Reston, VA

Construction to kick off the delayed development of downtown Herndon is expected to begin soon.

Contractors will be on the site of the former Subaru dealership on 770 Elden Street next week to begin preparing the site for demolition, according to a town statement.

Crews will work to remove asbestos and complete additional environmental remediation efforts through state grant awarded to the town in 2017, according to town spokeswoman Anne Curtis.

After that, demolition is expected to begin in order to prepare the site for redevelopment.  Comstock, the developer of Reston Station, was selected by the town three years ago to redevelop the property into a mixed-use project.

The $85 million redevelopment project includes 273 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, a new arts center, public space and a new parking garage for public and private use.

Image via Google Maps

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There has been no movement on the construction of Aslin Beer Company‘s planned tasting room and bar in Herndon since November, according to the town’s manager Bill Ashton.

So far, the company has constructed “up to the limited of its current building permit,” Ashton said. “Staff is unaware as to why they haven’t done any further construction.”

Aslin did not return a request for comment from Reston Now. A spokesperson for the town declined to answer questions on the status of the project, including any clarifying details.

Still, Ashton said he is hopeful the company will “see something happening very soon.”

In the summer of 2017, the brewery was told to leave the Town of Herndon due to limitations of its current space at 257 Sunset Park Drive. Although Aslin found a new home at 771 Elden Street — the location of the former Napa Auto Parts — the approval process for the new location has been rocky.

In July last year, Northern Virginia Magazine reported the new location was set to open by the end of 2019.

Photo via Town of Herndon

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Developer Comstock and the Town of Herndon have yet to announce when construction will begin on long-anticipated redevelopment of downtown Herndon into a mixed-use center.

As the opening of the Herndon Metro Station is pushed deep into 2021, the town’s attorney says the project is still “advancing and is within the time periods” stipulated in an agreement signed by both parties in 2017.

“At this point, the majority of the ‘to do’ items are on the Comstock side and they are working through them with assistance from town staff as necessary,” according to a statement issued by the town attorney’s office.

A spokesperson for the town declined to comment on what remaining items must be worked out.

The project was expected to break ground last year.

So far, the only estimate of anticipated groundbreaking is early 2020.

The project, which includes a $3.6 million contribution from the town, would create a cultural arts district in the town and a multi-family development with around 273 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, an arts center, an arts plaza, and a 787-space parking garage.

The project, which includes a $3.6 million contribution from the town, would create a cultural arts district in the town and a multi-family development with around 273 apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail, an arts center, an arts plaza, and a 787-space parking garage.

Photo via Town of Herndon/handout

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The Town of Herndon is exploring new transportation projects for South Elden Street, Central Elden Street, and the creation of the Metrorail Station Promenade as part of budget planning for capital projects.

In a draft proposal for the FY2021-FY2026 Capital Improvement Program — which creates a six-year schedule for public improvements — the town will pursue five new projects, in addition to 43 ongoing initiatives.

The Town of Herndon is exploring funding opportunities for transportation projects for South Elden Street, Central Elden Street, and the creation of a signature plaza area near the Herndon Metro Station as part of budget planning for capital projects.

In a draft proposal for the FY2021-FY2026 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) — which creates a six-year schedule for public improvements — the town will pursue 48 projects, including five new ones.

The signature plaza area with a public space that extends from the entrance of the Herndon Metro Station to Herndon Parkway is planned. The project, “Metrorail Station Promenade,” will include “rich streetscape and areas for outdoor activities” in order to activate the space.

The plan also includes updates to South Elden Street to replace the undivided five-lane street with a median and left-turn lanes, as well as new pedestrian and bicycle facilities. Pedestrian safety improvements to improve Central Elden are also planned. The town has submitted an application to receive state funding for this project.

Other new projects include security improvements for town facilities and updates to a police server room.

Staff noted that the $54 million total is a big jump from the FY20-25 CIP. But the total net increase is similar to previous years if town matching funds for more than $65 million for Elden Street and Spring Street are taken into account. The current $54 million.

In a memo to the town’s Planning Commission, staff noted that changes to the draft CIP are expected as the town manager finalizes the budget and makes recommendations to the Herndon Town Council.

The commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal today (Monday) at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Council Chambers Building (765 Lynn Street).

