Fairfax County officials are in the process of obtaining land rights to build a walkway between Glade Drive and Freetown Drive.
A public hearing on the project is planned for Sept. 24 at 4:30 p.m., if the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors decides to continue with the planning process tomorrow (Tuesday).
So far, the county has obtained land rights from four of the five property owners impacted by the construction of the project.
Although negotiations are pending with one remaining property owner, the board will likely need to use its eminent domain powers to obtain land rights and avoid further delays on the project.
Improvements include the addition of a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk with ADA-friendly ramps, as well as curb and gutter improvements along the north side of Glade Drive from Colts Neck Road to Reston Parkway and along the south side of Glade Drive from Reston Parkway to Freedom Drive.
The project, which was originally on track for completion in January 2020, will cost roughly $650,000.
Plans are in the works to install a project inspired by pathways and connection at the Colts Neck Underpass.
The project, which was approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board this week, is composed of hundreds of sharpie-based drawings created by workshop participants and local students.
On Saturday, June 29, artist Ben Volta will hold his last workshop for the project at Hunters Woods at Trail Edge.
Participants will have a chance to help create the artwork. So far, seniors and students from Dogwood Elementary School, Hunters Woods Elementary School, Southgate Community Center and Hunters Woods Fellowship House have participated in the effort.
Volta will use drawings created by participants to form the overall artwork, which could have more than 30 colors. The concept is inspired by the connections created through pathways.
The workshop runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Ice cream will be served and the event is free and open to all.
Public Art Reston hopes to install the project by September.
Photo via Public Art Reston
Ben Volta, the artist and educator selected by Public Art Reston to transform the Colts Neck Road Underpass into public art, will discuss the project on Monday (June 3) at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Filmmaker Rebekah Wingert and Hunters Woods Elementary School art teacher Norma Morris will join Volta in the discussion, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
The underpass is identified in the Public Art Master Plan for Reston as a location for new artwork. Volta’s work will address the spirit of the Hunters Woods neighborhood, respond to the cultural diversity, and ensures the underpass is a civic facility in the fabric of the surrounding community.
Public Art Reston wrote the following about Volta:
A 2015 recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, Volta is known for his public artwork, (including intricate murals and sculptures), working within the fields of education, restorative justice and urban planning. He has a participatory approach to making art and has worked with numerous organizations and schools.
Volta is working directly with Reston community members on this project, which will beautify the underpass and promote its use. He has already done workshops with students at Dogwood Elementary School. In addition, he will give workshops at
Hunters Woods Fellowship House, Southgate Community Center and Hunters Woods Elementary School. He also will hold a community workshop, open to the public, in late June.
According to Volta, his practice “stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them.”
Volta–who as a young artist was a member of the groundbreaking art collective “Tim Rollins and K.O.S.” (Kids of Survival), in the south Bronx section of New York City–earned his certificate in sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 2002 and his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005.
After finishing his academic studies, Volta began working with teachers and students in Philadelphia public schools to create participatory art “rooted in an exploratory and educational process.” Over the past decade, and through hundreds of projects, he has developed his collaborative process in partnership with public schools, art organizations and communities. The
National Academy of Sciences also has recognized his work, which integrates art with math, science and reading.
Ann Delaney, Public Art Reston’s executive director, said Volta unanimously selected by the artist selection committee and Public Art Reston’s Public Art Committee.
“The project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, engagement, education, and inspiration,” Delaney wrote in a statement. “It will promote the active use of an underpass that helps link residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities and two community centers.”
The event is free and open o all.
The project is supported by Atlantic Realty Companies, ARTSFAIRFAX, Reston Community Center, JBG Smith, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Pat and Steve Macintyre, Lake Thoreau Entertainment Association and other individuals.
Photo by Ryan Collerd, Courtesy of the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage
The Colts Neck Road underpass will soon get its long-awaited makeover.
Public Art Reston recently awarded a contract to Philadelphia-based artist Ben Volta to create permanent public artwork for the underpass.
When selecting the artist, Public Art Reston sought someone who could “address the spirit of the Hunters Woods Neighborhood; respond to the cultural diversity of the community; and develop an artwork that identifies the underpass as a civic facility within the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood,” according to a Public Art Reston press release.
“The project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, engagement, education and inspiration,” Delaney said. “It will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities and two community centers.”
Known for his public murals and sculptures, Volta will work on the project with the Dogwood and Hunters Woods elementary schools, in addition to partnering with Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a soon-to-open senior living facility.
