Reston Town Center’s Vapiano is Temporarily Closed Again

In a flashback to “store closed” signs that sporadically appeared and disappeared in March, Reston Town Center’s Vapiano is temporarily closed once again.

The Reston location (1875 Explorer Street) is facing potential litigation, according to an attorney representing the restaurant chain’s new owners. 

Details of the complaint — which will be filed over the next two days in either the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California or U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida — have not been made public, Andrew Corcoran, a managing partner for Wilson Keadjian Browndorf LLP told Reston Now.

The location has faced a rocky transition after Vapiano SE, which operates the international restaurant chain, announced it would sell shares of Vapiano Holding USA and seven of its U.S.-based subsidiaries to Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. earlier this year.

Corcoran said he could not explain why the restaurant is temporary closed due to attorney-client privilege.

“I can’t speak further on any issues,” he said.

In a tweet posted yesterday (May 20), the company wrote that it is “currently in a major restructuring phase” and is “undergoing operational changes” at the Reston location.

“We are doing our best to restore normality as soon as possible,” according to the tweet.

In March, the restaurant closed due to management changes and payment delays for staff. Store representatives told Reston Now that the location was transitioning to a new general manager and that payroll delays have been resolved.

The restaurant has been closed since at least May 9.

File photo

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Physical Therapy Clinic Now Open on Herndon Parkway

Optimal Motion Physical Therapy, a new physical therapy clinic, is now open at 950 Herndon Parkway.

The clinic offers “specialized treatment in various areas, including sports injuries, chronic pain, and other orthopedic issues,” according to its website.

The business was founded by Secilli DeStefano and Matt Barnes. Although the clinic is now open, a grand opening event is set for Friday, June 7 from 5-8 p.m.

More information about the practice is available online.

Photos via Jackie Yencha

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Crime Roundup: Maryland Teen Arrested in Carjacking on Sunrise Valley Drive

A 17-year-old from Maryland was arrested in connection with a carjacking on Sunrise Valley Drive last week.

On Monday, May 13, police say that a masked suspect pointed a shotgun at a man who was putting air into his car’s tires and demanded the keys.

The suspect drove away in the stolen car, but police caught up with him a short while later.

The teen was caught with the help of the police’s K9 team, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. He was charged with carjacking and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

In a separate incident, a man entered a home on the 2600 block of New Concorde Court on Wednesday, May 15 at around 3:50 a.m.

Residents discovered the man in their garage after they heard the garage door open. The man ran away when one resident confronted him.

Nothing was reported missing, police said.

FCPD also reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11300 block of Chestnut Grove Square, documents from vehicle

2200 block of Quartermaster Lane, bicycle from residence

2600 block of William Short Circle, bicycle from residence

11600 block of Windbluff Court, license plates from vehicle

STOLEN VEHICLES:

2500 block of Brenton Point Drive, 2015 Vespa motorcycle

File photo

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The Sleeping Beauty

The Ravel Dance Company will present the enchanting ballet “The Sleeping Beauty” and “In the Streets” a contemporary jazz piece set to the music of the 70’s and 80’s. The Sleeping Beauty ballet will be danced by the well trained…

Here’s the Hunter Mill Supervisor Candidates’ Stances on the Sale of Reston National

The recent sale of Reston National Golf Course to a pair of Baltimore developers has piqued concerns about the possible redevelopment of the 164-acre property. Weller Development Cos. and War Horse Cities told Reston Now the companies have no information to share about possible redevelopment.

If the 18-hole golf course’s redevelopment goes before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the plan could be a tough sell for the future Hunter Mill District Supervisor.

All five candidates running for the seat vacated by Cathy Hudgins said they do not support an amendment to Reston’s comprehensive plan to allow redevelopment of the site. In statements to Reston Now, each candidate took strikingly similar stances on the potential redevelopment of the golf course.

The comprehensive plan states that Reston National and Hidden Creek Country Club — the community’s two golf courses — are “planned for private recreational use, more specifically to remain as golf courses.”

Laurie Dodd — who said she was the only candidate who testified to protect the golf course in 2015 — said she will be a “strong advocate for the residents of the district, who have already made it clear that nothing should be built on either Reston golf course.” The Reston-based lawyer noted that lost open space can never be recovered.

Calling himself a “progressive candidate with a proven record of giving a voice to citizens and whose livelihood is independent of the development industry,” Walter Alcorn, a former Fairfax County planning commissioner, said he is committed to ensuring Reston’s comprehensive plan is respected.

