Thursday Morning Notes

Herndon’s Farmers Market Opens Today — The market kicks off the 2019 season today. As usual, it will be held on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Lynn Street from April to November. [Town of Herndon]

Reston Association Volunteer Service Awards Reception Set for Tonight — “Two individuals were named as Volunteers of the Year. Doug Britt, who has been instrumental in collecting environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads class instruction on how to start a garden, both won the top honor.”  [Reston Association]

Evelyn Mo Returns to CenterStage Tonight — In this “Meet the Artists” event, the Harvard junior and pianist returns to CenterStage. The event starts at 2:15 p.m. and is open to all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Vantage Hill Condominiums’ Closed Pool and Parking Could House New Townhouses

For seven years, the pool behind Vantage Hill Condominiums (11619 Vantage Hill Road), boxy housing built in the late 1960s, has been closed. Now, discussions are underway to build townhouses on the pool site to save a condominium building that its community association leadership says is on a slow and steady decline.

The assocaition hopes to use revenues generated from the project to help finance around $4.5 million in needed infrastructure upgrades. Rob Schuman, the community association’s president, told the Reston Association’s Design Review Board last night (April 16) that the association has been grappling with major infrastructure needs for years.

The 152-unit development, which has 24 garden-style buildings, was one of Reston’s first projects and offers market-based workforce housing. Prices for a one-bedroom unit start at $140,000 and up to $250,000 for a three-bedroom unit.

Schuman said the association does not have enough money to take on infrastructure improvements on its own. Members pay yearly HOA fees between $420 and $680. Pipes leak every week, the electrical system is 60 years old and doors and windows provide little to no insulation, Schuman said.

The association is considering pooling the one-acre pool site and another acre used for parking to create enough developable space for 38 townhouse units. Parking lost to the development project would be redistributed. Schuman said 70 percent of the association’s members approved of the development proposal. The association’s bylaws require a two-thirds majority from the ownership to proceed with the project.

If approved — a process that could be years away — the townhouse community could become its own cluster with its own community association. So far, association members stressed a formal proposal is forthcoming and discussions are preliminary.

Charlie Hoffman, a DRB member, said he worried that the infill development could hike up the prices of the condo units.

“I would hate to see them get so nice that people can’t afford to live in them anymore,” Hoffman said. Overall, he said the project could bring new energy to the aging building.

Revenue from the project would help fund metered electrical service for each unit, new windows and doors, new entrances, upgraded heating, new plumbing, security upgrades and an expanded playground. Electric vehicle charging stations are also under consideration.

Photos via Reston Association/handout

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Reston Association Board Moves to Fill Seat Vacated by Ganesan

(Update at 2:31 p.m. to include information about the timing of Ganesan’s resignation)

Sridhar Ganesan has resigned from his position as vice president of Reston Association’s Board of Directors roughly one week after the results of this year’s board election were released.

Ganesan was appointed to a one-year, at-large seat in 2017 and served as treasurer. The next year, he was elected to an at-large seat. His term expires in 2021.

After missing several board meetings earlier this year, Ganesan said he realized that it would be difficult to balance his commitment to the board with his business obligations. The Reston resident recently took on two major projects in Frederick, Md. and another abroad, making it challenging to balance both obligations.

Ganesan told Reston Now he did not want to officially announce his resignation during the board’s election process in order to prevent confusion. He had hoped to leave in the beginning of the year so that the new board-appointment member could serve a more complete term.

Mike Leone, Reston Association’s director of communications and community relations, told Reston Now that Ganesan notified the organization of his resignation on Sunday (April 14). In order to make it in time for the latest election, Ganesan would have had to make an official announcement about his intention to resign by the end of November or early December. His new business obligations surfaced earlier this year, he said.

Reston Association released the following statement from Ganesan:

“I very much appreciate the confidence placed in me by the RA membership and the support I received from them, the RA staff and my board colleagues, especially during 2017-2018, when I helped implement new operational policies and procedures, as well as internal controls at RA. I am also happy that during my two years on the RA board, I helped forge and maintain a strong partnership between RA and Coalition for Planned Reston (CPR), which resulted in holding off the Fairfax County from raising the density cap for Reston PRC district.”

The board has issued a call for candidates to fill the seat vacated by Ganesan. Candidates can apply by submitting a statement of candidacy to the assistant secretary by May 16 at 5 p.m. The board will review candidate applications that are certified by staff at a May 23 board meeting.

The term will run through April 2020 and be up for election in 2020. The elected candidate will serve the final year of the term.