Volta, who is familiar with working with students in participatory art creation, told Reston Now that he plans to engage with kids in the classrooms with the hope of brainstorming an idea, color or shape that will then get incorporated into the art.
Right now, he is working to get the design done before summer break starts for the kids.
He has started making several planned site visits, where he also meets with students, teachers and administrators at the two schools. “I like to start with the site,” Volta said about his artistic process.
While the Colts Neck underpass was “dark with lots of mud everywhere” on his first visit, Volta said he’s been thinking about how the tunnel’s purpose as a passageway between the two schools can lead to a transformative experience for people who enter and exit it.
“Really, the site has a lot to say because of the way people experience it,” Volta said.
Volta said he didn’t know much about the Hunters Woods area before he was chosen for the project, but said he was struck on his first visit by the area’s connection to nature. “I really fell in love with Reston.”
The project has an anticipated installation in the summer so that the artwork will be ready for when students return to classes in the fall, he said.
Photo of Ben Volta courtesy of Public Art Reston
Singer Beverly Cosham is set to take CenterStage exactly one week from today for a free show.
Known for her cabaret and theater performances, Cosham will perform songs from the Great American Songbook.
The performance starts at 2:15 p.m. next Thursday (March 21) at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The show is a part of a joint venture between the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University and Reston Community Center.
Photo via Reston Community Center
Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a senior living community under construction near the Hunters Woods Village Center, is on track for its spring opening next year.
When complete, the IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 90 independent living units, 81 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs.
“We believe that it will [open] in May, but have not set a specific date as projects of this nature are always subject to the timeline of county agency approvals,” Cissy Nickel, the community integration director for IntegraCare Corp., told Reston Now.
The exterior shell is finished, and the first floor is almost complete, Nickel said. Drywall, trim, flooring and appliance installation still need work.
Located on a 4.3-acre lot at 2222 Colts Neck Road, the retirement community took the former site of the United Christian Parish. The $72 million project aims to address the shortage of senior housing in the Reston area.
Reston Now previously reported that construction started in May 2017.
A temporary office and showroom opened in July in the Hunters Woods Shopping Center (2254B Colts Neck Road) to provide more information.
An open house is set for Dec. 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the showroom.
Rendering by Moseley Architects
It’s no secret that the Colts Neck Road underpass could use some sprucing up. Public Art Reston is looking for artists to create a site-specific artwork to enhance the inside and outside walls of the underpass.
Artists should capture the spirit of the Hunters Woods neighborhood, respond to the cultural diversity of the community and identify the underpass as a “civic facility” within the surrounding neighborhood, according to a description of the call to artists issued by the organization.
Public Art Reston also indicated the following:
The project will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities, and two community centers. At the Colts Neck Road underpass, public art will have the opportunity to enhance the community’s relationship to their infrastructure and encourage active transportation options such as walking and cycling. The artist will actively engage with community stakeholders to develop the concept of the artwork and will give workshops to students. This project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, education, engagement, and inspiration.
The project is in collaboration with Reston Association and Atlantic Realty Companies.
The deadline for entries is Oct. 26. Entries can be submitted online.
Photo by Public Art Reston
A Pennsylvania-based company plans to complete a senior citizens’ independent living and assisted living facility nears Hunters Woods Village Center by the spring of next year.
The $72 million project — the first Virginia location for IntegraCare — aims to address the shortage of senior housing in the Reston area. Of the 210 housing units, 91 are for independent living, 80 are for assisted living and the remaining units are a combination of memory care and continuing care.
“This land was repurposed and purchased by a developer who did a significant amount of research to make sure that we were going to meet the cultural needs of the Reston community,” said Cissy Nickel, executive director of an IntegraCare location in Easton, Maryland. “We’re trying to create a mini-Reston within Reston.”
The community, called Hunter’s Woods at Trails Edge, is located on a 4.3-acre lot at 2222 Colts Neck Road, the former location of United Christian Parish. The county approved the project, which is being developed by Atlantic Realty, AEW Capital Management and IntegraCare, in 2007.
Nickel said the company sought to mirror programming available for other residents within its community, especially given the close proximity of Turquoise Nature Trail. The project includes several dining venues, a beauty shop, a barber shop, an art studio where instructional classes will be offered, a library, a computer laband a garden with vegetables, herbs and flowers. The community will also include what Nickel called “man caves” or separate areas for men and women.
An underground garage includes more than 160 parking spaces, in addition to eight surface parking spaces. Nickel said the development team is working with Reston Association and Reston Community Center to provide transportation to and from the organizations in order to allow seniors to attend classes, programs and events.
