Trio of Projects Heads to Reston Planning and Zoning Committee Next Week

Three major development proposals head to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee for a vote on Monday (August 19.

The committee, which meets at the North County Government Center at 7:30 p.m., will vote on plans for Isaac Newton Square, Halley Rise and Reston Station Promenade.

Peter Lawrence Cos and MRP Realty are partnering to redevelop Isaac Newtown Square, an aging office park at Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, into a mostly residential neighborhood with around 2,100 units. The plan also includes an athletic field.

One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC’s Halley Rise project — which is the site of the future Wegmans — is also on the docket. The developer is seeking the committee’s approval for changes to two blocks of development, which is located north of Sunrise Valley Drive and south of the Dulles Toll Road.

Finally, the board will consider changes to Comstock’s Reston Station Promenade project, which is north of the BLVD and Comstock’s development atop the Wiehe-Reston East Metro Station. Changes are largely limited to one building.

The complete agenda is available online.

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Reston Company Named One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Verity Commercial, a Reston-based company, was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country for the third time in four years.

The company, which is a real estate advisory and investment firm, was listed in the magazine’s Inc. 5000 list.

“Making our 3rd appearance on the most prestigious ranking for the nation’s fastest-growing businesses is incredible,” says Herm Diebler co-Founder of Verity. “Repeated success means we’re doing something right and our clients are experiencing long-term success using Verity’s approach. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Verity was also given the 2019 ACE Business of the Year award by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. It was established in 2010.

The Inc. 500 list ranks businesses based on percentage revenue growth when comparing 2015 and 2018. Only companies that are U.S.-based, privately held, for profit and independent are considered for the list.

Photo via Google Maps

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Boy Scout Receives Award for Environmental Work at Frying Pan Farm Park

The Fairfax County Park Authority is honoring John Foong for a major environmental project at Frying Pan Farm Park.

Foong received the 2019 Sally Ormsby Environmental Stewardship Award for creating and implementing an ambitious plan to remove invasive plants and replace them with native plants.

The student, who describes himself as an avid naturalist, worked five separate workdays to oversee 150 volunteers as they removed 120 large bags of stilt grass.

Volunteers came from ten different Fairfax County Public Schools and ranged in age from 5 to 80.

The project was developed as part of Foong’s efforts to earn a Boy Scouts of America William Hornaday Award.

He will be honored by FCPA in November.

The award was established in 2007 in recognition of Sally Ormsby’s service as a citizen steward. It recognizes individuals and organizations “whose actions embody the spirit and values of stewardship and result in tangible environmental benefits.”

Photo via FCPA

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Friday Morning Notes

Pool Schedule Season Five Begins Next Week — A number of changes are coming to the timings and hours of Reston Association’s pools beginning Monday. [Reston Association]

A Debrief on the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee — Reston Association’s Chief Operating Officer Larry Butler discusses the role of the committee, a volunteer group that meets the third Monday of each month at the North County Government Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive). [Reston Today]

Enjoy Four Star Combo Tonight — “The sound of The Combo is high-energy 1950’s Rockabilly and Honky Tonk played without any pretense of modernization or any kind of damn-fool ‘fusion’ of styles.” The band will perform at Reston Station Plaza from 7-9 p.m. [Reston Station]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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New Left-Turn Lane to Open at Baron Cameron Avenue

A new third left-turn lane is set to open next week from westbound Route 7 to westbound Baron Cameron Avenue.

The addition of the lane is the first of several major improvements planned for the Route 7 Corridor to improve the flow of traffic.

Construction between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive is ongoing. The project will widen the ride from four to six lanes, add shared-use paths and upgrade several intersections between Reston Avenue and Jarrett Valley Drive.

The speed limit has been reduced to 45 miles per hour in active work zones between Reston Avenue and Delta Glen Court.

Eastbound Route 7 traffic turning right onto westbound Baron Cameron Avenue must yield to oncoming traffic before merging into the through lane.

The new lane will be open to traffic on Monday (August 19).

Map via Virginia Department of Transportation

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Hudgins Joins Opposition to Proposed Shelter for Migrant Children

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins voiced disapproval against the Trump administration’s proposed shelter for migrant children in Northern Virginia.

Hudgins joins other Northern Virginia elected officials — including Fairfax County Board Chairwoman Sharon Bulova — who spoke out against the proposal.

“It doesn’t like it its is appropriate and it is certainly not representative of the community we live in,” Hudgins told Reston Now.

Earlier this month, the General Services Administration issued a pre-solicitation notice stating that the government is seeking 110,000 square feet of space for up to 14 years in Arlington, Fairfax Loudoun or Prince William counties.

Hudgins also noted that shelter for unaccompanied children may not meet the needs of the children they house.