Photo by Reston Association

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Reston Association’s Community Yard Sale Set for Next Week

Looking to decorate your home or a college dorm without breaking the bank? Reston Association will hold its annual community yard sale on Saturday, April 27.

Up to 80 families will sell a mix of items at 1900 Campus Commons Drive from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To set up a booth, which is spread over two parking spaces, vendors can sign up online. The registration fee is $39 for RA members and $49 for all others. Tables will not be provided.

All sales are final and no refunds will be accepted unless the event is cancelled. A rain date is set for April 28. For questions, contact [email protected] with any questions.

Photo via RA

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Bollywood Dance Fitness Tonight — Local instructor Aparna Rao offers a new Bollywood dance fitness program specifically for adults and teens at Reston Regional Library. The class runs from 6:30-8 p.m. [Reston Regional Library]

A Primer on Reston Association — RA is out with new video with details on what the organization is about. The video is centered around the theme “Together we make Reston great.” [Reston Association]

Shoutout: High Honors for Cpl. Sullivan — Devin Sullivan of the Herndon Police Department recently returned from Air Force Basic Training in San Antonio, TX. He finished in the top ten percent of his class and now heads to technical training school. [Herndon Police Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston Association’s Board of Directors Elects New President

Reston Association’s Board of Directors elected Catherine Baum to the position of board president Wednesday night.

In her candidate statement, Baum, a former real estate executive who currently advocates for people with dementia residing in memory care, addressed a controversial debate around the Planned Residential Community — Reston’s primary zoning district.

“Let me state clearly for anyone concerned: I am not now and nor will I ever be for unfettered development throughout the PRC,” Baum said. “I supported and will continue to support every motion made and seconded relative to RA dealings with Fairfax County on this topic.”

While the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted in March to “indefinitely defer” the consideration of a proposed zoning amendment regarding the PRC, the hotly debated issue will likely resurface in the future.

Baum also outlined her priorities as the board’s president.

“Our most important job this coming summer and fall is to pass a 2021 biennial budget,” Baum said, adding that the board must support the new Chief Executive Officer Hank Lynch and use data.

“We will have to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions made on facts,” she said.

Baum was the only candidate nominated to be president. After South Lakes District Director Julie Bitzer nominated Baum, At-Large Director Ven Iyer urged the future president to improve the board’s inclusivity.

“I would like to say I am disappointed in the way my colleagues have conducted discussion in the past year, and it’s because whenever there has been a dissenting or an opposing view, it has often been ridiculed. It has often been cut short,” Iyer said.

Iyer said that he has seen board members aim to form a majority to win motions.

“My request to the future president is to try to be inclusive and to make sure that all board members seem to be heard,” Iyer said. “These board discussions are not about proving your point. They’re about making progress.”

In response to Iyer’s concerns, Baum said that “each of you holds yourself accountable to everyone else on this board.”

The other officers chosen are:

  • Vice President Julie Bitzer
  • Secretary John Mooney
  • Treasurer Eric Carr

Photo courtesy Reston Association

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Volunteer Service Awards Next Week — “Two individuals were named as Volunteers of the Year. Doug Britt, who has been instrumental in collecting environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads class instruction on how to start a garden, both won the top honor.” [Reston Association]

Penzance’s Plans for 555 Herndon Parkway — The District-based developer is out with new renderings for its planned development just one tenth of a mile away from the entrance of Herndon Metro Station. [Town of Herndon Government]

Community Emergency Response Guide — The new guide offers tips on how community partners and neighbors should collaborate during an emergency.  [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Joe Heflin

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Registration for Annual Reston Kids Triathlon Opens Today

Registration for the ninth annual Reston Kids Triathlon will open today (April 10). Young athletes between ages 6 and 14 will swim, bike and run in the three-event race.

This year’s event is set for Sunday, August 4 at Ridge Heights Pool (11400 Ridge Heights Road). The registration portal will open at 7 p.m. on the event’s website.

The event is sponsored by Reston Association and the YMCA-Fairfax County. Participants are divided into three age groups and swim distances between 50 and 150 meters, bike between 1.1 and 4 miles and run between 0.6 to 1.4 miles.

Information about this year’s course is available online. Like last year, the finish line is on the west end of Langston Hughes Middle School. Event organizers are working with officials at Terraset Elementary School, which is under construction, to provide a safe route from the underpass to wooded trails.

Although the sign up form for volunteering has not opened yet, interested volunteers can contact Dan Merenick at [email protected].