“It does not matter who owns the golf course because the comprehensive plan calls for that property to be a golf course, and that prevents its development,” Alcorn said.

Maggie Parker, an executive with Comstock Companies, said she will advocate for green and open spaces in the community as well.

“While I personally view the sales as unfortunate, I must practically view them as sales of private property with development restrictions that should not change. I will continue to work with the community to protect what makes Reston the place we call home,” Parker said.

Parker Messick, a recent Roanoke College graduate, said he will “do everything in his power to utilize the power of the comprehensive plan and the zoning powers that supervisors have to make sure Reston National is never developed upon.”

“If development is allowed on Reston National, we will lose one of our previous green spaces that cannot so easily be replaced,” he said.

Shyamali Hauth, a U.S. Air Fore veteran and community advocate, also stated that she will stand with Rescue Reston — a community advocacy organization that formed in response to the threat of Reston National’s redevelopment several years ago — to oppose redevelopment.

“I stand firmly with Rescue Reston, where I have been an active member since 2015, and am committed to preventing any comprehensive plan amendment to allow development that does not keep them in their current open space capacity. Open green spaces are essential in terms of environmental sustainability as well as quality of life,” Hauth said.

She said she is deeply concerned the golf course was purchased by developer.

“There has been no outreach to the surrounding community or Rescue Reston prior to this sale. I hope that the new owners will come out and state clearly that they plan to keep Reston National a public golf course,” she said.

File photo

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Blue Water Veterans Finally Eligible for Agent Orange Rights

It is common for veterans of the Vietnam War to hear the phrase “presumption of Agent Orange exposure.”

In simple terms, this means that it is assumed that any service member who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the war most likely was exposed to Agent Orange chemicals. However, there’s one caveat. The VA interpreted “the Republic of Vietnam” to be the actual land of Vietnam; so in order to gain benefits and compensation rights, the soldiers had to have their boots on the ground or have been on a ship that entered an inland waterway.

This interpretation left out a huge community of veterans who served in boats right off the land; the Blue Water Veterans. This poses a huge problem for the Blue Water vets; just because they didn’t actually touch the ground of Vietnam doesn’t mean they weren’t exposed to Agent Orange in some way. These veterans were around the chemical when it was dropped, making it easy for Agent Orange to pollute their waterways and the air they breathe.

Up until now, these veterans have not met the VA’s guidelines to receive Agent Orange benefits. But back in March, the VA Secretary Robert Wilkie recommended that the Justice Department not appeal the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This marked the first real progress for Blue Water Navy Veterans.

If you are a Blue Water Veteran, it is time for you to gain the right to Agent Orange benefits you rightfully deserve

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Election: Meet Walter Alcorn

Five Democrats are running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor after Cathy Hudgins, the current supervisor, announced plans to retire earlier this year. This week, Reston Now will publish candidate statements for each of the candidates.

Statements, which are in question-and-answer format, are published in the order in which they are received. With the exception of minor formatting edits, profiles are published in unedited form. Each candidate had the opportunity to answer the same questions in their own words. Stay tuned for a stand-alone article on the candidates’ positions on the recent sale of Reston National Golf Course.

What inspired you to run for this seat?

The Reston land use battles inspired me to run. As Reston grows around our new transit stations we must make sure infrastructure keeps pace, our green spaces are protected, and that we build on our tradition as the first open community in Virginia. New development must be managed to protect our residential neighborhoods, facilitate mobility, and provide housing and economic opportunities for all. Growth should not clog our roads nor price-out residents.

I am also running to improve the process for citizen engagement to ensure that communities are fully empowered in the planning and development review processes.

What are the three biggest concerns you have for Reston? What do you plan to do to address them?

My three biggest concerns for Reston are 1) plans for village center redevelopment, 2) balancing Reston’s population growth and infrastructure, and 3) preserving and increasing affordable housing. All three of these are guided in the adopted comprehensive plan.

And we need to update the comprehensive plan in 2020:

  1. Reston Village Center Redevelopment. Instead of the high-rises currently allowed in the adopted comprehensive plan, village centers such as South Lakes, Hunters Woods and North Point should undergo a rigorous community engagement process that reflects the needs and desires of the community before any density is assumed or development plans approved.

  2. Reston’s population growth. Should Reston’s population in 30 years be 90,000 — or in 40 years be 120,000, as suggested previously by the Coalition for a Planned Reston? This number should come from a community-wide discussion and a plan for balancing development and infrastructure. The result should be reflected in the comprehensive plan.

  3. Inclusivity and affordable housing. New county plan language on retaining existing affordable housing is sorely needed. The best approach may not always be redevelopment at three-to-four times current densities. Our kids growing up here should be able to afford to live here in the future.

