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by Dave Emke — August 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Efforts to construct a new Lake Anne Fellowship House facility are continuing to progress.

Fellowship Square Foundation and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation are moving forward with zoning approval and entitlements needed for the redevelopment of the affordable senior apartment community located at 11448-11450 North Shore Drive, they recently said.

“As Reston rents skyrocket, affordable rental opportunities for those seniors and people with disabilities and low incomes are scarce,” said Eddie Byrne, FSF board member. “Fellowship Square is dedicated to ensuring that there will be not just affordable, but state-of-the art housing in our community.”

The new building, which is planned for the eastern portion of the property, would replace all 240 apartment units in the existing 1970s-era facility. Residents would remain in their current living space until the new facility is complete, and after they are transferred the old buildings would be destroyed. The portion of the property left unused would be sold for residential development, and the proceeds from the sale would help support the cost of the LAFH building project.

Local brokerage firm MAC Realty Advisors has been selected as a broker for this portion of the site.

The filing of the entitlements application is targeted for early autumn. Its approval would be followed by final design, building permits and construction. Project completion is targeted for the third quarter of 2021.

The collaboration between Fellowship Square and CPDC comes after several years of on-again, off-again plans for redevelopment of the property. Most recently, in 2013, the foundation had an agreement with Cafritz Interests and Novus Development for new housing on the site. That effort fell through by September 2014, which the foundation said was “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”

CPDC is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing.

“We are excited about moving this project forward through the necessary County and local approvals,” said Christopher LoPiano, CPDC senior vice president.

For more information, visit www.fellowshipsquare.org or www.cpdc.org.

Illustration via Fellowship Square Foundation and CPDC

by Dave Emke — August 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The goal is to keep the tall oaks in Tall Oaks.

That’s what representatives of developer Jefferson Apartment Group and architects from KTGY told Reston’s Design Review Board during their meeting Tuesday (video). JAG is working toward ironing out the details of the future redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center, approved by the county last year.

At a meeting between the parties in July, members of the Design Review Board told the applicants about their concern regarding how the new development — which will include multifamily residential buildings, two-over-two condominiums and townhouses for a total of 156 residential units — would look from Wiehle Avenue. This month, the developers said they listened.

“There obviously are some constraints, so we’re being more surgical in how we place our trees in order to get the desired look,” said Mike Medick of KTGY.

In order to preserve the sight line from the North Shore Drive/Wiehle Avenue intersection to the southwest corner of the site, Medick said architects have moved entrance walkways and pushed them closer together to allow for the planting of seven large canopy trees. Medick said those will include red, white and pin oak trees.

At planting, the trees will be 16 feet tall. In a decade, they will be about 22 feet tall — reaching the third floor of the townhomes behind them. When they are fully grown, Medick said, they will fully conceal the development from the intersection.

“We’re comfortable that given this planting scheme … we can still get this natural feel for the frontage of North Shore [Drive],” Medick said. “[This will] emphasize again that theme that is so important here, the namesake of the project, the tall oaks.”

Grace Peters, land planner and landscape architect member of the DRB, said she would like to see more down elsewhere on the property to increase tree cover.

“I would appreciate it if the applicant could look into providing additional landscaping where possible [and] save more trees as much as they can,” Peters said.

The developers also responded to comments provided by the DRB last month regarding architectural elements of the buildings themselves and the design of site amenities. The changes were met with mostly positive comments from the DRB, with continued comments about small details.

“We’re faced now in Reston with jumping away from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s architecturally, and I think this effectively does that,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair. “I think you guys have come a long way. I’m relatively satisfied with these [buildings] at this point.”

The DRB voted to approve the general architecture plan as presented, with stipulations that the rooftop units on condominium units be screened, that the application return with material and color palettes for final approval, and that the other comments presented during Tuesday’s meeting be considered as well.

The DRB also voted to approve the landscape plan, with a comment asking the developers to intensify landscaping along North Shore Drive, as well as in the middle and along the northern edge of the property, if at all possible.

