly of the opinion, having formed it from talking to a lot of providers or would-be providers, that our biggest obstacles are within the zoning ordinance in terms of the number of parking spaces required by childcare centers or the amount of indoor vs. outdoor space,” Cristol said. “It makes it very hard to find a space for rent in Arlington County that will actually meet the requirements.”
Cristol said the independent study, done in parallel to any work tweaking the zoning ordinance, should give more data on where the gaps in the market lie. WTOP reported in February that children outnumbered daycare and preschool openings by a ratio of roughly three-to-one in 2015.
“There are some things we know and there are some things that we don’t know, so we want to get a little bit more specific about where the geographic areas are where childcare is most lacking,” Cristol said. “We have some hypotheses about that but not as much data.”
The county’s child care ordinance could also be in for another examination, especially in light of Virginia’s statewide regulations not being revised upwards. Cristol said she had been hopeful of the Virginia Department of Social Services revamping its regulations around child care centers, and improving standards that she said could be “almost criminally low.”
Last year, Arlington dropped a proposed update to its own child care regulations after several County Board members, Cristol included, slammed the inclusion of certain controversial provisions, which were seen as overly-prescriptive. Cristol was also critical of adding to the regulatory burden of small daycare providers without a clear health or safety imperative.
State officials decided at the end of last year to leave Virginia’s regulations alone, and while Cristol said Arlington’s continue to be tougher, a fresh look led by the county’s Child Care Licensing Office could help.
“I think after the version you saw in early 2016, which was roundly understood and emphasized by myself and other Board members to be a huge overreach, there are opportunities to look afresh at what are the high expectations that we have and want to communicate, and what do we actually require as a condition of opening a childcare center,” Cristol said.
The study will begin sometime after the start of the fiscal year, on July 1, while Cristol said she anticipated any zoning ordinances changes will come before the community and County Board in around 18 months.
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Question: How does the price range of the home for sale affect the speed of the sale?
Answer: Last week I published statistics showing how quickly homes in Arlington sell (20 percent in the first five days, 50 percent in the first 30 days) and received a follow-up question in the comments asking how price impacts days on market. Here’s your response!
The following data represents more than 15,000 sales in Arlington since January 1, 2012, broken out by sold price within the three primary housing types in Arlington – apartments/condos, townhomes and single-family/detached homes.
- The middle price ranges sell fastest, with the cheapest and most expensive inventory in each housing type taking the longest to sell
- Townhomes are in the most demand and sell two and a half weeks faster than other housing types
- If you’re selling an apartment or single family over $1 million, be patient with your pricing and don’t worry if you don’t get your asking price immediately. It usually takes some time for those buyers to materialize.
- Yes, there were actually nine single-family homes that sold for under $300,000 in Arlington (eight in 22204 and one in 22206)
I always appreciate hearing from readers in the comments section and via email. If you have any questions about the Arlington real estate market, please do not hesitate to post them in the comments or send me an email to [email protected]
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Hurricane Hunters Tour
Reagan National Airport (Near the Signature Air terminal)
Time: 2-5 p.m.
The public can tour four planes that fly into hurricanes for better weather forecasts, hear from aircraft pilots from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Air Force and hurricane experts.
Arlington Committee of 100 Visits A-SPAN *
A-SPAN (2020-A N. 14th Street)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
The Arlington Committee of 100 invites you to visit the A-SPAN Homeless Services Center. Dinner, social hour and tours begin at 7 p.m., followed by an 8 p.m. presentation. Dinner is $28 for members and $30 for non-members.
Market Common Clarendon Open House
CBRE Main Room (2801 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Join Regency Centers, owner of Market Common Clarendon, for a community open house to help imagine the future of this dynamic neighborhood destination. Share your ideas, meet the team and enjoy complimentary tastings from local restaurants.
James and Lewis Marcey’s Civil War Experience
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
The Arlington Historical Society welcomes Jessica Kaplan, who will present a lecture about the Civil War experience of yeoman farmers Lewis and James Marcey, who owned 95 acres between Forts Ethan Allen and CS Smith in North Arlington.
Broadening the Rainbow
Walter Reed Community Center (2906 16th Street S.)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
The Human Rights Commission will sponsor a public forum in memory of activist Tiffany Joslyn. Hear discussions how to protect the rights of the county’s LGBT community and the challenges of upholding the rights of all people in the county.
