Reston, VA

Morning Notes

Reston Man Hospitalized After Assault — A man was “assaulted by several acquaintances inside his home” at the 11600 block of Stoneview Square on March 26, according to police. The victim reportedly “sustained cuts to his lower body” and was taken to the hospital “with serious injuries.” [FCPD]

Police Arrest Four Suspects in Home Burglary — The Fairfax County Police Department arrested four men after determining that they were involved in taking property from a house in the 10600 block of Water Falls Lane on March 28. “Detectives continue to investigate this case, confirm the men’s identities and their involvement in other burglaries,” police say. [FCPD]

Longtime Chemical Engineer Dies at Reston Hospital — William “Bill” Friend built a 41-year career in engineering that included election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and 21 years of work for the Reston-based Bechtel Group. At 86, he died from complications due to COVID-19 at Reston Hospital on Jan. 27. [The Washington Post]

Reston Association Opens Tennis Courts –“Reston Association’s clay courts at the North Hills and Glade tennis facilities opened April 1. Lights at these locations will be operational seven days a week between 6 p.m.-11 p.m. All players must have an RA 2021 recreation pass or a 2021 non-resident tennis pass to access the courts. Court monitors will be on site to check passes. Players are required to sweep the courts when they are done.” [RA Newsletter]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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(Updated, 4:40 p.m.) Reston Association is in the midst of renovating the Hook Road tennis courts on Fairway Drive.

In recent years, the courts have started to crack and show their age, considering they were built in the mid 1970s. The project was first discussed in 2016.

Renovations began in early March and are expected to be completed by late June or early July, though RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker says that the project is currently ahead of schedule.

In a video update on the renovation, Schumaker explains that RA is doing a “full depth reclamation process” that involves pulling up the existing asphalt, grinding it up, and mixing it with cement so that it can be compacted and laid down as the base for the new tennis court.

On past tennis court projects, RA typically put down a layer of gravel and then added a new layer of asphalt over it, according to Schumaker, but due to the age of the Hook Road courts, which already had several layers of asphalt, they made the decision to instead start over.

By mixing in cement with the asphalt, it should provide a stronger base and make the courts last longer — perhaps as long as 30 to 40 years, Schumaker says.

Reston Association tells Reston Now that the project is estimated to cost $650,000, which also includes refurbishment of the multipurpose court.

The tennis courts renovations are part of a conceptual master plan for Hook Road recreational facilities that includes baseball field upgrades and pathway renovations.

Those portions of the project remain in the “engineering phase,” according to Schumaker.

Back in 2017, tempers flared at several meetings about the Hook Road project. It was related to then-RA Board of Directors Member Ray Wedell’s adamant disagreement with the project and confrontational tactics in expressing them. He subsequently resigned from the board.

Photo via Reston Association/Youtube

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The Reston Association’s Recreation Facility Work Group has determined that a number of decades-old facilities are in need of work, and a “significant increase” in funding is required for the improvements.

The Reston work group released its findings and recommendations on Wednesday (March 10) after undertaking a year-long, comprehensive evaluation of Reston’s recreational facilities, including pools, lakes, and tennis and pickleball courts. The review focused on the condition, use, and associated costs of the facilities.

The nine-member work group determined that, while past development was “generous” in terms of providing facilities, many are now more than 30 years old and are in need of improvements.

However, funding and the cost of those capital projects may not be “sustainable” without a “significant increase to the annual assessment,” which is $718 for 2021.

According to the findings, the costs of operating and making capital improvements on pools and tennis courts are projected to top $22 million over the next five years and $37 million over the next 10 years, despite pool usage trending downwards and maintenance projects generally staying on track.

The group also focused on lake access and determined that there’s currently a lack of lakeside facilities.

Another major recommendation is that an updated Reston Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan is needed. The most recent plan was established in 2005, more than 15 years ago. Often master plans of this nature are done every decade.

The work group recommends that the Reston Association hire a professional parks and recreation firm to develop the master plan in consultation with RA staff.

The need for a new plan should be a “priority” in future budget considerations, the work group notes.

Photo via Reston Association/Facebook

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The Autumnwood courts will soon have better lighting.

Reston Association has kicked off a lighting project that will bring upgraded LED lights and automated lighting controls to the tennis and pickleball courts.

The project will cost $80,000, according to Mike Leone, RA’s spokesman.

The project is expected to begin today, according to a statement by Reston Association. The tennis facility will be closed until Feb. 15. But pickleball activities can continue on Lake Newport during construction at Autumnwood.

Later this spring, two of the tennis courts will be converted into four pickleball courts.

Once construction is completed and the Autumnwood courts reopen, Lake Newport’s courts will return to tennis only.

Lighting upgrades are also planned at the Hook Road tennis facility. That work is expected to begin in March, depending on the weather, Leone said.