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr 

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Monday Morning Notes

Town of Herndon Looks to Simply Cash Donation Process — At a meeting tomorrow, the Herndon Town Council will consider a plan to simplify the way community non-profit organizations receive cash donations. [Town of Herndon]

Zainy’s Flying Grill Swings By Sunrise Valley Drive — The new food truck, which specializes in puffy tacos, will be at Reston Campus (12525 Sunrise Valley Drive) today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Sprint B2B]

Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr

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If the person next door is always ready to lend a helping hand or make your day better, Town of Herndon officials want to hear from you.

The town is accepting nominations for its Good Neighbor Award. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31.

Only town residents can nominate a family member, friend or neighbor how makes noteworthy contributions toward the quality of life in local neighborhoods, according to the town. Recipients must be residents of the Town of Herndon and cannot have performed acts of good neighborliness for paid employment.

The town mayor and council will recognize Good Neighbor Award recipients at a future public meeting and all recipients will receive a commemorative gift.

Nominations can be submitted online.

The award is part of the town’s Cultivating Community initiative, which aims to encourage beautification and the enrichment of quality of life in the town’s neighborhoods.

Photo via Town of Herndon Government

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In the latest five-year of the Town of Herndon’s comprehensive plan, town officials are considering a handful of changes to update the master planning document that is reviewed every five years.

The Herndon Town Council will discuss the changes, which were recommended by the town’s Planning Commission, at a meeting tonight (Jan. 7). The comprehensive plan guides present and future development of jurisdictions in order to promote the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.

While some suggested amendments tweak references and names, some planned changes emphasize the prioritization of multimodal approaches for pedestrian and bicycle facilities, cooperation with Fairfax County and Loudoun County officials regarding nearby transit-oriented areas, and assessment of recreational facilities.

Other suggested amendments cover the following topic areas:

  • Cooperation with nearby jurisdictions for major public services like schools, fire and rescue and libraries
  • Ensuring town facilities “meet the needs of all ages and abilities”
  • Providing housing choices including mixed-use neighborhoods with transit
  • Accessible parks for residents
  • A roadmap to address policies related to climate change
  • A plan chapter on economic development
  • Emphasis on universal design for individuals with varying abilities

The council will meet at 7 p.m. tonight in the Herndon Council Chambers Building (765 Lynn Street).

Photo via Town of Herndon

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On Jan. 14, 1879, the Town of Herndon was officially incorporated, marking 141 years since its incorporation this month.

To honor its birthday, the Herndon Town Council plans to proclaim that day as the “Herndon Town Incorporation Day”:

“Further, the Mayor and Town Council of the Town of Herndon, Virginia, hereby express appreciation to mayors, councils, members of the Herndon Historical Society, town staff, and volunteers, who ~ both in the past and in the present ~ continually strive to preserve and document the history of the Town of Herndon, and encourage the public’s interest in our distinct heritage.”

The motion is up for a vote at the council’s meeting tomorrow. Every 10 years, the council presents this proclamation to Herndon’s Historical Society. The next presentation is set for 2029 for the town’s 150th anniversary.

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Fairfax County fire investigators say that the auto-ignition of cooking oil caused a house fire in the Town of Herndon on Jan. 1.

The fire broke out around 2:44 a.m. in the 1400 block of Cuttermill Court. The incident caused roughly $93,750 in damages, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue DepartmentThe fire was caused by cooking oil that spread to nearby combustibles in the kitchen.

Three people were at home when the fire broke out. No injuries were reported.

Fire and rescue officials urge residents to ensure smoke detectors are working inside homes.  In this incident, residents were awakened by the sound of a smoke alarm.

The firefighters and paramedics of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents that half of all fire deaths happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Working smoke alarms save lives.”

File photo

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Local police are encouraging residents to be wary of porch pirates in Reston and Herndon. An increase in package thefts is often seen when holiday shopping is in full swing this time of year.

The Fairfax County Police Department issued the following tips to avoid package thefts:

  • Ask a neighbor to hold a package if you’re unable to pick it up
  • Ship packages to your workplace or a nearby store
  • Sign up for delivery alerts and require a signature, if possible.
  • Purchase a lockbox for your front porch or a mailbox with secured access

A recent study found that nearly 26 million Americans reported having holiday packages stolen from their doorstep or porch.

