Reston Fire Results in $255,000 in Damages — A house fire in the 1200 block of Shaker Drive caused roughly $255,000 in damages. The fire started in the floor wiring, according to fire investigators. No injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]
Talks End on Gupta Project — The Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association says that it is disappointed the Gupta Family Foundation has discontinued discussions over a $250,000 beautification project at Lake Anne plaza. [Reston Patch]
Outreach on Parking Changes in Herndon Begins — The Herndon Police Department has launched a campaign to promote changes to the town’s parking code. No parking is allowed within five feet to either side of a public or private driveway, recreational vehicles cannot park in one place for more than 72 hours, and commercial vehicles cannot be parked in residential areas. [Herndon Police Department]
Future of Great Falls Grange Hall Contemplated — The Fairfax County Park Authority is coordinating a meeting with stakeholders to discuss the future of the hall and Forestville Schoolhouse. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Following longstanding and growing complaints over parking issues, Town of Herndon officials adopted an ordinance yesterday (Tuesday) to restrict how close drivers could park to driveways, one of several changes to overhaul parking rules.
“This is the number one issue in the town of Herndon,” Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said of parking problems, referring to commercial vehicles parking in the town as well as vehicles with expired tags.
The changes, approved by Herndon Town Council, go into effect immediately. Among the new rules, the ordinance:
- bans various vehicles — such as those weighing more than 12,000 pounds or being longer than 21 feet — from parking in residential areas for more than two hours at a time
- restricts recreational vehicles from temporarily parking longer than 72 hours on a residential street
- allows the town to impose $50 fines on motorists who block curb ramps; it also allows officials to fine drivers $50 if they park within 5 feet of a driveway
Herndon police had recommended restricting parking within 10 feet of a driveway, but council revised a proposed ordinance following a public hearing. Previously, the town could only fine vehicles $50 if a vehicle blocked access to a driveway.
Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said people recognized how Herndon’s parking was considerably less restrictive than neighboring Fairfax and Loudoun counties. She said one person defiantly challenged the town’s parking enforcement officer regarding how close a vehicle could be to a driveway.
DeBoard said last week during a work session that the town’s first approach is educating drivers before issuing tickets.
During the public hearing, homeowner Pat Voltmer of Missouri Avenue said she and neighbors have been filing weekly complaints since August due to large six- to 10-wheel vehicles taking up overflow parking on streets. The parking problems also made turning around on streets difficult and dangerous for service trucks, she said.
Residents also had voiced a safety issue over limited visibility when leaving driveways due to jam-packed streets, and frustrations also came from parked vehicles interfering with trash pickup.
“It makes me feel that now is the time to act. Probably before was the time to act,” Councilmember Sean Regan said.
Council members suggested further parking issues could be explored, such as adding more stop signs in the town.
Herndon Town Council again examined the issue of parking restrictions as big box trucks and other vehicles have found a haven for street parking between neighboring Fairfax and Loudoun counties in the area.
While neighboring jurisdictions have more restrictions on parking, Herndon’s lax rules have meant vehicles block areas, are abandoned on streets and interfere with drivers’ visibility, according to town officials.
“Herndon has become a place where people can park these vehicles all through our residential areas without any restrictions,” police Chief Maggie DeBoard said.
But while the town has been exploring town-wide parking issues since 2019 and DeBoard presented on the issue last year and this year, efforts have continued to stall.
Council brought up the issue yesterday (Tuesday) during a work session, leading multiple council members to ask if staff could determine what kind of impact a proposed ordinance would have on parking.
Vice Mayor Cesar del Aguila said it was unclear to him what kind of impact restricting vehicles from 5 feet or 10 feet from a driveway would have. He suggested that the town further look into what would happen in Precinct 2 neighborhoods (an area that spans from Rock Hill Road to Elden Street west of the downtown) where there are dense cul-de-sacs.
“I think this is definitely needed,” del Aguila said, adding that he was not saying that he doesn’t support this.