Photo via Reston Association

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Reston Association Courts Close for the Season — The clay tennis courts at Glade have closed for the season and will reopen in early April. The clay courts at North Hills will close next Monday and will also reopen in early April. [RA]

County Now Offers Contact Tracing Data — The county’s COVID-19 dashboard now includes data on contact tracing. Data show that the county has been able to reach roughly 82 percent of confirmed cases. [Fairfax County Government]

The Early Days of Reston — “At one time, Reston was just a short five to six-minute train ride away from Herndon on the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad,” writes Barbara Glakas. [Reston Patch]

Photo by Marjorie Copson

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Reston Association has begun reopening some of its tennis and pickle ball courts as Northern Virginia continues in week one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan.

So far, RA had adopted a phased approach that is expected to change in response to different guidelines offered by the state and Fairfax County.

Beginning tomorrow, the courts at Colts Neck, Barton Hill, Newbridge, Uplands and Upper lakes will be open at half capacity.  Most of RA’s courts opened on May 30, with restrictions in place such as no lighted play after 9 p.m.

Here’s more from RA on decision-making approaches to determine openings:

Reston Association will use a phased approach to open tennis and pickleball courts as our region moves between phases outlined by state and local governments. Multiple factors have been considered in planning the reopening to include: information and requirements from state and local government officials, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) United States Tennis Association (USTA) and USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), area agency plans and the professional opinion of RA staff to operate in this environment.

The following is a breakdown of what’s open: 

If social distancing guidelines are not followed, RA will close facilities.

Photo via RA

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Reston Association is planning to open some tennis and pickleball courts if Northern Virginia begins phase one of its reopening plan on May 29.

At a board meeting last night (Thursday), RA CEO Hank Lynch said that the responsibility of enforcing rules will fall on the tennis community.

“We are looking at how to open up our tennis facilities in a way that would keep social distancing in mind,” Lynch said. Only 14 tennis courts and two pickleball courts — the names of which have not been released yet — will reopen during phase one. Courts will remain open from dawn to 9 p.m.

The following procedures, among others, will be followed:

  • Social distancing and maximum gathering requirements (groups of less than 10)
  • Minimizing high-touch areas in high traffic areas like entry gates, benches, and equipment
  • Some nets will be lowered on courts to ensure there are large spaces between courts.

Staff said they will continue to consult local jurisdictions on how they plan to handle opening tennis courts, as well as guidelines issued by the United States Tennis Association and the American Pickleball Association.

Photo via Reston Association

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Reston Association is considering lighting improvements at Autumnwood, Hook Road and Lake Newport tennis courts.

The proposal includes replacing existing lights at the tennis courts in order to improve playing conditions during dusk and night hours, according to the proposal.

RA’s Design Review Board will consider the plan at a meeting today (Tuesday) at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters.

The proposal is based on recommendations from RA’s lighting workgroup. Lights will have “minimum light spillage, warm color temperatures, automated control, and energy-efficient LED technology,” according to the proposal.

If approved, the project would be completed by April 30. More information about the proposal is available online.

Photo via Reston Association

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Reston Association recently kicked off a comprehensive evaluation of its recreational facilities. The organization is seeking members for a new recreational facilities working group that will evaluate the current inventory, condition and usage of RA facilities.

Members who are interested in applying should do so by March 31. Interviews will be conducted by the Board Operations Committee on May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The application is available online.

The workgroup is tasked with the following:

  • Evaluate the number, condition and use of facilities like pools, tennis, ballfields, playgrounds and pavilions
  • Review the long-term operational, maintenance and capital costs for RA facilities
  • Evaluate usage trends for RA facilities using existing data
  • Recommend to the board a process for closing or converting existing facilities to other uses.

The Park & Recreation Advisory Committee is temporarily suspended until Feb. 2021 as the new workgroup begins the analysis.

Photo courtesy Reston Association

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Reston Association’s tennis programs are getting a nod from a national organization next month.

The Professional Tennis Registry, a South Carolina-based organization that aims to educate and certify tennis teachers around the world, named RA the “Public Facility of the Year.”

Here’s more from RA on the award and its tennis offerings:

RA tennis programming had a solid 2019, with 550 junior (ages 3-17) lesson-takers from beginners to 4.5-level advanced players. More than 350 adults took lessons. RA works hand-in-hand with the USTA to hosts tournaments for all age groups and levels of play. More than 350 players participate in GWTA, NVTL, Reston Team Tennis and senior leagues. The associatioon also promotes tennis via its scholarship program.

RA has 52 tennis courts across more than 1,300 acres of land, including six permanent courts for children’s tennis.

PTR will present the award at a symposium in South Carolina next month.

Photo courtesy of RA

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The Herndon Town Council will consider increasing fees for indoor tennis programs and cremation at Chestnut Grove Cemetery later this year.

