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Monday Morning Notes

Vote for Reston as “Best Holiday Parade” — Voting closes at noon today for USA Today’s holiday parade contest. Last year, Reston landed in sixth place on the list. [USA Today]

Faulty work on Silver Line — A man who admitted faking records to hide faulty Silver Line concrete panels was sentenced Friday to prison time. [WTOP]

New zoning rules for artisan manufacturers — Fairfax County recently adopted new zoning rules to help more small-scale production businesses. [Fairfax County]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Opening night for “The Nutcracker” — The Conservatory Ballet begins performances tonight of the holiday classic at 7 p.m. at CenterStage. [Reston Community Center]

Deadline pushed for Silver Line project contractors — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority extended the deadline yesterday for proposals to accommodate the vendors interested in operating the extension of the Metrorail Silver Line to March 18. [WMATA]

Reston-based technology developer is raking in the money —  OpenLegacy has raised $30 million in funding. Silverhorn Investment Advisors led the round. [OpenLegacy]

Snow possible this weekend — Get your snow boots out. Forecasters say a chance of wintery storms could hit Reston over the weekend. [Reston Patch]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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Reston to Nearly Double in Size Over Next Quarter-Century

(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) Don’t expect Reston’s recent population boom to slow anytime soon.

Fairfax County’s Demographic Reports 2018 project high levels of residential growth throughout Reston over the next 27 years and the Hunter Mill District leads the county in new housing in development to match.

Reston, divided across the 20190, 20191, and 20194 zip codes, currently has a total population of 64,546 people. By 2045, the population is anticipated to reach 103,989.

To the south, 20191 is projected to increase to a population of 30,512 by 2020 and 31,995 by 2025. The 20190 zip code north of the Toll Road is also expected to grow and, by 2045, will start to close the population gap with its southern neighbor. Much of the growth in Reston’s core is likely spurred by plans to continue expansion on the Silver Line.

Further to the north though, the more suburban 20194 area code shows very little growth.

The demographics report also breaks down the type of housing throughout Reston. The 20191 area code south of the Toll Road leads in single family homes and townhomes, with 3,694 and 4,225 respectively. However, Reston north of the Toll Road contains most of the area’s multifamily housing, with 7,701 multifamily apartment units. Both sides of the road are expected to continue adding housing at about the same rate for the foreseeable future.

To deal with the increasing development, Hunter Mill also leads the county in housing development. Of the 4,354 housing projects in the county currently under construction, 3,052 are in Hunter Mill.

The Hunter Mill District overall is among the County’s most affluent areas. Income in Hunter Mill is more concentrated at the higher end than income range than the Fairfax average. The unemployment rate in Hunter Mill is approximately half a percent lower in Reston than in the rest of Fairfax County.

The cost of living is also higher in the Hunter Mill District. The median market value of an owned home throughout Fairfax County is $519,560. In Hunter Mill, it’s $584,094. Average housing rent in the County is $1,789. In Hunter Mill, it’s $1,907.

Hunter Mill also has higher levels of education than the Fairfax County average, with 73.9 percent of men and 67.4 percent of women having a bachelor’s degree or higher, as compared to the countywide average of 62.9 percent of men and 57.8 percent of women with college degrees.

Photo courtesy Lauren Pinkston
Chart via Demographics Report 2018

This story has been updated

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Monday Morning Notes

Start planning for summer — Registration for YMCA summer camp started over the weekend. [YMCA]

What’s the update on the Silver Line? — With openings pushed back, construction on the Silver Line extension could wrap up as soon as fall of next year. [WTOP]

Turkeys found a home at Reston farm — Thanksgiving may be over, but here is some fun trivia — some turkeys pardoned by presidents wound up on a farm in Reston. [The Washington Post]

Be careful with those space heaters — As the weather gets colder, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue wants to make sure residents stay safe and warm. This video from the Federal Emergency Management Agency teaches portable heater safety. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department] 

Photo via Ray Copson

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Friday Morning Notes

Don’t let above-freezing temperatures deceive you — Local police advise commuters to exercise caution as they head out today. Road conditions remain icy and local police have already responded to a number of crashes today. [Fairfax County Police Department]

When Wiehle-Reston East commuters were left in the dark — A few weeks ago, Metro commuters were left in the dark when several Silver Line trains weren’t running from Largo Town Center to Benning Road. Metro’s main spokesman won’t say why. [The Washington Post]

Last days to drop-off donations — Cornerstones’ Thanksgiving Food Drive is nearing to an end. The last day to drop off requested donations at a number of local donations is this Monday. [Reston Community Center]

In case you missed it — A car crash sent four people to the hospital yesterday morning. The driver of one car was trapped and was removed from the car. [Reston Now]

Photo by Twitter user @MrErrett

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Dulles Toll Road Hikes to Start in January

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors voted Wednesday (Nov. 14) to increase rates on the Dulles Toll Road for the first time since 2014.

