Developers may need to add more affordable houses to address Loudoun County’s concerns over a 103-acre mixed-use project by the future Innovation Center Metro station.
The developers of the Rivana at Innovation Station have tried to justify how they’re meeting affordability needs, but Loudoun County officials have raised issues over how the project’s concessions will play out if only 170 units of a project will be affordable. The development could have up to 2,719 units.
Envisioning a 9 million square-foot, “walkable urban center that is directly connected to the Innovation Center Metro station,” developers wanted to start construction in the first quarter of this year. They previously shared plans involving a performing arts venue and two public parks as part of the project that would drastically redefine the area.
Antonio Calabrese, a partner with the multinational law firm DLA Piper, has countered that the developers’ project would include 6.25% of Unmet Housing Needs Units, which the county defines as units serving households that are at or below the area media income.
In a Dec. 6 letter to the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning, Calabrese also stated the developers’ percentage of affordable units is consistent with multiple rezoning requests of projects near Metro stations.
But in early September, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted a strategic plan that calls for a 20% affordability goal.
“This Application does not adequately address affordability in the current proposal,” Brian Reagan, the county’s housing programs manager, said in an Oct. 12 memo about the project’s second submission.
Loudoun County’s chair, Phyllis Randall, told Reston Now that the developers’ 6.25% rate of affordability is too low but questioned whether 20% was attainable there, citing high property values along the Metro line.
She said the county’s affordability goal is a guideline that helps navigate discussions with developers, noting it’s a place where conversation begins but doesn’t end.
“We don’t want to see brakes on the project,” Randall said. “We’d like to see it come to fruition.”
She also noted that the county for the first time is setting aside half a penny of property taxes to add to its housing trust fund, which could generate nearly $6 million per year, part of the county’s efforts to address equity.
Other affordability concerns raised
The Rivana application, and a subsequent updated proffers list dated Dec. 6, also called for the affordable units as being reserved for those making at or below 40%, 60% or 80% of the area median income.
But Loudoun County’s housing program manager has questioned that approach, too, saying that the breakdown should mirror existing housing programs there, which involve households making at or below 30%, 50%, 70% and 100% of the area median income.
Calabrese, the attorney, stated that the developers couldn’t determine the likely breakdown of rental apartment buildings and residential condominium buildings at that time and restated the developers’ ratios.
“The Applicant’s proposed development involves a long-term, multi-phased project consisting of substantial office, hotel, residential, and commercial uses,” Calabrese also wrote.
Reagan has also questioned whether the project will even have residential units for sale, noting that the first phase of the project is devoted to rental units.
The developers’ lawyer countered that it will “depend on the rental market and the condominium market” at that future time.
According to the Loudoun County Economic Development Authority, Novais Partners is the master developer of the property, which involves a partnership between Origami Capital Partners, Timberline Real Estate Partners, Open Realty Advisors and Rebees. Novais is a codeveloper of Rivana with the Hanover Co.
The application’s developers are DWC Holdings and Origami RE Growth GP, both linked to Chicago-based investment firm Origami Capital Partners.
