The Fairfax County School Board is providing expanded support for adult education programs and services, particularly in Herndon and Reston.
The board provided consent for a lease renewal and expansion of Fairfax County Adult High School as well as the consolidation of Fairfax County Public Schools instructional and services programming in the Herndon and Reston area during a regular meeting yesterday (Thursday).
The consent follows the staff recommendation to continue and expand the existing lease at the Herndon Centre III shopping complex on Elden Street or another financially and functionally feasible location to consolidate other programs.
The programs considered for consolidation specifically include the Transition Support Resource Center, Adult and Community Education (ACE), ACE-English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and the Community Welcome Center, which would have student registration, ESOL assessments, and community liaison services.
“There is an increased demand for Fairfax County Adult High School services,” FCPS spokesperson Lucy Caldwell said in a statement to Reston Now.
“Currently these programs are operating in undersized spaces and at various locations in the Herndon/Reston area that unintentionally cap enrollment and create inequity of service delivery of these programs with like programs offered in other parts of Fairfax County.”
The effort to consolidate the spaces used by the programs is meant to allow FCPS to provide an appropriate classroom learning and training environment, according to Caldwell.
The consent item on the school board’s agenda also stated that there is an opportunity for the board to “capitalize on favorable lease rates available in the commercial real estate market today that ‘stretch’ buying power and permit the rental of additional space at a much reduced per square foot cost.”
A new lease would also allow the re-use or removal of three ACE trailers at Herndon Middle School.
A new lease could also provide a one-stop opportunity for students and families with a shared location for a welcome center with instructional programming that would allow easier access to ESOL assessments, student registration, and other community services.
The consent item stated that neither FCPS nor Fairfax County facilities are available to meet the needs of these programs, which could require as much as 30,000 square feet of space.
Preliminary work necessary for the eventual construction of a new pedestrian bridge on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail over Wiehle Avenue has begun.
Dominion Energy began work on an electric transmission line located at the W&OD Trail at the site on June 1 as part of the initial steps required to accommodate the eventual bridge, according to the company.
Additional elements of this work will require Dominion to remove existing structures, install new structures, and relocate transmission facilities.
Also, as part of this project, detours have been established between Isaac Newton Square and Michael Faraday Court from June to September for safety precautions.
The detours will remain in place when crews are not working. While some weekend work may be necessary during the course of the project, the current working hours for it are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Dominion.
Detours will direct trail users to either paved or gravel sections of the trail, which will be contingent on the work being performed at the time.
The gravel trail will be temporarily closed for a couple of weeks in June as improvements are made to it for trail users during the company’s construction efforts. Work will begin on the paved portion following the improvements on the gravel trail.
Construction on Dominion’s project is expected to last through August, with restoration of the work areas concluding by late August. This project is anticipated to be complete by September, at which point the detours will be removed.
Construction of bridge project itself is tentatively scheduled to begin in Summer 2022 and be complete in summer 2023, according to Fairfax County’s project site.
The bridge will replace the existing at-grade crossing at the site. The project is planned as a measure to improve vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian access near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, which was noted by Reston Metrorail Access Group’s plan.
After a year of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Fourth of July fireworks displays will return to Fairfax County.
Lake Fairfax Park will once again host a fireworks display on Saturday, July 3. Fireworks will begin at dark, around 9 p.m., but attendees are encouraged to arrive by 8 p.m. to find a place a park and a spot to watch.
Tickets for the event are now available online for $10 per car and will be $15 on the day of the event. Ticketed entry begins at 10 a.m.
Food trucks will be on the site throughout the day for attendees.
The following day, on July 4, the Town of Herndon will host a free celebratory fireworks display for the public at 9:30 p.m. from the Herndon Centennial Golf Course.
The town’s suggested viewing spots are around the Herndon Community Center and the softball field at Bready Park. The town will have event parking and access to Bready Park starting at 8 p.m., but the park’s turf field will be closed during the event.
Parking will be available at Herndon Middle School, Herndon Community Center, and the municipal parking lot on Center Street. People may also park at the Station Street municipal parking lot and watch the display from the Herndon Municipal Center Town Green.
Cars parked in the Herndon Community Center and Bready Park lots will not be released until the fire marshal and Herndon Police declare the area safe.
Due to the display and parking, traffic in the town may be rerouted beginning at 7:45 p.m.
Herndon’s July 4th Celebration will not have food concessions or other entertainment this year, and spectators in and around the park are encouraged to maintain physical distancing while watching the display.
