Making Great Falls Better 

Download Mobile App: Apple

Latest from VDOT on Route 7 Road Closures

For more info go to: https://connectroute7.org/news_updates/lane_closures.asp

GFCA is a 100% volunteer 501(c)4 organization without paid staff.

Your dues support activities on behalf of Great Falls


All photos and paintings listed on this website are copyright of their respective owners

What's Happening Around Great Falls

Top Stories and 
News Briefs

Senator Jennifer Boysko, Delegate Rip Sullivan, and
Dranesville Supervisor Jimmy Bierman to conduct a Town Hall

on the Casino Bill


Event Details
Saturday, February 3, 2024 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
McLean High School, 1633 Davidson Rd, McLean, VA 22101

Senator Jennifer B. Boysko, along with Delegate Rip Sullivan and Supervisor Jimmy Bierman, will hold a Town Hall on Saturday, February 3rd, to hear from the public concerns and comments pertaining to legislation that would call for a referendum in Fairfax County regarding the possible development of a casino. 

SB 675 adds Fairfax County to the list of localities eligible to host a casino in the Commonwealth and provides that any proposed site for a casino gaming establishment considered by Fairfax County shall be (i) located within one-quarter of a mile of an existing station on the Metro Silver Line, (ii) part of a coordinated mixed-use project development, (iii) outside of the Dulles airport flight path, (iv) within two miles of a major shopping destination containing not less than 1.5 million square feet of gross building area, and (v) outside of the Interstate 495 Beltway.

Jennifer B. Boysko represents District 38 in the Virginia State Senate which includes Herndon, Reston, Great Falls,  McLean, Wolftrap, parts of unincorporated Falls Church and Vienna.

Please Register Here and make your voice heard on this issue.

Senate Bill 675  - Casino Gaming in Fairfax County

Group Representing Citizens Associations Travels to the Virginia Capitol

January 30, 2024

A 13-member delegation from Northern Virginia boarded a chartered bus Monday morning Jan. 29 to travel to the Virginia Capitol to meet with members of the Virginia Senate and their staffs to express the concerns of the thousands of Fairfax County residents who have raised objections to Senate Bill 675 (introduced by Senator David W. Marsden, Democrat, District 35) that would authorize a casino in Fairfax County.  The delegation was joined at the Capitol by Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn (Hunter Mill District), his wife, and his Chief of Staff. 

An important purpose of traveling to Richmond was to offer testimony before the Senate Finance and Appropriations Subcommittee on Economic Development and Natural Resources that was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday.  That Committee is chaired by the Patron of Senate Bill 675, Sen. Marsden.  However, the delegation was advised by Senator Boysko, in the early afternoon, that the bill would not be scheduled for hearing in Monday’s subcommittee. Therefore no opposition testimony would be presented at the Monday meeting.  Senator Marsden had previously testified to the Senate's Subcommittee on Gaming that there was no opposition to his bill.

The group traveling to Richmond consisted of representatives from the Reston Citizens Association, McLean Citizens Association, the Town Council of Vienna, the Greater Tysons Citizens Association Teams, the Great Falls Citizens Association, Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn, and several area residents. 

At the beginning of the Senate’s Monday morning session, the delegation was seated and recognized in the Senate Gallery, introduced by Senator Boysko, and formally welcomed by the President of the Senate Winsome Sears and the members of the Virginia Senate. 

Throughout the day, smaller teams from the delegation met with the 40 members of the Senate, or their key staff members, to discuss the details of the Marsden Bill and why there has been overwhelming opposition from citizens.  Senator Boysko, and Senator Favola both have voiced their opposition to the bill.

That the Senate Subcommittee hearing opportunity was not scheduled did not deter the delegation from attending that session that heard other business than S.B.675.  During the Subcommittee meeting, Chairman Marsden noticed the large group of attendees from Fairfax County and requested Senator Barbara Favola, a member of his Committee, to inform the group that Marsden would make himself available after the meeting to discuss his bill.  Supervisor Alcorn volunteered to stay behind and meet with the Senator.  While en route back to Northern Virginia, members were notified by Supervisor Alcorn that Senator Marsden remained unwavering in his intention to proceed with the Casino bill. 

Concerned citizens of Great Falls and Fairfax County are encouraged to continue to express their views on this proposal by addressing  email messages to the members of the Virginia Senate.  Nearly all of the senate offices visited by the delegation from Northern Virginia indicated they had received numerous messages expressing opposition to the Bill and they were well aware of the sentiments from the constituents in Northern Virginia.

In addition to writing members of the Virginia General Assembly, there is an online petition that has gathered more than 6,000 signatures that is available below:

https://www.change.org/p/say-no-to-a-fairfax-county-casino

Should S.B. 675 pass the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee, it will still require approval by the full Senate.  Your continued monitoring of this proposal is encouraged. 

