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Hunters Woods Retirement Community to Add 200 Jobs to Reston

senior living community at Hunters Woods will kick off next week the first of three job fairs for 200 jobs ahead of its opening this year.

Currently under construction near the Hunters Woods Village Center, Hunters Woods at Trails Edge (2222 Colts Neck Road) is on track for its spring opening, Reston Now previously reported.

The IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 91 independent living units, 80 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs. A temporary office and showroom opened last year at the Hunters Woods Shopping Center (2254B Colts Neck Road) to provide more information.

The jobs range from working with the hospitality to maintenance teams, according to a press release.

Positions are open in the following fields:

  • Resident Wellness: LPN supervisor, medication associate, resident wellness associate
  • Dining Experience: chef, associate, server, porter
  • Hospitality: lead associate, associate, executive associate, laundry associate
  • LifeStages (Activities): life styles associate, transportation associate
  • Maintenance: painting and maintenance associate, safety and maintenance associate

The job fairs will take place:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: 1-6:30 p.m. at the showroom
  • Thursday, March 7: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the NOVA Medical Education Campus in Springfield
  • Saturday, March 16: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the showroom

The retirement community will include multiple dining venues, resident gardens, several fitness centers, a juried art gallery and a movie theater, according to the press release.

Rendering by Moseley Architects

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Reston Association Vacates Tall Oaks Village Center Easement

The Reston Association’s Board of Directors voted in favor of vacating its existing pathway easement at the Tall Oaks Village Center at the request of the site’s developer.

The site is currently getting redeveloped by Stanley Martin Companies into a residential community that will include a public green space next to commercial space and a new pathway.

Since the approved development plans require public access throughout the site, the developer asked RA to give up its existing easement, which RA has had since the original development of the site.

RA’s pathway easement spanned the underpass from the Tall Oaks pool through the commercial area and extended to the northeast area near the Tall Oaks Fellowship House, according to the meeting’s draft agenda.

The discussion and vote on the developer’s ask was one of the fastest agenda items tackled at the meeting yesterday (Feb. 21), taking roughly 30 minutes.

Image via Reston Association/YouTube

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Friday Morning Notes

Meet the RA candidates: The Reston Association recently uploaded a video that introduces the five unopposed candidates. [YouTube]

Save the date — Founder’s Day is set for April 6 at Lake Anne Plaza. The annual event celebrates Reston’s founding. [Reston Historic Trust and Musuem]

Rolling in the money — Reston-based GoCanvas recently secured an investment of more than $150 million from K1 Investment Management. “With the investment, GoCanvas will accelerate enhancements to the platform, scale global operations to meet increasing customer demand, increase brand awareness, and grow worldwide sales.” [Business Wire]

File photo

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RA’s Design Review Board OKs South Lakes HS Teens’ Sculpture Plans

Reston Association’s Design Review Board approved a conceptual design for a sculpture by South Lakes High School’s STEAM Team Art Club.

Four female students from the club described the plans for the sculpture, which would be roughly 10 feet tall and be located by Lake Thoreau, along with showing the board a small model.

The artwork is meant to explore the idea of people’s originality by using various sizes of cubes to represent individuals and how they interact with each other. Color on the inside of the cubes represents each person’s genuineness, while the black facade symbolizes masks that people put on in society, the students said.

For building materials, the teens said that they want to repurpose wooden beams from a sculpture from a few years ago for the cubes. The students said the design may also need an airplane cable for wire, galvanized metal poles for the stilts that the largest cube rests on, large panels of frosted strataglass and light projection onto the panels.

The students said they are still considering the color scheme, having wires criss-cross within the cubes and adding a kinetic element via sails made with wire and nylon in the boxes.

Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, said that this design was stronger than last year’s project because it keeps a “dynamic quality” as people circle the sculpture.

Newlon and several other board members debated the placement of the sculpture’s little cube on top.

“The little box on top — you need to really think about that and where is that box going to go,” Newlon said. “It looks like an afterthought at the rear like it is. Maybe it needs to be a little bit more prominent somewhere.”

The students said that they also had two alternative ideas for where the small cube on top could go — including one where the cube is placed at the base of the sculpture. Ultimately, though, they stressed that they want to sculpture to have a motion of rising up instead of heavy cubes on the ground.

“I love it and I definitely love the cube on top,” Land Planner and Landscape Architect Member Grace Peters told the students.

The board members also had other design input.

Peters added that she wasn’t sure if the sculpture would need lights projected onto it, but does like the incorporation of color in the design.

