A task force will discuss the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTC North) beginning today (Monday).
The meeting will set into motion a master plan focused on community facilities in the area, which is roughly bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Town Center Parkway, Bowman Towne Drive and Fountain Drive.
Led by former Fairfax County Board Chair Kate Hanley, the task force was created by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn in April.
The work will help guide several key development forces taking shape in the area.
Most notably, Foulger-Pratt is working with the county on plans for a new regional library in the Bowman Towne Court area. The project could include a 350-unit multifamily community and will be on a nearly 4.5-acre piece of land partly owned by the county and the Fairfax County Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
An approved conceptual plan between Inova Health Care Services and the county contemplates a mix of uses for RTC North, including office space, residential units, and public uses like the Embry Rucker Shelter, supportive housing and the North County Human Service Building.
So far, a 3-acre area — formerly the home of the Inova Cameron Glen Nursing Home — is set to remain as an open green area.
“Actual development within the resulting blocks will be subject to future community input in addition to the DRB and Fairfax County zoning review processes,” the county said.
The county hopes to redevelop the area into a vibrant, urban, mixed-use environment that provides a transition from the denser Reston Town Center to the surrounding environment.
The task force includes representation from surrounding neighborhoods. The first meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).
After the pandemic unearthed new needs, Friends of Reston Regional Library is offering $200,000 in grants to support literacy efforts in the community.
The organization, which supports and promote Reston Regional Library and the overall Fairfax County Public Library system, is accepting applications for grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000 to nonprofits that offer hands-on programming that impacts literacy in Reston, Herndon and the county overall.
“The Friends of the Reston Regional Library was founded with the intent of supporting our local library branch, our library system, and our community,” organizers wrote in a statement. “In light of the recent increase in challenges faced by many populations, including the difficulty in accessing information and educational resources, we seek to strengthen and improve our involvement in the community at large.”
Applications for grants are due by Jan. 11.
The grant program comes after the Friends raised $200,000 this spring for FCPL.
The organization has also set aside funds for a new library planned for Reston in anticipation of challenges associated with the property. It’s likely the new facility may not provide enough space for book sale and donation processing — the primary method for the organization to raise funds.
That application is currently working its way through the county’s approval process.
More information about the grant application process is available online.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s commissioners voted yesterday (Oct. 20) to approve an interim agreement with the developer for up to 350 affordable apartments and a 40,000-square-foot Reston Regional Library on the 2.9-acre property owned by FCRHA at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.
Foulger-Pratt submitted an unsolicited proposal last year under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (PPEA). The FCRHA’s vote kicks off a period of community engagement that is set to begin this winter.
“In consideration of the Interim Agreement, we received and considered a great deal of feedback from the community,” FCRHA Chairman Melissa McKenna said. “We are eager to continue the discussion, as we have with communities across the county in PPEA projects such as this, in order to further explore the opportunity for expanding affordable housing on the FCRHA’s property, and deliver well-integrated, high-quality housing in one of the largest activity centers in the county.”
Foulger-Pratt’s plan includes apartments for households between 30 and 70% of the area median income, a parking garage, and landscaping. It allocates 240 parking spaces for the library, along with a drop-off area for patrons and book returns.
The agreement has been criticized by developer Norton Scott, which asserts that a competing proposal it submitted should also be considered with more opportunities for public comment.
“Reston deserves a thoughtful and public process to determine the placement of a new Regional Library. This is only possible if the community can consider all of the options available,” wrote Chelsea Rao, a senior Vice President with Norton Scott, in a statement to FFXnow.
If the Foulger-Pratt proposal moves forward, the county would finance, own and operate the public library, while the developer would finance, design and operate the affordable housing component of the property.
FCHRA’s vote to approve the interim agreement is not an official vote in favor of the project. Separate rezoning and land use approvals will be required.
Following a community outreach program, FCHRA will enter into a comprehensive agreement with the developer, with the ultimate goal of moving towards permitting and construction. An exact timeline was not immediately available.
A developer that filed a competing proposal for a new Reston library and affordable housing is calling into question Fairfax County’s handling of an unsolicited proposal it received for a new library near the same site.
