During its meeting last week (video), Reston’s Design Review Board heard a presentation about the large number of covenants requests Reston Association staff handles, and how they can be better handled in the future.
Cate Fulkerson, RA’s CEO, and Anna Varone, RA’s director of covenants administration, informed the panel of RA’s plans to add a post-project approval inspector position to help make sure approved requests are being checked into in a timely manner.
“After you all have made decisions on an application, within a six-month time period, staff is supposed to go and inspect to make sure that what is [to be] done is actually being done,” Fulkerson told DRB members. “A lot of the issues that we have after the fact, after you’ve made a decision — it could be 18 months, it could be two years, it could be 10 years, it could be 20 years after the fact — is that applicants have put things in on a property that is not what you approved.”
At its September meeting, the RA Board of Directors approved the new position as part of the second draft of the 2018 budget. The position is estimated to add $55,885 (salary and benefits) to the budget, which would have a $2.65 impact on the assessment rate.
Decisions about budget items have not been finalized, as the full 2018-2019 budget is slated to be approved by the board in November. Public hearings on the budget are planned for Thursday and Monday nights.
Fulkerson said the new position would just be the latest in a number of changes being made within the covenants administration department as well to help tackle the large volume of inspections that need to be done. These include the digitalization of property files and internal reorganization that has helped the department direct more focus on ensuring “quality interactions” when dealing with members, Fulkerson said.
“[We want] to prevent from going to court, prevent from putting a lien on somebody’s home,” Fulkerson said. “We would much rather have a conversation and get them to understand the important of following the guidelines.”
According to information provided by Varone, the covenants administration department had handled as of Sept. 20 more than 7,900 cases this year. These included more than 5,800 covenants violations, of which about 35 percent were design violations. The department currently has six employees who are primarily responsible for handling inspections, complaints and applications.
Varone and Fulkerson both said the number of cases is increasing year-to-year and the staff is having a hard time keeping pace.
“[Our ability to] meet the expectations of the members is slowing down, because we’re getting way too much volume,” Varone said. “Based on the Deed, we’re supposed to provide approval or a decision … within 30 days. Based on the volume and backup that we have, we’re teetering on not being able to meet that 30 days.”
Fulkerson requested a work session with the Design Review Board prior to its November meeting to discuss how processes could be addressed to help staff better handle the large number of requests it receives.
“This is a partnership,” she said. “I want to collaborate with you all to put those changes in place, because it affects the way we do these meetings going forward.”
Fulkerson said the discussion would include, among other topics, whether DRB’s four different types of meetings can be consolidated to help speed up the process.
The DRB agreed to schedule the work session for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14.
Hidden Creek Country Club, one of Reston’s two golf courses, is now under new ownership.
According to an email sent by the country club to its members Tuesday, real-estate developer Wheelock Communities purchased the club earlier this week from its previous owner, Fore Golf Partners. According to the email, signed by Fore Golf CEO Charlie Staples:
Wheelock owns properties along the East Coast and in Texas that range from private golf clubs to large master-planned communities, to luxury waterfront condominiums and urban mixed-use projects. They look forward to becoming part of the highly respected Reston community.
Fore Golf will continue to manage the club for the new owner, according to the email, and club memberships will be unaffected by the change in ownership.
In the email, it is announced that Wheelock plans to invest more than $300,000 in upgrades to the club. This is to include upgrades to the club’s dining and events facilities, the lobby, and the locker rooms. A new fleet of golf carts is also expected to arrive in December.
More “potential changes” are listed, though:
Over the next few years, Wheelock will be working in partnership with the club members and the Reston community to explore potential changes to the property that could provide the Reston community with additional public amenities, environmental benefits and new housing choices.
It has long been feared by community advocates including Rescue Reston that both Hidden Creek and Reston National Golf Course will become the sites of residential development as Reston expands. A specific question about Hidden Creek’s future came up during Monday’s community meeting about potential changes to Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district. Fred Selden, director of Fairfax County’s Department of Planning & Zoning, said any developer that wishes to build residential units upon Reston’s golf courses would have hurdles to overcome.