Member Charlie Hoffman said he wanted more from the sign. “The sign along the path was kind of small and pathetic and not really noticeable,” Hoffman said. “Is there a chance to get one that is more of an eye-catcher?”

After the South Lakes High School students, the board granted an appeal by a male resident who lives across by the Primrose School of Reston (1309 N. Village Road) to reconsider the school’s fencing.

Several members of the board agreed with the assertion that the fencing looks like temporary screening for construction sites.

W. Neal Roseberry, the board’s vice chair and architect member, said that he wants the school to provide green or black full weave at the full height of the fence with slats through the chain link. “I don’t think what’s been installed rises to the level of workmanship suggested in the design guidelines.”

The resident also wanted to challenge a red plastic fire truck in the playground, arguing that both the fence and the fire truck do not fit in with the natural environment and residential area. The board did not take up the fire truck appeal.

Images via Reston Association/YouTube

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Former Planning Commissioner Joins Democrats Vying for Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s Seat

Former Fairfax County Planning Commissioner Walter Alcorn is the latest Democrat to join a crowded race to replace Cathy Hudgins as the Hunter Mill District Supervisor.

Hudgins revealed late in January that she won’t seek re-election to theFairfax County Board of Supervisors, joining a growing list of board members retiring, including current Chairman Sharon Bulova.

Alcorn, a self-described environmental professional, announced his campaign last Monday (Feb. 11). He is running on a broad platform that ranges from supporting revisions to Reston’s comprehensive plan in 2020 to reviewing school funding.

His top issues on his campaign website are the following:

  • growth
  • schools
  • community
  • environment
  • public safety
  • affordable housing
  • transportation

Alcorn has a mix of experience in the private sector and county government.

He is currently the vice president for environmental affairs and industry sustainability at the Consumer Electronics Association, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, he worked at Alcorn Consulting and at SAIC for about 10 years.

In 2015 Alcorn was appointed by Bulova to the county’s Park Authority Board. His term expired at the end of 2017. Prior to that, he had served on the county’s Planning Commission and worked as a policy aide in the Providence District supervisor’s office, Reston Now previously reported.

On the community level, he was a former president of the Herndon High School PTSA.

Alcorn has received endorsements from Bulova; Democratic State Sen. Jennifer Boysko, who used to represent Herndon in the Virginia House of Delegates; and U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who was the county board chairman before Bulova.

Alcorn plans to hold a campaign kickoff event on Saturday (Feb. 23) at 2 p.m. in the new community room at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston (12196 Sunset Hills Road).

Alcorn will face the three other Democrats — Parker Messick, Laurie Dodd and Shyamali Hauth — vying for the seat at the June 11 Democratic primary.

Photo via Walter Alcorn/Facebook

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RA to Weigh Developer’s Ask With New Path at Tall Oaks Redevelopment

The Reston Association’s Board of Directors is set to consider at its meeting Thursday night a developer’s request that the RA vacates its existing pathway easement at the Tall Oaks Village Center site.

Stanley Martin Companies currently is redeveloping the former village center into a residential community with townhomes and condominiums. Part of the new project will have a public green space next to commercial space and a new pathway.

Since the approved development plans require public access throughout the site, the developers now want RA to give up its existing easement because the planned path is located elsewhere.

“Since the original development of the Village Center, Reston Association has had a pathway easement through the site, starting at the underpass from Tall Oaks Pool, through the commercial area and extending to the northeast near the Tall Oaks Fellowship House,” according to the draft agenda.

Additionally, Stanley Martin has also said that the homeowners’ association for the site will take care of the new walkway, which takes away RA’s maintenance obligations. RA staff estimates that vacating the easement will result in long-term budget savings.

The board is also set to vote on a series of questions that will give the RA’s Governance Committee further guidance for changing the power structure of RA’s key staff.

The resolution before the board will address specifically RA’s legal counsel, chief financial officer, director of finance, controller, chief operating officer and the authority of the board’s chief executive officer. Currently, RA’s bylaws say that the chief executive officer controls personnel and compensation schedules, along with hiring and firing responsibilities.

The RA is also scheduled to discuss the recent contentious PRC zoning ordinance amendment, which the county’s Planning Commission recently recommended that the county’s board deny, along with the monthly report from the treasurer.

The meeting starts at 6:30 at the Central Services Facility (12250 Sunset Hills Road).

