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Long After Being Told to Move, Aslin Beer Co. Still Fighting to Open New Home

It’s been nearly two years, and Aslin Beer Company is still waiting for approval to move into its planned tasting room and bar in Herndon.

The company is waiting on the Department of Public Works to approve grading plans as a deadline looms for the Heritage Preservation Review Board to consider approval of the project at its upcoming meeting next month.

In the summer of 2017, the brewery was told it would have to leave the Town of Herndon due to the limitations of its current space (257 Sunset Park Drive). So Aslin found a new home at 771 Elden Street, which was the location of the former Napa Auto Parts, and planned to open the Aslin Tasting House later that year, Reston Now previously reported.

Originally, the new location planned to have 2,500 square feet of interior tasting room space and another 2,500 square feet of outdoor space — including a rooftop deck and bar, bocce ball court and covered deck.

Then last year on Dec. 10, Aslin resubmitted plans with a revised design that include terrace seating and a rooftop bar.

Herndon’s Heritage Preservation Review Board held a work session last Wednesday (Jan. 2) that included discussion on the redesign and amendments, which the board had previously approved.

Ira Saul, an attorney representing Aslin, “stated no additional structural changes would be made, other than the removal of the cantilevered deck area on the second floor and removing the exterior stairway for an internalized stairwell to the second floor,” according to draft minutes from the meeting.

Saul said that a second-floor fireplace with a stone veneer, second-floor rain screens and a second-floor overhead trellis near the rear of the building that appeared to have been removed from the submitted design would be included in future drawings. Additionally, the two different color schemes in the submission will get clarified in the future to have just one color scheme.

Board Member Ossolinski requested that the formal application submission include perspective color renderings of the structure — as had been provided during the original case review and subsequent approval — to help clarify the differences between the new and the revised design.

Once the Department of Public Works approves the grading plans — a prerequisite to Heritage Preservation Review Board approval — the beer company will be able to submit the final application by the Jan. 14 deadline for the board’s February meeting.

Aslin Beer Company declined to comment for the article.

“The town remains committed to working with Aslin’s owners through this process,” Anne Curtis, the chief communications officer for the Town of Herndon, told Reston Now.

Images via Google Maps and the Town of Herndon 

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Reston Real Estate: Just Listed

justlistednew

This is a sponsored post by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate.

At the risk of repeating myself, housing inventory is crazy low!

Just 104 active listings, there are 4 in a “Coming Soon” status but for 3 zip codes this is seriously low inventory.

83 homes settled in the past 30 days, which says that demand for houses is still strong especially given the holidays.

Here are a few of the new listings this week:

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Planning Commission to Tackle Controversial Zoning Proposal

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a workshop tonight on a proposed zoning amendment opposed by several local groups.

The proposal would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community (PRC) district — Reston’s primary zoning district — from 13 persons up to 15.

While county planning officials say the change is needed to put into action Reston’s Master Plan, which allows for future growth over the next 40 years, critics argue it is rushed through and under-explained. Several opponents reaffirmed since the New Year why they think the proposal should get axed.

Reston Association’s Board of Directors, which opposes the proposal, held their own workshop last week on Jan. 2 where the board considered various options to try and prevent the county from passing the amendment. The homeowners’ association does not have legal jurisdiction in the matter, yet the board voted to send a letter to tell the county that RA membership, which includes 21,000 residential units, need a prominent voice in the decision.

Less than a week later on Tuesday (Jan. 8) RA President Andy Sigle, on behalf of the Board of Directors, sent a letter to the Fairfax County Planning Commission, reiterating RA’s opposition to the proposed PRC zoning amendment. The letter outlined initiatives the association could take to potentially stop the adoption of the amendment and strongly urged the commission to ask the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to not approve the amendment.

“As we have often stated, our primary basis for our opposition stems from the repeated failure of Fairfax County’s staff to provide a thorough and convincing explanation of the need for the proposed ordinance amendment at this time,” Sigle wrote in the letter.

RA’s position is that any potential change to the density cap must be done concurrently with the next upcoming review of the Reston Master Plan. Sigle said the Reston Association “has no choice but to vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to inform and engage its members, including, but not limited to, a ballot initiative adjunct to its upcoming elections as well as a strong and substantial social media campaign about the proposed PRC zoning amendment.”

