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by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm 31 Comments

At Thursday night’s meeting, the Reston Association Board of Directors voted to explore amending the association’s covenants to clarify and strengthen rules surrounding whether residents are permitted to rent out their homes temporarily to visitors, such as through sites like Airbnb.com.

Airbnb has become a hot topic throughout Fairfax County over the past year. County officials have sought to remind residents of the laws regarding short-term rentals of less than 30 days. Special permits must be obtained for operating one’s home much like a bed and breakfast, and for the most part, only single-family homes are allowed to do so, and not attached homes such as apartments, condos or townhomes.

Reston Association has previously mandated that, as part of the county, residents follow the county laws. However, the RA has been receiving some complaints about residents that have been renting out their homes on Airbnb anyway.

In particular, several letters have been received about a home on Trails Edge Lane. Complaints have alleged that not only have the owners been renting out parts of the home for as little as one day–at rates as low as $28 per night–but they have been exceeding maximum safe occupancy limits, sometimes putting multiple renters to a room, and renting out three to four rooms in a single home at the same time.

According to RA documents, the current owners purchased the home in question in January of 2016, and the complaints began just a few months later.

At first, documents indicate RA staff spoke with the homeowners, who agreed to abide by the county’s rules and only rent out the home for periods of longer than 30 days, which would not violate the county’s rules against “short-term” rentals. (more…)

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer, and what better way to enjoy it than with a picnic?

The Lake Anne Plaza Memorial Day Picnic is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Bring your picnic blanket and patriot pride and enjoy live music on the plaza. There will be food available for purchase from local vendors and plaza restaurants, as well as boat rentals and family games.

“We are positioning this event similar to a ‘National Day Out’ setup where folks come bring a picnic, or a bite, listen to music, do some plaza games like cornhole, etc.,” said Maurisa Potts, Lake Anne Plaza spokesperson. “[We’re] just building a sense of community and a platform to get to know their neighbors.”

There are dozens of other activities going on around the Reston area this holiday weekend, from music to celebrations. Here are some of the highlights.

  • All of Reston’s pools open for the season Saturday, as does The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive).
  • Live music at Reston Town Center this weekend will include a performance from 6-10 p.m. tonight at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and both tonight and Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.).
  • The premiere of the weekly Mr. Knick Knack! concerts happens this Monday at Reston Town Center. Starting at 11:15 a.m., the children’s music concert is free to the public.
  • Tonight at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. the Ravel Dance Company will put on a ballet version of “Cinderella” on the CenterStage in the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $20 at the door.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Lake Anne is also hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) will screen award-winning film “Can You Dig This?” tonight at 7 p.m.; Sunday, from 1:30-3 p.m., the nature center is hosting a salamander search.
  • Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern (697 Spring St., Herndon) will host its 20th Annual Birthday Bash and Bike Run on both Sunday and Monday. Starting Sunday, live music will be performed indoors and outdoors throughout the day from various local bands. Monday morning, motorcyclists from around the area are invited to join a communal ride through George Washington Parkway, Crystal City and Alexandria.
  • The Reston Choir will honor veterans with a Star-Spangled Salute at Reston Town Center tonight from 7-11 p.m. The performance will include family activities and an opportunity to honor the troops. The event is free with a recommended donation that will go toward providing care packages to troops overseas.
  • Exercise with Athleta this Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Reston Town Center pavilion. The POUND class, hosted by Kathy from StudioPinkFit, is free to the public.
  • Oakton Library (10304 Lynnhaven Place, Oakton) will host a Chinese Dance exhibition on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. that features tradition Chinese and Taiwanese dances. The event is free and hosted by the Fairfax Chinese Dance Troupe.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • Hosted by the Reston Masters Swim team, this Sunday will be the 30th Annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swim. Swimmers will have the option of a one- or two-mile swim around Lake Audubon.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Throwing Plates. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night.

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

After hearing brief comments by its two candidates for treasurer — Sridhar Ganesan and Mike Werner — members of the Reston Association Board chose Ganesan as their new treasurer Thursday night.

Ganesan immediately took his new seat at the directors’ table after the ballots were counted.

Ganesan is president of the Reston Citizens Association and also heads the group that applied to conduct the audit of the Tetra/Lake House purchase and renovations.

“I’m here for the same reason many of you are; I want to be a volunteer,” Ganesan said when addressing the board just before the ballots were cast. “And I feel this is the right time for me to step up and serve.”

Ganesan said he feels community involvement is crucial now, perhaps more so than ever.

“I think RA is at a critical juncture at this stage, as it is attempting to inspire renewed trust and confidence with the community.”

He added that, as the CFO of Planet 3, a public corporation, he has experience with taking recommendations from experts and moving them past the “talking” phase and into the implementation phase, which he thinks will be a valuable skill he can bring to the table.