Photo via Unsplash 

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Property owners who rent their sites through short-term rentals like Airbnb and VRBO must follow new regulations effective Feb. 1.

Property owners in the Town of Herndon must register with Fairfax County and pay $200 to receive a two-year permit to operate the rental. The Town of Herndon’s regulations, which were approved by council members earlier this month, are similar to legislation adopted by Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors this year. Discussions have been underway since June 2018 in the town.

In order to receive the permit, sites will be inspected. A $500 fee is charged for failing to register. Owners must live at the location for at least seven months, provide proof of residency, and provide notice to homeowners associations.

Homes can be rented out for a maximum of 90 nights — 30 more nights that the cap set by Fairfax County. A maximum of six adults under one contract can use the sites. A single rental period must be less than 30 days.

The town council also set operational requirements, including the prohibition of events, the presence of a fire extinguisher, and dedicated parking spaces.

The Town of Herndon’s short-term rental application is available online.

Photo via Airbnb

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Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna, a nonprofit that supports aging in place, recently expanded its programs to help seniors in Herndon and Reston.

The group assists the seniors by providing free rides, social outreach and other resources. The group decided to expand around October, a spokesperson told Reston Now.

Susan Garvey, the executive director of the center, lives in the area and noticed a lack of free resources for the elderly community, the spokesperson said.

“The uptick in ride requests have been promising,” the spokesperson said, adding that people who answer the phones are kept busy. “It was a wise step to take.”

The group announced its expansion to Reston and Herndon in its quarterly newsletter, which was published this fall.

Shepherd’s Center receives its funding from donations, fundraisers and corporate sponsors. Anyone who wishes to donate to the center can do so online.

Seniors or others interested in free rides, programs for veterans and various resources can call the center at 703-281-0538.

Photo via Sheperd’s Center/Facebook

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The Herndon Town Council is considering plans to regulate electric scooters.

The proposal, which would require companies to seek licenses and permits to operate scooters in the town, is part of a statewide push to enact licensing requirements throughout the state.

This year, state lawmakers passed legislation requiring jurisdictions to set licensing requirements or ensure the devices were permitted according to state law.

If the town’s legislation is approved, all companies would be required to reach an agreement with the town to operate electric scooters in the town’s rights-of-way before a permit for operation is considered.

The council is expected to discuss the proposal at a meeting today (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. in the Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn Street).

Photo via Unsplash

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The Town of Herndon has appointed its first-ever risk manager.

Fox Simkins, who previously worked with GEICO’s claims liability management team, was appointed to the newly created position this week.

As risk manager, Simkins is responsible for planning and managing the town’s insurance and risk programs, including risk management programs like workers’ compensation, injury management, and liability management. She will also analyze the town’s risk management processes, including reviewing risk elimination measures and determining controls.

“The establishment of this position fulfills a primary objective of the Town Council, to ensure that the town operates in a manner that optimizes productivity on behalf of citizens while mitigating unnecessary  risk,” said Town Attorney Lesa Yeatts

Here’s more about Simkins from a media release:

Fox Simkins held positions of increasing responsibility at GEICO, culminating in a seat on the insurance company’s Claims Liability School management development team. In that role, she was responsible for developing curricula for supervisory programs and instruction, as well as  managing their execution; working with multiple departments on regional and national compliance in risk management procedures; serving as a lead negotiation instructor; and working with company leadership on risk management issues. She was also a founding member of GEICO’s national training center. 

Simkins has a B.A. in political science from Hofstra University. She begins her position on Dec. 2.

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A new five-story hotel, which will house two separate hotel business, has been proposed on vacant property on Sunset Park Drive.

Shamin Hotels is proposing to build the hotel on 232 Sunset Park Drive. The 151,00-square-foot building would be home to a Hilton Garden Inn and Home 2.

“The building is a delicate merge between the two hotels, providing an individual identity for each hotel, while creating a cohesive building design,” according to the proposal.

The 250-room hotel complex will include an indoor pool, health fitness room, and meeting spaces, among other features. The concept was first discussed at a Town of Herndon meeting in 2014.

The Town of Herndon’s Architectural Review Board will consider the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday (Nov. 6) at 7:30 p.m. in the Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn Street).

Photos via handout/Town of Herndon

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