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by Fatimah Waseem December 13, 2017 at 11:30 am 33 Comments

At their monthly meeting, the Reston Association Board of Directors will consider whether or not to carry over nearly $2.3 million in unspent, allocated dollars for capital projects from this year to next year.

A majority of the projects were put on hold for a major part of the year and last year, including the renovation of the Central Services Facility, the renovation of the Pony Barn Recreation Area, the replacement of a dock at Lake Anne, pathway lighting at Hunters Woods and the upgrades to the Lake Anne Dam.

The board will also set the schedule for capital projects that will begin in the first quarter of next year, including the $161,000 resurfacing project of clay courts at North Hills and nearly $163,000 in audio visual equipment upgrades to RA’s conference center.

The board will also discuss Reston Association’s Fit Kids Enrichment Club in response to concerns that the Lake House after school care program was being conducted under a different name and location.

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

  • The reappointment of Brian Berga to the the Fiscal Meeting for a term lasting through December 2020
  • A land use update by Larry Butler, Senior Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Resources
  • An executive session on the CEO’s performance evaluation

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m.. in RA headquarters tomorrow. For those unable to attend, the meeting will be livestreamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 4:00 pm 1 Comment

Environmental testing of Reston Association’s Central Services Facility found the building, which is slated for major renovations, contained asbestos, prompting RA to use $45,000 in unspent, approved dollars to remove the substance prior to demolition.

RA’s Board of Directors will consider the request at a meeting on Thursday. According to the board’s agenda packet, lab results taken throughout the building were positive for asbestos in floor tiles, pipe insulation, sink undercoating, skylights and exterior pipe tar. The cost of the project will cover abatement, air cleaning and follow-up air testing.

“Before full demolition can begin and to ensure the safety of work crews as well as RA staff, an asbestos abatement procedure must be completed,” according to the packet.

The renovation of the Central Services Facility is one of five capital projects put on hold for most of the year. Plans to renovate the 35-year-old building on 12250 Sunset Hills Road have been suggested for nearly three years. The facility is responsible for maintenance and care of Reston’s facilities, including pavilions, community buildings, garden plots and pathways.

The project will include the following upgrades:

  • bathroom in warehouse building for environmental staff
  • additional exit and ADA accessibility for warehouse office area
  • replace all windows in main building
  • add to bathroom capacity in main building to meet volume needs
  • address leaking roof
  • improve reception area for staff and RA members
  • provide HVAC system for shop area
  • install security system
  • upgrade LAN connectivity
  • provide adequate workspaces
  • provide modular training space

by Fatimah Waseem December 8, 2017 at 10:15 am 1 Comment

New interpretive signs could come to some of Reston’s 52 meadows next year.

Friends of Reston, a non profit organization, has received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay License plate Fund for the creation of new interpretive signs that provide information about measures to support the health of the Chesapeake Bay. The signs will include information about the environmental benefits of wildflowers and native grasses, reducing stormwater runoff and feeding wild life.

RA is seeking the approval of the Design Review Board to install the signs, which could be ready as early as March.

According to its website, Friends of Reston is a non profit organization established in 1999 to support RA’s work for charitable, education and scientific purposes.

Photo via RA

by Fatimah Waseem December 7, 2017 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

Opponents of a proposal before the county to increase Reston’s population density continue to mobilize ahead of community meeting on Monday night.

The Coalition for a Planned Reston, a community organization that includes Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and the Reston Citizens Association, will gather community feedback about the proposal and discuss specific changes to scale back Reston’s master plan in an effort limit the scale of development in the planned community.

The proposal, which will go before the county’s Board of Supervisors, would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community district from 13 persons up to 16.

The zoning change could also open up Reston’s village centers to increased residential development. The proposal would allow the Board of Supervisors to approve developments above 50 residential units per acre within the district’s Transit Station Areas (TSAs) — so long as the projects comply with the area’s master plan that guides development.