Illustrations via Jefferson Apartment Group/KTGY

Pet of the Week: Autumn

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — August 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Autumn, a young Norwich Terrier available for adoption.

Here is what her friends at Safe Haven Puppy Rescue have to say about her:

Autumn is a sweet 1-year-old Norwich Terrier girl who loves playing with her toys and her canine and human friends here at the rescue. She’s affectionate, outgoing, and adorable! Just look at that face!

Everyone who meets Autumn loves her, from her spunky wire brindle coat down to those big brown eyes and sweet personality.

Autumn is up to date on her shots and has been spayed.

She really does have it all, except for a forever home — but not for long! Will you be her “perfect match?” If so, contact your coordinator, Nicole, for an application.

Are you and Autumn a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

by RestonNow.com — August 16, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

The results of the 2017 Best Reston Business Awards are in, and congratulations are in order to all of our winners and runners-up.

After the nomination process in June and the preliminary vote in July, we narrowed each category down to two finalists. More than 800 of our email subscribers voted over the past week on those finalists in each of the 18 categories, determining who our most regular readers have deemed the best of the best in 2017. And every vote counted — in the closest competition, only six votes separated the candidates.

Without further adieu, the results of the final voting for the awards. Both the winner and the runner-up in each category is listed, with the winner first and in bold.

  • Best Apartment Building: The Avant at Reston Town Center (50.76 percent), BLVD | Reston Station (49.24 percent)
  • Best Architect or Designer: Cindy Beyer Design (56.50 percent), AKG Design Studio (43.50 percent)
  • Best Arts/Entertainment Venue: Lake Anne Plaza (57.88 percent), Reston Community Center (42.12 percent)
  • Best Bar/Happy Hour: Lake Anne Brew House (58.87 percent), Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge (41.13 percent)
  • Best Builder, Remodeler or Contractor: My Kitchen & Bath (52.35 percent), HandyMensch Home Remodeling (47.65 percent)
  • Best Child Care or Preschool: Lake Anne Nursery Kindergarten (64.41 percent), Reston Children’s Center (35.59 percent)
  • Best Dentist or Orthodontist: Reston Serenity Smiles (62.93 percent), Smilezone Family & Cosmetic Dentistry (37.07 percent)
  • Best Fast-Casual Restaurant: Cafesano (75.80 percent), Chick-fil-A Village Commons (24.20 percent)
  • Best Financial Business: Baird (65.42 percent), CST Group CPAs PC (34.58 percent)
  • Best Fitness Business: Potomac River Running Store (65.18 percent), Fusion 360 Inc. (34.82 percent)
  • Best Legal Practice: Berry & Berry LLC (74.58 percent), Khanna Law PLLC (25.42 percent)
  • Best Local Shop: Reston’s Used Book Shop (59.23 percent); Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (40.77 percent)
  • Best Medical Practice: Colleen Neumann Psychology LLC (55.58 percent), Generations Medical Aesthetics (46.42 percent)
  • Best New Business: Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar (54.20 percent), Lake Anne Brew House (45.80 percent)
  • Best Pet Care: Just Cats Clinic (52.94 percent), Villaridge Pet Sitters (47.06 percent)
  • Best Private School: Reston Montessori School (78.32 percent), Berthold Academy (21.68 percent)
  • Best Real Estate Agent: Eve Thompson (54.50 percent), Susannah Palik (45.50 percent)
  • Best Sit-Down Restaurant: PassionFish (52.80 percent), Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge (47.20 percent)

Again, congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

by RestonNow.com — August 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, a charity event to benefit Canine Companions for Independence, will come to Reston for the first time next month.

This will be the fourth annual D.C.-area gathering for the nationwide event. In previous years, it was held in Arlington’s Pentagon City.

The event is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 10 at Reston Town Center. From a press release:

Furry friends and their families are invited to join us for a day of fun, festivities, graduate speakers, dog demonstrations, music, food and more.

