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Fairfax County, Virginia

Fairfax County, Virginia
County
County of Fairfax
The Old Fairfax County Courthouse located in Fairfax City (photo from late 2010)
Flag of Fairfax County, Virginia
Flag
Seal of Fairfax County, Virginia
Seal
Nickname(s): "Fairfax"
Map of Virginia highlighting Fairfax County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting Virginia
Virginia's location in the U.S.
Founded May 6, 1742
Named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron
Seat Fairfax1
Largest town Herndon
Area
 • Total 406 sq mi (1,052 km2)
 • Land 391 sq mi (1,013 km2)
 • Water 15 sq mi (39 km2), 3.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 1,118,883
 • Density 2,761/sq mi (1,066/km²)
Congressional districts 8th, 10th, 11th
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website .gov.fairfaxcountywww
Footnotes: 1 The county courts and administrative offices are in unincorporated areas in Fairfax County, but have Fairfax, Virginia mailing addresses.

Fairfax County, officially the County of Fairfax, is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,081,726,[1] in 2014, the population was estimated to be 1,118,883,[2] making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.6% of Virginia's population. The county is also the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, with 19.8% of the MSA population, as well as the larger Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area, with 13.1% of the CSA population. The county seat is Fairfax.[3]

Fairfax was the first county in the United States to reach a six-figure median household income and has the second-highest median household income of any local jurisdiction in the United States after neighbor Loudoun County.[4][5]

The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The county is also home to ten Fortune 500 companies, including three with Falls Church addresses.[6]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent jurisdictions 2.1
  • Geology 3
  • Government and politics 4
  • Demographics 5
  • Education 6
  • Economy 7
    • Tysons Corner 7.1
    • Employment 7.2
    • Top employers 7.3
  • Arts and culture 8
  • Transportation 9
    • Roads 9.1
    • Major highways 9.2
    • Air 9.3
    • Public transportation 9.4
  • Parks and recreation 10
    • Trails 10.1
  • Communities 11
    • Census-designated places 11.1
    • Other communities 11.2
  • Notable people 12
  • Sister cities 13
  • See also 14
  • Notes 15
  • External links 16

History

Piney Branch Mill, southeast of Fairfax city, Historic American Buildings Survey
CIA headquarters in Langley

At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Fairfax County were an Algonquian-speaking sub-group called the Taux, also known as the Doeg or Dogue. Their villages, as recorded by Captain John Smith in 1608, included Namassingakent and Nemaroughquand on the south bank of the Potomac River in what is now Fairfax County.[7] The Doeg were driven out of this area and into Maryland, by Virginian colonists from the Northern Neck region, by 1670.

Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County. It was named for Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), proprietor of the Northern Neck.[8][9] The Fairfax family name is derived from the Old English phrase for "blond hair" – Faeger-feahs.

The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were located along the Potomac River. Fort Belvoir is partly located on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only member of the British nobility ever to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley. The Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire immediately after the Revolutionary War in 1783, and George Washington noted the plantation complex gradually deteriorated into ruins.

In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789, part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, and renamed Arlington County in 1920. The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948.[10] The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961.[11]

Located near Washington, D.C., Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War. The Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county; Bull Run is the border between Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Other areas of activity included Minor's Hill, Munson's Hill, and Upton's Hill, on the eastern border of the county, overlooking Washington, D.C.

The growth of the federal government in the years during and after World War II spurred rapid growth in the county. As a result, the once rural county began to become increasingly suburban. Other large businesses continued to settle in Fairfax County and the opening of Tysons Corner Center spurred the rise of Tysons Corner itself. The technology boom and a steady government-driven economy also created rapid growth and an increasingly growing and diverse population. The economy has also made Fairfax County one of the wealthiest counties in the nation.[12]

Geography

Map of Fairfax County and neighboring jurisdictions

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles (1,050 km2), of which 391 square miles (1,010 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (3.8%) is water.[13]

Fairfax County is bounded on the north and southeast by the Charles County, Maryland. The county is partially bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church. It is bounded on the west by Loudoun County, and on the south by Prince William County.