Pets, alcohol, glass containers, grills or cook stoves, and personal fireworks — including sparklers — are not allowed. For safety reasons, the fire marshal also prohibits any persons on the golf course or in its parking lot from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Construction on improvements to the intersection of Elden and Center streets is now underway.
The Town of Herndon held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday (Monday) to celebrate the initial steps of the project, which will realign the intersection, provide a new traffic signal, and add a turn lane.
“The two primary goals of the project is to signalize the intersection and to align the roadway on both sides of the road,” Richard Smith, a senior civil engineer for the town’s Department of Public Works, said. “And we’re accomplishing that by adding a right through turn lane on the south side of the intersection.”
The project also entails upgrades to the existing storm drain system and enhancements to the intersection’s pedestrian facilities, including improved crosswalks and new ADA signals. It is being coordinated with Comstock’s plans to redevelop downtown Herndon, which will encompass 4.7 acres adjacent to the Elden-Center street intersection.
Smith said there will undoubtedly some interruption to traffic during construction, but the town will do its “best to minimize any of those impacts and advertise those the best we can.”
The town council awarded a contract for the project on May 11 to Fort Meyer Construction Corporation with a low bid of $863,000 from five bids submitted.
Up to 50% of the construction contract will be covered by reimbursement funds through a revenue-sharing agreement between Herndon and the Virginia Department of Transportation. The costs not supported by the revenue-sharing agreement will come from local funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
Town manager Bill Ashton confirmed that the project is currently projected to come in under budget at around $1.4 million. It is scheduled to be completed in spring 2022.
The Elden-Center street project is one of several capital projects in the works for Herndon’s downtown area.
The town council recently awarded a contract for pedestrian improvements at the Elden and Monroe street intersection, and a third phase of streetscape improvements is expected to start construction this year.
Reston Association is looking at potentially introducing greater electric vehicle initiatives, but a months-long evaluation of the proposal’s feasibility has revealed some hurdles.
During the RA Board of Directors meeting on May 27, COO Larry Butler and Cam Adams, the director of covenants administration, presented findings from a study of electric vehicles and charging stations that the board unanimously approved on Feb. 25.
One of the motions approved in February directed RA staff to study the possibility of installing electric vehicle charging stations at one or more RA facilities. The other motion called for staff to review the potential replacement of the association’s current fleet of fossil-fueled vehicles over the next 10 years.
With notes from consulting firm Kimley-Horn, Butler said at last week’s meeting that the availability of electric vehicles does not meet the general needs necessary for the complete conversion of the fleet at this time.
Since the majority of RA’s fleet consists of trucks, the current design for electric trucks does not meet the association’s needs, according to Butler, who noted that they typically have shorter beds than fossil-fuel versions and lack power capabilities for towing, hauling, or snow plowing.
However, he clarified that “this is really just the beginning of this investigation,” and the review to switch to electric vehicles will continue.
“The market isn’t there yet. It’s moving very fast,” Butler said.
He told the board that Kimley-Horn had recommended reevaluating electric vehicle options “every two to three, maybe four, years.”
“As the market becomes more robust with the types of vehicles, the cost of those because the competition will also come down…we’ll be in a better place to really look at more wholesale conversion,” he said.
There will remain consideration in the budget for electric vehicles, but a full conversion is not yet possible, in Butler’s opinion.
“We are in the early stages of going from fossil to electric. You’ve raised, I think, what are the major issues,” RA Director Bob Petrine said after Butler’s presentation. “I think the biggest single one is there isn’t at the moment a good break-even point. The trucks that are in offing are more toys than they are work trucks.”
Adams followed this discussion by addressing the board’s Jan. 28 directive to study how RA, the Design Review Board, and the covenants committee can assist clusters considering the installation of EV charging stations.
He suggested that a draft guideline could be presented to the DRB when it meets in July but estimated a final draft will take about five months to prepare, potentially for presentation in October.
While the Design Review Board has already approved six separate types of EV installations, it does not have an established guideline “that the DRB can objectively review that application,” according to Adams.
He added that the board would probably review any request submitted for an EV installations and that each “will evaluate it in a certain level of reasonableness that’s appropriate.”
The Town of Herndon is moving ahead with plans to explore a potential ordinance that would prohibit firearms on town property.
During a work session on Tuesday (June 1), the town council agreed to schedule a pair of public hearings on Sept. 14 and 28 to discuss the proposal.
The September dates were chosen after council members decided it would draw more participants compared to the summer, when many residents might be away on vacation.