A proposed ordinance would have to go before the council at a regular meeting, but its future was unclear. The staff’s proposal called for:
- restricting vehicles from parking within 10 feet of a driveway
- banning various vehicles — such as those weighing more than 12,000 pounds or being longer than 21 feet — from parking in residential areas for more than two hours at a time
- restricting recreational vehicles from temporarily parking longer than 72 hours on a residential street
- strengthening the town’s ability to remove abandoned vehicles from streets
- giving the town the ability to fine motorists who block curb ramps
DeBoard said that parking near driveways can create safety issues, and some homeowners are moving vehicles from driveways or garages to the streets to try to address access or visibility issues, further exacerbating the problem.
She also noted that parking enforcement’s mission is to first educate drivers before fining them.
But amid the work session, Mayor Sheila Olem, who has previously shared concerns about parking problems, halted the discussion after directing Councilmember Jasbinder Singh to ask a question as opposed to giving lengthy opinions on the matter.
Singh had suggested piloting the change in one area of the town, prompting town officials to note they couldn’t single out one area with a law but must apply it uniformly.
Herndon residents fed up with parking-related problems are calling on the town to restrict when and where drivers can leave vehicles.
Citing frustrations with service and traffic disruptions from vehicles blocking driveways, mailboxes, and trash cans, residents on Madison Street submitted a petition on Nov. 15 requesting that the town create a residential parking permit zone for the street.
The Herndon Town Council discussed the request during a work session on Tuesday (Jan. 4).
Herndon looks to fix Madison Street problems
Under residential parking permit zones, people can’t park in certain spaces without a permit. Eligible residents and visitors can get permits for a $5 fee, and the zone doesn’t apply to driveways.
Herndon already has some parking permit zones in effect, including daily restrictions during the work week for Crest Drive and portions of Huntsman Place and Old Hunt Way. Those who violate the parking restrictions can be fined up to $100.
The town code’s criteria for establishing a residential permit parking program include:
- A petition supported by more than 60% of affected residents
- At least 65% of curbside spaces are occupied
- At least 25% of curbside spaces are occupied by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood
According to a staff report, resident Dawn Ruffin reported that all 14 spots in the 400 block of Madison Street are regularly occupied by residents of an adjacent neighborhood.
Ruffin collected signatures from all of the affected Madison Street residents for the petition.
The town previously blocked parking on the southern side of the roadway because it couldn’t get emergency equipment there, but problems with parked vehicles have persisted, Town Manager Bill Ashton said.
“During the hours of concern, almost all the occupied spaces are taken by vehicles not registered in the neighborhood,” Ashton said.
The new parking zone could span from midnight to 7 a.m. on Madison Street from Madison Ridge Lane to the end of the cul-de-sac.
To prevent the issue from shifting to another street, Ashton has proposed that the town council also direct staff to continue monitoring the area with the possibility of expanding the zone in the future.
The town council must hold a public hearing and approve an ordinance to establish the zone.
Parking problems seen across town
Similar issues with parking have been reported along Worchester Street, Merlins Lane, and other nearby areas, Councilmember Signe Friedrichs said.
“They are complaining about the very same thing and want to get this process started as well,” she said, wondering if the town might need a more comprehensive change, given the future opening of the Herndon Metro station.
Mayor Sheila Olem noted that another resident has shared concerns about commercial trucks parking on Crestview Drive around the 7-Eleven.
“I think we really need to do something on the parking as a whole,” Olem said, adding that she’d support the measure since they have nothing else and these residents sought relief.
Last August, the town considered creating a fee for drivers who block driveways but held off after failing to get full support from the council. Discussions of a holistic, town-wide plan to address parking issues emerged in December.
“It’s not one neighborhood,” Olem said. “It’s perpetual around the town.”
The Town of Herndon is considering a holistic plan to crack down on parking issues throughout the town — a move that some officials say is necessary and long overdue.
At a Herndon Town Council meeting earlier this month, Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said that issues with parking have grown over the last two years, resulting in a mounting number of complaints regarding overcrowded neighborhoods, oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, and other issues.