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Thursday Morning Notes

FCPS delays opening — The county’s public schools will open two hours late today after being closed yesterday as a snowstorm hit. [FCPS]

Dogs in the snow — ICYMI: “Locals put their photography skills to use for the snow-covered landscape, with some catching pets and cross-country skiing on camera.” [Reston Now, Reston Now Instagram]

Spruced up Safeway — “The Great Falls Safeway at 9881 Georgetown Pike reopened after renovations with a ribbon cutting on Saturday, Feb. 16.” [McLean Patch]

Blood pressure PSA — Did you know kids can have high blood pressure? The American Heart Association has a short video about health screenings to protect kids. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Photo via @greatfallsva/Instagram

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Report: Road Salt Hurts Reston Streams, Environment

Road salt may have a hand in the recent spikes of chloride concentrations in Reston streams, along with a slew of environmental issues.

Doug Britt, a member of the Reston Association’s Environmental Advisory Committee, recently examined environmental harm caused by de-icing agents including sodium chloride and dove into results from monitoring Difficult Run and Sugarland Run with fellow Restonians.

Britt wrote that measurements of the chloride concentrations at the two sites were taken before this year’s first storm and then again after road salting for the first two snowstorms. He found that the chloride concentrations at both sites increased fourfold from the first measurement, which he said was within the normal range for North American streams.

The monitoring efforts were a part of a larger program initiated by the Izaak Walton League of America to encourage “citizen scientists” to examine local streams before and after road salting.

Britt, a Virginia Master Naturalist member, wrote that higher chloride concentrations in lakes and ponds can halt the bottom and top waters from mixing, which then leads to less oxygen in deeper areas. Too much chloride can reach toxic levels for aquatic life.

“Although there are a number of alternative de-icing agents available, sodium chloride as a brine solution appears to have the least negative environmental impact when considering the full life cycle of its production and application,” the report says. “Sodium chloride, nevertheless, can generate a host of environmental problems.”

Britt’s report analyzed several of those impacts, which included:

  • water quality
  • soil
  • pets
  • wildlife
  • roadside vegetation
  • infrastructure

Britt says that these environmental concerns aren’t unique to Reston.

“Chloride concentrations in Fairfax County surface waters have steadily increased for the past 25 years, consistent with the use of de-icing agents,” Britt wrote.

Britt ended his report on information about the next step: action.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality is currently developing a Salt Management Strategy planning process aimed at keeping chloride levels below the amount that starts to ruin the water, the report says.

The department also had had in a 2018 report included suggested options to optimize de-icing agents and the way they are applied to reduce environmental impacts, Britt wrote.

“Meanwhile, as individuals and business owners we should be cognizant of the potential environmental impacts associated with the application of de-icing agents,” Britt wrote, adding that it is important to balance public safety with environmental damage.

Photo via Reston Association

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Democrat Ibraheem Samirah Wins 86th District Seat

Democrat Ibraheem Samirah, a dentist from Herndon, was sworn into the Virginia House of Delegates this morning after winning the election for the 86th District Seat.

He joins Del. Sam Rasoul as the second Muslim — they are both Democrats — in Virginia’s General Assembly, according to a press release from his campaign.

Samirah, who is the son of Palestinian refugees, was separated from his father in middle school when his father was barred from re-entering the U.S.

The special election yesterday (Feb. 19) to fill now-State Sen. Jennifer Boysko’s former seat was the first time Virginia voters took to the polls after a series of scandals erupted in the state, starting with unearthed racist photos on Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook.

The scandals continued with sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and with Attorney General Mark Herring’s admission that he wore blackface. News reports revealed that Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-James City County) was a top editor of a yearbook that included photos of people in blackface and racial slurs.

Before the special election, Samirah faced attacks after a conservative website published two of his social media posts from five years ago, including one where he said sending money to Israel was worse than sending it to the Ku Klux Klan, according to news reports.

Samirah apologized for the posts, which he said were used in “a slander campaign questioning my views on Israel and my Jewish friends,” in a two-page statement posted on Facebook.

“I am so sorry that my ill-chosen words added to the pain of the Jewish community and I seek your understanding and compassion as I prove to you our common humanity,” the statement said.

Samirah was just shy of receiving 60 percent of the votes, according to unofficial results from Virginia’s Department of Elections.

Republican Gregg Nelson, a U.S. Air Force veteran, received 34 percent of the votes and Connie Haines Hutchinson, a former vice mayor of the Herndon Town Council who ran as an Independent, received almost 6 percent of the votes.

