Reclaim Reston, a grassroots organization comprised of Reston residents, on Monday asked the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to issue a moratorium on proposed zoning ordinance amendments from the county’s Department of Planning & Zoning, as well as on approval of any development projects that haven’t yet been submitted.
“Many of the members of the public who have already signed the Reston Moratorium petition have expressed concerns that the things that attracted them to live in Reston, such as ample parks, trails and recreation facilities, quality schools, and reasonable commute times, are at risk as new development proceeds apace,” said Bruce Ramo, a member of Reclaim Reston.
The proposed zoning amendments would change the population density cap in Reston’s Planned Residential Community District, bumping the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s PRC from 13 to 16. It 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.
Reclaim Reston fears that the proposal would harm the safety, health, well-being and property values for citizens in the area. Ramo explained that he recognizes the County’s priority is economic development, but said other things are suffering because of this hyper focus.
“The engine driving greater density is far more powerful than that for the schools, parks, roads and other infrastructure needed to support the new residents and to maintain the overall safety and quality of living for the existing population,” Ramos said.
The DPZ says the current limitation of 13 persons per acre in the Reston PRC “cannot support the amended Master Plan.” It says an increase to 16 persons per acre would allow for up to 18,737 more people in the long term, beyond the current cap.
Reston’s PRC District is currently at about 11.9 persons per acre.
The letter from the group to the county states the following:
“We believe that it is critical for the Board of Supervisors to invoke a temporary moratorium on both zoning changes for increased density in Reston, and approval of new Reston development projects (not yet submitted to the County), pending a firm plan linking planned growth and infrastructure funding.”
When asked if Reclaim Reston is willing to comprise with the County and increase the population cap incrementally, Ramo said no.
“A moratorium means a moratorium,” he said. “Keeping the community’s hand on the spigot of density is the best means currently available to us to assure that that the County complies with the requirement of the Reston Master Plan for phased development and infrastructure.”
People in agreement with Reclaim Reston can sign the petition online.
Lake Newport, North Hills, Lake Audubon and Autumnwood were winners at the Reston Swim Team Association meet Saturday. Several individual and relay records were beaten as well, making for an exciting day.
Lake Newport Lightning 626, Hunters Woods Blue Marlins 486
While Lake Newport got the win, the Hunters Woods team toppled some long-standing records.
Blue Marlins teammates J. Ham, C. Yang, P. Pan and M. Beach set a new record in the boys’ 15-18 200-meter medley relay with a time of 2:01.23, besting a time set in 1997. A new team record in the boys’ 15-18 50-meter backstroke was also set by Jack Henry Ham with a time of 28.95, topping a record from 1986.
Anna Redican, of the Lake Newport team girls’ 15-18 50-meter, beat her own backstroke record from June 10. Her time of 32.66 was about two-tenths of a second better than her previous time.
For Lake Newport, double event winners were Aiden Smith, Finley Smith, Jack Edgemond, Mara Redican, Raj Vats and Zoe Van Winckel. Triple event winners were Anna Redican, Deanna Tipler, Joseph Redican, Julia Wang, Michael Zhou, Nathan Ho and William Kohn.
For Hunters Woods, double event winners were Abigail Skinner, Fiona Elster, Grace
Meade, John Evans, Kacy Darling, Megan Lee and Megan Slater. Triple event winners were Andrew Li, Gwyneth Wagner and James Skelton.
Gabriel Huang of North Hills set a new team record of 21:05 for the butterfly stroke in the boys’ 8 and under 25-meter. The old record was set in 1999.
For North Hills, double event winners were Evan Zhang, Evelyn Brabant, Joseph Sciortino, Katie Cazenas, Lacey Turner, Marlee Czarny, Samantha Sciortino and Zariya Khan. Triple event winners were Corey Clark, Fiona Shaw, Gabriel Huang and Sarah Sciortino.