Councilmember Signe Friedrichs said that holding two public hearings would encourage a more thoughtful discussion on the subject.
“I would really like people to think through more than just saying, ‘Well, it’s an ordinance and it’s opposed to guns, and therefore I want to pass it, ‘ as opposed to ‘It’s an ordinance and it’s damaging my right to carry my weapon, so I’m against it,'” she said.
The ordinance was first brought to council for general discussion on Sept. 15, 2020 and subsequently returned for further review on April 6. The council deferred action on April 13 to allow for additional consideration of the fiscal impacts of adopting a gun ordinance.
Lesa Yeatts, the Herndon town attorney, advised the council that “it would be prudent” to start additional discussions about the ordinance as it existed in April.
The currently proposed ordinance stems from Virginia’s adopted legislation that allows localities to institute ordinances prohibiting firearms on their public property.
If passed as currently written, the ordinance would prohibit the “possession, carrying, or transportation of any firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof” on town property. There would be a few exceptions for law enforcement personnel and educational activities, such as historical reenactments.
“Will this solve and prevent everything? No. But it’s a step to a more secure town in terms of our facilities, in terms of our parks, and just the community in general,” Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila said.
The council agreed to move forward with the discussion of the ordinance, but since the existing language largely replicates the ban passed by Fairfax County, they expressed a desire to get a clearer understanding of the legal implications and how much room there would be for tweaks based on feedback from the public hearings.
“I think when we just flatly say that ‘I’m for guns’ or ‘I’m against guns,’ then we’re missing something important, which is nuance,” Friedrichs said.
Photo via Thomas Def/Unsplash
Herndon is moving forward with another capital improvement project.
The Herndon Town Council voted 6-0 on Tuesday (May 25), with Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila absent, to award a contract to the Ashburn Construction Corporation for the Elden Street and Monroe Street Intersection Improvement Project.
The intersection project is similar to other projects in the town’s Capital Improvement Program in that it will include brick crosswalks and sidewalks as well as ADA compliant curb ramps. The project will also bring a new traffic signal and storm drainage improvements.
Ashburn Construction Corporation beat out one other bidder to win the $1.1 million contract.
Half of the funding for the construction costs is available for reimbursement through revenue-sharing funds collected from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The NVTA funds come from the 30% local distribution revenue given to localities for transportation projects through House Bill 2313, which was passed in 2013.
According to the Town of Herndon’s Fiscal Year 2021-2026 CIP, this project will link the East Elden Project, the Downtown Streetscape Project, and the Elden-Monroe private development project, a reference to the now-completed Junction Square mixed-use development.
The East Elden Project is being designed and constructed by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which plans to widen Elden Street into a six-lane divided section between Herndon and Fairfax County parkways and a four-lane section from Herndon Parkway to Van Buren Street. The project will also include streetscape and median enhancements.
The Elden/Monroe project will provide a transition when the street narrows down to two travel lanes west of Van Buren Street and approaching Monroe Street, according to the CIP.
The Downtown Streetscape project entails widening and enhancing streetscapes with brick sidewalks, grated tree wells and other features. Construction on the project’s third phase is expected to begin this year for an anticipated completion in 2022.
Image via Town of Herndon
Reston residents will soon be able to track changes in the area’s land and urban development over time.
Fairfax County launched an interactive Reston Transportation Hub in January as the start of the Reston Data Visualization project. The hub features data about vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit developments.
“This will help us capture changes over time,” Beth Elliot, an urban centers section planner for the Department of Planning and Development, told the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during a land use policy committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday).
Right now, the dashboard only features one year of data — specifically, from 2019.
“But in the future, as we add additional data, you’ll be able to see how it’s progressed and where changes have occurred,” Elliot said.
Since its release, the Reston Data Visualization project has continued to evolve as more data becomes available and put into the digital system. Elliot says the planning department hopes to release additional sections of the project in the “next few months.”
“With this tool, our goal is to move towards an interactive format which allows us to present more data than a static format would provide, and utilize current technology compared to a printed document,” Elliot told the board. “We also hope this will allow us to have users access the data they’re specifically interested in, compared to, say, a 200-page report where you’re flipping through trying to figure out which page you care about.”
The additional phases to be rolled out include applications that present information for zoning activity and urban parks in Reston.
Elliot added that the department is planning to develop the Tysons Annual Report into an interactive platform, starting with an upcoming publication in October, as the department coordinates with the agencies responsible for putting together the progress report.
