New Hotel Planned for Sunset Park Drive

A new five-story hotel, which will house two separate hotel business, has been proposed on vacant property on Sunset Park Drive.

Shamin Hotels is proposing to build the hotel on 232 Sunset Park Drive. The 151,00-square-foot building would be home to a Hilton Garden Inn and Home 2.

“The building is a delicate merge between the two hotels, providing an individual identity for each hotel, while creating a cohesive building design,” according to the proposal.

The 250-room hotel complex will include an indoor pool, health fitness room, and meeting spaces, among other features. The concept was first discussed at a Town of Herndon meeting in 2014.

The Town of Herndon’s Architectural Review Board will consider the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn Street).

Photos via handout/Town of Herndon

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After Arrest of Juvenile, Police Search for Suspects in Robbery and Assault on Halloween

Local police arrested a juvenile in connection with a robbery and assault on Halloween and are looking for other suspects.

A victim said several males assaulted him and stole cash from his wallet when he was walking on the 2100 block of Ferguson Place at around 8 p.m.

A juvenile was arrested and charged after the incident.

Police are looking for an unidentified number of suspects involved in the incident. No description was provided by police.

File photo

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After Appeal Denial, Norton Scott Explores Options for Library Square Property

Developer Norton Scott is considering its options after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected an appeal to build a $50 million condominium building at its Library Square property.

The board rejected the appeal in late October after the developer protested the Planning Commission’s denial of the project due the project’s lack of connectivity with the future extension to Library Street and what county planners said is a lack of available density in the area.

Norton Scott proposed to build a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale units at the 0.8-acre site. The developer came forward with the by-right plan after a previous proposal by Norton Scott and MRP Realty to redevelop the site and surrounding properties was rejected by the county due to its high cost.

Mike Scott, a developer with Norton Scott, told Reston Now the company “disappointed” the county rejected the appeal.

We firmly believe the by-right use to bring 58 luxury condominiums to the Reston Town Center would fulfill an unmet need to provide for-sale housing aimed at professionals as well as baby boomers wishing to downsize and remain in Reston.  The building height and density met all the zoning requirements and were in keeping with the adjacent Paramount condominium and the approved project on the Winwood Child Care Center site.   Given the Board’s decision, we are exploring our options on moving forward,” Scott said.

At the Oct. 29 meeting, county planners said the project lacks a needed connection with the future extension of Library Street.

Residents, including representatives for the Paramount, an apartment building next to the site, said the project’s scale was overwhelming for the area.

Jean Werner, a member of the Paramount Task Force, said the developer was attempting to “shoe horn” a building in the site, raising concerns about how people would get in and out of the proposed building.

Springfied District Board of Supervisor Pat Herrity abstained from a vote on the project, which he said posed a difficult property rights decision.

“I’m not buried into the details of Reston,” Herrity said.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who has been involved in decision-making for previous proposals in the area, concurred with the concerns of residents and county planners.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Legal Insider: President’s Proposed Changes in Tip Rules for 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 John V. Berry, Esq.

The President recently proposed a new federal rule which will affect the wages of employees who earn tips. The new rule was proposed on October 8, 2019 by the Department of Labor (DOL) and would permit employers to require widespread sharing of tips with other types of co-workers. One of the major industries affected would be the foodservice industry. The newly proposed rule would permit employers to share wait staff tips with food preparation staff and others (e.g. dishwashers, food delivery personnel).

Difficulties With the New Tip-Pooling Rule

A problematic part of the newly proposed rule would give employers newfound flexibility in assigning non-tipped assignments to workers who rely on gratuities for the major portion of their income. The restaurant lobbying industry has sought these types of changes for some time. Former President Obama’s Administration had previously mandated that tips belonged to the workers that received them.

One of the major problems with the new rule, for employees that earn tips is that it takes funds earned by them and transfers them to employees that don’t earn tips. By doing this, restaurant owners are potentially able to compensate food staff (non-tip earners) with lower salaries.

Tipped Employees Wages will be Affected

The DOL, in their proposal, even acknowledges that the new rule will result in tipped employees spending more time on lower-paying duties:

“The removal of the twenty percent time limit may result in tipped workers such as wait staff and bartenders performing more of these non-tipped duties such as ‘cleaning and setting tables, toasting bread, making coffee, and occasionally washing dishes or glasses.’ . . . Tipped workers might lose tipped income by spending more of their time performing duties where they are not earning tips, while still receiving cash wages of less than minimum wage.”

Employers will Gain

Employers will gain from the situation and may be able to provide lower salaries to non-tip earners, offsetting the loss with tip income. The DOL also provides the real rationale for the change in the proposed regulation: “[E]mployers that had been paying the full minimum wage to tipped employees performing related, non-tipped duties could potentially pay the lower direct cash wage for this time and could pass these reduced labor cost savings on to consumers.”

The proposal should become final in about 6 weeks and could have some changes in the final version. However, if a new administration comes in, the tip-pooling policy could potentially change once again.

Conclusion

If you are in need of employment law representation or advice, 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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Construction on Steel Sculpture in Reston Town Center Begins

After a months-long crowdfunding effort, construction on a 50-foot steel sculpture has begun in Reston Town Center.

The sculpture, titled Buoyant Force, is designed by artist Sue Wrbican who was inspired by the paintings of American Surrealist Kay Sage.

In a release, the Greater Reston Arts Center called the sculpture an “unprecedented project that will not only bring a monumental sculpture in Reston, but will be an act of creative place-making.” The sculpture will be located in Reston Town Square Park.

Wrbican is an associate professor and director of photographer at George Mason University’s School of Art.

Her work, which is known for depicting scaffolded structures and furled fabric in desolate landscapes, is inspired by Sage, who GRACE says lived in the shadow of her husband, the surrealist Yves Tanguy.

GRACE turned to a crowdfunding to help finance the construction of the project. The installation is expected to be complete by the fall.

Photo via Greater Reston Arts Center

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New Burger Spot Coming to Reston Town Center

A new burger spot is coming to Reston Town Center soon.

The Capital Burger — which serves up “luxury” burgers, hand-cut fries, milkshakes and wine — plans to open at 1800 Presidents Street soon.

A company representative told Reston Now the restaurant was not ready to share details about the new location yet.

Here’s more about the restaurant from its website:

The Capital Burger’s main fare features a proprietary blend of beef. To create these luxurious burgers, we worked alongside renowned Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Pat, a third-generation butcher, only uses beef from small, family-owned farms, and with an artisan’s skill blends different cuts. What did we achieve? A sublime burger worthy of our guests.

County permits for new signs and other construction-related work were processed in late October.

The Capital Burger has another location in the District.

Photo via The Capital Burger/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Community Meeting on Lake Thoreau Project Today — Reston Association staff will meet with members to discuss future plans for the pool, which will be closed for the 2020 season. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. tonight (Monday) at RA headquarters. [Reston Association]

Metro’s Budget Proposal to Increase Fares, Restore Night Service —  “Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year would increase peak fares, offer a flat weekend fare and expand late-night service for the first time since a 2016 moratorium.” [The Washington Post]

Season Extended for Local Farmers Markets — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will extend the season at three farmers market locations; Burke, Reston, and McCutcheon/Mount Vernon Farmers Markets.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Ray Copson

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