Developer Norton Scott says the county mishandled the solicitation process after developer Foulger-Pratt filed a proposal to redevelop 4.5 acres of land at the intersection Bowman Towne Court and Town Center Parkway in October 2021.
Norton Scott is petitioning the county to incorporate more public opportunities to review other sites for the library that the company says would better serve Reston residents and are more in line with Reston’s comprehensive plan.
“They are sliding this through in a way that circumvents the public process that is so inherent to planning in Reston,” Chelsea Rao, vice president of Norton Scott, told FFXnow.
The Foulger-Pratt proposal — which was publicized with significant redactions — would redevelop the 4.5-acre property into an apartment building for working families and a new library, while demolishing 30 affordable rental townhomes on the site. What’s publicly known is that roughly 350 affordable housing units across two buildings with a garage and the library are planned.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) issued a call for competing proposals earlier this year — all governed under the provisions of the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, which lays different groundwork for public-private partnerships.
To date, the Norton Scott proposal is the only competing application received.
Located near Reston Regional Library’s current site and a neighboring lot owned by the developer’s subsidiaries across from the police station’s parking lot, the Norton Scott plan would have consolidated three county-owned parcels with a one-core parcel to the south.
It would’ve created a 1.8-acre plaza, 39,000-square-foot library, a new homeless shelter, a performing arts center, a human services building, and 582 housing units — including 354 affordable units. The plan would also preserve existing affordable housing on the Bowman Town Center Court property.
But FCHRA spokesperson Benjamin Boxer told FFXnow that Norton Scott’s application was deemed non-responsive because it involves a completely different site.
“Norton Scott’s competing proposal was non-responsive to the solicitation because the site for their proposal was located on entirely different property owned by the Board of Supervisors, as well as a separate parcel owned by Norton Scott, not the FCRHA-owned property identified in the request for competing proposals issued by the FCRHA,” Boxer said. “Norton Scott may submit its own unsolicited proposal for the other location, and they were so advised over a month ago.” Read More
Fairfax County is positioning itself to move forward with a proposal by developer Foulger-Pratt to build a new library and affordable units in Reston.
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority will hold a public hearing next week to get input on a potential agreement with Foulger-Pratt for a redevelopment project called Bowman Towne Court, an area located at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.
The agreement comes after Foulger-Pratt filed an unsolicited proposal in October of last year to build an apartment building for working families and a new Reston Regional Library on a 2.9-acre property in Reston. The plan also called for another building with affordable housing on the parking lot currently used by Reston District Station police officers and staff.
The county then issued a call for proposals in response to Foulger-Pratt’s submission. According to the draft agreement, a new 40,000-square-foot library is planned, along with roughly 350-unit affordable housing units in two buildings with structured parking.
The public hearing is set for Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center in conference room 11.
Copies of the draft interim agreement with Foulger-Pratt will be available at the meeting. The mixed-use development would be governed under the state’s Private-Public Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002, which requires additional provisions for official approval.
County officials note that a final agreement has not yet been determined. Community outreach is officially underway to court feedback on the proposal.
Here’s more from the county on how to provide feedback on the proposal:
Written comments may be submitted by email on or before Sept. 14 to Marwan.Mahmoud@fairfaxcounty.gov. Residents wishing to speak are encouraged to contact Avis Wiley at 703-246-5152, TTY 711, or by email at Avis.Wiley@fairfaxcouty.gov Additional information or questions about the public hearing may be directed to Marwan Mahmoud at 703-246-5017, TTY 711.