Masks Now Required in County Facilities — “Beginning Monday, Aug. 9, all employees and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — will be required to wear a mask while inside all Fairfax County facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19…The rise in COVID-19 cases has resulted in the Fairfax Health District moving from moderate to substantial community transmission. This is due to the on-going spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus.” [Fairfax County Health Department]
Former FCPS Student Gets Olympic Gold — The U.S. finished first in the men’s 4×400 meter relay at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Saturday (Aug. 7), besting the Netherlands and Botswana. Former South County High School student Trevor Stewart helped Team USA reach the finals by leading the qualifying round on Friday (Aug. 6). He was not in the final heat but will still bring home a gold medal. [Olympics]
General Assembly Reaches Deal on COVID-19 Relief Spending — Virginia’s Senate and House will vote today (Monday) on a deal that negotiators reached late Friday for how to spend $4.3 billion in American Rescue Plan funds. Changes from Gov. Ralph Northam’s original plan include the addition of one-time bonuses to sheriff’s deputies, a boost to Medicaid rates for workers who serve individuals with disabilities, and a requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles reopen for walk-in services that had been halted during the pandemic. [The Washington Post]
NoVA Science Center Eyes 2022 Groundbreaking — The Fairfax-based Children’s Science Center hopes to break ground next year on its long-planned Northern Virginia Science Center in Loudoun County. The project has expanded from its original design, necessitating a relocation to a site that will accommodate an “expansion wing with a dome theater for large-format films and potentially even a planetarium contemplated for a future phase.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Unattended Candle Causes Herndon Fire — An unattended candle that was left burning caused a house fire in the 400 block of Pickett Lane in the Town of Herndon on Tuesday (Aug. 3), displacing seven people and producing approximately $50,000 in damages. No humans were injured, but a dead dog was found on the second floor during search and rescue operations. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Herndon Police ID Vehicle Involved in Shooting — A vehicle involved in a shooting incident in the 900 block of Alabama Drive on Monday (Aug. 2) has been identified, along with its occupants, the Herndon Police Department said. No injuries were reported, but anyone with additional information can contact police at 703-435-6846. [Patch]
Nearby: Local Football Team Bans Racist Costumes — “As the Washington Football Team continues to move away from its former identity, the franchise announced on Wednesday that Native American-inspired headdresses and face paint will be banned from FedEx Field. The rule is included in the team’s 2021 season protocols for the stadium in Loudoun County, which will reopen at full capacity for the upcoming season.” [DCist]
Frying Pan Farm to Offer Free Ice Cream — “The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park invites the community to enjoy free ice cream while supplies last on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, starting at 7 p.m. at Frying Pan Farm Park, located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon. Ice cream will be available to visitors attending the U.S. Army Band’s ‘Swamp Romp’ concert.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]
Fundraiser Launched for Family of Homicide Victims — “A family member of the mother and two children killed over the weekend in Herndon has launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for funeral expenses…As of 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the campaign had raised more than $3,600 toward its goal of $30,000.” [Patch]
Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art Reopens Gallery — “We are pleased to announce that Tephra ICA at Signature, our satellite gallery space highlighting work by local and regional artists, has reopened for visitors. The gallery is located at the Signature apartment building in Reston, VA, and visitors are welcome Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm.” [Tephra ICA]
Leidos Lights Up HQ for Pride Month — Leidos will light up its headquarters building at Reston Town Center in rainbow colors today “as a tribute to PRIDE Month and the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots,” the information technology contractor says. This is the second year that the company has put on the display, which will run around the clock through June 30. [Leidos]
Nearby: Person Arrested at Loudoun County School Board Meeting — “The Loudoun County School Board shut down a public meeting Tuesday on a new policy involving transgender students after people at the meeting reportedly started speaking over public commenters and refused to cooperate. One person was arrested and there was at least one person injured, authorities say.” [NBC4]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Telemedicine Has Big Plans — “Hammad Shah has two key goals for 2020: Serve more patients and reach more health systems. To do that, the CEO of Reston telemedicine provider SOC Telemed is shepherding the company further into post-acute care, to connect skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities with its team of doctors to remotely care for patients after they’re discharged from the hospital — and, consequently, prevent readmissions.” [Washington Business Journal]
Reston Association Replaces Reston Magazine with Activities Guide — Reston Association is expected to mail out a new activities guide this week, replacing the Reston magazine. The print version will be published four times a year. A digital version will be uploaded each quarter. [Reston Association]
Nearby: Loudoun County Seeks to Build Affordable Housing — “As the demographics of people moving to the suburbs shifts, Loudoun County is attempting to create more housing options to address would-be residents’ unmet needs. While Loudoun has grown at a fast pace over the past few years, like many jurisdictions in the region it has an affordable housing crunch, and many young adults can’t afford to live in the area.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Photo by Elizabeth Copson
A drunk Reston man was arrested for allegedly trespassing at a restaurant in Ashburn on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
A sheriff’s deputy responded around 12:14 a.m. to the 20000 block of Easthampton Plaza for reports of a man refusing to leave the restaurant.