For the Ridge Heights Sharks, double event winners were Charles Buckreis, Edith Chaddock, Ella Handerahan, Ethan McCrea, Hailey Brown, Hailey Wang, Ian Hansing, Marc Sipher, Paige Sogandares, Ryan Erickson and Spencer Blase. Triple event winners were Evan Blase, Josh Zhang and Shilai Li.
For Lake Audubon, double event winners were Ben Lammers, Catherine Evans,
Daniel Spigarelli, Dennis Jackson, Erik Harriot, Jaelyn Cafiero-Bladek, Kian Elliott, Max Daum, Mitchell Vikhman, Sasha Osinovsky, Sophia Randall, Wyatt Barcus and Zachary Bell. Triple event winners were Emily Fritz, Marley Mulvaney, Matthew Fritz and Troy Elliott.
For Glade, double event winners were Amelia Flavin, Evan Pan-Wang, Lillian Swartzbaugh, Mary Barker, Nicholas Bowen, Phoebe Warstler and Sam Joyner. Triple event winners were Amanda Wagner, Andy Carro, Clara Landeryou, Marco Anguizola, and Sophia Landeryou.
Autumnwood Piranhas 520.5, Lake Anne Stingrays 515.5
For Autumnwood, double event winners were Anne Kennedy, Curtis Bushee, Delaney Kirr, Logan King, Megan Luczko, Sara Norford, Shea Willson, Vikrant Mahajan, William Bertoni and William Bolster. Triple event winners were Andrew Freeman, Andrey Smiryagin, Deep Murthy and Sophia Kennedy.
For Lake Anne, double event winners were Allie Cramer, Charlotte Holmquist, Fred Zhang, Ian Henry, Joseph Dealey and Morgan Stup. Triple event winners were Aaron Cramer, Andy Chen, Jacqui Go and Sean Henry.
Information and photos provided by Radhika Murari
Captions, from top: From left, Sophie Mulaire, Allysa Gilbreath and Page Schiavone of North Hills race to the finish in 50-meter butterfly; Karan Murari of the Glade Dolphins plays The Star-Spangled Banner with help from fellow Dolphin David Clark; Wyatt Barcus of Lake Audubon works the backstroke.
Starting next week, be prepared to spend a little more for a ride on the Fairfax Connector.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved fare increases for the service that will go into effect Sunday. The fares are going up in connection with increases to Metro fares, which also go into effect Sunday.
Riders of the Fairfax Connector will need to know these numbers:
- Regular base fare will increase from $1.75 to $2.
- Senior and disabled base fare will increase from 85 cents to $1.
- Bus-to-bus transfer fare will increase from $1.75 to $2 for those paying cash.
- Metrorail-to-bus transfer fare will increase from $1.25 to $1.50 for those paying by SmarTrip card, and from $1.75 to $2 for those paying cash.
- Senior and disabled Metrorail-to-bus transfer fare will increase from 35 cents to 50 cents for those paying by SmarTrip card, and to $1 for those paying cash.
Fares for express routes are going up as well.
For more information on fares, visit the Fairfax Connector website.
This is a sponsored post from Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. For a more complete picture of home sales in your neighborhood, contact her on Reston Real Estate.
Here are some Reston homes that changed hands recently:
11659 Chesterfield Court, 2BR, 2BA. Sale price: $272,500.
11967 Heathcote Court, 3 BR, 3BA. Sale price: $414,000.
2265 Hunters Run, 1 BR, 1 BA. Sale price: $200,000.
11705 Karbon Hill Court, 2BR, 2BA. Sale price: $301,000.
1675 Parkcrest Circle, 2BR, 1BA. Sale price: $230,000.
1142o Purple Beach Drive, 4BR, 3BA. Sale price: $855,000.
2412 Southgate Square, 3BR, 3.5BA. Sale price: $345,000.
2042 Swans Neck Way, 3BR, 4BA. Sale price: $527,500.
1526 Woodcrest Drive, 3BR, 2BA. Sale price: $375,000.
At its meeting Thursday (view agenda), the Reston Association Board of Directors will hold public hearings on a hunting request and a pipeline easement.