Photo by Sean Bahrami via Reston Association

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Sigle: Reston Association Will Continue to Face Development, Density Challenges

After several months of fighting the county on a controversial zoning proposal, outgoing Board of Directors President Andy Sigle said he expects the Reston Association will keep tackling development and density issues in the future.

“A hot topic for Reston over the last several years and one that will continue into our future is development,” Sigle said, adding that the RA board and staff worked with community organizations to “protect the ‘planned’ part of our Planned Residential Community (PRC) designation.”

In March, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to “indefinitely defer” the consideration of the proposed zoning amendment that would have increased the maximum allowed population per acre in the PRC district — Reston’s primary zoning district.

“The board and RA staff will continue to monitor this as density issues resurface in the future,” Sigle said.

Looking back at accomplishments over the past year, Sigle highlighted the following:

  • renovation of the Central Services Facility
  • hiring a new chief executive officer
  • capital improvement projects, including interior renovations to the Glade Room, tennis court refurbishments, Lake Thoreau dredging, ADA-improvements to Nature House
  • a “realistic” budget with a small assessment increase

Last night’s meeting was the 50th anniversary of Reston Association’s first Annual Members’ Meeting. The meeting serves to update RA members on the state of the association, unveil the election results for the Board of Directors and receive member comments.

Election Committee Chair Ed Abbott announced the election results for the Board of Directors. “This year we saw a 14 percent turnout for Reston generally and even higher turnout in some districts,” Abbott said.

Here are the results:

  • At-Large, 3-year term: Tom Mulkerin won with 5,040 votes
  • Apartment Owners, 1-year term: Catherine Baum won with 1,563 votes
  • Hunters Woods/Dogwood, 1-year term: Caren Anton won with 1,101 votes
  • North Point, 3-year term: John Mooney won with 1,486 votes
  • Lake Anne/Tall Oaks, 3-year term: Aaron Webb won with 1,156 votes

The new RA board will hold its first monthly meeting tonight (April 10) at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

Photos via YouTube

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Needle felting — From 7-9 p.m. participants can learn how to make creations through needle felting, which involves poking gathered wool with a special barbed needle. Andrew Black, a Reston resident and artist, will lead the workshop. [ArtSpace Herndon]

RA election results — The Annual Members’ Meeting from 7-9 p.m. at the Reston Association’s headquarters will include the election results for the Board of Directors and update members on new initiatives, programs and opportunities. The meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube. [YouTube]

Development size ranking — The Washington Business Journal has compiled square footage numbers for developments in the D.C. area. Based on metro-area square footage under construction, Orr Partners of Reston nabbed fifth place at 2.75 million square feet, and The Ardent Company of Reston ranked 11th at 1.93 million. [Washington Business Journal]

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Have You Seen These Eight Public Art Pieces Around Reston?

Reston has more than 70 pieces of public art. While many of them are placed in well-traversed locations, like the Mercury Fountain in Reston Town Center, some pieces are less widely known because they are hiding in plain sight or located off the beaten path.

“There are many gems that are off the main areas,” Anne Delaney, the executive director of Public Art Reston, told Reston Now.

Reston Now has rounded up information on eight “hidden treasures” — as Delaney describes them — and where to find them.

Berlin Wall Fragment

Where to find it: Bundeswehr–German Liaison Office (11150 Sunrise Valley Drive)

Description: A part of history is at the entrance to the office. The 4-foot-wide Berlin Wall fragment is circa 1973 and was acquired by the Command Headquarters in 1990 to commemorate the reunification of Germany, according to Public Art Reston.

Emerge 

Where to find it: Glade Drive Underpass near Hunters Woods Village Center

Description: Valerie Theberge’s 2010 glass and mirror mosaic tiles greet bicyclists and people walking eastbound on the Turquoise Trail. “Theberge designed this artwork to be uplifting, whimsical and optimistic,” according to its Public Art Reston bio. “Multiple shades of greens were chosen to reflect the rich vegetation in Reston.” Students from Hunters Woods Elementary School helped create the stars scattered around the art.

The Underpass

Where to find it: North Shore Drive Underpass near Lake Anne

Description: Multiple, concrete sculptural elements created by Gonzalo Fonseca in 1965 decorate the tunnel connecting Lake Anne and the nearby Hickory Cluster townhouses along the Green Trail. “Along with a functional seat and table, The Underpass includes pieces that — upon close inspection — provide passersby with surprises meant to jog the imagination with stories and ideas,” Public Art Reston says.

Pylon

Where to find it: Right by The Underpass

Description: The curved, concrete cylinder, also by Fonseca, sits near the pathway beyond The Underpass. Public Art Reston notes that this piece is the most inconspicuous of Fonseca’s work in the area.

