School Board Vote Approaches — The special election to fill a vacancy for at-large Fairfax County School Board position through the end of 2019 is Tuesday. The last day to absentee vote in person will be Saturday at the Fairfax County Government Center. [Fairfax County]
Blood Drive Slated for Monday — The Inova Blood Donor Services bloodmobile will be at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) from 1:30-6 p.m. Monday. All donors will receive a free T-shirt. [Inova Blood Donor Services]
Future One Reston Town Center Building Showcased — Real-estate developer Akridge is promoting its 23-story One Reston Town Center building, coming to the corner of Reston Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive, near the Spectrum shopping center. It will feature 420,000 square feet of office space and 15,000 square feet of retail. Check out the specifics in a Washington Business Journal ad. [WBJ]
IT Solutions Company Comes to Reston — Govplace, a leading solutions provider for the public sector, has expanded its operations with the opening of a new 14,367-square foot office in Reston. The office space is located at 11111 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 200. [Govplace]
It’s official: Restonians will have another opportunity next month to share their thoughts about a proposed zoning ordinance amendment for Reston’s Planned Residential Community district.
Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning will hold a fourth community meeting on the topic Monday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive), according to information provided this week by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office.
This follows up on three meetings that were held in May on the proposal from the county DPZ, which would increase the limit on people per acre in Reston’s PRC District from 13 to 16. This would allow for 18,737 more people beyond the current cap in Reston over time, DPZ officials say. Reston’s PRC District is currently at about 11.9 persons per acre.
The 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 Transit Station Areas within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.
At May’s meetings, residents 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 DPZ had originally hoped to bring the plan before the Board of Supervisors in July, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October. It now has those projected dates pushed back to November, December and January, respectively.
Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning
The long journey toward a permanent building for Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church (11400 North Shore Drive) is a little closer to its conclusion.
After discussion during Tuesday’s meeting of Reston’s Design Review Board (video), approval was given for the site plan for the 6,000-square-foot building. The new structure will be located on the opposite side of the parking lot from the current, temporary church building. The project still needs to go through the county approval process, along with further local approval.
Church representatives said they would like to keep the current building — a prefabricated double-wide structure — in place even after the new building is completed. They said the extra space would be required until an addition could be added to the new building.
However, Design Review Board members balked at that idea.
“I work with churches regularly, and I know every church out there would want to hold onto that building,” said Neal Roseberry, DRB vice chair. “Frankly, it’s our job as the Review Board to say, ‘Hey, it was temporary when it was approved over 10 years ago; it needs to come down now because you’re finally building your permanent church.’ That’s my position at least of why we should help you do what you said you were doing originally.”
The church is located between the Crescent Apartments and the Northgate Condominiums. DRB told the church representatives there needs to be more communication between them and their neighbors in regard to the development. Andrew Ivovich, representing the Northgate community, spoke during the meeting regarding the lack of communication.
“It’s much clearer what you’re proposing at this meeting … [but] I do, however, wish that it was presented with a little more time for us to review,” Ivovich said. “I’m glad you met with some of the community members, [but] we have not heard from you. We are your neighbors too, so we would love to sit down and meet with you guys.”
Ivovich, along with DRB members, shared questions about removal of trees and retention of a vegetative buffer.
“I think the site plan as you presented it is much more modest, [with] much less tree removal,” Roseberry said. “The landscaping along the path and paying attention to North Shore Drive is probably the biggest weakness in what’s still there.”
In addition to removal and replanting of trees, a portion of Reston Association’s Blue Trail would need to be moved for the construction. Larry Butler, RA’s director of parks, said there has been “good discussion” about those plans. He added that there is an RA easement that will need to be re-routed for the work.
The future addition to the proposed building, for which they are asking permission to clear space ahead of time, is also included in the church’s plan. Mel De Gree, representing the church’s building project, said it is hoped that it would be added within five years of the building’s construction.
