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What’s Going On This Weekend Around Reston?

Lake Anne Plaza will become a melting pot of culture this Saturday as the Reston Multicultural Festival kicks off on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Attendees for this free event can enjoy arts, crafts, food, entertainment, shopping and other family-friendly activities. The program is available online.

Reston Farm Market is also celebrating it’s one-year anniversary under new ownership on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the market. The celebration features a fall festival with games, moon bounces, train rides and pumpkin pies. Admission is $10 per person and admission for kids under ages two and under are free.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • Enjoy free Zumba at Life Time Athletic (1757 Business Center Drive) today from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Zumba Pool Blacklight Party.
  • The Herndon Homecoming Parade is on Saturday from 9:30 a.m to 2 pm. on Elden Street. This year’s theme is Big Top. Bring a chair and support the Hornets in downtown Herndon.
  • On Saturday, you can also help remove what Reston Association calls an “English ivy overload” on RA’s open space by participating in the organization’s Habitat Heroes event. Volunteers will work in various areas near the Wiehle overpass from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • A green screen photo booth will be on-site at Reston Regional Library from 2-4 p.m. You can take your picture by placing yourself directly in a story.
  • The Northern Virginia Senior Olympics will hold a Twilight 5K on Saturday at 6 p.m. at South Lakes High School. Residents of Northern Virginia who are 50 years or older are eligible to sign up.
  • On Sunday, channel the seven chakras or energy centers within your body with this mindful painting workshop at Rise Well-Being Center from 2-5 p.m.
  • If you’d rather be out and about on Sunday, you can take part in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Reston Town Center from 2:30-4 p.m. Registration is free and there’s no minimum fundraising requirement.
  • And the annual Reston Runner tradition is back on Sunday. Participants will run from Reagan National Airport back to Reston beginning at 7 a.m.
  • Lake Anne Brewhouse’s Saturday morning beer run is on at 9:45 a.m. The taproom opens at 10 a.m. for pretzels, coffee and beer.

File photo via Reston Community Center

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Fashion Show Featuring Breast Cancer Survivors Returns to Reston Town Center on Sept. 29

The second annual Runway to the Cure fashion show returns to Reston Town Center Pavilion (11900 Market Street) on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. The show, which features designer fashion, showcases breast cancer survivors from the regions as models and aims to share their experiences.

This year’s event will be emceed by Kristen Berset-Harris, the host of WUSA9’s Great Day Washington, who is also a breast cancer survivor. All breast cancer survivors are invited to attend for a free. All other attendees are encouraged to donate $25 in order to attend the event.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. The event is run by Reston Runway to the Cure, Inc., a local non-profit organization run by volunteers.

Unlike last year, the show will happen in the evening in order to attract more attendees and make it a more social event, according to organizers.

“We are excited to bring back Runway to the Cure to showcase local fashions as a way to raise money to fight breast cancer and, more importantly, honor our models who are true inspirations, raise money for an important cause, and introduce some great fun and fashions to the community,” said Jane Abraham, owner of Scout & Molly’s boutique, the event founder, and Runway to the Cure board president.

File photo

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Theft at Target Prompts Police Pursuit

A hot police pursuit in the parking lot of Target earlier this week raised some questions from Reston Now readers this week.

According to newly released information from the Fairfax County Police Department, the incident involved a man suspected of stealing merchandise from the store at 12197 Sunset Hills Road.

Officers responded to the scene on Monday (Sept. 17) at around 7:59 p.m. in response to a Target employee’s report that a man was stealing from the store. The man was found changing his clothes inside a car.

When officers approached the car, the driver ignored them and sped away. After pursuing the car in the parking lot, officers lost sight of it. The car was later found abandoned in a nearby parking lot, according to the police department.

The incident is under investigation and no other information was immediately available. The monetary value of the stolen merchandise was not released.

File photo

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Op-Ed: Wheelock Contemplates Grand Park, Open Space for All

This is an op/ed submitted by Wheelock’s Dan Green and Steve Coniglio, the company’s local partner. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. No development plans for Hidden Creek Country Club have been formally proposed to the county. If you wish to submit an opinion piece, email [email protected]

When Wheelock Communities purchased Hidden Creek Country Club in October 2017, we immediately recognized the special character of Reston and the need to include the community in exploring all the possibilities for the future of the private golf club.

From the day we purchased Hidden Creek, we have been open and honest about our intentions to work in partnership with the Reston community and club members to explore potential changes to the property that could provide the Reston community with additional public amenities, civic spaces, enhanced environmental benefits and new housing choices.

