Reston, VA

Monday Morning Notes

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Superintendent Pitches Budget — The $3.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2021 was presented to the county’s school board earlier this month. It represents a 5.8 percent increase over the previous budget. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Reston-based Company Names Chief Product Officer — “Reston-based higher education software company Ellucian has named Stephen Laster as its chief product officer… Ellucian provides products for higher education such as student information systems, data analytics tools and graduation-tracking platforms for more than 2,700 customers.” [Virginia Business]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Friday Morning Notes

Reston Association Seeks Design Review Board Members — RA is seeking members for two volunteer design professional positions. Applications are due by Jan. 31. [Reston Association]

County Seeks Election Officers   The county is seeking 2,100 election officers for the March 3 Democratic presidential primary election. Officers must be registered to vote in Virginia. The application is available online. [Fairfax County Government]

Registration for World Language Immersion Lottery to Open Later This Month — The Fairfax County Public Schools’ online registration for the county-wide lottery opens on Jan. 27. Parent information meetings kick off on Jan. 13. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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A major county effort to restore heavily degraded stream areas at the Snakeden Branch at Lake Audubon is underway and should be completed by October of this year.

The county is working with Reston Association and neighbors to restore 750 linear feet of stream channel. The stream area is so degraded that it exposed sewer pipes between South Lakes Drive, Wakerobin Lane, Cedar Cove Court and Lake Audubon.

“Exposed utilities, including sanitary sewer, are a potential human and environmental health hazard,” according to the county.

Construction began in October last year and is expected to take one year to complete.

The project disturbs a little over half an acre of forested land, requiring the removal of 111 trees. When the project is complete, 326 will be planted, according to data provided by the county. 

Once its complete, the project should improve water quality in the area, protect the local sanitary sewer system, remove invasive vegetation at the site, and reforest the area, resulting in improved wildlife habitat.

Here’s more on the project from RA:

Photos via Fairfax County Government

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The Fairfax County delegation to the General Assembly will hold a public hearing for the upcoming 2020 session.

The hearing will take place on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway).

Residents interested in speaking at the hearing should register online or contact the county’s Department of Clerk Services at 703-324-3151 by Thursday, Jan. 2.

Only county residents can speak either on behalf of themselves or an organization serving county residents. All speakers will be allocated three minutes to address the delegation. The hearing will be streamed online.

The 2020 session convenes on Wednesday, Jan. 8. More information about key dates is available online.

Photo via Fairfax County/Facebook

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Monday Morning Notes

Wireless Service Now Available for Green Line — Metro users can now take advantage of full cell service through four major wireless carriers on the Green Line. [WTOP]

Metro to Build New Lines to Handle CongestionMetro planners have come up with six ideas to address congestion through the Rosslyn Tunnel on the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines. But many fixes, including re-routing or creating new lines, would be multibillion-dollar deals that would take 25 years to execute. [WAMU]

Tom Susco Completes Eight-year Run — “In St. Louis, Missouri, Tom Susco of Arlington finishes his quest to run a marathon or half marathon in every state and D.C. in honor of his brother Tim, raising awareness for brain aneurysms and organ donation. It took eight years to complete.” [The Connection]

Parking Rate Adjusted for Local Shopping Malls — The Board of Supervisors approved a new minimum parking rate for large shopping malls at its Tuesday, Dec. 3, meeting. The changes give Fairfax County’s largest commercial retail centers additional flexibility to adapt to a changing retail marketplace as residents increasingly shop online. The minimum parking requirement for malls of 800,000 net square feet or more is being reduced from four spaces per 1,000 square feet to a rate of 2.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

County Seeks Help Reporting Streetlight Outages — Residents can report streetlight outages through the county’s interactive map online. [Fairfax County Government]

Meeting on Silver Line Phase Two Set for Today — The Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee meets today. The committee will receive an update on phase two of the project, as well as funding needs. [Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee]

Reminder about Reston Association Board Elections — Members interested in running for a seat in 2020should submit applications by Jan. 24. [Reston Association]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Monday Morning Notes

Reminder to Sign Up for Fairfax Alerts — The county is reminding residents to sign up for the alert system in order to keep up to date with winter travel news. [Fairfax County Government]

FCPS Scores High on Environmental Ranking — “Fairfax County Public Schools has earned “Platinum” status in the Virginia School Board Association’s “Green Schools Challenge” for 2019.” [Inside NoVa]