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General Assembly Dumps Football Stadium Bill — “The state legislator who has led the charge to lure the Washington Commanders to Virginia gave up the fight Thursday…State Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said comments that Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio made this week about the Jan. 6 insurrection were the last straw for the stadium bill.” [The Washington Post]
Tysons Financial Company to Expand HQ — “Nodal Exchange, a Fairfax County-based derivatives exchange providing price, credit, and liquidity risk management solutions to participants in the North American commodities markets, will increase capacity at its headquarters located at 1921 Gallows Road in Tysons. The expansion will create 37 new jobs.” [Fairfax County EDA]
I-66 West Ramp to Close — “The ramp from I-66 West to Vienna/Fairfax/GMU Metrorail Station (Country Creek Road and Virginia Center Boulevard) is scheduled to close for about three weeks beginning on or about Monday, June 13, for continued construction of the new westbound I-66 express and general-purpose lanes…Drivers will be detoured around the closure via Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) and I-66 East.” [VDOT]
Flooring Store Opens in Tysons — “Floor & Décor, an Atlanta-based retailer of hard-surface flooring, has…signed a 10-year, 11,327-square-foot lease at the Tysons Corner Retail Plaza, a three-building, 22,000-square-foot retail center, and has already opened for business.” [Commercial Observer]
Vienna Approves Covid Relief Funds for Police Cameras — “The Vienna Town Council on June 6 unanimously approved the spending of $128,600 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to replace and upgrade in-car video systems for Vienna Police Department patrol vehicles.” [Sun Gazette]
Friends of Reston Library Officially Makes Donation — “We love our library branches in Fairfax County, but Reston is especially dedicated to the Reston Regional Library! I was honored to join in the celebration last night (6/9) of the Friends of Reston Regional Library donating $200,000 to the library for its book collection.” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Facebook]
FCPS Appoints New Ombudsman — Fairfax County Public Schools has named Dawn Clements as its next ombudsman, effective July 1. Currently the assistant ombudsman for special education, Clements will lead the office responsible for addressing student, family, and community questions and complaints. [FCPS]
It’s Friday — Possible drizzle overnight. High of 77 and low of 60. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:35 pm. [Weather.gov]
Various pieces to redevelop land at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway — known as Reston Town Center North — are moving along as Fairfax County seeks applications for the project.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn directed staff at a Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday (Tuesday) to conduct a master plan study for the county-owned land in RTC North.
Alcorn encouraged staff to work closely with the ongoing effort to amend the Reston Comprehensive Plan and to complete the study by the end of the year.
“The time is right to move forward with a master plan with locations for critically needed community facilities in Reston Town Center North,” Alcorn said.
The project would include a new Embry Rucker Shelter, facilities for services and permanent housing, and a new Reston Regional Library.
In February, the county received an unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt to redeveloping a nearly three-acre parcel of land owned by the county into an apartment building for working families, a new library and free parking.
The unsolicited proposal prompted the county to issue a call for other proposals for the project. The application period closed on May 16.
Alcorn established a Reston Town Center North Public Facilities Community Task Force through a board matter in April.
A review of proposed changes to Reston’s Comprehensive Plan is also underway. Staff are currently going through recommendations from a task force that produced a draft after hundreds of hours of meetings on the topic.
The Friends of Reston Regional Library (FRRL) is celebrating Fairfax County Public Library’s theme for 2022 — the year of literacy — with a record-setting gift.
The nonprofit organization, which has been supporting the Reston library since 1985, is providing a grant of $200,000 to the county library system to expand its printed and digital materials for the library collection.
According to Eileen Evon, a spokesperson for FRRL, this is the largest single gift the organization has ever given to FCPL.
“The gift will give a much needed boost to the library’s ability to add more copies of popular titles already in the catalog, while also expanding the depth and breadth of many subject areas, including fiction for all ages, as well as non-fiction books, bi-lingual books, and books in other languages for young readers,” FRRL said in a news release.
FRRL issued the following statement regarding the gift:
The truth is, between the hard wear and tear on highly circulated print materials, the increased demand for digital materials, and the increase in total checkouts and library card holders, the County budget to the Library for collections just hasn’t caught up to the need. We know they are reviewing this and hope that it will change in the future as the library system continues to grow and change.
In the meantime, we thought the Year of Literacy was the perfect time for us to call public attention to this pressing need, and pitch in ourselves with the monies generated — one book at a time — by our hardworking volunteers who sort and sell books and media from over 40 tons of donated materials each year. After talking with Director Hudson and the head of Technical Operations, Dianne Coan, we know the Collections Development team will work hard to make the most out of every dollar to strengthen and expand the collection to best serve all of its patrons.
The gift will be formally handed over in a ceremony on June 8 at an FCPL Board of Trustees meeting. FCPL director Jessica Hudson, the board, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Water Alcorn, and other local officials plan to attend.