The man, a 24-year-old Reston resident, was arrested and charged with public intoxication, according to the report. He was released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.
In a separate incident, a sheriff’s deputy responded to Potomac View Road and Benedict Drive in Sterling on Thursday (Jan. 17) at 8:38 p.m. to assist Loudoun EMS with a disorderly subject inside an ambulance.
While the deputy was speaking with the EMS crew, Edwin A. Rivera-Ardon, 27, of Herndon struck the deputy, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Rivera-Ardon was arrested and charged with public intoxication and assault on law enforcement. He is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.
The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:
11900 block of Bowman Town Center Drive, backpack and tablet from location
1800 block of Cameron Glen Drive, cell phone from residence
2100 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business
2400 block of Centreville Road, merchandise from business
1400 block of Lake Fairfax Drive, purse from vehicle
1800 block of Michael Faraday Drive, laptop computers from business
10300 block of Mountington Court, purses from residence
12900 block of Park Crescent Circle, watch from business
1600 block of Reston Parkway, tools from business
2400 block of Ridgehampton Court, license plates from vehicle
11200 block of Roger Bacon Drive, wallet from location
12000 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from vehicle
12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, property from location
At 12:43 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 19), a Fairfax County police officer stopped a 2018 Toyota Rav4 after it was seen driving off the shoulder on westbound Leesburg Pike by Trotting House Lane.
When the officer got out of his car, the driver sped away, according to the report. The officer chased the car until the driver suddenly stopped near the 9500 block of Brian Jac Lane and took off into the woods.
Police did not find the driver after an extended search and are following up on leads to identify the driver.
Several residential burglaries happened recently in Reston.
A Reston homeowner awoke around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 16) to the sound of footsteps in the basement of a house in the 1500 block of Regatta Lane and found a door ajar, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“It was later determined that bags were removed from a closet and rummaged through,” according to the report.
On Friday (Jan. 18), someone broke in and ransacked a house in the 9700 block of Middleton Ridge Road between 8;30 a.m. and 11:20 p.m. Cash and other items were reported missing, according to the report.
Then, on Sunday (Jan. 20), someone broke in and ransacked a house in the 1500 block of Victoria Farms Lane at 4:30 p.m., but nothing was taken.
Deputies responded to the 39000 block of Peacock Circle around 3:30 p.m. for a trespassing complaint after a witness said that a male forced entry into a trailer on the property, which contained firearms, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Before the deputies arrived, the suspect, now identified as Hyeong J. Suh, 29, of Reston, was heard firing a weapon on the property, the report said.
An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office indicates that Suh “fired a weapon several times, including firing rounds at two responding deputies.” The deputies exchanged gunfire and wounded Suh, who then “subsequently barricaded himself in the trailer, but exited a short time later and surrendered without further incident,” the report says.
Suh was immediately transported to a local hospital for a non-life threatening injury.
Suh was arrested and charged with one count of attempted capital murder and breaking and entering, according to the report. Currently, Suh is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.
Two deputies have been placed on routine, paid administrative leave until the end of the investigation, per Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office policy.
Photo via LCSO
Lake Audubon’s dredging project is slated to start as soon as Feb. 1.
The Reston Association announced today (Jan. 18) that it plans to hire Lake Services, Inc. to dredge the accumulated sediment from the lake’s main coves. Dredging could begin as early as Feb. 1 with expected completion by the end of April.
The announcement came five months after residents were warned to avoid the lake after a harmful algae bloom was spotted. The bloom, called Microcystis, can produce toxins that are lethal for livestock, fish and people. Some of the toxins have been linked to liver cancer.
