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by RestonNow.com December 11, 2017 at 11:05 am 7 Comments

A Herndon man was arrested Friday night after fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Abdullah Anwar, 23, was stopped in the parking lot of Waterview Plaza after he was observed driving over the posted speed limit along Route 7 in Sterling, police said. During the investigation, police found the car was stolen from Herndon.

Anwar was charged with felony speed to elude, auto theft, driving under the influence, refusal to submit to a breath test, reckless driving by speed and driving on a suspended driver’s license. He was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a secured bond.

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 10:15 am 13 Comments

Despite opposition from a neighboring townhouse community, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a plan to replace a daycare center with a 70-unit assisted living facility on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive Thursday night.

Members of the body, which provides recommendations to the county’s Board of Supervisors, said the developer Kensington Senior Development worked closely with the county to reduce the size and scale of the building, which is nearly eight times larger than the current structure, to ensure the proposal was in line with county policies and regulations.

At a Nov. 30 public hearing, residents unanimously opposed the proposal, which they said was too large for the site and incompatible with the community south of Sunrise Valley Drive. The proposal calls for a two-to-three story building with roughly 65,000 square feet and a parking garage.

However, Frank de la Fe, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the location of the facility near small, residential neighborhoods was not unusual or concerning, especially since a local healthcare advisory committee emphasized the need for the center and because the developer scaled back its development proposal.

He also noted the plan had adequate buffering to screen surrounding neighborhoods from the facility.

“I’m not quite sure what [the neighbors] would be satisfied with next door in a redevelopment situation,” de la Fe said.

Although the case was “close” and “difficult,” James Hart, an at-large member, said the developer’s plan met a critical need in Fairfax County for assisted living facilities for seniors in an area where he said developable land is “running out.”

“I think it would’ve been an easier case if it was a smaller building but it meets all of the requirements in the plan and in the ordinance,” Hart said, adding that the rhythm of the building was very similar to townhouse development.

However, at-large member Mary Cortina said the size of the facility was stretched out to reduce its height, leaving people who use the facility with little to no amenities and diminished quality of life.

The developer has committed to working with neighborhoods to provide additional landscaping to create a larger buffer and was willing to contribute funding for pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the area, according to the commission.

The managing partner of a convenience center next to the proposed facility also supported the plan. Good Beginning School, the daycare has been open on the site for nearly 40 years.

The county’s Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal next year.

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 9:00 am 10 Comments

Group Opposing Zoning Changes Meets Today –– The Coalition for a Planned Reston is meeting today at Reston Association headquarters on 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive at 7 p.m. The group will discuss a proposal before the county that would increase population density in some parts of Reston and discuss amendments to the overall proposal. [Coalition for a Planned Reston]

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins Features Police Civilian Review Panel — In this month’s Channel 16 program, Hudgins discusses the benefits and goals of a new civilian review panel and an independent police auditor.

Training in Reston Focuses on Heroin Epidemic — Ginny Atwood Lovitt held a training in Reston on Friday detailing how to administer Narcan. Lovitt runs the Chris Atwood Foundation in Reston in memory of her brother who died of a heroin overdose nearly four years ago. [WUSA]

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by RestonNow.com December 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days. The following articles were the five most-clicked links.

  1. Local Food Truck Opens New Restaurant in Reston
  2. Proposed Luxury Condominiums in Reston Raise Concerns About Affordable Housing
  3. Op-Ed: The Road from Nowhere
  4. New Residential Mid-rise Building Proposed for Reston Corner
  5. Proposed Assisted Living Facility on Sunrise Valley Drive Draws Opposition

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. As always, send story ideas and pitches to us at [email protected] or via Twitter. Have a great weekend!

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm 11 Comments

As the year winds down, tomorrow is the last day to enjoy the Reston Farmers Market for the year. The market, which is located on 1609 Washington Plaza, ends on Saturday at noon and will resume next year.

The market began its season in April will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Vendors create an eclectic gathering that offers locally grown produce as well as exotic imports from around the world. A complete list of vendors is available on the market’s site.

by RestonNow.com December 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm 38 Comments

The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating an attempted armed robbery on the 2200 block of Hunters Woods Plaza Thursday afternoon.

At around 2:30 p.m., an individual pointed a gun at a man when he refused to provide money. The victim ran away and was not injured, police said.

Police believe the suspect left the area in a car. He was described as a black man in his 30s. Detectives are investigating the incident.

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of  events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar. Know of other events in the area? Comment below.

