Reston Under Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until Tonight

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for Reston and surrounding areas until 10 p.m. tonight.

The National Weather Service issued the watch earlier this afternoon.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Local Committee OKs Isaac Newton Square Proposal

The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee voted to approve the the redevelopment of Isaac Newtown Square.

In a 12-1 vote, the committee motioned that the Fairfax County Planning Commission and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approve the plan for the urban neighborhood.

Peter Lawrence Companies is seeking to bring 3,200 residential units to the site, as well as up to 260,000 square feet of office, 66,000 square feet of retail, and a full-size athletic field.

The committee directed the applicant and the county to take environmental concerns voiced by the community into account as they develop the proposed athletic field.

The committee asked that they make the field the best field possible, one that is environmentally sensitive, and a field that is open, useable, reliable and dependable in all seasons,” said chairman Rob Walker.

The committee, which meets on a monthly basis, also recommended that the commission and the board approve plans for block D of the Halley Rise Development.

Decisions on Block 6 of that development and Reston Station Promenade

Photo via Andrew Painter

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After Switch to Brick and Mortar, Chef on Wheels Takes On a New Name

In late December 2017, Chef on Wheels, a local food truck, expanded to a brick and mortar store.

Nearly two years after expanding the business, Chef Basir Ahadi has decided to officially change the name of his business.

The Reston resident, who graduated from South Lakes High School, says Chef on Wheels in now officially called “Tacos Zocalo,” which means center of community in Spanish.

“The name Chef on Wheels didn’t make sense anymore. We’re off of wheels in a brick and mortar now,” Ahadi told Reston Now.

The business — which also has a beer and wine license — is located at 1810 Michael Faraday Drive.

It has been serving up tacos, burritos, bowls and chimichangas since it opened in 2011.

Photo via Basir Ahadi

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Local Mothers Launch Electric School Bus Campaign

A group of mothers from Fairfax County are banding together to push county schools to use electric school buses.

The group, Mothers out Front Fairfax, recently formed a local chapter of the national climate advocacy group Mothers Out Front.

“Our county has a chance to be on the cutting edge of technology and to be a national leader in providing our kids with healthy air and clean energy future,” said Kathy Keller, a nurse at Inova Fairfax hospital, Mothers out Front Fairfax member and a mom with two children in county schools.

The group formally launched its campaign at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna on Tuesday (August 20). Fairfax County Public School’s school board member Pat Hynes spoke at the event.

Here’s more from the group about their initiative:

Electric school buses, with no tailpipe emissions, eliminate children’s exposure to dangerous diesel exhaust during their ride to school. They have lower global warming emissions than diesel, even when the source of electricity is taken into account. They have no engine, muffler, or alternator that requires tune-ups, meaning a lifetime fuel and maintenance savings over diesel buses of up to $170,000. They have a lower center of gravity than diesel buses and are therefore less likely to roll over. They are safer for our kids and cleaner for our environment.

The health and environmental benefits of electric school buses are well documented. Studies show that that exposure levels to harmful chemicals can be between 4 and 10 times higher on school buses than in the surrounding environment.

The county has the second largest public school fleet of buses in the country, behind only New York City.

Mothers Out Front is a national advocacy group. Members are mothers who aim to “ensure a livable climate for all children,” according to the organization’s website.

File photo

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Fallen Tree Damages Onelife Fitness in Reston

A fallen tree from Tuesday’s storms has prompted the closure of several studios at Onelife Fitness in Reston.

The fitness center’s mind body studio, kidz klub, pilates studio, mind body studio and the women’s locker are closed until further notice.

All group classes that are held in the mind body and main group fitness studios are cancelled as well.

We apologize for the inconvenience and Reston Onelife Fitness members will have access to all other Onelife or Sport & Health clubs until the studios, Kidz Klub, and Women’s Locker Room reopen,” the business wrote on Facebook.

Other damage from the storm was also reported at South Lakes Drive near the U.S. Geological Survey building.

Onelife Fitness is located at 11445 Isaac Newton Square.

