Reston Real Estate: Just Sold

This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.

The Reston real estate market continues to be strong. 157 properties changed hands in the past 30 days.

At this rate we’ve got less than 6 weeks’ worth of housing inventory. Some segments of the market are moving much, faster than others and some “types” of property are selling much faster than others. Average days on the market for condominiums is 36 while non-condos have an average days on market of just 12.

Here are a few of the properties that have recently sold:

1705 Wainwright Drive
3 BD/2 BA
List Price: $410,000
Sold Price: $415,000

 

 

11903 Triple Crown Road
6 BD/6 BA
List Price: $1,158,000
Sold Price: $1,090,000

 

 

1566 Goldenrain Court
3 BD/4 BA
List Price: $424,900
Sold Price: $430,000

 

 

11310 Myrtle Lane
4 BD/3 BA
List Price: $575,000
Sold Price: $580,000

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Following Democratic Primary, Little Movement on Comstock’s Campaigning Policies

Prior to the Democratic primary last month,  a controversy over Comstock’s campaigning restrictions prompted local elected officials to push back against the developer’s longstanding policy at Reston Station Plaza.

But there has been little movement on the issue in recent days.

In a June 7 letter, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova threatened legal recourse against Comstock, which she said was unfairly restricting public access to the property and possibly infringing on First Amendment rights. The county’s Commonwealth Attorney and the local American Civil Liberties Union also stepped in.

Bulova’s chief of staff Clayton Medford told Reston Now that Bulova plans to meet with Chris Clemente, Comstock’s CEO, to discuss access issues.

“The county is committed to looking into public spaces issues countywide to ensure members of the public have equal access,” Medford said.

No meeting has been scheduled yet. Clemente did not return requests for comment from Reston Now.

The issue stemmed over access to Reston Station Plaza, which was built through a public-private partnership.

Two candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor complained about Comstock’s policies.

The plaza is atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Photo by Fairfax Connector

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Town of Herndon Appoints New Director of Public Works

The Town of Herndon has appointed a new director of public works. Scott Robinson, a former director of facilities and real estate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, will begin his new position on July 22.

He replaces Dana Singer, who retired from her position last year.

Robinson, who reports directly to town manager Bill Ashton, will manage the town’s public works operations and initiatives, including maintaining the town’s infrastructure, serving as principal advisor on public works issues, and overseeing capital improvement projects.

The Town of Herndon wrote the following about Robinson’s experience:

Robinson brings to his new position decades of experience managing major construction projects and operations. Most recently, he served as director of Facilities and Real Estate for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a role in which he managed NASA’s 5,300 facilities at 14 major sites in 10 states, providing leadership to 600 engineering and real estate employees. He had oversight responsibility for capital planning as well as the establishment of national policy in facilities operations, design, construction, real estate acquisition, property management and more. Prior to his NASA tenure, he held positions of increasing responsibility at the Naval Sea Systems Command and at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He holds a Bachelor of Science, Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In a statement, Ashton said services provided by the town’s public works department are “almost universally cited as the number one reason people appreciate living in Herndon.”

“Under Scott’s leadership, and by tapping into his wealth of experience and expertise, these services will only flourish and grow,” Ashton said.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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New State Driving Laws Go Into Effect Today

Drivers who hold a cellphone while passing through a Virginia road work zone could face a $250 fine.

The law — which bars drivers from holding cellphones in work zones — goes into effect today (Monday).

Gov. Ralph Northam signed the bill in April as part of a broad attempt to tackle distracted driving in the state. Currently, texting while driving is banned.

Northam is also cracking down on drivers who fail to slow down or move to the side of a road when police or firefighters pass by with flashing lights.

Additionally, children up to age eight must be secured in a child safety restraint that meets standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Children must remain in a rear-facing carseat until the age of two or until they reach the minimum weight requirement for a forward-facing child safety seat.

Failure to follow the new law, which also went into effect today, will be considered reckless driving.

Lawmakers also approved a move that would free up the ability to increase local housing stock.

The quick fix changes how jurisdictions in the state bargain with developers for proffers or development conditions.

File photo

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Legal Insider: The Benefit of Severance Agreements for Employers and Employees

This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.

By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.

In Virginia (and in many other jurisdictions) severance agreements are contracts that compensate an employee in exchange for them agreeing to leave their employment and waiving all claims against an employer.

Most employees in Virginia are considered “at will,” which means they can resign or be fired at any time by an employer. When employment ends, an employer may offer (or an employee may request) a severance package in exchange for the employee’s waiver of all rights to sue for discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation or other alleged violations of law by the employer.