Most of the county lies in the Piedmont region, with rolling hills and deep stream valleys such as Difficult Run and its tributaries. West of Route 28, the hills give way to a flat, gentle valley which stretches west to the Bull Run Mountains in Loudoun County. Elevations in the county range from sea level along the Potomac River to 200–500 feet (60–150 m) in the hills.

Adjacent jurisdictions

Geology

The Piedmont hills in the central county are made up of ancient metamorphic rocks such as schist, the roots of several ancestral ranges of the Appalachians. The western valley is floored with more recent shale and sandstone. This geology is similar to adjacent bands of rocks in Maryland and further south in Virginia along the eastern front of the Appalachians.

An area of 11 square miles (30 km2) of the county is known to be underlain with natural asbestos.[14] Much of the asbestos is known to emanate from fibrous tremolite or actinolite. The threat was discovered in 1987, prompting the county to establish laws to monitor air quality at construction sites, control soil taken from affected areas, and require freshly developed sites to lay 6 inches (150 mm) of clean, stable material over the ground.[15][16]

For instance, during the construction of Centreville High School a large amount of asbestos-laden soil was removed and then trucked to Vienna for the construction of the I-66/Nutley Street interchange. Fill dirt then had to be trucked in to make the site level. Marine clays can be found in widespread areas of the county east of Interstate 95, mostly in the Lee and Mount Vernon districts. These clays contribute to soil instability, leading to significant construction challenges for builders.[17]

Government and politics

Presidential elections results[18]
Year Republican Democratic
2012 39.1% 206,773 59.6% 315,273
2008 38.9% 200,914 60.1% 310,359
2004 45.9% 211,980 53.3% 245,671
2000 48.9% 202,181 47.5% 196,501
1996 48.2% 176,033 46.6% 170,150
1992 44.3% 170,488 41.6% 160,186
Gubernatorial election results[19]
Year Republican Democratic
2013 36.3% 109,585 58.3% 176,092
2009 50.7% 138,655 49.1% 134,189
2005 38.0% 103,285 60.2% 163,667
2001 44.9% 120,799 54.5% 146,537
1997 52.5% 129,038 46.7% 114,697
1993 51.5% 124,470 48.0% 115,800

Fairfax County uses the urban county executive form of government, which county voters approved in a 1966 referendum.[20][21]

Under the urban county executive plan, the county is governed by the 10-member Fairfax County Board of Supervisors with the day-to-day running of the county tasked to the appointed Fairfax County Executive.

Nine of the board members are elected from the single-member districts of Braddock, Dranesville, Hunter Mill, Lee, Mason, Mount Vernon, Providence, Springfield, and Sully, while the chairman is elected at-large.

In addition to the Board of Supervisors, three constitutional officers; the Commonwealth's Attorney, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Sheriff, as well as the 12 members of the Fairfax County School Board, are directly elected by the voters of Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Government Center is west of the city of Fairfax in an unincorporated area.[22] Fairfax County contains an exclave unincorporated area located in the central business district of the City of Fairfax, in which many county facilities (including the courthouses and jail) are located.[23][24]

Fairfax County was once considered a Republican bastion. However, in recent years Democrats have made significant inroads, gaining control of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board (officially nonpartisan) as well as the offices of Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney. Democrats also control the majority of Fairfax seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate.

Fairfax County encompasses portions of three congressional districts, the 8th District, the 10th District, and the 11th District. Republican Barbara Comstock represents the 10th District, while Democrat Don Beyer represents the 8th District and Democrat Gerry Connolly represents the 11th District.

Communities closer to Washington, D.C. generally favor Democrats by a larger margin than do the outlying communities. In elections in 2000, 2001, and 2005, Fairfax County supported Democrats for U.S. Senate and governor. In 2004, George W. Bush in the county 53% to 46%.

Democratic Governor Tim Kaine carried Fairfax County with over 60% of the vote in 2005, leading him to win 51.7% of votes statewide. On November 7, 2006, U.S. Senate candidate Jim Webb (D) carried the county with about 58.9% of the votes.

In the state and local elections of November 2007, Fairfax Democrats picked up one seat in the House of Delegates, two seats in the Senate, and one seat on the Board of Supervisors, making their majority there 8–2.

