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by Dave Emke — September 14, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Lake Anne Concert Series Ends Tonight — The “Take A Break” concert series at Lake Anne Plaza will wrap up tonight with a show from Texas Chainsaw Horns, an R&B group, from 7-9 p.m. [Lake Anne Plaza]

Reston Association Budget Meeting Tonight — Sridhar Ganesan, treasurer and RA Board at-large director, will facilitate a budget-development community meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). According to information provided by Reston Association, members “are invited to share their thoughts and comments on issues related to next year’s budget.” [Reston Now]

Meeting on Fairfax County Parkway Trail Crossing Tonight — The County Department of Transportation has slated a community meeting to discuss options for improving safety at a trail crossing of a Dulles Toll Road ramp. The meeting is tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. in the cafeteria of Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive). [Reston Now]

Changes Coming to South Lakes Bus Route — To address crowding associated with South Lakes High School ridership, Fairfax Connector will shorten headways on some afternoon trips on Route 551 beginning Sept. 30. [Fairfax Connector]

2017 Virginia Tax Amnesty Program Begins — Until Nov. 14, delinquent individual and business taxpayers can pay back taxes with no penalties and half the interest. [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

No More ‘Wiley’-Reston East? — In a tweet responding to a rider’s question, Metrorail says it is “exploring ways” to fix automated voice announcements that mispronounce the name of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. [Metrorail Info/Twitter]

File photo courtesy Karen Raffel

by Dave Emke — July 31, 2017 at 9:00 am 21 Comments

Silver Line Struggling to Maintain Riders — Phase 1 of Metro’s Silver Line expansion fueled an unprecedented building boom in areas adjacent to its five stations, the Washington Post reports. However, the line has struggled to attract riders in the three years since it opened. Only the Wiehle-Metro East station is even close to projected ridership numbers. [Washington Post]

Remembering Bob Simon — In a piece for an English-language Indian newspaper, Manish Nandy remembers the stories Bob Simon told him during daily walks around Lake Anne. [The Statesman]

‘White Liberals Give Themselves Too Much Credit’ — In an opinion piece for an “intersectional feminist” magazine, a Restonian looks back on the death of Nabra Hassanen, saying that hate lives here and everywhere. [Wear Your Voice]

Work Today at Park & Ride — The access road to the Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride will have daytime lane closures for paving from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Drivers should watch for flaggers, who will help direct traffic around the lane closures. [Fairfax County]

Teavana Stores Shutting Down — Starbucks announced last week will close all 379 of its Teavana stores, which it says have been underperforming. This will include the store in Reston Town Center (1826 Library St.). [CNN Money]

Get Ready for Terraset — All rising Terraset kindergarteners are invited to the Terraset playground from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in August to meet classmates and play on the new Terraset playground. The August kindergarten play dates are sponsored by Terraset Elementary School and Terraset Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Representatives from the PTO will be on hand Aug. 2 and Aug. 9 to answer parent questions. No RSVP is required. [Terraset Parent Teacher Organization]

by Dave Emke — July 26, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Hassanen Murder Suspect Court Date Set — A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Oct. 13, for the prosecution of Darwin Martinez Torres. Torres is accused of attacking, abducting and killing Nabra Hassanen in the early morning hours of June 18. [Connection Newspapers]

Libertarian Leaders Speaking in Reston — The Young Americans for Liberty conference, taking place today through Saturday at the Sheraton Reston Hotel, will feature more than 40 speakers sharing Libertarian values. Among them will be Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Judge Andrew Napolitano. [Young Americans for Liberty]

Changes Made to WMATA Board — The Trump Administration is replacing a pair of safety specialists, who were appointed by President Obama’s transportation secretary, with a pair of finance and budget bureaucrats who worked in the Bush Administration. [WAMU]

Work Being Done on Reston Station Staircase — The stairs from Reston Station Boulevard to the Wiehle-Reston East plaza are closed for repairs, which include new tiles on the landings and improvements to the drainage system. [Fairfax Connector]

Nearly $60M in County’s Carryover Budget — The county executive recommends the funds be used in part to fund reserves and infrastructure needs, along with other projects including the demolition of the Massey Building. [Fairfax County]

Supreme Court Ruling Leads to Changes in Sign Zoning — After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “content-based” regulations on signs do not meet the strict scrutiny test required by the First Amendment to protect free speech, the County must re-examine its zoning rules regarding messages on signs. [Fairfax County]

by Dave Emke — July 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm 21 Comments

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

by Dave Emke — July 12, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

A power problem at the Rosslyn Metro station gummed up morning commuter transit on the Silver Line.