GFCA to Review Legislation Affecting Land Use & Zoning Reform

During the 2023 session of the General Assembly, several bills were introduced that sought to ease the housing problems across the Commonwealth through increasing density allowances on single-family zoned parcels. 

Last year bills were proposed to provide improvements in affordable housing and to create mixed-income home ownership options by way of lot size reductions, dimensional and form modifications, or floor area ratio increases; accessory housing unit allowances; and allowance of duplexes, triplexes, and quadruplexes in areas with primarily single-family detached homes.  But, last year’s General Assembly apparently had no appetite for adopting proposals like these and the bills failed to move beyond the committee stage.  However, it is likely that with the recent adoption of zoning ordinance amendments in the communities of Alexandria and Arlington county to change land use policies involving single family zoning, our legislators, at the state and county levels, may view those local actions as a bellwether moment.

The GFCA’s Land Use and Zoning Committee has been anticipating that, given its large lots and predominant single family zoning, Great Falls is a target rich environment for developers, land use planners, and policy makers seeking to find a solution for Fairfax County’s housing problems.  The Land Use and Zoning Committee has been exploring past legislative proposals and has monitored the controversial changes that were recently adopted in both Arlington and Alexandria, apparently over the objections of many residents in those communities. 

The Board of the GFCA, at its December meeting, adopted several legislative initiatives to use as a filter when reviewing proposed legislation in the coming year.  These activities will affect the work of all three of GFCA’s Standing Committees.  But, the Land Use & Zoning Committee will have a sharp focus on any proposals that may repeat the themes of the failed legislation of 2023.

Discussions on this housing topic suggest that there is more to the solution than simply undercutting single-family zoning.  Without addressing the economic aspects contributing to the housing crisis, the attack on single-family zoning is ineffective.  Many studies, including work by Virginia’s own Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission recommend policies that also consider financial incentives and/or requirements for developers to set aside a portion of their units as affordable.  In the face of skyrocketing housing costs, unless concepts like those incentives are incorporated into legislation and zoning ordinances, new housing units will likely be offered at market rate providing little or no relief for access to affordable housing for renters and home buyers alike.

All three GFCA committees and its Special Committee on Legislative Action will be coordinating the review of state and county legislative initiatives in the new year. Schools Task Force Established
At its December meeting the GFCA Board established a small task force to conduct research related to current and upcoming efforts by the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Fairfax County School Board that would impact school boundary and facility capacity issues affecting the residents of Great Falls.  This effort is intended to better inform the GFCA Executive Board if the GFCA should develop and advocate a position on this issue as proposed in the FCPS Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  The CIP is a key component of any decisions affecting school capacities and the ability for schools to adequately serve the student population in the county. 

The current CIP for Fiscal Years 2024-2028  is available at (https://www.fcps.edu/capital-improvement-program) and contains a five-year membership projection, program capacity utilization, and potential solutions to consider for each school that has a capacity deficit.  This document is updated by county staff and approved by the Fairfax County School Board on an annual basis.  At the present time FCPS facilities management staff are finalizing the proposed CIP for FY 2025-2029 for publication in early January and public hearings later in the month. 

Through the above-mentioned task force, the proposed CIP and other relevant information will be reviewed and summarized as to its impact on the status of schools serving Great Falls residents.  The results of that research will be considered by the GFCA Executive Board in deciding IF any future initiative by GFCA on this issue is warranted.  Anyone interested in participating in such a future initiative (IF one is undertaken subsequent to the research that is underway) should click here.

County to Fund Two Transportation Projects in Great Falls

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors recently approved funding for pedestrian and bicycle projects around the county including two within Great Falls.

The long-awaited signalized crosswalks at the Georgetown Pike and Walker Road intersection have been funded at $775,000.  This action is expected to provide crosswalks with signals at the East and North legs of the intersection.  More than 40 years ago, the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Walker Road was rebuilt but, due to local pressure, the design was compromised in order to save two mature oak trees on the northeast corner at the Professional Building.  Those trees lasted for a few decades but are gone now.  As a result of the compromised original design, VDOT could not allow a right-turn-on-red lane southbound on Walker nor cross walks from the northeast corner.  This was because the mature trees were to the north of the current Exxon station and to the east of the 7-Eleven commercial center.  The funding for the signalized crosswalks was prioritized by the Dranesville Supervisors Office in 2017 but the project did not move forward until now. 

The completed project will connect all four corners of this major intersection. We anticipate having further details regarding the Georgetown Pike/Walker Road crosswalks soon.