On November 4, 2008, Fairfax County continued its shift towards the Democrats, with Barack Obama and Mark Warner each garnering over 60% of the vote for president and U.S. Senate, respectively. Also, the Fairfax-anchored 11th District United States House of Representatives seat held by Thomas M. Davis for 14 years was won by Gerry Connolly, the Democratic Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Braddock supervisor Sharon Bulova won a special election on February 3, 2009 to succeed Gerry Connolly as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, continuing a Democratic hold on the office of chairman that dates back to 1995. Delegate David Marsden won a special election on January 12, 2010 to succeed Ken Cuccinelli in the 37th State Senate district.[25] Following this election, Fairfax County is now represented in the Virginia State Senate by an all-Democratic delegation.[26]

In the 2010 congressional elections, Republican challenger Keith Fimian nearly defeated Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly in the election for the 11th District seat, but Connolly won by 981 votes out of over 225,000 cast (a margin of 0.4%). Jim Moran and Frank Wolf were re-elected by margins of 61%–37% and 63%–35%, respectively.

In 2012, Fairfax County solidly backed Barack Obama for re-election as president, with Obama nearly equaling his 2008 performance there by winning the county 59.6% to 39.1%. Former Governor Tim Kaine, running for the U.S. Senate in 2012, carried Fairfax County with 61% percent of the vote as part of his statewide victory. Representatives Connolly (D), Moran (D), and Wolf (R) were also reelected.

Although Republican Governor Bob McDonnell won Fairfax County with 51% in November 2009, the Republican resurgence in Fairfax was short-lived. Four years later, in the November 2013 election, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe won Fairfax County with 58% of the vote, defeating incumbent state Attorney General and former Republican state senator from Fairfax, Ken Cuccinelli. McAuliffe's running mates, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring, also carried Fairfax County in their respective bids for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. These Democratic victories mirrored the Democratic ticket's sweep of the state's three executive offices for the first time since 1989.

County Board of Supervisors
Position Name Party First Election District
  Chairman Sharon Bulova Democratic Party 2009 At-Large
  Supervisor John Cook Republican Party 2009 Braddock
  Supervisor John Foust Democratic Party 2007 Dranesville
  Supervisor Cathy Hudgins Democratic Party 1999 Hunter Mill
  Supervisor Jeff McKay Democratic Party 2007 Lee
  Supervisor Penelope Gross Democratic Party 1995 Mason
  Supervisor Gerald Hyland Democratic Party 1988 Mount Vernon
  Supervisor Linda Smyth Democratic Party 2003 Providence
  Supervisor Pat Herrity Republican Party 2007 Springfield
  Supervisor Michael Frey Republican Party 1991 Sully
Constitutional Officers
Position Name Party First Election District
  Sheriff Stacey Kincaid Democratic 2013 County-Wide
  Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh Democratic 2007 County-Wide
  Clerk of Circuit Court John T. Frey Republican 1991 County-Wide
Representatives to the Virginia House of Delegates
Position Name Party First Election District
Delegate Kathleen Murphy Democratic Party 2015 34[27]
  Delegate Mark Keam Democratic Party 2009 35
  Delegate Ken Plum Democratic Party 1977 36
  Delegate David Bulova Democratic Party 2005 37
  Delegate Kaye Kory Democratic Party 2009 38
  Delegate Vivian E. Watts Democratic Party 1995 39
  Delegate Tim Hugo Republican Party 2001 40
  Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn Democratic Party 2010 41
  Delegate Dave Albo Republican Party 1993 42
  Delegate Mark D. Sickles Democratic Party 2003 43
  Delegate Scott Surovell Democratic Party 2009 44
  Delegate Rob Krupicka Democratic Party 2012 45
  Delegate Charniele Herring Democratic Party 2009 46
  Delegate Alfonso Lopez Democratic Party 2011 49
  Delegate Jim Scott Democratic Party 1991 53
  Delegate James LeMunyon Republican Party 2009 67
  Delegate Tom Rust Republican Party 2001 86
Representatives to the Virginia State Senate
Position Name Party First Election District
Senator Adam Ebbin Democratic Party 2011 30
Senator Barbara Favola Democratic Party 2011 31
Senator Janet Howell Democratic Party 1991 32
Senator Jennifer Wexton Democratic Party 2014 33
Senator Chap Petersen Democratic Party 2007 34
Senator Richard L. Saslaw Democratic Party 1980 35
Senator Toddy Puller Democratic Party 2000 36
Senator Dave Marsden Democratic Party 2010 37
Senator George Barker Democratic Party 2007 39

