Reston Under Severe Thunderstorm Warning Sunday Night

Reston and surrounding areas are currently under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

Strong winds have reportedly already caused at least one large branch to come down in a Reston parking lot.

More from the National Weather Service:

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Reminder: Send Us Your Photos

Calling all local photographers: Reston Now is looking for your photos of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

Whether you’re a photography pro or just love snapping pictures with your smartphone, we are always looking to include seasonal photos in our Morning Notes on weekdays or reshare pictures on our social media accounts.

To send us your photos, email us at [email protected], tag us in your photo on social media or join our Reston Now Flickr page.

You will always receive credit for the photo — either with your username or actual name.

Thank you to photographers who have already sent us photos.

File photo

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Reston Under Severe Thunderstorm Warning

A portion of Reston is now under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning as strong storms approach from the west.

Forecasters say wind up to 60 miles per hour, as well as penny-sized hail, is possible as a result of the storm.

More from the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
448 PM EDT WED JUL 17 2019

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR…
SOUTHEASTERN LOUDOUN COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF FAIRFAX IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
NORTHWESTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
EAST CENTRAL FAUQUIER COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF MANASSAS PARK IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
NORTHWESTERN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…
THE CITY OF MANASSAS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA…

* UNTIL 530 PM EDT.

* AT 448 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR HAYMARKET, OR 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF SOUTH RIDING, MOVING NORTHEAST AT 35 MPH.

HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS.

SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED.

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… CENTREVILLE, RESTON, ANNANDALE, SOUTH RIDING, HERNDON, FAIRFAX, VIENNA, MANTUA, DULLES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, LINTON HALL, OAKTON, CHANTILLY, TYSONS CORNER, WOLF TRAP, GREAT FALLS, MERRIFIELD, BULL RUN, HAYMARKET, ARCOLA AND I66 AND I495 INTERCHANGE.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
BUILDING.

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Reminder: Send Reston Now Your Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Have thoughts about Reston Now’s coverage of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls? Want to share your opinions about local issues?

Reston Now welcomes letters to the editors and op-eds of specific interest to the Reston, Herndon and Great Falls community.

The key difference is that an op-ed can be an opinion piece about a local issue, while a letter to the editor responds directly to a Reston Now story.

Please email it to [email protected] You are also welcome to contact us with your idea for feedback before submitting it.

While there is no word limit, we suggest under 1,000 words. Contributions may be edited for length, content and style/grammar.

Reston Now does not publish op-eds relating to a specific candidate running for political office — either from the candidate’s team or opponents.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted op-eds and letters to the editor already.

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Lake Anne Roots Music Festival Returns on July 13

Six folk, bluegrass and blues bands are in the lineup for the fourth annual Lake Anne Roots Music Festival.

The festival, which features a beer and wine garden and fun for the whole family, is set for Saturday, July 13.

The event kicks off with the opening of taps at 11:30 am. The following bands are scheduled to play through 8 p.m.:

  • 1 p.m.: Katie & Kelly
  • 2 p.m.: Annie Stokes
  • 3 p.m.: Minks Miracle Medicine
  • 4 p.m.: The High & Wides
  • 5 p.m.: The Woodshedders
  • 6 p.m.: Two Ton Twig

The event is sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and Reston Community Center. It will take place at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza).

Photo via Lake Anne Roots Music Festival

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Reminder: Sign Up for Reston Now Email Subscriptions

Since 2013, Reston Now has been reporting news about the Reston and Herndon areas. Recently, we started providing additional coverage of Great Falls.

Keep up with our coverage by signing up for our email subscriptions.

The afternoon email — sent at 4 p.m. — rounds up the most recently published stories and sponsored content on our site. Our morning email is currently on a hiatus.

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Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our email subscriptions already!

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Want to get in touch with the team bringing you news about Reston, Herndon and Great Falls?

Send us your news tips, press releases and feedback to [email protected] or use our anonymous message form. Our news team does not have a phone line for inbound calls.

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Top Stories This Week

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

  1. EXCLUSIVE: Reston Town Center’s Vapiano at the Center of Alleged International Money Laundering Scheme
  2. As Needs Evolve, Reston Association Struggles to Handle Covenants Workload, Property Inspections
  3. Report: Amazon Moves to Acquire Herndon Property
  4. UPDATED: In Democratic Primary, Former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Wins Hunter Mill District Seat
  5. JUST IN: Bulova Suggests Possible Legal Recourse Against Comstock’s Campaigning Restrictions at Reston Station Plaza

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

If you would like us to follow-up with you about your tip, please include your contact information. In recent days, we have received tips with incomplete phone numbers and email addresses.