Photo via @codesurfer_/Twitter

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JUST IN: Apartment Fire Reported at Greywing Square

Crews worked to extinguish a fire on the second floor an apartment building on the 12000 block of Greywing Square around 8:45 a.m. today.

The fire, which was contained to the kitchen area of the unit, was extinguished around 9 a.m.

All occupants in the building were evacuated and no injuries were reported.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Facilities Planning Council Seeks Representative — The school board’s Facilities Planning Advisory Council is seeking a member to represent the Hunter Mill District. Howard Perlstein, the current representative for the district, is leaving the council since it was established over a decade ago. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Hosts Launch of Statewide Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign — State and local officials launched the annual statewide anti-drunk driving Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign. The DUI law enforcement and public education campaign continues through Labor Day weekend and will resume during Halloween and the holidays. Complementing the high visibility enforcement, Checkpoint Strikeforce is sponsoring an advertising campaign called “Act Like It.”‘ [Fairfax County Police Department]

Dog Days of Summer is Today — Enjoy a special play zone for dogs and their owners today at Reston Town Center’s pavilion from 5-7:30 p.m. The last session is on September 4. [Reston Town Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Campus Commons Plan Prompts ‘Rescue Sunrise Valley’ Campaign

More than 100 families neighboring Campus Commons, a mixed-use project on the southeastern corner of Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road, are voicing their concerns about the proposed development.

Rescue Sunrise Valley, a group that includes representation from residents who live on Sunrise Valley Drive, as well as the clusters of Great Meadow, Winterport, Harbor Court, Whetherfield, Lakeport, and Boston Ridge, say that they are not opposed to development and instead are concerned about safety and the project’s impact on neighborhoods.

TF Cornerstones’ plan includes two residential buildings with a total of 630 units, an office building, and 26,000 square feet of new retail. Two mid-1980s office buildings will remain on the proprty.

Residents say that the proposal misses the mark on pedestrian safety, especially a proposed sidewalk that connects to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station that they say will “logjam traffic and up and down Sunrise Valley and put pedestrians at risk by sending them across nine lanes of traffic and dumping them on a concrete island in the middle of the off-ramp.”

“Anyone who drives, walks, or rides their bikes on Sunrise Valley near the Wiehle intersection knows this is a recipe for disaster,” the group wrote in a statement to Reston Now.

Residents want the developer to delay the proposal under neighborhood concerns are addressed. They created the group in response to the proposal and to inform unaware residents about the plan. Residents say accurate information about the proposal has been hard to come by. Others said the developer has not engaged with all neighboring residents to hear their feedback on the plan.

“We recognize that the developer wants to fast-track their plans because in their industry time is money, but for us, much more is at stake: our families and our neighborhood,” the group stated.

A TF Cornerstones’ representative told Reston Now the company has launched an extensive community engagement process over the last two years, including two meetings with Hampton Meadow residents, one meeting with Boston Ridge residents, and Reston Association. The development team has been before the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee four times since 2017.

We have also broadened our outreach to include additional homes along Upper Lake Drive.  We are hosting a community meeting and have sent notification to the Harborside association, the Winterport association, and residents along Upper Lake Drive without an association,” said Ebony Young, vice president of corporate social responsibility. “We have made significant commitments for the project based on community input, and we look forward to the upcoming community meeting.”

The proposal heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on September 25. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is expected to take up on the plan on October 15.

Photos via handout/Fairfax Count Government

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UPDATED: Severe Thunderstorm Warning In Effect Until Tonight

Reston is under a severe thunderstorm warning until 6:15 p.m. today.

The watch, which was issued by the National Weather Service, covers most of the DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Crime Roundup: Boys with Gun Take Bikes in Reston

Two juveniles — one of whom was armed with a gun — took the bicycles of two other juveniles in Reston last week.

The victims were walking near the intersection of North Shoer Drive and Wainwright Drive at around 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 15 when two other juveniles demanded their bicycles at gunpoint.