“I have to say, in the month and a half or so since I was briefed on this, it just keeps getting better,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said. “Data is added, and I think this has quite an upside over the years and as data becomes available.”
Discussion to redevelop the Residence Inn at 315 Elden Street in Herndon continues to progress.
In its work session on Tuesday (May 18), the Herndon Town Council agreed to explore the possibility of amending its zoning ordinance to increase the maximum density allowed in planned development urban residential districts for projects that feature an adaptive reuse of existing buildings.
The council will initiate consideration of the proposed text amendment during its public meeting on May 25.
“This step is required to bring it forward to discussion at a public hearing where the language can be refined, and then it comes back to the council for a final vote,” David Stromberg, a zoning administrator for the Town of Herndon, said.
The potential consideration was prompted by a proposal from the property owner of 315 Elden Street to reuse the existing hotel as a multi-family project.
The council took an initial step last November to remedy barriers for the redevelopment when it voted to amend the site’s land use designation from business corridor to adaptive area residential.
However, the multi-family zoning district in the current zoning ordinance doesn’t accommodate the density needed to convert the hotel units into dwelling units. The current maximum density is 20 dwelling units per acre.
The proposed amendment would allow a maximum density of 28 dwelling units per acre for only adaptive reuse projects. New construction would remain at the maximum 20 units per acre.
The Residence Inn property sits on approximately 6.5 acres with 168 hotel rooms, which would result in almost 26 dwelling units per acre.
Stromberg explained that the property owner’s proposal “would contain a significant affordable housing component.” The developer would propose a percentage of affordable units for the reuse project at a later date as part of the zoning map amendment process.
He added the text amendment consideration would include defining “adaptive reuse” and that the text would “specifically state that it’s the intention of the town that property owners seeking to rezone their properties to the plan development urban residential district provide a percentage of those units as dedicated affordable units.”
If the council approves initiating consideration of the amendment, town staff would be required to present it to the planning commission at a public hearing. Then, if the amendment passes through the planning commission, it would return to the council for another public hearing.
Photo via Google Maps
The Reston National Golf Course has launched a new study group to help understand the property’s past and current conditions and future plans for the neighborhood’s natural environment.
Funded by Virginia Investment Partners LLC, which owns the 168-acre golf course, the Reston National Neighborhood Study Group is focusing on six primary categories: open space, amenities, tree canopies, safety, housing costs, and water quality.
The group hosted its first community meeting on May 13 with the Hunters Green community, and at least additional conversations are planned, according to study group leader Greg Hamm.
As founder and president of the real estate planning firm New City Enterprises, Hamm represents the developers Weller Development Cos. and War Horse Cities, which purchased the golf course in 2019.
Hamm says the community conversations are intended to provide transparency for the study group’s work and opportunities for public engagement, particularly with adjacent neighbors like the Hunters Green Cluster, which shares almost six miles of property with the golf course.
“This is a very important piece of property, and it’s a very important topic and issue to many people,” Hamm said. “…It’s a big responsibility on us to really listen, engage and be creative and thoughtful in how we are stewards of this property and this important piece of the community. So, there are going to be lots of ideas, lots of opinions, lots of very important concerns that we have to address.”
The conversations will touch on shared property lines, trees, and the vegetative state of the surrounding property, including how to address invasive plant species, along with other challenges identified by the study group and neighbors.
Other topics include understanding the trail network and engaging in conversation about permanent open spaces, a recurring concern in Reston when it comes to golf courses.
While an effort to update Reston’s comprehensive plan is ongoing, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn has maintained that he would not support amending the plan to allow for development on the area’s two golf courses, though a proposal to build townhomes near the Hidden Creek Country Club course is currently working its way through Fairfax County’s planning process.
Hamm says the Neighborhood Study Group will be guided by the seven founding principles laid out by Reston founder Robert E. Simon.
“We think that keeping in the spirit of Reston and master planning, and community building, there’s some ways we could go about possibly addressing some of these things that could be very positive,” Hamm said.
Hamm added that these conversations will not result in an overnight transformation, but he hopes to encourage an open dialogue so the study group can work with surrounding community members and learn about their concerns or ideas.
“We want to make sure we genuinely thought through and understand the major underpinning issues the community has about our future and their future,” Hamm said. “Part of that is enabling them to understand what’s happening already.”
Photo via Reston National Golf Course/Facebook
Another capital improvement project is moving closer to completion in the Town of Herndon.