The Design Review Board approved the plan as presented, with several conditions. Among those are the development of an updated landscape plan and meetings with the community members. Results of those conversations, along with other provisions from the DRB, are to be presented at a future meeting.
The full presentation packet provided to the DRB during the meeting can be downloaded from the Board’s website.
Illustration via Waldon Community Architects
Efforts to construct a new Lake Anne Fellowship House facility are continuing to progress.
Fellowship Square Foundation and the Community Preservation and Development Corporation are moving forward with zoning approval and entitlements needed for the redevelopment of the affordable senior apartment community located at 11448-11450 North Shore Drive, they recently said.
“As Reston rents skyrocket, affordable rental opportunities for those seniors and people with disabilities and low incomes are scarce,” said Eddie Byrne, FSF board member. “Fellowship Square is dedicated to ensuring that there will be not just affordable, but state-of-the art housing in our community.”
The new building, which is planned for the eastern portion of the property, would replace all 240 apartment units in the existing 1970s-era facility. Residents would remain in their current living space until the new facility is complete, and after they are transferred the old buildings would be destroyed. The portion of the property left unused would be sold for residential development, and the proceeds from the sale would help support the cost of the LAFH building project.
Local brokerage firm MAC Realty Advisors has been selected as a broker for this portion of the site.
The filing of the entitlements application is targeted for early autumn. Its approval would be followed by final design, building permits and construction. Project completion is targeted for the third quarter of 2021.
The collaboration between Fellowship Square and CPDC comes after several years of on-again, off-again plans for redevelopment of the property. Most recently, in 2013, the foundation had an agreement with Cafritz Interests and Novus Development for new housing on the site. That effort fell through by September 2014, which the foundation said was “due to our inability to advance our land use proposal in a manner that will produce the best possible outcome for our residents.”
CPDC is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing.
“We are excited about moving this project forward through the necessary County and local approvals,” said Christopher LoPiano, CPDC senior vice president.
Illustration via Fellowship Square Foundation and CPDC
The goal is to keep the tall oaks in Tall Oaks.
That’s what representatives of developer Jefferson Apartment Group and architects from KTGY told Reston’s Design Review Board during their meeting Tuesday (video). JAG is working toward ironing out the details of the future redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center, approved by the county last year.
At a meeting between the parties in July, members of the Design Review Board told the applicants about their concern regarding how the new development — which will include multifamily residential buildings, two-over-two condominiums and townhouses for a total of 156 residential units — would look from Wiehle Avenue. This month, the developers said they listened.
“There obviously are some constraints, so we’re being more surgical in how we place our trees in order to get the desired look,” said Mike Medick of KTGY.
In order to preserve the sight line from the North Shore Drive/Wiehle Avenue intersection to the southwest corner of the site, Medick said architects have moved entrance walkways and pushed them closer together to allow for the planting of seven large canopy trees. Medick said those will include red, white and pin oak trees.
At planting, the trees will be 16 feet tall. In a decade, they will be about 22 feet tall — reaching the third floor of the townhomes behind them. When they are fully grown, Medick said, they will fully conceal the development from the intersection.
“We’re comfortable that given this planting scheme … we can still get this natural feel for the frontage of North Shore [Drive],” Medick said. “[This will] emphasize again that theme that is so important here, the namesake of the project, the tall oaks.”
Grace Peters, land planner and landscape architect member of the DRB, said she would like to see more down elsewhere on the property to increase tree cover.
“I would appreciate it if the applicant could look into providing additional landscaping where possible [and] save more trees as much as they can,” Peters said.
The developers also responded to comments provided by the DRB last month regarding architectural elements of the buildings themselves and the design of site amenities. The changes were met with mostly positive comments from the DRB, with continued comments about small details.
“We’re faced now in Reston with jumping away from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s architecturally, and I think this effectively does that,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair. “I think you guys have come a long way. I’m relatively satisfied with these [buildings] at this point.”