In 2014, the Board voted to allow residents of Sourwood Lane to hire a hunting service to help control the deer population in the area. Clearance to hunt was provided for three years, and now residents of 11624, 11626 and 11632 Sourwood Lane are asking for three more.
According to applicants Larry and Jan Gsellman, Rodney Jones, and James and Margo Sterling:
“During the first permit that ends in August 2017 a total of approximately 14 deer were removed from the two herds that had traveled our property. In spite of this we continue to see significant damage to plantings. The purpose of the renewal of the hunt is to continue reducing the deer population in and around our properties [to] a level that is sustainable.”
The applicants say they want to curb the spread of tick-borne Lyme disease and stop devastation of vegetation in the area. Suburban Whitetail Management of Northern Virginia would conduct the hunts, as it has in previous years.
A notification letter was sent out to residents in the area. Four responded with messages of approval, including one that said “deer sightings in the neighborhood have fallen off significantly [since 2014], and I feel sure the program has reduced the local risks of disease and potential traffic accidents.” Two responded negatively, including one who expressed fears about the danger of hunting to people, pets, structures and vehicles in the immediate area.
Any hunting would have to take place at least 50 yards from an occupied residence, with the exception of the requesting lot owners’ residences, and 50 yards away from any street, sidewalk, trail, pathway, bus stop, playground or other public place.
The other public hearing on the meeting’s agenda is a request from Williams/Transco Pipeline for an exclusive easement and right of way over a Reston Association common area. The area of interest is located off North Shore Drive, next to RA’s Golf Course Island plot. The discussion about this request began in the fall of 2016 and remains unresolved.
Williams/Transco currently has a 135-foot-wide easement to their pipelines, but they are requesting more easement so they can add additional equipment, such as valves. If this request is granted, Williams/Transco will have exclusive access to the allotted parcel of land.
During a board meeting on May 25, the Reston Association Board of Directors voted unanimously to continue negotiating with Williams/Transco and to hold a public hearing at their next meeting on June 22. A panel of the Design Review Board approved a site plan submitted by Williams/Transco, with the exception of a few enhancements which Williams/Transco agreed to change.
The meeting will be held Thursday, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). It will also be streamed live on RA’s YouTube channel.
Maps via Reston Association
A Herndon man is one of three suspects arrested early Saturday morning after a Loudoun County sheriff’s deputy responded to a larceny in progress in Sterling.
The incident took place at a store in the 24000 block of Dulles Landing Drive, where security reported at about midnight that three suspects had stolen several electronics items and forced entry into the jewelry case. An LCSO deputy confronted the suspects, at which time police say one of the men lifted his shirt and revealed a handgun. The deputy took the man to the ground and the weapon was secured.
The suspects were identified as Anthony A. Moaf, 20, of Herndon; Jalen P. McMahan, 22, of Centreville; and Angel L. Gaskins, 24, of Centreville. Moaf was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon, grand larceny, destruction of property, public intoxication and conspiracy to commit a grand larceny. McMahan was charged with grand larceny, conspiracy to commit a grand larceny, possession with intent (Schedule IV), possession of a controlled substance (Schedule IV) and manufacturing possessing/distributing narcotics. Both men are being held at Loudoun County Adult Detention Center with bond.
Gaskins was charged with grand Larceny, conspiracy to commit a grand larceny and public intoxication. He was released on a secured bond.
In other crime news, a woman in the 13300 block of Coppermine Road in Herndon reported an indecent exposure between 4:30-5 a.m. Saturday. She said a black man was standing on a fence near her residence when he exposed himself and touched himself inappropriately. Officers did not find the suspect, who was described as being about 5 feet 9 inches, between 140 and 160 pounds.
