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by Dave Emke — July 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments

Saying they have heard the concerns of visitors who do not want to use the ParkRTC app, Boston Properties has updated the payment kiosks in the Reston Town Center parking garages.

According to information released on Reston Town Center’s Facebook page and elsewhere, new kiosks in the parking garages do not require the use of the ParkRTC app. Rather, it says, payment can be made by swiping a credit card or by paying with cash and receiving change. The information also says parking validation provided by a business is “easy to apply” using the kiosks.

More than 200,000 downloads of the ParkRTC app have been made, according to the announcement.

Anti-ParkRTC group Keep Parking Free at RTC called the new kiosks a win for their cause.

Share this! And then this happened… #ScraptheApp! Looks like Boston Properties has abandoned the requirement to use…

Posted by Keep Parking Free at RTC on Monday, July 24, 2017

Paid parking went into effect Jan. 3 at Reston Town Center, requiring $2-per-hour payment in garages all day Monday through Friday. On June 5, parking became free in garages between 5 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., and one hour of free parking is also offered during the day.

by RestonNow.com — July 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Today, we open the voting for our 2017 Best Reston Business award in the Best New Business category. This poll will be open through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2. After that, the top two vote-getters will advance to final voting, which will take place in early August.

Cast your vote below.

With this, the preliminary ballots have been released for all categories of the 2017 Best Reston Business awards. After voting on these final ballots wrap up, watch for the finalists to be announced.

OTHER POLLS

Open through 5 p.m.: Best Fitness Business
Open through July 27: Best Real Estate Agent
Open through July 28: Best Local Shop
Open through July 31: Best Fast-Casual Restaurant
Open through Aug. 1: Best Sit-Down Restaurant

Pet of the Week: Nico

by RestonNow.com — July 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

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

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Nico, now living in Reston after being brought up in Arizona.

Here is what his owner, Raj, had to say about him:

Meet Nico, a 10 ½-year-old Lhasa Apso, Miniature Poodle, Chihuahua and German Shepherd mix. You might take a look at Nico’s photos and wonder if this mix is possible, but he definitely has some German Shepherd in him. (In fact, he is 12.5 percent Alsatian according to a DNA test!)

Nico has led quite an uphill life. He was found as a little puppy running around on the streets of the Arizona-Mexico border. We saw him at the rescue shelter the day after he was brought in and adopted him immediately. He soon got accustomed to comfortable living. Everything was going great until after Nico turned 8, when his vet said that he needed to have neck surgery right away to remove fluid from his spine that was causing him a lot of pain whenever he moved. He was a very good boy through the difficult ordeal and came out healthier than ever!

Nico is now proud to call Reston his new home and is already enjoying the smells and sounds. His favorite activity — other than laying on the cool floor during the dog days of the Northern Virginia summer — is watching the golfers at Reston National.

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

[email protected] 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 Dave Emke — July 26, 2017 at 11:30 am 12 Comments

Representatives of Bozzuto Group again brought a presentation about redevelopment of St. Johns Wood to Reston’s Design Review Board during a work session Tuesday.

Again, DRB members expressed the same concerns — too big.

Tuesday’s one-hour session was the latest in a long series of meetings about the proposed redevelopment of the North Reston residential community. After the project was deferred in April, the redevelopers brought new sketches to the DRB as they continue to work toward adding dwelling units to the property.

The previous proposal that had been brought for consideration featured featured 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property. Two options presented by architectural firm KTGY at Tuesday’s session reconfigured the buildings and brought the number of units down to 441 or 454.

One option features a street between the two buildings, while the other has a central tree grove.

After the 20-minute presentation, members of the DRB panel shared their thoughts. The massing of the project remained a major hangup for the group, as it was in April and before. Members of the DRB asked if there is any way the developers can lower their threshold for the number of units they need on the property.

“You might have chopped off a unit here or a unit there, but these are still 450-whatever-plus units,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair. “If we’re going to get anywhere with this, we have to talk turkey here and say ‘Where’s your cutoff point?’ If 450 is absolutely the smallest you can make it and still make a profit out of this project, then we’ve got a real problem.”

Some members of the panel said they would be more comfortable with the proposal if the developers would consider breaking the massing into several smaller buildings, such as what is currently on the property. Rohit Anand, of KTGY, said that may not be feasible, considering the use of parking structures in the property plan.

“People want parking in proximity to their home, and these schemes provide that,” Anand said, adding that creating smaller parking garages for each unit is also not desirable.

Brian Winterhalter, of Cooley LLP, representing Bozzuto, asked the panel if they could make a determination on what is more important to address — the height of the buildings or the overall footprint.

“It seemed like your concern was that you would prefer it to have less footprint,” Winterhalter said. “There’s only so much we can do in terms of narrowing the footprint and reducing the height at the same time.”

In response, DRB members said the concern was more about scale and overall size, not specifically about height or footprint. Winterhalter later said if some specific parameters of acceptability could be provided by DRB, the developer could begin moving in that direction.

Ken Kneuven, DRB lay member, said someone will have to break before an agreement can ever happen.

“One side or the other is going to have to give,” he said, imploring the developer to figure out how much it can do to move toward more common ground. “Otherwise we’re going to have another workshop and another workshop and continue to waste your time [and ours].”