  • Enjoy “Cookies with Santa”  on Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon at The Lake House. Warm up with hot chocolate and cookies and enjoy festive crafts and activities. Tickets are $12 for Reston Association members and $16 for all others.
  • Dar Williams will sign and sign her book “What I Found in 1000 Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities-One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mic Nigh at a Time.” The event will be held at Scrawl Books from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Obi Sushi in Reston Town Center is offering sushi-making classes on Saturday from 2 t0 4 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Register by call 703-766-7874.
  • Take a trip in a horse-drawn carriage on Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. at Reston Town Center.  Tickets are $5 per person. Children under 5 ride free.
  • Holiday performances continue this weekend at Reston Town Center. On Friday, Oak Hill Middle School’s sixth grade chorus performs at 7 p.m. The Northern Virginia Ukulele Society will perform from noon to 12:45 p.m on Saturday and on Sunday at noon.
  • An opening reception to celebrate the exhibition of Paulina Peavy’s work, which illustrates her personal ontology, will be held on Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Hop onto a mini-train on Sunday at Reston Town Center on Market Street near Clyde’s. Train rides will run from noon to 4 p.m.
  • Alan Tom will launch his new children’s book “Bugaboo and Buzz Buzz into the Toilet of Doom” on Sunday at Scrawl Books from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Dancers of all skills are welcome to join in on a Sunday full of dance from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Registration is $5 for Reston residents and $10 for all others.
  • Children can shop for gifts at Santa’s Christmas Shop at United Christian Parish (11506 North Shore Drive) from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The event is open to all ages.
  • Celebrate the season with Santa and friends at Frying Pan Farm Park. Programs begin at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cost is $8 per person. All children must be accompanied by a registered adult.

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

The first snow of the season could come this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory from midnight tonight through 4 p.m. Saturday.

Between 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected, according to the advisory, which covers the I-95 Corridor from northeastern Maryland to near Fredericksburg, Virginia.

A winter weather advisory is issued when periods of snow that cold cause travel challenges are expected.

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

New interpretive signs could come to some of Reston’s 52 meadows next year.

Friends of Reston, a non profit organization, has received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay License plate Fund for the creation of new interpretive signs that provide information about measures to support the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The signs will include information about the environmental benefits of wildflowers and native grasses, reducing stormwater runoff and feeding wild life.

RA is seeking the approval of the Design Review Board to install the signs, which could be ready as early as March.

According to its website, Friends of Reston is a non profit organization established in 1999 to support RA’s work for charitable, education and scientific purposes.

Photo via RA

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Owner of Koko FitClub Celebrates First Year of Ownership Today — The club, which is located in North point Shopping Center, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony today from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. to celebrate the owner’s first year of ownership. The club was recently renovated to create a lighter and brighter environment, according to the owner. [Koko FitClub]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Reunite with Trauma Patients at Reston Hospital Center — In a blog post on the department’s website, Battalion Chief Bill Betz and Captain Wayne Wentzel detail an event in late November during which crews met with three trauma patients that were treated and transported to the hospital by the department’s firefighters and paramedics. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Make Sushi Rolls at Obi Sushi in Reston Town Center — The restaurant, which is located on 1771 Library St., is offering classes on how to make sushi rolls on Saturday from 2 – 4 p.m. The cost is $50 per person. Register by calling 703-766-7874. [Reston Town Center via Facebook]

Photo courtesy of Koko FitClub

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 4:00 pm 16 Comments

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision on a proposal to bring a 20-story condominiums to 1801 Old Reston Ave. Wednesday night amid questions about the building, which includes up to 150 units and a parking garage.

Although the developer Renaissance Centro, and the county’s planning and zoning staff resolved major issues raised in a technical staff report, the parties continued to disagree over how the condominiums incorporate workforce housing.

Renaissance Centro has pledged to build 24 for-sale condominiums, a commitment that allows the developer 24 additional market-rate units in bonus density. However, the developer is seeking to not comply with a policy that says additional market-rate units should be no more than 10 percent larger than workforce units for the development.

Zoning staff said workforce units should be similar in size to market rate units, especially since the developer is already exceeding the floor area ratio outlined in the plan while pursuing an exception that could potentially allow the developer nearly 40,000 square feet in bonus density.

The commission also raised concerns about the amount of parking in the development. Residents of the condominium would pay for in-house parking, a structure that members said was problematic because residents of workforce housing may not be able to afford paid parking and may instead have to park on the curb on North Shore Drive.

The development would also remove overflow parking used by some residents of the neighboring Harrison Apartments.  Currently, some residents use the surface parking lot on the site, according to zoning staff.

The commission deferred its decision to January 25.

Andrew Painter of Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, the developer’s representative, however, said the county should recognize the unique financial challenges in building a high-rise development. He said the developer was committed to providing 24 workforce units that would have the same number of bedroom units as market rate units but smaller overall units.

Painter also said the developer, which also developed the Carlton House condominiums in Reston Town Center, is keen on pursuing the development as a “legacy project” that would be the “crown jewel” of the area. He noted the proposed project would, if approved, be the first for-sale condominiums to be constructed in Reston in more than 10 years with the hallmark feature of providing home ownership opportunities for workhouse housing.

