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Police: Four Break-Ins in Last Two Days

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 310 views | No Comments

Fairfax County Police Officers from Fairfax County’s Reston District Station report four burglaries in the last two days.

In the first, a resident of the 2400 block of Cloverfield Circle in unincorporated Herndon, told police someone entered the residence and took property on July 19.

The other three took place on July 20:

  • 1700 block of Ascot Way, Reston. A resident reported someone entered the apartment and took property.
  • 12800 block of Kettering Drive in Fox Mill. A resident reported someone entered the residence and took property.
  • 2700 block of Viking Drive, Fox Mill. A resident reported someone entered the garage and took property.

In other crime news reported by the Fairfax County Police Reston District Station this week:

LARCENIES

  • 1400 block of Northpoint Glen Court, laptop computer from residence
  • 11100 block of Sunset Hills Road, cell phone from business
  • 11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, catalytic converter from vehicle
  • 11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, exhaust system from vehicle
  • 13300 block of Apgar Place, license plate from vehicle
  • 9900 block of Blackmore Vale Way, property from residence
  • 2100 block of Cabots Point Lane, bicycles from residence
  • 2400 block of Green Range Drive, clothing from business
  • 2500 block of John Eppes Road, purse from vehicle
  • 9800 block of Meadow Valley Drive, wallet from business
  • 1600 block of Sadlers Wells Drive, money from vehicle
  • 12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, money from business
  • 2100 block of Westglade Court, license plates from vehicle
  • 12000 block of Bowman Towne Drive, tools from vehicle
  • 2300 block of Soapstone Drive, cell phone from business
  • 10900 block of Knights Bridge Court, medication from residence

STOLEN VEHICLES

  • 2200 block of Astoria Circle, Yamaha YZSR6 motorcycle
  • 1600 block of Parkcrest Circle, 2006 Scion XB

Comstock Secures More Financing for Reston Station

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 147 views | No Comments

BLVD Apartments under construction at Reston StationComstock has secured nearly $100 million in additional financing for construction of the 21-story luxury BLVD Apartments.

The BLVD apartments are currently under construction at Comstock’s Reston Station, located above the seven-level underground parking garage adjacent to the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Metro Station.

Comstock will get a $95 million, 48-month construction loan from Citizen Bank, Virginia Business reports.

The $900 million parking garage was built by a public-private partnership between Comstock and Fairfax County. It is the only parking among the five Silver Line stations in Tysons Corner and Reston. The Silver Line opens Saturday.

The county and Comstock agreed earlier this year that Comstock will pay the county $2.9 million annually in rent. Eventually, the plaza will be home to office, hotel and retail space as well.

Photo: BLVD apartments under construction at Reston Station/file photo

Afternoon Poll: Will You Take The Silver Line Daily?

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 182 views | 4 Comments

Commemorative SmarTrip Card/Credit: MetroFour days until the Silver Line begins carrying passengers. Reston Now wants to know: Will it change your commute?

While the Silver Line will connect Reston and Tysons Corner each other and to points inside the Beltway, in D.C. and beyond, it is not the workday answer for everyone.

For instance, a large number of Reston-area workers travel within Reston or other areas of Fairfax County not served by Metro. Those who can now take Metro to Reston from Arlington or D.C. to get to work, still would have to find a way to get from Wiehle-Reston East to, say, offices in Reston Town Center.

And still others say parking at Wiehle-Reston East ($4.85 daily) combined with rush hour Metro fares ($11.80 round trip daily to Farragut North, for example) make carpooling and parking downtown a more attractive option.

Take our poll and tell us in the comments below where you go for work and whether how you get there will change.

 

New Laws for Mopeds, New Safety Training for Fairfax County Police

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 188 views | No Comments

Fairfax County Police undergo motorbike safety training/Credit: FCPD

Spurred in part by the fatal crash of a Reston teen on a mini bike earlier this year, Fairfax County Police are undergoing safety and law enforcement training about two-wheeled motorized vehicles.

Law enforcement officials say there were 600 crashes — 12 of them fatal — among riders of mopeds, mini-bikes and motorscooters in Virginia in 2013. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 20 percent of all accidents and 10 percent involved excessive speed, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV says 1,967 people have been injured in 2,062 moped crashes over the past five years.

Fairfax County Police do not keep stats on mopeds, mini-bikes and other similar vehicles on county streets, they say they see anecdotal evidence of growing popularity. Warm weather and high gas prices may be possible contributors.