The work session was recorded and will be made available on Reston Association’s YouTube channel this week.

by Brooke Giles — July 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

Children’s author and Reston resident Kwame Alexander and co-writer Mary Hess Rand will launch their new book, “Solo” at Scrawl Books next week.

The book, written in poetic verse, is about a 17-year-old boy named Blade Morrison. Blade tries to deal with his addict father and finds solace in his forbidden girlfriend. When he discovers a family secret, he sets out on a trip around the world.

Scrawl Books and the Newbery Medal-winning Alexander have partnered together throughout the years for school visits, book signings and other events, said Scrawl owner Rachel Wood.

“Kwame has been very supportive of us since we’ve opened,” Wood said. “It’s a really cool cooperative relationship, where we can promote new authors, and authors can find community.”

Next week’s event is open to kids 12 and up, though Alexander says younger children who are mature are welcomed.

Singer/songwriter Randy Preston will be also be part of the event, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Scrawl Books is located at 11862 Market St. in Reston Town Center. For more information, visit its website.

by Dave Emke — July 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Hassanen Murder Suspect Court Date Set — A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Oct. 13, for the prosecution of Darwin Martinez Torres. Torres is accused of attacking, abducting and killing Nabra Hassanen in the early morning hours of June 18. [Connection Newspapers]

Libertarian Leaders Speaking in Reston — The Young Americans for Liberty conference, taking place today through Saturday at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, will feature more than 40 speakers sharing Libertarian values. Among them will be Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Judge Andrew Napolitano. [Young Americans for Liberty]

Changes Made to WMATA Board — The Trump Administration is replacing a pair of safety specialists, who were appointed by President Obama’s transportation secretary, with a pair of finance and budget bureaucrats who worked in the Bush Administration. [WAMU]

Work Being Done on Reston Station Staircase — The stairs from Reston Station Boulevard to the Wiehle-Reston East plaza are closed for repairs, which include new tiles on the landings and improvements to the drainage system. [Fairfax Connector]

Nearly $60M in County’s Carryover Budget — The county executive recommends the funds be used in part to fund reserves and infrastructure needs, along with other projects including the demolition of the Massey Building. [Fairfax County]

Supreme Court Ruling Leads to Changes in Sign Zoning — After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “content-based” regulations on signs do not meet the strict scrutiny test required by the First Amendment to protect free speech, the County must re-examine its zoning rules regarding messages on signs. [Fairfax County]

by Brooke Giles — July 25, 2017 at 4:15 pm 4 Comments

For the fourth year in a row, South Lakes High School’s STEAM Team Art Club has designed an art display for Lake Thoreau.

The STEAM Team (science, technology, engineering, art and math) was challenged with creating a kinetic work of art that included natural elements and enriched their community. They came up with “Althea,” which they say represents all aspects of human rights.

The sculpture is made up of rings that rotate randomly, like the “constantly evolving nature and complexity of human rights.” There are concentric circles to depict orbital paths of the planets in the solar system. This is supposed to “reinforce how deeply connected humans are to each other.”

Students were involved in every step of the project with the help of art teacher Marco Rando. They presented three concepts to Public Art Reston and considered their input when they choose the design. The students then produced digital and physical three dimensional models, that were also presented to the board for approval. The Reston Association Design Review Board provided feedback on the final design.

The sculpture is made of galvanized metal, plywood, wire rope and spray paint. It is being displayed on the 19-square foot concrete spillway on Lake Thoreau, visible from South Lakes Drive.

The South Lakes students who worked on Althea were Samantha Busch, Carson Bush, Harrison Cahn, Jonathan Doctor, Isabella Emmons, Yanis Gribi, Christian King, Amirah Kirwan, MacKenzie Krider, Catherine Lashley, Darja Loidap, Phoebe Liu, Leah Moyer, Kimi Nacu, Lucy Nguyen, Saeed Louis Razavi, Morgan Ryan, Victoria Slaski, Jeremy Southern and Lily Vogel. Alumni Jefferson Frost, Margaret Lashley and Josh Rodriguez also assisted.

Previous projects have been “Pyramid of Light” (2014), “Nothing Twice” (2015) and “Simon” (2016).

by RestonNow.com — July 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The Fairfax County Police Department says a home on Hunter Mill Road was the site of a prescription-drug theft.

According to the FCPD media release, the incident in the 1400 block of the road was reported Monday. A resident reported that she awoke from a nap and discovered someone had forced entry into her home.

Pills were the target of the thievery, which police say took place sometime after 6 p.m. Sunday, or on Monday morning.

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

by RestonNow.com — July 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Today, we open the voting for our 2017 Best Reston Business award in the Best Sit-Down Restaurant category. This poll will be open through 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. After that, the top two vote-getters will advance to final voting, which will take place in early August.

Cast your vote below.

Check back Wednesday for another category’s ballot.

OTHER POLLS

Open through 5 p.m.: Best Financial Business
Open through July 26: Best Fitness Business
Open through July 27: Best Real Estate Agent
Open through July 28: Best Local Shop
Open through July 31: Best Fast-Casual Restaurant

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