Annual Holiday Gift Shopping Event Set for Saturday — Reston Community Center’s annual “Gifts from the HeART” shopping event returns this Saturday (Dec. 7) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to all. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Tuesday Morning Notes

County’s New Glass Recycling Program Shatters Expectations — “In just a few months, Fairfax County’s new glass-recycling program is reportedly getting great results. Since the county started its “Purple Can Club” last spring, 2.8 million pounds of glass have been dropped off in special collection bins, one official said.” [WTOP]

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Accepts Toys for Donation — The department is participating in the region-wide toys for tons campaign. Children served by this campaign include toddlers and youth through age 17. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

County Launches Dog Park Study — The Fairfax County Park Authority is conducting a comprehensive study of off-leash dog areas in the county in order to assess current and future needs and opportunities for dog parts throughout the county. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Monday Morning Notes

Traffic Changes on Dulles Toll Road and Sunset Hill Road This Week — Lane closures are scheduled beginning today (Monday) through Friday, Nov. 22, along the eastbound and northbound Dulles Toll Road and eastbound Sunset Hills Road near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Owner of Public Interest Registry to Sell Organization — The owner of Reston-based Public Internet Registry, which oversees customers in the .org domain, is set to sell the organization to a private equity company. [Washington Business Journal]

Free Locking Devices Available for Medications, Firearms — The county is offering free cable and trigger locks ad locking medication boxes. Individuals interested in the items can email [email protected] for more information. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Brookfield Properties is seeking approval for the third phase of Halley Rise, a 4.1 million square foot project on the north side of Sunrise Valley Drive between Edmund Halley Drive and Reston Parkway.

The proposal, which was previously known as the Reston Crescent, received approval from the county in July 2018.

Brookfield plans to remake the 36-acre site into eight urban blocks, including 1.5 million square feet of new office space, 1,721 residential units, a 200-room hotel and 380,000 square feet of retail.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will consider Brookfield’s plan for the third phase of development at a meeting on Nov. 20.

The developer is seeking to build a 19-story building with 550,00 square feet of office space and 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail uses.

An eight-level parking garage is located behind the building and a neighborhood park with a fire pit and seating areas is planned in front of the building.

The first building, which will include an urban-format Wegmans, is currently under construction. It will occupy the ground floor of a seven-story building with 380 units and 1,000 parking spaces.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Lane and Ramp Closures This Week — Several ramp and lane closures are planned this week due to ongoing work on the extension of the Silver Line. Changes are planned along the Dulles Toll Road, Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Road and Moran Road. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

County Plans to Repurpose Unused Parking Spaces at Malls — “A proposed Fairfax County amendment aims to lessen the parking requirements for large retail centers, allowing unused parking lots to be repurposed. It’s an issue the county has been talking about for the past year and a county report said there’s been a decline in shopping malls since the 1990’s.” [WUSA 9]

Reston Witches Rules the Water on Hallow’s Eve — A playful coven of Halloween witches on stand up paddle boards skim the waters of Lake Anne to kick-off an evening play and spooky brews. [The Connection]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Thursday Morning Notes

Local Schools Recognized for Excellence in Web Content — “Fairfax County Public Schools has recognized ten school websites for excellence in web design and use of web-based tools in the 2019 Best of the Web Awards.  Winners were recognized at this year’s Web Curators conference.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Executive, FCPS Superintendent Discuss Budget, Collaboration — The county’s latest edition of “Connect with County Leaders,” a podcast, features County Executive Bryan Hill and Superintendent Scott Braband of Fairfax County Public Schools. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston Artist Unveils Newest Mural in Falls Church  Reston artist Dana Scheurer is known for her many commissions and installations, among them “The Midtown Community Mural” on New Dominion Parkway in Reston Town Center, Public Art Installation — Bicycle Racks at Walker Nature Center, and Lobby Installations — The Jordan in Arlington, AHC Inc. Baltimore office, The Serrano, Jackson’s Crossing and The Woodbury Apartments, according to the artist’s website.” [The Connection]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Voter turnout in Fairfax County rests at roughly 18 percent as of this afternoon.

So far, turnout in the Hunter Mill District (18.2 percent) is slightly above the county-wide average.

In previous years, turnout was nearly 70 percent in the 2018 midterms, up from 45.7 percent in the 2014 midterms.

The Springfield District has the highest turnout thus far, with turnout at 20 percent.