September 11th Memorial

Where to find it: Attached to a large stone in the garden at the Freedom Grove at Brown’s Chapel (1575 Browns Chapel Road)

Description: The Reston Association commissioned the bronze memorial by Kathy Walden Kaplan to honor the memory of the victims of the 9/11 attack, including Reston residents Leonard Taylor and Norma Cruz Kahn, according to Public Art Reston.

Slit Figure

Where to find it: In the parking lot at Plaza America directly across from MOD Pizza

Description: While three red ellipses standing more than 6 feet tall might sound like a sculpture that would stand out, this welded steel art piece by Al Landzberg is hiding in plain sight at the complicated Plaza America parking lot. Meant to be the centerpiece of the plaza, “Slit Figure is a study in contrasts: the contrast in shapes between three closed ellipses and a mysterious opening that slices through them, the contrast in colors between the sculpture’s fire-engine red and the shopping center’s subdued hues, and the contrast in design between the center’s business orientation and the sculpture’s playfulness,” Public Art Reston says.

Swing

Where to find it: Also near The Underpass

Description: Overlooking Lake Anne, the wood and steel swing was designed by William Roehl in collaboration with Conklin and Rossant. The swing has changed since it was first installed in 1965, evolving from a hanging basket swing to its current form, according to Public Art Reston.

Untitled

Where to find it: Along Moorings Drive by the Blue Trail

Description: This mysterious ceramic, mosaic piece made by Olin Russum in 1967 is an abstract representation of the map of Reston, although only the right side remains intact, according to Public Art Reston. “I would love if anyone knows how this work came to be,” Delaney told Reston Now.

People looking to learn more about public art in Reston and visit the pieces in person can contact Public Art Reston or the Reston Association to find out information about upcoming walking tours and print and digital maps marking the locations of the art.

Last two photos via Google Maps 

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Friday Morning Notes

Artsplay at the library — A Wolf Trap teaching artist and library staff will share music, drama and movement to encourage self-expression and imaginative play in a series of five classes at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. Today’s class runs from 1:30-2:15 p.m. [Fairfax County]

Arbor Day — Restonians can plant native trees and shrubs in various locations around Reston, which is a certified Tree City USA. A presentation and flag-raising ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m. at the Walker Nature Center, followed by a free pizza lunch for volunteers. The event last from 9:30 a.m.-noon [Reston Association]

Open mic poetry — Author Sid Gold and poet Sally Zakariya will share their work at an open mic from 7-9 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon. [ArtSpace Herndon]

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Reston Association Reveals ‘Volunteer Reston’ Winners

The Reston Association recently unveiled the winners of the Volunteer Reston Service Awards, which recognize people, groups and community businesses who helped serve the community through various volunteer projects each year.

Doug Britt, who has helped collect environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads classes on how to start a garden, both nabbed the top honor as “Volunteers of the Year.”

Here are the rest of the winners for the different categories:

  • 55+ Volunteer: Don Coram
  • Group Volunteer Service: Southgate Community Center Advisory Council
  • Community Partner of the Year: Public Affairs Support Services, Inc.
  • Committee and/or Work Group Volunteer of the Year: Pony Barn Working Group

A reception on April 18 at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Avenue) will celebrate the volunteers.

Photo via Facebook

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Tai chi — Local instructor Susan Shen will lead a class from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Reston Regional Library. [Fairfax County]

RA seeking lighting standard for pool facilities — Reston Association is requesting the establishment of a lighting standard for RA-owned pool and parking lot facilities. This application will be heard at the Design Review Board meeting on April 8 at 7 p.m. [Application]

Reston Hospital Center planning Tysons ER — “The hospital is proposing a freestanding emergency department at an existing building on Route 7 in Tysons, after initiating plans in late 2017 to build a new ER on a vacant parcel about a mile away, the hospital confirmed Monday after filing a zoning application with Fairfax County.” [Washington Business Journal]

Stream restoration at Wiehle South — Reston Association has a video giving an update on the stream restoration project. [YouTube]

Photo courtesy Logan Kleinwaks

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Monday Morning Notes

Car crash update — On Friday (March 20), “units responded to a car crash on Lawyers Road and Pegasus Lane in Reston area. Crews arrived to find two people trapped. Units were able to quickly work to free them. Both transported to area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.” [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Yoga among the books — From 5:30-6:30 p.m., adults can do yoga at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. [Fairfax County]

Parks and Rec meeting — The Reston Association’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee will meet from 6:30-8:30 at RA headquarters. [WebTrac]

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