Now Open: Candidate Filing for Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors

Candidate filing is now open for Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors.

RCC is seeking to fill three seats on the nine-member board, which oversees policies, programs and financing planning for the center.

Residents from Small District 5 who are age 18 or older are eligible to run. Candidates must complete a candidacy statement for names to be placed on the preference poll ballot.

The filing deadline is August 15 at 5 p.m. Forms are available online.

Voting will run from September 6 through September 27. The deadline for mailed ballots is September 26 at 5 p.m. and September 27 at 5 p.m. for online or walk-in ballots.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will appoint members to serve on the board after voters indicate their preferences in the annual poll. Each member will serve a three-year term.

Logo via Reston Community Center

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Plan for New American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association Headquarters Moves Forward

A plan to redevelop the headquarters of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association — which includes the historic A. Smith Bowman Manor House — is underway.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the redevelopment plan on Thursday night. Members praised the developer, AP Reston Campus LLC maintaining manor house — which is currently on the county’s inventory of historic places — while incorporating new architectural and forward-looking elements.

AAFMA is looking to replace two existing buildings on the site with two Class A office buildings and continue to reuse the manor house as office space, primarily to receive visitors. The plan will preserve the existing gazebo and stormwater management pond.

The manor house, which was built in 1899, was the home of A. Smith Bowman, who owned more than 7,200 acres of land in what now includes Reston.

Bowman also owned the adjacent distillery, which originally served as the Wiehle Town Hall and was used as a church, general store and distillery.

Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter said the redevelopment plan was “an adaptive reuse of the 19th century house.”

“It will allow a valued existing employer to expand in Reston,” Carter said.

The plan includes an underground garage, a 6,2000-square-foot terrace that connects the two office building.

Andrew Painter, the attorney representing AAFMA, said the development designed the project so that the manor house — which is located in front of the two office buildings — would “pop” in front of the new office buildings.

The developer plans to construct a sidewalk along Old Reston Avenue and provide a connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. Mary Ann Tsai from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning , said the developer also agreed to connect the two planned sidewalks at the request of the county.

Dranesville District Planning Commissioner John Ulfelder encouraged the applicant to consider adding the manor house to the state and national registry of historic places.

AAFMA plans to preserve four parking spaces on the northern property line of the development plan. The county asked the developer to remove the buildings in order to reduce the amount of impervious service.

Painter said the developer plans to use the redeveloped site as their future home “for the next half century of longer.”

The project heads to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for approval on September 24.

AAFMA is a financial solutions provider that offers military life insurance, wealth management and survivor assistance and mortgage services.

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With County Approval, Great Falls Village Green Day School to Expand Enrollment Ages

Great Falls Village Green Day School, a private preschool in Great Falls, is expanding its enrollment ages in order to address the growing need for child care in the area.

The school, which has operated in the area for 40 years, has received the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s approval to enroll babies as young as three months. Previously, the child care center only provided care to children as young as two. The cap on ages — children of 12 years — remains the same..

At the board’s meeting on Tuesday (June 30), Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said the change offers a much needed service in the area.

Foust noted that the special exemption sought by the school to expand enrollment ages was a minor decision and did not require much discussion.

No changes to existing hours of operations, restriction on activities at the school or physical changes to the site were proposed.

The expanded program is expected to open its doors on August 26. The school is located at 790 Walker Road.

Photo via Jason Lody

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Tweaks to Long-Planned Arrowbrook Centre Development in Herndon Proposed

Tweaks to Arrowbrook Centre, a mixed-use development approved in 2005 for more than two million square feet of development, are being proposed.

The developer behind the project, which is near the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Centreville Road, is seeking to shuffle residential units from one building to another and the change the shape of one building from a L-shape to a U-shape. Roughly 78,000 square feet of footage will be reserved for a future application.

Other proposed changes include adding up to 32 multi-family units and 10 single-family units to a second building. Changes only apply to a 3.4-acre section of the 54-acre site.

“This change would create a more cohesive community and better respond to market demand in this Metro Station area,” according to the proposal, which was submitted in mid-May.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2005. Roughly 280,000 square feet of development were added to the site with the county’s approval in 2015.

Overall, no increase in the total gross square footage or buildings heights isis being proposed.

The Fairfax County Planning Comission will review the project in January next year.

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County Moves to Get Land Rights for Glade Drive Walkway Construction

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.

File photo

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County Board OKs Changes to Woodland Park Plan

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday (July 16) to scale back residential development at Woodland Park Crossing.

The mixed-use development, which has been proposed by NVR, Inc., is located near the future Herndon Metro Station. The developer sought to break up a previously approved 148-unit residential building into four condominiums.

The multi-family building, which had been approved for 210,715 square feet of development, would be divvied up into four, five-story condominiums with 185,000 square feet.

The county board first approved the project in March 2017. The site borders the Dulles Toll Road to the north and Monroe Street to the east. It is owned by Tishman Speyer.

Woodland Park Crossing is currently under construction.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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County Seeks to Crack Down on Panhandling in Medians and Intersections

County staff are exploring ways to curb panhandling by prohibiting pedestrians from engaging with cars on medians or intersections. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff to create a draft ordinance that would limit curb to curb interactions between drivers and pedestrians on Tuesday (July 16).

