The Reston Association’s Board of Directors voted in favor of vacating its existing pathway easement at the Tall Oaks Village Center at the request of the site’s developer.
The site is currently getting redeveloped by Stanley Martin Companies into a residential community that will include a public green space next to commercial space and a new pathway.
Since the approved development plans require public access throughout the site, the developer asked RA to give up its existing easement, which RA has had since the original development of the site.
RA’s pathway easement spanned the underpass from the Tall Oaks pool through the commercial area and extended to the northeast area near the Tall Oaks Fellowship House, according to the meeting’s draft agenda.
The discussion and vote on the developer’s ask was one of the fastest agenda items tackled at the meeting yesterday (Feb. 21), taking roughly 30 minutes.
Image via Reston Association/YouTube
You may have noticed some new faces this February around McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive).
About 15 volunteers from Fannie Mae’s Reston office have been helping out at the school.
“As a new partner, the firm has offered to provide volunteers on a monthly basis as a way to give back to the Reston and Herndon communities,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools.
The volunteers have been busy supporting read-aloud initiatives and the school’s holiday luncheon, according to FCPS.
The school community can expect the volunteers to help through the end of the year.
Image via Google Maps
Meet the RA candidates: The Reston Association recently uploaded a video that introduces the five unopposed candidates. [YouTube]
Save the date — Founder’s Day is set for April 6 at Lake Anne Plaza. The annual event celebrates Reston’s founding. [Reston Historic Trust and Musuem]
Rolling in the money — Reston-based GoCanvas recently secured an investment of more than $150 million from K1 Investment Management. “With the investment, GoCanvas will accelerate enhancements to the platform, scale global operations to meet increasing customer demand, increase brand awareness, and grow worldwide sales.” [Business Wire]
Four female students from the club described the plans for the sculpture, which would be roughly 10 feet tall and be located by Lake Thoreau, along with showing the board a small model.
The artwork is meant to explore the idea of people’s originality by using various sizes of cubes to represent individuals and how they interact with each other. Color on the inside of the cubes represents each person’s genuineness, while the black facade symbolizes masks that people put on in society, the students said.
For building materials, the teens said that they want to repurpose wooden beams from a sculpture from a few years ago for the cubes. The students said the design may also need an airplane cable for wire, galvanized metal poles for the stilts that the largest cube rests on, large panels of frosted strataglass and light projection onto the panels.
The students said they are still considering the color scheme, having wires criss-cross within the cubes and adding a kinetic element via sails made with wire and nylon in the boxes.
Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said that this design was stronger than last year’s project because it keeps a “dynamic quality” as people circle the sculpture.
Newlon and several other board members debated the placement of the sculpture’s little cube on top.
“The little box on top — you need to really think about that and where is that box going to go,” Newlon said. “It looks like an afterthought at the rear like it is. Maybe it needs to be a little bit more prominent somewhere.”
The students said that they also had two alternative ideas for where the small cube on top could go — including one where the cube is placed at the base of the sculpture. Ultimately, though, they stressed that they want to sculpture to have a motion of rising up instead of heavy cubes on the ground.
“I love it and I definitely love the cube on top,” Land Planner and Landscape Architect Member Grace Peters told the students.
The board members also had other design input.
Peters added that she wasn’t sure if the sculpture would need lights projected onto it, but does like the incorporation of color in the design.
Member Charlie Hoffman said he wanted more from the sign. “The sign along the path was kind of small and pathetic and not really noticeable,” Hoffman said. “Is there a chance to get one that is more of an eye-catcher?”
After the South Lakes High School students, the board granted an appeal by a male resident who lives across by the Primrose School of Reston (1309 N. Village Road) to reconsider the school’s fencing.
Several members of the board agreed with the assertion that the fencing looks like temporary screening for construction sites.
W. Neal Roseberry, the board’s vice chair and architect member, said that he wants the school to provide green or black full weave at the full height of the fence with slats through the chain link. “I don’t think what’s been installed rises to the level of workmanship suggested in the design guidelines.”
The resident also wanted to challenge a red plastic fire truck in the playground, arguing that both the fence and the fire truck do not fit in with the natural environment and residential area. The board did not take up the fire truck appeal.
Images via Reston Association/YouTube
Police are investigating a bank robbery that happened at the BB&T Bank at 2513 Fox Mill Road in Reston.
Police are “searching for a man initially described as white, 20-30 years old, thin, 5’9″, gray cap, light colored jacket and dark colored shirt,” according to a tweet from the Fairfax County Police Department at 2:58 p.m. today (Feb. 21).