With that idea and Bob Simon’s Founding Principles of Reston in mind, Wheelock engaged the community by establishing a Focus Group to gain the perspective from a broad-based group of approximately 20 Reston residents that included representation from Rescue Reston, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, Hidden Creek Country Club members, nearby residents and other stakeholders in Reston.

We hired the best local firm, LandDesign, and a national land planning expert, John Sather of Swaback Partners, to work with the Focus Group. We gave both LandDesign and John Sather “free rein” to work with the group to ensure there were not any preconceived notions about the future of the property.

During the four interactive sessions, discussions centered on how the property could benefit the Reston community by creating significant public open space versus its current private use, providing public amenities to fulfill unmet community needs, rejuvenating the environmental condition of the stream areas and providing a mix of diverse housing, including the potential for senior housing and affordable/workforce housing.

We did a lot of listening during these sessions. We understand there is a group of residents that prefers Hidden Creek remain a private golf club available to its members. We also heard from the Focus Group the importance of public open space and the desire for this open space to be accessible to all Reston residents, not just the Hidden Creek Country Club members and those utilizing the portion of the Blue Trail that traverses the property. Improving the environmental condition of the land, removing the “road from nowhere” from the Comprehensive Plan and creating additional housing choices all were mentioned during this process.

Taking all this information, we challenged our team to think “big” on a special public element. In effect, we began by doing what few others do… we began by looking at public open space as the predominant part of the property.

At the final meeting of the Focus Group, the team presented a vision for a world-class, 100-acre Grand Park that the entire Reston community would be able to enjoy and shape. In creating this vision, our team examined other signature parks such as Merriweather Park in Columbia, Md., and Prospect Park in New York City. The vision presented included both passive and active recreational amenities, an indoor tennis facility, the Blue Trail and other trails providing community connectivity as well as cultural elements that adhere to Bob Simon’s Principals for Reston.

The Grand Park preserves more than 60 percent of the site as public open space. With additional trails and open spaces included within the development areas, as much as 75 percent could be open space. The remaining land would be planned for a variety of housing, some of which will help meet Reston’s needs for senior, workforce and affordable housing to continue Reston’s heritage of being an inclusive community. The exact number of homes has not been discussed as we are in a conceptual stage. However, we can say the housing, if approved, would be a mix of townhouses, single family and multi-family homes.

Reston is a place like no other. The Grand Park idea further reinforces that, making Reston one of the finest communities of our time.

We firmly believe in an open, public process and working in a partnership with the community to envision the future of the golf course. We look forward to continuing the discussion.

File photo 

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Cleanup Underway After Trash Truck Fire on Dulles Toll Road

A stinky situation on the Dulles Toll Road has resulted in a lane closure and a significant cleanup effort.

A garbage truck’s load of trash caught fire this afternoon, shortly after 4 p.m., prompting the truck driver to dump the burning refuse on the side of the westbound Dulles Toll Road near Wiehle Avenue.

The fire was extinguished and the effort to remove the charred garbage is now underway. According to WTOP, the ramp from Wiehle Avenue to the westbound lanes of the toll road are currently blocked.

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Op-Ed: Why All of the Hidden Creek Golf Course Needs to be Protected as Open Space

This is an op/ed submitted by Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. No development plans for Hidden Creek Country Club have been formally proposed to the county. If you wish to submit an opinion piece, email [email protected]

Wheelock Communities, the Connecticut-based company that bought the Hidden Creek Country Club in north Reston, says it wants to build housing on 40 percent of the golf course land on almost half of the golf course that comprises the biggest part of north Reston’s open space. The land design firm that Wheelock is working with told a community focus group last month that Wheelock foresees building between 500 and 2,000 housing units in the open space.    

Building housing on Hidden Creek golf course would violate the Reston Master Plan that is part of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, as well as require a change in the County zoning ordinance.  The County has designated Hidden Creek as private recreational open space, specifically a golf course.    

All of the Hidden Creek golf course needs to remain as private recreational open space, and here’s why:  In this area, buying a house is almost always the biggest investment decision that any of us will make. 

Because it is such a consequential decision, we homeowners count on the land-use plan to give us some confidence about what we can expect to see in our community over time.  In fact, the Fairfax County website says, “The purpose of planning is to ensure that Fairfax County’s excellent quality of life will continue.”  The Reston Master Plan Task Force’s goal was to guide the community’s growth and development for the next 30 to 40 years.

Why should one real estate development company that has had no connection to our community be able to make an investment decision that would undermine the individual investment decisions of many thousands of Reston households? 

Allowing that would be counter to one of Robert Simon’s primary goals for Reston:  “that the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning, and take precedence for large-scale concepts.”