Metro’s official information feed reported the issue on Twitter just before 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Silver Line trains from Wiehle-Reston East were stopped at Ballston, and riders were asked to transfer to Orange Line trains to continue their commute. The problem was reported fixed within 20 minutes; however, riders continued to report delays and other issues at the Ballston, Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stations through about 9:30 a.m.

The issue appeared to be cleared up by about 9:45 a.m.

by Dave Emke — June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Reston 20/20 Slams Fairfax County — In a detailed report examining Fairfax County’s proposal to allow a substantial increase in population density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) zoning area, the Reston 20/20 Committee critiques the County’s motivation for the accelerated passage of the amendment. [Reston 20/20]

FCPS Free Lunch Program Underway — The Food for Every Child to Eat During Summer (FEEDS) program provides picnic-style summer lunches each day from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all. Locally, they are available at Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive). [Fairfax County Public Schools]

91 Metro Stations, 91 Songs — An Alexandria man has worked for over six years to compile a series of songs about the stops on the Metro. His completed work, which includes a song about Wiehle-Reston East, spans eight albums. [Washington Post]

by Kalina Newman — June 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Orangetheory Fitness is one of the newest fitness crazes around the nation, and now it’s coming to Reston.

The new location is will be at 11410 Reston Station Blvd., at the Aperture building near the Wiehle-Reston East station. It is scheduled for a September opening, said Maggie Parker, spokesperson for Reston Station developer Comstock Properties.

“They have a kiosk on the [Wiehle-Reston East Metro] plaza and they’re recruiting members,” Parker said.

The Aperture building is being developed by the Bozzuto Group.

The fitness studio offers 60-minute workout classes that operate in the format of a group-personal training. The classes combine 10- to 30-minute intervals of running and weight training that add up to an hour of constant exercise.

According to its website, “Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.”

There is a sign-up for an email newsletter available on the Reston location’s website.

Membership options include a basic package for four classes a month, an elite package with eight classes a month and an unlimited package. For more information on pricing, call 703-822-5272.

The Florida-based chain has hundreds of locations nationwide, including many in the area.

by Dave Emke — June 23, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Last Day of School — Today is the final day of the 2016-17 Fairfax County Public Schools year. Congratulations to all the students and enjoy your time off!

Fourth of July Schedule in Herndon — It’s only a couple weeks away. Get ready for the July 4 celebration in Herndon, which will take place at the Herndon Community Center and will culminate with fireworks choreographed to music. [Town of Herndon]

SLHS Students Get Arduino Kits — STEM Engineering students at the school recently received Arduino kits. An Arduino consists of a physical programmable circuit board and a piece of software that is used to write and upload computer code. The kits were funded by a $4,000 grant from AIS Inc. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

‘Field Guide’ to Ticks — Fairfax County has provided a list of need-to-know information about ticks, which have been out with great force this season. [Fairfax County]

Metro Work in Evening Hours — After 10 p.m. tonight, Saturday and Sunday, the Silver Line will only run from Wiehle-Reston East to Ballston. This is due to work on the Orange and Silver lines. [WTOP]

by Dave Emke — June 1, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Reston Station will celebrate summer for the next three months with outdoor concerts, movies and more at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro plaza.

The “Summerbration” event will show off a plaza that has “taken on a form of its own” as more residents have moved in, said Maggie Parker, vice president of communications for Reston Station developer Comstock Partners.

“It gets busier and busier,” Parker said. “The concerts this summer and the movie series should have a whole different feel.”

The summer series will officially kick off Friday night at 7 p.m. with a concert by Battery Lane. Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., the Summerbration movie series will begin with an outdoor showing of Star Wars film “Rogue One”. Concerts and movies will continue, weather permitting, on a weekly basis through the end of August. In addition, yoga classes will take place on the plaza each Tuesday evening from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Complimentary parking will be available at ParkX during each of the events, which are open to the entire community.