How can the county improve how it manages growth and development in this growing community, especially as it relates to infrastructure needs, transportation, and affordable housing?

First, modify the comprehensive plan for Reston as suggested above.

Second, empower communities to chart their own future. For example, concerning efforts to redevelop Reston’s golf courses into other uses, the adopted comprehensive plan specifies their use as golf courses. As Hunter Mill Supervisor I would strengthen the role of affected residents by not initiating any possible change to the comprehensive plan until communities surrounding the courses so requested (i.e., residents in affected clusters — not developer-owned properties). Even then there must be support from the broader community (e.g., golfers, users of the trails through the course). Absent such support the golf courses should remain golf courses.

Third, we should accelerate critical infrastructure improvements to failing intersections, make or improve inadequate bicycle and pedestrian connections to transit and to workplaces.

These changes should be done through the One Fairfax lens which recognizes diversity as a core strength of Fairfax County. We should be inspired by and seek to carry forward the vision of Reston founder Robert E. Simon Jr. who created the first open community in Virginia — a place where people of all races could live together. Today we face new challenges to ensure inclusion and equity on many levels, including race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, income, ability, or where someone lives or has lived.

What do you hope to accomplish in this position?

  1. Clean up the Reston Phase 2 Comprehensive Plan (see above).

  2. Implement the affordable housing land use reforms developed by a work group I chaired in 2017 to get thousands of new affordable units across Fairfax County. This includes policies to allow old office parks and commercial centers to convert to mixed income communities but only with significantly higher affordable housing commitments — closer to 30 percent than the current 10 percent.

  3. Develop a Fairfax County Energy and Climate Action Plan for both county operations — 3 percent of the local problem — and its residents and businesses which generate 97 percent of Fairfax County greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The plan should incorporate the following:

  1. Affordable Living/Housing Strategy. Focus benefits of this plan (e.g., lower energy bills) on communities that would benefit the most as an extension of the county’s affordable housing initiatives.

  2. Sustainable Mobility. Prioritize low-carbon transportation options and related strategies around transit, walking, biking, telecommuting, electric vehicles, and emerging mobility options that reduce GHG emissions.

  3. Incorporate Renewable Energy Strategies into Facility Renovations and New Construction Projects. Plan and budget for the implementation of solar, wind and other renewable energy generation into the County’s Capital Improvement Program.

  1. End monopolistic ownership of the core of Reston Town Center by including updated language in the Reston Comprehensive Plan. When a single landowner controls the accessible parking garages, storefronts and streets with no public ownership nor public spaces the broader community suffers from unnecessary parking fees and other arbitrary decisions.

Photo via Walter Alcorn

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Mystery in Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Race Revealed — “The initially anonymous memo alleging that the front-runner for Fairfax County, Virginia’s top office had ethical issues originated from a challenger’s campaign. [Tim] Chapman said his campaign for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman hired a law firm to compile a timeline that claims Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay improperly got a discount on his house from a friend.” [WTOP]

Rescue Reston Responds to Sale of Reston National — The community organization plans to fight the redevelopment of the golf course if the new owners plan to develop it. Their entire response can be found online. [Rescue Reston]

ArtsHerndon Recognizes Students for Excellent Artwork Using Technology — “Thirty Fairfax County Public Schools students from 14 high schools were recognized by ArtsHerndon for outstanding artworks created using technology in the 15th annual Technology and the Arts competition… the artwork is on display through Saturday, June 1, at ArtSpace Herndon, 750 Center Street in Herndon.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

Our strong spring market is rolling into a strong summer market.

The past 10 days we had $11.5 million in home sales and had another $16.8M go under contract. The average home price in that same period was $446,000 and the average days on market was 24. So we’re on track for another solid year in real estate sales in Reston.

Here are few of the recent sales in Reston:

12070 Kinsley Place
2 BR/4 BA
List Price: $829,900
Sold Price: $810,000

 

 

1524 Northgate Square #11B
2 BR/1 BA
List Price: $241,500
Sold Price: $239,500

 

 

2307 Hunters Run Drive #2307
2 BR/1 BA
List Price: $275,000
Sold Price: $275,000

 

 

2113 Owls Cove Lane
4 BR/3 BA
List Price: $679,000
Sold Price: $680,000

 

 

1331 Vintage Place
2 BR/4 BA
List Price: $449,900
Sold Price: $450,000

 

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Town Center Parkway Underpass Targets Completion in 2032

State transportation officials are negotiating with a consultant to complete a feasibility study about the future Town Center Parkway underpass.