Reston Association staff opposed the changes. In a letter, In the letter, the RA staff also asks county supervisors to hold off on any further consideration of the PRC density cap increase until RA staff and county staff together can examine the Reston Master Plan portion of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Meanwhile, the coalition will pitch amendments to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins before Christmas. Overall, the coalition is seeking to constrain density growth and ensure infrastructure keeps up to pace with development.

CPR hopes to maintain the intensity of opposition to the proposal, which eclipsed in late October during a 900-person public community meeting in Reston where an overwhelming majority of attendees opposed the proposal.

“We are anxious to present what we believe are reasonable Reston plan amendments to Supervisor Hudgins rather than just denoting a list of topic areas where changes could be made,” said Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 Committee. “We are hopeful that the community will buy in to these proposals and possibly suggest some modifications and additions.”

Changes under consideration include reinstating a population cap throughout Reston which existed in the community’s 1989 plan; placing a cap on high-density, high-rise residential development, which the coalition stated is unlimited in the current plan; and phasing development with supporting infrastructure similar to the Tysons plan.

On a broader level, the coalition seeks to ensure county policies and standards that govern schools, parks and transportation are realistically in line with Reston’s growth potential.

CPR will also use the meeting platform to discuss other controversial zoning matters, including the “densification of Saint Johns Woods” and the addition of a road through Hidden Creek Country Club.

“The last minute inclusion by the Planning Commission of developer language allowing Bozzuto to re-develop St. Johns Woods at triple its current density is a perfect example of community exclusion in the development process,” said Reclaim Reston member Bruce Ramo.

The meeting will be held on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Reston Association Conference Center.

by RestonNow.com December 7, 2017 at 9:00 am 7 Comments

Board of Supervisors to Meet General Assembly Delegation on Dec. 12 — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will host the county’s delegation to the General Assembly for a roundtable work session and discussion of the upcoming 2018 General Assembly session. A reception at 3 p.m. will be followed by a work session from 3:30 – 5 p.m. in the Fairfax County Government Center in conference rooms nine and ten. [Fairfax County Government]

Free Friday at the Greater Reston Arts Center — The center will open its doors on Friday at 5 p.m. for an evening of family art making, storytelling and gallery exploration. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required online. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Where Do Annual Assessment Fees for Reston Association Go? — RA has published a guide to help members who own residential property to understand how money is allocated from next year’s assessment fee of $682. [Reston Association]

Reston Association Committee Releases First Annual State of the Environment Report — After more than a year of work, RA’s environmental advisory committee has released its first review of environmental issues in Reston. A member of the committee describes the scope of the committee’s work in a Reston Today video. [Reston Today via YouTube]

by RestonNow.com December 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Fairfax County Planning Commission to Decide On Proposal for Assisted Living Facility — The body will review a proposal by Kensington Senior Development LLC to bring a 70-unit assisted living facility to 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive. The proposal drew opposition from nearby residents at a public hearing last week. The commission will vote on the project at its 8:15 p.m. meeting today in the Fairfax County Government Center board auditorium. An online stream is on the county’s website. [Fairfax County Planning Commission]

FCPD: Keep Your Faith-based Organization Safe — The Fairfax County Police Department is hosting two worship watch seminars in the coming weeks. During seminars, officers share crime prevention tips and training specific to protecting congregants’ place of worship. The first seminar is on Dec. 16 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Springfield. The second is on Jan. 3 at the county’s new Public Safety Headquarters in Fairfax from 6 to 9 p.m. Registration is required. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Hook Road Working Groups Meet This Week — The group will meet tomorrow from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. to discuss the Hook Road Recreation Area project at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). [Reston Association]

by Fatimah Waseem December 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Protecting the Homeless This Winter — Fairfax County officials are encouraging people to call the county’s non-emergency phone number if they see someone at night who unsheltered and may be at risk of hypothermia. Police can be reached at 703-691-2131 where they will work with the individual and temporary shelter facilities to provide overnight shelter. [Fairfax County Government]