The company is still working on how it will lease market and affordable housing as the project nears completion. Twenty percent of the units are affordable, Nickel said. The income level served by the units was not immediately available. It is likely the company will lease the market and below market units in a rotating cycle.
“There’s a huge need in the area and obviously our need is going to exceed our availability. We’re going to have be really methodical about it,” Nickel said.
A temporary office and showroom will open in mid-to-late June in Hunters Woods Shopping Center to provide more information, she said. Individuals 62 years and older can qualify for housing.
Atlantic Realty Company did not respond to multiple requests for comment over several days from Reston Now.
Rendering by Moseley Architects
At its meeting last week, the Reston Association Board of Directors discussed requiring compensation for use of an aerial crane for construction on Colts Neck Road that would extend over RA property.
The request by Atlantic Realty Companies is for an aerial crane that it says is needed for the placement of the garage and building structure elements at the Hunters Woods at Trails Edge construction site (2222 Colts Neck Road). The crane’s arm would extend over a portion of RA common area north of the site, the former home of the United Christian Parish church.
The request to provide the easement in-kind was originally part of the meeting agenda’s consent calendar, but it was removed for further consideration. When the topic came up, Director John Mooney spoke up.
“That we would help something like this out is, I think, totally appropriate,” Mooney said. “But in my experience, local municipalities charge a fee for this species of temporary construction easements. I think that we as Reston Association should be equally diligent to seek that.”
Prior to moving to Reston last year, Mooney was senior assistant county manager in Arlington.
No live loads would be carried over the RA property, just the aerial arm of the crane. The arm would be above the tree canopy and would not impact the ground area or trees, ARC says. RA would also be added as an additional insured property on ARC’s insurance policy.
CEO Cate Fulkerson and Sherri Hebert, board president, asked what the going rate for such an agreement would be. Mooney said the formula to determine the charge would involve the land value of the parcel in question and the length of time for which it would be used. A representative for ARC said the aerial crane would be in use for about nine months.
“We’ve granted numerous easements to the Reston Association for trails, for restoration of the stream, with no compensation,” said the ARC representative at the meeting. “We think we’re trying to be a good friend and neighbor and we really request the same thing in kind.”
When it is complete, the IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 90 independent living units, 81 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs.
Approval of the easement was tabled and discussion was moved to executive session.
Image via Reston Association
Following a community meeting last month regarding the potential addition of bike lanes to Glade Drive, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation has decided not to go forward with that possibility.
“We obviously heard from the community along Glade about their preference for parking, and that helped to drive our decision,” said Adam Lind, FCDOT’s Bike Program manager, Friday morning. “We’re not going to take any parking; we’re sticking with just sharrows.”
A shared-lane marking, or sharrow, is painted in a travel lane to show where bicycles may be on the road and what direction they should be traveling. Lanes remain the same width, as does space for cars to park.
Some residents had expressed concern that if bike lanes were added to Glade Drive, the subsequent removal of street parking would cause problems with overflow parking at Glade Pool, Walker Nature Center, the Quartermaster Soccer Field and other locations along the road.
In another community meeting in March, Lind presented possibilities for bike lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road. In regard to those plans, Lind said:
- bike lanes will be added in both directions on Colts Neck Road, along with a road diet
- there will be a bike lane in one direction and sharrows in the other along North Shore Drive, with the location of each alternating “depending on the section of the street”
- bike lanes will be added in both directions on Twin Branches Road
“No major alterations [from what was presented],” Lind said. “Most of the tweaks have been local comments about specific items — [such as] where we’re looking to shift the double yellow to give more room for people to pass when there’s parking along a road.”
At March’s meeting, a number of residents were particularly concerned about the proposal for the road diet on Colts Neck Road, which will take the road from four lanes of vehicle traffic to two between Glade Drive and South Lakes Drive.
Bicycle riders responded by saying Colts Neck Road is particularly dangerous for them and for pedestrians as well. The road diet could also allow for the addition of a crosswalk. Lind also said it is not believed the diet will have a major adverse effect on vehicle traffic. In a presentation during the March meeting, Lind said roads with traffic less than 20,000 cars per day don’t require four travel lanes, and a traffic count showed less than half that on Colts Neck Road. Those cars will be slowed by the diet and safety will be increased, Lind said.
Residents argued, however, that the road is a major “cut-through” during rush-hour times when traffic is backed up on Fairfax County Parkway, and that the road diet would cause additional traffic delays specifically during those times. According to a recent study, less than 1/2 of 1 percent of Fairfax County commuters bike to work — an amount some residents said is not worth potentially causing daily bottlenecking of cars. Possible safety hazards that could be presented by a center left-turn lane were also raised by citizens.