Demographics

As of 2010, there were 1,081,726 people, 350,714 households, and 250,409 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,455 people per square mile (948/km²). There were 359,411 housing units at an average density of 910 per square mile (351/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

  • 62.68% White
  • 9.17% Black or African American
  • 0.36% Native American
  • 17.53% Asian (4.1% Indian, 3.8% Korean, 2.7% Vietnamese, 2.4% Chinese, 1.4% Filipino, 1.0% Pakistani, 0.3% Thai, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Bangladeshi, 0.2% Nepalese, 0.2% Cambodian, 0.1% Laotian)
  • 0.07% Pacific Islander
  • 4.54% from other races
  • 3.65% from two or more races.
  • 15.58% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race. (4.0% Salvadorian, 1.7% Mexican, 1.7% Bolivian, 1.2% Peruvian, 1.1% Honduran, 1.0% Guatemalan, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Colombian, 0.3% Nicaraguan, 0.2% Argentinean, 0.2% Chilean)





Racial structure of Fairfax County

  White (62.7%)
  Asian (17.5%)
  Black (9.2%)
  Other (6.5%)
  Two or more races (3.6%)
  Native (0.4%)
  Pacific islander (0.1%)

In 2000 there are 350,714 households, of which 36.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.40% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 21.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.20.

The age distribution was 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.50% from 18 to 24, 33.90% from 25 to 44, 25.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $81,050, and the median income for a family was $92,146; in a 2007 estimate, these figures rose to $102,460 and $120,804, respectively. Males had a median income of $60,503 versus $41,802 for females. The per capita income for the county was $36,888. About 3.00% of families and 4.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.20% of those under age 18 and 4.00% of those age 65 or over. A more recent report from the 2007 American Community Survey indicated that poverty in Fairfax County, Virginia had risen to 4.9%.[5]

Judged by household median income, Fairfax County is among the highest-income counties in the country, and was first on that list for many years. However, in the 2000 census it was overtaken by Douglas County, Colorado. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2005, it had the second-highest median household income behind neighboring Loudoun County, at $94,610. In 2007, Fairfax County reclaimed its position as the richest county in America, in addition to becoming the first county in American history to have a median household income in excess of $100,000, though not the first jurisdiction.[33] In 2008, Loudoun County reclaimed the first position, with Fairfax County a statistically insignificant second.[34][35] In 2012, the median household income in Fairfax County was $108,439.[36]

Fairfax County males have the highest life expectancy in the nation at 81.1 years, while females had the eighth-highest at 83.8 years.[37]

Education

The county is served by the Fairfax County Public Schools system, to which the county government allocates 52.2% of its fiscal budget.[38] Including state and federal government contributions, along with citizen and corporate contributions, this brings the 2008 fiscal budget for the school system to $2.2 billion.[39] The school system has estimated that, based on the 2008 fiscal year budget, the county will be spending $13,407 on each student.[40]

The Fairfax County Public School system contains the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor's School. TJHSST consistently ranks at or near the top of all United States high schools due to the extraordinary number of National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists, the high average SAT scores of its students, and the number of students who annually perform nationally recognized research in the sciences and engineering. However, as a Governor's School, TJHSST draws students not only from Fairfax County, but also Arlington, Loudoun, Fauquier, and Prince William counties, as well as the City of Falls Church.

Fairfax County is also home to many Catholic elementary and middle schools. The schools fall under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Paul the VI is the diocesan school for Fairfax County. The Oakcrest School is a Catholic school in Fairfax County, which is not run by the Diocese.