Reston 2020 wrote in a post on Monday (Jan. 7) that Reston would get crowded if the proposal is approved. “At the same time, the county has not funded plans to meet Reston’s transportation, school, park and other needs associated with this growth, even as required by its own county policies,” the post says, adding that the “massive unplanned imbalance between growth and infrastructure will be a dramatic loss of quality of life in Reston.”

Also on the same day, Coalition for a Planned Reston encouraged locals to write to the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission and also to wear yellow clothing to the upcoming Planning Commission public hearing scheduled for Jan. 23.

Dennis K. Hays, the president of the Reston Citizens Association, outlined 10 reasons to leave the cap alone in a letter to the editor posted on Reston Now last week. (Letters to the editor do not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.)

Amid the many concerned voices, the proposal has still found supporters.

On Jan. 2, 17 people, including Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Ingrao and Reston Master Plan Study Task Force Chair Patricia Nicoson, sent a six-page letter to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins supporting the Reston PRC District Residential Density Zoning Ordinance Amendment.

They wrote the following in the letter:

The intent of this letter is not to prejudge or determine what if any changes may be appropriate to address specific issues discussed in the extensive community meetings the county pursued in recent months. But we think it [is] important that there be greater understanding and appreciation for what is actually contained in the Comprehensive Plan and the rationales that underlie those decisions. We all appreciate that growth is not universally accepted and is not without challenge, but the decision to embrace very significant growth, with an accompanying process and plan for necessary infrastructure development, was incorporated into the Reston Comprehensive Plan as the result of an extensive and participatory community process that had the widespread support of community representatives intimately engaged in that process…

Reducing or disincentivizing residential growth is at odds with the comprehensive vision the Task Force so powerfully (and almost unanimously) endorsed. These issues were exhaustively discussed throughout an arduous, inclusive, five-year Task Force and Village Center process; revisiting and endlessly debating these issues will create uncertainty about the Plan’s stability and risks halting needed development or creating uneven or disjointed results, which we don’t think is in Reston’s interests. There will be numerous opportunities for community input as this process evolves over the next several decades, and individual projects will be subject to multiple approvals and community input before they can proceed. For all these reasons, we support County Staff’s pending administrative recommendations, which we think are broadly consistent with implementation of the vision adopted in the Comprehensive Plan.

The letter included eight points “that are sometimes missing from the ongoing dialogue about staff’s proposals,” arguing that adding significant new residential development is central to the Task Force recommendations and essential to ensure balanced growth. The letter also said that build-out — along with “phased-in infrastructure” — of the plan will take decades and that the community’s ability to participate throughout that process is protected.

Hudgins has supported moving forward the zoning proposal’s consideration. Meanwhile, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and Braddock District Supervisor John Cook have expressed frustration about the process.

The Planning Commission workshop takes place tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Board Auditorium of the Government Center at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax, Va. The workshop will be for the commissioners’ questions and discussion only and will not be an opportunity for public input.

People can watch it remotely via online streaming.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ public hearing is set for March 5. The Planning Commission must say “yea” or “nay” to the proposal by March 15, according to county rules.

File photo

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Fundraising Starts for Family of Killed South Lakes HS Teen

GoFundMe page is raising funds for the family of the South Lakes High School student Marvin Daniel Cruz Serrano, who was struck and killed by a car nearly two weeks ago.

The campaign, which was created on Jan. 5 and activated today (Jan. 10), aims to help Serrano’s family and friends cover funeral costs and any other expenses.

People can also send donations to the Biblica Bautista Emanuel Church at 21770 Beaumeade Circle in Ashburn, Va., which will also disperse all of the funds raised to Serrano’s family.

The GoFundMe page says the following:

Friends and family of Daniel Serrano suffered a heart breaking loss on December 29 when Daniel was killed by a hit and run driver as he was attempting to cross South Lakes Drive in Reston, Virginia. Daniel had just exited the bus he was taking to return home after his work shift at a restaurant. Daniel was 16 years-old and attended South Lakes High School. He is remembered as a kind, generous and loving young man who will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Many have asked where to donate to help with funeral and other expenses. Donations can be made here or to Biblica Bautista Emanuel Church, 21770 Beaumeade Circle, Ashburn, VA 20147. The church will disperse all funds raised.

Reston Now previously reported that Principal Kim Retzer said funeral arrangements are still being planned.