Repaving and re-striping will be conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation after school lets out for the summer, Lind said. Further details will be provided on VDOT’s paving program website.
Anyone seeking additional information can request it by emailing [email protected].
Let us know what you think below:
File photo at top from Glade Drive community meeting April 27. Map of Colts Neck Road redesign via Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
Work surrounding the construction of the Hunters Woods at Trails Edge Senior Living Community will disrupt walkways in the area, including forcing the closing of the underpass to Hunters Woods Village Center, for up to two years.
According to information provided by Reston Association, temporary pathways will be created in the area of the construction, 2222 Colts Neck Road. This will include the building of a new pedestrian bridge over Snakeden Creek near the property to ensure access to Colts Neck Road from Reston Parkway remains.
Pedestrians who regularly use the Colts Neck Road underpass to access Hunters Woods Village Center from Reston Parkway can walk to the intersections of Glade Drive or South Lakes Drive where there are signaled crosswalks, RA says.
Developer Atlantic Realty Company will pay for pathway alterations in the area of the construction. The temporary trails will be wood-chipped and unlighted. According to RA, they may not be suitable for bicycles or strollers.
The work to re-route the pathways is expected to begin within the next two weeks.
ARC has agreed, as part of its work to construct the senior-living facility to contribute $81,300 to improve pedestrian trails and pathway lighting within a half-mile of the facility. It also will be putting $60,000 into improvement of the facade of the Colts Neck pedestrian underpass, in coordination with Public Art Reston and Reston Association.
Map courtesy Reston Association
Dirt was overturned Thursday morning at 2222 Colts Neck Road, which will soon become the home of the Hunters Woods at Trails Edge Senior Living Community.
The former site of the United Christian Parish church will be transformed between now and January 2019, project leadership says. When complete, the IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 90 independent living units, 81 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs.
“This facility is going to offer a very broad continuum of services for the seniors in our community,” said David A. Ross, partner and president of developer Atlantic Realty Companies. “We are proud to bring this leading-edge amenity to the community, the first of its kind in Reston.”
The property is located roughly across Colts Neck Road from the entrance to Hunters Woods Village Center. As part of its partnership with the community, the developer has agreed to contribute $81,300 to improve pedestrian trails and pathway lighting within a half-mile of the facility; as well as $60,000 to target improvement of the facade of the Colts Neck pedestrian underpass, in coordination with Public Art Reston and Reston Association.
In addition, $20,000 is being provided for capital improvements to the Nature House.
“We, 50-plus years old here in Reston, know that for those of us who want to stay here, you have to provide a place for us,” she said. “This is a really great facility in that it meets those needs and it really serves the community.”
Ellen Graves, president of the Reston Association Board of Directors, said the addition of the senior-living community to Reston is a promotion of founder Bob Simon’s vision of providing for people throughout their entire lives.
“[The project supports this] by providing the fullest range of housing, styles and prices,” she said. “Hunters Woods at Trails Edge will provide a choice for those growing older in our community and who want to remain here.”
Among the independent-living units, 20 percent will be designated as affordable housing units, while 4 percent of the assisted-living beds will be for those eligible for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services Auxiliary Grant Program. There is planned to be 48 full-time staff positions on site, with other medical service professionals providing on-site services as well.
Thursday’s ceremony represented the latest milestone in a 10-year journey to make the facility a reality. The 4.3-acre site was first approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 210 independent-living units in 2007, but the plan was later amended to the current design. The new plan was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in May 2016.
Pennsylvania-based IntegraCare has several other communities in the Mid-Atlantic region, but this will be its first in Virginia.
“This is really a once-in-a-career opportunity, to be involved in a project that has the nature of this project,” said Rick Irwin, the company’s CEO. “[We are grateful to have] the opportunity to be right near the Reston Community Center and the Southgate Community Center, where our residents can get our support and care but [also] maximize their independence… and have such great access to stay within the fabric of this Reston community.”
Several dozen community members filled the cafeteria at Dogwood Elementary School on Thursday to learn more — and express their opinions — about proposed changes to street designs in Reston.
The proposal from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation to alter lanes on Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road drew a large amount of reaction, positive and negative, from community members who would be affected. FCDOT officials say the changes would increase safety for all users of the roads — drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians — by allowing for the addition of crosswalks, creating bike lanes and limiting speeding.