UPS Store in South Lakes Accepts Donations — The store on 11160 South Lakes Drive is taking tax deductible contributions for Wreaths Across America. Wreaths will be purchased that will be laid on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and across the region. [94.7 FM]

Reston Association’s Elections Planning Begins — RA’s elections committee will meet today to plan the layout of next year’s Board of Directors election from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). Four of the nine-member body’s seats are open in the election. [Reston Association]

by Fatimah Waseem December 4, 2017 at 9:00 am 2 Comments

Holiday Performances at Fountain Square on Wednesday –– Enjoy musical performances on Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m. at Foundation Square, including presentations by the Fairfax School Choir and the Drum and Fife Company. [Reston Town Center]

Swimmers from South Lakes High School Split Win with Langley High School — Varsity swim and dive teams from SLHS came out strong at their opening meet on Friday. The girls’ team won with 161-151 while the boys’ team lost 134-181. The team is scheduled to compete against Centreville High School on Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. [SLHS Swim and Dive]

Herndon Man Charged with Involuntary Slaughter in Sterling Crash — Julio Rivera, 39, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, DUI and driving on a suspended license on Friday after he hit a parked car and a townhouse on the 700 block of Colonial Avenue. A passenger in the car was taken to Reston Hospital, where he later died. [LoudounNow]

Reston Association Covenants Staff in Training — RA covenants staff will be in training today and for half-day on Tuesday. Staff will do their best to return all messages by the end of today.  [Reston Association]

Photo courtesy of SLHS Swim and Dive

by Fatimah Waseem November 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm 12 Comments

Reston Association’s Board of Directors could be slated for a shakeup next year as four of the nine-member body’s seats are open in next year’s election.

The association has formally issued a call for candidates. An information session is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. at RA (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

In April, the following seats will open: one at-large seat for a one-year term, two at-large seats for a three-year team and one seat for the South Lakes District for a three-year term.  An orientation is set for Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.

In a video announcing the election, Caron Anton, co-chair of the elections committee, said the election is an opportunity to shape the future of Reston through the association. To qualify, candidates must be a RA member, live in a residential property tied to a Reston deed, and have no unpaid fees. Candidates must file by 5 p.m. on Jan. 26. Candidates running for the South Lakes District seat must live in the district and collect signatures from households within the district.

Filing requirements include an election statement, which details goals and qualifications, and at least 25 signatures from individuals in 25 different households. Election results will be announced on April 10 at the annual members’ meeting.

The nine-member board consists of eight directors, who are elected for three-year, staggered terms by members, and one director elected by apartment owners. Four of the eight directors are district-level representatives while others are elected by the membership at-large. 

The body is responsible for ensuring RA’s goals are fulfilled by creating policies related to programming, planning, budget and personnel policies. RA’s website contains the following description of board members’ duties as whole:

  • When working as a full board, all members: Determine long-range mission and goals; establish RA policy and procedures; hire and evaluate the CEO; monitor finances, approve budget, and set the assessment; create and update long-range plans; and approve association programs through the budget process.
  • When working as individual members, all directors: Attend all board meetings, special events, and board retreats; prepare thoroughly for board meetings; serve as committee members and chairs; offer counsel, suggestions, and opinions; assume leadership roles when called upon; keep the board and the EVP informed of community concerns.
  • As well as receiving daily assistance from the CEO and the operational staff, the board is also supported by Legal Counsel, who helps guide the board into legally acceptable conduct and serves an important “loss prevention” role for the Association. Legal Counsel advises the CEO and board, but reports to the CEO, and responds to requests for opinions and analyses from the CEO, full board, or President.

For more information, email the elections committee at [email protected] or call 703-435-6530. Information is also available on RA’s website, including an elections calendar.

by Fatimah Waseem November 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 17 Comments

Reston Association will host an open house on Dec. 3 at The Lake House on 11450 Baron Cameron Avenue.

During the event, which will run from 10 a.m. through noon,  community members can enjoy light refreshments, mingle with neighbors, enjoy the deck and views of the lake and discuss ideas about the space with staff.