“Routine dredging is part of the association’s lakes maintenance program, which helps to extend the life of the lake,” the press release say. “As lakes age, they eventually fill in through sedimentation.”
Sedimentation occurs when materials such as soil from stream erosion, construction sites, road sand, leaves or other debris accumulate in the lake.
RA anticipates that the dredging will require removing 13,500 cubic yards of material, which will be placed in trucks and hauled to a disposal site in Loudoun County.
While the dredging is underway, locals can expect truck traffic to affect the Lake Audubon Pool’s parking lot, according to the press release.
The dredging operation staging area will be located at the Lake Audubon boat ramp. Dredging will not occur at the shoreline edge or within 5 feet of any dock structure, according to the press release.
Before dredging can begin, RA’s Board of Directors will need to approve the project contract with Lake Services, which is anticipated at the upcoming meeting next Thursday (Jan. 24).
Photo via Reston Association
Thomas Avenue’s days as a conduit for cut-through traffic trying to get to Route 7 might be numbered.
At a meeting next Wednesday (Jan. 16) at Dranesville Elementary School, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will host a meeting about plans to limit cut-through traffic at the congested street north of Herndon.
Currently, the narrow residential street is clogged with traffic during rush hour trying to get around congestion on Algonkian Parkway to Route 7.
At the meeting, VDOT will present potential solutions and gather feedback from locals. Proposals include restricting right turns during weekday peak morning traffic.
The meeting will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 7 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, a meeting will be held the following Tuesday.
The public comment period will run until Jan. 28.
Photo via Google Maps
Loudoun County police arrested and charged a Reston man with driving under the influence last Wednesday night near Paeonian Springs.
A sheriff’s deputy spotted the driver, Karl F. Wolf, a 75-year-old Reston resident, going over the posted speed limit at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 9 at 10:23 p.m. on Dec. 19, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Wolf has been released from the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on an unsecured bond.
The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:
11900 block of Market Street, merchandise from business
11900 block of Market Street, cell phone from location
13200 block of Parcher Avenue, cell phone from school
11100 block of South Lakes Drive, merchandise from business
11800 block of Sunrise Valley Drive, cash from business
21800 block of Town Center Plaza, merchandise from business
Fairfax County police discovered that the AT&T store at 1810 Library Street was broken into after they responded to an alarm going off at the store at 1:45 a.m. last Wednesday (Dec. 19). Police determined that someone stole electronics, according to the report.
Last Thursday (Dec. 20) Herndon police arrested 34-year-old Carlos S. Portillo of Herndon on four counts of sexual assault against a victim who knew him, according to the Herndon Police Department.
The assaults happened at the 1000 block of Alabama Drive, according to the report.
Portillo is currently being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center without bond, according to the report.
County remains among the richest — the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Fairfax County ranks second as the richest county from 2013 to 2017, following Loudoun County. [U.S. Census Bureau]
It’s snow joke — With snow predictions looming, the Virginia Department of Transportation wants residents to stay safe by looking over its 2018-2019 “snow facts.” [VDOT]
Fine arts photography collection — The “La Lumiere DuBois VII” exhibit by Michael DuBois, who highlights his love of nature, opens today at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The exhibit is open until Jan. 6. [Reston Community Center]
“She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition” — Watch students from the Herndon High School perform a contemporary dramatic comedy tonight at 7 p.m. Parental guidance is recommended. [Herndon High School Theatre]
Photo by Susan Berger
Sameride, a ridesharing app that allows drivers and passengers to offer and request rides, has launched a new route from Herndon, Reston and Loudoun County to Arlington and the District.
More than 140 commuters are registered for the service, which allows app drivers and passengers to offer or request rides before taking off for their commute. Unlike taxi services, Sameride is an on-demand carpool service that helps connect drivers and drivers commuting on the same route.
