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by Dave Emke April 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm 26 Comments

Speaking to representatives for developer Bozzuto during an informational session Tuesday night, the vice chair of Reston’s Design Review Board expressed deep concern about the future of the community.

It’s imperative as we get new developments that they respect the Reston quality, and not allow us to become simply another suburban development,” Richard Newlon said. “Internal overdevelopment will destroy Reston.”

Newlon, who has served on the DRB for 18 years, said roughly 10 percent of the 134 clusters in Reston are owned by developers such as Bozzuto, JBG and Lerner. He said the St. Johns Wood project is a “precedent-producing application.”

One of my concerns is if all of those 13 or so clusters do the same thing, Reston as Reston exists today is gone,” he said. “Reston as we know it would cease to exist.”

Bozzuto’s redevelopment proposal features 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property, where there are currently 250 multifamily units in nine buildings.

Members of Reclaim Reston also spoke during the session, presenting similar information to what they did at a Monday night session with the Planning & Zoning Committee. Members of the DRB agreed with much of what the affected parties shared, including about the apparent lack of context-sensitive design within the proposal.

Contextualism is a term that suggests an architecture that responds to its surroundings by respecting what’s already there, and I think we have a problem here because I don’t think that’s happening,” Newlon said. “I think you guys [Bozzuto] are going to really have to look at the design and do what you can, both from a massing standpoint and, as we get to it, an architectural standpoint.”

DRB member Neal Roseberry said the potential of having such an imposing development go up in a residential neighborhood is frightening.

“How do you insert this relatively high-density anomaly into an existing setting, an existing neighborhood that doesn’t have anything like this at all, and [the development] obviously scares people?” he said. “It’s literally scary to think of this thing landing in that neighborhood up there.”

Brian Winterhalter of Cooley LLP, the commercial real-estate attorney representing Bozzuto, said his team would follow up about scheduling a work session with the Design Review Board. However, he expressed disappointment with how the process is progressing.

“You have approved a plan [in July], we came back with a revised plan. You had very specific comments about the revised plan, which we feel we have addressed very well based on what you gave us, and now we’re back two steps backward,” Winterhalter said. “And so I don’t know what we make of that going forward in terms of the comments we just received.”

Newlon said the plan that was approved in July was a different plan that the board felt was “going in the right direction.”

“This is a whole new project, as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “It’s doing, in my mind, all the things we were hoping wouldn’t happen.”

Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has a community meeting on the proposal slated for next Tuesday at Langston Hughes Middle School. The proposal is set to go before the Planning & Zoning Committee and the Design Review Board again next month, on May 15 and 16. A Fairfax County Planning Commission hearing on the project remains scheduled for May 25.

Screencap via Reston Association YouTube channel; rendering via Bozzuto/KTGY

by Dave Emke April 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

Toll Brothers plans to purchase a Sunrise Valley Drive office property slated for luxury townhouse development, the Washington Business Journal reports.

The company will finalize a deal to purchase the land from Rooney Properties “later this year,” the WBJ says. As we previously reported, Rooney purchased the property in 2013 and Fairfax County approved a rezoning request in October. In February, a permit application to tear down the six-story office building currently on the 3.5 acres was filed.

The purchase price of the reported sale was not disclosed.

The WBJ reports Toll Brothers plans to follow through on the plan to tear down the office building, with an aim to complete site-plan approval by fall. Sales would begin next summer, according to the report, with prices in the $800,000 range.

The property is located across Roland Clarke Place from the former location of the API building, which was razed last year to make room for the future Sunrise Square cluster. Also owned by Rooney Properties, that will consist of 34 townhouses and 10 condos.

Both properties are part of a large number of developments planned for the stretch between the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station and the future Reston Town Center station, as progression of the Silver Line’s Phase 2 continues.

Rendering courtesy Rooney Properties

Pet of the Week: Geezer

by RestonNow.com Sponsor April 19, 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 Geezer, a lovable 6-year-old dog available for adoption.

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

Geezer is one of those very special dogs that don’t come along every day.