Building new housing where it’s not supposed to be–and losing 40 percent of north Reston’s planned open space at Hidden Creek in the process–would hurt Reston households.  And it would hurt not just those who live in the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks district of Reston, but all Restonians who rely on the two major north-south roads through north Reston: Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway. 

Putting housing on Hidden Creek would add to the Wiehle Avenue traffic that is currently bumper-to-bumper during rush hours.  Wiehle Avenue traffic is already expected to worsen because another development company has put in an application to build 2,100 units in the Isaac Newton area (behind the Wiehle Avenue firehouse).  That area is within the Wiehle-Reston East Transit Station Area, so new housing development is conceivable there under the approved Reston Master Plan. Add to that the 156 units in new development that has already been approved for Tall Oaks Village Center.

The Hidden Creek golf course is outside the Wiehle transit station development area and should remain ineligible for new housing, lest we both lose our precious green open space plus overburden our roads and other infrastructure–such as our public schools–even more. 

Restonians already know what it’s like to crawl along Reston Parkway in the morning or late afternoon.  But more traffic will be coming there, too, from the 20-story condominium that has been approved for the corner of Temporary Road and Reston Parkway.  That area was zoned for high density living in the Reston Master Plan because it is within the Reston Town Center Transit Station Area

Wheelock Communities bought a golf course that is supposed to remain as open space.  They knew it when they bought it, and we as a community need to work to keep the zoning ordinance and the Reston Master Plan as they are in order to protect all of it as open space.  Based on the information on their website, Wheelock’s strategy as a developer is to buy, build, sell, and leave.  They have no long-term interest in Reston.

if Hidden Creek Country Club becomes yet another housing development, Reston National Golf Course may suffer the same fate.  Chipping away at one big parcel of green space will set a precedent for destruction of other open space within Reston and Fairfax County.     

Speculative developers will not stop trying to pave over green spaces when they can make millions by building more housing.  Let’s not give them an opening to take away our green space in Reston. If Wheelock does not have the vision for how to make Hidden Creek the gem of a golf and tennis club that it should be, then they should sell to those who do have the vision.

We have enough planned development coming to Reston.  Let’s not allow additional unplanned development. Learn what you can do.

File photo

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Reston Community Center’s Knitting Circle Kicks Off on September 17

Attention, knitting lovers: Reston Community Center’s Knitting Circle will begin its fall session this month.

In this instructor-led group at RCC Hunters Woods, attendees will learn how to knit on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The series will run from September 17 through November 21.

Registration is $50 for Reston residents and $75 for all others.

Participants can share ideas on knitting projects and work on new or existing projects. Knitters at all skill levels are invited to attend. Registration is available online.

Photo via RCC

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Former Arlington Prosecutor Brings Novel to Scrawl Books

John Wasowicz, a county native and a former Arlington prosecutor, will bring his legal thriller, “Daingerfield Island” to Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) this coming weekend.

Wasowicz’s novel is about a DC-based defense attorney who represents a man falsely accused of murder near Daingerfield Island.

His book tour, which has included other locations along the East Coast, will come to the Reston bookstore on Saturday (September 15) from noon to 2 p.m. Wasowicz will meet readers and sign copies of the new book.

Photo via BrickHouse Books, Inc.

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NextStop Theatre Company to Kickstart New Show ‘The Wedding Singer’

NextStop Theatre Company’s newest performance, The Wedding Singer, is set to kick off tomorrow (September 13) and will run through October 15.

The show is based on the comedy starring Adam Sander and Drew Barrymore. It features the storie of Robbie Hart, a wannabe rock star and New Jersey’s favorite wedding singer. Organizers say the show is a “big-singing, big-dancing, big hair tribute to the 1980s.”

The price of tickets ranges between $40 and $65 depending on the time of purchase. The performance contains adult language and situations that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Tickets can be purchased online.

Photos by Lock and Company

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‘Building Worlds’ Closes This Weekend; New Exhibit to Begin in Late September

The Greater Reston Arts Center is closing its “Building Worlds” exhibition this weekend. The exhibition, which future worlds reimagined by five artists, will end with two events on Saturday.

One of the artists Rachel Guardiola will lead attendees through an interactive workshop based inspired by her artwork from 1-3 p.m. The activities will explore themes like the role of science fiction, fact, and fantasy. Registration is open online. The event, which is sponsored by Reston Community Center, is open to participants age 18 and up.

From 5-7 p.m. the same day, the exhibition’s artists and curator will take part in a panel discussion and a question and answer session. The event, which is also sponsored by Reston Community Center, is free and open to the public.