Through a referendum two years ago, RA members voted to allow the association to purchase the property. Renovations have been completed. The board’s goal was to increase and enhance green space on the site and increase more opportunities for community and recreational events.

The Lake House is also available for rentals, which began in the summer of 2016.

File photo.

by Fatimah Waseem November 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 16 Comments

Reston Association’s board of directors passed its $18 million budget Thursday evening. The board set an annual assessment rate of $682, a $10 decrease from last year’s fee.

According to a press release, this year is the first time the assessment has been reduced from the previous year. The assessment rate is calculated based on the bottom line of the capital and operating budget.

The board reinstated most pool hours to 2016 levels, according to the release. The body also directed TA staff to increase non-assessment revenue, which includes proffer and easement income, by 10 percent while cutting operating costs by 5 percent.

The release also noted several “cost-cutting” measures allowed the board to decrease the fee including:

  • Increasing health insurance co-payments for all employees
  • Approving in-house counsel in order to reduce reliance on outside legal services
  • Pay off the loan for The Lake House, which RA purchased two years ago
  • The addition of 429 new residential units that will be a source of additional revenue

The approved capital budget, which allocates $3.5 million for this year and $2.2 million for next year, includes roughly $399,000 for tennis court improvements and $465,000 for boat dock improvements, especially for replacing a dock at lake Anne.

The annual assessment is due by Jan 1. For more information on the budget, visit RA’s website.

by Fatimah Waseem November 16, 2017 at 2:45 pm 7 Comments

In a draft letter to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, Reston Association President Sherri Hebert has proposed a series of amendments to Reston’s Master Plan, a document that lays out a vision for the planned community.

The suggestions broadly push for more mechanisms to ensure public infrastructure matches the pace of development.

Some have estimated that the Reston Plan will result in more than doubling the current number of residents, not counting increases in employment population and visitor/pass through populations. If commensurate planned infrastructure can no longer be provided, then the level of residential development must be reduced to maintain the balance between land use and infrastructure,” she wrote.

A summary of each recommendation is below:

  1. Add an overall residential population cap that includes affordable housing units and work-force housing.
  2. Clearly state Reston’s village centers, except Lake Anne and Tall Oaks, will have the same land uses as they have today.
  3. Add periodic plan updates that tie specific development milestones with infrastructure improvements. A similar method to condition development on the availability of public infrastructure was included in the Tysons Master Plan.
  4. Request the Reston Network Analysis Advisory Group to review its transportation network analysis assumptions and methodology.
  5. Establish a realistic plan to increase the scope of recreational activities in Reston. The plan should account for space and funding.
  6. Add clearer statements that assertively state infrastructure capacity must increase as new development rather than “lag decades behind.”
  7. Establish a realistic plan for increased school capacity in Reston.
  8. Remove a “grid of streets” road connection between American Dream Way and Isaac Newton Square because it hurts environmentally sensitive areas and the Hidden Creek Golf Course.
  9. Change the dwelling unit density of lands with the high-density multi-family zoning from an unlimited amount to the maximum number of units per acre necessary to accommodate the two parcels that designation covers.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) to discuss the draft letter. The meeting will also be streamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by Fatimah Waseem November 16, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

RA Board of Directors To Set Next Year’s Budget Tonight — Reston Association’s board of directors will meet at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters to discuss a broad swath of motions, including capital and operating budgets for next year. The meeting can be viewed live here[Reston Assocation]

Purchase Poinsettias for South Lakes High School Seniors Graduation Party — Decorate your home and office this holiday season with poinsettias. SLHS is raising money to finance an all-night seniors graduation party. Orders must be received by Nov. 21 and will be ready for pick-up from SLHS on Dec. 1. Medium bundles are $15, large bundles are $25 and a hanging basket is $30. [SLHS]

