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Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the rainy weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Updated: Mother, Two Children Found Dead in Apparent Double Murder, Suicide
  2. Another New Mixed-Used Project Proposed Near Wiehle-Reston East
  3. Sprouts Farmers Market, LA Fitness to Open in Herndon Centre
  4. Farmers Market to Begin in Reston Town Center Tomorrow
  5. Coming Soon: Thai Restaurant to North Point Village Center

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. We’re also looking for photos of Reston submitted by readers. And if you’re looking for things to do in Reston this weekend, check out our weekly roundup of events.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Residents Urged to Avoid Contact with Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau

A harmful algae bloom spotted on Lake Audubon a little over a week ago remains on the lake. The bloom, called Microcystis, was can produce toxins that are lethal for livestock, fish, and people. Some toxins have been linked to liver cancer.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Microcystis is a common form of algae that is “almost always toxic.” It resembles a green, thick, paint-like material and tends to gather along shores.

As the algae bloom continues, Reston Association is advising all residents to avoid contact with the water. Pets should not swim in or drink from the water.

In a statement, RA said consultants have indicated a drop in the temperature of the water will help get rid of the bloom.

Also, purple and green clumps floating on the surface of Lake Thoreau were identified as Plankothrix algae, which can also produce toxins. Residents should also avoid contact with that water.

Thus far, no toxicity tests have been conducted by RA.

Photo by Reston Association

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Local Police to Hold Scam and Fraud Awareness Event

The Reston District Station of the Fairfax County Police Department is hosting a scam and fraud awareness event on September 26 from 4-7 p.m.

The event, which will be held at Reston Associations headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), is free and open to the public. A panel will offer insights on how scams that frequently target the older adult community. Subject matter experts will also discuss warning signs of fraud.

Families, caregivers, and businesses are encouraged to attend the event. Parking is free.

For more information, call 703-479-5167.

Photo via FCPD

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Planning Commission Approves RTC West Expansion

The expansion of RTC West, JBG Smith’s mixed-use project less than quarter-mile walk from the future Reston Town Center Metro Station, is getting closer to final approval. The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project, which adds up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space and 1.4 million square feet of new development to the existing office park, on Thursday night.

The developer plans to embark on a multiphase expansion for the area, which is bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the North and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east, over the next several years. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages, and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Nando’s Peri-Peri and honeygrow.

A timeline for the project is pending approval.

If approved and built, the project will add another mixed-use component near the future RTC Metro Station. RTC West is next to the recently approved Reston Gateway project. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the project on September 25.  The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through a tunnel under the Dulles Toll and Access Road, according to the application.

Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner Frank Carter said the county worked with the developer to address several issues, including the distribution of workforce dwelling units. The project will provide affordable units at 80, 100 and 120 percent of the Area Median Income. Parking will not be assigned to each residential unit. In order to simplify the process, Carter said affordable units will receive parking at 70 percent the price of parking for market-rate units. The entire project is expected to provide around 2,900 parking spaces for residents and employees. 

Carter said that if parking works like the parking in RTC, the arrangement should be sufficient. The site plan accommodates 57 on-street parking spaces, encouraging people to use other ways of getting around other than cars.

The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:

  • Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain. 
  • Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
  • Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
  • Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
  • Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
  • Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.

A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site itself will contain existing internal streets with on-street parking. Other planned improvements include a new westbound, shared right-turn lane and a five-woot on-road bicycle lane on Sunset Hills Road. A five-foot wide bicycle lane will also be provided on Town Center Parkway.

Photos via Fairfax County Government

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What’s Going On This Weekend in Reston?

The window for spring cleaning may be over, so there’s no harm in taking advantage of some deals (and possibly steals) from your neighbors at tomorrow’s Reston Community Yard Sale from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Around 85 families are signed up to sell a mix of items at the event, which is located in the parking lot behind 1900 Campus Commons Drive and organized by Reston Association. But before you head out, make sure to check RA’s website and social media for updates in the event of cancellation due to rain. A tentative rain date has been set for Sunday.

Earlier this week, organizers announced that ChalkFest at Reston Town Center, a popular event for amateur and professional artists alike, was canceled due to the rain forecast. The event will not be rescheduled. In any case, there’s still plenty to do in Reston over the weekend:

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Between noon and 5 p.m. this weekend, you can drop in at the Reston Art Gallery & Studios (11500 Washington Plaza West) to take a look at art created by local first responders. The art show is called Ashes2Art.
  • End tonight with a special benefit concert by Reston’s Diva Duo at the United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The cost of admission is $25. All proceeds will help support Reston and Herndon residents who are facing crisis and at risk of losing their homes, electricity or water.
  • Don’t head to any Fairfax County libraries today, as all branches will be closed for staff training.
  • On Saturday from 8:30-10:30 a.m., the Susco 8K and 2K is back for its 11th year at South Lakes High School. The event aims to raise money for brain aneurysm research and organ donation awareness programs.
  • A former Arlington prosecutor and Fairfax County native will sign copies of his first novel, Daingerfield Island, at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Reston Regional Library reopens on Saturday. Children between the age of 6 and 11 can invent a “drawbot,” a machine built to move and draw. Participants can also take their drawbots home. The event will take place from 2-3 p.m.
  • As the Building Worlds exhibit comes to a close, the artists behind the exhibit at Greater Reston Arts Center will provide some insights on the inspiration and meaning behind their work. The event on Saturday will take place from 5-7 p.m.
  • Earlier on Saturday, one of the artists, Rachel Guardiola, will lead a sensory workshop to create artwork inspired by her work. The event, which will run from 1-3 p.m., is open to all participants 18 and up.
  • Robert Prather, author of “The Strange Case of Jonathan Swift and the Real Long John Silver,” will give a talk on the story of local pirate Jonathan Swift on Sunday from 2-3 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive).
  • Kids interested in dueling it out can participate in a Chess Club for Kids, also at the library on Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
  • If birdwatching is your cup of tea, you can do so at Stratton Woods Park from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on Sunday. During the walk, which is cosponsored by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store, attendees will visit a variety of sites.
  • And if you’d rather stay indoors, there will be an open house at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) from 4-6 p.m.

Photo via Reston Association

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Friday Morning Notes

Community remembers Ellen Moyer — Moyer, a lifelong Reston resident, a prominent community member, a graduate of South Lakes High School and a local agent, passed away suddenly while celebrating Rosh Hashanah with her family. [Around Reston]

The end is near — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the location of the company’s second headquarters would be revealed by the end of the year. [The Hill]

Family splash tonight at Reston Community Center — Take a dip in the pool and enjoy a night of family fun at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. The entry fee is $13 for Reston residents and $26 for all others. Groups of six or more must pre-register by calling 703-390-6150. [Reston Community Center]

Not out of the woods yet — Although forecast models show Hurricane Florence may not bring excessive rain to the area, county officials urge residents to continue monitoring the storm, which could dump rain in the area over the weekend and early into the week. [Fairfax County Government]

Nearby: A local police officer’s suicide — In order to spread awareness about postpartum depression disorders and suicide,  the local police department shared a story about late Detective Shelane Gaydos, a mom of four who killed herself in late 2015. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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