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55+ Bike Ride to the District Set for Oct. 10

Reston Association is offering bike riders to ride along with the 55+ bike riders for a “multi-modal” ride to Capitol Hill and surrounding areas.

The ride is set for Oct. 10 (Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bikers will meet at the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station and take the Metro into the city.

Attendees should bring a  bike in good repair, a Metro pass, money for lunch and a lock. Helmets are mandatory and must be worn during the ride.

The ride is roughly 15 miles. Anyone with questions should email [email protected] or call 703-435-6577.

Registration is $8 for RA members and $10 for all others.

File photo

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Reston Corner Redevelopment Plan Heads to Planning Commission

A proposal to build 145 multi-family units and offices is headed to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for approval on Thursday (Oct. 4).

An affiliate of Angelo, Gordon & Co. hopes to rezone office property to build the residential development on 4.3 acres of land on the southwest corner of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. A second application is under consideration by the same developer to increase the density of 9.9 acres of adjacent land as part of the same proposal.

The site of the project, called Reston Corner, is currently an office park. The developer hopes to create “a new urban neighborhood” with a seven-story residential building and an 85-foot office building.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has requested $10,000 from the developer to install one traffic signal preemption device in order to “meet response time goals to emergency incidents,” according to a staff report.

The county estimates the development will generate 16 new students. The developer will contribute $12,262 for each student.

Other features of the plan include the following:

  • A four-level garage with a maximum height of 40 feet.
  • The garage will be screened from view from Reston Parkway by existing office buildings and the residential project.
  • 12 percent of the residential building will be set aside as workforce housing.
  • The developer seeks special exception to increase density across the existing office uses.
  • Outside seating on the western edge of the residential building for “gathering and relaxation.”

A date before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has not yet been set.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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New Reston Association Design Review Guidelines In Effect

Reston Association’s Board of Directors approved process changes to its design review guidelines  Thursday night. The changes, under discussion for just under two years, are aimed to expedite application processing and boost efficiency.

Overall, review of cluster standard applications would jump from review by the Design Review Board’s panel to consultation-level review with two DRB members. Additionally, other applications would move from consultation-level review to staff-level review only.

A complete list of the approved changes is available online. No content changes to the design guidelines are in effect as a result of Thursday’s approval.

Anna Varone, RA’s director of covenants administration, said the changes will help “streamline the process to allow quicker processing.” The DRB held a public hearing on the changes in July.

Members can still request appeals of applications, including those now delegated to staff-level review.

Photo via YouTube/Reston Association

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Report: Metro Garage in Herndon is ‘Sinking’

A report, first published by The Washington Post, finds that the Innovation Center Metro Station garage is “sinking.”

All work on the county-financed garage, which has eight stories, has been halted as an engineering firm attempts to determine why four cylindrical supporting structures sunk by as much as four inches.

The garage is one of five installed along the extension of the Silver Line, which runs from Dulles International Airport into Loudoun County.

The Post reports the problem was discovered when the garage was about 65 percent complete in July.

Manhattan Construction has a $33 million contract with the county to build the garage. Officials are confident that the garage will not collapse. The Innovation Center Station, which is near one of the sites up for consideration by Amazon for its second headquarters, is served by the 2,100-space garage.

An electronic monitoring system will be installed to monitor any movement of the foundation.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Proposed McMillen Farm Subdivision in Herndon Moves Forward

Despite concerns about transparency, the Fairfax County Planning Commission has recommended approval of a new subdivision at McMillen Farm last week.

Tradition Homes, LLC, requested 5.76 acres of land east of Dranesville Road be rezoned from one residential dwelling unit per acre to three residential dwelling units per acre to allow for the construction of 13 homes.

Lots range in size from 11,650 square feet to 25,840 square feet along a new cul-de-sac connected to Dranesville Road. The site was home to McMillen Farm, listed as a heritage resource on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites since February 1996.

Still unclear is the ultimate fate of Coomber Hall, a dairy barn county documents say date back to 1850. It was remodeled in 1968 to serve as a school of music and dance. However, since April 2017 the Hall has been classified as an unsafe structure due to significant damage to the roof and walls.

In response to public discussion on Sept. 20 concerning the historic buildings at an earlier meeting, attorney Shane Murphy said historic preservation measures on the site would include the hay barn.

“In my view, the overall revisions are appropriate and important revision steps [that address] the concerns raised by the Planning Commission,” said John Ulfelder, a planning commissioner representing Dranesville District.

But Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner, a planning commissioner representing Providence District, said state legislation limiting discussion of rezoning conditions left him unable to fully question the development proposal’s plans for historic resources on the site.

“The norms and practices of this commission are to freely, openly and transparently ask questions of staff, applicant and speakers,” said Niedzielski-Eichner. “I was not confident… I could craft questions without running afoul of new proffer laws. I was disturbed staff and colleagues both referenced proffer law as constricting our ability to engage applicant on land use matters.”

Niedzielski-Eichner abstained, but the remaining eleven planning commissioners voted to approve the rezoning. The rezoning application now goes to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors but has not been docketed for a meeting.

Photo via Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

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Monday Morning Notes

Halloween volunteers needed — Volunteers are being sought for Reston Association’s Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at the Walker Nature Center on Oct. 26 and 27. To volunteer, contact [email protected]. [Reston Today]

Ramp and lane closures planned this week — You guessed it. Phase two of the Silver Line will usher in a flurry of lane and ramp closures along the Dulles Toll Road, Herndon Parkway, Edmund Halley Drive, Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Roa and Moran road this week. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Take a stroll through Reston National Golf Course — Walk with a naturalist from the Walker Nature Center and golf course neighbors from 3-5 p.m. and learn more about natural resources and the experiences that open space provides. [Reston Association]

Re-striping — If you frequent the Herndon-Monroe garage, expect new traffic patterns as pavement re-striping is happening throughout the garage. [Fairfax Connector]

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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