The Herndon Town Council unanimously voted in favor of awarding a contract to Fort Myer Construction Corporation for improvements at the Elden and Center streets intersection during its public session on May 11.
Fort Myer submitted a bid of $863,000, the lowest of five bids that the town received for the project.
The project will reconstruct and realign the existing intersection “to incorporate additional turn lanes as well as a new fully operational traffic signal,” Herndon Deputy Director of Public Works John Irish says.
According to the project description, the lane and signal changes will be installed in conjunction with improvements to the existing storm drain system and enhancements to pedestrian facilities located at the intersection, including the addition of brick sidewalks.
The project description states that these enhancements “will assist with the existing and future mixed-use residential development on Center Street which places greater traffic volumes in this project area.”
The project is expected to be completed by 2023.
Up to 50% of the construction contract will be covered by reimbursement funds through a revenue-sharing agreement between Herndon and the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Irish told the council during a work session on May 4 that the cost fell below the $930,000 that had been budgeted for the project.
He added that the plan to make up the half of the costs not supported by revenue-sharing funds is to use local funds collected from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. The NVTA funds come from the 30% local distribution revenue given to localities for transportation projects through House Bill 2313, which was passed in 2013.
The Elden-Center Street project is one of 48 capital projects included in Herndon’s FY 2021 – FY 2026 Capital Improvement Program that was adopted June 9, 2020. Irish says this is the first of several capital improvement projects that will be brought before the town council in the next few months.
Image via Town of Herndon
The potential expansion of Tall Oaks Assisted Living Facility’s parking lot has taken another step.
After earning conceptual approval from the Reston Association Design Review Board on April 20, the facility’s proposed parking lot expansion on North Shore Drive has now gotten a recommendation from Fairfax County’s planning department.
Released on May 5, the staff report includes some conditions but supports the overall expansion plan.
“The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated to staff that the proposed parking will sufficiently meet the parking needs of the facility and has minimized impact to the surrounding area,” the staff report said.
The staff conditions include providing three secure bicycle racks within 200 yards of the building’s front entrance and pre-wiring 2% of the proposed parking spaces for electric vehicle charging stations.
Tall Oaks Assisted Living currently has 44 parking spaces, which matched the requirements of a facility of its size when it was constructed in 1988. However, with 152 beds and 48 employees, it does not meet the county’s current zoning requirement of one parking space for every three beds and one space per employee.
The county’s current regulations require 99 parking spaces for a facility of this size, so Tall Oaks has applied for a waiver to reduce that number to 73 spaces.
The plan for the expanded lot includes five tandem spaces, 12 spaces at the front of the building, 54 spaces along the southern and western edges of the site, and seven spaces at the rear of the building.
“In staff’s opinion, the 99 required parking spaces could create unwanted environmental impacts and would encroach on existing conservation easements,” the staff report said.
The proposal’s environmental impact was a primary concern of RA’s Design Review Board. Tall Oaks estimates it would need to remove 66 trees and 95 shrubs, while only proposing to plant 17 new trees.
The staff report, however, states that the proposed parking layout “will not impact the existing trees.” It further details that a mix of canopy and understory trees, as well as shrubs, are proposed to screen and buffer the site.
“The design now includes one row of parking and a 12-foot wide buffer area between the building and parking area to mitigate noise and light impacts on adjacent units,” the staff report said. “Additionally, the applicant is proposing a mix of deciduous understory and canopy trees that, in combination with the natural topography of the site, will reduce the light impact to the adjacent townhouse community.”
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is slated to host a public hearing and vote on the expansion of Tall Oaks’ parking lot expansion on May 19.
Photo via Google Maps
Reston is now home to an expansion of PuroClean, a national business that specializes in cleaning, restoration, and commercial services.
PuroClean announced on Wednesday (May 5) that entrepreneur and Army veteran Joseph Ortiz is opening the company’s latest franchise, which will primarily provide service in Reston, Herndon, Great Falls, Tysons, and Shady Oaks.
Founded in 2001, PuroClean has more than 325 franchise offices throughout the United States and Canada. The company’s focus is providing a range of cleaning services, including water damage restoration, mold removal, fire and smoke damage restoration, and biohazard and virus cleanup.
The business also offers inspections, demolition, debris removal, and cleaning for carpet, upholstery, air ducts, vents, and tile and grout, along with commercial property restoration services for property owners who suffer large-scale damage.
