The healthiest county — Fairfax County was ranked the third healthiest county in Virginia, following Loudoun and Arlington counties. [WTOP]
Heads up for tomorrow’s Metro commute — Silver Line trains will operate every 24 minutes to due to concrete structural repairs. [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]
‘Cat On a Hot Tin Roof’ hits the roof — The play by Reston Community Players is listed as the top show of the week by one online magazine. [Maryland Theatre Guide]
A generous donation — Brandon Guyer, a former member of the Reston Herndon Little League and a baseball outfielder for the Cleveland Indians, donated bats to the league. [Reston Herndon Little League]
An oops moment — Good Morning America incorrectly stated a major walkout near a highway happened at South Lakes High School yesterday. Have doubts? Check out the tweet for yourself. [Good Morning America]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Expect service reductions at Silver Line stations and some Blue Line stations this weekend from March 16 through 18 due to major problems with concrete supporting Metro’s tracks.
A slab of concrete is cracked under the rails between Benning Road and Capitol Heights stations. Metro will remove rails and fasteners to remove the existing concrete and add a new structure, a process that is expected to take three consecutive days.
Silver Line trains will run every 24 minutes during single tracking, including during rush hour. Blue Line trains will be rerouted to New Carollton instead of Largo. Service will remain unaffected between Franconia-Springfield and New Carollton.
“Unfortunately, this is a repair job that cannot wait and cannot be confined to a weekend,” said Joe Leader, Metro’s Chief Operating Officer. “To the customers at the 10 stations who will be impacted on Friday, March 16, we apologize and hope that they will consider using stations on other lines or alternate travel options that day.”
Let your imagination run wild – Today is the last day an art proposal in response to the prompt, “If you could do anything, what would it be?” Greater Reston Arts Center will select five artists to participate in the Mary B. Howard invitational later this year. [GRACE]
Delays on Metro This Weekend — The Silver, Orange and Blue Lines are scheduled to run every 24 minutes, thanks to weekend track work. [WTOP]
A new home for OVHcloud – The global cloud provider opened its headquarters in Reston. The company’s CEO Russ Reeder said he’s glad to be back in the region. [OVHcloud]
Discussion on Russia’s foreign policy today — Watch a segment of the “Great Decisions” documentary and delve into a roundtable discussion at Reston Regional Library from 2-4:15 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]
Empty office space woes – Near Silver Line stations, millions of square feet of office space is available. Some developers and brokers are struggling to court good tenants. [Bisnow]
Body Found in Early February Outside Reston Town Center High Rise – On Feb. 2, a woman’s body was found in a driveway outside condominiums in Reston. Police investigated the incident as a possible suicide.
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill
Silver Line trains will run every 24 minutes. The last Silver Line train from Wiehle-Reston East will leave 24 minutes earlier than usual.
On Saturday, the train will leave at 11:52 p.m. and at 9:52 p.m. on Sunday.
Trains will only run between Ballston and Wiehle-Reston East. Riders traveling to or from other stations should use the Orange or Blue Line to complete their trip. At Ballston, Metro users should transfer between Silver and Orange line trains on the same platform.
For a list of all planned service adjustments, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s website.
Site on Fairfax-Loudoun Line Part of Pitch for Amazon’s Second Headquarters — Fairfax County officials are pitching a site on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties as part of their pitch to lure Amazon’s second headquarters. Northern Virginia was listed among 20 locations selected by Amazon as the company decides where to locate new offices. [WTOP]
Teen music.ly Star from Reston Featured in The Washington Post — Jacob Sartorius, a 15-year-old Reston native, went from stardom on a social media platform to launching a music career. The “Sweatshirt” singer was featured by the Washington Post Express ahead of a show on Thursday. [The Washington Post]
Weekend Work on All Metro Lines Scheduled — Metro track work and other service disruptions on all lanes are planned for this weekend as large crowds are expected in the District. [WTOP]
Lorton Teen Accused of Murder of Reston Couple Remains in Critical Condition — The 17-year-old teenager who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend’s parents, who were reportedly concerned about his neo-Nazi views, remains in critical condition. Charges have not yet been served. [Patch]
Photo via Flickr user vantagehill
At a Wednesday meeting, the lead contractor on the project told the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that the project is on track. By 2020, officials hope to open the second phase of the line, which brings 23 miles of track past Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County.
Precasting work at the Reston Town Center Station will be completed by February. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing outfitting will continue through the fall of this year while roofing will finish by June.
Concrete work has been completed at the North Pavilion and precasting is almost finished. The breakdown of pedestrian bridges, provided by Capital Rail Constructors, is below:
Metal decking at the Herndon Station is complete as work on mechanics, roofing, skylights, elevators and the track continues. The concrete structure and utility work surrounding the South Pavilion has also been completed.
Most workers involved in the project — 58 percent — are from Virginia while 26 percent are from Maryland.
Photos via handout by Capital Rail Constructors
Founding Farmers plans to open its Reston Station location in early 2018.