The day after Serrano was killed by a driver while crossing South Lakes Drive, family and friends gathered at the spot for a vigil.

Fairfax County Police are still looking for the driver, who fled the scene, and are asking anyone with information to contact the Crash Reconstruction Unit witness phone line at 703-280-0543 or to submit a tip anonymously through Crime Solvers.

Detectives believe the sedan involved “may possibly be gray or silver, and it likely has significant front end damage.”

Photo via GoFundMe

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Musician Shawna Caspi to Perform in Herndon Next Week

Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi is coming to Herndon for a performance next Tuesday.

Caspi is set to perform on Jan. 15 as a part of The Folk Club of Reston/Herndon, a volunteer organization that meets on Tuesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. at Amphora’s Diner Deluxe (1151 Elden Street).

Classically trained, Caspi shifted to folk singing, which she pairs with a fingerpicking guitar style.

In September 2017, she released her fourth album, “Forest Fire,” which delves into “burning things down and building them up again” with bluegrass instrumentation.

Her song “Not So Silent” from her 2014 album “Apartments for Lovers” was selected for the Silver Award in the folk acoustic category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest presented by the Songwriters’ Association of Washington, she wrote on her website on Tuesday (Jan 8).

Her travels as a musician inspired Caspi to paint. “Shawna loves the landscapes of her travels, and while weaving them into her songs, she has also been portraying them on canvases, painting one-of-a-kind works of art inspired by the rich scenery she sees on tour,” according to her bio. So far, she has sold more than 100 original paintings.

The upcoming Herndon show has a suggested donation of $10 for members of the Folk Club and $11 for nonmembers.

Image via World One Video on YouTube

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Second Democrat Joins Race for Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Seat

Shyamali Hauth is joining the race to unseat Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

Hauth, a United States Air Force veteran and community advocate, announced her candidacy last night (Jan. 9) at the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee meeting.

Hauth is focused on construction practices, budgets, security and education systems, according to her website. She wants to tackle transportation issues and affordable housing with SMART housing solutions.

“Our local government is where the rubber meets the road,” Hauth said in the press release. “This is where we make change that affects each of us on a daily basis. I want Fairfax County, and specifically the Hunter Mill District, to be the leading edge of a progressive vision of community.”

Other major issues she wants to address include:

  • public education
  • environmental issues
  • securing funding for social services
  • developing public-private partnerships that help businesses
  • keeping a low unemployment rate

She lives in Reston with her husband, who is also an Air Force veteran. Two of their four children attended Fairfax County public schools, according to her bio.

She has worked with Rescue Reston to preserve the Reston National Golf Course from development. She founded her own group called Hear Our Voice-Reston (HOV-R) where she led 70 people who worked to elect progressive candidates in Virginia in 2017. The group then joined up with Herndon Reston Indivisible, her bio says.

She also works with the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Virginia as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. The Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee awarded her the Ed Herlihy Activist Award for 2018.

Currently, she chairs the Fairfax County Democratic Committee’s Veterans and Military Families Committee, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is also an independent business owner of Mahari Yoga, a veteran-owned business that offers yoga therapy in Northern Virginia, and self-employed as a Celtic harp instructor, professional speaker, according to LinkedIn.

She studied psychology and management at Saint Leo University in Florida. After receiving her Masters of Science in human resource management from Troy State University in Alabama, she joined the Air Force.

Hauth plans to host a listening session for Reston residents next Thursday (Jan. 17) night.

Another Democrat, Parker Messick, announced his campaign for the seat in December. Messick is running on a platform to “stop big development.”

Hudgins, who is nearing the end of her fifth term, was first elected to the board in 1999. The election for the county’s Board of Supervisors will take place on Nov. 5.

Photo via Shyamali Hauth for Board of Supervisors/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Deadline to order commemorative bricks — Today is the last day to order a commemorative brick for installation at Lake Anne Plaza later this year. [Reston Historic Trust and Museum]

Leidos is leading naval health research — The Reston-based company was awarded a contract by the Naval Medical Logistics Command to provide research support services at its Naval Health Research Center. [Leidos]

Safe drug disposal — Locals can drop off prescription medications and ointments and also over-the-counter drugs to boxes at Fairfax County’s police stations. [Fairfax County Police]

Lego club — Kids ages five to 12 can have fun with Lego bricks at the Herndon Fortnightly Library from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. today. [Fairfax County]

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