The DRB voted to approve the general architecture plan as presented, with stipulations that the rooftop units on condominium units be screened, that the application return with material and color palettes for final approval, and that the other comments presented during Tuesday’s meeting be considered as well.
The DRB also voted to approve the landscape plan, with a comment asking the developers to intensify landscaping along North Shore Drive, as well as in the middle and along the northern edge of the property, if at all possible.
Illustrations via Jefferson Apartment Group/KTGY
The redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center will once again go before Reston’s Design Review Board during its meeting tonight.
In July, the DRB deferred voting on approval of the site plan for the project that will see Tall Oaks transformed into a mostly residential neighborhood. Plans call for 156 homes (a mix of townhomes, 2-over-2 townhomes and multifamily buildings), community space, 8,500 square foot of retail and about 6,000 square feet of office space.
In the presentation developers Jefferson Apartment Group and architects KTGY will present to the DRB (download), additional elevation maps are provided for the Board to consider. In addition, more detailed information about the common areas, tree buffer along North Shore Drive and more will be provided as requested by the DRB in July.
Among other topics on the agenda:
- Plans for a new building for Martin Luther King Jr. Christian Church (11400 North Shore Drive) will go before the DRB.
- The Board will consider a request for extension of the Colvin Run Stream Restoration project.
The DRB meeting will begin at 7 p.m. tonight at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).
Images via KTGY
Before its meeting tonight, Reston’s Design Review Board will have another one-hour work session with the developers of the proposed Kensington Senior Living at 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Following a work session with the DRB in May, Kensington has made the following changes to its plan to reduce the project’s size:
- Eliminated an entire floor of the building, resulting in a 2-story building
- Reduced the overall mass of the project by about 30 percent, from 91,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet, resulting in an approximate FAR of 0.83
- Narrowed the width of the building toward the south of the site, resulting in an additional setback to the nearest townhomes of 20 feet
- Reduced the unit count by 23 percent from 91 to 70, and the bed count by 26 percent from 130 to 96
Previous designs for the proposal featured as many as five stories.
The facility would be at the site of the current Good Beginnings School. The property has not yet been sold, with the deal contingent upon the plan’s approval.
At the May work session, residents of the Wethersfield Cluster expressed their concerns about lowered property values, privacy and architectural compatibility. Kensington says it “has considered and is working through different architectural styles, and it “plans to present more detailed building elevations” during tonight’s session.
The documents that have been provided prior to tonight’s session are available here.
The discussion is scheduled for 6 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The DRB’s regular meeting will begin at 7.
Image via Moseley Architects
Representatives of Bozzuto Group again brought a presentation about redevelopment of St. Johns Wood to Reston’s Design Review Board during a work session Tuesday.
Again, DRB members expressed the same concerns — too big.
Tuesday’s one-hour session was the latest in a long series of meetings about the proposed redevelopment of the North Reston residential community. After the project was deferred in April, the redevelopers brought new sketches to the DRB as they continue to work toward adding dwelling units to the property.
The previous proposal that had been brought for consideration featured featured 481 multifamily units within two buildings on the 14.3-acre North Point property. Two options presented by architectural firm KTGY at Tuesday’s session reconfigured the buildings and brought the number of units down to 441 or 454.
One option features a street between the two buildings, while the other has a central tree grove.
After the 20-minute presentation, members of the DRB panel shared their thoughts. The massing of the project remained a major hangup for the group, as it was in April and before. Members of the DRB asked if there is any way the developers can lower their threshold for the number of units they need on the property.
“You might have chopped off a unit here or a unit there, but these are still 450-whatever-plus units,” said Richard Newlon, DRB vice chair. “If we’re going to get anywhere with this, we have to talk turkey here and say ‘Where’s your cutoff point?’ If 450 is absolutely the smallest you can make it and still make a profit out of this project, then we’ve got a real problem.”
Some members of the panel said they would be more comfortable with the proposal if the developers would consider breaking the massing into several smaller buildings, such as what is currently on the property. Rohit Anand, of KTGY, said that may not be feasible, considering the use of parking structures in the property plan.
