43°Clear

by RestonNow.com — October 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 29 Comments

This letter was submitted by Reston resident Alexandra Kenny South. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.

As a working parent with young children enrolled in Reston Association’s Fit Kids After-School Program, I was deeply dismayed by the Reston Association Board of Directors’ recent decision to end the program mid-school year. I followed with interest the discussion at the Board meeting as well as the Reston Now reporting on the ruling and the comments posted online. I thought I would provide my perspective on the matter as one of the families directly affected.

I have two children who attend Reston Association’s Fit Kids After-School Program, ages 8 (3rd grade) and 5 (kindergarten). They ride the bus to the Lake House from Lake Anne Elementary School every afternoon, where they spend the next few hours engrossed in experiential learning activities, homework help, outdoor play and creative arts. Dan Merenick, Katherine Caffrey and the rest of the Fit Kids staff bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the RA Fit Kids Program, and perhaps most importantly, my husband and I know as working parents that we can trust them 1,000 percent to take excellent care of our children.

We were taken aback to hear the Board’s Hunters Woods/Dogwood District representative, Victoria White, state that, “Quite frankly, we’re a homeowners’ association. We’re not a child-care provider.” Reston Association has, in fact, long been a child-care provider, offering a wide range of summer and other school holiday educational programming which we and many other Reston families have benefitted from. The Fit Kids Program is an extension of the programming that the Reston Association has offered for years, and it is a lifeline for us as parents with two small children and two full-time demanding jobs that require a lengthy commute. It has been especially vital to us on the many days during the school year that are teacher workdays/student holidays, for which we would otherwise have to take leave. With the program now being discontinued midway through the school year (Dec. 15, we’ve since been told), we will be left high and dry, as public school-based after-care programs (SACC), which have similar costs, carry a very long waiting list, and spots at other private after-school care providers are few and far between, particularly in the middle of an existing school year. The decision obviously impacts the Fit Kids staff as well, many of whom gave up other afterschool positions to work at RA.

I understand, of course, the need to look at the bottom line when considering which programs to continue or not, particularly when the Lake House renovation costs were not budgeted appropriately from the start, leading to an overall loss in revenue over time. However, it’s not clear to me how RA envisions bringing in greater revenue by eliminating the Fit Kids Program at the Lake House. I would expect that any increase in revenue through special events, such as weddings, office parties, and the like, would be gained outside of the Program’s working hours (3:30-6:30 p.m. on weekdays). On the rare occasion that the Lake House was reserved during those hours, perhaps the Fit Kids Program could be moved to Brown’s Chapel or elsewhere to accommodate it.

On a more personal note, I grew up in Reston and I moved back here in 2011 in large part because I wanted my kids to experience the sense of community that RA contributes to. It saddens and disappoints me greatly that the RA Board cut such a valuable resource to our family because they don’t believe that other Restonians care to pay an additional $6-7 per household per year – paltry in comparison to the sums paid to the Reston Association for other goods and services, including use of recreational facilities. There must be another way to boost revenue that does not harm the many children that are gaining so much through their participation in RA’s Fit Kids Program.

Sincerely,
Alexandra Kenny South

by RestonNow.com — October 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 59 Comments

Major upgrades to swimming pools are proposed in the budget that is under discussion by the Reston Association Board of Directors.

Expenses for work on the RA pool facilities included in the proposed 2018-2019 Capital Projects List total: $362,378 for swimming pools and $287,639 pool buildings in 2018; and $972,209 for swimming pools and $158,256 for pool buildings in 2019.

All 15 RA pool facilities have projects listed in the proposed list. By far the most expensive is work on the Lake Thoreau pool, totaling just over $1 million.

The $1.8 million in proposed work on all pool facilities equates to 26.6 percent of the $6.7 million funding allotted for the Capital Projects List. The proposed budget also allots a total of $2.9 million for the Repair and Replacement Reserve (RRR) Fund, out of the $14.3 million in total overall expenses.

Some other big ticket items on the project list include:

  • $2,321,359 for lakes, ponds and dams
  • $465,000 for boat docks at Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau
  • $406,658 for tennis courts
  • $379,318 for asphalt trails
  • $313,658 for vehicles and equipment

The next opportunity for Restonians to provide feedback to RA directors about the biennial budget is this Sunday. The RA is hosting a “community drop-in” at the Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.) from 10-11:30 a.m.