‘To be frank, Herndon has become the dumping ground for these [commercial] vehicles because there are no restrictions here,” DeBoard said, noting that some of these issues have been ongoing for 20 years.
Unlike Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the Town of Herndon has no specific parking restrictions for oversized commercial vehicles in residential areas, motor homes parking on public streets, and vehicles parking too close to driveways. The town’s code lacks specific language regarding the dimensions of restricted commercial vehicles and a highly nonspecific law simply states that parking is prohibited in “a manner that is blocking a public or private driveway.”
Increased density in the area and projected population increases have created what DeBoard called a “real compression issue.”
Council member Jasbinder Singh said that some parking restrictions might be too onerous for some neighborhoods where parking is already limited and there are no alternatives for parking.
“We have a very different character in Herndon,” Singh said, particularly in neighborhoods where residents rely on commercial vehicles for their livelihoods. “There are a lot of crowded neighborhoods.”
Calls to address parking issues in the town are not new.
In 2017, the town responded by hiring a parking enforcement officer and using a ticketing device to catch offenders. In August, the Herndon Town Council tabled a plan to limit parking near driveways, instead asking the police department and the town’s attorney to evaluate parking issues from a more holistic standpoint.
The council is expected to continue discussion on the issue following the Dec. 7 meeting.
Currently, DeBoard said that some people take advantage of the town’s lack of restrictions by simply leaving their vehicles in neighborhoods to avoid parking fees at Dulles International Airport.
Councilmember Sean Regan suggested considering residential zoned parking, which sets aside controlled parking zones by permits.
To date, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) has been running fare collection at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station — a county-owned facility — without compensation.
As a hand-off date for the 11.5-mile extension comes close to fruition, officials are now contemplating the best way for fare collections to continue. In a proposed agreement that goes before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today, the county is hoping to compensate WMATA for its efforts by paying roughly $45 per parking space per year.
The county does not own any other garages, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation told Reston Now.
“We are paying for WMATA to operate the fare collection system in those garages so it is the same for all customers in the county,” said Robin Geiger, FCDOT’s spokesperson.
The yearly payment would amount to around $366,000, with funds largely being offset by parking fees collected at the facilities.
WMATA’s board is expected to take up the matter in a few months.
Wiehle-Reston East has the county’s first county-owned parking facility. With 2,300 spaces, it is the second largest of the new station. The Herndon station will have a 3,751 parking space garage while Innovation Center will have a 2,072-space parking garage.
The parking garage at Innovation Center Metro Station is located on the south side of the station. The $52 million facility was sinking in 2019 and has since been repaired.
The Herndon Metro Station will serve the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride garage, which has parking for roughly 3,500 cars. The new facility, constructed by Manhattan Construction Co., cost roughly $44.5 million.
The Wiehle-Reston East garage has 2,300 spaces, but some commuters have reported difficulty snagging spots and navigating signs in the garage, especially during early morning hours.
The county’s Board of Supervisors is expected to discuss the issue at a meeting today.
From drivers seeking to safely exit driveways to vehicles blocking garbage cans and mailboxes, parking is becoming a headache for Herndon residents, who raise complaints only to be told that police have no way to address those issues.
That could soon change.
The Herndon Town Council is now considering a newly proposed ordinance that would prohibit parking in front of or within 10 feet of a driveway, imposing a $50 fine for violations.
Several council members, however, raised concerns about moving forward without more information.
“It’s a safety issue,” Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard said Wednesday (Aug. 4) at a town council work session. “So, when you have people that can park right next to the end of the driveway, it severely limits visibility when somebody’s pulling out or trying to get around, especially in some of the narrowed streets we have here in Herndon.”
The topic will be open for public comment when the town council meets this coming Tuesday (Aug. 10), allowing community members to share their concerns and needs, including how the change would affect their ability to get parking.
Town officials noted that addressing parking visibility and access issues could leave people without anywhere to park.
“To solve that issue, are we creating another problem?” Councilmember Pradip Dhakal said.
Town officials suggested that the reported problems stem in part from Herndon’s overall outdated parking ordinance, which even allows people to park in town streets and use a ride-hailing app like Uber to get to Dulles International Airport, for example.