“People want parking in proximity to their home, and these schemes provide that,” Anand said, adding that creating smaller parking garages for each unit is also not desirable.
Brian Winterhalter, of Cooley LLP, representing Bozzuto, asked the panel if they could make a determination on what is more important to address — the height of the buildings or the overall footprint.
“It seemed like your concern was that you would prefer it to have less footprint,” Winterhalter said. “There’s only so much we can do in terms of narrowing the footprint and reducing the height at the same time.”
In response, DRB members said the concern was more about scale and overall size, not specifically about height or footprint. Winterhalter later said if some specific parameters of acceptability could be provided by DRB, the developer could begin moving in that direction.
Ken Kneuven, DRB lay member, said someone will have to break before an agreement can ever happen.
“One side or the other is going to have to give,” he said, imploring the developer to figure out how much it can do to move toward more common ground. “Otherwise we’re going to have another workshop and another workshop and continue to waste your time [and ours].”
The work session was recorded and will be made available on Reston Association’s YouTube channel this week.
After a lengthy discussion during its meeting Tuesday (video), Reston’s Design Review Board deferred voting on approval of landscape, architectural elevations and other aspects of the Tall Oaks Village Center redevelopment.
In their presentation, representatives of Jefferson Apartment Group described their plan for the residential portion of the redevelopment, which will include multifamily residential buildings, two-over-two condominiums and townhouses for a total of 156 residential units.
“One of our main goals with these schemes was to continue to provide diversity, not only in the number of different housing types proposed, but to really give each housing type its own identity while still maintaining a very consistent theme throughout the site,” said a representative of architectural design firm KTGY, emphasizing that the development’s architecture would be “innovative and of its time, but still respectful of its surrounding context.”
KTGY said the two multifamily home buildings in the plan directly relate in scale and density with the adjacent Tall Oaks Assisted Living facility, while the two-over-two buildings and townhomes would have “more of an appropriate relationship to the surrounding neighborhoods.”
Members of the DRB, however, were concerned by the fact that all residential buildings within the development would be four stories tall, creating what some called a “cavernous” feel.
“There’s a sense of walking through a valley,” said lay member Bruce Ramo. “It seems very un-Restonlike, particularly in the context of where it is sitting, not in a transit area.”
DRB members also expressed concern about what the townhomes would look like as drivers approach the development from North Shore Drive.
“To me, as I turn onto North Shore Drive from Wiehle into this new Tall Oaks Village Center environment, I feel a little disappointed to see brownstones,” said W. Neal Roseberry, DRB vice chair. “I kind of would want to see, personally, something that’s Reston in a contemporary way.”
Roseberry said the proposed design of the townhouses would be like a “little piece of West Market” at Tall Oaks.
Richard Newlon, another of the committee’s vice chairs, agreed.
“From three years ago, May of 2014, our interest has always been to try to keep North Shore looking more Restonlike [with] a more natural buffer,” he said. “Please, pay attention that. That’s a key element.”
Images via JAG/KTGY
A Tall Oaks Village Center business that is being uprooted by upcoming development won’t be moving far.
Pet grooming business Fur Factory, located on the lower level of the current village center at 12010-B North Shore Drive, will be moving across the plaza to the Tall Oaks Professional Building (12054 North Shore Drive). A permit application to lay out the new space was processed by Fairfax County earlier this week.
The Tall Oaks Professional Building is one of two buildings at the village center that will remain through the redevelopment. The two-story building is being expanded to include ground-floor retail plus additional office space.
A one-story building at 12056 North Shore Drive — which most recently housed Curves Fitness and, before that, 7-Eleven — is also staying in place but being built out. Construction activity is already taking place at that site. Paisano’s Pizza plans to move across the parking lot from its current location in the village center to that site this fall.
An employee at Fur Factory was unable Friday morning to provide any information about when the business is planning to make its move.