Commuters can carpool on express lanes between Park & Ride commuter lots and their offices. The company, which first launched a route between Woodbridge and Tysons Corner, serves around 250 commuters. Company officials estimate the service can help customers who commute between the Herdon-Monroe Park & Ride lot and Rosslyn Metro Station $300 on rider’s fares or $590 on express lanes tolls on a monthly basis.
Andriy Klymchuk, a company representative for Sameride, said demand for a carpool matching service from Reston and Herndon has grown.
“This demand is due to the conversion of I-66 into high-occupancy toll express lanes, new residential constructions in the area and expansion of Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride lot. The same is true for Loudoun County commuters,” Klymchuk said. “In addition, Reston area serves as a hub for Sameride commuters coming on 267. Some commuters drive from as far as west of Leesburg and pick-up riders at the commuter lots near Reston.”
Klymchuk offered the following information about how the company differs from other ridesharing services:
Think about it as a commute sharing. You and your neighbor happen to work in the same location and you agree to ride to work together. With Sameride you do the same but through the app that allows you to create on-demand carpools. You can choose to be a driver or a rider, set your pick-up time and locations, commute once or daily, create ride requests or offers a few hours or a week before your commute. Drivers benefit from using HOT express lanes toll-free and riders benefit from getting a free commute. Both parties benefit from getting to the office and back home faster.
The app is available on iOS and Android.
Photo via Sameride
Scam and fraud awareness event today — At an event at Reston Association headquarters, today from 4-7 p.m., a local detective and community partners will discuss warning signs of fraud and provide information about common scams that frequently target the older adult community. [AARP Virginia]
Not betting the farm — “Key players in the joint bid for Amazon’s second headquarters say their community’s time has come, even if the Seattle-based company picks another location.” [Washington Business Journal]
A free (but not necessarily full) ride — Loudoun County Transit is offering free bus service from the park-and-ride in Purcellville to the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station beginning Oct. 1. [The Loudoun Tribune]
Photo by Charlotte Geary
Metro is offering a glimpse into its next generation of rail cars, which are similar to the stainless steel 7000-series launched three years ago.
On Tuesday (September 5), Metro announced it has begun the procurement process for the 8000-series, which will replace the 2000- and 3000-series cars, which went into service more than 10 years ago. Trains are needed to meet expanding service, especially as the expansion of the Silver Line to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County comes closer to fruition.
Departing from previous ideas, which included open, raised platforms to reduce overcrowding, heated floors and onboard WiFi, the latest plans are similar to the 7,000-series currently in operating. New features include new digital advertising screens, support for remote PA announcements, digital system mats, 110-volt power outlets to charge electronic devices and more lighting, floor markings and signage for ADA areas.
“Today Metro is beginning the multi-year process of acquiring our next railcar fleet, which will take everything our customers love about 7000-series trains and build upon that success,” Wiedefeld said in a statement. “I would take this opportunity to again thank our local jurisdictions — Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia — for creating a dedicated capital funding source for Metro that has made this possible,” according to a statement by Metro.
Metro has issued a formal request for proposals, which will close in late January. A contract will be awarded sometime next year. The contract calls for purchasing up to 800 cars, including options to run more trains during rush hour, and retiring the 6000-series fleet. The new trains are expected to be in service in 2024.
Photos via Washington Metropolitan Area Authority
Growing pains — Proposals to increase population density have been met by fierce community opposition. A Burke resident fires back, arguing that Reston’s development isn’t finished yet. [Greater Greater Washington]
Forging a new fellowship — Lake Anne Fellowship House could soon be transformed into a new 240-unit apartment building for seniors in need of affordable housing. Plans, which also include 74 townhouses, will go before the Design Review Board on March 19. [Reston Association]
Second phase of Loudoun Station begins — Reston-based Comstock is set to begin the $75 million development project as Metro service inches closer. [Washington Business Journal]
Wins in the first regional champion for girls indoor track — With dominating performances in the sprints and relays, the South Lakes High School girls’ team won the 6A North Region D indoor track and field championship in mid-February. [SLHS]
Photo by Ruth Sievers