“One of the things that the plan that was adopted in 2015 did was explicitly call the golf courses as planned for golf courses and to remain as golf courses,” Selden said. “I can only speak to what kind of development can occur. It’s planned for a golf course. If somebody wants to develop it in some other fashion, they have two options: They have to prove that they have some kind of property rights to build, or they have to come in and request a change to the Comprehensive Plan.”
The new ownership team is offering Hidden Creek members the chance to meet them for the first time next week.
Several hundred Restonians packed South Lakes High School on Monday night to hear explanations from county staff about a proposal to increase the community’s density cap — and several dozen took the opportunity to make their voices heard.
Nearly two hours of sometimes fiery public comment was part of the meeting (video), where representatives of Fairfax County’s departments of planning and zoning, parks, transportation and more addressed questions about the proposal to increase the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to as much as 16.
John Mooney, of Reclaim Reston, estimated more than 900 people attended the meeting. The nearly 650 seats in the SLHS cafeteria were filled, and the room’s perimeter was lined with standing attendees. A few dozen residents watched the meeting from an “overflow room” in a nearby lecture hall. Many in attendance were wearing yellow shirts to show their unity, and some of those people purchased those shirts from a Reclaim Reston vendor table set up at the school’s front door ahead of the event.
A major point of contention brought up by several of the speakers is the appearance that the county is forgetting about those who currently live in Reston as they work to appease developers, Metro and others outside the community who would benefit from increased growth. Residents spoke of diminished quality of life and increased problems with issues such as increased traffic and lost green space if the community builds out to the 16 people-per-acre level at the high end of the proposal for the PRC district.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said hearing comments from some residents that they don’t want to see any more people move to Reston and that they want to halt development altogether “chills” her.
“I feel concerned to say that Bob Simon was a developer and Bob Simon developed the plan that [the county is] implementing,” said Hudgins, who was interrupted numerous times during her remarks by murmuring and shouts from the crowd. “I really, really want to think about what kind of Reston we are, and I’ve been here 48 years. It was a place that said, ‘Hello, you’re welcome, please come.'”
The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.
The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.
An increase to the density cap would not guarantee any development; rather, staff said, it would ensure the opportunity that future development requested can be considered.
Referencing a speaker who said she had recently moved to Reston, Hudgins asked the crowd if people such as her should only be allowed to move in when someone else moves out.
“If it’s a yes to that, that means that no growth comes to Reston ever again,” Hudgins said, which was met with applause by many in attendance. “I can tell you, if that’s what you believe, it is not Bob Simon’s dream that you’re talking about.”
Another pair of celebrities will be part of the festivities surrounding the Washington West Film Festival this week in Reston.
Esteemed record producer Clive Davis will participate in a question-and-answer session Friday night following a presentation of a documentary film about his life. “Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives” will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday at Bow Tie Cinemas (11940 Market St.).
According to the description of the 123-minute film by director Chris Perkal:
This riveting profile of legendary music man Clive Davis spans a remarkable five-decade career, providing an incredible tour of the most sensational music of the cultural revolution, from the ’60s to the rise of hip-hop. Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Santana, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys and Sean “Puffy” Combs all attest to Davis as, in Aretha’s words, “the greatest record man of all time.”
According to DCist, actor Robert Duvall — who also participated in the festival last year — will introduce the screening. Duvall’s charity, the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund, is a main beneficiary of proceeds from the festival.
According to the film festival’s website, Duvall’s Children’s Fund is …
… committed to providing for the welfare, health, education and relief of children and their families who are poor, distressed, or underprivileged. This is accomplished, in turn, by promoting and supporting activities of charitable organizations that provide medical assistance, promote education, instruction and development, or provide assistance in meeting requirements relating to food, clothing and other basic needs for children and their families around the world. The Robert Duvall Children’s Fund also strives to educate children about the importance of environmental conservation initiatives through partnerships with nonprofit organizations focused in this area.
Tickets to the event are $35, which includes the screening, the Q-and-A session and admission to that evening’s masquerade party in the Reston Town Center pavilion.
The Washington West Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 25-30 in both Reston and Arlington. For more information about events scheduled as part of the festival, visit its website.
