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by Dave Emke — October 20, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Chamber: Effort To Woo Amazon ‘Start of Something Great’ — Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, says the partnership between Loudoun and Fairfax counties to try to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to Herndon can be “a model for our economic growth,” no matter what the company decides. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro: Fare Evasion is Serious Issue — Metro says its efforts to ensure no one gets on trains without paying has helped curb serious crime on the system by 20 percent. [Metro Transit Police/Twitter]

Early Metro Hours Sunday for Marathon — Trains will begin rolling Sunday at 6 a.m. to help participants in the 42nd annual Marine Corps Marathon. Extra trains will also be running on the Blue and Yellow lines. [WMATA]

A Look at Mixed-Use Developments in Fairfax County — Earlier this week, Bisnow took a look at several large developments in the works in the county, as it says “developers are increasingly turning the county into a walkable, mixed-use environment.” Included in the profile are several Reston developments, including Reston Station and Tall Oaks. [Bisnow]

Police Warn of Criminals Targeting Garage Door Openers — Police departments in Loudoun and Prince William counties are urging residents to keep their garage door openers out of sight as criminals are stealing them from cars and using them to gain access to homes. Police in Reston have previously warned of similar crimes. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke — October 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 5 Comments

Quake Drill Set for This Morning — The Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill, scheduled for 10:19 a.m. today, is an effort to help families and organizations be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Looking Back at the Reston Home Tour — Six private residences in Reston were opened up to visitors last weekend as part of the Reston Home Tour, which benefitted the Reston Historic Trust and Museum. [Connection Newspapers]

Crash at Reston Kiss and Ride — A Twitter user posted a photo this morning of a vehicle that struck a pillar at the Wiehle-Reston East parking garage. [Twitter/@CompSciGuy31415]

Herndon Town Council Celebrates Veterans — Town residents are encouraged to honor Veterans Day with appropriate events and activities, and take time to pause in silent tribute to veterans. [Connection Newspapers]

Junior Farmer Event at Frying Pan Park — On Thursdays in October, kids are invited to help farmers with their work while exploring subjects such as caring for farm animals, tinkering with farm machinery and the importance of crops and gardens. The topic for tonight’s event at the park (2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon) is harvest time. [Fairfax County]

by Dave Emke — October 18, 2017 at 10:15 am 25 Comments

Citing the great interest the community has shown in the topic, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office has announced additional arrangements for Monday’s meeting on a Fairfax County proposal to increase Reston’s density cap.

The meeting, scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), will be streamed live on Fairfax County’s Channel 16. In addition to being available online, that channel can be found on Comcast, Verizon Fios and Cox cable services on channel 16, as well as through digital television (with QAM tuner) on channel 34-16.

To accommodate for parking difficulties at the school, the county will also be offering a pair of shuttle buses from the parking lot at the Human Services building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive) to the school. The first will leave and 6 p.m. and the last will go at 6:30. Seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, and each trip can take 39 riders.

See the full announcement from Hudgins’ office here.

Next week’s meeting was scheduled after a planned meeting last month at Lake Anne Elementary School was called off when a large number of people — estimated at more than 400 — showed up to oppose the plan, which county officials said breached the fire code.

The occupancy limit for the SLHS cafeteria is 668 when tables are present, though it can hold up to 1,280 if the several dozen large tables are removed.

The proposal from the county would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.) The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for possible major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

The county’s Department of Planning and Zoning says the change to the density cap is necessary to make way for growth that is expected after Reston’s Master Plan was updated by Fairfax County in 2014 and 2015 to guide redevelopment in Transit Station Areas, Town Center and village centers.

“A full buildout would not necessarily ever be reached, and if it even approaches that point, it wouldn’t do so quickly,” said Cathy Belgin of the county DPZ’s Zoning Administration Division, of the potential population growth, at a meeting in May. “But staff feels it is important, because the Master Plan takes a long look forward in time, that the regulations should be aligned accordingly for there to be the opportunity.”

More information about the proposal is available at Fairfax County’s website.