Fairfax, near the geographic center of Fairfax County. Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) serves Fairfax County with campuses in Annandale and Springfield a center in Reston which is a satellite branch of the Loudoun campus. The NVCC Alexandria campus borders Fairfax County. The University of Fairfax is also headquartered in Vienna, Virginia. Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Medicine recently constructed a medical campus wing at Inova Fairfax Hospital in order to allow third and fourth year medical students to study at other state-of-the-art facilities in the Northern Virginia region.[41]

Economy

Fairfax County is, along with Washington, a "core" employment jurisdiction of the Washington Metropolitan Area as indicated by this map. A U.S. Department of Labor study published in 2007 described Fairfax County as the second "economic pillar" of the Washington-area economy, along with the District of Columbia. The county has been described in Time as "one of the great economic success stories of our time."[42]

The economy of Fairfax County revolves around professional services and technology. Many residents work for the government or for contractors of the federal government. The government is the largest employer, with Fort Belvoir in southern Fairfax being the county's single largest location of federal employment. Fairfax County has a gross county product of about $95 billion.

Fairfax County also is home to major employers such as Volkswagen Group of America, Hilton Worldwide,[43] CSC (formerly Computer Sciences Corporation), Northrop Grumman, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Leidos, Booz Allen Hamilton, SRA International, Gannett, Capital One, General Dynamics, ICF International, Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, ManTech International, Mars, NII and NVR. ExxonMobil headquarters its downstream operations in the county at a site that was formerly the headquarters of Mobil Oil.[44] The county is home to seven Fortune 500 company headquarters,[45] 11 Hispanic 500 companies,[46] and five companies on the Black Enterprise 500 list. Northrop Grumman announced in 2010 that it would move its corporate headquarters from Los Angeles to Fairfax County.

The economy of the county is supported by the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, which provides services and information designed to promote Fairfax County as a leading business and technology center. The FCEDA is the largest non-state economic development authority in the nation. Fairfax County is also home to the Northern Virginia Technology Council, a trade association for local technology companies. It is the largest technology council in the nation, with technology industry figures such as Bill Gates and Meg Whitman speaking at various local banquets.[47][48] Fairfax County has a higher concentration of high-tech workers than the Silicon Valley.[49]

Tysons Corner

The Tysons Corner CDP of Fairfax County is Virginia's largest office market and the largest suburban business district in the nation with 26,600,000 square feet (2,470,000 m2) of office space.[50][51] It is the country's 12th-largest business district, and is expected to grow substantially in the decades to come. It contains a quarter of the county's total office space inventory, which totaled 105,200,000 square feet (9,770,000 m2) at year-end 2006, which is about the size of Lower Manhattan.[52] The area is noted by Forbes as "often described as the place where the Internet was invented, but today it looks increasingly like the center of the global military-industrial complex"[53] due to being home to the nation's first ISPs (many of whom are now defunct), while attracting numerous defense contractors who have relocated from other states to or near Tysons Corner.

Every weekday, Tysons Corner draws over 100,000 workers from around the region. It also draws 55,000 shoppers every weekday as it is home to neighboring super-regional malls Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria. In comparison, Washington, D.C. draws 15 million visitors annually, or the equivalent of 62,500 per weekday.

After years of stalling and controversy, the $5.2 billion expansion of the Washington Metro Silver Line in Virginia from Washington, D.C. to Dulles International Airport received funding approval from the Federal Transit Administration in December 2008.[54] The Silver Line added four stations in Tysons Corner, including a station between Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.

Along with the expansion of Washington Metro, Fairfax County government has a plan to "urbanize" the Tysons Corner area. The plan calls for a private-public partnership. It would use a grid-like street system to make Tysons Corner a more urban environment, tripling available housing to allow for more workers to live near where they work. The goal is to have 95% of Tysons Corner within 12-mile (800 m) from a metro station.[55]

Employment

The average weekly wage in Fairfax County during the first quarter of 2005 was $1,181, which is 52% more than the national average.[56] By comparison, the average weekly wage was $1,286 for Arlington – the Washington metropolitan area's highest – $1,277 for Washington, D.C., and $775 for the United States as a whole.[56] The types of jobs available in the area make it very attractive to highly educated workers. The relatively high wages may be partially due to the high cost of living in the area.[56]

In early 2005, Fairfax County had 553,107 total jobs, up from 372,792 in 1990. In the area, this is second to Washington's 658,505 jobs in 2005 (down from 668,532 in 1990).[56]

As of the 2002 Economic Census, Fairfax County has the largest professional, scientific, and technical service sector in the Washington, D.C. area – in terms of the number of business establishments; total sales, shipments, and receipts; payrolls; and number of employees – exceeding the next largest, Washington, D.C., by roughly a quarter overall, and double that of neighboring Montgomery County.