The town began reviewing its ordinance two years ago after seeing neighboring governments update their parking policies, but the effort was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, DeBoard said.
According to a staff report, the review was put on hold when the town’s priorities shifted at the beginning of the pandemic, but it has been revived now that Herndon is starting to return to more normal town operations.
While an ordinance overhaul could be presented in September, town management raised the question of parked vehicles blocking driveways in residential neighborhoods as a piecemeal issue, describing it as a critical situation.
Councilmember Signe Friedrichs noted that emergency vehicles such as fire trucks can have trouble navigating streets because of parked automobiles.
“I can’t tell you how many times I have nearly gotten hit by someone coming out of one of their driveways or trying to get…onto Ferndale Avenue or onto Jorss Place,” she said. “And coming out of Burwick Drive, I’m always very close to getting hit. I have to pull all the way out.”
Mayor Sheila Olem suggested that spending too much time studying the issue could leave pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers in unnecessary danger.
“No one is being considerate of anyone’s need to be able to back out of their driveway,” Olem said.
Graphic via Town of Herndon
Herndon Fire Causes $6K in Damages — Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded to a passerby’s report of a building fire in the 2400 block of Centreville Road around 7:22 a.m. yesterday (Monday). Investigators determined that the fire, which was seen on a countertop, was caused by an electrical event involving a power strip. There were no reported injuries, but the damage was estimated to be $6,000. [Patch]
Police Seek Assistance in Finding Great Falls Burglary Suspects — The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston Station is seeking to identify two men who reportedly caused more than $20,000 in damage to a house in the 800 block of Hortense Place in Great Falls on June 12. Detectives have not yet determined if the incident is related to incidents involving damage to two homes in the same block on July 12. [Patch]
Virginia to Use COVID-19 Relief Funds for School Ventilation — “Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wants to allocate $250 million of the state’s federal coronavirus relief money to projects that will improve air quality in public schools. In a statement Monday, the Democratic governor said the state funding would be matched with another $250 million in local funds for an investment that would allow for the completion of nearly all Virginia school divisions’ currently planned projects.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
Reston Hospital Completes First Spinal Implant Using AI and Augmented Reality — “Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR), top surgeons at Virginia Spine Institute deliver personalized spinal implants to a 17 year old patient. Spine Surgeons Dr. Ehsan Jazini and Dr. Christopher Good performed the procedure at Reston Hospital on Monday, July 26, 2021.” [Virginia Spine Institute]
Reminder: Weigh In On Future of Reston Parking — “Help us determine the future of parking in Tysons and Reston. We want to hear from residents, commuters, employees and patrons about how you use parking in these areas. Take our managed parking survey, open now through July 31.” [Fairfax County Government/Twitter]
Riders Could Be Banned for Crimes on Metro Property — “Metro is seeking authority to temporarily ban bus and rail riders from the system if they are arrested for…either sex-related crimes or crimes related to guns or other dangerous weapons. Anyone arrested for such crimes would be banned from the bus and rail system for 14 days after a first arrest, 30 days after a second arrest, and one year after a third arrest.” [WJLA-ABC7]
Tall Oaks Parking Expansion Approved — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Reston assisted living facility’s proposal to add 29 spaces to its 44-space parking lot. Tall Oaks has also agreed to provide three secure bicycle racks near the front of the building and pre-wire 2% of the proposed spaces for electric vehicle charging stations. [Patch]
Fairfax County Teen to Get Congressional Medal — 17-year-old Centreville resident Ayonnah Tinsley is one of about 500 students who will get the Congressional Award Gold Medal in a virtual ceremony on July 30. The highest honor given by Congress to young people, the award recognizes youth for personal development, community service, and fitness. [WTOP]
Roer’s Zoofari Opens Butterfly Exhibit — “Imagine strolling through a tropical rain forrest surrounded by the flutter of colorful butterfly wings. That imagined experience can become a reality thanks to the new Wings of Wonder exhibit at Roer’s Zoofari in Reston.” [Patch]
County staff are using the online survey to help establish a managed parking program in the Reston Transit Station Areas and Tysons Urban Center, which they hope will address issues ranging from limited parking options to avoiding vehicles reportedly remaining in spaces for weeks at a time.