A new exhibition featuring the work of DC-based artist Caitlin Teal Price is next up on GRACE’s line of displays. Price’s exhibition, “Green is the Secret Color to Make Gold,” explores themes of daily life.

She’s known for her photographs of people and objects collected by her young son on walks they take together. The exhibit will run from September 29 through November 24 at GRACE. An opening reception is set for September 29 from 5-7 p.m.

Photo via GRACE

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Op-Ed: A Look at the Numbers

This is an op/ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 committee. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

Reston’s future lies largely in the numbers that define the county’s plan for Reston’s transit station areas (TSAs)–the areas roughly within a half-mile of each Metro station.  The results of looking at those numbers are shocking, but not really surprising.

The Board of Supervisors-approved Reston Master Plan calls for 44,000 dwelling units (DUs) in Reston’s TSAs, virtually all of which will be high-rise (“elevator”), high-density DUs–condos and apartments.  

County planning assumes 2.1 people will live in each high-rise, high-density DU.

Put together, that means a potential population of 92,400 people in Reston’s station areas.   That’s without any affordable housing “bonuses” or development waiver approvals or other uncounted DUs or people, a frequent fact of life in Fairfax County.  

When the Reston Master Plan Task Force was working on a new plan for the station areas, the county provided several different numbers for the actual acreage of the study area.  These ranged from 1,232 acres (1.925 square miles) to 1,683 acres (2.630 square miles) of land in Reston’s TSAs.  The county provided no explanation for the range of values.

Dividing the number of people by the acreage, the resulting number is somewhere between 55 and 75 per acre.  On a square mile basis, that Reston TSA density is between 35,200 and 48,000 persons per square mile (pers/SM). 

According to Wikipedia, Manhattan has a density of 26,403 pers/SM.  That makes the planned population of Reston’s TSAs at least one-third denser than and potentially nearly twice as dense as Manhattan is today.  

Wikipedia adds that Manhattan’s residential density “makes it the densest of any American municipality with a population above 100,000.”  And Reston’s TSA population may well exceed that 100,000 number if the county continues its bonus and waiver giveaways to developers.

I don’t think anyone who lives in Reston thinks that two square miles of super-density in Reston’s TSAs cutting through the middle of our community is consistent with any definition of preserving, much less improving, Reston’s quality of life. And the county has no meaningful plans or means to meet the infrastructure requirements of this population or the needs of the surrounding Reston community.

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Farmers Market to Begin in Reston Town Center Tomorrow

A farmers market is coming to Reston Town Center starting tomorrow (September 11) through September October 23. Every week, the market will be located at the pavilion, with the exception of October 9, when it will be located at Town Square Park.

Items available for purchase include produce, kettle corn, pastries, meats, salsa, honey, and smoothies. The hours of the market are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Other area farmers markets will remain open through early December. The market at Lake Anne is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon through December 1 at Lake Anne Plaza.

The Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue) is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A fall festival, which will include face painting, a petting zoo, a train raid, balloons and a petting zoo, is set for Saturday, September 22 to celebrate the market’s anniversary.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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Weekend Discussion Topics

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Updated: Mother, Two Children Found Dead in Apparent Double Murder, Suicide
  2. Updated: Three People Found Dead Inside Herndon Home
  3. Body Worn Camera Pilot Program in Reston Ends
  4. Police Investigate Robbery at 7-Eleven on Soapstone Drive
  5. Restriping of South Lakes Drive Ignites Concerns, Fury

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. We’re also looking for photos of Reston submitted by readers.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Shadowood Tennis Courts Closed Through September

The Shadowood tennis courts, which are located on Springwood Drive, will be closed for repairs beginning Monday (September 10).

Reston Association expects the courts to reopen on or around October 1. Routine maintenance, which includes court cleaning and cracks repair, will be completed during the closure. A fresh coat of paint will also be applied to all four courts.

Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement, said the courts “will look like new” once the work is completed.

Other tennis facilities in Reston are open and a complete list is available online.

File photo

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Driver Shoots Gun at Bicyclist in Herndon, No Injuries Reported

A man fired a gunshot at a bicyclist in Herndon on Wednesday (September 5) at around 10:40 p.m., according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

Local police are investigating the incident, which occurred on the 2400 block of Centreville Road in Herndon.

Police said the victim, who was not hit, knew the man who fired the gun. The victim left the area on his bicycle after a “physical altercation” with the man, according to police.

The suspect then drove a car next to him on Centreville road and fired at the bicyclist from inside the car. The suspect then drove away. No arrests have been made.

File photo

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