Many Mason District neighborhoods are glorious in springtime, when mature landscapes burst into bloom as a result of careful tending by homeowners. This year spring seems to be playing April Fools’ jokes on the region, teasing us with sunshine and warm breezes one day, and chilling us out on the next. With Easter and Passover overlapping on the calendar this year, let’s hope that buds and blossoms will soon take the place of grey skies and barren branches.
One thing that doesn’t change with the season, unfortunately, are parking problems in residential neighborhoods. At its March 24 meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved an expansion of the Culmore Residential Permit Parking District (RPPD) to include portions of Nevius Street and Knollwood Drive in the Bailey’s Crossroads area. RPPDs are useful in neighborhoods that experience overparking by non-residents, sometimes due to proximity to a high school or transit station, or older apartment complexes that lack parking capacity for today’s tenants. Residents in an RPPD may apply for permits to park their legally registered vehicles, and may receive one visitor pass for guests. RPPDs have helped address parking issues in and around the Culmore area, as well as Robinwood Lane, Springdale, Sunset Manor, Munson Hill, Broyhill Park, and neighborhoods abutting Annandale and Thomas Jefferson High Schools. A temporary RPPD was created in the Camelot community, to address overparking by construction workers at the nearby INOVA Fairfax Hospital expansion. That RPPD is scheduled to expire when construction is complete.
An RPPD differs from a CPD, or Community Parking District, which restricts the parking of certain commercial vehicles, boats, RVs, and similar vehicles anywhere in a designated district. Last fall, I notified constituents via my district-wide newsletter, about consideration of a CPD, to gauge community support for designating all of Mason District a CPD, which would restrict parking of certain vehicles on public streets in residential areas. A CPD also prohibits parking of vehicles weighing 12,000 pounds or more, vehicles having three or more axles, and vehicles transporting 16 or more passengers (except school buses). Exemptions to the CPD include: vehicles used by federal, state, or local agencies to provide services; commercial vehicles discharging passengers, performing work, or providing services; and vehicles temporarily parked, for up to 48 hours, for the purpose of loading, unloading, or preparing for a trip.
Responses received to date have indicated substantial support for creating a CPD for all of Mason District. There is additional time, however, for citizens and civic organizations to weigh in on support, or non-support, for a Mason District CPD, by sending an email to [email protected], by fax to 703-354-8419, or first-class mail, 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003. Please let me know your thoughts by April 20.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]