Fairfax County news in brief

September 19, 2012
Planning and Zoning will review county’s sign rules

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has directed the Planning and Zoning Department to review the county’s sign ordinances, specifically focusing on electronic signs.

Last month, the county was sued by the Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna after the church was told it was in violation of the county sign ordinance for displaying three different messages during one day, one more than the limit.

The regulations were updated about 20 years ago, board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) said, and did not consider modern sign technologies.

County staff members will not take any enforcement actions against electronic signs until the ordinance update is complete, Bulova said.

County car taxes due Oct. 5; payments options available

Fairfax County car taxes are due Oct. 5. The tax bills can be paid by mail, online, in person at the Fairfax County Government Center, or by phone at 703-222-6740.

Residents also can pay the tax bill at Bank of America, SunTrust and Wells Fargo branches in the county; at Shoppers Food and Pharmacy stores; and at Global Express. For information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/pay-car-taxes/.

Former prosecutor enters race for attorney general

Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax of Annandale is running as a Democrat for Virginia attorney general next year.

Fairfax was a prosecutor in the major crimes and narcotics unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He previously worked at a private law firm.

“Virginians deserve an attorney general with law enforcement experience who will protect them and provide a fresh start free of the same old politics of the past,” Fairfax said in a statement.

Virginia tourism increases8 percent to $20.4 billion

Visitors to Virginia generated $20.4 billion from tourism in 2011, an 8 percent increase from 2010, according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

In 2011, tourism in Virginia supported 207,000 jobs, up nearly 2 percent, and provided more than $1.32 billion in state and local taxes.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation receives its annual economic impact data from the U.S. Travel Association. The information is based on spending by visitors within the United States traveling 50 miles or more from home.

“These new figures highlight the importance of continuing to invest in tourism as an instant revenue generator for Virginia,” Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) said in a statement.

— Fairfax County Times

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