Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

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Enforcement of the Large Area Community Parking District for Mason District will begin on August 1. Vehicles not in compliance will be issued a ticket with a $75 fine, and the vehicle also may be towed at the owner’s expense. The Mason Community Parking District, or CPD, was approved by the Board of Supervisors on June 23, and is based on Fairfax County Code Chapter 82, Article 5B. The geographical area for the CPD is the entire Mason magisterial district.

Establishment of the Mason CPD followed many efforts by the police and neighborhood associations to resolve complaints about vehicles essentially being stored on the public roadways, sometimes in front of the owner’s home, but frequently in front of someone else’s home. In one case, the owner of a recreational vehicle parked it down the street because he “didn’t like the way it looked” in front of his own home, according to a neighbor. With a designated CPD, police now are able to enforce undesirable recreational vehicle parking on public streets in residential neighborhoods. A couple of boats in Annandale that were the subject of repeated complaints already have been moved as a result of the Board’s adoption of the new ordinance.

Vehicles that are prohibited include watercraft, boat trailers, motor homes, camping trailers, and any other trailer or semi-trailer, regardless of whether it is attached to another vehicle. Exemptions to the CPD include vehicles used by federal, state, or local agencies to provide services; commercial vehicles discharging passengers, performing work, or actively providing services; vehicles temporarily parked, up to 48 hours, for the purpose of loading, unloading, or preparing for a trip. In public testimony, one speaker requested a longer time than 48 hours, but the ordinance does not provide for such a waiver. Since the CPD does not ban such vehicles altogether, an alternative suggested at the same public hearing was to park your car on the street and the larger vehicle or trailer in your driveway.

During the month of July, parking enforcement officers placed information flyers on vehicles that would be affected by the new CPD. More information about the CPD may be found on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/rtap.htm#cpd.

National Night Out in Fairfax County will be observed and celebrated on Tuesday, August 4. Neighbors across Mason District are expected to turn on their porch lights and join their neighbors in a variety of activities, ranging from ice cream socials to full-blown barbeques with all the fixings. National Night Out is an annual community-oriented event to “take a bite out of crime” by encouraging neighbors to get to know each other and watch out for each other. Many residents participate in Neighborhood Watch patrols year-around (the oldest Neighborhood Watch in continuous operation in the nation is Mason District’s own Court of Camelot), and National Night Out celebrates that special relationship between residents and public safety that continues to make Fairfax County one of the safest jurisdictions of its size in the nation. Come on out and join your neighbors on Tuesday evening!

 


 Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at [email protected]

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