“I also bring a lot of corporate finance experience, which is something I think could be of great help when it comes to balancing capital investment projects,” he added, explaining that the “balancing” part means not “analyzing something to death,” while also being sure to follow correct procedures and being as transparent as possible, which is crucial when dealing with public money.

“I think I can help build bridges with the public community, as the CFO of a public corporation,” he concluded.

Mike Werner, who ran against Ganesan for the treasurer’s seat, continues to serve on the Reston Association Finance Committee, which he has been a member of since 2014.

Image: Sridhar Ganesan via Twitter

 

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by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

The stage is being set for next week’s 37th annual Herndon Festival.

The annual outdoor festival, on Lynn Street in the town, is set for June 1-4. The free event averages attendance of 80,000 annually, according to its website.

“Every year we throw ourselves a big town party,” said Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel. “Thursday night is a local favorite, where tons of neighbors walk downtown to kick off the festival. The rest of the weekend we welcome people from across the D.C. region. Three stages of entertainment, great crafts and, of course, funnel cake! What’s not to love?”

This year, in addition to the 5K and 10K races, carnival atmosphere and musical entertainment, there will be an event called Country on the Green on the new Herndon Municipal Center stage. The event goes from 11:30 a.m to 6 p.m on Sunday, June 4. The daylong celebration will consist of music, line dancing, barbecue and drinks.

The music stages at the festival are the Cafe Stage, the Depot Stage and the Kids Alley. Concerts range from bluegrass to rock and children’s music. Check out the full entertainment lineup here.

Ticket prices for the carnival will be $1.25 for a single ticket, with bundle deals and an all-day pass available. A minimum of $5 worth of tickets must be purchased for those who want carnival access.

Carnival hours will be:

  • Thursday, 6-10 p.m.
  • Friday, 5-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

There is also fun on the docket just for kids. Little ones can enjoy themselves with hands-on art exhibits and projects, children’s entertainers, a model train display, fireworks shows and more.

The festival’s Arts and Craft Show starts Friday, June 2 and continues throughout the weekend, featuring booths selling items such as jewelry, furniture and folk art. In addition to arts vendors, there will be several food vendors selling items throughout the festival, including the Big Cheese food truck, Jason’s Mini Donuts and Robeks Fruit Smoothies.

For more information about the festival, visit its website or call 703-787-7300.

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 10 Comments

This letter was submitted by Reston resident Bruce Ramo. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.

Too much, too soon.

This is the crux of the community’s concern with the proposed zoning amendments, which were the subject of a community meeting with Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins on May 24.

  • Too much emphasis on promoting economic growth, without firm commitments for the infrastructure to support it.
  • Too much willingness to give legal priority to the quantitative possibilities of increased density presented by the Master Plan, without addressing the qualitative conditions of the Plan’s Vision Statement and Planning Principles.
  • Too much form over substance in engaging the public in three quick presentations rather than collaborating to develop a balanced approach for the future growth of Reston.
  • Too much hubris in assuming that the County’s evaluation and analyses of the impact of increased density, without a willingness to consider other thoughtful analyses of the impact to roads, safety, schools and recreational facilities.
  • Too much commitment to the County’s internal work plan for modifying the zoning ordinances.
  • Too much emphasis on getting it done now instead of getting it done right.

Each day, many of us pass a dangerous portion of Wiehle Avenue near Sunset Hills Road where a pedestrian bridge is slated to be built someday. The area is the gateway between the Planned Residential Community of Reston (PRC) and the Metro station area with its thousands of new apartments and townhouses.

The missing pedestrian bridge is a symbol of all that is wrong with the County’s zoning amendment and the manner in which it would facilitate growth without the infrastructure to support it.

The proposed amendment would allow even more development throughout the PRC and elsewhere, but where is the pedestrian bridge? Where are the other new or improved parks, roads, schools and paths to service the higher density? Why is the County pressing to facilitate more growth in Reston, but not balancing the growth with near-term action to make that growth safe, convenient and sustainable? Why is Supervisor Hudgins content to tell Restonians that infrastructure is not her job, as she did [Wednesday] night?