The district-by-district breakdown as of 1 p.m. today is below:

  • Braddock: 18.2
  • Dranesville: 18.4
  • Hunter Mill: 18.2
  • Lee: 15.6
  • Mason: 16.6
  • Mount Vernon: 17
  • Providence: 15.9
  • Springfield: 20
  • Sully:18.3

Unofficial election results are expected to trickle in after polls close at 7 p.m. today. Reston Now is following several local races, including two school board candidates for the Hunter Mill District. 

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The county is seeking proposals for a permanent, 3D public artwork at the Innovation Center Metro Station‘s garage.

The artwork must integrate with the larger public space in the project at 2435 Innovation Center Drive.

The Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services has budgeted $100,000 for the project, which should “evoke the spirit of 21st century urban living, creative inspiration and a sense of community.”

The artwork would be located in the pocket park on the southeast corner to the Metro garage.

Here’s more from the county about the project:

The Innovation Center development will be a new transit-oriented development just south of the Dulles Toll Road, adjacent to the Innovation Center Station, one of six Metrorail stations being built in the Silver Line’s second phase. The overall 14.6-acre site consists of the 5.5-acre footprint for a County-constructed Metro commuter garage, kiss-and-ride spaces, pocket park, and Metro plaza with the remaining 9.1-acres to be developed by a private developer. Fairfax County has partnered with the private developer to clear and grade the nearly 15-acre undeveloped site before installing stormwater infrastructure, building a road network, erecting streetlights, constructing public space, and landscaping. The infrastructure will serve the overall development including the Metro Station Garage.

The design of the Innovation Center Metro Garage and adjacent development envisions a site-specific artwork to evoke the spirit of 21st century urban living, creative inspiration, and a sense of community. The artwork may address local themes or landmarks of the surrounding area. The work should be visible from the street and the Metro Plaza, just north of the pocket park and kiss-and-ride. The artwork shall be accessible to the general public of all ages and ability levels, and shall not impact planned infrastructure, easements, trees, and critical root zones. The artwork may engage visitors by being tactile or interactive; may be an identifiable landmark or gathering spot on the site; may offer opportunities for environmental education; or may engage site features such as trees or topography to provoke a spatial experience.

Applications are due by Friday, Nov. 8. Three semi-finalists will be selected by a committee with representatives from the county.

More information about submission guidelines is available online.

File photo

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The future of a wooded patch of land nesting between a childcare facility, Reston Regional Library, and Paramount Condominiums is uncertain.

Norton Scott is appealing the county’s rejection of its plan to develop the 0.8-acre site with a 13-story condominium building with 58 for-sale luxury units — adding a new mix of housing units to the Reston Town Center market.

County planners say the developer’s plan exceeds the allowed density in the area and does not provide a public street connection between north Reston, Reston Town Center, and the future Reston Metrorail Station.

Reston’s master plan, which was approved in 2013, calls for extending Library Street to the Reston Town Center North site — a connection that county planners say is necessary to improve the street network in the area.

But Norton Scott is seeking to exercise a by-right plan, which comes after the county rejected a plan from MRP and Norton Scott in May 2018 for a public-private partnership on blocks seven and eight of the area known as Reston Town Center North.

The county deemed the proposal for Reston Town Center North– which would have included a civic plaza, a new library, a pedestrian underpass, and a new shelter, and a new performing arts center — too expensive.

County officials said they only received one submission for the project after a request for proposals was issued in 2017 for the project.

After the rejection and seven years after purchasing the site from Trammel Crow Company, Norton Scott says it wants to move forward with a new project on the site, which it is calling Library Square.

“The county kind of closed the door on other possibilities,” Chelsea Rao, senior vice president of Norton Scott, said. “We are a company and we want to monetize our assets.”

Rao also says the project would add a for-sale product in RTC’s housing market that hasn’t been seen for almost a decade.

She says the company is willing to work with the county to ensure the site extends well with the other areas in Reston Town Center north. But asking for a road to extend throughout the site interferes with the developer’s by-right plan.

In a Feb. 7 memo, county planners concluded the development plan could not reasonably accommodate a future extension of Library Street as a public street.

Access between the surrounding parcels does not align with the extension of the street, making the inter-parcel connection “futile,” according to the county’s planning department.

The county wants the developer to align its project with the existing Library Street and connect with the proposed connection associated with Library Street near Reston Town Center.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors deferred a decision on the appeal to Oct. 29.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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