A proposal to potentially add up to 90 townhomes near Hidden Creek Country Club is up for a planning committee vote tonight, a decision that will serve as a key indicator for how Fairfax County officials handle the project.
The Reston Planning and Zoning Committee, an advisory group to the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, is slated to vote at the 7:30 p.m. virtual meeting on the 28-acre project at 11600 American Dream Way.
The property owner — an affiliate of Connecticut investment firm Wheelock Street Capital — has been making adjustments on the project in response to meeting with the committee and public. It purchased the property from Fannie Mae in 2018 for over $95 million.
Scott Adams, an attorney with McGuireWoods, presented in November before the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee. Changes include 9.28 acres that will be publicly accessible open space and repositioning gates on American Dream Way to only restrict access to the existing office compound.
“[Thoughtful], high quality site design is proposed to create a development that will further the Comprehensive Plan goals of mixed use development, significant park spaces, trail, and public art,” Adams previously wrote in a November 2020 statement seeking to justify the project.
The law firm hosted meetings in December and January with community members, too, but residents are still voicing concerns.
An affiliate of the investment firm, Wheelock Communities, acquired Hidden Creek Country Club in 2017 for $14 million and has sought to convert the golf course into a residential community. Residents have voiced their opposition, with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn backing their views on keeping the course, suggesting that public officials wouldn’t allow that kind of development there.
Even with the Fannie Mae redevelopment changes, the project conflicts with the Reston Comprehensive Plan as well as the character of the community, according to Reston Citizens Association President Lynne Mulston, who noted the association was merely acting as a messenger for nearby residents’ concerns. (The county is still studying the possible comprehensive plan amendment.)
“Ninety townhomes is just too much,” Mulston said, noting how residents have sought to scale back the project. “It’s just way out of whack.”
Earlier, residents raised concerns about how the project could affect northern neighbors’ access to American Plaza Shopping Center, providing access to Whole Foods groceries and other amenities. Fannie Mae previously worked with Reston Association to create a sidewalk in the area, Mulston said.
“As with any rezoning in Reston I encourage the applicant to work with County staff, concerned members of the community, and Reston P&Z to address issues raised before the application goes to public hearing before the County Planning Commission, currently scheduled for March 9,” Alcorn said in a statement.
The project would still keep the option to create two office buildings, a previously approved use, officials have noted. The former Fannie Mae office building is slated to remain.
Fairfax County Kids Return to School — “We are back, ready to experience all the great things that come with learning together, five days a week in person. We can’t wait to see our students arrive at school…Show off that first-day excitement by posting photos to your favorite social media site and tagging them with #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong.” [FCPS]
MWAA Proposes New Tech on Dulles Toll Road — “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority wants to add digital signs and closed-circuit monitoring technology along the Dulles Toll Road. The airports authority is looking for a contractor to build the infrastructure and install an intelligent transportation system — which would include six dynamic message signs and 15 closed-circuit television installations — along the widely-used commuter route.” [Washington Business Journal]
W&OD Trail Near Wiehle Reopens After Utility Work — The Washington & Old Dominion Trail has reopened east of Wiehle Avenue in Reston after closing earlier this summer so Dominion Energy could relocate overhead electric transmission lines. The utility work was necessary to prepare the site for construction on a pedestrian bridge over Wiehle that’s expected to begin next summer. [The W&OD Trail/Twitter]
Virginia Leads in Rent Relief Funding After Past Stumbles — “From January through May, Virginia distributed more dollars than any other state from the first round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, according to U.S. Treasury figures. By the end of June, Virginia ranked second only to Texas…As of late July, Virginia has spent more than $335 million in rental relief funds and assisted more than 51,000 households, according to state figures.” [Associated Press/WTOP]
Pandemic Boosts Use of W&OD Trail — “Whatever the preference for use – running, walking, biking, riding scooters, maybe even roller skating – the popular 45-mile Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Regional Trail has become much more busy, according to users, during the COVID-19 pandemic.” [InsideNOVA]
Nearby: Search for Endangered Juvenile Underway — Genisis Garcia was last seen on September 7 at 8 a.m. in Bailey’s. The 11-year-old is endangered due to her age. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Board Chair of Shepherd’s Center Receives Award — “William “Bill” Farrell, Board Chair of Shepherd’s Center serving Oakton-Vienna-Reston-Herndon (SC) has received the Hunter Mill District Community Champion Award…. As part of the annual Volunteer Service Awards, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors selects an individual to be recognized for their commitment to promoting volunteerism within their community while addressing specific needs.” [The Connection]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The socially-distanced event on bicyclist and pedestrian safety takes place on Saturday (August 29) from 9-11 a.m. next to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Reston.