FCPD also reported in the past week:
2100 block of Astoria Circle, gun from residence
2400 block of Centreville Road, cell phone from business
2200 block of Ferdinand Porsche Drive, property from business
13100 block of Fox Hunt Lane, license plates from vehicle
12000 block of Glade Drive, merchandise from business
1500 block of Moorings Drive, bicycles from residence
1900 block of Reston Metro Plaza, merchandise from business
11800 block of Saint Trinians Court, medication from vehicle
2100 block of San Moritz Circle, Four-wheeler from residence
11100 block of South Lakes Drive, groceries from business
2300 block of Soapstone Drive, food from business
2000 block of Sunset Hills Road, golf cart from business
Anyone with information about any of the incidents reported by FCPD should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES(274637).
The suspect in Sunday’s killing of a South Lakes High School sophomore is under an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer.
Carissa Cutrell, a spokesperson for ICE, confirmed that the detainer was lodged Monday against 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling. Torres is facing a murder charge in the death of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was attacked on Dranesville Road in Herndon early Sunday morning. Her body was found later that day in a Sterling pond.
Torres is a citizen of El Salvador living in the United States. An ICE detainer is filed to “identify and ultimately remove criminal aliens who are currently in federal, state or local custody,” according to the ICE website.
“ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States,” Cutrell said, adding that Torres had no encounters with ICE prior to this case.
The Fairfax County Police Department believes Torres killed Hassanen after becoming enraged by the group of teens walking from McDonald’s toward the All Dulles Area Muslim Society following a Ramadan service. He chased after the teens, police said, and caught Hassanen. He allegedly struck her with a baseball bat before putting her in his car and taking her to Loudoun County, where police say he killed her.
Torres remains in custody at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. He has a court date set for July 19.
SLHS Class of 2017 Graduates Tonight — The event is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Nationwide Vigils for Nabra Hassanen — The Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment has planned numerous vigils across the nation in honor of Nabra Hassanen, the Reston teen who was killed Sunday. Events are scheduled in DC, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and more. [WISE/Facebook]
Connolly Talks Issues — Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) held a town-hall meeting Monday night in Reston. Check out his Twitter feed to see what was discussed. [Gerry Connolly/Twitter]
Volunteers Sought for Century Ride — The 35th annual ride is scheduled for Aug. 27, and helpers are needed for planning, rest stops and cleanup. [Reston Bike Club]
Photo of Reston sunset courtesy Lizette Badillo Ryan
A 17-year-old Reston girl was killed early Sunday morning because a driver became extremely enraged, police say.
At a press conference Monday evening, representatives of the Fairfax County Police Department continued to fight rumors that Nabra Hassanen was killed because she was Muslim. Instead, they said, she was killed because of the quickly escalating temper of the assailant, who police say is 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling.
Police confirmed Monday evening that a body found in a Sterling pond Sunday afternoon is Nabra. They say she was part of a large group of teenagers walking and biking back on Dranesville Road, toward the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, from McDonald’s at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday when the altercation began.
“Torres drove up to this group, and a male teen who was on a bike began arguing with Torres,” said Julie Parker, director of FCPD’s media relations bureau. “At that point, the group scattered. Witnesses say that Torres caught up with the group a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his car armed with a baseball bat.”
The suspect began chasing the group of about 15 teens, Parker said, and Nabra was the one he caught. Police said they do not yet know why the suspect was so enraged, but that there is no indication that he had any particular bias against Muslims.
“His anger over that earlier encounter led to violence when he hit Nabra with the baseball bat,” Parker said. “Torres then took Nabra with him in his car to a second location nearby, in Loudoun County.”
Lt. Bryan Holland of FCPD’s Criminal Investigation Unit said that Nabra was assaulted a second time in Loudoun County before the suspect dumped her body and returned to the area of the altercation, where his car was identified by a patrolling officer and he was arrested at about 5:15 a.m.
Police believe the suspect acted alone, and they are not searching for any others. Torres is being held without bond.
