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Neighbor challenges plans for Deli Italiano’s Reston location, prompting deferral

A table near the fountain at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A thorny set of issues continues to complicate Deli Italiano’s arrival in Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza.

The Reston Association Design Review Board (DRB) voted Tuesday (Feb. 20) to defer a decision on the application after attorney John Cowherd, who was representing an appealing Lake Anne condominium owner, flagged some concerns about the proposal.

Alec Berry, a member of the Lake Anne of Reston Condominiums Unit Owners Association (LARCA), has appealed conditional approvals by the DRB and LARCA — entities that considered the project separately — of the architectural plans for the restaurant.

Berry, who lives behind the restaurant’s planned unit at 1631 Washington Plaza, said he was concerned metal equipment, an exhaust shaft, an exhaust pipe, gas line and louvres would be installed on LARCA common space, not in the commercial unit, which is owned by Baslios Family Real Estate.

Berry asserts that he has an exclusive easement to an area where the restaurant plans to install a shaft, equipment and gas lines. The front facade of his house faces the back of the property, and the front of the restaurant faces Washington Plaza.

According to Cowherd, he was also concerned about a contractor that cut a large hole through LARCA’s common elements that separates the floor of Berry’s unit and the restaurant. The slab provides strucural support and is essential to protecting the home from a grease fire in the restaurant.

“I just don’t think this shaft project is really moving Reston or LARCA forward. I think it’s going to kind of hold things back with respect to this particular building,” Cowherd said.

Cowherd said Berry is awaiting a books and record request to LARCA in order to get more information about the drawings, architectural approvals, and documents referenced in Deli Italiano’s application and decision-making process.

The board deferred the appeal to allow staff to look into those issues following a discussion held in executive session.

Deli Italiano has been working on plans for the Reston location for several years. A spokesperson said the company was not ready to comment by press time.

Deli Italiano opened a restaurant at 700 Lynn Street in Herndon in December 2022. It serves pizza, pasta, subs and more.

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