FCPD will set up next to the bike lockets at Newton Square’s access road near the mile 17 marker, directly west of the intersection at Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road.
“This will be a great opportunity for riders to raise bike safety issues and share other concerns with our local law enforcement officers and county officials,” FABB wrote in a statement.
Masks, hand sanitizer, water, snacks, and safety literature will be available at the location.
Several county officials, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and Northern Virginia Families for Safe Streets will also take part.
Residents are encouraged to bring their bikes.
A potentially dangerous area along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail now has improved safety.
NOVA Parks installed flashing beacons at the intersection of Hunter Mill Road and the W&OD Trail over the summer.
“When activated by trail users attempting to cross Hunter Mill Road, the push-button flashing beacons provide an additional visual indicator to oncoming drivers to slow down and watch for pedestrians and cyclists crossing the road,” said Brian Nolan, director of planning and development for NOVA Parks.
The project was completed earlier this month for roughly $80,000, Nolan told Reston Now.
Flashing beacons are a common, low-cost fix to improve safety. The Federal Highway Administration has issued interim approval to use the devices. State and local agencies must receive permission prior to installing flashing beacons.
Photo via W&OD Trail/Facebook
A bicyclist was robbed as he riding on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail over Fairfax County Parkway last week, police said.
Stephen Rogata, 23, of Great Falls, was arrested and charged with attempted robbery and misdemeanor destruction of property on April 3 at around 3:27 p.m.
Police believe Rogata grabbed the man’s bicycle from the back. Rogata fled the scene after the victim, who suffered from minor injuries, called out for help.
Rogata is being held without bond. Information about the incident was released today (Monday).
Hit the trails on Jan. 1 if you want to enter a photo contest.
The Fairfax County Park Authority’s “First Hike Fairfax” returns this year with expanded hike options — including any FCPA trail — and photo contest prizes for hikes on New Year’s Day.
The FCPA teamed up with America’s state parks and Virginia State Parks for the First Day Hike Programs.
Locals can visit any FCPA trail on Jan. 1 and snap pictures for the photo contest. Nearby trails include the trails at Lake Fairfax and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. More trails can be found at Trail Buddy.
Then, enter one photo in First Hike Photo Contest by Jan. 2. Park Authority staff will select a “Judges’ Choice,” and the general public will vote on a “People’s Choice” winner. Both winners will receive a free four-month RECenter pass valued at up to $300.
All photographers will receive two free RECenter guest passes.
“First Hike Fairfax” also kicks off the Park Authority’s “Healthy Strides 12 Steps for a Healthier 2019,” which offers monthly tips with healthy living ideas.
— Fairfax County Government (@fairfaxcounty) December 27, 2018
Overcome writer’s block before NaNoWriMo ends — Join fellow locals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Reston Regional Library to finish up the National Novel Writing Month challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel before midnight tonight. [Fairfax County]
Take a dip in the pool — Summer is long gone, but pool time isn’t. “The Family Splash” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Reston Community Center is $13 for residents. [Reston Community Center]
W&OD Trail project continues — A major 1.2-mile stretch of the trail’s bike path in Falls Church will be turned into a dual path — one for bikes and the other for pedestrians. The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority is providing $3.2 million for the project. The trail also faces planned construction over Wiehle Avenue. [Falls-Church News Press]
Reston Association is officially the first business to join the Washington & Old Dominion Trail Ambassador Program, an initiative that encourages local businesses near the trail to support bicyclists during business hours.
The program is operated by the Friends of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a citizen-led organization that aims to protect and improve the trail. The organization was created as an advisory body to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority in 1997. It aims to maintain the trail’s position as a recreational, environmental and historic resource through volunteer efforts like fundraising, promotional, educational programming and maintenance, according to the organization’s website.
According to an RA release, the program encourages local businesses near the trail to support to bicyclists during business hours, including bicycle tools, restroom facilities, drinking fountains, and telephone access. The program is part of a supportive community that is expanding surrounding the trail.
Ambassador businesses within four miles of each side of the 45-mile trail are envisioned to join the ambassador community, extending from Arlington to Purcellville.
Photo via RA
A grade-separated crossing and bridge at the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at Wiehle Avenue could be coming closer to reality.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion tomorrow (July 10) to allow the county officials to move forward with land acquisition and final design plans.
The project, which is expected to cost $10 million, aims to address safety concern at the intersection. Changes include a new bridge, retaining walls and directional access to Wiehle Avenue for trail users.