Both FCPD and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova said they stand with the Muslim community as some live in fear, despite police statements that no religious or ethnic bias was at play in this case.
“Law enforcement will not know for sure until all of the facts are uncovered in this case, and it is still an ongoing investigation,” Bulova said. “While the police work to uncover the motive, the fact remains that any violent murder is a senseless and hateful act.”
The case may be prosecuted in Loudoun County if the continued investigation merits such a move, police said.
Several thousand area residents are reported to be without power after a strong storm tore through, Dominion Energy reports.
Countywide, more than 26,000 customers were without power as of about 4:05 p.m. Monday. Crews are assessing damage and working to restore electricity.
— Fairfax County (@fairfaxcounty) June 19, 2017
Outages can be reported to Dominion Energy online or by calling 1-866-366-4357.
Aniq Bhatti, one of Nabra Hassanen’s classmates at South Lakes High School, said the girl had no enemies.
“No enemies at all,” Bhatti reiterated. “She would never want to or have to. That’s the way she is.”
Bhatti was one of many friends and neighbors who came to Nabra’s home Monday afternoon as a tight-knit community mourned the untimely loss of the beloved young girl. They gathered around Nabra’s mother, Sawsan Gazzar, in her stairwell to provide their condolences and share in her grief.
Nabra was killed early Sunday morning after being attacked and separated from her friends while walking on Dranesville Road near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, police say.
The line of mourners stretched down the stairs and, at times, far down the sidewalk of the apartment complex on Becontree Lane. Tears abounded as dozens of Nabra’s friends from SLHS joined the line, fresh off an emotional day at the school.
“No one hated her. No one ever talked bad about her,” said Yanis Gribi, one of those friends. “She didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Police say a man attacked Nabra as she was walking back from breakfast with her friends following an overnight activity at the ADAMS Center. A body, presumably Nadra’s, was recovered later Sunday in a pond in Sterling.
A suspect in the case, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling, was arrested Sunday and faces a murder charge. He is being held without bond.
Fairfax County Police said Monday morning that the case is not being investigated as a hate crime, but rather as a case of road rage. However, county prosecutor Ray Morrogh said later in the day that he would wait until more information is collected before deciding how to proceed.
Her friends decorated her locker at South Lakes with pictures, flowers and notes. Nabra was finishing her sophomore year.
“She was everyone’s friend — everyone,” said Liban Issak. “She loved everybody and everything. She brought everyone together.”
A vigil to celebrate Nabra’s life is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Anne Plaza.
Photo of locker courtesy Yanis Gribi
The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area that will be in effect until 4 p.m.
According to the alert:
At 318 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located near Fairfax,
moving northeast at 40 mph.
HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.
IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches
to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as
damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by
downed trees. Localized power outages are possible.
Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.
* Locations impacted include…
Arlington, Alexandria, Centreville, Rockville, Bethesda, Reston,
Bowie, Annandale, Olney, Springfield, College Park, Herndon,
Greenbelt, Fairfax, Langley Park, Beltsville, Vienna, Groveton,
Forestville and Falls Church.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning including Washington DC, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA until 4:00 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/x0DafHwz0Z
— NWS Severe Tstorm (@NWSSevereTstorm) June 19, 2017
The NWS says you should take precaution by getting indoors to protect yourself from wind and lightning. Trees around you may be downed from damaging winds, so if you are near large trees, move to an interior room on the lowest floor. Don’t drive underneath trees or in wooded areas until the threat has passed.
This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Plaza America that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.
By John H. Berry
Many of our clients who are federal employees have been facing difficulties as a result of the hiring freeze enacted by the President in January. While the initial hiring freeze has been rescinded (in part), there are many restrictions still in place. These restrictions have affected our federal employment practice since we often argue for or resolve cases involving changes, transfers, desk audits and promotions. This article covers the latest on the federal employee hiring freeze and where it presently stands.