The hike will raise the toll from $2.50 to $3.25 at the main toll plaza and from $1 to $1.50 on ramps, starting in January. The rate increases are necessary to fund the Silver Line extension project and improvements on the Dulles Toll Road, according to the MWAA.

The decision came “after careful consideration of public input received at the three toll rate public hearings held this summer, the public comments received on-line and the recommendation of the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee,” said Warner Session, chairman of the Airports Authority Board.

In 2014, an agreement froze increases before tolls rose again to continue funding Silver Line construction. “Under the contract governing construction of the Silver Line, the Airports Authority is required to use revenues from the toll road to help fund the [Silver Line] project,” according to a Nov. 14 MWAA press release, adding that other funding includes Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Airports Authority and the federal government.

Last month, a federal appeals court in Richmond affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the tolls helping to fund the Silver Line construction.

MWAA held a public hearing in Reston back in July to hear feedback on the proposed rate increases. The Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee reviewed and recommended the rates adopted by MWAA’s Board, according to the press release.

The next expected toll rate increase is planned for 2023.

Photo via MWAA 

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Deer Causes Delays on the Silver Line

(Update at 7:55 a.m.: Service has resumed as normal). 

A deer on the tracks outside of McLean is causing some delays along the Silver Line this Thursday morning.

As of 7:40 a.m., Metro officials are advising customers to expect residual delays to Largo Town Center as a result.

The deer exited the Silver Line property at around 7:21 a.m. Trains to Wiehle-Reston East held for several minutes, driving slowly behind the deer.

Here’s more from social media:

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

Budget to increase Reston Association’s assessment fee by $11 — After hashing out several drafts of the 2019 operating and capital budgets, next year’s assessment fee is proposed to include an $11 increase, setting the rate of $693. [Reston Today]

A big win for the governor — Roughly 400,000 newly eligible low-income adults in Virginia can start enrolling in Medicaid, scoring a major win for the state’s Democratic governor. [WTOP]

Get your absentee votes in — Tomorrow is the last day for in-person, absentee voting. Ten locations are available for voting. [Fairfax County Government]

Daylight savings and Metro — Time changes are likely to change how you do things this weekend and that applies to Metro service as well. [WTOP]

Photo by David Toms

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Fairfax Real Estate Developer Accused of Multimillion-Dollar Real Estate Fraud in Herndon

The CEO of Kiddar Capital, a Falls Church asset management firm, is accused of lying about the size and value of his company and defrauding investors about a $33 million office building in Herndon, according to charges filed in federal court. 

Todd Elliott Hitt, 53, was charged with securities fraud and surrendered to the FBI on Friday.

According to court documents, which were unsealed on Friday, Hitt raised nearly $11 million by falsely claiming to buy the building near a planned Herndon Metro stop. He spent around $9 million to purchase the 4.8-acre office building and relied on bank loans for the remaining balance on the purchase.

Prosecutors say Hitt was involved in an alleged $16 million scheme to defraud investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also found Kiddar claimed to be a global firm with $1.4 billion under management in London, Houston, and Florida, but in reality, the local company only had one office in Falls Church and managed far less than $1 billion.

They also noted that Hitt failed to disclose to investors his “extravagant spending,” which included leasing private jets and buying sports tickets and jewelry.

The complete release can be found online.

Photo via Kiddar Capital

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Report: Metro Garage in Herndon is ‘Sinking’

A report, first published by The Washington Post, finds that the Innovation Center Metro Station garage is “sinking.”

All work on the county-financed garage, which has eight stories, has been halted as an engineering firm attempts to determine why four cylindrical supporting structures sunk by as much as four inches.

The garage is one of five installed along the extension of the Silver Line, which runs from Dulles International Airport into Loudoun County.

The Post reports the problem was discovered when the garage was about 65 percent complete in July.

Manhattan Construction has a $33 million contract with the county to build the garage. Officials are confident that the garage will not collapse. The Innovation Center Station, which is near one of the sites up for consideration by Amazon for its second headquarters, is served by the 2,100-space garage.

An electronic monitoring system will be installed to monitor any movement of the foundation.