In total, 6,283 people voted in the special election.

Boysko took to Twitter to congratulate Samirah on his win.

Samirah ran a campaign focused on healthcare, transportation and education.

Now in office, Samirah is planning “to build on the 2018 Virginia Medicaid expansion and bringing healthcare costs down across the state by ensuring that the healthcare marketplace is competitive and accessible to all,” according to the press release.

Photos from the Virginia House Democrats on Twitter show Samirah being sworn in today.

Photo via Samirah for Delegate/Facebook

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Wednesday Morning Notes

It’s snow joke — Heavy snow can be a health risk. The fire department has safety tips for shoveling snow. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Blockchain investment — “Fairfax County Retirement Systems has released details about its investment in a blockchain fund, seemingly to quell fears about the Virginia municipality’s two pension funds taking on exposure to cryptocurrency.” [CoinDesk]

Profile of a Restonian — “A Reston native and 2008 McLean High School graduate is serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NSTCP) in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.” The Fairfax County Times profiled Lt. Michael Hughes, who is a Navy submarine officer within the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations. [Fairfax County Times]

County chair contender — Alicia Plerhoples announced on Friday that she suspended her Fairfax County School Board campaign to run for the Board of Supervisors’ chair instead. [Mailchimp]

Clarabridge nears revenue goal — “In the two years since the veteran software executive took over as the third CEO of the Reston company, [CEO Mark Bishof] has reorganized the workforce, reached profitability and topped $80 million in revenue on the way to $100 million — buoyed by what he said is the recent strength in the customer experience industry.” [Washington Business Journal]

Theatre nabs nominations — Herndon’s NextStop Theatre Company received two Helen Hayes nominations — the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Jacob Yeh in “East of Eden” and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play for Mary Myers in “45 Plays for 45 Presidents.” [Washington Theatre Guide]

Photo via @billwhe67/Twitter

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Plans Move Forward to Revamp Herndon’s South Elden Street Area

The Herndon Town Council is moving forward with a planned makeover for an area of South Elden Street that currently has aging shopping centers and a mix of retail, residential and office space.

The area set for revitalization runs along Elden Street from Worldgate Drive to Sterling Road. Currently, the area includes the Dulles Park Shopping Center, Parkway Shopping Center and Elden Street Marketplace Shopping Center. 

The Town Council has been working since 2017 to create a plan for the area, which will serve as a guide for future land use decisions.

The plan is broken into five tiers.

The first tier, which is above Dulles Park Court, and the third tier, which includes the area surrounding Alabama Drive — excluding the Dulles Park Shopping Center, would have similar zoning.

The second tier, southwest of Herndon Parkway and above the Kohl’s, would transform from office space to two-over-twos and townhouses.

Meanwhile, tier four, which includes the Parkway Shopping Center and area east of Elden Street and south of Herndon Parkway, and the last tier — the Elden Street Marketplace Shopping Center — would keep some of the commercial space, with tier five adding up to 45 multifamily units per acre.

Ultimately, the Herndon Town Council wants the area to have greater connectivity to the Metro, add more residential units, provide a diversity of housing and incorporate sustainable design. 

Councilmember Jennifer Baker said the plan “has been a long time coming.” Baker stressed that this plan will set up an outline of what the Town of Herndon wants from businesses and developers.

The Town Council adopted the plan as a Comprehensive Plan amendment at its public hearing on Tuesday (Feb. 12).

Noe Flores, Jr, a Herndon resident and vice president of the Four Season Homeowners Association, told the council that he wants some clarification about the “super exciting” proposal.

Flores said during the public hearing that the two-over-twos should have a capped height stated and that more information is needed to get “an idea of what makes the land use more sustainable now under the proposed plan in the presentation than it currently it is.”

Jay Hadlock, a Herndon resident, said the plan needs to make sure that it balances retail and residential or “or you’re going to have one business after another fail and you’ll have empty storefronts.”

Councilmember Pradip Dhakal added that mixed-use developments can help lessen the impact of any future economic downturns. Still, Dhakal said the Town of Herndon is grappling with how to grow and build without losing what makes it unique.

“We are in a situation where we have to balance two things right now,” Dhakal said. “We are proud of having Herndon as a small town so we are in a continual pressure to maintain the small town presence. We have to be ready for increasing demand of people moving in with residential need and business need.”

Councilmember Cesar del Aguila reminded everyone at the public hearing that the plan is still a skeleton of a draft. With more work left to go, del Aguila urged residents to keep submitting comments and suggestions.

