Members of the Spring Bank Community Association (SBCA) were briefed on the activities of the Fairfax County Strike Team by Deputy Chief David M. McKernan, operations section chief, during their meeting Monday night at Groveton Baptist Church.
In addition to reporting on home inspections, McKernan reported on the Team's actions involving two Richmond Highway motel inspections they completed in recent months. One involved the Fairview Motel, 6421 Richmond Highway, which was closed by the team and remains closed. The other was the Southern Motel, 8257 Richmond Highway.
"We did not close the Southern Motel. They were able to make the necessary repairs and corrections. There are still a few of the their rooms closed but the overall problem there has been fairly well resolved," McKernan said.
Fairview Motel is an entirely different matter, according to McKernan. "Fairview Motel was shut down because we had a number of complaints, covering everything from shootings to drugs, from a variety of sources. And, when we inspected, it was so filthy I wouldn't have let a dog stay there," McKernan told the SBCA members.
Martin Tillett, vice president, SBCA, asked McKernan if the County has any "mechanism to set a time limit on when such a place has to be renovated or is torn down. Leaving it stand to just further deteriorate is both a disgrace to the area and a danger," Tillett said.
"They have one year. Then the County can go in, re-inspect, and if the proper improvements have not been made, force the owners to tear it down or we have it torn down. However, I can't guarantee that will happen right on the one year mark because there are obvious legal steps to be taken," McKernan said.
Since the Strike Team was established last June they have acted on 250 cases and have 50 of those in court at the present time, according to McKernan. "One reason for the Strike Team's success is that we have all the agencies working as a single organization when we go onto a property," he said.
"But it is a slow process. And not every home that is recommended
for inspection is in violation. We recently entered one home where there were multiple residents but, upon checking, we found that they were actually all related and codes were met," McKernan said.
The Strike Team has been able to "get into 100 percent of the homes we need to. Sometimes we have to work very hard to gather information and take it to a magistrate for an inspection warrant," he explained.
"Seeing some progress is much better than seeing no progress," said David Dale, president, SBCA.
Dale also announced that JPI, the developers of Kings Crossing, is facing a delay in their planning process due to the Virginia Department of Transportation requiring a new traffic study. "This is very frustrating to them as well as us," he said.
He also reminded the membership that their January meeting will be the Annual Meeting with elections for Board of Directors members. Those directors then select the officers of the association.