Photo via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Monday Morning Notes

Halloween volunteers needed — Volunteers are being sought for Reston Association’s Halloween House and Trick-or-Treat Trail at the Walker Nature Center on Oct. 26 and 27. To volunteer, contact [email protected]. [Reston Today]

Ramp and lane closures planned this week — You guessed it. Phase two of the Silver Line will usher in a flurry of lane and ramp closures along the Dulles Toll Road, Herndon Parkway, Edmund Halley Drive, Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Roa and Moran road this week. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Take a stroll through Reston National Golf Course — Walk with a naturalist from the Walker Nature Center and golf course neighbors from 3-5 p.m. and learn more about natural resources and the experiences that open space provides. [Reston Association]

Re-striping — If you frequent the Herndon-Monroe garage, expect new traffic patterns as pavement re-striping is happening throughout the garage. [Fairfax Connector]

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Monday Morning Notes

Lane and ramp closures this week — Phase two of the Silver Line project ushers in several lane, shoulder and road closures this week along the Dulles Toll Road, the Dulles International Airport Access Highway, Herndon Parkway, Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. The complete list of closures is available online. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

Not denser than Manhattan — Canaan Merchant responds to an opinion piece published on Reston Now that asserts Reston is going to be denser than Manhattan. [Greater Greater Washington]

Bechtel brings it — The engineering giant moved its global headquarters from San Francisco to Sunset Hills Road in Reston this year. The company has become one of Washington’s biggest privately held players. [The Washington Business Journal]

Suspicious package cleared by Metro transit police — A package found on Friday at Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station was cleared by police. [Metro Transit Police]

Corn night moon gathering tonight — View this month’s full moon, which, according to American Indian folklore, is named the Corn Moon. It indicates the time of the year to harvest crops. View the moon through the park’s telescope and enjoy a corn-inspired treat over the fire. Registration is $8. [Fairfax County Government]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Thursday Morning Notes

Stay away from Lake Audubon and Lake Thoreau — A toxic algae bloom spotted at the lakes two weeks ago remains, so Reston Association staff are encouraging residents to avoid contact with the water. Pets also shouldn’t swim or drink from the lakes. [Reston Association]

Silver Line investigation continues — Metro’s Office of the Inspector General announced Wednesday that it’ll take over an investigation into flawed concrete in phase two of the Silver Line extension project. The effort is currently overseen by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. [The Washington Post, WMATA]

A natural recovery at Sunrise Valley Elementary School — When a renovation project at the school required the removal of trees to maintain line of sight for pedestrians and drivers, Reston Association, the school system and two design firms partnered to restore a natural area at the school. The area is now a natural habitat for birds, butterflies and other animals. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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County Completes $14 Million Renovation Project of Reston-Herndon Bus Garage Facility

Ahead of the completion of phase two of the Silver Line project, a nearly $14 million renovation project of the Reston-Herndon bus garage facility on 268 Spring Street is complete.

County officials said the facility will help support Fairfax Connector bus operation in Reston and Herndon as the Silver Line project brings more demand to the area.

The project was funded through revenue from the commercial and industrial tax and general obligation bonds. A ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the new facility was held today (September 19).

Staff now have a working environment that is safer, more efficient, and more comfortable than before,” county officials wrote in a statement.

The renovation project includes the following:

  • An existing bay was closed to create a new drive-through bus wash
  • Addition construction for exterior tire storage
  • Upgrades to vehicle lifts and service equipment
  • Creation of automated parts storage system
  • Modernization of drivers lounge and administration areas
  • Addition of new fueling station
  • Replacement of bus parking lot surface with heavy-duty concrete
  • New parking lot for staff

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Private Contractors Likely to Operate Silver Line’s Second Phase

Private contractors are likely to operate and maintain the six new stations that are part of the Silver Line extension project that runs from Wiehle-Reston East into Loudoun County

In an announcement on Tuesday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said it has issued a request for proposals in order to seek private contractors who can operate and maintain the new stations, trains, and facilities.

WMATA said the move was necessary in order to control operating and maintenance costs, including future pension costs, which it says have “grown to unsustainable levels.”

“We are leaving no stone unturned as we look for opportunities to maintain transit service for the region and protect jobs, all while living within our means in light of what our funding jurisdictions can afford,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. 

Bids are due on Jan. 15 and a contract will be awarded in the spring.

Officials said the move will not result in job losses for Metro’s current workforce. They also noted that transit agencies in Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, and Beijing have had success in contracting some or all rail services through public-private partnerships, resulting in “improved on-time performance, reliability, operating efficiencies and cost savings.’

The Silver Line extension project is tentatively scheduled to open in 2020.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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