Admission is free, parking is free and our event is accessible.

Last year, hundreds joined us from DC, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware to walk and roll in our biggest celebration yet raising nearly $65,000 with an agility course, demonstrations, treats, freebies, raffles, and best of all, stories of real graduate teams who live and work here in the DMV.

Celebrate the community of people and dogs that make it possible for Canine Companions to show that the most advanced technology capable of transforming the lives of people with disabilities has a cold nose and a warm heart.

Canine Companions for Independence provides highly-trained assistance dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities FREE of charge.

Dozens of DogFest Walk ‘n Roll events are held yearly around the nation.

All are welcome to the event. To register as a volunteer, or to make a donation to the cause, check out the event’s website.

Photo via Canine Companions for Independence website

by Dave Emke — August 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 5 Comments

Lake Anne Brew House to Attend Festival This Weekend — The local nanobrewery is already gaining attention ahead of the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival this weekend in Charlottesville, with an event manager describing why its award-winning New Year’s Golden Ale is a top pick for him. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Farmers Market Success Celebrated — During a National Farmers Market Week commemoration this past Saturday at the Reston Farmers Market, its many successes were praised. [Connection Newspapers]

Pedestrian Bridges at Herndon Station Going in Next Week — The Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride will be closed overnight twice next week as the work is done. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Residents Can Give Input in County Executive Search — Fairfax County Executive Edward Long will retire next month. The county is asking citizens to give their input to assist in the recruiting process for his replacement. [Survey Monkey]

Did You Get a Jury Questionnaire? — The county is sending out 50,000 jury questionnaires, and it wants to make sure recipients know it is just the beginning of the jury duty screening process. [Fairfax County]

Be Wary of Charlottesville Charity Scams — Attorney General Mark Herring says anyone interested in assisting victims of last weekend’s violence should vet the organization, campaign or page organizer before they donate. He says people who need help figuring out whether a charity is legitimate can contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Section. [WTOP]

File image courtesy Jennifer Heffner Photography

by RestonNow.com — August 16, 2017 at 6:20 am 1 Comment

Drivers are asked to exercise caution this morning as the National Weather Service has issued a dense fog advisory that will be in effect until 9 a.m.

According to the NWS advisory:

…DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY…

The National Weather Service in Baltimore MD/Washington has
issued a Dense Fog Advisory, which is in effect until 9 AM EDT
Wednesday.

* VISIBILITIES…One quarter mile or less at times.

* IMPACTS…Areas of dense fog will cause sudden reductions in
visibility and rapidly changing conditions, making travel
difficult.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Dense Fog Advisory means visibilities will frequently be
reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving, slow down, use
your headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue has shared a number of fog safety tips for drivers who will be out in the hazardous conditions this morning.

  • Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • Make your vehicle visible to others both ahead of you and behind you by using your low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
  • Never use your high-beam lights. Using high beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.
  • Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
  • To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
  • In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop.

Photo courtesy National Weather Service

by Dave Emke — August 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Two people from Ashburn were arrested in Herndon last week after a robbery in the town.

According to the Herndon Police Department, the incident took place in the 500 block of Florida Avenue on Aug. 7. The victim, who was unharmed, had his wallet, ID and about $40 in cash stolen by two suspects.

HPD officers arrested 19-year-old Taliek Nazia Foster and 20-year-old Raaheim Allah Foster and charged them with the crime. Both were charged with assault and robbery, while the 20-year-old was also charged with three counts of credit card fraud. Both were taken to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

Elsewhere, a 55-year-old Herndon man was charged with driving under the influence after an incident in Sterling last week. According to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, 55-year-old Nazlie R. Dean was charged after deputies observed his vehicle going off the road in the area of Old Ox Road and Mercurie Circle. Dean was later released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a personal recognizance bond.

Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following crimes in recent days:

LARCENIES:

10300 block of Brittenford Drive, merchandise from business

1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cellphone from business

11900 block of Democracy Drive, liquor from business

13300 block of Hungerford Place, property from vehicle

2300 block of Old Trail Drive, property from person

11900 block of Saint Johnsbury Court, cash from vehicle

11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, property from business

1700 block of Wainwright Drive, bag and battery from vehicle

12900 block of Wood Crescent Circle, bicycle from residence

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

Police say there have been no updates yet in the search for a suspect who pulled a woman into a wooded area near Tall Oaks Village Center on Monday afternoon and attempted to remove her clothing.

“No suspect has been located,” Officer Don Gotthardt, of FCPD’s Media Relations Bureau, told Reston Now on Tuesday morning. “I have reached out to our detectives asking for any updates [and] we will post those on our news blog and Twitter.”

The suspect has been described as a Hispanic male in his late 20s or early 30s, with brown hair and a full beard. He was wearing a gray shirt with red lettering, a red ball cap and shorts. He fled the scene in a gray or silver Hyundai with a license plate that is believed to begin with a V, police say.

Finally, as we previously reported, three men were reportedly assaulted by a “group of men” on South Lakes Drive last Wednesday. The suspects in that crime are black men in their 20s, all between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10.

Anyone with information about any of the crimes reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).

by Dave Emke — August 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 12 Comments

The search for savings by Reston Association staff has resulted in a $678 proposed assessment rate for 2018.

The figure was discussed during a budget workshop session with the RA Board of Directors on Monday (video/PowerPoint presentation). That number would be a decrease of $42 (5.83 percent) from the 2017 assessment level of $720, which was reduced to $692 using surplus cash.

One of the major factors that influenced the budget development, allowing for the decrease in the proposed rate, is the additional assessment revenue that will be provided by 429 new units at the Sunrise Square and VY developments.

That assessment rate will likely change, though, before the Board finalizes the 2018 operations budget, projected at $14.3 million. The Board has been asked to consider numerous staff and member suggestions which could affect the budget.

One big way it could change depends upon whether the Board decides to pay off the loan on the Lake House. If it does so — at a cost of $182,797 — there will be a reduction of $8.66 in the 2018 assessment rate as a result of no longer making payments.

“Essentially, we’ll be using up our cash to pay off the loan,” Sridhar. “In the corporate world, you give it back to the shareholders, which in this case is the members.”

The 2018 budget currently on the table has the Lake House being maintained on the status quo, through programming and rentals while making payments on the loan. That would result in a net loss of more than $190,000, according to the projection. Other options on the table include continuing status quo for six months and then moving to only rentals, or to use the facility for rentals only. With those latter options, along with paying off the loan, the Lake House is projected to represent a net profit in the 2018 budget.

CEO Cate Fulkerson said staff “highly recommends” the Board pay off the loan at the end of this year.

“I am looking forward to that conversation, because I think that there is a lot of area where the Board can make a positive impact on the community, both financially and through programming,” said Sherri Hebert, Board president.

In addition to bringing in in-house legal support, the cost of which Fulkerson said would be canceled out by the savings from reducing outside legal services, the Board is also being asked to consider other staffing additions.

Anna Varone, director of covenants administration, asked the Board to consider adding a post-DRB project approval inspector. This position is estimated to add $55,885 (salary and benefits) to the budget, with a $2.65 impact on the assessment.

“We’ve been challenged by having projects that have been approved by the DRB and not having someone that’s been able to go and inspect after the member has installed the project,” Varone said. “We’ve not had the resources to go out and ensure that the member has installed the project correctly.”

Mike McNamara, deputy director of maintenance, said the Board should consider adding two seasonal workers to address litter control. This would cost about $40,000 (salary and supplies), with an impact of $1.93 on the assessment.

At a meeting last week, the Board was presented a potential $2.82 million Capital Projects budget.

A community meeting on the budget development process is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. The Board will then hold further budget work sessions, along with a joint meeting with Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, on Monday, Sept. 18.

The final drafts of the capital projects and operations budgets are to be presented Sept. 28, with public hearings in October and the approval in November.

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