The second project supports the conversion of a stone dust trail to asphalt between the existing Route 7 asphalt trail beginning at the intersection of Route 7 and Utterback Store Road.  The completed paved trail will continue north to Forestville Elementary School.  This project has been funded at $96,200.  The Transportation Committee will follow up with county staff as the project progresses.

Great Falls News Briefs

  • John Foust who served the Dranesville District as Supervisor for 16 years has retired and his successor, James “Jimmy” Bierman was sworn into the Board of Supervisors on December 13, 2023 for his term that begins on January 1, 2024.
  • The venerable Red Oak that stands on the frontage of the former Marmota Farm has once again come under scrutiny by state transportation officials.  GFCA has again enlisted the expertise of a local arborist for an independent assessment of the tree’s condition in an effort to save it from being taken down.
  • Overflowing trash bins located in the parking area serving the recently-opened Seneca Corner fast food establishments are being investigated by several county agencies.  Development Conditions for that site require the bins to be enclosed within a structure and concealed from view.
  • Preliminary site work reportedly is underway at the Stonecrest Home Arts residential center to be built at 815 Walker Road.  Stonecrest was granted a Special Permit to construct a facility to house 12 unrelated persons.
  • The Residence at Colvin Run, an assisted living facility on Walker Road, has initiated plans to replace a large Oak tree on its frontage that succumbed due to construction activity.  GFCA had worked with county officials to preserve the large specimen during the approval process for the development.


Click Here to read about the Historic Georgetown Pike and Cornwell Farm

Upcoming events

ABOUT GFCA

Our goal is to preserve the semi-rural character of our community while addressing practical concerns like traffic, zoning, retail, schools, parks and the environment where problems arise and solutions must be found. 

Since Great Falls is not an incorporated municipality like the Town of Vienna, or City of Falls Church, we lack a town/city government to represent our local interests.  The GFCA acts in an unofficial capacity to represent the voices of the citizens of Great Falls on these matters, and works with county, state, and national government to get things done.  On Great Falls issues, no other organization has GFCA’s influence with elected leaders at the County and State level, or is as respected by them.

Our charter calls for GFCA to "serve as a community organization to promote all aspects of community interest accruing to a common good and, in general, to preserve the historic, low density, semi-rural character of Great Falls and its natural resources."



Watch GFCA
Yo
uTube Channel Videos Here:

GFCA Sept. 1, 2023 EP Committee Presentation on well water, hosted by Committee Co-chair Lisa Schlecht
https://youtu.be/fNKhRJOHPjs


EP Committee Presentation by Henry Lippincott on the Georgetown Pike Rural Preservation Trust and benefits of Land Conservation Easements
https://youtu.be/MQD1-KR6lYQ

Land Use & Zoning Committee Chair, Jennifer Falcone's, Video Testimony before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on zMOD Ordinance
https://youtu.be/h5braFJqJa4

EP Committee Presentation on Fairfax County's recycling Program
https://youtu.be/_ITeR28ULAk

Town Hall re: Proposed Dark Sky Preserve at Turner Farm Park Observatory
https://youtu.be/Picv6xt8iuI

EP Committee Presentation featuring Tips on Lawn Care from Master Gardener Tony Makara
https://youtu.be/JVaAP5th7SQ

Town Hall re: Towlston Rd./Rte. 7 Intersection -
https://youtu.be/FXdel1pYOkc


Town Hall re: Milestone Towers proposed Monopole - 
https://youtu.be/QwRui2L1DNw

Town Hall re: Springvale Rd. Bridge Replacement -
https://youtu.be/npSkWpbIwcw

Deer Management Presentation - 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIV9QOiwlaw


Native Plants Presentation - 
https://youtu.be/WEoC75APda0

The Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA) is a non-profit, 501(c)4, organization based in Great Falls, Virginia, whose mission is to promote and protect the quality of life and the unique characteristics of the Great Falls community.  The GFCA is a volunteer-based organization that is open to all residents of Great Falls and the surrounding area.

The GFCA is known for its advocacy and community engagement activities, which include working with local government officials and other community organizations on issues related to land use, zoning, transportation, and environmental protection.  The organization also organizes events and programs to promote community engagement and connect residents with local resources and services. 

Some of the activities the GFCA is involved in include:

Zoning and land-use issues, like protecting the rural character of Great Falls from over development
Advocacy for traffic and transportation improvements
Promoting the protection of natural and historic resources in Great Falls
Organizing community events and programs, like educational seminars, social events, and volunteer opportunities
Provide information and resources to the community on issues of importance to Great Falls.
The GFCA is an active organization in Great Falls and plays a critical role in preserving the community's unique character and quality of life, through its advocacy and community engagement activities.

Great Falls Citizens Association            
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA   •  2206
6                                                                                                                                         

Contact Us   |   Privacy Policy

© Copyright 2021 - All Rights Reserved, Great Falls Citizens Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software