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by RestonNow.com — March 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm 6 Comments

Reston street signLooking for something to do this weekend? Here is a sampling of what’s available in Reston:

  • As previously reported, there will be a protest of Reston Town Center paid parking from 1-4 p.m. Saturday. The group plans to march on the perimeter of the Town Center. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
  • Reston Town Center will host “Family Fun Saturdays” throughout March to benefit Opportunity Neighborhood: Reston. This week, there will be carousel rides from noon to 5 p.m., free s’mores and hot chocolate, a performance by the Fairfax Jubil-Aires and free ice skating from 1-4 p.m.
  • Also at Reston Town Center this weekend are kids’ cooking classes at Il Fornaio and Williams-Sonoma, South Moon Under’s spring launch party, Girl Scout cookie sales and more.
  • Youth Art Month at the Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) officially kicks off Saturday with an opening reception and Family Day from noon-4 p.m.
  • The Reston 10-Miler race is Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).
  • Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Road) will host an all-ages nature program on raptor exploration Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
  • This will be the final weekend “For the Love of Color” will be on display at the Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609A Washington Plaza N.).
  • Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) will host events for kids including a computer coding workshop (Saturday, 11 a.m.) and a visit from the South Lakes High School robotics club (Saturday, 1 p.m.). For adults, the lecture series on World War I continues Sunday at 2 p.m.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have music from the Josh Allen Band tonight.
  • Jeff From Accounting will play a concert Saturday at 10 p.m. at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.)
  • New Love Animal Rescue plans an animal-adoption event Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Pet Valu (1422 North Point Village Center).

by RestonNow.com — March 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Nelson Urbina-Zelaya/Loudoun County Sheriff's OfficeThe Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 40-year-old Herndon man on Thursday after they say he stabbed three people in Sterling.

Police say Nelson Urbina-Zalaya is charged with three counts of malicious wounding and is being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center. The charges stem from an altercation shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 46900 block of Community Plaza.

According to the report, two adult male victims were stabbed during the parking-lot altercation, while a third was hurt when he intervened. All three were taken to the hospital with what police described as non-life-threatening injuries.

The circumstances that led to the assault remain under investigation, police say.

by Dave Emke — March 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm 17 Comments

Plans to upgrade Reston Community Center’s aquatics center will be the topic of discussion at a public meeting Monday.

At RCC’s Feb. 13 community engagement meeting, proposals for renovations to the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center were presented. Leila Gordon, RCC executive director, says total cost for needed repairs at the aquatics center over the next two-year cycle is estimated at $1.2 million. This has led to discussion, she said, that a full upgrade of the facility may be more effective to meet current and future needs.

Gordon said the aquatics center serves three subsets of users: master swimmers, those learning to swim and those using the pool for therapy purposes. Each has different preferences, Gordon said, for specifics including pool length, depth and temperature.

Based on community feedback, three options for renovations were proposed, two of which involved expanding the aquatic center’s space by as much as 7,000 square feet. The information provided for Monday’s meeting includes only the third option, which would use the existing footprint of the aquatics center for a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with an attached family pool, as well as a separate warm-water therapy pool.

Gordon said she believes the upgrade could cost up to $4 million.

“Our understanding is that from the perspective of ‘rough order of magnitude,’ the cost is in the $3-4 million range,” she said. “Of course, though, that is not based on a detailed analysis of the existing conditions or a more precise costing that would accompany more refined ‘scoping’ of the project.”

The other options would cost at least $8 million, which Gordon said there would be “no path to” outside of a lengthy and costly bond question — which, if successful, would also add significant expenses to RCC’s core budget.

Other improvements laid out in the plan include a possible patio and/or windows along the northeast wall, an additional family changing room, reconfigured shower stalls in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms, and improved quality of light, air, water and acoustics.

Wayne Hughes, of Hughes Group Architects, will present more information regarding the proposed renovation at Monday’s meeting and will answer community members’ questions.

The public meeting of RCC’s Long Range Planning Committee is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at RCC’s Hunters Woods facility (2310 Colts Neck Road). Those who plan to attend are asked to email [email protected] to RSVP. Anyone who is unable to attend but would like to submit comments can do so to the same email address, and should include their full name and address along with their comments.

by RestonNow.com — March 3, 2017 at 1:30 pm 11 Comments

FCDOT Safety Improvements Public Meeting

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has scheduled a community meeting later this month to discuss proposed safety improvements.

According to FCDOT, “road diets” — converting an existing four-lane undivided roadway segment to a three-lane segment consisting of two through-lanes and a center two-way left-turn lane — are being proposed near Tall Oaks Village Center and on Colts Neck Road between Glade Drive and Sunrise Valley Drive.

In addition, bicycle infrastructure improvements are proposed for North Shore Drive, from Ring Road to Wiehle Avenue. Two options are under review:

  • Keep existing parking but narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes or shared-lane markings
  • Restrict on-street parking to one-side of the street from Ivy Oak Square to Wiehle Avenue, add bike lanes in both directions for this segment; keep existing parking from Ivy Oak Square to Ring Road, and narrow travel lanes to add bike lanes and shared-lane markings.

The narrowing of travel lanes, in the effort to reduce speeding and add bike lanes, is also being proposed on Twin Branches Road between Lawyers Road and South Lakes Drive, as well as on Colts Neck Road between Reston Parkway and Glade Drive. The addition of crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is also in the proposal.

According to FCDOT, the proposed improvements are limited to changes that can be made with roadway striping as part of the repaving process.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 16 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive).

by RestonNow.com Sponsor — March 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

The following was written and sponsored by Boston Properties.