“It seems like we should be trying to restore family structure,” Hudgins said.

The proposed shelter could house roughly 440 children.

Virginia currently has shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children in Bistow and Staunton.

File photo

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Council Approves First Bicycle Master Plan for Town of Herndon

With little fanfare and a nod to staff, the Herndon Town Council unanimously approved the town’s first bicycle master plan on Tuesday (August 13).

The plan, which was created by staff and the town’s Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee, offers policy guidance for the town’s bicycle network planning and design, as well as a longterm plan for connectivity and network improvements.

The plan highlights the locations of mixed-use trails, cycle tracks, bicycle lanes, and sharrows —  including future connections. Areas in the center of the town are largely designated for further study.

Council members lauded staff for their work on the plan and the town’s efforts to promote cycling as a viable alternative mode of travel.

Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said the document — which is part of the town’s efforts to seek a national award for being a bicycle-friendly community — was a “step in the right direction.”

“This is a product that I think the town can be proud of,” council member Cesar del Aguila added.

The plan also ensures that connectivity is a priority, especially between new developments, said council member Signe Friedrichs.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Thursday Morning Notes

Several Teens Rob Juvenile — Police believe two to three teens assaulted a juvenile victim and stole his bike on the 1200 block of Herndon Parkway. The incident happened on August 8. [Herndon Police Department]

Texas Chainsaw Horns Concert Tonight — Enjoy rhythm and blues at the weekly summer concert series at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open for all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Leidos Secures Contract to Support Nuclear Detection Office — “The Operations Support and Studies II contract continues the Reston technology company’s work with the U.S. National Data Center, which detects and tracks nuclear-based events globally.” [The Washington Business Journal]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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County to Limit Parking at Wiehle-Reston East Garage for Three Weeks

(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Commuters who park at the Wiehle-Reston East garage may need to make alternative plans for parking beginning August 19.

The garage — which is often at capacity during peak commuter hours — is undergoing maintenance repairs. Up to forty spaces on parking levels G4, G5, and G6 will be taken away in order to make room for ongoing maintenance work.

In a release, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said the garage is at capacity. Commuters should use other transportation options, including the Fairfax Connector, biking, walking and ride-sharing, the county stated.

The department offered the following transportation alternatives, including free parking at park and rides with bus service to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station:

From Herndon Monroe Park and Ride

From Reston South Park and Ride: 

From Reston Town Center Transit Station: 

  • Route 505 – Reston Town Center
  • Route 950 – Herndon-Reston
  • Route 981 – Dulles Airport-Udvar-Hazy Center-Wiehle-Reston East
  • Route 983 – Dulles Airport-Udvar-Hazy Center-Wiehle-Reston East
  • RIBS 1 – Lake Anne-Hunter Woods
  • RIBS 2 – South Lakes-North Point
  • RIBS 3 – Lake Anne-Hunter Woods

Other Routes to Wiehle:

  • Route 552 – Reston North: North Shore – Lake Fairfax 
  • Route 553 – Reston South: Viking – Pinecrest
  • Route 554 – Reston North: Wiehle Avenue – Center Harbor
  • Route 556 – Bennington Woods – Wiehle-Reston East

An FCDOT spokesperson said that standard maintenance of the garage is scheduled. Access to parking spaces will be restored by early September.

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Reston Association: No Immediate Plans to Close Lake Thoreau Pool for 2020 Season

Reston Association has no immediate plans to temporarily or permanently close Lake Thoreau Pool, contrary to community speculation that the pool is set to shutter due to low usage next year.

The future of the pool — which is in need of major renovations and has struggled with comparatively low utilization — has been the focus of discussion over the last several years. Last year, one RA board members said the pool was “falling into the lake.”

So far, staff and the Board of Director have had no formal conversations to discuss any and all operational and capital costs associated with pools for next year’s season, said RA’s spokesman Mike Leone.

An August 8 email from Julie Bitzer, the board’s vice president, about the fate of the pool has attracted recent community concern. Some RA members circulated a flyer indicating that the pool would be closed next year as RA examines whether it should pursue renovation or consider another use of the space.

Leone said that speculation was simply a “rumor.”

RA is in the early phases of its budget development process. As part of ongoing discussions, board and staff are gathering data on the utilization and of RA’s community pools and other recreational amenities.

The organization’s analysis of its recreational facilities will help RA determine if and how future amenities will be impacted by closures, renovations or other changes.