“It’s a great place to enjoy a great summer breeze and great music,” Parker said. “Everybody is welcome — the commuters can go home, pick up their family and come on back.”

Reston Community Center is a partner of the concert series.

For a full list of summer events at Reston Station, check out the calendar on its website.

by Dave Emke — May 19, 2017 at 10:30 am 18 Comments

Organizers of the Reston pit stop for Bike to Work Day 2017, one of 85 such stops across the region, say their efforts this morning were a big success.

About 525 bicyclists had passed through the stop at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station plaza as of about 9 a.m., said Ashleigh Soloff, Reston Association’s special events coordinator. She said this is the third year the event has been held at the Metro plaza in coordination with Comstock Partners.

“[Riders] have been telling me that this is the best pit stop that they’ve come through today so far,” Soloff said of participants’ feedback on the event. “It’s very active and lively.”

Nineteen organizations participated in the event to share information and goodies with riders. Food was provided by Whole Foods and Einstein Bagels. A DJ was playing music and giveaway drawings were being held every half-hour.

Soloff said the concept of biking to work is important to Reston Association.

“We’re trying to get everybody out of their cars just for one day, but then they learn that ‘Hey, I can actually do this every day,'” she said.

Rod Colen, of Reston, was riding along with his daughter, Steph. He said increasing participation in bicycling to work is important for multiple reasons, including public health and improving commute times.

“There’s just so much pressure on everybody for productivity and hours and commute time,” he said. “As traffic gets worse, biking to work will actually be competitive.”

Colen said improved infrastructure and planning is needed to increase the number of bike commuters in Fairfax County. His daughter, who now lives in Arlington but works in Reston Town Center, said she doesn’t regularly ride to commute but she chose to today.

“I also have friends who live in Arlington and work in the Town Center who decided yesterday when they found out about [Bike to Work Day], they’re not big bikers, but they were just going to do it casually,” Steph said.

Adam Lind, Bike Program manager for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said the county seeks to expand participation in Bike to Work Day each year. He was providing visitors with information including copies of the county’s new bike map. In addition, he said, the county is running a 50 percent discount through the end of May on yearly memberships to Capital Bikeshare, which is expanding in Reston.

The regional Bike to Work Day event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving.

by RestonNow.com — May 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm 14 Comments

Another developer has plans for residential units near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

The Washington Business Journal reports that a subsidiary of TF Cornerstone is looking to build several residential buildings on 11.6 acres at 1900 and 1902 Campus Commons Drive. That’s just east of the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive, south of the Dulles Toll Road and about a quarter-mile from the station.

According to the WBJ report, the developer looks to add:

  • two high-rise residential buildings between 20 and 28 stories
  • a seven-story multifamily building
  • either 26 townhouses or a six-story residential building with 8,000 square feet of retail

In total, this could add nearly 1,100 residential units to the property.

The property is already the home of two six-story office buildings, which would remain. A rezoning application to convert the property to mixed use has been submitted to Fairfax County.

This is just another in an ever-growing list of residential projects proposed in the portion of the Transit Station Area east of Wiehle Avenue. Others include:

Numerous additional projects are also in the works on the west side of Wiehle Avenue and down the Sunrise Valley Drive corridor. In 2014, Fairfax County reworked Reston’s land-use plan to encourage such development in the area of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, as well as the future Reston Town Center and Herndon stations.

“In the future, the three station areas could become home to a total of 30 million square feet in offices and 28,000 housing units,” the county said in its announcement of the plan’s revision.

by RestonNow.com — May 15, 2017 at 11:30 am 4 Comments

Thousands of area commuters will ride to work Friday during Bike to Work Day, and those in Reston are invited to a “pit stop” to get refreshments, gear and more.

The event is open to all area commuters, who are encouraged to meet up with neighbors and co-workers at one of 85 pit stops across the region, including 13 in Fairfax CountyFree registration is required for the pit stops, which enters attendees into local and regional raffles and guarantees a Bike to Work Day T-shirt.

Reston’s pit stop will be located on the plaza level at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station. More than 500 local bike commuters are expected to participate at the local stop, according to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

The regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving. More than 17,500 bicyclists are expected to register across the D.C. area.

