Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar. Know of other events in the area? Comment below.
Closures are in effect ahead of Christmas weekend, but there are still a few options for things to do in the area:
- Horse-drawn carriage rides continue on Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. at Reston Town Center. Rides depart from Market Street near Clyde’s and cost $5 per person. Children under 5 ride free.
- Have your gifts wrapped by volunteers at Hyatt Regency’s Market Street entrance on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Donations will benefit Kids 4 First.
- Enjoy a holiday break brunch at Mon Ami Gabi from Tuesday through Friday. The brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m.
- Take part in college night skate night at the Ice Skating Pavilion in Reston Town Center every Thursday through March from 6 – 9 p.m.
- Paulina Peavy’s exhibition at Greater Reston Arts Center continues every Tuesday through Saturday, Feb. 17 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Santa will visit Glory Days Grill on 1400 North Point Village Center on saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
North Point Meeting Tonight — The third in a series of Reston Association Board of Directors district meetings is scheduled for tonight. North Point Director John Mooney will host the meeting from 7-8:30 p.m. at Armstrong Elementary School (11900 Lake Newport Road). [Reston Now]
Audio, Video of Police Shooting Released — Fairfax County Police released on Friday the 911 audio and helicopter video of the January hostage/barricade situation in Herndon that ended when an officer shot and killed the suspect. [WTOP]
Satirical Musical Gets Good Review — “Urinetown: The Musical” has “ink-black comedy, boundless energy, a dream cast and a brilliant musical score,” a reviewer says. It is playing at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) through June 25. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
Ice Cream Social This Afternoon — Reston Association will host an ice cream social at 4:30 p.m. today at North Point Recreation Area (11515 North Shore Drive). [WebTrac]
File photo via Mark Majoros/RA
Arlene Krieger and John Mooney, the two candidates in the race for the North Point seat on the Reston Association Board of Directors, made their cases Wednesday during a candidate forum at the Lake House.
The venue itself was a major topic of discussion during the event. The Lake House has been the subject of a great deal of community debate since its controversial purchase and costly renovation by Reston Association.
Krieger, a longtime community activist, said Reston Association’s board should have recognized from the start that it lacked the expertise to make such a deal.
“It is very, very foolish to initiate a plan when you have no idea what you’re doing and you don’t even know that you have no idea what you’re doing,” she said. “This thing should never have been taken on by this particular group of people. We need to recruit from the community experts who know what they’re doing, [and] we need to include them from the first day anything is planned.”
Mooney, a senior manager in Arlington County for 17 years, said major deals such as the Lake House purchase require an ability to do proper analysis from the get-go.
“[It’s about] making sure that we have the analytic capacity within Reston Association to deal with complex issues, to do upfront, thorough investigation of the issues so that we don’t make false starts and big mistakes,” he said. “We need that both for the renovations and the programming for income, we need advice on both of those.”
Mooney made similar statements when asked about the Lake Newport soccer field renovation project, which has been tabled indefinitely by the RA board after strong outcry from the community.
“When a community process becomes very divisive, so that fruitful dialogue can’t occur, the board needs to decisively and quickly stop the process,” he said. “We need careful and thorough analysis of complex proposals before endorsing them. … I think that could have been analyzed better, and to me it indicates an improvement the Association can make.”
Krieger said the community has “totally and completely made up its mind” on the soccer project, and RA stumbled out of the starting blocks by not including them in the discussion from Day One.
“The mistake Reston Association made again is that they started a project 10 months before the community and the affected parties knew about the project,” she said. “They once again underestimated the power of the community, and that’s why they got themselves again in so much trouble.”
Krieger said the community should always be involved from the outset of a project, and that she would work to create an ad hoc telecommunications committee in the attempt to better that communication. While Mooney agreed that community dialogue is important, he said it’s also important to remember that some projects need to be vetted before involving residents.
“[The community wants] the board to winnow issues down, to structure issues, so the community doesn’t waste time,” he said. “Then you engage the community fruitfully, otherwise the community becomes frustrated and will walk away from the whole process.”
Both Krieger and Mooney have been involved in the fight against redevelopment at St. Johns Wood, though that was a source of disagreement for them in Wednesday’s forum. Mooney cited his work on a critical analysis of the proposal that helped bring it to a stop; Krieger, though, said Mooney didn’t do as much as he claims.
“The reports were a composite of everyone else’s research,” she said. “The only original thing that John did [was when] I assigned John to do a traffic study at the Sept. 14 meeting. I figured out how to get this before the Board of Directors, nobody else could figure that out.”