File photo from Sept. 25 meeting

by Dave Emke — October 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Opioid Roundtable Planned — The discussion, scheduled for the Fairfax County Government Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be hosted by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event is open to the public. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Reston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Gang-Related Killing — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, entered pleas to abduction and gang participation Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was among 10 members and associates of the gang MS-13 charged after the January killing of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas. She may face up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. [Washington Post]

Herndon Adds Parking Enforcement Position — The part-time officer was hired Oct. 3 and will work 30 hours a week, which has at least one resident worried about “end[ing] up like Reston Town Center.” [Connection Newspapers]

Silver Line Phase 2 Hits Two-Thirds Point — More than 5 million hours have been spent on the $2.78 billion project so far, according to updates expected to be presented today to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke — October 17, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Reston’s DRB Meets Tonight — Among items on the Design Review Board’s agenda are specific aspects of the upcoming redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center. [Reston Now]

Children’s Art on Display at RCC — The mixed media exhibit “The World in the Eyes of Children” is on display at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) until Nov. 5. [Reston Community Center/Instagram]

Body Camera Pilot Program Proposed by FCPD — If approved by the county Board of Supervisors next month, officers in the Mason and Mount Vernon districts may begin the 90-day program as early as February. [Fairfax Times]

New School in Herndon To Be Discussed — The Hunter Mill Land Use Committee will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive, Herndon). To be discussed is a proposal from the Fairfax County Board of Education to construct a new three-story school building on the site. McNair Elementary currently serves grades K-6. In the plan, the existing school would serve K-3 and the new building would take grades 4-6. [Hunter Mill Highlights]

Seahawks Up One in Post Poll — Following their 44-0 win over Washington-Lee last week, the South Lakes High School football team settles in at No. 13 in the area rankings. They had been ranked No. 14 the previous week. The 6-1 Seahawks return home Friday night to play McLean. [Washington Post]

by Dave Emke — October 16, 2017 at 1:30 pm 6 Comments

At its meeting tonight (agenda), Reston’s Planning & Zoning Committee will hear presentations on three major upcoming projects.

Two projects are scheduled to be voted upon at the meeting:

  • Renaissance Centro 1801 LLC — Currently the 1.51-acre home of a three-story office building, 1801 Old Reston Ave. has been proposed by property owner Renaissance Centro as the site of a 20-story high rise with up to 150 living units. Of those units, 126 would be market-rate and 24 would be workforce dwelling. This project has a Dec. 6 hearing scheduled with the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
  • Kensington Senior Development LLC — Currently the home of Good Beginnings School, 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive is proposed as the new home of a senior-living facility. The 65,000-square-foot building would include 96 beds within 70 units. This project has a Nov. 30 hearing scheduled with the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

The committee is also scheduled to hear an informational presentation on the CRS Sunset Hills LC project. Comstock Partners plans to convert the Sunset Hills Professional Center, a one-story office condo complex at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mixed-use development featuring approximately 460 residential units and 40,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The project would also include two parcels to the east, known as the “Kfoury Parcels,” which would be developed to add approximately 300,000 square feet of office uses. Comstock also plans for an approximately 400,000-square-foot full-service hotel and 80 high-end residential units on another adjacent property. In total, the planned project includes about 1.24 million square feet of proposed redevelopment, exclusive of affordable-housing provision bonuses.

That project does not yet have a county hearing scheduled.

Tonight’s Reston P&Z Committee meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

File image of 1801 Old Reston Ave.

by Dave Emke — October 16, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

According to its Facebook page, the former Bike Lane Brewing in Loudoun County has changed its name.

The brewery (101 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg), which was challenged by The Bike Lane in Reston for having a similar name, will now be known as Bike TrAle Brewing. In addition, its scheduled opening date has been pushed back a week to Oct. 28 to accommodate for the change.

Earlier this month, the owners of The Bike Lane (11943 Democracy Drive) announced they would seek legal action to bar the brewery from using its originally planned name.

“We feel that having a business named so similar and located on the same trail (the W&OD), only a few miles away, will confuse both our current and future customers,” wrote co-owners Anne and Todd Mader in a letter to customers. “This company has refused to change their name, so we are left with no other option than to ask the courts to have them change their name.”

The brewery’s location is about 1/4-mile from where the W&OD Trail crosses King Street in Leesburg. Its Facebook page was updated Saturday announcing the name change.