Police want locals to “please be aware of first responders” in the area.
We are investigating a bank robbery at BB&T Bank, 2513 Fox Mill Road in Reston. Officers searching for a man initially described as white, 20-30 years old, thin, 5'9", gray cap, light colored jacket and dark colored shirt. Please be aware of first responders. pic.twitter.com/i8lTjd2jzk
— Fairfax County Police (@FairfaxCountyPD) February 21, 2019
Image via Google Maps
Former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Walter Alcorn is the latest Democrat to join a crowded race to replace Cathy Hudgins as the Hunter Mill District Supervisor.
Hudgins revealed late in January that she won’t seek re-election to theFairfax County Board of Supervisors, joining a growing list of board members retiring, including current Chairman Sharon Bulova.
Alcorn, a self-described environmental professional, announced his campaign last Monday (Feb. 11). He is running on a broad platform that ranges from supporting revisions to Reston’s comprehensive plan in 2020 to reviewing school funding.
His top issues on his campaign website are the following:
- public safety
- affordable housing
Alcorn has a mix of experience in the private sector and county government.
He is currently the vice president for environmental affairs and industry sustainability at the Consumer Electronics Association, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, he worked at Alcorn Consulting and at SAIC for about 10 years.
In 2015 Alcorn was appointed by Bulova to the county’s Park Authority Board. His term expired at the end of 2017. Prior to that, he had served on the county’s Planning Commission and worked as a policy aide in the Providence District supervisor’s office, Reston Now previously reported.
On the community level, he was a former president of the Herndon High School PTSA.
Alcorn has received endorsements from Bulova; Democratic State Sen. Jennifer Boysko, who used to represent Herndon in the Virginia House of Delegates; and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who was the county board chairman before Bulova.
Alcorn plans to hold a campaign kickoff event on Saturday (Feb. 23) at 2 p.m. in the new community room at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road).
Alcorn will face the three other Democrats — Parker Messick, Laurie Dodd and Shyamali Hauth — vying for the seat at the June 11 Democratic primary.
Photo via Walter Alcorn/Facebook
The Reston Association’s Board of Directors is set to consider at its meeting Thursday night a developer’s request that the RA vacates its existing pathway easement at the Tall Oaks Village Center site.
Stanley Martin Companies currently is redeveloping the former village center into a residential community with townhomes and condominiums. Part of the new project will have a public green space next to commercial space and a new pathway.
Since the approved development plans require public access throughout the site, the developers now want RA to give up its existing easement because the planned path is located elsewhere.
“Since the original development of the Village Center, Reston Association has had a pathway easement through the site, starting at the underpass from Tall Oaks Pool, through the commercial area and extending to the northeast near the Tall Oaks Fellowship House,” according to the draft agenda.
Additionally, Stanley Martin has also said that the homeowners’ association for the site will take care of the new walkway, which takes away RA’s maintenance obligations. RA staff estimates that vacating the easement will result in long-term budget savings.
The board is also set to vote on a series of questions that will give the RA’s Governance Committee further guidance for changing the power structure of RA’s key staff.
The resolution before the board will address specifically RA’s legal counsel, chief financial officer, director of finance, controller, chief operating officer and the authority of the board’s chief executive officer. Currently, RA’s bylaws say that the chief executive officer controls personnel and compensation schedules, along with hiring and firing responsibilities.
The RA is also scheduled to discuss the recent contentious PRC zoning ordinance amendment, which the county’s Planning Commission recently recommended that the county’s board deny, along with the monthly report from the treasurer.
The meeting starts at 6:30 at the Central Services Facility (12250 Sunset Hills Road).
Photo via Reston Association/YouTube
The finalists were recently announced for the 2019 Best of Reston Awards.
An awards gala will take place on April 4 to celebrate the honorees:
- Bob Schnapp from A Simple Gesture
- Ellen and Mike Jennings from BEI
- Omicron Kappa Kappa Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity/OKK Foundation, Inc.
- Mina and Mark Fies from Synergy Design & Construction
- Helen and Taylor Yi from Touching Heart
- Maggie Parker
- Roz Rakoff
- Kurt Rose
SOSi presented Cornerstones with a $50,000 check at the event. The community nonprofit also received a $100,000 check from Bob and Lisa Van Hoecke.
Started nearly three decades ago, the annual Best of Reston Awards recognize individuals, businesses and community groups that have helped Reston and Herndon through philanthropy and volunteering.
The gala on April 4 is set to be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street).
