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 18 Percent So Far

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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Ideas Sought for Public Art at Innovation Center Metro Station

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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Despite Appeal, Future of $50 Million Condo in Reston Town Center North Remains in Jeopardy

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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Tuesday Morning Notes

Proposed Changes to Land Use Regulations Unveiled Today — Fairfa County officials will showcase proposed revisions to zoning land use regulations as part os its zoning modernization project — zMOD — today (Tuesday) at the Fairfax County Government Center at 7 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

INOVA Blood Drive is Today — The bloodmobile will be stationed next to the pavilion from 1-6 p.m. today. Appointments to donate blood can be scheduled online or by calling 1-866-256-6372. [Reston Town Center]

Absentee Voting in Full Swing — Absentee voting, which kickstarted last Thursday, across 10 locations in Fairfax County is underway. Locations will be open Mondays through Saturdays until Saturday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Hudgins Reflects on 20 Years as Supervisor — Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who has been a supervisor for 20 years, fears Reston has lost its welcoming spirit for newcomers. [Washington Business Journal]

CoreSite Announces Opening of New Data Center — “With over 100MW of expected capacity for the Reston Campus Expansion, and the multi-cloud capabilities of the CoreSite platform, we are in a position to deliver the maximum degree of scale, operational flexibility and performance throughout the entire lifecycle of customers’ digital transformation journey,” writes Juan Font, CoreSite’s senior vice president of general management. [Data Economy]

County Offers Held to Prevent Opioid Overdoses — “According to the latest statistics from the Virginia Department of Health, there were 324 fatal overdoses caused by opioids in January-March of 2019 in the commonwealth. Unfortunately, those are the highest first-quarter numbers ever recorded. Twenty-two occurred in Fairfax County.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Save the Date: Southgate Community Day Set for October 19

Southgate Community Center will host community day on Oct. 19.

The event at the center, which is located at 12125 Pinecrest Road, includes music, raffles, moon bounces, cakewalks, a talent show, and food vendors, takes from place from 11 to 4 p.m.

The day is presented by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, which promotes the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community by providing a mix of recreation, educational and development programs.

More information about the event is available online. The event is free and open to all.

File photo

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New Glass Recycling Rules in Effect in Fairfax County

Fairfax County residents are no longer required to place glass bottles, jars, and other glass items in curbside recycling bins.

The change, which went into effect on Tuesday (Oct. 1), was made at the request of private recycling sorting centers and Covanta Fairfax, Inc., which operates the area’s waste-to-energy plant.

In the past, county officials say single-stream recycling has caused major problems. Glass recyclables often break during collection and transport to recycling centers, contaminating other more valuable recycled items like cardboard and metals.

In recent years, China, the largest customer of recycled materials, has begun imposing strict standards on the quality of accepted recycled materials.

County officials also say glass has damaged machinery and is often heavy, adding costs to transporting recyclables to centers.

Residents can deliver glass containers to one of 21 purple recycling bins in the county. Recently, a new bin was added to the Reston South Park and Ride lot.

All colors of clean glass bottles and jars are accepted at purple containers. Light bulbs, lamps, ceramics, porcelain, mirrors, window, and sheet glass cannot be recycled at the sites.

Collected glass will be processed by the region’s only glass processing plant in Lorton. Recycled materials will be used for pipe bedding, filter material, and other purposes.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Fairfax County Adds New Glass Drop-Off Center in Reston

Residents can drop off glass for recycling at a new purple dumpster at the Reston South Park and Ride lot. The bin, which is located on the southeast corner of the lot, is part of the county’s efforts to encourage glass recycling.

Most recycled glass in curbside recycling bins ends up in landfills because the glass breaks during transportation to the county’s recycling facility and mixes with other recyclable materials, according to the county. Collected glass will be used for construction materials.

All colors of emptied glass — including bottles and jars — are acceptable. Residue should be removed from the material before recycling.

Items that include food, plastic bags, lamps or light bulbs, ceramics, mirrors, windows, porcelain and glass sheets will not be accepted. Glass recyclable will also be accepted for collection in curbside pickup.

The regional glass recycling program, which is called Purple Can Club, kicked off in April. The county partnered with the City of Alexandria, Prince William County, and Arlington County to bring several glass-only bins to Northern Virginia.