In addition to asking about people’s current parking habits, the survey tells respondents to prioritize five factors that affect when and where they decide to park:
- Lowest price or free
- Proximity of parking to desired location
- Flexible payment options (credit cards, smartphone apps)
- Ability to pay with cash
- Overnight parking is allowed for free
The county is looking to get input from both commuters and residents. In addition to filling out the survey, community members can submit comments through an online feedback form, by mail to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, and by calling 703-877-5600.
The survey will build on the results of a two-year study that FCDOT conducted to look at the availability of on-street parking on state-owned roads in Tysons and Reston.
In Reston, the study found just 211 on-street spaces along 15 miles of public curbs, amounting to a 6% coverage. Recommendations included implementing timed or paid parking near Metro stations to encourage turnover and addressing issues with commercial vehicles parking in front of businesses.
The county is looking to support businesses with “shorter duration parking and parking space turnover,” according to a page about the survey.
“Ultimately, the goal is to provide parking that supports the mixed-use development in these increasingly-urban areas of the County,” FCDOT said in a news release.
County staff is slated to use the information from the survey to propose policy and ordinance changes to the Board of Supervisors later this year. FCDOT says the managed parking plans will mostly not take effect until new grids of streets are built in Tysons and Reston and accepted by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
The potential expansion of Tall Oaks Assisted Living Facility’s parking lot has taken another step.
After earning conceptual approval from the Reston Association Design Review Board on April 20, the facility’s proposed parking lot expansion on North Shore Drive has now gotten a recommendation from Fairfax County’s planning department.
Released on May 5, the staff report includes some conditions but supports the overall expansion plan.
“The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated to staff that the proposed parking will sufficiently meet the parking needs of the facility and has minimized impact to the surrounding area,” the staff report said.
The staff conditions include providing three secure bicycle racks within 200 yards of the building’s front entrance and pre-wiring 2% of the proposed parking spaces for electric vehicle charging stations.
Tall Oaks Assisted Living currently has 44 parking spaces, which matched the requirements of a facility of its size when it was constructed in 1988. However, with 152 beds and 48 employees, it does not meet the county’s current zoning requirement of one parking space for every three beds and one space per employee.
The county’s current regulations require 99 parking spaces for a facility of this size, so Tall Oaks has applied for a waiver to reduce that number to 73 spaces.
The plan for the expanded lot includes five tandem spaces, 12 spaces at the front of the building, 54 spaces along the southern and western edges of the site, and seven spaces at the rear of the building.
“In staff’s opinion, the 99 required parking spaces could create unwanted environmental impacts and would encroach on existing conservation easements,” the staff report said.
The proposal’s environmental impact was a primary concern of RA’s Design Review Board. Tall Oaks estimates it would need to remove 66 trees and 95 shrubs, while only proposing to plant 17 new trees.
The staff report, however, states that the proposed parking layout “will not impact the existing trees.” It further details that a mix of canopy and understory trees, as well as shrubs, are proposed to screen and buffer the site.
“The design now includes one row of parking and a 12-foot wide buffer area between the building and parking area to mitigate noise and light impacts on adjacent units,” the staff report said. “Additionally, the applicant is proposing a mix of deciduous understory and canopy trees that, in combination with the natural topography of the site, will reduce the light impact to the adjacent townhouse community.”
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is slated to host a public hearing and vote on the expansion of Tall Oaks’ parking lot expansion on May 19.
Photo via Google Maps
The Reston Association Design Review Board has given a tentative thumbs up to Tall Oaks Assisted Living’s plans to expand its parking lot on North Shore Drive.
The board voted 4-1 with one abstention on Tuesday (April 20) to give conceptual approval to the assisted living facility’s proposal to add 29 new parking spaces to the 44-space lot, even as members lamented the anticipated loss of landscaping and the trees that give Tall Oaks its name.