Cleveland Browns Sign Reston Native Deon King to Active Roster — The 6-0, 220 pound second-year player out of Norfolk State was originally signed by Dallas as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in four games for the browns this season while spending five weeks in the practice squad. [247 Sports]

Drones on Parkland: What Do You Think? — The Fairfax County Park Authority is seeking public input on the possibility of expanding the use of drones on county parkland. During the first half of the year, the authority launched an internal study on the topic. Currently, drone pilots can take off and land at Poplar Ford Park only. The authority is considering expanding to other parks. The meeting will take place on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at Oak View Elementary School. [FCPA]

by Fatimah Waseem November 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 36 Comments

As Reston Association’s board of directors finalize the budget for next year, a proposal by a board member to shift nearly $550,000 from the upkeep of baseball, softball and soccer fields to tennis projects is drawing ire from some Restonians.

Mike Sanio, board secretary and at-large board member is seeking to move $551,780 in funds to help fund eight tennis capital projects, including $514,700 in currently proposed funding for baseball, softball and soccer fields. The remaining $37,080 would come from last year’s deferred dollars.

Sanio urged RA to reprogram funds to fully address “the historic shortage of money” to maintain RA’s tennis courts, noting that the program provided a nearly 74 percent recovery rate for operating costs this year. In an Oct. 30 email, he questioned why RA subsidizes programs that it does not operate, including $155,000 for backstops and fencing at Browns Chapel. The current $127,000 two-year capital budget for tennis largely covers color coating.

“Our core recreational responsibilities are to sufficiently fund swimming, tennis, pathways, playgrounds, multipurpose courts, and lakes. It is not to fund sports run by independent organizations that have their own sources of revenue,” he wrote. 

Local community groups, including the Reston-Herndon Little League, plan to oppose the recommendation. 

“We are very concerned over the potential motion to reprogram funds from baseball, softball and soccer entirely over to tennis. We strongly believe there is enough funds to make sure members of our community can play on safe playing surfaces no matter which activity they choose to partake in. While we have always advocated for baseball fields to be improved, we would never do so at the complete expense of another activity that so many children and members of our community enjoy. We are hopeful that the RA board feels the same way,” said Tim Jones, the league’s president.

The board will meet on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposal, which is a fraction of RA’s overall capital and operating budgets. The board is also set to pass those budgets this Thursday.

The board will formally decide on a motion to review each of Sanio’s requests and provide a report to the board about the feasibility of funding prioritized projects to the board by February. Staff noted RA’s capital projects team has not yet reviewed projects suggested by Sanio.

Mike Leone, RA’s director of communications and community engagement, said the board aware of the community’s concerns and noted that final versions of the motions, the draft versions of which are available online, have not been finalized.

By a 3-2 vote in late October, the board approved up to $295,000 in improvements for North Hills tennis courts in response to concerns like limited lightning in the evenings and major cracks that run along the court. White and Bowman voted against the line item.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The meeting will also be streamed on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

by Fatimah Waseem November 13, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Reston Association to Set Budget for Next Year — On Thursday, RA’s board of directors will set the annual membership assessment rate and approve a new budget. The meeting will air live on YouTube at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

South Lakes High School to Hold Dinner for Veterans — The school’s JROTC program is hosting an appreciation for 400 honorees on Dec. 9 from 6 – 9 p.m at 11400 South Lakes Drive. The dinner will include cadet demonstrations and music by the school orchestra. [South Lakes High School]

Reston Association Club Features Weekly Themes for Children — This week’s Reston Today video looks at RA’s Fit Kids Enrichment Club, which allows children to explore their talents and abilities.  [Reston Today]

South Lakes’ Seahawks Advance to Second Round of Class 6 Playoffs — On Friday, the high school’s varsity football team advanced to the second round of playoffs with a decisive 49-14 win. [Seahawks Athletics]

Herndon High School Hosts Holiday Vendor Sale — On Saturday, the school will host a sale that will include cake, cotton candy, crafts, face paint and more. The event is at the high school’s cafeteria (700 Bennett St.) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Herndon High School]

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