Dear Reston:

We are truly grateful to all the Reston Town Center (RTC) residents, visitors, retailers and businesses who have placed their trust and confidence in this wonderful property for several decades. We have shared many special moments with this community and very much want that tradition to continue to grow for generations to come.

After years of research and planning, RTC activated paid parking in January with three primary goals:

  1. Protecting the parking rights of RTC tenants and visitors who patronize the Center.
  2. Enhancing the parking experience of those tenants, visitors and patrons.
  3. Augmenting the Boston Properties revenue dedicated to reinvestment in the Reston community through improved facilities for the general public, family-oriented events, best-in-class retail, innovative technologies and nonprofit donations.

As with the progression from surface parking to garage parking some years ago, we realize moving from a free to paid parking model is a big change and has caused some confusion and dissatisfaction; however, our overriding, long-term goal is to continue to bring you the amenities you expect from a world-class destination. It is in this spirit we are writing this letter to share our perspective, correct misinformation and encourage productive feedback and dialogue. We offer the following thoughts based on today’s most prevalent concerns:

Reston Town Center logoPaid parking will help manage unwarranted commuter parking. Over the course of the last three years, tens of thousands of people used RTC garages for short- and long-term commuter parking, including overnight and out-of-town stays, creating a shortage of spaces that led to frustration for tenants and visitors coming to Reston Town Center. Further, there were numerous instances of residential owners leaving their vehicles in RTC spaces. Since converting to paid parking, we are already seeing significant improvement, allowing for more RTC visitors to conveniently utilize the garages.

We are committed to assisting retailers during this transition. We are in regular communications with our retailers, and welcome open and honest dialogue in order to address the concerns that are most important to that tenant’s ongoing business operations.

Paid parking is not having the adverse impact that has been reported. When analyzing parking occupancy levels in our garages, we found January’s occupancy to be virtually identical to last November’s occupancy. Interestingly, on average, visitors have been staying longer since paid parking was activated, allowing for more time to enjoy RTC retail and amenities.

Additionally, based on the January 2016 versus January 2017 sales revenue data we have received, while sales have decreased for a few businesses, the majority of our tenants’ sales are either flat or have actually increased. It is important to emphasize this is a 30-day snapshot and not necessarily indicative of a longer-term trend. We will continue to closely analyze all revenue activity, as growth is in everyone’s best interest.

Boston Properties logoEach retailer chooses whether and where to validate parking. Each retailer and restaurateur makes its own business decisions about 1) participating in a validation program and 2) what validation terms to incorporate within their unique business model, to include validating for all or select garages.

No retailers have closed as a result of paid parking. Not a single retailer has vacated due to paid parking. In fact, numerous tenants are renewing their leases. Over the last year, 15 retailers renewed leases and four new retail leases are in progress.

We have already made a number of changes based on customer feedback, including:

  • Offering free parking in garages on weekends, holidays and special event days
  • Doubling the number of parking ambassadors, primarily at night to assist retail shoppers
  • Installing additional onsite educational signage
  • Adding a list of validating retailers to the ParkRTC app
  • Regularly updating FAQs on the RTC website

In March, we will be installing an upgraded credit card pay station with a larger screen that provides better functionality in extreme weather.

(more…)

by Dave Emke — March 3, 2017 at 10:30 am 2 Comments

Golf Park at Hunter MillThe firm that is advertising Reston National Golf Course to developers also has plans for a pair of Hunter Mill Road properties.

The Washington Business Journal reports that 68 acres at the Reston/Vienna line, 46 west of the road and 22 east, are being pitched by investment advisory firm ARA Newmark for possible residential or other development.

The property west of the road borders Sunset Hills Road to the south, while the property east of the road abuts the Dulles Toll Road. The latter is the former home of the Golf Park at Hunter Mill, over which owner John Thoburn was infamously jailed by Fairfax County in 2001 due to a landscaping dispute.

The driving range closed in early 2015. Thoburn’s family had owned the land for more than four decades, the WBJ reports, until it was acquired by private lenders through foreclosure last year.

Property behind the former golf park site is already seeing heavy construction work, as it will soon become the new campus of Oakcrest School, a private girls’ school. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints also has plans for a 16,500-square foot church at the intersection with Crowell Road. Roundabouts are being considered for that and several other intersections along Hunter Mill Road to handle increasing congestion in the area.

by Dave Emke — March 3, 2017 at 9:00 am 25 Comments

Morning Notes - Winter

Local Meeting on County Budget is Saturday — Residents of the Hunter Mill District will have their chance to weigh in on the proposed Fairfax County FY2018 budget from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the Frying Pan Farm Park visitor center. [Reston Now]

‘Monsters’ to Be on Stage at Herndon HS — The Herndon High School Drama Boosters will present “From the Mouths of Monsters,” a Kennedy Center Production inspired by Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” March 17-19. [Herndon High School Theatre]

Wolf Trap Summer Lineup Features Big Names — Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp and Sheryl Crow are just a few of the many top acts who will perform this year at Wolf Trap. Mary J. Blige will kick off the summer season with a show May 25, followed two days later by Fifth Harmony. [Wolf Trap]

Reston Association Elections About to Begin — Ballots can be cast starting Monday in this year’s Reston Association Board of Directors election. Eleven candidates in total are vying for four seats on the nine-member board. No incumbents are running. [Reston Association]

by RestonNow.com — March 3, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

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

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.

All Spice Cafe & Catering, bringing flavor to your events.

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

Susannah Palik, residential Sales Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate.

Inform Fitness, personal training studio that offers results with 20-minute workout.

Fusion Academy, accredited private middle and high school for grades 6-12.

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.

Eric Carr, John Mooney and Victoria White, candidates for the Reston Association Board of Directors.

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