Board architect Michael Wood voted against Tall Oaks’ request for conceptual approval, saying that he understands the facility’s need for additional parking but wishes it could be achieved without such a significant environmental impact.
“That’s some really nice trees and landscaping that go along the edge of the facility right now, so it’s a little bit of a shame,” Wood said. “…If it wasn’t so close to neighbors, it maybe wouldn’t be an issue, [or] if it wasn’t impacting the trail…But it is doing all that stuff.”
Built in 1988, Tall Oaks Assisted Living currently hosts 152 beds with 48 staff members on site at a given time, but it still only has 44 parking spaces.
In recent years, the facility utilized surplus parking at the adjacent Tall Oaks Village Center, but that is no longer an option, thanks to ongoing construction on a long-gestating redevelopment of the shopping center.
Land use attorney Sara Mariska says that Tall Oaks Assisted Living reached an agreement for a parking license with developer Stanley Martin, which agreed to provide 12 spaces on the redeveloped village center lot. However, Tall Oaks would not have 24-hour access, and that would ultimately not be enough spots to accommodate the facility’s needs.
Those 12 spaces have also not yet been constructed, noted John Albert, the development and project management director for Coordinated Services Management, which operates Tall Oaks Assisted Living.
In comparison, the assisted living facility’s proposal would bring its parking lot up to 68 total spaces, with 10 of the 29 new spots envisioned as tandem spaces.
“We’re struggling as a business right now post-pandemic. Our occupancy level is the lowest it’s ever been, and we’re worried about the viability of an ongoing business,” Albert said. “This is something we really didn’t want to do, but we did a parking study, and we really do need every space that’s on this plan right now.”
Tall Oaks Assisted Living representatives said that they are “very sensitive” to the concerns raised by the community and have worked with the adjacent residential neighborhoods to mitigate the impact of their proposal as much as possible.
In addition to reconfiguring the parking lot design to preserve some trees in a section of the property line most in need of buffering, the assisted living center’s request for additional parking is more modest than the 99 spaces that Fairfax County’s zoning ordinance requires for a facility of its size.
“We are requesting a pretty sizable reduction because we do not want to pave over this parking lot,” Mariska said. “We want to constrain our impact as much as we can, and we are requesting only the spaces that we would need for the facility to remain viable.”
Even with those adjustments, however, Tall Oaks still anticipates removing 66 trees and 95 shrubs, and it is only proposing to plant 17 new trees.
Michael Byrne, secretary of the Villa de Espana Cluster Association, expressed sympathy for the assisted living center’s situation, but said it will be difficult for his neighborhood to lose another stand of trees go after they already had a canopy removed by the Tall Oaks Village Center redevelopment.
“Our concerns are obviously losing our tall oaks, what is essentially the beauty of our natural environment, and also what it brings to the drainage problem,” he said. “The trees absorbing water, we don’t have a lot of drainage problems in that section of our quadrant.”
The design review board’s vote this week gave approval to the conceptual plan presented by Tall Oaks Assisted Living, but the applicant will need to return to get approval of its final design, including details about bicycle racks, a proposed retaining wall, and other elements that are still being refined.
The request for additional parking is slated to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing and vote at 7:30 p.m. on May 19.
Isaac Newton Square could shed almost 300 parking spaces in its metamorphosis from office park to mixed-use development.
In a final development plan submitted to Fairfax County on March 18, APA Properties proposes eliminating 299 parking spaces that currently serve three buildings it plans to remove from the property.
The buildings up for removal include office buildings at 11440 and 11410 Isaac Newton Square North as well as 1928 Isaac Newton Square, which houses Reston Montessori School. The three structures collectively require 5o7 parking spaces, according to the development plan, which has not yet been accepted by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.
“299 spaces to be removed is less than 507 spaces required for the buildings to be removed, therefore there is no impact to the parking requirement,” APA says in its plan for the first phase of roads for the development.