Top employers

According to the County's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[57] the top employers in the county are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Fairfax County Public Schools 24,590
2 United States government 23,586
3 Fairfax County government 12,070
4 Inova Health System 7,000–10,000
5 George Mason University 5,000–10,000
6 Booz Allen Hamilton 4,000–6,999
7 Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation 4,000–6,999
8 General Dynamics 4,000–6,999
9 Northrop Grumman 4,000–6,999
10 SAIC 4,000–6,999
11 Lockheed Martin 1,000–3,999
12 Computer Sciences Corporation 1,000–3,999
13 Navy Federal Credit Union 1,000–3,999

Arts and culture

Annual festivals include the "Celebrate Fairfax!" festival held in June at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax City, the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival[58] held in May at the Reston Town Center in Reston, and the International Children's Festival held in September at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, which features a performing arts center situated outside the town of Vienna.

Fairfax County supports a summer concert series held in multiple venues throughout the county on various nights. The concert series are called Arts in the Parks, Braddock Nights, Lee District Nights, Mt. Vernon Nights, Nottoway Nights, Spotlight by Starlight, Sounds of Summer and Starlight Cinema.[59]

The Workhouse Arts Center, which is located in Lorton, Virginia and includes studios for artists, event facilities for performing groups, and gallery exhibitions. Smaller local art venues include:

  • Alden Theater at the McLean Community Center
  • ArtSpace Herndon
  • Center Stage at the Reston Community Center
  • Greater Reston Arts Center
  • James Lee Community Center Theater
  • Vienna Arts Society (www.ViennaArtsSociety.org)

Transportation

Roads

Several major highways run through Fairfax County, including the Dulles Toll Road, and Fairfax County Parkway are also major arteries. Other notable roads include Braddock Road, Old Keene Mill Road, Little River Turnpike, State Routes 7, 28, and 123, and US Routes 1, 29, and 50.

The county is in the Washington, D.C. metro area, the nation's third most congested area.[60]

Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, is the third worst congested traffic area in the nation, in terms of percentage of congested roadways and time spent in traffic. Of the lane miles in the region, 44 percent are rated "F" or worst for congestion. Northern Virginia residents spend an average of 46 hours a year stuck in traffic.

[61]

[62]

Major highways

I-395 South in Northern Virginia

Air

Washington Dulles International Airport lies partly within Fairfax County and provides most air service to the county. Fairfax is also served by two other airports in the Washington area, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Manassas Regional Airport, in neighboring Prince William County, is also used for regional cargo and private jet service.

Public transportation

Fairfax County has multiple public transportation services, including the Washington Metro's Orange, Blue, Yellow, and Silver lines. The Silver line, which runs through the Tysons Corner and Reston areas of the county, opened in 2014 as the first new Washington Metro line since the Green Line opened in 1991.[63]

In addition, the VRE (Virginia Railway Express) provides commuter rail service to Union Station in Washington, D.C. with stations in Fairfax County. The VRE's Fairfax County stations are Lorton and Franconia/Springfield on the Fredericksburg line, and Burke Centre, Rolling Road, and Backlick Road on the Manassas line.[64]

Fairfax County contracts its bus service called the Fairfax Connector to Veolia Transportation. The county also is served by WMATA's Metrobus service.

Parks and recreation

The county has many protected areas, a total of over 390 county parks on more than 23,000 acres (93 km2).[65] The Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The Mason Neck State Park is also located in Lorton.

Fairfax County is member of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

The Reston Zoo is in Reston, Virginia.[66] The National Zoo is located nearby in Washington, D.C.

Trails

The county maintains many miles of bike trails running through parks, adjacent to roads and through towns such as Vienna and Herndon. The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail runs through Fairfax County, offering one of the region's best, and safest, routes for recreational walking and biking. In addition, nine miles (14 km) of the Mount Vernon Trail runs through Fairfax County along the Potomac River.

However, compared to other regions of the Washington area, Fairfax County has a dearth of designated bike lanes for cyclists wishing to commute in the region. On May 16, 2008, Bike-to-Work Day, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation released the first countywide bicycle route map.[67]

The Fairfax Cross County Trail runs from Great Falls National Park in the northern end of the county to Occoquan Regional Park in the southern end. Consisting of mostly dirt paths and short asphalt sections, the trail is used mostly by recreational mountain bikers, hikers, and horse riders.