The RA Board has been discussing the budget since this summer in order to reach agreement before a November deadline. Sridhar Ganesan, RA Board at-large director and treasurer, questioned the various costs of the swimming pool facility repairs during some of those discussions, including at a special budget session last month (video).

“Plumbing in one facility isn’t going to be the same costs as the other, just because of the differences in configuration and size,” Garrett Skinner, RA director of capital improvement planning and projects, said in response. “All of those numbers were also vetted through contractors. Especially the pool buildings and swimming pool members. We had contractors come out and go physically through each one of the sites, look at what we have scheduled that needs to be done and determine costs based on that.”

Skinner, who was hired in January, also emphasized that some of the repairs were not anticipated in the association’s capital reserve study the was last performed in 2015. The study tracks needed maintenance and upgrades for RA-owned facilities. Instead, the repairs on the swimming pool facilities were proposed to be done during the next two years because the systems had broken down in some way.

“We’re doing it because it wasn’t in the reserve study for example; you’re doing it because something broke down?” Ganesan asked.

Skinner said Ganesan was correct, adding that the maintenance is necessary.

“Not all of these things were appropriately identified in the reserve study, but we still have to maintain them and repair them,” he said.

The first public hearing on the proposed budget will be Oct. 26 during a regular board meeting. A second hearing is scheduled Oct. 30 during a special meeting of the board. The board will vote on the budget and the annual member assessment rate Nov. 16 during a regular board meeting.

by RestonNow.com — October 11, 2017 at 1:30 pm 4 Comments

Calling all Halloween fanatics.

“If you have a theatrical spirit and are 16 or older, we have an opportunity for you,” Ha Brock, Volunteer Reston manager for the Reston Association, said in a new YouTube video.

The Halloween House & Trick-or-Treat Trail will be at the Walker Nature Center on Friday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Oct. 28. Hours are 6-7:15 p.m. and 7:30-8:45 p.m., rain or shine. The gate opens 15 minutes prior to the start times along Glade Drive or at the Glade Pool. Children ages 3 and up are welcome.

All times are sold out, but the RA is registering those who wish to be added to a wait list. Tickets are $10 per RA member and $12 per non-RA member. Get on the wait list by registering online at www.restonwebtrac.org.

In the meantime, RA is looking for volunteers to help make the event fun for the kids.

“Right now, my only need is characters for Friday and Saturday,” Brock told Reston Now. “They will be dressed up.”

Costumes, makeup and props will be provided to volunteers, so Brock says they don’t need to bring anything.

“A script is also provided,” she said.

No memorization is needed. Each station inside of the house and outside on the trail will be based on a theme and volunteers will be given talking points and suggested dialogue.

“They can ad lib to set the mood with the kids and families,” Brock said. “It’s all about having fun.”

Volunteers must participate in an orientation on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at the nature center from 6-7 p.m. Those interested must also pre-register by contacting Brock by email at [email protected] or by calling her at 703-435-7986.

The event is not a horror show or a haunted house, but the RA suggests families bring flashlights.

Halloween is on a school night this year, Tuesday, Oct. 31. However, neighborhoods are not limited to setting their official trick-or-treat hours, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. But the police department does have tips for trick-or-treaters. Brendan Murphy, Crime Prevention Officer with the FCPD, answered some questions during a Q-and-A about Halloween safety that are archived online.

The RA event at the nature center isn’t the only fun activity scheduled:

  • Lake Anne Plaza will host its annual Halloween event on Saturday, Oct. 28, beginning at 12:30 p.m. That event will include live music, a pet costume contest and more.
  • For $10 per person, county residents can also enjoy a Halloween Campfire for children 3 and up at Lake Fairfax Park on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. “Enjoy a ghoulish ghost haunt and enjoy ghost stories and s’mores by the campfire,” the event registration page says. “S’mores ingredients will be provided. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult.”

by Dave Emke — October 9, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

RA Offices Closed Today — Reston Association offices, including the Nature House and Central Services Facility, are closed today in observance of Columbus Day. [Reston Association]

North Shore Drive Sidewalk Project Planned — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a community meeting about the North Shore Drive sidewalk project Wednesday in the cafeteria of Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). Plans are to expand the sidewalk on the south side of North Shore Drive from Sycamore Valley Court to the existing sidewalk east of North Shore Court. [Fairfax County DOT]

Reston’s Tree Canopy Shown Off — Reston has a 49 percent urban tree canopy, RA Environmental Resource Supervisor Patricia Greenberg explains in Reston Association’s latest “Reston Today” video dispatch. In the video, Greenberg explains the benefits of the canopy and how to take care of it. [Reston Association/YouTube]

Why Reston is ‘One Better Than Ashburn’ — A recent Money magazine list named Reston the 29th-best place to live in America … and nearby Ashburn the 30th. A local blogger compared the communities in a tongue-in-cheek fashion and determined just how the magazine came to the conclusion that Reston is “Ashburn plus one.” [Restonian]

by Fatimah Waseem — October 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 24 Comments

In an effort to acquaint newcomers with the area’s history and hidden gems, Reston Association is offering free bus tours to residents who have moved to the community within the last six months.