Photo via Chip McCrea Photography
FCPS delays opening — The county’s public schools will open two hours late today after being closed yesterday as a snowstorm hit. [FCPS]
Spruced up Safeway — “The Great Falls Safeway at 9881 Georgetown Pike reopened after renovations with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Feb. 16.” [McLean Patch]
Blood pressure PSA — Did you know kids can have high blood pressure? The American Heart Association has a short video about health screenings to protect kids. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram
Locals can expect warmer temperatures later today, yet they should still be careful about ice and slick roads around Reston and Herndon today.
The D.C.-area could feel a high up to 52 degrees today, according to the National Weather Service. Yesterday’s rain and sleet after the snowstorm hit might create hazardous road conditions this morning.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning locals about icy spots and to be careful of any debris in the roadways. If you plan on walking outside, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue suggests a side-to-side “penguin” walk on any potentially icy ground.
Speaking of getting around, the Fairfax Connector is back to its regular service schedule today.
Melting, rain, melting, rain will be our pattern for the next few days.
💧 Icy spots this AM
💧 Headlights ON
💧 Watch for ponding & roadspray
💧 Watch for downed trees/debris
💧 Don’t go around road closed signs 🙄
💧 Report road hazards: https://t.co/12wxgee8pi or 800-FOR-ROAD pic.twitter.com/BWw3MxKgs6
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) February 21, 2019
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) February 21, 2019
Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram
People in Reston and Herndon have been capturing the progress of today’s snowstorm through pictures.
Locals put their photography skills to use for the snow-covered landscape, with some catching pets and cross-country skiing on camera.
— Lindsey Mastis (@LindseyMastis) February 20, 2019
Many residents in Herndon and Reston brought rulers outside to help forecasters and fellow social media users follow along with the increasing snowfall. (Herndon saw around 4.5 inches of total snow accumulation, according to the National Weather Service.)
— Bill Wheatley (@billwhe67) February 20, 2019
— wiredog (@KitCase3) February 20, 2019
— C. G. Niederstrasser (@RocketScient1st) February 20, 2019
Updated at 4:45 p.m. — Fairfax County Public Schools announced that schools will open two hours late tomorrow (Feb. 21). School offices and central offices will open on time.
Earlier: Major roads appear clearer and mostly without traffic this afternoon, yet public safety officials keep asking locals to stay off of the roadways.
An emergency post from Fairfax County said that a number of traffic accidents took place today (Feb. 20) around the county. With sleet and rain recently replacing the snow, locals can expect slippery roads, the National Weather Service warns.
Herndon and Reston saw around 4.5 inches of total snow accumulation, according to NWS.
With the majority of the snow now changed over to sleet/ freezing rain, attention is turned to ice accumulations as temperatures only gradually warm above freezing. Advisories & Warnings continue through the evening, with the greatest ice accumulations north/west of I-95. pic.twitter.com/uNqXPPgPyB
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) February 20, 2019
Several locals posted photos noting the change this afternoon from snow to a wintry mix of sleet and rain.
— Bill Burton (@burtonwc) February 20, 2019
— C. G. Niederstrasser (@RocketScient1st) February 20, 2019
It’s beautiful, but the freezing rain has started in Reston, VA. pic.twitter.com/avEl8GLLCX
— Holly Weatherwax (@hollyweatherwax) February 20, 2019
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the county and surrounding area until 10 p.m. for snow, sleet and ice.
More from NWS:
WHAT…Mixed precipitation. Additional snow and sleet
accumulations of less than one inch through mid afternoon, then
ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch through 10 pm.
All freezing rain is expected to transition to rain by 10 pm.
* WHERE…Portions of central and northern Virginia.
* WHEN…Until 10 PM EST this evening.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The
hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute.
A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on
steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery,
increasing your risk of a fall and injury.
The weather has prompted some event cancellations tonight in Reston and Herndon.
Road salt may have a hand in the recent spikes of chloride concentrations in Reston streams, along with a slew of environmental issues.
Doug Britt, a member of the Reston Association’s Environmental Advisory Committee, recently examined environmental harm caused by de-icing agents including sodium chloride and dove into results from monitoring Difficult Run and Sugarland Run with fellow Restonians.
Britt wrote that measurements of the chloride concentrations at the two sites were taken before this year’s first storm and then again after road salting for the first two snowstorms. He found that the chloride concentrations at both sites increased fourfold from the first measurement, which he said was within the normal range for North American streams.
The monitoring efforts were a part of a larger program initiated by the Izaak Walton League of America to encourage “citizen scientists” to examine local streams before and after road salting.