Communities

Map of Fairfax County showing incorporated cities and CDPs.
Herndon
McLean
Reston

Three incorporated towns, Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna, are located entirely within Fairfax County.[68]

The independent cities of Falls Church and Fairfax were formed out of areas formerly under the jurisdiction of Fairfax County, but are politically separate, despite the status of the City of Fairfax as county seat.

It has been proposed[69] to convert the entire county into a single independent city, primarily to gain more control over taxes and roads. The most recent such proposal was made June 30, 2009.

Other communities within Fairfax County are unincorporated areas. Virginia law dictates that no unincorporated area of a county may be incorporated as a separate town or city following the adoption of the urban county executive form of government.[70] Fairfax County adopted the urban county executive form of government in 1966.[20][21]

As of the 2000 census the thirteen largest communities of Fairfax County are all unincorporated CDPs, the largest of which are Burke, Reston, and Annandale, each with a population exceeding 50,000. (The largest incorporated place in the county is the town of Herndon, its fourteenth-largest community.)

Census-designated places

The following localities within Fairfax County are identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as (unincorporated) Census-Designated Places:[71]

Many of these areas have addresses in Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax City.

Other communities

Notable people

Historic figures

Politicians

  • Sharon Bulova – Current chairman of the board of supervisors
  • Gerry Connolly – U.S. Congressman (VA-11) and former Chairman of the Fairfax County board of supervisors
  • Tom Davis – former U.S. Congressman (VA-11)
  • Katherine Hanley – Virginia Secretary of the Commonwealth and former County Board Chair
  • John Warner – former U.S. Senator (R)
  • Jim Webb – former U.S. Senator (D)
  • Nguyễn Cao Kỳ – South Vietnamese Prime Minister, Vice President, and Air-Force General. Initially lived in Fairfax County in the late 1970's after the fall of Saigon.
  • Barbara Comstock – U.S. Congresswoman (VA-10) and former Virginia Delegate (R-34)

Professionals

Sports figures

Entertainers

Other

Sister cities

See also

Notes

  1. ^
  2. ^ [1]. Virginia State 2014 Population Estimates Retrieved February 5, 2015
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Fortune 500 2012: States: Virginia
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ About Falls Church Retrieved 10/6/2009
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^ "Facilities & Locations." Fairfax County. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  23. ^ "Fairfax city, Virginia." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  24. ^ "Fairfax County General District Court." Fairfax County. Retrieved on April 4, 2009.
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ http://elections.virginia.gov/resultsreports/election-results/2015-election-results/01062015special.html
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ [2] United Way of the National Capital Area – Fairfax/Falls Church Retrieved September 26, 2010
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^ Fairfax County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau. Quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  37. ^ Region ranks well for long lives
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ FCPS statistics
  41. ^
  42. ^ Fairfax County high school ranked the best in the nation; two other county schools...
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ Why Virginia's Become Mecca For Military Contractors
  54. ^ Silver Line To Dulles Wins Crucial Federal Okay
  55. ^
  56. ^ a b c d
  57. ^ Fairfax County, Virginia Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, for the Year ended June 30, 2014
  58. ^ GRACE,Festival. Restonarts.org (2008-07-31). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  59. ^
  60. ^
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^
  66. ^
  67. ^
  68. ^
  69. ^ July 1, 2009The Washington Post,"Fairfax Executive Suggests Dropping 'County,' "
  70. ^ Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-817
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^
  78. ^
  79. ^
  80. ^
  81. ^ a b c Sisterhood Partnerships
  82. ^ Fairfax County teams up with Chinese city

External links

Official Fairfax County sites
  • Fairfax County Government website
  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Fairfax County Public Library System
  • Property lookup database from the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration
Other websites
  • Geographic data related to Fairfax County, Virginia at OpenStreetMap
  • Festival information for Celebrate Fairfax!
  • Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
  • Tourism information from the Fairfax County Convention and Visitors Corporation
  • County of Fairfax at the Wayback Machine (archived June 1, 2002)
  • County of Fairfax at the Wayback Machine (archived January 5, 1997)

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