The opening of the restaurant, originally set for summer 2017, was delayed due after plans to the 10,000-square-foot location (1901 Reston Metro Plaza Drive) were revamped.
No firm opening date has been made public, although the company has begun hiring for all positions and expects to open in the first quarter of this year. In August, a company representative told Reston Now the restaurant will open next month.
A spokesperson for Comstock Partners, the owner of Reston Station, said the company went back to the drawing board to improve the design and layout of the restaurant after opening a new location — Farmers & Distillers — in the District.
“After opening their downtown D.C. restaurant a year ago, they decided to make some major changes to better improve operations,” said Maggie Parker, vice president of communications and community outreach for Comstock Partners. “They can’t wait to open.”
The Reston restaurant rests on the ground floor of a planned 200-room hotel at Reston Station and on top of the 3,500-space Reston Station Transit Facility. A large mezzanine is planned at the site, which sits next to the 45o-unit BLVD at Reston Station.
The farmer-owned restaurant include a full-service menu and bar with breakfast, lunch and dinner and a Farmers Market buffet brunch on weekends. A “First Bake” menu will offer takeaway breakfast and coffee on weekday mornings, according to the restaurant’s website.
Founding Farmers is owned by more than 47,000 family farmers of the North Dakota Farmers Union and is supplied by hundreds of family farms, according to its website.
No update was available on when Sweet Leaf, a locally owned cafe chain scheduled to open next to Founding Farmers will open. Signage on the store front indicates an opening in the winter of last year.
(This post was updated on Friday, Jan. 12 at 10:29 a.m. to include background about Founding Farmers).
Photo by Fatimah Waseem
Metro Considers Outsourcing Silver Line Service — A plan to privatize station operation on the western stretch of the Silver Line through Wiehle-Reston gained traction this week. The Washington Post reports that Metro officials have sent a formal request for information from potential contractors. [The Washington Post]
Evocative Acquires Reston Data Center — The company, a provider of internet infrastructure services, has acquired data center operations from Lincoln Rackhouse, the data center division of Lincoln Property Company. The data center is located at 1807 Michael Faraday Court. [Evocative via Cision]
Reston Caterer Recognized for Excellent Food Safety — Simply Elegant, a catering and event planning company was awarded a “14 Carrot Gold Food Safety Excellence Award” from the Fairfax County Health Dept. The cafe has committed no violations since November 2015. [Reston Patch]
A zoning change to allow for more development and accommodate population growth was discussed during The Kojo Nnamdi show Wednesday — a conversation that painted the ongoing issue as a microcosm of a perennial debate on how to manage development, growth and public infrastructure.
Leslie Johnson, zoning administrator for Fairfax County, said the zoning change, which would increase the population density per acre from 13 to 16, along with a host of other changes that implement the Reston Master Plan, a planning document that lays out the vision for the area, said Fairfax County officials are working hard to ensure development matches the pace of public infrastructure.
She also noted the county is aware of the need to preserve already stable residential neighborhoods that surround areas along the Metro that are targeted for growth.
“We can’t stop development waiting for the roads to be built,” Johnson said, adding that the county recently developed a funding plan for road infrastructure and developers are helping in tandem.
Johnson noted that the zoning change was consistent with master plans adopted in 2014 and 2015. She also said she was encouraged by vehement opposition that surfaced in two community meetings earlier this year.
“It’s a good sign that people are engaged because we get criticized for not engaging enough. I think peoples’ voices need to be heard,” she said.
Nimbyism is not the rallying point for people opposed to the zoning change, according to some residents.
Terry Maynard, co-chair of Reston 20/20, a citizen activist group that is against the proposal, said many people are opposed to the scope of development, not development itself.
Absent adequate public infrastructure for current residents, allowing more population density in pockets in Reston damages residents’ quality of life. He also noted projections about population increases as a result of the zoning change do not account for growth from affordable housing units and bonus density allowed for some developments.
“The Reston Master plan is very weak in defining infrastructure needs for the community in sharp contrast for a similarly-prepared plan for the Tysons area,” he said.
The cart-before-the-house argument has been echoed in community meetings.
But, to some extent, the zoning change is an exercise in how open communities are to change, especially as the county is in “a state of transition” in anticipation of Metro, which the county has been preparing for for the last 20 years, Johnson said.
Amendments to the zoning change are expected. The county is leaving the board with the flexibility to determine what population density between 13 and 16 per acre is most feasible, she said. Johnson also said the county was open to changing the maximum number of residential units allowed per acre.
A round of public hearings are expected to begin early next year.
Virginia, unlike Maryland, is a conditional zoning state, which means it lacks the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, a mechanism that attempts to manage growth by ensuring adequate roads, schools and public facilities are in place as development occurs. APFO laws vary by state and county.
A complete recording of the show is available online.
Access is limited due to the construction of a new parking garage for the future Metro Silver Line Herndon station. To use the current garage, commuters can enter through the Dulles Toll Road, a detour that requires a payment of $1, according to a county press release.