The Bike Lane, which has announced it will soon leave Reston Town Center, plans to stay near the W&OD Trail in Reston when it moves. As part of the move, the Maders say, they will expand to include their own micro-brewery and coffee house. This further complicated matters with the new Leesburg brewery, they say.

Bike TrAle Brewing co-owner Greg Perlberg previously told Reston Now that The Bike Lane had been threatening his business with legal action for months, and that he was not “cordially asked” to change the name as the Maders asserted in their letter.

Perlberg applied for a trademark to the name “Bike Lane Brewing” in July 2016. The Bike Lane, which also operates a shop in Springfield, is trademarked under the name Fairfax Cyclery Inc. t/a The Bike Lane.

by Dave Emke — October 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 14 Comments

Biden Stumps for Northam in Reston — During a roundtable discussion Saturday in Reston Town Center along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, the former Vice President emphasized the importance of state politics at a time when he said the federal government has faltered in its responsibilities. Current Vice President Mike Pence was also in Virginia on Saturday, joining Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie on the campaign trail in Abingdon. [The Hill]

‘Light the Night’ Raises Funds for Leukemia Research — The walk Friday night at Reston Town Center was part of a campaign expected to raise $3 million in the fight against blood cancers. [FOX5]

County’s Earners On Par with Manhattan’s, Nation’s Wealthiest — Forbes magazine analyzed U.S. Census data to determine where the highest wage-earners in the nation live. Fairfax County tied with Manhattan for the highest percentage of resident full-time workers making over $75,000, at 49.2 percent. [Forbes]

Police Auditor, Review Panel Taking Complaints — Use of excessive force, abusive language, harassment, reckless endangerment and more concerns about Fairfax County police officers can now be submitted using an online form. [Fairfax County]

King Gets on the Stat Sheet — The Cleveland Browns fell to 0-6 on the season with a 33-17 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, but South Lakes High School football alumnus Deon King did get on the stat sheet. Playing on special teams, King recorded a tackle of Texans’ punt returner Will Fuller V in the third quarter of the game. [ESPN]

by Dave Emke — October 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Golf Fundraiser Pays Legal Fees in Open Space Fight — Rescue Reston’s recent event at Reston National Golf Course raised money to go toward paying off the $153,000 in legal fees the group has incurred fighting its battle to protect the course from development. [Connection Newspapers]

County Celebrates High-Rise Construction Safety — “The cranes in Reston and Tysons are the most dramatic sign that parts of our county are changing into a more urban environment. Before these new high-rise buildings are built, years of planning go into making sure they are safe for the occupants and the community.” [Fairfax County]

Firefighters Support Breast Cancer Awareness — In an effort to heighten awareness in the fight against breast cancer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department employees have been authorized to wear FRD-issued pink T-shirts while on duty from Oct. 9-23. The shirts are worn as a symbol of support and recognition for all those who have been touched by breast cancer. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Preparedness Event Slated for Saturday — The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management is partnering with numerous county agencies and other partners, such as the American Red Cross, to host a Preparedness Awareness Weekend (PAW) event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive, Fairfax). [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Digital-Media Company Moves Into New Town Center Home — Intermarkets, a Reston-based digital-media company whose portfolio includes The Drudge Report and The Political Insider, is now headquartered on the 11th floor of Reston Town Center’s One Freedom Square. [Virginia Business]

by Dave Emke — October 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm 8 Comments

At its meeting Tuesday night (agenda), Reston’s Design Review Board will discuss specific plans for the residential and commercial aspects of the upcoming Tall Oaks Village Center redevelopment.

The project was last brought before the DRB in August, at which time the general landscape and architecture plans for the project were approved. Next week, the developers will be looking for approval of several other aspects of the plans, including the final landscape plan, the comprehensive sign plan, the lighting plan and material specifications.

Included in the final landscape plans is exercise and playground equipment, as well as a putting green. Site furnishings up for discussion include artistic bike racks and custom bus shelters. Three entry signs and a directional sign will be considered as well.

See the full residential presentation from applicant Jefferson Apartment Group and architect KTGY here.