The redevelopment of the village center into a mixed-use development will include 156 homes, 8,500 square foot of retail and about 6,000 square feet of office space, as well as community space. It will go before Reston’s Design Review Board next week for conversation about details including landscaping, lighting, site amenities and architectural elevations.
A number of major redevelopment proposals will be discussed at the next Reston Planning & Zoning Committee meeting.
Most notably, JBG and EYA Development will give an informational presentation on their plans for a mixed-use, transit-oriented development at 1831/1860 Wiehle Avenue and 1840/1860 Michael Faraday Drive. The project includes nearly 1.7 million square feet of development, consisting of 840 multi-family units, 60 single-family attached residential units, 130 independent living units, 205,917 square feet of office space and 260,945 square feet of ground-floor retail.
Also on the agenda for the public meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive):
- Renaissance Centro 1801. The rezoning is to replace the existing office building at 1801 Old Reston Ave. with a 20-story high-rise featuring for-sale condominiums. The P&Z Committee may vote on this project Monday. A county Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
- TF Cornerstone — Campus Commons Drive. This will be an informational presentation on two development options that are being proposed at 1900-1902 Campus Commons Drive, including up to 1,097 residential units.
- Thompson Hospitality. This will be an informational presentation on a proposed hotel at 1741 Business Center Drive, in the Lake Fairfax Business Center.
The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee is an advisory body without statutory authority. However, it is looked to and listened to by local government authorities for its opinions and advice on land use matters.
Layout of 1831 Wiehle project via JBG
Reclaim Reston is upset with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who they say are ignoring their urging to slow down development.
The grassroots activist group wrote to the Board of Supervisors last month, asking for a moratorium on proposed zoning ordinance amendments from the county’s Department of Planning & Zoning and on approval of any development projects that haven’t yet been submitted.
After receiving no response in over three weeks, the group is not happy.
“By silently thumbing their noses at the legitimate concerns of the Reston community, the Board of Supervisors sent the unambiguous message that they hold all the cards and view the Reston residents as powerless to interfere with the Supervisors’ cozy relationship with developers,” group member Bruce Ramo wrote to Reston Now.
An online petition Reclaim Reston set up in support of the moratorium has nearly 700 signatures.
Reclaim Reston is urging the Board of Supervisors to control development and ensure that planning and funding for infrastructure such as schools, roads, bridges, parks and other recreational facilities, remains in sync with the influx of new residents.
When asked by Reston Now about Reclaim Reston’s request, Hudgins provided the following statement (presented as written):
I recognize that good economics time, particular the last two years, provides more economic opportunity for new development. This does not mean the support for that development will not occur. While it would be great if all the planned transportation projects were already built, however, infrastructure improvement depend on those developing the land and a blending of federal, state and county funding. Three new Reston north/south crossings and three new rail stations scheduled to open in Reston and Herndon area, will relieve much of the traffic that travel today to Reston and Wiehle stations on many primary Reston arteries. I am working to build these sooner than planned.
My pledge is the outcome of future growth will more than conform to Reston’s planned community. Bob Simon believed people should be concentrated around Villages. Today’s village comes in a more urban form with the support of transit, retail and parks, in addition to housing. Mr. Simon voted for the Comprehensive Plan. I hope the outcome will meet his and your desires when we see it completed.
Ramo, though, says that the board’s silence on Reclaim Reston’s call for a moratorium shows that the County will go forward with its plans no matter what, leaving potential infrastructure problems to be resolved at some future time.
“Fairfax County has every intention of moving forward to convert Reston to the County’s cash cow, regardless of what it means for the education of our children, or the quality of life, safety or environment of our community,” Ramo said.
Three meetings in May to discuss a proposed zoning ordinance amendment for Reston’s Planned Residential Community district did not satisfy residents upset about the plan.
A fourth meeting, though, is on the horizon.
Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins has announced that the county Department of Planning and Zoning will hold another public meeting on the proposal. A tentative date of Sept. 25 was reported.