“We’re happy to announce the expansion of the PuroClean network in Virginia with the opening of PuroClean of Reston. This team is certified and equipped to serve local property owners during their times of need,” PuroClean President and COO Steve White said in a press release.
The Reston franchise brings PuroClean up to five franchises in Northern Virginia. The company also has offices in McLean, Alexandria, Springfield, and Sterling.
“By growing and supporting franchise owners like Joseph across North America, we can help small business owners begin their entrepreneurial journey and serve their local communities,” he added.
Before starting his PuroClean franchise, Ortiz served in the U.S. Army and subsequently worked multiple positions within the aerospace industry. He is also president of the aircraft maintenance company DCJets Services LLC, which he opened in Sterling in 2016.
“As a military veteran, it was a natural transition for me to become a franchise owner at PuroClean, who provides services to people during their times of need throughout Fairfax county,” Ortiz said. “Amid the pandemic, our homes and workplaces are our most personal spaces and if I can help someone save their property, then I’ve completed my duty.”
Photo courtesy PuroClean
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved subleasing the Ellmore Farmhouse in Herndon to the nonprofit ServiceSource on May 4.
The sublease will last 29 years as part of Fairfax County’s Resident Curator Program, which aims “to preserve historic properties by offering long-term leases to qualified tenants who agree to rehabilitate and maintain these historic resources in accordance with established preservation standards,” according to the county.
The decision followed an advertised public hearing on the motion that did not draw any comments from the community.
In accordance with the terms of the resident curator program, ServiceSource will rehabilitate the two-story, 3,300 square-foot house at 2739 West Ox Road while maintaining time-appropriate aspects of the property that was built in 1891.
“During the 29-year term of the sublease, ServiceSource will rehabilitate the building by making ADA compliant improvements, and incorporating green building designs in a manner that respects that late 19th-early 20th century heritage of the structure,” Fairfax County Facilities Management Department Assistant Director Mike Lambert said, reading a staff report to the board.
ServiceSource provides housing, employment, and other support services to people with disabilities and their families. The nonprofit has been in line to take over the Ellmore Farmhouse since 2019.
ServiceSource plans to use the historic property as a “Community Integration Center” that will offer employment for up to 15 adults through an on-site café and handicrafts specialty store.
“This is a really nice property, historic property. This is, I think, another good example and good use of the resident curator program,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said. “[I’m] very pleased this is going forward. I would note I think the resident curator program is still very much a work in progress, but very happy this particular site is working out that way.”
Originally built in 1891, the farmhouse sits on four-and-a-half acres within Frying Pan Farm Park. It is one of six properties in the resident curator program, which is managed by the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Three of the other properties are under rehabilitation — the Hannah P. Clark House in Lorton, the Stempson House in Lorton, and the Turner Farmhouse in Great Falls. The other two RCP properties to be re-advertised are the Ash Grove House and Lahey Lost Valley, which are both located in Vienna.
Photo via Fairfax County Government
September seems like a lifetime away now, but the Reston Community Center has its fingers crossed that the world will be in the mood for a celebration.
RCC announced last week that it is now accepting applications for performing arts groups interested in participating in the 21st annual Reston Multicultural Festival, which is being planned for Sept. 25 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.
“Multicultural Festival applications are being accepted with the sincere hope that we will be able to return to normal operations and come together as a community on September 25 to celebrate the diverse cultures found in and around Reston,” RCC said in a press release.
RCC Community Events Director Kevin Danaher says organizers are taking a “two prong approach” to this year’s festival, essentially planning for two scenarios: one where the event can be held as usual and one where masks, social distancing, and other public health guidelines are still required.
Last year’s festival was canceled due to concerns about the health and safety of vendors, performers, staff, volunteers, and the community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reston Multicultural Festival may be socially distanced this year,” Danaher said. “It will depend on the status of Virginia’s mandates.”
Free and open to all ages, the Reston Multicultural Festival features music, dress, food, and entertainment from different cultures.
Performers can be groups or individuals of all ages and cultures. Performance styles have a religious orientation but “should not be used to proselytize or overtly promote any faith or religion,” RCC says.
Interested individuals and groups can apply through RCC’s website. All applications should include recent video or audio examples of the group’s work.
The festival’s entertainment committee will evaluate the submissions based on artistic merit, production values, evidence of authentic traditions and forms of specific cultures, and general merit, according to the RCC press release.
RCC is also accepting applications for arts and crafts vendors, community organizations and food vendors.
The deadline for all applications is June 18, and selected applicants will be notified by July 16.
Photo courtesy Reston Community Center