The redevelopment plans call for 156 homes (a mix of townhomes, 2-over-2 townhomes and multifamily buildings), community space, 8,500 square foot of retail and about 6,000 square feet of office space. The end result will be the first such overhaul of one of Reston’s original village centers.

The 70,000-square-foot center was 86 percent empty by the time the redevelopment was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2016. Jefferson had conducted a market study that showed attracting a new retail anchor was not an option.

by Dave Emke — October 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 11 Comments

An approved plan for massive development of the Commerce Executive Park near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station may be at a fork in the road, the Washington Business Journal reports.

According to the WBJ, JBG Smith is marketing the 12-acre property Commerce Executive Park to prospective buyers. JBG Smith took ownership of the property — south of the Dulles Toll Road and at the northwest corner of the Sunrise Valley Drive/Wiehle Avenue intersection — from Vornado Realty Trust earlier this year as part of the recent merger of JBG Cos. and Vornado’s D.C. business unit, Charles E. Smith.

The three existing six-story office buildings would remain in the redevelopment plan, but the rest would be transformed into a live-work-dine-shop destination for those who want to be close to Metro and Reston’s busy business corridor. The new buildup would include towering buildings that would be among the tallest in Reston:

  • a 22-story, 275-foot-tall office building
  • a 24-story, 255-foot-tall residential building with up to 300 dwelling units
  • a 14-story, 165-foot-tall hotel with 175 rooms
  • a 7-story, 100-foot-tall residential building with up to 200 dwelling units

The plans also include a total of 1.5 acres of open space, with small parks, bicycle tracks and a promenade along the businesses, and would feature public art including a water feature.

According to the WBJ report, the fact that CBRE is marketing the properties for JBG Smith doesn’t necessarily mean a sale is imminent or will even happen at all.

by Dave Emke — October 12, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Public Meeting Tonight on Unfunded Transportation Projects — Fairfax County Department of Transportation officials are seeking public input on nearly 300 transportation projects that are vying for roughly $100 million in funding. Local residents can provide feedback on proposed projects at a public meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). The meeting will include a formal presentation about unfunded projects and a question-and-answer session. [Reston Now]

Be Alert for Deer on Roadways — Police are urging residents to be alert and aware of the potential for deer to dart into the road in front of their vehicles. About half of all deer-vehicle collisions occur during the months of October, November and December, they say. [Fairfax County Police Department]

County Rape Suspect Arrested in West Virginia — Eusebio Romero-Rivera, 48, is believed to have fled the state after a warrant was issued for his arrest on a charge of raping an adult family member in August. The U.S. Marshals Service says Romero-Rivera, a Salvadoran national, had previously been deported and had re-entered the country illegally. [The (Martinsburg, W.Va.) Journal]

Learn About Lyme Disease Tonight — The National Capital Lyme Disease Association will host a panel discussion on the topic tonight, 7:30-9:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). [NatCapLyme]

Herndon Welcomes South Korean Guests — Herndon’s mayor and Town Council exchanged gifts, including a ceremonial Town Key, with the South Korean visitors, who were guests of Grandmaster H.K. Lee Academy of TaeKwonDo. [Connection Newspapers]

Local Military Veteran Dies in Texas — Carl Bolle, a 1977 graduate of Herndon High School, served 20 years in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of sergeant first class. Among his medals, he earned the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. After retiring, he worked as a contractor in the computer intelligence area at Fort Hood for 16 years. [Temple Daily Telegram]

by RestonNow.com — October 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 59 Comments

Major upgrades to swimming pools are proposed in the budget that is under discussion by the Reston Association Board of Directors.

Expenses for work on the RA pool facilities included in the proposed 2018-2019 Capital Projects List total: $362,378 for swimming pools and $287,639 pool buildings in 2018; and $972,209 for swimming pools and $158,256 for pool buildings in 2019.

All 15 RA pool facilities have projects listed in the proposed list. By far the most expensive is work on the Lake Thoreau pool, totaling just over $1 million.

The $1.8 million in proposed work on all pool facilities equates to 26.6 percent of the $6.7 million funding allotted for the Capital Projects List. The proposed budget also allots a total of $2.9 million for the Repair and Replacement Reserve (RRR) Fund, out of the $14.3 million in total overall expenses.