“All of this is happening because [the Virginia Department of Transportation] is repaving the roadways, so we have a chance to re-stripe,” said project manager Adam Lind, Fairfax County’s Bicycle Program manager. “The county has a Bike Master Plan that they adopted in October 2014, so we are here simply trying to implement those recommendations.”
The meeting was a followup from a November meeting at which community feedback on priorities for the three roads was gathered.
Residents raised concerns at Thursday’s meeting about the potential loss of parking in certain areas, including near Hunters Woods and Lake Anne elementary schools and the Lake Audubon Pool. In addition, worries were brought up by residents including increased congestion on Colts Neck Road and the potential danger of having one center turn lane in areas with left-hand turns on both sides.
“We’re definitely getting feedback from both sides,” Lind said. “A lot of it is people who have their concerns about their specific neighborhoods, and we think we’ve done a decent job trying to address a lot of those concerns, but the point of these meetings is to get this local feedback so we can continue to make upgrades and updates to the design.”
Bruce Wright, of Reston, is a Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling board member. He said making Reston a more bike-friendly community is important. In addition, he said, pedestrian safety on Colts Neck Road is a particular concern.
“There have been two pedestrians killed crossing Colts Neck, and I think by going from four lanes to two lanes, it’s going to be safer for everybody,” he said. “I think it’s going to be great if the county goes through with that plan.”
Among the proposals for Colts Neck Road is the call for the creation of at least one crosswalk at Hunters Woods Village Center and a possible pedestrian “refuge island” between lanes. Lind said to create crosswalks, a four-lane road must be altered to become a two-lane road with a center turn lane.
“You go across one lane, you have a pedestrian refuge, and then you go across the other lane,” he said. “We’re not going to add a crosswalk across a four-lane undivided [road] like Colts Neck; it’s just not safe.”
Dave Crocker, vice president of the nearby Hunters Square Cluster, said residents of his community have been wanting crosswalks for years.
“[The DOT] came out a couple years ago and put counters in place and eventually got back to us and said the numbers didn’t warrant crosswalks,” he said. “So we’re pleased to see this proposal here.”
Bicyclists and non-bicyclists clashed during the meeting, however, about proposals to remove parking and traffic lanes in some areas to make room for bike lanes. One resident said it is “fundamentally undemocratic” to take lanes away from drivers to provide a seemingly disproportionate amount of space for the relatively small percentage of the community that travels by bicycle.
“We’re taking 25 percent of the pavement, a limited public resource, and making it segregated for [bicyclists],” said John Farrell, president of Colonial Oaks Cluster. “The rest of us, the 80 percent of the trips who go everywhere in their cars, are getting deprived the use of that [pavement].”
Bicyclists in attendance said providing dedicated space for riders is a major advantage for everyone involved, as they now must travel in traffic lanes in places without bike lanes.
“Give me a place to get out of the way, and I’ll do it for you,” said one bicyclist. “It’s going to keep me safe and keep the cars moving at speed.”
Suggestions and comments made by attendees of Thursday’s meeting were collected and will be analyzed by FCDOT, Lind said, and the plan may undergo further alterations before it is executed. FCDOT will continue to collect comments until at least March 31. Residents may submit comments by email to [email protected].
Lind said the repaving and re-striping work is expected to take place sometime between May and November.
Reminder: Community Meeting on Street Designs Tonight — Bike lanes, crosswalks and center turning lanes will be among the topics of conversation at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting tonight at Dogwood Elementary School. Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road are being considered for the changes. [Reston Now]
Local Students Named to Honors Choir — A total of 77 Fairfax County middle-school students have been named to the 2017 All-Virginia Middle School Honors Choir, which will perform April 27-29 in Blacksburg. Among the honorees are Chelsea Camacho, Hannah Carter, Violet Sather and Thalia Tran from Langston Hughes Middle School; and Johnny Park, Hannah Townsend and Mackenzie Trimble from Herndon Middle School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Fellowship Square Foundation Names New Director — Christy Zeitz (pictured), formerly the executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia, is the new executive director of the Fellowship Square Foundation. Zeitz was also the former director of development for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance of Reston. The Reston-based Fellowship Square Foundation provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. It operates four properties, including Lake Anne Fellowship House and Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston. [Fellowship Square Foundation]
Home Listings Down in County, Sales Up — The number of active home listings in Fairfax County in January was 1,977. That number is down 17.4 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, 794 homes were sold in the month, up 6.9 percent from January 2016. The average sale price was $545,772, up 8.1 percent. [Fairfax County]
Photo of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza courtesy James Schaeffer Jr. on Facebook; photo of Christy Zeitz courtesy Fellowship Square Foundation