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and Braddock District Supervisor John Cook proposed the board matter in response to reports of increased panhandling in the last two years, including several areas in Reston.

In 2017, the Fairfax County Police Department received more than 2,100 calls related to panhandling, including issues related to safety, fear of suspicious people and traffic issues.

“It is unsafe and detracts from our neighborhoods,” Braddock District Supervisor John Cook, the proposal’s co-sponsor, said in a news release. “We have good programs in this county and many nonprofit groups who help the homeless, and that is a better way to help.”

Here’s more from the proposal by Herrity and Cook:

In the past two years, there has been a noticeable increase in panhandling on medians and intersections throughout the County. While there are some who panhandle because they need to, many more take advantage of the generosity of our residents through panhandling rings. Investigation into these rings has proven that many panhandlers in our County are coming from outside the County and even outside of the state, attracted by the wealth and generosity of our residents.

The Board has sought to help those panhandlers in need by committing a significant portion of the County budget to providing services for those residents who are down on their luck. The Board has encouraged residents to direct panhandlers to these County resources including shelters, food banks, health and job matching services, instead of giving small amounts of money. It is vitally important that we connect those in need with the right services and disincentivize panhandling.

Asking for money is a protected First Amendment right. In public areas, seeking money does not violate any laws.

FCPD encourages residents to report concerns about panhandlers who may have committed traffic offenses or be in involved in criminal activity to police.

The board will consider the proposal at the Public Safety Committee’s meeting on Sept. 17.

It’s unclear how the proposed policy will maintain protected speech.

To what extent do you think panhandling is a problem in Reston and Herndon? Let us know in the comments below.

File photo

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Changes to Woodland Park Crossing Head to County Board

A plan to break up a previously approved 148-unit residential building into four condominiums near the future Herndon Metro Station is moving forward.

NVR, Inc. is seeking the county’s approval to change plans for Woodland Park Crossing, a mixed-use project with 1.6 million square feet of planned development.

The multi-family building, which had been approved for 210,715 square feet of development, would be divvied up into four, five-story condominiums with 185,000 square feet.

The plan was first approved in March 2017, calling for a total of 678 residential units, two office buildings — 16 stories ad 14 stories, and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

The site borders the Dulles Toll Road to the north and Monroe Street to the east. It is owned by Tishman Speyer.

The county’s Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the project on Tuesday, July 16.

Map via handout/Fairfax County Government

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New Speed Humps Slated for Rosedown Drive

New speed humps are expected to be installed within the next several weeks along Rosedown Drive.

Four humps will be added to the road the request of the local homeowners association. The initiative is part of the county’s Residential Traffic Administration Program, which allows roads to be review for traffic calming procedures if requested by a board member.

Other speed humps could be added to Beverly Drive in Ashburn.

The total cost of both projects is $56,000. Funds are already appropriated in the county’s general fund.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will vote on the projects at a meeting on Tuesday, July 16. If approved, construction would begin as soon as possible.

Map via Google Maps

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Despite Mixed Feedback, Board of Supervisors Back Police Body-Camera Program

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors largely expressed support for equipping police officers in the county with body-worn cameras, despite mixed results from a recent pilot program.

At a July 9 public safety meeting, most supervisors said body-worn cameras would improve police accountability and community-police relations — particularly among minorities. The meeting was held to review results of the county’s pilot program last year.

If approved by the county’s board, the program would disseminate 1,210 body-worn cameras throughout the county over five years. Police at the Reston District Station would be the first to receive the devices.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova said that failing to implement the program would put the county at a disadvantage, especially when residents can record encounters with police. Without body-worn cameras, Bulova said the police department lacks a critical record of interactions that could be questioned or doctored.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, who also supports the program, said that while public confidence in the police department may be high currently, public sentiment could change within the next five years.

However, a 119-page report from American University researchers, found that while residents and police officers generally supported the program, its perceived benefits were largely minimal.

Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said he was unconvinced the program was worth the cost. Early estimates indicate the program could cost $30 million over five years, including funding for storage capacity and legal staff required to review and log footage.

“To me, it’s a question of priorities,” Herrity said. He would rather see the county reinvest money into retention, training and community policing efforts.

Others, however, said the American University report does not fully capture the views of minorities, especially Hispanics and African Americans who may have different encounters and different concerns with law enforcement.

Addressing the concerns of people of color is especially critical, said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that some of the data points in the report were too general and did not capture specific demographic segments.

“It is misleading to speak in generalities,” Foust said.

Photo via Fairfax County Police Department

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Following Democratic Primary, Little Movement on Comstock’s Campaigning Policies

Prior to the Democratic primary last month,  a controversy over Comstock’s campaigning restrictions prompted local elected officials to push back against the developer’s longstanding policy at Reston Station Plaza.

But there has been little movement on the issue in recent days.

In a June 7 letter, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova threatened legal recourse against Comstock, which she said was unfairly restricting public access to the property and possibly infringing on First Amendment rights. The county’s Commonwealth Attorney and the local American Civil Liberties Union also stepped in.