During the tour, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents will see the Walker Nature Center, Lake Anne Plaza and Reston’s four districts, as well as learning about services provided by RA.

The tour will begin and end at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). Lunch will be served from 1-2 p.m. there. RA Board members, staff and committee members will be available to answer questions and meet with tour participants.

This year, RA departed from its tradition of holding open houses for newcomers at its main center. The bus tour allows residents to experience Reston in a dynamic way that reveals the area’s hidden gems beyond widely known attractions like Reston Town Center, according to Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement.

“People know the main locations but there’s lot of hidden jewels and hidden history,” he said. “We want the community to know more about Bob Simon’s founding principles as well.”

As of Thursday, 17 seats are available for the 40-member bus tour, Leone said.

Bus participants will visit major sights and services like RA’s main facilities, the Reston Farmers Market and the Reston Museum. Ann Delaney from Public Art Reston will give a presentation on the importance of public art in the area.

“It’s kind of like a neighbor-to-neighbor social from start to finish,” Leone said.

To register for the free tour online, visit RA’s website.

by Fatimah Waseem — October 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Local restaurants will offer up their favorite fall menus on Saturday during Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities at Reston Town Center. Admission is free.

The outdoor festival, formerly known as Reston Oktoberfest and run by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will take place from noon to 11 p.m.

New to the festival this year is a cornhole tournament, which will feature regional teams who will compete for prizes, including travel and weekend getaway packages. Another addition this year is a craft beer and VIP lounge, where attendees can purchase tickets to experience 18 different craft beers.

Confirmed restaurants include Barcelona Wine Bar, Choolaah Indian Barbecue, Clyde’s of Reston, GreenFare, The Melting Pot, Mom’s Momo, Pittsburgh Rick’s and Tavern 64 Regional Kitchen.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the 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.)

  • A trail of illuminated hand-carved pumpkins is welcoming visitors to “THE GLOW: A Jack O’Lantern Experience,” now through Oct. 29 at Lake Fairfax Park (1400 Lake Fairfax Drive). Presented by Townsquare Live Events, the “enchanting Halloween wonderland” features a third-of-a-mile trail decorated with more than 5,000 pumpkins. Tickets, which are $16 for kids ages 3-12 and $22 for adults, are available online and must be purchased in advance.
  • The South Lakes High School homecoming parade will begin at 5 p.m. tonight at Hunters Woods Village Center. It will proceed down Colts Neck Road to South Lakes Drive to the high school, where is is expected to arrive between 6 and 6:30 p.m., and it will be followed by the South Lakes Seahawks’ homecoming game against Langley. SLHS Leadership will be collecting funds for Hurricane Harvey relief.
  • Get ready to run in the Reston Pumpkin 5K and Kids Pumpkin Dash on Sunday at 8:15 a.m. in the Reston Town Center (11921 Freedom Drive). Participants are encouraged to debut their Halloween costumes.
  • Join the Greater Reston Arts Center as it says goodbye to “A Bird in the Hand,” a wooden, nest-like sculpture in Reston Town Square Park (11990 Market St.), Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Watch the “Amazing Acro-cats,” a troupe of performing house cats, at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) as they complete tricks through the magic of clicker training. Shows run on Saturday at 4 and 7 p.m., on Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m., and on Monday at 1 p.m. Purchase tickets online here.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • Meet author Maya Corrigan on Saturday from 6 – 7 p.m. in Scrawl Books (11862 Market St.) as she talks about Edgar Allen Poe and her book “The Tell-Tale Tarte.”
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • During “Giraffe-toberfest,” celebrate fall with animals at Roer’s Zoofari (1228 Hunter Mill Road) on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can meet the zoo’s giraffe “Waffles.” Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will support giraffe conservation.
  • Kids can create a healthy snack with food from Kidwell Farm (2739 West Ox Road) at Frying Pan Park. One-hour sessions in the “Kids Can Cook!” program begin at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The cost is $7 per child. An adult must attend class with the child.
  • Watch Mucca Pazza as they combine marching band traditions and street theater spectacles on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for all other residents.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m; and Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) every Saturday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

by Dave Emke — October 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm 6 Comments

(This article was updated at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, to add official information about the cafeteria’s occupancy limit.)