At 6 years old, he is polite, mannerly, and just wants to be someone’s heart dog. Geezer is great in the house, loves other dogs and does well with cats too! Most of all, he is just one of those dogs who steals your heart within 5 minutes of meeting him. Calm, but still has a touch of wiggly-ness when you talk sweet to him.

Do you want to go for walks? Geezer is up for that! No pulling on the leash business with him. He makes going on walks enjoyable — walking nicely beside you on a loose leash. Rides? Those are OK with him too! If you enjoy a nice lunch at an outdoor dining establishment, he’ll lies down right there by the table and wait patiently as you finish your meal. Then, go home and cuddle beside you, if you like, or if you really want to make him happy, give him a tummy rub.

He doesn’t require a lot, but deserves so much more than what he demands. Geezer will be a great family dog — he is good with kids. His ideal spot would be with a single person or family who really wants him to be part of that family.

Are you and Geezer 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 April 19, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Just when you thought knew every story Shakespeare had to offer, this show comes along.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play” on Friday and Saturday nights at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). The nationally touring comedy troupe claims the 90-minute play is an abridged version of a 100-hour-long work written by a 17-year-old William Shakespeare.

“We are totally not completely making this up,” they say in promotional material.

Typical to other Shakespearean works, the troupe says, the play contains “occasional bawdy language and mild innuendo.” With that in mind, the shows are rated PG-13 — “Pretty Good If You’re 13,” they say.

Tickets to the performance are $25 for Reston residents and $50 for non-residents. For more information, visit the Reston Community Center website.

Image courtesy Reston Community Center/Reduced Shakespeare Company

by RestonNow.com April 19, 2017 at 10:15 am 2 Comments

The 10th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser will be held Friday, April 28, from 5:30-8 p.m. at Floris United Methodist Church (13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon).

Advance tickets for the event are $25 for adults. They will be $30 at the door. Tickets for children under 12 are $15.

For a small donation, guests receive a supper of soup, bread, beverage and dessert, as well as a handmade pottery bowl to keep as a reminder that there are those in our community with empty bowls. The event will feature entertainment and a raffle.

Among the local artists creating bowls for the event, which is sponsored by the Giving Circle of HOPE, are students at Madison High School. Attendees will select a handmade piece of pottery contributed by a Madison student or other local artist. Madison High School students, many of whom have been studying for several years and are accomplished potters, are working under the direction of art instructor Julia Bargo. About 30 students are involved with the project.

According to the Fairfax County Community Action Advisory Board, 1 in 15 people live in poverty, which is defined as an income of less than $23,850 for a family of four. All proceeds from the Empty Bowls fundraiser will be donated to Food for Others, the largest distributor of free food directly to the hungry in Northern Virginia.

“Empty Bowls engages the community to invest in Food for Others and it serves as a critical fundraiser to help us provide food for people in need throughout the year,” said Annie Turner, executive director of Food for Others. “This is the 10th year that The Giving Circle of HOPE has organized this event and we are thankful for their long-term support.”

For more information and to buy tickets online, visit www.givingcircleofhope.org.

Photo of Madison High School students courtesy Giving Circle of HOPE

by Dave Emke April 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Reston Network Analysis Community Meeting Planned — Following the creation of the Reston Transportation Service District, a community meeting on the project status, the results of the mid-buildout analysis, and roadway classifications for the grid of streets has been scheduled for Monday at the North County Governmental Center. [Fairfax County DOT]

Legendary DJ to Meet Fans, Sign Book — Cerphe Colwell will be at Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. to promote his new book, “Cerphe’s Up: A Musical Life with Bruce Springsteen, Little Feat, Frank Zappa, Tom Waits, CSNY, and Many More.” [Press Release]

Herndon to Celebrate Most Beautiful Yards — In June and July, the Town of Herndon will honor residents who contribute to community beauty through creatively landscaped and well-maintained yards. The program is part of the town’s Cultivating Community Initiative. Nominations are now open. [Town of Herndon]

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