A new state law governing mopeds went into effect July 1. The law requires moped drivers to be at least age 16; drivers and riders must wear a Virginia State Police-approved helmet. Drivers are also required to wear a face shield and add safety glasses or goggles if they are riding a moped that lacks a windshield. Mopeds must be registered and titled with the DMV, and owners must have a photo identification document with them when they are driving on state roadways.

The new law also states that it is illegal to drive a moped if your driver’s license is suspended or revoked for convictions of DUI, underage consumption of alcohol, refusing a blood or breath test, or driving while on a suspended or revoked license for a DUI-related offense.

A bike is considered a motorcycle if it is over 50ccs. Motorcycles are subject to a different set of regulations, including requiring a motorcycle endorsement on the driver’s operator license.

Mini-bikes, such as the one the Reston teen was driving in the May accident, have seat heights less than 24 inches high and are considered “motor-driven cycles.” They are not required to be registered with the state of have a license plate.

Those bikes are supposed to be for entertainment on private property and are not street-legal, Fairfax County Police said.

Officer Joseph Moore, instructor of the recent FCPS motorbike training, says that mini-bikes’ low line of sight — which may not be higher than the bumper of a car — make them especially dangerous on roadways.

“The best safety tip I can give you is be smart and be careful,” he said. “Keep in mind you are not as visible as you think you may be.”

Photo: Fairfax County Police undergo motorbike safety training/Credit: FCPD

See more information on new laws and safety tips in this FCPD video.

FCPD, Metro Police Ready to Deter Crime Near Silver Line

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 11:00 am | 282 views | 4 Comments

Wiehle Reston East/Credit: Fairfax CountyAs Reston prepares to become a transit-oriented community, it is also preparing to for urban-style issues. Among them: The opportunity for crime.

Metro’s first five Silver Line stations, including Wiehle-Reston East, open on Saturday. Fairfax County Police

Chief Ed Roessler says that combining an increased population with urban-style gathering spots does increase the chances for crime. But it doesn’t mean it has to increase actual crime rates.

“The opportunity for crime is more prevalent when you open up a Metro station,” says Roessler. “What you see are breaking into cars late at night and more people traveling corridors from platform to garage and pedestrian pathways. That is what we are concerned about and we have taken action to prevent that.”

Roessler says FCPD has been planning for crime prevention around the new transit areas for many years — about as long as Metro’s five-year course of building the Silver Line.

The FCPD, boosted by additional funding from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to add nine positions to the department, created the Tysons Urban Team in 2013. The police department’s five-year strategic plan calls for a similar unit in Reston, says Roessler.

However, officers at all stations have been undergoing urban police training for much longer, the chief said. Reston Town Center has always had bike and foot patrols — two of the core urban policing strategies. Additional bike and foot patrols are also in place at Hunters Woods Village Center, and will be at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Crime around Metro stations is actually quite low in Virginia, says Metro. The transportation agency says there were 7.1 serious crimes per million riders overall in 2013, with far more in D.C. and parts of Maryland. The majority — 70 percent — were thefts, says Metro Police Chief Ron Pavlik. He said that the Virginia stations are some of the safest in the system.

“Typically, crime on Metro is reflective of crime rates in the surrounding communities,” he says. “We don’t see a lot of ‘Part I’ (violent) offenses in Virginia.”

Fairfax County saw a drop in every violent crime category in 2013. In the Reston District in 2013, there were 654 assaults (compared to 765 the previous year). There was a rise in robberies though, from 27 in 2012 to 37 in 2013.

Still, Metro’s 491 sworn officers are being prepared to prevent crime. The agency hired 26 officers and 15 civilian employees in advance of the Silver Line opening. Transit police have trained with county police. Reston District Station officers have also done safety seminars for students, said Lt. Ken Baine, Reston Assistant Commander.

Pavlik says riders will see a high police presence the first few weeks the Silver Line is open. But riders still need to be aware to stay safe. He offers these tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Put yourself close to other customers if you feel you are being followed.
  • Put your cell phone away when not in use.
  • If you see something, say something. You can text tips to Metro police dispatch at “MyMTPD” or 202-962-2121 or 911.
  • Use the emergency call buttons located throughout each station. It will ring through to the station manager.

Hunt Club Property May Be Homes Under New Reston Plan

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 9:30 am | 302 views | No Comments

Fairfax Hunt Club/Credit: Fairfax Hunt ClubReston’s Fairfax Hunt Club may eventually be home to a subdivision when Phase II of the Reston Master Plan Special Study is completed.