Pictured: Robert Duvall, left, and Clive Davis
During its meeting last week (video), Reston’s Design Review Board gave its stamp of approval to plans for exercise equipment, playground equipment, site lighting, site signage and more for the future mixed-use redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center.
The commercial design of the property was also approved, with an alteration requiring faux windows in the retail tower be made of a reflective surface. In the design presented to the DRB last week, the faux windows had been proposed to consist of recessed EIFS.
The lone affected party to speak during the meeting was Mary Elyn McNichols, co-owner of Tall Oaks Assisted Living. While giving her overall approval to the plan, McNichols requested that some amount of exterior seating around the development’s stores be made handicapped-accessible.
In the landscape plan, the developers were asked by the DRB to find more locations to plant trees where possible.
One place were developers said they have already increased plants and trees is between the development’s 2-over-2 townhouses and the assisted-living facility, which was done at the facility’s request to create more of a buffer. The exercise station plans for the development were also designed after discussion with the assisted-living facility, developers said.
In addition to the development’s landscape plan, the garage doors and lighting were tabled for a future meeting, along with sliding doors and windows.
The redevelopment will include approximately 5,800 square feet of office, 8,500 square feet of retail and 156 residential units.
The village center was bought in December 2014 by McLean-based developer Jefferson Apartment Group. Plans to redevelop the property into a mixed-use community were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2016.
Located on a dead-end of North Shore Drive off Wiehle Avenue, Tall Oaks Village Center struggled for many years before the redevelopment proposal arose. Its longtime anchor tenant, Giant Foods, closed in 2007 and further vacancies followed quickly afterward. The 70,000-square foot center was 86 percent empty by the time the redevelopment was approved.
Meeting on PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Tonight — The latest community meeting on a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would increase the density cap in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district is tonight at 7 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). [Fairfax County]
Review: ‘Aida’ is ‘an Explosion of Color and Sound’ — According to a reviewer, the new Reston Community Players show features “action and comedy elements, along with the flashy set and costume design, [that] will keep young and old enthralled to the end.” [DC Metro Theater Arts]
Crash Shuts Down Reston Roadway — A collision at Fairfax County Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive affected traffic this morning. The road was reopened as of about 8:20 a.m., according to the Fairfax County Police Department. [FCPD/Twitter]
Stream Restoration In Progress — In its latest “Reston Today” video dispatch, Reston Association shares information about a restoration project currently underway at Brown’s Chapel Park and Vantage Hill. [Reston Association/YouTube]
Reston Solar Firm Plans Large Farm — SolUnesco (1818 Library St.) has proposed a 400-acre, 60-megawatt solar farm along in Orange County. [(Charlottesville) Daily Progress]
Chamber: Effort To Woo Amazon ‘Start of Something Great’ — Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, says the partnership between Loudoun and Fairfax counties to try to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to Herndon can be “a model for our economic growth,” no matter what the company decides. [Washington Business Journal]
Metro: Fare Evasion is Serious Issue — Metro says its efforts to ensure no one gets on trains without paying has helped curb serious crime on the system by 20 percent. [Metro Transit Police/Twitter]
Early Metro Hours Sunday for Marathon — Trains will begin rolling Sunday at 6 a.m. to help participants in the 42nd annual Marine Corps Marathon. Extra trains will also be running on the Blue and Yellow lines. [WMATA]
A Look at Mixed-Use Developments in Fairfax County — Earlier this week, Bisnow took a look at several large developments in the works in the county, as it says “developers are increasingly turning the county into a walkable, mixed-use environment.” Included in the profile are several Reston developments, including Reston Station and Tall Oaks. [Bisnow]
Police Warn of Criminals Targeting Garage Door Openers — Police departments in Loudoun and Prince William counties are urging residents to keep their garage door openers out of sight as criminals are stealing them from cars and using them to gain access to homes. Police in Reston have previously warned of similar crimes. [WTOP]
Some big names have been added to the list of celebrities who will participate in the Washington West Film Festival next weekend at Reston Town Center.
Rapper, actor and activist Common will headline the festival with an in-depth conversation that will also feature Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Bradford Young. The event will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.), featuring showings of Young and Common’s short films “Letter to the Free” and “Black America Again” prior to the discussion.