After being postponed last month because of a huge turnout at Lake Anne Elementary School, the next public meeting on a proposed Fairfax County zoning ordinance amendment for Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district has been rescheduled.

The meeting is slated for Monday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).

The Sept. 25 meeting at the LAES elementary school was called off after a large number of people — estimated at more than 400 — showed up to oppose the plan. It was to be the fourth public meeting on the proposal, which would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.)

The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for possible major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

The occupancy limit for the SLHS cafeteria is 668 when tables are present, though it can hold up to 1,280 if the several dozen large tables are removed.

The SLHS activities office said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office requested a space that would be able to accommodate around 650 people. The school’s auditorium was unavailable for the meeting, the activities office said, because of scheduled theater rehearsals. That space has fewer than 600 seats anyway, according to SLHS officials.

The school’s gym also was not an available or acceptable option, Hudgins’ office said.

(more…)

by Dave Emke — October 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm 135 Comments

In an effort to generate more revenue, the Reston Association Board of Directors voted at its meeting last week (video) to consider the end of child care at The Lake House when tabulating the 2018 budget and assessment rates.

Summer camps at The Lake House will continue under the new direction. The Board’s decision also allows for the possibility of using the facility for spring and winter break camps, and for “general ad hoc community programming if that did not interfere with being able to rent out the facility.”

The topic was earlier discussed during a special Board session Sept. 18.

Eliminating the afterschool care at the facility will allow for more hours to be designated for rentals, the Board decided at its Sept. 28 meeting. According to the Reston Association website, The Lake House’s rental rates range from $100 to $275 an hour.

While an estimated 647 families participate in camps at The Lake House, only about two dozen children go to The Lake House after school for the “Fit Kids” program.

“In order to benefit, 12, 14, 16 families, we are asking 21,075 [households] to pay $6-$7 in additional assessments,” said Sridhar Ganesan, treasurer and At-Large director, referring to the difference in assessment rate the projected income from additional rentals would bring. “This facility has cost us between $4.25 and $4.5 million. … As a fiscally responsible Board, I would say we need to recover that money, at a minimum, even ignoring the time value of recovering that money, before we think of opening it up and giving it away free.”

The Board voted earlier this month to move forward with using reserve funds to pay off the loan on the facility, which has struggled to make money and continues to operate at a loss since being purchased and renovated by RA.

One affected parent, Erin Gable, addressed the Board to express her displeasure with their conversation.

“The Lake House is for members, not for corporations,” she said. “I get that a lot of money is still trying to be recovered from The Lake House situation, but this is a service to RA members that can be vitally important.”

CEO Cate Fulkerson also said that several affected parents had sent in letters. In the end, though, the Board determined that Reston Association should not be in the child-care business.

“It’s not that I want to take away your child care, it’s that I fundamentally recognize that we have a ton of members whose $6 is a big deal to them … to service a very small number of kids,” said Victoria White, Hunters Woods/Dogwood District representative. “Quite frankly, we’re a homeowners’ association. We’re not a child-care provider.”

Also at its meeting last week, the Board directed staff (video) to include a new position — a post-project approval inspector for the Design Review Board — in the second draft of the 2018 budget. This position, designed to help ensure that repairs and other work done on properties is completed on time and done in compliance with RA covenants, is estimated to add $55,885 (salary and benefits) to the budget. It will have a $2.65 impact on the assessment rate.

Decisions about budget items have not been finalized, as the full 2018-2019 budget is slated to be approved by the board in November.

by Dave Emke — September 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm 4 Comments

After hearing a report on the latest plans for a capital project at the Pony Barn Pavilion, the Reston Association Board of Directors still had a lot of questions.

At their meeting Thursday (video), directors heard from Chris Schumaker, RA’s capital operations manager, who presented the most recent information gathered on the project. Schumaker presented the project budget overview, proposed scope options, DRB recommendations for Pony Barn, and a structural analysis of the site.

The Pony Barn pavilion replacement was first approved by RA in 2013, at a cost of $30,000. RA later approved, as part of the 2016-17 capital projects budget, $350,000 for a full-scale renovation project. That money has been locked up since last July, however, when RA put major capital projects on hold in the wake of the controversy over the Lake House purchase.