A budget workshop on the first draft of the 2020-2021 budget is set for August 21 at RA headquarters (12000 Sunrise Valley Drive). A series of meetings, including public hearings, will precede the adoption of the budget in November.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Honoring the Greatest Generation — Students from Herndon High School’s marching band reflect on their travels to Normandy, France, where they performed in the festivities commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day. [Fairfax County Public Schools via YouTube]

HawkEye 360 Closes on $70 Million Deal — The Herndon-based company, which uses formation-flying satellites, closed on a $70 million financing round led by Airbus, which bases its North American operations in Herndon. [DC Inno]

StreetShares Raises $30 Million — The Reston-based company raised nearly $30 million in fresh debt funding. The company specializes in small-business loans to veterans. [Washington Business Journal]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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Steel Sculpture On Track for Fall Installation in Reston Town Center

A new 50-foot steel sculpture by artist Sue Wrbican is on track for installation in the fall.

For more than a year, the Greater Reston Arts Center has been working on the project, which is inspired by American surrealist Kay Sage. Construction began a little over a year ago. The sculpture is intended to encourage viewers to think about the themes of urbanism and landscape, environmentalism and natural resources, feminism, and community, said Lily Siegel, GRACE’s executive director and curator.

Through her project, Wrbican is not just bringing attention to Sage’s life and work, she is making it relevant to our contemporary lives by introducing forms inspired by Sage into our present urban landscape,” Siegel said, adding that Sage’s work was overlooked during her time and that she lived in the shadow of her celebrated artist-husband and associates.

Siegel hopes the sculpture will be a gathering point and topic of conversation.

GRACE turned to crowdfunding to help finance the construction of the project, as well as ongoing programming scheduled for the sculpture. While the organization did not release the cost of the project, Seigel said the project has received “incredible support.”

A talk about the project, which will be installed in Town Square Park, is set for August 22 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at GRACE. The event is free and open to the public.

Community partners include Reston Town Center Association, Reston Community Center, ARTSFAIRFAX, Public Art Reston, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, MacMullan & Associates, Architecture Incorporated, Commercial Concrete, ECS Mid-Atlantic, PaintTech, and a number of individuals.

Photo by Sue Wrbican

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Superhero Splash and Dash Set for August 18

The second annual Reston Youth Superhero Splash and Dash is set for August 18 at Lake Audubon Pool.

The event gives participants between ages 6 and 15 the chance to get their feet wet in a triathlon. Swimming takes place at the pool and the run course takes place on a nearby section of pathways.

CORE Foundation organizes the event each year in partnership with Reston Association and other community sponsors.

Registration is $30, plus an additional $10 for an annual membership fee for the USA Triathlon. Races are grouped based on age.

More information about the event is available online. It begins at 8:30 a.m.

Photo via CORE Foundation

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Report: Reston Farmers Market Organizers Awarded for Community Work

The trio behind Reston Farmers Market was awarded for more than 20 years of community work. The managers received the Elly Doyle Park Service Award from the Fairfax County Park Authority.

From a program that gives dollars for low-income families to an initiative to reduce plastic waste, the managers have put on the market on Saturday mornings from April through December.

John Lovaas has managed the market for 22 years. His wife Fran Lovaas joined him after her retirement 16 years ago and Keith Strange joined the initiative a decade later.

Northern Virginia magazine featured their efforts in a recent article:

“Community service is probably the number one thing that sets them apart for this award,” says Mary Olien, site operations manager of the Fairfax County Park Authority. “They know the farmers and vendors very well, so they can promote the products in an honest way. They are highly respected, which makes for a very fun and organized market.” 

The market managers have worked with local nonprofit Cornerstones since 2012 to enable low-income families to use their SNAP benefits, formerly known as food stamps, to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the Reston Farmers Market. Plus, after all the shoppers have cleared out, vendors gather all of the untouched produce together and bring it to local shelters, decreasing food waste.

The managers partnered with Clean Fairfax to decrease plastic use by encouraging the use of reusable mesh bags. So far, five vendors have joined the sustainability initiative thus far.

FCPA established the Elly Doyle Park Service Award in 1988 to recognize the service of former ParkAuthority Board Chairman and member Ellamae Doyle. The award publicly recognizes a volunteer or group of volunteers for outstanding contributions to county parks.

Photo by John Lovaas

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Tuesday Morning Notes

South Lakes High School Students Get Early Start — Students got a head start on math before schools go into session. The program was developed by several SLHS teachers. Students work in small groups to refresh their understanding of algebra. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Farmers and Makers Market is Today — The market returns to Reston Town Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local farmers and artisans will sell a mix of items, including fresh produce, cheese, meats and olive oil. [Reston Town Center]

Leidos to Acquire IMX Medical Management Services — “Reston, Va.-based Leidos, a defense, aviation, IT, and biomedical research company, announced that it is set to acquire Pennsylvania-based IMX Medical Management Services, a commercial independent review organization, and its affiliated businesses.” [Technical.ly]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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