Common is a two-time Grammy Award-winning performer and won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” in which he also co-starred and for which Young was cinematographer. In 2011, Common was controversially invited by President Barack Obama to perform at the White House during a poetry event.
Earlier this year, Young became the first African-American cinematographer to be nominated for an Oscar, for his work on the science-fiction film “Arrival.” In addition to that film and “Selma,” Young has also worked on films including “Pariah,” “Mother of George” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” He also worked on “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” scheduled for release in the spring.
Common and Young aren’t the only big names who have been added to the Washington West Film Festival’s lineup.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, actor Ty Burrell will host a free advanced screening of an upcoming episode of long-running ABC sitcom “Modern Family,” on which he stars as father Phil Dunphy. After the showing, Burrell will participate in a 20-minute question-and-answer period with fans.
Burrell has won multiple Primetime Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and more for his work on the critically acclaimed series. He has also been part of numerous other projects including the films “Black Hawk Down,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” and “The Skeleton Twins.”
Burrell is also scheduled to participate in the festival Sunday during the Kids In The Spotlight film program.
The Washington West Film Festival is scheduled for Oct. 25-30 in both Reston and Arlington. For more information about events scheduled as part of the festival, visit its website.
Pictured: Ty Burrell, left, and Common
The legendary actor will be at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.) in Reston Town Center on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 2-3:30 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, “The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs,” and to chat with fans.
According to the book’s summary, Asner is making the argument that liberals need to step up to challenge “right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret [the Constitution].”
Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) is selling copies of the book, which will also be for sale at the theater event. Following the book-signing, a screening of Asner’s short film “The Flood” is planned as part of the Washington West Film Festival. Tickets to the film-screening will be sold separately.
Among his many credits, the 87-year-old Asner is likely best known for his role as Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a character which was later spun off into its own show. He is also well-known by a younger generation for his voice role as Carl Fredericksen in Pixar’s “Up.”
Asner was nominated for seven Emmys for his role as Lou Grant on “Mary Tyler Moore,” winning three. He won two more Emmys for his work on “Lou Grant” and two for his work in other projects, including the acclaimed mini-series “Roots.” Off-camera, he was president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1981-1985.
For more information about the event in Reston, email [email protected].
Quake Drill Set for This Morning — The Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill, scheduled for 10:19 a.m. today, is an effort to help families and organizations be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]
Looking Back at the Reston Home Tour — Six private residences in Reston were opened up to visitors last weekend as part of the Reston Home Tour, which benefitted the Reston Historic Trust and Museum. [Connection Newspapers]
Crash at Reston Kiss and Ride — A Twitter user posted a photo this morning of a vehicle that struck a pillar at the Wiehle-Reston East parking garage. [Twitter/@CompSciGuy31415]
Herndon Town Council Celebrates Veterans — Town residents are encouraged to honor Veterans Day with appropriate events and activities, and take time to pause in silent tribute to veterans. [Connection Newspapers]
Junior Farmer Event at Frying Pan Park — On Thursdays in October, kids are invited to help farmers with their work while exploring subjects such as caring for farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and the importance of crops and gardens. The topic for tonight’s event at the park (2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon) is harvest time. [Fairfax County]
Rise Well-Being Center will open in a 3,400-square-foot space at 11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 150. According to its website, the center will provide “a relaxing garden space for its members as well as unlimited yoga, meditation and wellness classes.”
Construction on the center began last month, according to a post on its Facebook page. The post says the center hopes to open in November.
A floor plan shared on the center’s website shows that in addition to the indoor garden space, the center will have three therapy rooms, a meditation room and one for private meditation and/or napping, a small studio/classroom, and a yoga studio.
Numerous yoga classes are planned, as well as qigong, brain training, mind/body connection and more. Local art will also be on display and several membership options are available, according to the site.
Image via Rise Well-Being Center website
Users of the Dulles Toll Road can expect to pay more in 2019, according to a 2018 draft budget presented to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board today.
No increase from the $3.50 toll ($2.50 at the plaza and $1 at the ramp) is planned in 2018; however, it is expected to jump to $4.75 the following year. Numbers presented by the Board’s Finance Committee show that is only the beginning of the hikes.