“The worst thing we can do is make decisions within an echo chamber, within a bubble,” he said.

Future steps include adopting zoning map amendments and holding Architectural Review Board hearings.

Construction could begin as soon as late 2020.

Image via Google Maps

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Fatal Herndon car crash on Saturday — “Detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying two victims from this morning’s [Feb. 16] fatal single vehicle crash.  Officers responded to the crash around 4:26 a.m. on southbound Route 28 near the McLearen Road exit.” [Fairfax County Police Department]

Winter storm on its way — Heads up for tomorrow: expect sleet, ice and several inches of snow. The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from 1 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 20). [National Weather Service]

Bus meeting tonight — The rescheduled meeting for public input on local bus service provided by Fairfax Connector in the Herndon-Reston area will take place from 6-8 p.m. tonight at the Herndon Senior Center (873 Grace Street). [DC Commute Times]

Election for 86th District seat — Voting today will decide the replacement for now-State Sen. Jennifer Boysko’s former seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. The county has information about where, when and how to vote in the special election. [Fairfax County]

Interactive show at Great Falls Senior Center — The Great Falls Senior Center welcomes back Mary Ann Jung’s interactive show today. Jung, who has been recreating historical women for more than 30 years, will portray Margaret Brent, a colonial woman who was America’s first female landowner, lawyer and first to demand the vote in the 1640s. Lunch will be provided. [Great Falls Senior Center]

Rolling in the money — “[Reston-based] Sequoia Holdings Inc., a leading provider of software and cloud engineering services for the U.S. intelligence community, has received an equity investment from Chart National, L.P., a New York-based private equity fund with deep relationships within the intelligence community and the U.S. Department of Defense.” [Business Wire]

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Valentine’s Day Morning House Fire Displaces Herndon Residents

A fire that broke out in a Herndon townhouse on Valentine’s Day has left two people displaced and caused roughly $115,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters responded to the fire at a two-story, end-unit townhouse in the 2100 block of Oram Place shortly after 4 a.m. yesterday (Feb. 14), according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.

Crews saw smoke when they arrived on the scene and “quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement,” the fire department said.

The two people in the townhouse evacuated after smelling an odor of smoke and called 9-1-1. They accepted assistance from the Red Cross.

Fire investigators say an electrical malfunction in the furnace caused the fire in the basement by accident.

No one has reported injuries.

Image via Google Maps

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Friday Morning Notes

Google moving in Reston — “The Mountain View, California-based company is close to announcing plans to move from Reston Town Center to 1900 Reston Metro Plaza, the trophy office building Comstock Holding Cos. Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fox Mill Road now open — A car crash and downed pole on Valentine’s Day shut down Fox Mill Road at Lawyers Road shortly after 2:30 p.m. The road opened up a few minutes ago. [Fairfax County Police]

Tolls tanked — “Tolls are off the table for Fairfax County Parkway, and long-planned High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in the Virginia County may even be a stretch.” [WTOP]

Todd Hitt pleads guilty to fraud — “Former Kiddar Capital CEO Todd Hitt pleaded guilty to orchestrating eight counts of securities fraud that ultimately cost investors $20 million, according to a plea deal announced Wednesday by the Department of Justice.” Hitt admitted to soliciting about $30 million from investors over a period of four years while making false statements. Part of the $30 million included $17 for Kiddar Capital’s purchase of a Herndon office building. [Washington Business Journal]

Fishing workshop — A hands-on workshop at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive) will cover tackle, rods and reels. The program runs from 6-7 p.m., and the cost is $8 per person. [Fairfax County]

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Comstock’s Revised Plans for Downtown Herndon Project Under Review

After hitting delays with multiple revisions, Comstock’s newest redevelopment plans for downtown Herndon are now back under review.

Town Manager Bill Ashton told the Herndon Town Council at its public meeting on Tuesday (Feb. 12) that the staff started reviewing the revised site plans on Friday (Feb. 8).

“The fourth revision of the site plan is back in staff hands as of late last week,” Ashton said, adding that the Town of Herndon has “gone back and forth” with Comstock to refine the proposal and site plan.

The proposed project for Herndon’s downtown has stalled several times since the Herndon Town Council and Comstock agreed to the mixed-use development in 2017.

Plans for the redevelopment were withdrawn and then resubmitted last summer after property owners next to the site of the redevelopment effort filed three appeals.

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