The federal hiring freeze began on Jan. 23, shortly after the inauguration of the President, and covered most hiring actions for federal employees. This had the unfortunate result of causing many federal employees to take on additional jobs that were previously handled by other employees (who had left) but with no increase in compensation. In many federal agencies, it appears that federal employees are unable to perform their basic work functions given the lack of staffing. The ban was eventually lifted, for the most part, on April 12. Additionally, there has also been a lack of staffing at the appointee levels as the current administration has only appointed one third of the amount of appointees that the previous administration had in place at the same point in time.
Where We Are Now
While the original federal hiring freeze has been lifted for most agencies, some individual agencies have decided to leave the ban in place in order to reduce their number of employees. The somewhat understated goal is to reduce the size of the federal workplace. For example, despite the lifting of the ban, the EPA and Department of State currently still have varying restrictions on hiring new personnel as of right now. Other agencies have not openly continued the hiring freeze but have only been hiring on a limited basis.
In addition, since the lifting of the initial freeze, guidance has been issued intending to restrict hiring of federal employees. Other agencies, like the Department of Defense that lifted the hiring freeze, issued requirements that hiring officials comply with the intent of the OMB memorandum of April 12, which focuses on reducing the numbers of employees for agencies. In getting back to normal, following the freeze, there has also been a significant backlog of background and clearance investigations from dozens of federal departments that need employees. This will slow down the onboarding process for these employees.
We suspect that hiring will eventually increase and the policies will be liberalized somewhat, because even agencies looking to reduce their size and scope have to perform basic functions. We have run across a number of federal supervisors and other employees who have become overburdened to the point that they may leave federal government altogether because they have no assistance and are performing multiple jobs. This will eventually lead to increased hiring. It will also likely take a year in order for the federal government to get back to where it was in staffing and productivity before the change in administrations and the enactment of the hiring freeze.
If you need assistance with a federal employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also like and visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.
Reston Association is searching for members of the community to volunteer for a number of committees.
Members are needed for the Covenants Committee, Fiscal Committee and Elections Committee, as well as the Design Review Board. Residents appointed to a committee must serve for three years, unless otherwise stated.
The Covenants Committee oversees property values by ensuring that their physical appearances are properly maintained. The committee does this with the help of the Use and Maintenance Covenants, which are outlined in the Reston Deed of Dedication. According to RA, the covenants “were developed, in part, to ensure that properties are kept in good repair, acceptable in appearance and substantially similar to their original condition. The covenants require that the property, and any improvement or alteration, be kept in good condition so that it does not have a detrimental or adverse effect on other properties in the community.”
RA members who live in the Hunter Woods/Dogwood district are encouraged to apply for this committee.
The Fiscal Committee is responsible for RA’s monthly financials, draft budgets and annual audits. According to RA, it “advises the Board of Directors on the sound fiscal management of Reston Association’s resources.” People with financial backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply.
The Elections Committee is primarily in charge of the annual Board of Directors elections, when three board members are elected each spring. Members of this committee do not meet as regularly as other committee members.
The Design Review Board is in charge of supervising the exterior alterations made to properties in Reston. Members use the Reston Association’s Design Guidelines when inspecting the various properties. There is one current opening on the DRB, for a 20-month term through March 2019.
Anyone interested in a position must apply by July 14 at 5 p.m.
The National Weather Service says there is an increased risk of severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.
Showers/tstms w of mtns will cross area this PM. Main threats: damaging winds & torrential rain. 2ndry threats: isol hail, maybe a tornado. pic.twitter.com/dFyjt7CIkN
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) June 19, 2017
Threats relating to the severe storm outlook include damaging winds, large hail and flooding.
“Between 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., thunderstorms are likely — some of which may produce torrential rain and damaging wind gusts. Rainfall across the region should average 0.5-1.0 inches, but amounts are likely to vary with locally higher and lower amounts to be expected. Flash flooding cannot be ruled out in the hardest hit locations.”
— Fairfax County (@fairfaxcounty) June 19, 2017