The proposal from the county DPZ would increase the limit on people per acre in Reston’s PRC District from 13 to 16. This would allow for 18,737 more people beyond the current cap in Reston over time. Reston’s PRC District is currently at about 11.9 persons per acre. The 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 Transit Station Areas within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.
The PRC District does not include any of the TSA 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. This was pointed out by several individuals who spoke during May meetings, saying that this means the population and density estimates provided for the PRC District would in reality be much higher in Reston as a whole.
Restonians who attended the May meetings 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 County and the community need to understand the implications for Reston of the zoning ordinance amendment and quite possibly amend it so that it is consistent with Reston’s vision and planning principles,” said Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 committee and an outspoken opponent of the proposal, at one of the meetings. “This will take time, not the headlong rush the County and Board [of Supervisors] seem to be in to get this amendment passed with three public meetings in three weeks [in May].”
The Reston Association Board of Directors adopted a resolution at its May meeting asking the County to give more time and consideration to the community’s voice.
The original plan for the DPZ was to bring the plan before the Board of Supervisors this month, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October. It now has those dates pushed back to November, December and January, respectively.
Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning
After being deferred five times, the redevelopment of property at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive will have a public hearing Thursday in front of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.
The plans for the 3.85-acre property include 13 single-family attached and 283 multi-family dwelling units, along with 7,500 to 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses. According to the project’s specifications:
The multi-family structure would be designed with seven stories and be approximately 85 feet in height. In addition to residential units and parking, the first floor of the multifamily building would include retail space, a bicycle storage room, and a loading area with two loading spaces. The attached parking structure would be designed with seven parking levels.
The proposal also calls for 22 percent open space. This would include a linear open space, or mews, which would be located between the single-family attached units and the multi-family units. The mews would feature a patio, seating, game tables, lawn and sidewalks.
The adjacent 11111 Sunset Hills Road property, which is also up for rezoning, would have mirrored townhouses and courtyards. In addition, it would include an extension of the open space at the southeast corner of the Michael Faraday site to create a “more extensive and coordinated park” on the southern portion of the properties. That site has a Planning Commission hearing scheduled for Nov. 16.
The site is owned by Rooney Properties, who hopes to begin construction on the mixed-use project in the first half of 2018. The hearing with the county Planning Commission was first set for October 2016 and has been rescheduled four more times before Thursday.
The 1831 Michael Faraday Drive plot is just one of many sets of redevelopment plans on the table for the Wiehle Avenue/Michael Faraday Drive area. Numerous developers are working together to turn the property east of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station into what they call the “gateway to Reston.”
Renderings via 1831 Michael Faraday LLC
Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant has a late-August opening planned in the RTC West development (12130 Sunset Hills Road), and many other restaurants will follow.
The restaurant and retail space in the southwest corner of RTC West is the first phase of JBG Companies’ plans for the development. The site is bordered by Town Center Parkway to the east, the W&OD Trail to the north, and the plaza that contains Chick-fil-A, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Chipotle and more to the west.
Signage recently placed in office buildings on the property — formerly known as the Reston Executive Center — shows eight new businesses in total that are in the works to be coming. Along with Cooper’s Hawk, six other restaurants are listed:
- Punjabi by Nature, Indian cuisine. It has three current locations, in Leesburg, Vienna and Chantilly.
- The Black Squirrel, a DC-based gastropub. This would be its third location.
- Honeygrow, a Philly-based fast-casual chain serving stir-fry, salads and more.
- BGR The Burger Joint, which was first announced in January.
- Mezza Mediterranean Grille and Nando’s Peri-Peri, which were both announced last spring.
When asked for further details about the potential new businesses, a JBG spokesperson told Reston Now that the company is “working on a variety of leases and will hope to announce in the coming weeks.” We will provide more information about the new businesses when it is provided to us.
JBG announced late last year that it has further plans for the property, including two multifamily residential buildings and three more office buildings.