Phase II, which kicked off in May, offered an opportunity to submit property-specific land use proposals to be included in the draft “strawman” Comprehensive Plan text for Reston coming up  later this year. Submissions were accepted from May 22 through July 11.

One of the proposals came from Robert Hostler, president of Fairfax Hunt Inc. He submitted a proposal to the Reston Master Plan Special Study group to rezone the hunt’s at 1321 Lake Fairfax Dr. from recreational to   residential.

“The Owner, Fairfax Hunt Inc., is considering relocating its operations and desires to have the option for this property to be converted to residential as are the surrounding properties,” the online submission states.

The Fairfax Hunt has deep, if not active, roots in Reston. A. Smith Bowman – founder of the former Reston distillery bearing his name — also founded the Fairfax Hunt Club in 1928. He later gave part of his 4,000-acre property to the club, and the clubhouse, built in 1951, remains as a catering facility today. Eventually, much of the surrounding land was sold to build Reston and fox hunting moved farther into horse country.

The clubhouse contains part of a 200-year-old log house that was formerly located a few miles away in Vienna. The club’s still owns eight acres near Lake Fairfax Park to the south and housing subdivisions on the other sides.

Phase 1 of the Reston Master Plan Special Study was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors earlier this year. Those plans set development standards in the areas within one-quarter mile of Reston’s future Metrorail stations. The first Reston such station,  Wiehle-Reston East, opens Saturday.

Phase II is expected to be a shorter process that will look at specific land use projects and Reston’s village center areas, which may be redeveloped in the future.

Only three specific land use suggestions were sent to Fairfax County in the open period. One was not specific and was disqualified. The other was to add new apartments and increase density at Colvin Woods, a 1970s apartment complex on Becontree Drive.

Photo courtesy of Fairfax Hunt Club

Tuesday Morning Rundown

by Karen Goff | July 22, 2014 at 8:00 am | 201 views | No Comments

Vendors at Reston Market at Lake Anne

Business Boom For NVR — Reston-based home builder NVR announced it had second-quarter net income of $68.2 million, or $15.17 per share. Earnings were up 34 percent from a year earlier and revenue rose 9 percent to $1.1 billion, even as new home contracts have fallen nationwide. [Washington Business Journal]

New Rules for Bar Crawls — Bar crawls in Arlington County may be changing after the Arlington County Board approved new event regulations at its meeting on Saturday. The new regulations will include fees charged to the organizers to recoup the cost of extra police and community resources required to deal with the nearly 5,000 people estimated to attend some of the crawls. The change comes, in part, after a Reston woman stripped naked at the police station after a St. Patrick’s Day crawl this year. [ARLnow.com]

Dr. Gridlock Rides Simulated Metro Service — Monday was the first day of the Silver Line’s simulated service. The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock” rode the existing trains to see the impact of the Silver Line on crowds and wait time. [Washington Post]

Ask Silver Line Bus Questions — Fairfax County will hold a second online chat to answer questions about Silver Line bus service changes. The chat is Friday, July 25 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. [Fairfax County]

Save the Date: Reduced Shakespeare Company Extravaganza

by Karen Goff | July 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 79 views | No Comments

Reduced Shakespeare Company/Credit: Reduced Shakespeare Company

The celebration of Reston’s 50th anniversary continues as Reston Community Center will hold a 10-day Reduced Shakespeare Company Extravaganza in September.

The festival will include eight performances by The Reduced Shakespeare Company, as well as a comedy boot camp and several opportunities to meet members of the well-known comedy ensemble.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company is a three-man comedy troupe that takes long subjects and reduces them to short, sharp comedies. The trio’s annual visit to RCC’s CenterStage has made them a favorite with Reston audiences, says RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon.

The “Bad Boys of Abridgement” have created nine stage shows, two television specials and many radio shows that have reached worldwide audiences.

“The Reduced Shakespeare Company has been part of the RCC arts family for more than two decades,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “We can’t imagine any significant anniversary year in Reston that wouldn’t include sharing the hilarity they bring to the CenterStage and our community. In this extraordinary year, bringing back these shows and many original cast members is the ‘least’ we could do for their fans and fully in the spirit of ‘reducing’ us to helpless laughter.”

Tickets for the extravaganza, which begins Sept. 12, go on sale for the general public Aug. 8.

Click through for the lineup of events in Reston.

(more…)

Monday Morning Rundown

by Karen Goff | July 21, 2014 at 8:00 am | 447 views | No Comments

No Parking — As the Silver Line prepares to open, many private property owners, such as office buildings in Tysons Corner and Reston, are warning drivers not to park there….

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