Mooney said he was “astounded” by Krieger’s claims.
“What I did was not a composite of other people’s work,” he said. “It was the result of 80 hours-plus of careful analysis of the Reston Master Plan and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and identifying in very particular, quantified ways how this did not comply with the Reston Master Plan.”
The candidates also answered questions on assessment rates, transparency, potential golf course redevelopment and more. The forum can be viewed in full on the Reston Association YouTube channel.
The candidate who wins the race will serve the remaining two years of a term being vacated by Dannielle LaRosa, who announced in December she would step down. Voting will continue through April 3.
Candidate forums in the races for the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District and an At-Large seat will take place tonight, at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. respectively, at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).
LaRosa will remain until her replacement is chosen. Her last day is April 11, and by the time she leaves, she will have served a total of three years on the board.
LaRosa announced her resignation in an email to the RA’s CEO, Cate Fulkerson, and other members of the board on Thursday.
“Due to family commitments, coupled with the number of board and committee meetings, I feel that my resignation would be best for my family and for North Reston as a whole,” she said in a statement. “I have loved being a member of this board and I will treasure the conversations that I’ve had with my neighbors as we’ve worked to better our community.”
LaRosa’s replacement will be responsible for handling issues such as the proposed St. Johns Wood development.
Mike Leone, the RA staff’s director of communications, said that LaRosa realizes that as a representative of her neighborhood, she feels whoever fills her position should be someone who can pay full attention to such projects.
“She feels [St. Johns Woods] is an important project that requires a lot of time and attention, given its importance to the North Point District,” Leone said. “Since she feels she needs more time for her family, she feels personally that it’s important that whoever fills that position has enough time and commitment to attend all meetings, like the Design Review Board, Planning and Zoning, and other meetings within the governing body, since they are so important to that project.”
In addition to being the representative for North Point, LaRosa also served as the board’s treasurer. However, Leone said important positions such as president, vice president, treasurer and secretary are decided each year during a newly-installed board’s first official meeting. Therefore, LaRosa will continue to serve as the treasurer until a new one is decided after the election in April.
“Right now, her decision to resign leaves the [treasurer] position to be filled as well, but it won’t necessarily be the person who succeeds her,” Leone explained.
LaRosa’s resignation means there will be a total of four seats on the nine-member Board of Directors up for election in the spring.
In addition to North Point, the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District representative, an at-large board member, and the Apartment Owners representative are also up for election. Those positions are currently filled by Lucinda Shannon, Jeff Thomas, and Board President Ellen Graves, respectively. Their three-year terms are up on April 11, 2017.
In order to run for a seat on the board, a potential candidate must write a candidate statement and obtain signatures of support from at least 25 different households within their district, or in all of Reston if running for an at-large position,
Candidates must reside within the boundaries of the Reston deed, and may not have any outstanding balances owed to the association.
An information session for interested candidates will be held at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
The deadline to submit completed candidacy forms is 5 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2017.
Voting by RA members will take place in-person and by mail-in ballot between March 3 and April 3, with results being announced on April 11.
Visit the board’s election page for more information on running.
Photo: Danielle LaRosa / Credit: RA
The sports-themed restaurant signed a lease for the space, empty since Blockbuster Video closed in 2011, last October. Initial estimates were that the new location would open in Summer 2014.
But Glory Days says that the process has taken longer because of an addition they plan to build on to the North Point space.
According to Fairfax County permits, the company has the go-ahead to bump out the corner storefront that used to house Blockbuster Video. The plans have also been approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board.
The space has been empty since Blockbuster closed in March of 2011.
Glory Days announced last October that it would open the North Point location, and a spokeswoman said then it likely would not open until at least summer 2014. The company is just now getting started on permitting and construction. The Glory Days website says the Reston location will open in 2014.
Glory Days is a regional chain of sports-themed restaurants. There are 22 locations, including one at Fox Mill Shopping Center in Herndon.
Burger King at 1494 North Point Village Center will close at the end of March, employees said.
The location is one of two Burger Kings in Reston. The other is located at Hunters Woods Village Center.
There is no official word on what might take over the spot, but Chic-Fil-A is rumored to be investigating it as a potential location, employees said.
The restaurant closing is one of several recent changes at North Point. United Bank closed in the fall. Glory Days Grill has signed a lease to open a restaurant in the former Blockbuster Video store space that stood empty for three years. Renovations have not begun. A Glory Days spokeswoman said they are eyeing a summer opening,
Massage Envy is also slated to open at North Point in the next few weeks.