“This is kind of the last piece of the puzzle,” Painter said.

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

Opponents of a proposal before the county to increase Reston’s population density continue to mobilize ahead of community meeting on Monday night.

The Coalition for a Planned Reston, a community organization that includes Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and the Reston Citizens Association, will gather community feedback about the proposal and discuss specific changes to scale back Reston’s master plan in an effort limit the scale of development in the planned community.

The proposal, which will go before the county’s Board of Supervisors, would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community district from 13 persons up to 16.

The zoning change could also open up Reston’s village centers to increased residential development. The proposal would allow the Board of Supervisors to approve developments above 50 residential units per acre within the district’s Transit Station Areas (TSAs) — so long as the projects comply with the area’s master plan that guides development.

Reston Association staff opposed the changes. In a letter, In the letter, the RA staff also asks county supervisors to hold off on any further consideration of the PRC density cap increase until RA staff and county staff together can examine the Reston Master Plan portion of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Meanwhile, the coalition will pitch amendments to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins before Christmas. Overall, the coalition is seeking to constrain density growth and ensure infrastructure keeps up to pace with development.

CPR hopes to maintain the intensity of opposition to the proposal, which eclipsed in late October during a 900-person public community meeting in Reston where an overwhelming majority of attendees opposed the proposal.

“We are anxious to present what we believe are reasonable Reston plan amendments to Supervisor Hudgins rather than just denoting a list of topic areas where changes could be made,” said Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 Committee. “We are hopeful that the community will buy in to these proposals and possibly suggest some modifications and additions.”

Changes under consideration include reinstating a population cap throughout Reston which existed in the community’s 1989 plan; placing a cap on high-density, high-rise residential development, which the coalition stated is unlimited in the current plan; and phasing development with supporting infrastructure similar to the Tysons plan.

On a broader level, the coalition seeks to ensure county policies and standards that govern schools, parks and transportation are realistically in line with Reston’s growth potential.

CPR will also use the meeting platform to discuss other controversial zoning matters, including the “densification of Saint Johns Woods” and the addition of a road through Hidden Creek Country Club.

“The last minute inclusion by the Planning Commission of developer language allowing Bozzuto to re-develop St. Johns Woods at triple its current density is a perfect example of community exclusion in the development process,” said Reclaim Reston member Bruce Ramo.

The meeting will be held on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Reston Association Conference Center.

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm 20 Comments

Tamika Mallory, co-chair of this year’s Women’s March in Washington, will deliver the keynote address at the 33rd Annual Reston Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration on Jan. 15.

Mallory, a social justice advocate helped organize the march with drew several hundred thousand participants this year. She has closely worked with the Obama administration to advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, health care, eradicating gun violence and eliminating police misconduct.

In a statement, Leila Gordon, Reston Community Center’s executive director, said Mallory’s address will encourage the community’s youth to participate in the celebration.

“It’s clear that civil rights issues are more important than ever and that new perspectives and voices are contributing to the vitality of the movement… Mallory is one of the young people who have stepped forward to advance the cause for universal social justice and equity passionately and effectively,” Gordon said.

The address will begin at noon at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Rd.). Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and employees and $10 for all others.

Mallory’s address is part of a three-day celebration at the community center. Events include community service projects, a 12th annual tribute by RCC’s orchestra and other programs. For more information, contact Kevin Danaher, community events director at 703-390-6166 or by email at [email protected]

A full program of the weekend is available on RCC’s website.

Photo via Reston Community Center

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 11:30 am 6 Comments

A preliminary investigation by the Fairfax County Police Department found that a pedestrian hit by a car on Tuesday night crossed the street against the walk signal.

The pedestrian was hit by a car at the intersection of Reston Parkway and South Lakes Drive shortly before 7 p.m.

The pedestrian, who was not identified, was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. In a statement released today, a spokesperson for the police department said the pedestrian is expected to survive.

Police shut down northbound Reston Parkway as officers conducted an investigation.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

The Greater Reston Arts Center will hold an opening reception on Saturday centering around the work of Paulina Peavy, a formally trained artist who came to believe people came spirits and inhabited the universe as invisible atoms that could mold into various forms when they reached Earth.

The reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greater Reston Arts Center. The exhibit, which will be open for view from Saturday through Feb. 17, is the first to bring together a selection of Peavy’s work across disciplines, representing the artist’s radical worldview and philosophy.

GRACE promoted the following description of Peavy and her work:

Paulina Peavy (b. 1901 Colorado Springs, Colorado; d. 1999, Bethesda, Maryland) was a prolific artist who worked across genres including painting, drawing, poetry, and film. Though formally trained in art and science, Peavy excused herself from the mainstream arts community after becoming a regular attendee at a weekly séance in 1932. At these gatherings, the artist was introduced to her spirit muse, Lacamo, who she came to collaborate with for the remainder of her life.

Image via GRACE

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