Some other big ticket items on the project list include:

  • $2,321,359 for lakes, ponds and dams
  • $465,000 for boat docks at Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau
  • $406,658 for tennis courts
  • $379,318 for asphalt trails
  • $313,658 for vehicles and equipment

The next opportunity for Restonians to provide feedback to RA directors about the biennial budget is this Sunday. The RA is hosting a “community drop-in” at the Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) from 10-11:30 a.m.

The RA Board has been discussing the budget since this summer in order to reach agreement before a November deadline. Sridhar Ganesan, RA Board at-large director and treasurer, questioned the various costs of the swimming pool facility repairs during some of those discussions, including at a special budget session last month (video).

“Plumbing in one facility isn’t going to be the same costs as the other, just because of the differences in configuration and size,” Garrett Skinner, RA director of capital improvement planning and projects, said in response. “All of those numbers were also vetted through contractors. Especially the pool buildings and swimming pool members. We had contractors come out and go physically through each one of the sites, look at what we have scheduled that needs to be done and determine costs based on that.”

Skinner, who was hired in January, also emphasized that some of the repairs were not anticipated in the association’s capital reserve study the was last performed in 2015. The study tracks needed maintenance and upgrades for RA-owned facilities. Instead, the repairs on the swimming pool facilities were proposed to be done during the next two years because the systems had broken down in some way.

“We’re doing it because it wasn’t in the reserve study for example; you’re doing it because something broke down?” Ganesan asked.

Skinner said Ganesan was correct, adding that the maintenance is necessary.

“Not all of these things were appropriately identified in the reserve study, but we still have to maintain them and repair them,” he said.

The first public hearing on the proposed budget will be Oct. 26 during a regular board meeting. A second hearing is scheduled Oct. 30 during a special meeting of the board. The board will vote on the budget and the annual member assessment rate Nov. 16 during a regular board meeting.

by Dave Emke — October 11, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

A Syrian opposition filmmaker, who resides in Reston, was apparently the target of an assassination attempt Tuesday in Istanbul.

According to the Middle East Eye, Muhammad Bayazid was stabbed in the chest while meeting potential investors for his new film project, which focuses on Syria’s notorious Tadmor prison. The film tells the story of a Syrian-American man unjustly imprisoned and tortured there.

The prison was destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015.

Bayazid’s LinkedIn page shows he lives in Reston and is owner of DC-based LightArt Media Productions.

He and his wife, Samah Safi Bayazid, have a short film scheduled to be shown in Reston later this month as part of the Washington West Film Festival. “Fireplace” will be shown Oct. 27 and 28 at Bowtie Cinemas (11940 Market St.). Bayazid and his wife are advertised to be participating in question-and-answer sessions following the screenings.

According to the description of that film:

Inspired by true events. It is Christmas Eve in Syria. A small kid plays hide and seek with his dad, picking the most unexpected place to hide — the fireplace. As a jet fighter bombards the house, the fireplace stands. But now, the child finds himself trapped and alone.

Bayazid is in intensive care following the attack, the BBC reports.

by Dave Emke — October 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 23 Comments

Biden To Be in Reston on Saturday — The former Vice President will host a roundtable discussion on workforce development Saturday in Reston along with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. The event, to be held at Reston Town Center co-working space Refraction (11911 Freedom Drive), will highlight Northam’s jobs plan. [NBC Washington]

Police Help Young Drivers — Officers help teenage drivers learn how to handle themselves on the roadway and what to do in certain situations during the “Youthful Driver Program” every Saturday at the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Vienna, Herndon Among Top 5 Virginia Towns in Survey — A website for business professionals ranked incorporated cities and towns in Virginia based on factors including poverty level, unemployment rate and median household income. It names Vienna the “Most Successful” in the state, with Herndon coming in at No. 5. [Zippia]

County’s Fall Book Festival Kicks Off — The county’s library system is offering residents the opportunity to meet numerous authors today through Saturday as part of the “Fall for the Book” festival. [Fairfax County Public Library]

Community Center To Host Cabaret Singer — Beverly Cosham will perform Thursday afternoon at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road). [Reston Community Center]

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