Live Music: Garden State Radio
Clarendon Grill (1101 N. Highland Street)
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Cover band Garden State Radio performs with their new lead singer, Hannah Peterson. In the band’s last appearance in Arlington of the spring and summer season, experience theatrics and visuals synced to a soundtrack of today’s best music.
Mother’s Day Concert: Music of Our Time *
Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 N. Kent Street)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Arlington’s own National Chamber Ensemble season finale celebrates musical compositions inspired by theater and film. Featuring clarinetist Julian Milkis, pianist Carlos César Rodriguez and Ensemble Artistic Director violinist Leo Sushansky.
Tuckahoe Home and Garden Tour *
Tuckahoe Elementary School (6550 26th Street N.)
Time: noon-5 p.m.
A tour ideal for people thinking of renovating or remodeling. It is the perfect opportunity to meet builders and architects and see their projects. The tour is self-guided through the Arlington community, showcasing up to eight newly-renovated homes.
A countywide event featuring numerous events and activities. The day looks to bring together neighbors to strengthen bonds on blocks and across the county, and has fun things to do for all the family.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) event
With redevelopment just around the corner, the Food Star grocery store on Columbia Pike will close as early as next week according to a sign on its entrance.
Its lease at the property is set to expire on May 25. The grocery store is expected to move to 206 W. Glebe Road in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood and replace the Foodway currently there.
The sign, written in English and Spanish, reads:
Dear Food Star customers:
After 32 years of business it is with sincere regret that we inform you that Food Star supermarket will be closing permanently at this location between April 30 and May 15, 2017. It is our utmost priority to inform you of this decision as you are a very important part of the Food Star family. We appreciate your business and are thankful for your loyalty. We hope to have the opportunity to continue serving you at our new location at: 206 W. Glebe Road (formally Foodway), Alexandria, VA 22305.
We will notify you which day we will open. Thank you for your business and continued support.
The store at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive is set for demolition along with several small retail businesses for the “Columbia Pike Village Center” development. More than 1,800 people who wanted to “Save Food Star” signed a petition against the plan last year.
In its place will be a new 50,000 square foot Harris Teeter grocery store, 31,530 square feet of new ground-floor retail space and a 22,150 square foot public square. The project also includes a six-story apartment building with 365 market-rate units, retail space and a three-level parking garage.
The Harris Teeter is expected to open in late 2019.
Arlington County has posted a list of other food stores in the area, the closest of which is 0.5 miles away from the Food Star, that residents can go to during construction of the new grocery store.
Of the other stores in the plaza, the Para Ti hair salon has already relocated to S. Carlin Springs Road. April was its last month in the strip mall.
More on Proposed Rosslyn Residential Tower — As first reported by ARLnow.com, a residential tower is being proposed to replace the RCA office building in Rosslyn. A new preliminary site plan filing provides some additional details: it will be 24-story residential building with 407 units of both apartments and condos, plus some ground floor retail and three floors of underground parking. [Washington Business Journal]
Caucus Voting Starts Today — Voting in the Democratic caucus for County Board and School Board starts today. The first day of caucus voting will take place between 7-9 p.m. at Key Elementary School, followed by additional caucuses on May 11 and 13. ARLnow recently published “why you should vote for me” essays from each candidate. [Arlington Democrats]
Arlington Couple’s Soccer Devotion Recognized — A local couple “is among three finalists in the international family category for Bayern [Munich]’s Fan Awards, recognizing dedication to the fabled club.” Their devotion includes regular attendance Saturdays at Summers Restaurant in Courthouse for games, and holding up matching husband and wife jerseys following their 2015 nuptials. [Washington Post]
Scalia Son Is an Arlington Priest — Paul Scalia, the sixth child of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, is a Catholic priest who serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy — an assistant to the Bishop — in the Diocese of Arlington headquarters (200 N. Glebe Road). Scalia just released his first book and NBC 4 used the occasion to ask him about growing up in the Scalia household. [NBC Washington]
Nearby: Amazon Opening Store in Georgetown — Amazon.com will be opening one of its first brick-and-mortar retail stores in Georgetown, at 3040 M Street NW. It has existing physical bookstores in Seattle, Portland and San Diego. [Washington Post]