Police believe the suspects are boys. One was wearing a blue shirt and black shorts and the other was wearing a white shirt with black dots.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

6300 block of Alderman Drive, wallet from location

1700 block of Clubhouse Road, property from business

13300 block of Fones Place, backpack from vehicle

2300 block of Hunters Woods Plaza, cell phone from location

2500 block of John Milton Drive, liquor from business

2100 block of Whisperwood Glen Lane, wallet from location

1800 block of Wiehle Avenue, bag from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

None reported

In a separate incident, a Reston woman was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusal to provide a breath test on August 17.

Alexandra Gilmore, 33, was arrested on near Hogback Mountain Drive, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Photo via FCPD

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North Point Village Center to Host Fall Kick-Off Event

As fall descends on the region, North Point Village Center is hosting a fall kick-off event next month.

The event, which is set for September 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Point Village Center, will include fun, food and prizes.

A guest appearance  is scheduled between noon at 2 p.m. — although details have not been released yet.

The kick-off event will also include an obstacle course, moon bounce, and other games.

The event is free and open to all. The village center is located at 1452 North Point Village Center.

Photo via North Point Village Center/Facebook

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Now Open: Turn Lane at Baron Cameron Avenue

The first of several planned improvements to the Route 7 Corridor is officially complete.

A third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to Baron Cameron Avenue opened to traffic on Monday (August 19) — the first of several traffic flow improvements planned between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The project includes other improvements like a third lane in each direction, shared-use paths on both sides, the replacement of a bridge over Difficult Run and a pedestrian underpass to access Colvin Run Mill Park.

The complete list of planned improvements is below:

Widening the road from four lanes to six lanes

Building continuous shared-use paths along eastbound and westbound Route 7

Raising the Difficult Run bridge above flood elevation

Shared-use trail under the Difficult Run bridge with minimum height clearance of twelve feet

Adding a pedestrian underpass at Colvin Run Mill Park for enhanced park access

Shifting Route 7 lanes away from Colvin Run Mill; enlarging culvert under Carpers Farm Way

Adding noise walls with architectural treatment (where reasonable/feasible per final analysis)

Adding stormwater ponds

Replacing/relocating the existing Lewinsville Road intersection with McLean Bible Church’s eastern entrance with a new displaced-left with two coordinated signals

At Towlston Road, shifting Route 7 away from Andrey Chapel Cemetery; adding right- and left-turn lanes on southbound Towlston Road

Widening Forestville Road to add southbound left- and right-turn lanes

Adding a third left-turn lane from westbound Route 7 to southbound Baron Cameron Avenue, as well as a free-flow ramp from northbound Baron Cameron Avenue to eastbound Route 7

Improving the approach angle from Utterback Store Road to Route 7

Lengthening left- and right-turn lanes from Route 7 to many side streets along the corridor; eliminating some median crossings for safety

Building new ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps 

Officials estimate the project will be complete by 2024.

Until then, the speed limit along Route 7 has been reduced to 45 miles per house in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.

Photo via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Tuesday Morning Notes

New App to Track Bus Arrivals — County schools are introduced a new school bus arrival app for the upcoming school year. The app, “Here Comes the Bus,” gives parents and guardians real-time bus locations through text or email alerts. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Parking Limited at Wiehle-Reston East — For the next three weeks, up to forty parking spaces will be temporarily removed from the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station parking garage as crews complete routine maintenance. The garage is currently at capacity. [Fairfax County Government]

Farmers & Makers Market is Today — Local farmers and artisans return to the market today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. The market will be on through November. [Reston Town Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Reston Under Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Reston is under a several thunderstorm warning until 11:15 p.m. today (Monday).

The National Weather Service issued the alert, which says to expect wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour and quarter size hail.

Here’s more from the alert:

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as

damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include… Reston, Herndon, Fairfax, Vienna, Lowes Island, Mantua, Potomac, Oakton, Sterling, Chantilly, Tysons Corner, Wolf Trap, Great Falls, Merrifield, Countryside, Dunn Loring, Darnestown, Belleview,

Bradley Farms and Sterling Park.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Photo via NWS/Twitter

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