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

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Op-Ed: On Reston National Golfcourse

This op-ed was submitted by Walter Alcorn, a former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner who recently won the Democratic Primary for Hunter Mill District Supervisor. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content. 

Recent reports that the Reston National Golf Course has been acquired by two Baltimore area real estate developers, Weller Development and War Horse Cities, have placed many Restonians on alert.  The fate of the golf course has been a hot button issue for the community since 2012 when the previous owner attempted to assert its right to develop the course without an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan.

Weller Development and War Horse have stated that they “are focused on building relationships and working with the communities we serve, and we look forward to being part of the Reston community for years to come.” I’ll take them at their word, but these new owners, and the Reston community, should understand that if elected to the Board of Supervisors whether I would consider even initiating any possible change to the Comprehensive Plan will be guided by two simple principles.

First, any proposed amendment must, as a threshold matter, have the support of the Reston community, and particularly the support of the homeowners and communities adjacent to the golf course. These residents would be most directly affected by any proposed development. They bought their property with the expectation that it would remain a golf course, as called for in the Comprehensive Plan, and those expectations deserve to be respected. In addition, there also must be support from the broader community (e.g., golfers and users of trails through the course).

Second, I don’t believe that the quality of any business decisions made by the property owners are relevant to land use decisions of the Board of Supervisors. If the new owners paid a speculative premium for the property hoping to find a path to development, and if they are unable to secure community support for such development, in my view that is simply the risk of being an entrepreneur in our free market system.

The Reston National Golf Course has been a part of the fabric of Reston since the community was founded in 1964. I understand the concerns of residents in protecting Reston’s open space for recreational, environmental and livability reasons. And with the current Comprehensive Plan designation arrived at unanimously by the task force formed to draft the Plan only a few years ago, I do not support changing the Plan’s designation that this property be a golf course. At some point in the future if the new owners of the golf course can devise a plan which garners clear and broad community backing (including neighboring communities) I would support initiating a process to consider changing the Comprehensive Plan. If not, they should accept the fact that they bought a golf course and look at how to involve more of the community in the lifelong sport of golf.

Photo via Walter Alcorn

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Poll: How Would You Rate Your Experience with Reston Association’s Covenants Process?

Reston Association’s covenants department is working on ways to streamline the way it handles daily activities and spend more time on neighborhood inspections.

At a meeting on Thursday, June 13, RA’s Design Review Board and Board of Directors will meet to discuss possible changes to its current operations.

As we head into the work session, we want to hear about your experiences with RA’s home resale and covenants process. We are accepting responses via email at [email protected].

Also, readers are welcome to share how their experiences with the covenants process has been in the poll below.

Photo via Jill Silton

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Op-ed: Wheelock’s Grand Scheme for a Grand Park Doesn’t Sell

This op-ed was submitted by Lynne Mulston, vice president of Reston Citizens Association, chair of Rescue Reston’s North Course Committee, and a member of Hidden Creek Country Club. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content. 

What doesn’t Wheelock understand about the Reston community’s response to their plans to develop Hidden Creek Country Club?

The focus groups that were held last year should have sent a clear message that the majority of the participants want the open space golf course at Hidden Creek to remain as such. One focus group participant said, “You [Wheelock and Swaback] don’t get it. We already have our park and we don’t pay a cent for it.”

The members of Hidden Creek — many of whom are long-term residents of Reston, have chosen to raise their families here, paid their taxes to Fairfax County including the added Small Tax District #5 assessments for the pleasure of living here, joined Hidden Creek for its amenities including swimming, tennis and golf, a sport that you can play well into your retirement years. In fact, there are numerous senior members (70+ years of age) at the Club which also serves as the home course for McLean High School’s golf team.

I was shocked recently when I received photos of a display that Wheelock Communities has set-up in a member event room just off the Tavern Bar and Grill. Every inch of wall space is covered with posters, presentations, and pictures of the plunder of Wheelock’s vision to turn 164-acres of open space that Gulf Reston originally dedicated to the people of Reston.