Wiehle Avenue would be widened from Sunset Hills Road to the properties near the Reston Fire Station. The pavement would be widened for on-road bike lanes in the future.
Improvements were contemplated in Reston’s Metrorail Access Group’s plan to improve access near the new Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. The new fire station planned in the area would be built before the pedestrian bridge.
An exact timeline for the project has not been set.
Photo via Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County police are investigating what caused a crash between a cyclist and a van near the W&OD Trail at Sunrise Valley Road Tuesday evening around 6:30 p.m.
Police said it is not yet clear whether the cyclist or the driver of the van was at fault in the accident, which caused damage to the van and sent the cyclist to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Anyone who may have seen the collision is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), or text “TIP187” plus the message to CRIMES (274637).
Calling all pets and pets owners: The Pet Fiesta is coming to Reston Town Center on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..
Sponsored by RTC and NOVADog Magazine, the outdoor festival brings together business, rescue groups and pet owners for activities and demonstrations. The event, which is open to all, also includes face painting and onstage entertainment. Animals will also be available for adoption.
This year, a dog walk around Reston Town Center and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail was cancelled due to a lack of registrants.
The event benefits GoodDogz, a non-profit organization that aims to educate future dog owners on dog selection and supports rescue groups.
Photo via Gooddogz.org
PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Info Session Tonight — Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association will present the forum tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). This is being held in advance of the fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented Monday by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and County Planning and Zoning staff. [Reston Now]
Site Lists Top Places to Eat in Reston — Eater’s list includes 10 locations within Reston Town Center, but it also branches out to Lake Anne, South Lakes and more. [DC Eater]
Copperhead Spotted on W&OD Trail — The venomous snake was spotted last week on the trail near the Luck Stone Quarry overlook in Ashburn, serving as a reminder to be watchful when out in nature. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Dulles Day Festival is This Weekend — The 25th annual open house event at the airport Saturday will include a 5K/10K on runways, a festival on the airfield, and the plane-pull competition. [Dulles International Airport]
Another Brewery Coming to Route 28 Corridor — Rocket Frog Brewing Company is looking to open in Sterling early next year. This is on the heels of Ono Brewing Company opening recently in Chantilly. [The Burn]
File photo by Audrey Lawson
Rides on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in recent days have been damaging for some bicyclists, as tacks spread on the path in the Herndon area have disabled bikes.
Bernard Kocis, service manager at Green Lizard Cycling in downtown Herndon, said he’s had to fix about 10 flat tires in the past two days because of the issue.
“That’s just people who have come in,” Kocis said. “How many people have fixed their own or called for a ride or whatever, I don’t know.”
The Reston Bike Club is warning its social media followers of the concern.
There has been a rash of tacks on the W&OD west of Herndon, causing many flats. W&OD Maintenance has gone out…
In a comment on Reston Bike Club’s Facebook page, Green Lizard owner Beth Meyer said a majority of the tacks were reported to be in the area of the trail between Ferndale Avenue and Crestview Drive in Herndon. A moderator for the Bike Club’s page said they have been noted as far out as the Pacific Avenue crossing in Sterling, which is just west of Route 28.
“All the tacks look the same,” Kocis said, adding that while he rode into work on that area of the path Monday, he didn’t suffer damage.
Karl Mohle, park manager for the W&OD Trail, said a crew was sent out Monday afternoon with a magnetic sweeper in the effort to capture as many of the tacks as possible.
“They went down the trail and swept it clear, [and] we’re going to check it out almost daily,” Mohle said. “I don’t know if this is just a one-time, kind of high-school thing, or what.”
Mohle said that in his 10 years on the job, this is the first time he has heard of such an incident on the trail, which runs 45 miles from Purcellville in Loudoun County to Shirlington in Arlington County. Kocis also said this is an abnormal occurrence that is causing undue heartache to riders.
“[The bikers] are not happy when they have to have a tack pulled out of their tire and have to pay for service to have it repaired,” he said. “It’s an irritant, and people are riding bikes to have fun.”
A “Jingle Bell Family Ride” is planned for Saturday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m., according to Kidical Mass Reston, the event’s organizers.
Bike riders are instructed to meet at the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, located at 12196 Sunset Hills Road.
“Get in the holiday spirit and join us for some festive family fun!” a Facebook event post reads. “Wear your warmest Christmas attire and listen to sounds of the season as we ride along the W&OD to the Reston Town Center Christmas tree.”
Participants will get free hot chocolate after the bike ride.
Though kids will need to bring their own bikes, adults can rent Bikeshare bikes at no charge, organizers said. All cyclists under 15 are legally required to wear a helmet.
Image via Kidical Mass Reston