The Friends are also providing one-time grants to local organizations in an effort to support and promote literacy in the community. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 and will be awarded to a group that provide hands-on programming that directly impacts literacy in Reston, Herndon, and the county overall.
The news comes as FRRL positions itself to support the creation of a new library for Reston — which has been contemplated for several years. While county voters approved a bond in 2012 to fund the project, FRRL president Brian Jacoby noted that more funds may be needed.
“Every branch has its own unique requirements to best support its staff, volunteers, and patrons,” Jacoby wrote in statement. “New furniture, materials and equipment, or facilities space specific to the needs of our local community may not be covered by either the developer’s plans or the County’s funding. Our volunteers and our patrons are long-time active users of the Reston branch and they have a strong love for the library and what it provides to our community.”
The Friends’ board recently affirmed its commitment to set aside savings for needs related to the future building.
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Hundreds Help Pack Ukrainian Refugee Donations — “Hundreds of volunteers gathered this weekend in Oakton to help pack approx. 1800 boxes with donations collected for displaced Ukrainians. Huge thanks to our community members for donating, these wonderful volunteers, and to Paxton Co. for generously shipping these items.” [Chairman Jeff McKay/Twitter]
Mount Vernon Fire Started by Hair Dryer — A house fire in the 3700 block of Nalls Road on Wednesday (April 20) was started accidentally by an electrical event involving a hair dryer in the basement bathroom, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. There were reported injuries or displacements, but the fire caused an estimated $37,500 in damages. [FCFRD]
Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Critical to Covid Response — “Since February of 2020, over 1,400 MRC members volunteered more than 65,000 hours at vaccination clinics and testing events, and assisting with outreach, isolation and quarantine efforts, logistical support, and so much more.” [Fairfax County Health Department]
Merrifield Nonprofit Gets Boost from Football Fans — “Wolf Trap Animal Rescue keeps receiving donations from the public in honor of Dwayne Haskins, the former Washington quarterback who died in an accident on a Florida highway on April 9. Haskins…selected Wolf Trap Animal Rescue as his organization to represent for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign.” [Patch]
Turner Farm Observatory Seeks “Dark Sky” Designation — “To help reverse the trend of growing light pollution, the Great Falls observatory applied to become an Urban Night Sky Place with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)…If approved, the observatory would become the first IDA-designated place in the Washington region.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Construction Starts on Woodley Hills Park Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin the installation of a new playground and removal of the existing playground the week of April 25, 2022. Construction access to the site will be from Old Mount Vernon Road. It is anticipated that the playground replacement will be completed by early June 2022.” [FCPA]
Reston Library Book Sale Starts Wednesday — The Friends of the Reston Regional Library will host its biggest book sale of the year, starting with a members-only night from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday (April 27). The sale will be open to all starting at 10 a.m. Thursday through Sunday (April 28-May 2) and include 35,000 to 40,000 books. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]
It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 7:57 pm. [Weather.gov]
A plan to possibly convert a portion of the Reston District Police Station’s parking lot into affordable housing is moving forward.
At Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn’s request, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff yesterday (Tuesday) to schedule a public hearing to consider conveying county-owned land to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
“This will be for the development of affordable housing with appropriate replacement of secure parking spaces dedicated to police use and subject to the stipulation that in the event the FCRHA no longer pursues the project, the FCRHA will transfer ownership of the property back to the Board,” Alcorn wrote in a statement.
The move sets in motion the redevelopment of the Bowne Towne Court area. The county received an unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt last month to build affordable housing on the existing parking lot, a new Reston Regional Library, and a parking garage. The area is located at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.
After receiving the proposal, the county began advertising for competing proposals to determine next steps for the project. The project would redevelop a nearly three-acre parcel owned by FCRHA and includes 1.6 acres of the nearby board-owned police station.
A date for the public hearing has not yet been determined.
Bids for the project close on May 16 at 2 p.m.
Alcorn emphasized that moving forward with the transfer of property to FCRHA does not mean that the county is in favor of the recently submitted plan. All options will be considered as the proposal moves through the development process.
The board recently upped its goal for additional affordable housing units to 10,000 by 2034. Alcorn set a target of 1,000 additional affordable housing units in the Hunter Mill District by the end of 2027.