As the Pony Barn Working Group seeks those funds to be released so the project can get underway, the Board is being presented with four options for the project, with playgrounds and handicap-accessibility being the main variables.

(more…)

by RestonNow.com — September 29, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Lake Anne Plaza is going to get colorful this weekend, and you can be a part of it.

Reston Art Gallery & Studios is hosting “Painting on the Plaza” from 4-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. According to an event information on Lake Anne Plaza’s website:

“Experience the beauty and vibrancy of the Lake Anne Community as the Plaza comes alive with artists painting en plein air. Join in the fun by painting or watching the artists as they work. Purchase an original artwork to take home. And while you’re at Lake Anne, don’t forget to vote for your favorite painting and enter the drawings for door prizes. Winners will be announced on Sunday at 5:30. The event will be held rain or shine.”

The event is being produced by the Lake Anne Merchants Association and the Friends of Lake Anne. It is sponsored by Pat and Steve Macintyre along with Reston Art Gallery & Studios. For a full schedule and information about how you can participate, check out the event details.

There is plenty else scheduled to take place this weekend in the area as well. Take a look at our list below.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the 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.)

  • Reston Association’s semi-annual yard sale (8:30 a.m. to noon) and the Reston Expo (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) are both scheduled for Saturday at 1900 Campus Commons Drive.
  • The JamBrew series wraps up this weekend in Herndon. Tonight, live music will be offered from Right On Records, Tommy Gann and Todd Wight, and Black Masala. The free event is slated for 6-10 p.m. at the Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.). On Saturday, from noon to 10 p.m., the OktoBrewFest will rock the town green. Music will be provided by Bach 2 Rock, Darlingtonia, Unsullied, Dr. Robinson’s Fiasco and Throwing Plates. There will also be cold beverages from Aslin Beer Co., wine, nitro brew coffee from Weird Brothers Coffee, pizza from Brama Italian Cuisine, Nordic Knot Pretzels and much more.
  • In celebration of 11 years of service to the community, the Southgate Community Center (12125 Pinecrest Road) will host its annual Family Festival from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. According to information provided by the center, the event will include giveaways, music, moon bounces, refreshments and games.
  • Chicano rock band Quetzal will perform Sunday at 3 p.m. at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) as part of Reston Community Center’s Professional Touring Artist Series. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for non-residents.
  • Friends of the Reston Regional Library will be continuing their fall book sale through the weekend at the library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive). The fundraiser for the library will be open until 5 p.m. today; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo” will be on view at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through Nov. 18.
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The 16th annual TFcon, a convention for fans of the “Transformers” franchise, is taking place this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.). Check out its website for the full schedule and admission prices.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner display “Disgraced,” exploring Muslim assimilation and identity in America, will wrap up this weekend at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon). Performances are tonight at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and at a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. Tickets range in price from $17.50 to $55.
  • The National Kidney Foundation’s Northern Virginia Kidney Walk is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Reston Town Center. Proceeds benefit awareness of kidney disease, a top 10 public health problem.
  • Many restaurants and bars in Reston will have live music this weekend. These include Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) every Friday and Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) every Friday from 6-10 p.m.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music from The Vandalays tonight from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; and DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits during those hours Saturday night.

by Dave Emke — September 29, 2017 at 10:15 am 19 Comments

A pair of reoccurring themes emerged as members of the Reston Association Board of Directors shared their opinions about Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Reston’s Planned Residential Community density.

The Board must be bold in the fight against the County, and infrastructure plans need to be in place before any density increases can be considered.

At Thursday’s meeting, eight members of the Board each shared their personal thoughts about the proposal to increase the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District — which does not include most of the community’s Transit Station Areas — from 13 to 16. The plan would also give the County Board of Supervisors the ability to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.

Those areas that would be marked for major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers, and citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could result in the population of Reston tripling by 2050.

Cathy Hudgins, Fairfax County supervisor from the Hunter Mill District, had scheduled an informational meeting on the proposal earlier this week, at the suggestion of the Reston Association Board. However, that meeting was postponed because the size of the turnout from the community caused concerns about the fire code at Lake Anne Elementary School’s cafeteria.

(According to Hudgins’ Sept. 28 newsletter: “At this time, a new, larger location for the next public meeting on the Reston PRC has not yet been scheduled. An announcement will be made as soon as details are confirmed.”)

Excerpts of each of the directors’ statements are shared below. To hear their comments in full, check out the video from Thursday night’s meeting.