Bulova’s chief of staff Clayton Medford told Reston Now that Bulova plans to meet with Chris Clemente, Comstock’s CEO, to discuss access issues.

“The county is committed to looking into public spaces issues countywide to ensure members of the public have equal access,” Medford said.

No meeting has been scheduled yet. Clemente did not return requests for comment from Reston Now.

The issue stemmed over access to Reston Station Plaza, which was built through a public-private partnership.

Two candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor complained about Comstock’s policies.

The plaza is atop the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Photo by Fairfax Connector

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Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Approves Reston Crossing Redevelopment

With little fanfare and discussion yesterday (Tuesday), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tishman Speyer’s proposal to redevelop a Reston office park into seven mixed-use buildings next to the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

The project, known as Reston Crossing, would replace two office buildings with 2 million square feet of development at the intersection the Dulles Toll Road and Reston Crossing. Plans were first pitched in January last year.

Details of Reston Crossing are below:

  • Building 1: Up to 390,000 square feet of office and up to 15,000 square feet of retail
  • Building 2: Up to 130,000 square feet with between 89 or 144 residential units
  • Building 3: Up to 290,000 square feet in a residential-only building with between 144 to 322 units
  • Building 4: Up to 510,000 square feet with office and retail use. The building could have up to 22 stories — the tallest of all the buildings
  • Building 5: Up to 245,000 square feet with up to 261 residential units and some retail
  • Building 6: Up to 230,000 square feet with up to 244 residential units and some retail
  • Building 7: Up to 205,000 square feet with up to 222 units and 5,000 square feet of retail

The plan includes 890,000 square feet of office space, more than 1 million square feet of residential and up to 50,000 square feet of retail. More than 1,000 residential units are planned on the 14-acre site. Open light wells called “oculi” will allow pedestrians in open spaces to look down onto the parking level of the site.

The board also approved tweaks to Halley Rise, which will be anchored by Wegmans. One Reston Co. LLC and Two Reston Co. LLC sought to redistribute previously approved square footage to break up what the team called a “crowded block” on the project.

A plan to scale back the amount of office space at Reston Heights (11830 Sunrise Valley Drive) was also approved. The change reduced the amount of previously approved office space by 215,000 square feet.

Rendering via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Three Major Reston Projects Head to County Board for Approval Next Week

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider three major mixed-use developments in Reston next week.

If approved, the vote, which is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, would bring hundreds of additional residential units, as well as office space and retail to Reston’s Transit Station Areas.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission gave all three proposals a green light in previous weeks.

On the southwest corner of the intersection of Dulles Airport Access and Toll Road and Reston Parkway, Reston Crossing developers seek to build up to 1,194 residential units, 890,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail in a seven-building development project. Overall, the project would have up to 2 million square of development.

Developers for two other projects are requesting modifications to previously approved plans. Halley Rise, a 31-acre site previously approved by the county, could see some changes in the eight development blocks proposed on the 4.2 million-square-foot development. The project is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Reston Parkway. Currently, grading is underway for the first phase of the development.

The developer seeks to shuffle the makeup of hotel, residential and retail uses throughout the eight blocks of proposed development. Overall, the intensity of development will not change.

Similarly, the team behind Reston Heights (11830 Sunrise Valley Drive) is seeking to reduce the amount of office space that was previously approved by the county.

Renderings via handout/Fairfax County Government

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County Board OKs Thomas Avenue Cut-Through Traffic Restrictions

The Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors greenlighted cut-through restrictions on Thomas Avenue today (June 4).

The restrictions would end Thomas Avenue serving as a conduit to get to Route 7 and the resulting traffic jams during rush hour along the narrow residential road.

Back in January, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) presented potential solutions and gathered feedback from locals concerning ways to limit cut-through traffic at the congested street that lies north of Herndon.

Now, VDOT can install a “No Right Turn” sign from southbound Algonkian Parkway onto westbound Thomas Avenue between 7-10 a.m.

This change has been in the works for almost three years, starting in 2016 with the county board endorsing a resolution to VDOT requesting that the avenue get considered for measures that reduce its volume of cut-through traffic.

Photo via Google Maps

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Monday Morning Notes

Pride of Herndon Band Leaves for D-Day Celebrations Tomorrow — “The Herndon High School band of Herndon leaves Tuesday to participate in 75th D-Day celebrations in Normandy. Band members will carry pictures and stories of crew members who served on the USS Herndon during the invasion.” [WTOP]

Candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Discuss Stances on Cycling Issues  The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling caught up with two candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor. Candidate Walter Alcorn says he hopes to “accelerate existing plans to enable non-motorized access to transit stations and work centers” while candidate Maggie Parker discusses how biking is “a great equalizer.” Other candidates did not respond immediately to requests for comment. [Fairfax County Alliance for Better Bicycling]

Last Day for “LOVE” Letters in Reston Town Center Tomorrow — The iconic letters sign will leave RTC tomorrow as they tour 11 different sites in Fairfax County to celebrate the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s 50th anniversary of “Virginia is for Lovers!” [Reston Town Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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