The developer stated in its conceptual development plans for the project, which was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 15, 2019, that the site will feature 4,063 parking spaces — 3,920 garage spaces and 143 surface spaces — the minimum amount required for what it is envisioning.
In addition to 2,100 residential units, about 300 of which will be hotel rooms, the Isaac Newton Square redevelopment will contain 260,000 square feet of office, around 69,000 square feet of retail space, and a synthetic turf athletic field.
The submitted final development plan also provides a closer look at the new grid of streets that APA is contemplating for the 15.3-acre northern section of the site. The map shows the addition of two private roads — Center Street and Isaac Newton Square East — extending north perpendicular to the existing street of Isaac Newton Square North.
Isaac Newton Square South is expected to be the only public road on the property, but APA says in its proffer statement that “a public access easement…will be recorded over all private streets and associated sidewalks internal to the development.”
The developer’s proposed road and infrastructure improvements also include a proposed 10-foot-wide asphalt trail along Wiehle Avenue that it says will satisfy Fairfax County’s countywide trails plan, which calls for a major paved trail on Wiehle.
Images via Andrew Painter, APA Properties/Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning
Eight Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Service infrastructure projects have received awards from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Five of those projects were named “project of the year” in their respective categories, including the renovations done at the Reston Community Center Aquatics Facility and the Innovation Center Metro Station parking garage in Herndon.
Three other projects were named as “honorable mentions.”
DPWES received more accolades from APWA than any other municipality in the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
Renovations at RCC’s Aquatic Facility (Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center) were completed early last year. They included the installation of a new lap pool, warm water pool, zero entry pool with water features, mosaic artwork, updating ADA accessibility, and a new roof.
In total, the project cost about $5 million.
The work earned the department an award for “project of the year” for structures costing between $5 million and $25 million.
The parking garage at the Innovation Center Metro Station was also completed in the first quarter of 2020 and was a more expensive project.
Costing $52 million, the eight-level, 2,100 space parking garage was built with the intention of serving the Innovation Center Metro Station in Herndon. That station is part of Silver Line Phase 2 which is not yet operating due to delays.
The project actually came about 10% under budget despite the garage having problems with it “sinking” back in 2018.
It won “project of the year” for structures costing between $25 to $75 million.
Other Fairfax County projects to win awards include Scott’s Run Trail in McLean, a sewer emergency construction project at Backlick Run in Springfield, and Tertiary filter rehabilitation project at the pollution control plant in Lorton.
Photo courtesy of Fairfax County
Tall Oaks Assisted Living at 2052 North Shore Drive in Reston is looking to add more parking, but the request won’t go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission until late March.
The proposal is to add 29 new parking spots at the 33-year-old assisted living center.
The ask was to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission next week with a scheduled public hearing. However, the applicant has requested a deferral, planning commission staff confirms. This is to give the assisted living center time to address community concerns and give the planning commission to review any changes.
The commission will acknowledge the deferral and the new date for the proposal to go before the planning commission will be March 24, county staff told Reston Now. Parking has long been an issue at assisted living facility, so says the application first filed in July.
The facility near the intersection of North Shore Dr. and Wiehle Ave. was originally developed with 44 spots. At the time, that was sufficient, but increasing “care needs of residents” in turn increased staffing levels, according to the application.
Throughout the years, when the parking lot was full, visitors and staff would routinely park at the adjacent Tall Oaks Village Center. As tenants fled the shopping center, parking spaces became more plentiful.
Then, in June 2016, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the redevelopment of the defunct shopping center into a mostly residential development. That is currently under construction after being delayed several times for a variety of reasons.
Due to construction, there’s currently no parking available there for Tall Oaks Assisted Living visitors and staff. The proposal is to increase from 44 parking spots to 73, 10 of which will be tandem parking spots.
The facility has 152 beds and 48 staff. Under strict application of the zoning ordinance, the facility is required to provide 99 parking spots. However, concurrently, the facility is filing a parking reduction request allowing them to be allowed to have 73 spots.
The parking spaces will be developed to not impact the site’s conservation easement and to avoid steep slopes as well as mature vegetation.
Photo via Google Maps