The council will consider a motion to increase fees for cremation at the park cremation garden and ground areas due to an increase in demand for cremation sites.

“While the site fees for the park area were reduced in 2017 due to underperformance, that adjustment achieved the desired result and salves have increased,” wrote Cindy Roeder, the town’s Director of Parks & Recreation. “It is now appropriate to make a modest upward adjustment to those rates to continue to maintain sufficient balance between costs, desirability, and long-term upkeep of the cemetery itself.” 

If approved, fees would increase from $2,195 to $2,700 on July 1. The proposed fee schedule is available online

The council will also consider a $2 increase for all hourly fees for residents and non-residents.

In a memo to the council, Roeder wrote that the increase would help the department “continue to offset all operating and personnel costs.” Fee increases for tennis programs are expected to go into effect in September.

The council meet’s tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Council Chambers building.

Image via Google Maps

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Thursday Morning Notes

Metro Ridership Increases — “Metrorail’s ridership growth trend can now be expressed in years, with the system posting a four-percent increase in passenger trips for the 2019 calendar year, ending a downward trend that lasted most of the prior decade. Total rail ridership was 182 million trips, compared to 175 million in 2018, a net increase of seven million trips, reflecting increasing customer confidence in Metro’s reliability and on-time performance.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]

Reston Indivisibles Join Protest at U.S. Senate — “Eleven members of Herndon-Reston Indivisible join other resisters in peaceful protest at the U.S. Senate to press for trial and removal of President Trump.” [The Connection]

Reston Association Pool and Tennis Passes For Sale — Passes for unlimited access to pools and tennis courts during the 2020 season are available for purchase online. [Reston Association]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Restonians will be able to see the North Hills Tennis Courts’ new renovation in the spring.

The Reston Association decided to remodel the courts as part of the Capital Project and will feature new LED lighting, a clay surface, an irrigation system and an after-hour bathroom entrance, according to the RA.

Reston Now received conflicting reports from RA staff whether the courts were already open for use, but Rob Tucker, RA’s tennis program manager, said that they are mostly complete and will be unveiled for use in April 2020 with a ribbon-cutting.

North Hills Tennis Courts received a ground-up renovation, according to Tucker, who said that the new facilities are state of the art and require a special water irrigation system.

The clay courts are maintained using what Tucker described as a “sponge that sits under the courts.” When the courts become dry, water is pumped into the underlayer so the courts don’t crack.

“It’s a premium system and about the best you can get,” he said.

Overall, Tucker said the project cost roughly $400,000.

The typical hard courts run by the Reston Association will be open year-round, according to Tucker, but the new clay courts will be open seasonally during warm weather months.

North Hills Tennis Courts are the first in Reston to receive upgraded LED lighting, Tucker said.

Photo via Reston Association

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Tuesday Morning Notes

‘Share a Haircut’ at Local Hair Cuttery Locations —If you bring a child up to 18 years of age to any local Hair Cuttery through August 15, the business will donate a free haircut certificate to children in the community. [Reston Patch]

North Hills Clay Tennis Courts Renovations In Progress — The clay courts are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2020. [Reston Association]

Farmers & Makers Market is Today — Local artisans and farmers will offer a variety of items at the weekly market, which runs through November. It takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Reston Town Center. [Reston Town Center]

Photo by vantagehill/Flickr

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A new Reston Sports Council, which includes 13 representative organizations, is seeking to becoming a unified voice for the interests of the local sports community.

The council, which grew out of focus group discussions and meetings by Reston Association’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee in 2016 and 2017,  held its first meeting in February. Members involved the initiative presented updates to RA’s Board of Directors last week.

At the meeting, Jeremy Lee, the newly appointed chairman of the council and a Reston resident of more than 20 years, said the council is an independent entity and intends to speak as a single voice to RA the Fairfax County Park Authority and the county.

Organizers hope the council will also help sports organization — including those that are not formally organized — coordinate the use of RA facilities, consider bulk purchasing, review industry standards, and collaborate to solve shared challenges, according to Laura Kowalski, RA’s director of recreation and environmental education.

Former RA Board Director Jeff Thomas and current RA Board Director Julie Bitzer, who is also the board’s PRAC liaison, pushed for the formation of the council.

Bitzer, who lauded the initiative, said the council will be a productive way to ensure “all sports have a voice” and prevent one sport from dominating conversations.

Larry Butler, RA’s director of land use and planning, cautioned that only Reston-based organizations are allowed to use RA facilities based on RA’s resolutions and by-laws.

The council is in the process of developing its bylaws, operational procedures and website. It plans to hold monthly meetings that are open to all.

So far, the council serves 6,000 constituents involving in local sports, including Reston, Herndon and Great Falls.

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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