“Each year, Bike to Work Day attracts commuters who choose to bike to work for the very first time, and after the event, 10 percent of them continue to bike to work an average of 1.4 days per week,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, in a statement. “That’s an impressive conversion rate and it’s why we are committed to making every Bike to Work Day bigger and better than the one before it.”

File photo courtesy Fairfax County

by Dave Emke — May 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A high-end beauty salon that closed its Reston Town Center location last year plans to open near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

Salon Nordine & Day Spa will move into a new location at 11389 Reston Station Blvd., according to a permit processed by Fairfax County this week. The RTC location of the salon, which had been in business for about 13 years, was shuttered in September.

Maggie Parker, vice president of communications for Reston Station developer Comstock Partners, said the business will be the first street-front tenant on Reston Station Boulevard. The business owned by Fairfax County stylist Nordine Elabassi has two other current locations, in Merrifield’s Mosaic District and in Gainesville.

“It’s a lovely hair salon with full-service treatments and spa,” Parker said. “We’re delighted to have him.”

Café chain Sweet Leaf also plans to open soon in the development.

by Dave Emke — April 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm 11 Comments

Locally owned café chain Sweet Leaf is looking to open its seventh Northern Virginia location later this year at Reston Station.

According to a permit filed with Fairfax County, the restaurant will open at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza as part of Comstock’s BLVD development. Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communications, says the restaurant should be open in the fall.

“We’re very excited,” she said. “It’s a great restaurant — small, family-owned.”

Sweet Leaf was founded in McLean in 1991. It currently has locations in McLean, Tysons and Vienna, as well as three in Arlington.

The menu features healthful sandwiches, salads and grain bowls, and it also has breakfast options. The restaurant offers a “wide variety” of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, according to its website.

Parker also said Salon Nordine, which closed its Reston Town Center location in September, will open at Reston Station later this year. She said the full-service salon and spa will be the first street-front tenant on Reston Station Boulevard.

Salon Nordine currently has two locations, in Merrifield’s Mosaic District and in Gainesville.

by Dave Emke — April 26, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

If you are planning to attend the People’s Climate Movement on Saturday in DC, traveling there by Metro may prove more difficult than expected.

Planned track work on the transit system this weekend will have the line between Foggy Bottom and Federal Triangle closed down, with work being done to replace ceiling tiles at Farragut West, McPherson Square and the lower level of Metro Center. Silver Line trains from Wiehle-Reston East will only be traveling as far as Ballston, leaving every 20 minutes.

Anyone traveling to downtown DC from Reston will need to transfer to an Orange Line train at Ballston, a Blue Line train at Rosslyn and then a Yellow Line train at the Pentagon. Stephen Cerny of Reston, a former member of Metro’s Riders’ Advisory Council who plans to attend the Climate Movement, is concerned that will cause major issues for those traveling in for the event from the area.

“Given that the march will draw hundreds of thousands, Metro is facing a public relations disaster given the disruptions it will cause and a loss of all the goodwill it earned for its excellent service during the Jan. 21 Women’s March,” Cerny said. “It’s very likely that the platforms will be severely overcrowded and will likely lead to service disruptions.”

Richard Jordan, a spokesperson for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, said it is not anticipated that there will be any problems Saturday associated with the Climate Movement.

“Yes, just as there was track work during the Science March last weekend,” Jordan said when asked if Metro was aware of the maintenance work’s timing in relation to Saturday’s event. “We believe that planned service will be more than adequate to accommodate ridership demand.”

About 15,000 people attended the March for Science on April 22 at the National Mall. Cerny and other activists are hoping for a much larger turnout for the Climate Movement protest Saturday. Attendance for the Women’s March on Washington in January was estimated at over 400,000.

Helene Shore, co-founder of locally based environmental group 350 Fairfax, will be traveling to Saturday’s event on a bus along with other Reston-area activists. She said there has been “some talk” about concerns related to Metro service, but she remains confident there will be a large turnout from Fairfax County and beyond.

“They are expecting lots of people coming,” Shore said. “Buses are coming from all over the country.”

Silver Line trains from Reston will only travel as far as Ballston beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, through the close of service Sunday.

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