Here are just a few of the details of Wheelock’s proposal for HCCC’s development:

  • 100+ acres and 8-10 tennis courts would be dedicated to Fairfax County Park Authority. That’s right! The open space that the Reston community pays NOTHING to maintain, would go the FCPA which our tax dollars fund. IOW, Restonians would now be tasked to pay so that Wheelock can make a profit by further densifying Reston despite that fact that the Reston Master Plan has always said both Reston golf courses shall remain open space!
  • Reston was originally planned with two permanent 18-hole golf courses to offset significant overall community density elsewhere. Now Wheelock wants to reduce the cumulative open space requirements by developing choice portions of the course. 650 homes would be placed on the open space that Robert Simon envisioned. Vehicular traffic on a proposed new road system would significantly add to the congestion we’re already experiencing. Our already overcrowded schools would be further stressed.
  • Fairfax County is planning to build a new 4-acre storm water management pond on the southern portion of HCCC to fix past development mistakes which result in flooding north of the Dulles Toll Road. Pursuant to this plan and Wheelock’s inability to develop land in this area due to it being a pipeline and floodplain, plans are to convert a huge part of the present course to other recreational amenities managed by the FCPA. The issue is if this is allowed, we taxpayers will pay in perpetuity for what now is ecologically precious open space.
  • Wheelock is promoting a false narrative that when golf course use is eliminated, draining water from Lake Anne will cease. Claims that Hidden Creek takes 150,000 gallons of water per day from Lake Anne are erroneous. At first glance, this sounds like a lot of water but let’s look at the FACTS:
    • The lake covers 27.7653 surface acres with an average depth of 13 feet. This means that the volume of the lake is 117,615,560 gallons.
    • Hidden Creek monitors the pond near Temporary Road and North Shore Drive regularly. Only when needed does Hidden Creek draw water from Lake Anne.
    • At maximum capacity, Hidden Creek’s pump can only pump 179 gpm. They rarely use it at that rate, but if they did, it would take 2.5 days to draw down the lake 1-inch.

It’s clear that Wheelock is betting their $14 million investment could net a return of $250 million; their investors are relying on their success. It’s up to us to show them why Reston was a poor choice for their exploitations. Vote for candidates who clearly state their intent to protect Reston’s golf courses. Save our community!

Photo via Lynne Mulston

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Reminder: Send Reston Now Your Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Have thoughts about Reston Now’s coverage of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls? Want to share your opinions about local issues?

Reston Now welcomes letters to the editors and op-eds of specific interest to the Reston, Herndon and Great Falls community.

The key difference is that an op-ed can be an opinion piece about a local issue, while a letter to the editor responds directly to a Reston Now story.

Please email it to [email protected] You are also welcome to contact us with your idea for feedback before submitting it.

While there is no word limit, we suggest under 1,000 words. Contributions may be edited for length, content and style/grammar.

Reston Now does not publish op-eds relating to a specific candidate running for political office — either from the candidate’s team or opponents.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted op-eds and letters to the editor already.

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Poll: What Do You Think About the New Location of the Herndon Festival?

Since late last week, festival-goers had the chance to enjoy the annual Herndon Festival at a new location.

The festival left its home in downtown Herndon — which was slated to be a construction site by the time the festival came around — for the Northwest Federal Credit Union this year.

Construction is expected to begin soon after plans for downtown were approved in mid-May by the Town of Herndon’s Heritage Preservation Review Board.

It’s unlikely the festival will return to its home in downtown Herndon.

The redevelopment of the town’s core likely will not have enough open space to make the festival happen.

Here’s some more information from the Town of Herndon:

“Once the redevelopment project is complete, town staff will assess what new events or activities will be appropriate and attractive to the community. The Herndon Festival, as we know it today, likely will not return to the downtown area, due to the loss of the open space to host the carnival and considerable number of vendor, sponsor and volunteer booths required.”

Nonetheless, Reston Now wants to know which location you prefer for the festival. Let us know your thoughts below.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Top Stories This Week

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

  1. Exclusive: Reston Man Fires Gunshots Against Imaginary Kidnappers
  2. Annual Herndon Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow with New Location
  3. Reston Farmers Market Named Best Farmers Market in Northern Virginia
  4. Report: New Meaning Behind Rape Note Found on Herndon Homicide Victim
  5. Reston Association Grapples with Lifeguard Shortage for Pools

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

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

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Reminder: Send Reston Now Your Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor

Have thoughts about Reston Now’s coverage of Reston, Herndon and Great Falls? Want to share your opinions about local issues?

Reston Now welcomes letters to the editors and op-eds of specific interest to the Reston, Herndon and Great Falls community.

The key difference is that an op-ed can be an opinion piece about a local issue, while a letter to the editor responds directly to a Reston Now story.

Please email it to [email protected] You are also welcome to contact us with your idea for feedback before submitting it.

While there is no word limit, we suggest under 1,000 words. Contributions may be edited for length, content and style/grammar.

Reston Now does not publish op-eds relating to a specific candidate running for political office — either from the candidate’s team or opponents.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted op-eds and letters to the editor already.

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