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by Dave Emke — May 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 22 Comments

A plan by the Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning to increase the population density limit in the Reston Planned Residential Community District by three people per acre will go before the public another time.

The DPZ will share information about the proposal during a community meeting Wednesday, May 24, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). In addition, the public is invited to see the proposal presented to Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee on Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

Residents first had a chance to hear about the plan during a public meeting on the proposal on May 3.

The DPZ says the current limitation of 13 persons per acre “cannot support the amended Master Plan.” It is planning to recommend the Board of Supervisors change that limit to 16 persons per acre. It says that would allow for 18,737 more people in the long term.

“The adopted Comprehensive Plan, which includes the Master Plan for Reston, cannot be implemented without also updating the density limits contained in the Zoning Ordinance to support the Plan,” the DPZ says.

According to the presentation, the proposal is to “increase the overall persons per acre limitation to continue to accommodate planned development in accordance with Plan.” To make that happen, the department is “recommending that the Board be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 [dwelling units/acre] in TSAs and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.”

Changes to the Comprehensive Plan and Master Plan made in 2014 and 2015 focused growth around Reston’s three Transit Station Areas, Reston Town Center and the community’s village centers.

Reston is currently at about 11.9 persons per acre, according to information provided by the DPZ. The plan does not propose to change the persons-per-acre limitations in low-density (3.8), medium-density (14) or high-density (60) residential areas; nor does it propose changing the dwelling units-per-acre limitations on individual properties in low-density (5) or medium-density (20) residential areas.

Anyone seeking further information about the proposal is encouraged to contact the DPZ’s Zoning Administration Division at 703-324-1314 or [email protected].

Reston PRC District map via Fairfax County Planning & Zoning

by Dave Emke — May 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A high-end beauty salon that closed its Reston Town Center location last year plans to open near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

Salon Nordine & Day Spa will move into a new location at 11389 Reston Station Blvd., according to a permit processed by Fairfax County this week. The RTC location of the salon, which had been in business for about 13 years, was shuttered in September.

Maggie Parker, vice president of communications for Reston Station developer Comstock Partners, said the business will be the first street-front tenant on Reston Station Boulevard. The business owned by Fairfax County stylist Nordine Elabassi has two other current locations, in Merrifield’s Mosaic District and in Gainesville.

“It’s a lovely hair salon with full-service treatments and spa,” Parker said. “We’re delighted to have him.”

Café chain Sweet Leaf also plans to open soon in the development.

by RestonNow.com — May 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm 0

UPDATE: Mirella Anaya Aguilar was reported by Takoma Park Police to have been found safe May 12. Mariissa Pineda was “cooperative and very helpful to police” in helping to locate the girl, they say.

Police in Takoma Park, Maryland, say a missing 13-year-old girl may be in the Reston area.

Mirella Anaya Aguilar, 13, was last seen by her mother in the Montgomery County city on May 2. The girl is 5 foot 3 inches tall, 140 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. She is Hispanic, with a light complexion.

In an update to the case released Thursday afternoon, TPPD says their investigation shows the girl may be in the company of a 20-year-old, Mariissa Pineda, in the Reston area. Pineda and the girl are believed to have been frequenting the Tysons Corner Center and using the Metro from Tysons.

The Fairfax County Police Department is assisting in the investigation.

Anyone who has seen either Pineda or the 13-year-old is asked to contact Takoma Park Police at 301-270-1100, referring to Case No. 170505618.

by Dave Emke — May 11, 2017 at 11:30 am 10 Comments

Citing a wet and dreary forecast for Saturday, Reston Association has canceled this year’s Reston Expo event.

“We want members and exhibitors to have a great experience at this annual outdoor event and rainy, cold conditions just don’t make it enjoyable,” said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director.

The event, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the grounds of Reston Association’s headquarters, was slated to be an opportunity for area businesses — in the fields of “home, garden and more” — to share their products and services with residents. Food trucks, music and a kids’ tent were also planned for the free event.