In 2023, the toll is projected to go up to $6. Additional jumps of $1.25 or more are projected every five years for the following two decades, resulting in an $11.25 toll in 2043.
The toll last increased in 2014, when it went up from $2.75 to the current rate. It steadily increased each year from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, the toll was $1.25 (75 cents at the plaza and 50 cents at the ramp).
Tolls are used in part by MWAA to help fund the expansion of Metro’s Silver Line. Nearly half the cost of the construction, about $2.8 billion, is being paid by Toll Road fees.
Citing the great interest the community has shown in the topic, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office has announced additional arrangements for Monday’s meeting on a Fairfax County proposal to increase Reston’s density cap.
The meeting, scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), will be streamed live on Fairfax County’s Channel 16. In addition to being available online, that channel can be found on Comcast, Verizon Fios and Cox cable services on channel 16, as well as through digital television (with QAM tuner) on channel 34-16.
To accommodate for parking difficulties at the school, the county will also be offering a pair of shuttle buses from the parking lot at the Human Services building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive) to the school. The first will leave and 6 p.m. and the last will go at 6:30. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, and each trip can take 39 riders.
See the full announcement from Hudgins’ office here.
Next week’s meeting was scheduled after a planned meeting last month at Lake Anne Elementary School was called off when a large number of people — estimated at more than 400 — showed up to oppose the plan, which county officials said breached the fire code.
The occupancy limit for the SLHS cafeteria is 668 when tables are present, though it can hold up to 1,280 if the several dozen large tables are removed.
The proposal from the county would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.) The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.
The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for possible major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.
Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.
The county’s Department of Planning and Zoning says the change to the density cap is necessary to make way for growth that is expected after Reston’s Master Plan was updated by Fairfax County in 2014 and 2015 to guide redevelopment in Transit Station Areas, Town Center and village centers.
“A full buildout would not necessarily ever be reached, and if it even approaches that point, it wouldn’t do so quickly,” said Cathy Belgin of the county DPZ’s Zoning Administration Division, of the potential population growth, at a meeting in May. “But staff feels it is important, because the Master Plan takes a long look forward in time, that the regulations should be aligned accordingly for there to be the opportunity.”
More information about the proposal is available at Fairfax County’s website.
File photo from Sept. 25 meeting
Opioid Roundtable Planned — The discussion, scheduled for the Fairfax County Government Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be hosted by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event is open to the public. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Reston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Gang-Related Killing — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, entered pleas to abduction and gang participation Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was among 10 members and associates of the gang MS-13 charged after the January killing of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas. She may face up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. [Washington Post]
Herndon Adds Parking Enforcement Position — The part-time officer was hired Oct. 3 and will work 30 hours a week, which has at least one resident worried about “end[ing] up like Reston Town Center.” [Connection Newspapers]
Silver Line Phase 2 Hits Two-Thirds Point — More than 5 million hours have been spent on the $2.78 billion project so far, according to updates expected to be presented today to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. [WTOP]
Reston’s DRB Meets Tonight — Among items on the Design Review Board’s agenda are specific aspects of the upcoming redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center. [Reston Now]
Children’s Art on Display at RCC — The mixed media exhibit “The World in the Eyes of Children” is on display at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) until Nov. 5. [Reston Community Center/Instagram]
Body Camera Pilot Program Proposed by FCPD — If approved by the county Board of Supervisors next month, officers in the Mason and Mount Vernon districts may begin the 90-day program as early as February. [Fairfax Times]
New School in Herndon To Be Discussed — The Hunter Mill Land Use Committee will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive, Herndon). To be discussed is a proposal from the Fairfax County Board of Education to construct a new three-story school building on the site. McNair Elementary currently serves grades K-6. In the plan, the existing school would serve K-3 and the new building would take grades 4-6. [Hunter Mill Highlights]
Seahawks Up One in Post Poll — Following their 44-0 win over Washington-Lee last week, the South Lakes High School football team settles in at No. 13 in the area rankings. They had been ranked No. 14 the previous week. The 6-1 Seahawks return home Friday night to play McLean. [Washington Post]