Britt, a Virginia Master Naturalist member, wrote that higher chloride concentrations in lakes and ponds can halt the bottom and top waters from mixing, which then leads to less oxygen in deeper areas. Too much chloride can reach toxic levels for aquatic life.
“Although there are a number of alternative de-icing agents available, sodium chloride as a brine solution appears to have the least negative environmental impact when considering the full life cycle of its production and application,” the report says. “Sodium chloride, nevertheless, can generate a host of environmental problems.”
Britt’s report analyzed several of those impacts, which included:
- water quality
- roadside vegetation
Britt says that these environmental concerns aren’t unique to Reston.
“Chloride concentrations in Fairfax County surface waters have steadily increased for the past 25 years, consistent with the use of de-icing agents,” Britt wrote.
Britt ended his report on information about the next step: action.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is currently developing a Salt Management Strategy planning process aimed at keeping chloride levels below the amount that starts to ruin the water, the report says.
The department also had had in a 2018 report included suggested options to optimize de-icing agents and the way they are applied to reduce environmental impacts, Britt wrote.
“Meanwhile, as individuals and business owners we should be cognizant of the potential environmental impacts associated with the application of de-icing agents,” Britt wrote, adding that it is important to balance public safety with environmental damage.
Photo via Reston Association
He joins Del. Sam Rasoul as the second Muslim — they are both Democrats — in Virginia’s General Assembly, according to a press release from his campaign.
Samirah, who is the son of Palestinian refugees, was separated from his father in middle school when his father was barred from re-entering the U.S.
The special election yesterday (Feb. 19) to fill now-State Sen. Jennifer Boysko’s former seat was the first time Virginia voters took to the polls after a series of scandals erupted in the state, starting with unearthed racist photos on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook.
The scandals continued with sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and with Attorney General Mark Herring’s admission that he wore blackface. News reports revealed that Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) was a top editor of a yearbook that included photos of people in blackface and racial slurs.
Before the special election, Samirah faced attacks after a conservative website published two of his social media posts from five years ago, including one where he said sending money to Israel was worse than sending it to the Ku Klux Klan, according to news reports.
Samirah apologized for the posts, which he said were used in “a slander campaign questioning my views on Israel and my Jewish friends,” in a two-page statement posted on Facebook.
“I am so sorry that my ill-chosen words added to the pain of the Jewish community and I seek your understanding and compassion as I prove to you our common humanity,” the statement said.
Samirah was just shy of receiving 60 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results from Virginia’s Department of Elections.
Republican Gregg Nelson, a U.S. Air Force veteran, received 34 percent of the votes and Connie Haines Hutchinson, a former vice mayor of the Herndon Town Council who ran as an Independent, received almost 6 percent of the votes.
In total, 6,283 people voted in the special election.
Boysko took to Twitter to congratulate Samirah on his win.
— Jennifer Boysko (@JenniferBoysko) February 20, 2019
Samirah ran a campaign focused on healthcare, transportation and education.
Now in office, Samirah is planning “to build on the 2018 Virginia Medicaid expansion and bringing healthcare costs down across the state by ensuring that the healthcare marketplace is competitive and accessible to all,” according to the press release.
Photos from the Virginia House Democrats on Twitter show Samirah being sworn in today.
— VA House Democrats (@VAHouseDems) February 20, 2019
Photo via Samirah for Delegate/Facebook
The Fairfax Connector is running on a Saturday schedule today.
Metro trains will run every 12 minutes, while buses are on a “severe snow service plan” with only limited service on major roadways.
The Fairfax County Circuit Court, General District Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court are closed as well.
RT @fairfaxhealth: All Health Department offices, public health clinics, WIC, Adult Day Health Care and Community Health Care sites are closed today (Wednesday, February 20) due to the snow storm.
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) February 20, 2019
The county’s Planning Commission won’t meet tonight.
The open house for Lake House for today has been canceled.
The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce canceled its events for today.
HealthWorks in Herndon will be closed.
If you live in Herndon, don’t expect your recycling to get picked up today. Mayor Lisa Markel posted on Facebook that recycling will be collected on Thursday instead.
Items from the Town of Herndon’s previously planned meetings for the Architectural and Heritage Preservation review boards are now moved to the March 20 public hearing.
The Town of Herndon’s offices and the Herndon Community Center are closed.
Town offices, the Herndon Community Center and the tennis bubble are closed today. Recyclables will NOT be collected; they will be collected Thursday. Thursday's trash collection will happen on Friday. Stay safe and warm!
— HerndonVA (@TownOfHerndon) February 20, 2019
— Herndon Police (@HerndonPolice) February 20, 2019
Photo via @billwhe67/Twitter