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Tuesday Morning Notes

‘No Place Safe’ from Hidden Cameras — “The teen said she never gave a second thought to the iPhone that Raphael Schklowsky incorporated into his lessons at Herndon High School. But even as he was teaching drama, Schklowsky was allegedly using the device to victimize her. Fairfax County police detectives showed the 17-year-old girl a shocking display. During just one class in spring 2017, they said, Schklowsky snapped at least a dozen inappropriate photos of her body from different angles and zooms as she sat on a riser.” [The Washington Post]

INOVA Bloodmobile in Reston Town Center Today — INOVA’s blood mobile will be on-site at Reston Town Center from 1-6 p.m. today. Individuals can donate blood by registration on-site or online. [Reston Town Center]

Strategic Plan Feedback Sought — Residents who are unable to make a series of community meetings on the county’s strategic plan, which is currently in development, can provide feedback online. [Fairfax County Government]

Centroid Exhibit Opens This Weekend — “GRACE will present the next chapter of Baltimore-based artist Nate Larson’s Centroid Towns project. Since the first US census in 1790, the United States Census Bureau has been recording the mean center of population as it moves steadily west and south. The first Centroid Town recorded was Chestertown, Maryland, and the projected Centroid of the 2020 census is Hartville, Missouri.” [East City Art]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Absentee Voting in Fairfax County Begins Tomorrow

Absentee voting in Fairfax County begins tomorrow (Sept. 20) for the Nov. 5 elections.

Eligible community members can register to vote for the upcoming elections online or at the Office of Elections (12000 Government Center Parkway) in conference rooms two and three. Voters may also receive their ballots through the mail.

Absentee voters in Reston may also submit their registration or ballots to the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive) on Oct. 17- Nov. 2 from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays.

All absentee voters will need a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification card and their social security number to register.

For those unfamiliar with the process of absentee voting, Fairfax County published a variety of resources to explain the procedure and help answer questions.

Ballots will be translated into English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.

The last day to apply for an absentee ballot is seven days before the election, or Oct. 29 by 5 p.m., according to Fairfax County. All absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 in order to be counted.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Absentee Voting Begins This Friday — Absentee voting for the general election in November begins on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Fairfax County Government Center. An additional nine satellite absentee voting locations will open on Thursday, Oct. 17. [Fairfax County Government]

Reston’s Place as a ‘Radical Suburb’ Tonight at Reston Community Center Lake Anne – “Author Amanda Hurley speaks about her book Radical Suburbs: Experimental Living on the Fringes of the American City. American suburbs were once fertile ground for utopian planning, communal living, socially conscious design and integrated housing. Hurley’s talk will discuss and compare Reston with other communities.” [Reston Community Center]

Walk to School Day Set for Oct. 2Students and employees are encouraged to bike or walk to school and work on October 2.  Parents are encouraged to accompany their children to school, and to work with their school and PTA or PTO to assemble bike trains or walking groups for the event.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Monday Morning Notes

Herndon Woman Killed in Crash on Dulles Access Road — “Police said Megan E. Bell, 28, of Herndon, was the driver and only occupant of a Honda Civic involved in the single-vehicle crash that occurred at 2:34 a.m. along the Dulles Access Road (Route 267), a quarter-mile west of Route 123 in Tysons, according to Virginia State Police.” [The Washington Post]

Campus Commons Project Up for Vote — The Reston Planning and Zoning Committee is reviewing the project, which has received criticism from citizen-led organizations, tonight at 7:30 p.m. [Reston Planning and Zoning Committee]

Vehicle Car Payments Due — The county mailed out more than 800,000 annual bills to vehicle owners, and because Oct. 5 falls on a Saturday, this year’s deadline to pay your bill is Monday, Oct. 7. We have many ways to pay and extended hours to help make the process easy for everyone. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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Friday Morning Notes

County to Host Zoning Open House — “Sheds, home-based businesses, and outdoor lighting on residential properties are some of the topics that will be discussed at the upcoming Zoning Open House on Tuesday, September 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. It will be held in the South County Center Main Conference Room, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria.” [Fairfax County Government]

Hourly Wages to Rent in Reston — “They say home is where the heart is, but a new report by affordable housing advocates also shows that home is where the money is. The typical household in Fairfax County must earn $32.02 an hour to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rate, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. In the report, “Out of Reach,” Virginia is said to have the 13th highest ‘housing wage’ in the country.” [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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