Employers, in the absence of an employment contract which requires severance, generally have no obligation to provide employees severance pay. If severance pay is offered, an employer will offer the employee a Severance Agreement along with the proposed compensation.

Employer Severance Agreements

A Severance Agreement is just a contract between an employee and an employer that resolves all outstanding employment matters between them. A Severance Agreement may be offered to an employee who resigns or is terminated. Additionally, Severance Agreements can also be offered to employees who are laid off or who are facing retirement.

In order to be valid, a Severance Agreement must have consideration — i.e., something of value to which the employee is not already entitled. Employers are usually required to provide an employee time to consider the Severance Agreement before signing and advise them to consult with counsel before signing. An employee typically has a 21-day consideration period to accept an employer’s Severance Agreement unless the employee is over 40 years of age.

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that an employer provide employees over 40 years of age with a 45-day consideration period and at least a 7-day revocation period.

Reasons for Severance Agreements

There are a number of reasons why a Severance Agreement may be proposed or agreed to by employers. These reasons can include the following examples, but many others exist:

  • An employee is fired, for conduct or performance and the employer wants to avoid risk for potential claims against them by providing severance in exchange for a waiver of employee claims.
  • An employer is looking to downsize their operations and seeks to avoid potential liability in the process by offering severance terms to a number of employees.
  • An employee has been fired, no Severance Agreement was initially proposed by the employer but the employee approaches the employer seeking one.
  • An employee wants to resign and seeks to initiate severance negotiations with the employer.

Common Severance Agreement Terms

Some of the terms to consider in a Settlement Agreement may include, but are certainly not limited to the following:

Severance Pay
Non-Disparagement
Retirement benefits
Re-employment possibilities
Tax consequences
The timing of severance payments
Confidentiality terms
Security clearance issues
Continuation of employment benefits
Rights to unemployment compensation
Waiver of Claims
Scope of non-competition
Preservation of trade secrets
References and reference letters
Recommendation letters (Positive and Neutral)
Applicable law
Consequences for violating the Severance Agreement

Severance Agreements will almost always include a General Release (Waiver) that stipulates the employee cannot sue his or her employer for wrongful termination or attempt to seek unemployment benefits.

Before an employee signs a Severance Agreement, he or she should consult with an attorney to discuss the rights that he or she may be waiving and the terms of the Severance Agreement.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or through our contact page to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Town of Herndon to Appoint New Deputy Town Attorney

The Herndon Town Council is looking to appoint a new deputy town attorney at a meeting next week.

The position was created during the fiscal year 2020 budget cycle in order to help manage the workload of the town attorney’s office.

“The Town Attorney’s Office is extremely busy, as the town has grown and embarked on projects requiring legal review and consultation,” Anne Curtis, the town’s chief communications officer, told Reston Now. “This new position reflects a need for additional inhouse legal resources.”

At a Tuesday, July 9 meeting, the council will consider a resolution to appoint Lauri Sigler to fill the new position.

The position is effective July 22 to “serve at the direction and under the supervision of the Town Attorney,” according to the resolution. The salary range is between $85,000 and $115,000.

The current town attorney is Lesa Yeatts, who was hired in 2015 to replace Richard Kaufman, the town’s legal attorney of more than 20 years.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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House Fire in Great Falls Causes $1.3 Million in Damages

A fire at a home in Great Falls caused nearly $1.3 million in damages on Saturday (June 29).

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and two residents were displaced after the fire broke out late Saturday night.

The incident happened on Clarks Branch Road in Great Falls. Firefighters were on the scene for several hours.

A spokesperson for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department told Reston Now that the cause of the fire is unknown.

More updates will likely be available today, according to the spokesperson.

Photo via FCFRD/Twitter

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Monday Morning Notes

Lane Closures on Sunset Hills Road — Closures are scheduled for eastbound Sunset Hills Road near the future Reston Town Center Metro station from today (Monday) through Wednesday. Crews are completing stormwater management work. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Metro Adds More Service Options — The price of four passes — the seven-day unlimited, the seven-day short trip, the seven-day regional bus and the one-day unlimited pass — will be lowered. A new option for a three-day unlimited pass will also be available. The service and affordable pass product changes begin today (Monday). [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Lake Anne Paddle Set for Friday — Registration for the event is $7 for Reston Association members and $9 for all others. Attendees will get a chance to canoe or kayak on Lake Anne with a naturalist. [Reston Association]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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