(more…)

by Dave Emke — September 28, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Reston Association Board Meets Tonight — Directors are scheduled to give their thoughts about Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Reston density, appoint a new member to the Board and make decisions on budget items, among other actions and discussions. [Reston Now]

Search Warrant Gives Details of Nabra Hassanen Killing — The newly unsealed document reports that the man accused of killing the Reston teenager in July led police to her body after officers found him in his blood-stained vehicle. [Washington Post]

Fall Book Sale Starts Today — The Friends of Reston Regional Library will be hosting their semi-annual fundraiser sale from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. [Friends of Reston Regional Library]

Sound Artist at GRACE Gallery Tonight — Alex Braden will perform a new piece composed in direct response to “Sue Wrbican: Well Past the Echo,” now on display at the gallery (12001 Market St.). The event is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

by Dave Emke — September 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

At their monthly meeting, the Reston Association Board of Directors will share their opinions on Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Reston’s Planned Residential Community density.

According to Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, it is expected that each member of the Board will share his/her thoughts during the meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

Upward of 400 Restonians showed up at Lake Anne Elementary School’s cafeteria Monday night for a county-hosted public meeting on the subject, which was postponed because of concerns about the fire code.

In a statement to Reston Now, Board President Sherri Hebert said the following:

I want to thank the community for showing such a strong commitment to protecting Reston. We will stand with the community to protect Reston’s interest. RA requested the fourth meeting with the County and we will follow up with the Hunter Mill District Supervisor’s office to ensure that meeting is rescheduled. At Thursday’s RA Board meeting, Board members will share their individual opinions on the topic but the Board will not be ready to take action until after the fourth meeting takes place.

As referenced by Hebert in her statement, Monday’s meeting was scheduled after the RA Board adopted a resolution at its May meeting calling for it, following three county forums on the topic earlier that month. Restonians who attended the May meetings on the subject expressed their concern that the county was trying to rush the amendment through the approval process. They were especially upset when the third meeting was held in an open-house format rather than as a question-and-answer session.

The proposal from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.) The PRC District does not include any of the Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

The agenda for Thursday night’s meeting of the RA Board of Directors also includes:

For those unable to attend, the meeting will be livestreamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by RestonNow.com — September 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 3 Comments

The fall edition of Reston Association’s semi-annual community yard sale is scheduled for Saturday, 8:30 a.m to noon.

The event will take place at 1900 Campus Commons Drive, at the corner of Sunrise Valley Drive and Wiehle Avenue. According to information provided by Ashleigh Soloff, RA’s community events supervisor, “85 families will be selling a variety of items, so this is a great opportunity to find things for a new home or a college dorm.”

No early birds will be allowed prior to the 8:30 a.m. opening time. Vendor space is sold out, and Soloff said the event will be canceled in the event of rain.

Anyone seeking more information should contact Soloff at [email protected] or 703-435-6577.

The event will be held concurrently with RA’s annual Reston Expo, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the same address. Advertised as “a one-stop shopping event for home improvement and more,” that event will also include food, music, kids’ tent events and workshops. Questions about the Expo should be directed to [email protected] or 703-435-6530.

Photo courtesy Reston Association

by Dave Emke — September 26, 2017 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

Member input on what, if anything, should be done to upgrade Hook Road Recreation Area is being sought by Reston Association through a trio of community meetings and an online master-planning survey.

The meetings, which will all be held at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.), are scheduled for:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 4 (7-8:30 p.m.)
  • Monday, Oct. 16 (7-8:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Nov. 2 (7-8:30 p.m.)

The online survey will be available for comment through Friday, Oct. 20. According to information provided by Reston Association, the purpose of the survey is “to better evaluate the recreation area and its value to the community, and to identify potential areas for improvement.”

Hook Road Recreation Area was selected by RA’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee as the pilot project for “full-facility enhancement” after multiple facilities were evaluated in 2016. The idea is to take a facility that has pieces of replacement work in the plans in the capital reserve study and, instead, consider comprehensive work to upgrade the facility all at once.

At a community information session on the project last month, design consultant Dewberry was introduced to members, and its representatives shared information about the studies that have been done so far and how community input will be used as the project continues to be studied and eventually decided upon.

A Hook Road Working Group will be tasked with making a proposal to the RA Board on the project’s scope early next year. Applications for the group are currently being accepted, and interviews will take place in October.

Questions about this project or the community meetings should be directed to [email protected].

Map graphic courtesy Reston Association

×

Subscribe to our mailing list