<sh>Fairfax County Will Widen Route 123
<bt>As part of the proffers for expanding the Fairfax County Public Safety Center complex, Fairfax City Council, during its Tuesday work session, allowed Fairfax County to complete some of its road improvements to the city. They include widening Route 123 between the curve south of Sager and the traffic signal at Judicial Drive, striping for a separate turn lane into Judicial Center and into the Barbour House entrance, and making streetscape improvements. Council members also allowed infrastructure to be built to support a traffic signal at Route 123 and Massey Drive, but they did not approve for the signal itself.
Council member Joan Cross initially raised concerns about businesses east of Route 123, but the council approved some of the improvements because the county had solicited business feedback but received little response. The council also thought it would be financially prudent to let the county pay for these improvements.
"I'm concerned that the city's going to do it at some point," said council member Gary Rasmussen of the proposed improvements, citing increasing traffic and business' not coming forth on the proposal. The other council members agreed with Rasmussen when voicing their vote.
The expansion of the public safety complex and the courthouse is currently in its design stage.
The council had also heard from a consultant regarding improving pedestrian access and traffic congestion at Chain Bridge Road/Eaton Place and Fairfax Circle. The council decided to continue the Chain Bridge Road study. The next step will be for staff to proceed with engineering design and explore funding sources.
Earlier in the evening, the council approved unanimously Mantua Hills Swimming Association's special use permit and variance applications. The special use permit allows the association to replace the existing tennis courts lights and increase the swim and tennis club membership from 560 to 600. In receiving the permit, the association must ensure that the daily hours of operation are limited from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; loudspeaker use for the swimming pool doesn't occur before 9 a.m. daily; and the hours of operation for the swimming pool are limited from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The variance approved by the council allows an increase in the maximum permitted height (12 feet) for site lighting (tennis courts) in a residential district. The conditions are that the applicant insure that a timer switch will control tennis court lighting and turn off the lights at 10 p.m.; install sports lighting consistent with lighting specifications; install light shields to mitigate excessive glare if the City notifies the association; and complete light installation within 120 days.
<sh>Historic Fairfax, Inc. Hosts Semi-Annual Meeting
<bt>Historic Fairfax, Inc. will host its semi-annual meeting on Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive. Admission is free. The meeting will include a program, "Road Show and Tell," which will feature Fairfax families sharing their Civil War and turn-of-the-century artifacts. Members are encouraged to bring guests.
<sh>Seat Belt Crackdown
<bt>City of Fairfax Police will be stepping up enforcement of Virginia's safety belt and child safety seat belt laws beginning May 19. The campaign will run through Memorial Day weekend.
"We hope this campaign will raise public awareness of the very real dangers of driving unbelted," said Chief of Police Richard J. Rappoport in a release.
Virginia law requires that each person at sixteen years of age and occupying the front seat of a motor vehicle shall wear the appropriate safety belt system at all times while the motor vehicle is in motion on any public highway. A child under 16 must also wear a safety belt and the driver is responsible for ensuring the safety belt is properly worn. Any child, age 5 or younger, must be properly secured in a child restraint device that meets the standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
<sh>Body Found In Burke
<bt>Fairfax County Police are investigating the death of Johanna Ernst, 35, whose body was found in a Burke apartment in the 5800 block of Cove Landing Road on Sunday, May 18, at about 8:30 a.m. Officers from the West Springfield District station responded to a call and found the body. An autopsy was conducted on Monday, May 19 but the cause of death was not determined. The cause of death is pending a toxicology report.
<bt>Fairfax County Police are investigating an abduction and assault that occurred on Andes Drive and Byrd Drive in the Fairfax area on Friday, May 16, about 9:30 p.m. According to police, a 27-year-old Fairfax area woman was walking home from the grocery store when a man drove up and asked her if she needed a ride. The woman accepted and got into the passenger seat of the car. The man began driving her home but then pulled over on Andes Drive and got on top on the woman. The man grabbed the victim around the neck. The two struggled and the suspect finally gave up and allowed her to leave the car. The victim suffered minor injuries. The suspect was described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a slim build. He had short, dark hair, was unshaven, and was wearing a jacket and pants. The car was described as a red sports utility vehicle or minivan. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 703-691-3131 or Crime Solvers at 703-691-8888.