This is the essence of the community’s challenge to the proposed zoning amendment. The County’s approach simply enables far too much development too soon. Please urge the County Planning Staff and Supervisor Hudgins to step back, table the proposed zoning amendment, and work with the community on a more sensible zoning plan to support the future growth of Reston.

by Kalina Newman — May 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Fairfax Closures for Memorial Day Weekend  Fairfax County government offices will be closed this weekend through Monday, as will libraries, schools and animal shelters. Public transit, trash pickup, recycling centers and recreation centers will all operate on a normal schedule. [Fairfax County]

Free RECenter Admission for Veterans on Memorial Day  Fairfax County Park Authority will honor former veterans and those in active duty Monday with free access to RECenters and lakefront parks. [Fairfax County]

Appian Now Open for Stock Trade  Trading on NASDAQ has begun for Appian, a Reston-based group that provides cloud-based business process management software solutions. Managed by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs & Co., stock is available for $12 a share and the trade will be open until May 31. Appain has approximately 280 customers and will use the money raised to pay off loans and expansion expenses. [Washington Business Journal]

Scrawl Books Morning Story Time  Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center will have its weekly story time at 10:30 a.m. today. [Reston Town Center]

Metro’s Silver Line Will Get 7000 Series Railcars  Starting around June 25, the Silver Line will have two new 7000 Series trains added on weekdays to provide additional capacity. All previous trains have been the older versions that only feature six railcars, while the 7000 Series has eight. The cars are funded by the Metro Washington Airports Authority. [NBC Washington]

by RestonNow.com — May 26, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our advertisers and sponsors:

Reston Station, Summerbration will offer something to watch, listen to, taste and enjoy all summer long.

Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the business community for the vibrant region.

BLVD, Comstock’s apartments at Reston Station.

AKG Design Studio, boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Reston Carpet Cleaning, local cleaning service.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

Reston Community Center, serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

MakeOffices, shared work spaces with five area locations, including Reston.

Boofie O’Gorman, Top Producer Realtor at Long & Foster Reston.

Goldfish Swim School, specializing in children’s swim lessons year-round.

Small Change Consignment, serving Reston’s kids for more than 30 years.

A Cleaning Service, professional residential and commercial cleaning.

Reston Montessori, private co-educational school for children ages 3 months to sixth grade.

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, providing great food and drink at Lake Anne Plaza.

Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center, new child care facility in Reston.

Reston Children’s Center, providing care, preschool and private education and summer camp enrichment.

Ryan Homes — Westmoore, Loudoun County’s hottest new Metro community in the heart of Ashburn.

Knutson Brambleton, Loudoun County urban townhomes with yards in the sky.

Knutson Crescent Place, urban townhomes in Leesburg — Loudoun’s authentic town center since 1758.

Lofts at Village Walk, urban townhome condominium designs at The Village at Leesburg.

Towns of Lansdowne Square, a collection of 23 luxury urban townhomes in downtown Lansdowne.

Tall Oaks Assisted Living, assisted living, memory care and more senior care services.

by RestonNow.com — May 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

The “Take A Break” summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will feature shows every Thursday night from June 15 to Sept. 14.

The free concerts are presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions. In addition to the music, four of the nights on the schedule (June 15, July 13, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10) are designated as “Dance Nights” that will include dance demonstrations and instruction to accompany the tunes.

The full schedule of concerts includes:

  • June 15: Radio King Orchestra (big band) with swing dance instruction
  • June 22:  Sweater Set (contemporary folk)
  • June 29: Origem (Brazilian jazz with a twist)
  • July 6: Mystic Warriors (world music)
  • July 13: Cedar Creek (country) with line dancing instruction
  • July 20: Cheick Hamala Diabate (traditional West African music of Mali mixed with modern grooves)
  • July 27: Four Star Combo (rockabilly)
  • Aug. 3: Fresh Air (party dance hits) with no dance instructors
  • Aug. 10: Mambo Combo (Latin) with dance instruction
  • Aug. 17: Iona (Celtic)
  • Aug. 24: Anthony Swamp Dog (funk blues)
  • Aug. 31: Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet (jazz)
  • Sept. 7: The Barretones (bluegrass)
  • Sept. 14: Texas Chainsaw Horns (R&B)

Each concert is scheduled for 7-9 p.m.

by Dave Emke — May 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

This past weekend’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival was a major success for Greater Reston Arts Center, its executive director says.

“I can tell you that not only is the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival a marquee cultural event for the area, it is GRACE’s largest fundraiser,” said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator. “We, again, successfully raised half of our operating budget for the year.”

Siegel said the annual operating budget for GRACE is about $550,000.

She said that while attendance for the event cannot be accurately measured because of the numerous entrance points to Reston Town Center, casual counts have organizers estimating between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.

Those thousands of visitors gave a lot of positive reaction to the cultural event, Siegel said.

“Response from the public and the artists was overwhelmingly positive,” she said. “We repeatedly heard that this year’s festival had the highest quality of work on display yet [and] it continues to get stronger every year.”

Siegel also said the festival’s jurors were “consistently impressed” by the excellence of the work at the show.

“This is one of the most competitive fine arts festivals in the country to gain acceptance to and it shows,” she said. “This all goes hand-in-hand with the mission of making the festival an extension of the gallery experience available to the public throughout the year at the Greater Reston Arts Center.”

Photos by Megan Myers and Carol Nahorniak

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