The roughly $45 million project is expected to cause major delays on routes that serve the park-and-ride facility. The following stops served by routes924, 926, 927, 937, 950, 951 and 551 will be missed:
Commuters using these stops take buses at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride facility. Bus bays are still accessible through the garage entrance.
A groundbreaking ceremony last year celebrated the launch of the project, which is managed by Fairfax County. HGA Architects is the firm designing the project.
Rendering courtesy of Fairfax County
Users of the Dulles Toll Road can expect to pay more in 2019, according to a 2018 draft budget presented to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board today.
No increase from the $3.50 toll ($2.50 at the plaza and $1 at the ramp) is planned in 2018; however, it is expected to jump to $4.75 the following year. Numbers presented by the Board’s Finance Committee show that is only the beginning of the hikes.
In 2023, the toll is projected to go up to $6. Additional jumps of $1.25 or more are projected every five years for the following two decades, resulting in an $11.25 toll in 2043.
The toll last increased in 2014, when it went up from $2.75 to the current rate. It steadily increased each year from 2010 to 2014. Prior to that, the toll was $1.25 (75 cents at the plaza and 50 cents at the ramp).
Tolls are used in part by MWAA to help fund the expansion of Metro’s Silver Line. Nearly half the cost of the construction, about $2.8 billion, is being paid by Toll Road fees.
Herndon Woman 10 Years Into Breast Cancer Fight — On her 50th birthday, Anita Hyman got the call that she had breast cancer. After a mastectomy, she is now celebrating her 60th birthday with her family. [WUSA]
SLHS Band Honored — The South Lakes High School marching band won first place in its class for best music, overall effect, percussion and visual at the USBands NOVA Regional recently. [South Lakes Band/Twitter]
Bulova Among ‘Most Powerful Women’ in DC Area — Washingtonian says Bulova’s “role in getting the Silver Line’s first phase completed, despite Metro’s budget problems” has cemented support for her. [Washingtonian]
No Change in County Unemployment Rate — The unemployment rate in Fairfax County in August was 3.1 percent, unchanged from July. That’s ahead of the 3.8 percent rate in Virginia and the 4.5 percent rate nationwide. [Inside NoVa]
Reston Company Provides Tablets to Inmates — Reston-based Global Tel Link is working with jails, including in Indiana’s Allen County, to provide secure tablets to inmates. The inmates are using them for communication, music, games and other activities. [Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette]
24-Minute Wait Times for Metro This Weekend — Silver Line trains will run only between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston, every 24 minutes, to coordinate with the work on the Orange and Blue lines. [DCist]
Theater Costumes Available — NextStop Theatre Company will hold its annual costume sale Saturday from 7-11 a.m. at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center St.). According to the theater, items available include “wedding dresses, to furs, to Cinderella’s ball-gowns, to stunning men’s suits” along with sweaters, vintage jeans and other items. [NextStop Theatre Company/Facebook]
Ted’s Bulletin Owner Will Sell — The future of the chain, which includes a restaurant in Reston Town Center (11948 Market St.), is unclear as Matchbox Food Group prepares to sell it to &pizza co-founder Steve Salis. [Washington Business Journal]
Transformers Fans Descending Upon Reston — TFcon, a “Transformers” fan convention, is being held for the 16th time. It has been held almost exclusively in Toronto area; however, this year, it is being held at the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents St.) today through Sunday. [TFcon]
Deadline for RA Board Candidacy is Today — Anyone interested in being considered to fill the At-Large seat vacated by Ray Wedell needs to submit a statement of candidacy by noon today. The remaining term on the seat runs through April. [Reston Now]
Silver Line Was Single-Tracking This Morning — An arcing insulator at the Rosslyn Metro station early this morning caused single-tracking on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines. [WUSA]
‘Safety Stand-Down’ Slowed Metro Thursday — Riders experienced woes Thursday morning on the Metro as maintenance inspections of 7000-series rail cars were temporarily suspended, raising union concerns and leaded to fewer available cars. [WTOP]
Full Presentation from Wednesday’s Community Meeting — The full PowerPoint presentation from Wednesday’s forum to discuss the potential ramifications of a zoning ordinance amendment that would raise the cap on population density in Reston has been made available. [Reston 20/20]
Food Collection Helps Herndon Students — Nonprofit organization Food for Neighbors collected food on a recent Saturday at Plaza America, with items collected going to students in need at several county locations, including Herndon middle and high schools. The program is working to add other schools, including South Lakes High School, to its efforts. [Fairfax County Times]
County Task Force Rides Out Maria — Virginia Task Force One, Fairfax County’s elite urban search and rescue team, has been busy this past month assisting with efforts following hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They were scheduled to go to Mexico to help following this week’s earthquake there, but instead find themselves waiting out Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. [WJLA]
Metro Lines Slow This Weekend — Work west of Foggy Bottom means the Orange, Blue and Silver lines are only scheduled to run every 24 minutes this weekend. The Silver Line will only run between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston. [WTOP]
New FCPS Superintendent Talks About Goals — Dr. Scott Brabrand says there’s work to be done in the district, including diversifying the workforce and scaling back demands on teachers. [Washington Post]