Leone said the event went on through light showers last year, but torrential rains are another story. He said exhibitors were “completely supportive” of the decision to call off this year’s event.

“Apparently, there was another similar event in a nearby community last Saturday and many of the exhibitors/vendors participating in our Expo participated in that event,” he said. “The feedback we received was that last Saturday’s event was a ‘bust’ — extremely low attendance due to the rain.”

The most recent weather forecast for Saturday from Capital Weather Gang calls for steady rain, perhaps up to an inch, with brisk wind as the storm passes through.

Leone said RA “hope[s] to find a date to reschedule later this year.”

by Del. Ken Plum — May 11, 2017 at 10:15 am 19 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Among the many institutions that seem to be under attack these days, the federal Department of Education and public schools are of great concern.

Public education predates the federal Department of Education, but the Department has played an important role in raising standards and expanding access for all children. Left to their own devices, state and local school boards would go in many different directions that may leave quality and access more to chance than legal requirements.

I am reminded regularly by my constituents of their support for quality public schools, but last week I was reminded also of the range of controversy surrounding public education. A postcard I received in the mail had a picture of a yellow school bus on it with a caption: “The humanist machine.”

The card was from a group called Deconstructing the Coliseum whose stated purpose is “to eliminate humanist political policies, eliminate the machine (the civil government school system) that produces humanist politicians.” The text of the card goes on to explain that “The civil government is using force and coercion to advance its version of truth (humanism), under the guise of ‘public education.’ Thus, civil government schools must be abolished.”

Although this group has a Virginia address, I do not think that it would have many supporters in our community. Their ultra-conservative views are likely to get the attention of some downstate legislators.

As concerning are the views that are being espoused by the current federal Secretary of Education. As I understand her plan, public schools would be replaced by charter schools. Charter schools are held up by some as a panacea to cure ills real and concocted about public schools, but their results have been very mixed in the places where they have been opened.

The main issue for the proponents seems to be control. Rather than having elected or appointed school boards set school policy, there are proposals that groups of parents would control the charter school curriculum, standards and requirements without further supervision. There is a real concern that charter schools could lead to renewed segregation of the schools along racial and class lines.

Even with all their critics and those who remember wistfully how schools were when they attended, today’s public schools do an excellent job. Open to all students, they bring out the best in our children. They attempt to prepare our children for an unknown future. The school boards struggle every year with meeting needs that are greater than the resources available to them.

Whatever the perceived needs are in educating our children, there are none so great that would require the getting rid of “government schools” or replacing them with charter schools.

We need to look at paying teachers more to attract the best and the brightest to teaching as a career; the current deficit of $4,000 under the national average that exists in Virginia is not defensible.

And we need, in this season of teacher appreciation, to thank the teachers for the exceptional work that they do.

by RestonNow.com — May 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

‘BrouHaHa’ Returns to Reston — For one night only, Happenstance Theater Company will bring the funny and poignant show “BrouHaha” back to CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). RCC staff describe the show as “a funny and poetic escapade inspired by images of refugees fleeing on foot, Edwardian workers, cinematic treasures like ‘La Strada’ and ‘The Seventh Seal,’ and the existential comedy of Samuel Beckett.” The curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. [Reston Community Center]

Police: Herndon Shoplifter Fights Officer — Police say a 48-year-old Fairfax County woman started a physical fight with the officer who tried to detain her when she was caught trying to steal merchandise from a Kohl’s department store in Herndon on Tuesday. The incident earned her a trip to jail, and charges of grand larceny and resisting arrest. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Reston Chorale Plans 50th-Anniversary Retrospective — In celebration of the group’s 50th anniversary, the Reston Chorale will present a special concert entitled “A Season to Remember” this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Musical numbers will include past favorites as well as works composed especially for The Reston Chorale. Alumni and friends of the group are invited to bring sheet music and join in for Handel’s “Messiah.” Adult tickets range from $20-$30. Youth under 17 and active military are free, but need to reserve tickets. [Reston Chorale]

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