The underpass, which is listed as a top priority in Reston’s transportation funding plan, would extend Town Center Parkway from Sunrise Valley Drive west of Edmund Haley Drive under the Dulles Toll Road to Sunset Hill Road.

The structure would also include bike and pedestrian facilities that link mixed-use areas north and south of the toll road.

So far, the project is expected to cost roughly $170 million.

Currently, the Virginia Department of Transportation is negotiating with a consultant to conduct a feasibility study.

Once completed, the underpass is expected to relieve congestion and give commuters a different option for heading north and south in the area beyond Fairfax County Parkway and Reston Parkway.

The project isn’t expected to be completed until 2032. Before then, county officials estimate environmental assessment, engineering and design will take four years, while construction, right-of-way, and land acquisition could take around five years.

Map via Google Maps

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Reston Association Board to Appoint New At-Large Director

Reston Association’s newly-elected Board of Directors will fill a vacancy on its board after Sridhar Ganesan resigned earlier this year due to personal and business reasons.

Two applicants have applied for the open at-large director seat, which will have a special term through the next election in April 2020.

The board will vote on the appointment on Thursday (May 23) at its regularly scheduled board meeting.

Edward Abbott, a Reston resident of 39 years and chairman of RA’s elections committee, said he wants to work with the board to ensure Hank Lynch, RA’s new CEO, implements the goals and plans he has outlined.

Abbott, who cited his experience as a lay member of RA’s Design Review Board, said he wants to ensure the board’s actions are also “in the best interests of its members.” He also hopes to make progress on finalizing RA’s code of ethics.

Doug Britt, the second candidate and a Reston resident of 44 years, says he wants to ensure “growth does not outpace infrastructure” and maintain Reston’s connection to nature.

Britt, who notably led the first Reston Annual State of the Environment Report project and served on RA’s lakes, boats and docks working group and its environmental advisory committee, also stressed the need for “substantive communications between the board, staff, and public.”

Their candidate statements are in their entirety and in unedited form below:

Edward Abbott

I have lived in Reston for 39 years. While our sons were growing up, I volunteered on their swim, baseball and soccers teams. More recently I was a lay member on Reston’s Design Review Board and am currently Chairman of the Elections Committee. Since coming to Reston, I have worked at the highest level for a large federal regulatory agency, a congressional technology office, testified before Congress and founded a successful engineering and management consulting business. I have served on numerous corporate boards, evaluated personnel and organizations for large corporations and state agencies. I have performed detailed analysis of complex systems and conducted comprehensive multi-billon dollar cost estimates for large industrial projects. Finally, prior to coming to Reston, I served on a school board in a rural district in upstate New York.

The Board recently hired a new CEO. He has outlined his plans and goals for the association. They appear sound and should improve the Association’s operation and member experience. As a Director, I would work with the Board to oversee the progress in implementing those plans and goals and providing guidance as needed. Also, I would work with the Board to assure that the Board’s actions are in the best interests of its members, in conformance with the governing documents and conducted in accordance with good business practices. Finally, I will work with the Board to finalize the Code of Ethics.

Doug Britt

I’ve lived in Reston for 44 years. I started a company here in 1984 and served as a contractor to Reston Home Owners Association providing lake monitoring services. My professional background is in the fields of life sciences, natural resources management, and sustainable development. I served as President and COO of four professional services firms where I was responsible for day-to-day operations, strategic planning, policy development, and profit and loss. Since retiring in 2015, I have been supporting numerous RA initiatives. I am a volunteer stream monitor, work WNC events, and drafted Reston’s successful Biophilic Cities Network application. I serve on the Lakes, Boats & Docks Working Group, and the Environmental Advisory Committee where I designed and led the RASER project, which was selected for RA’s 2017 Volunteer Group of the Year Award. I also was very honored to be selected as RA’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

I want to use my special skills and experience to give back to this community which means so much to me and my family. This is a critical transition for Reston as it undergoes redevelopment while the entire metropolitan area girds for more population growth. I understand we must accommodate growth, but not at the expense of our quality of life, nor to the detriment of our recently acquired “Biophilic Cities” designation (i.e., the unique way Reston connects its people to nature where they live, work and play). I believe Reston is special in how it was conceived and designed; its best features still reflect Bob Simon’s original vision and founding principles. Consequently I will strive to see that growth does not outpace needed infrastructure and that our connection to nature is preserved and remains an iconic part of the Reston experience. I will also stress substantive communications between the Board, staff, and public.

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