Friday, February 26, 2010

Reston Master Plan Mtg: 2/27/10 at 9am


Reston Master Plan Special Study Public Meeting
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010 at 9 a.m.
Langston Hughes Middle School Cafeteria
11401 Ridge Heights Road

The County has appointed a 25-member Task Force to oversee the Reston Master Plan Special Study (plus 25 alternates). The purpose of the study is to develop recommendations to amend the Reston Master Plan section of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan. The first phase of the study is focusing on the three transit station areas in Reston: Herndon-Monroe, Wiehle Avenue, and Reston Parkway.The focus of the February 27 meeting will be to provide information about conditions in the Herndon Monroe Transit Station area and to receive public input. There will be subsequent meetings on conditions in the Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway station areas. Reston Association has set up a special section of our Web site, which provides updated information, links to the Fairfax County Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Web site and a blog by RA Director Paul Thomas. He is RA's representative to the task force. He encourages your comment through his blog, Planning for the Future.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wetlands Studies Information & VT Letter

Unfortunately none of the HC Board members made it to the Jan. 30 information meeting. The Board is in touch with Nicki Foremski about the next opportunity. Meanwhile here are some materials for people to access. The Virginia Tech letter arises from concerns raised about the loss of trees in the Snakeden site, and though rather technical, Dr. Wynn makes it clear this is cutting-edgework which offers a chance of preventing long-term erosion which is already well advanced (also true for Lake Anne, unfortunately). VT will use this case study in an upcoming graduate course on stream restoration design.
Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc Presentation from 1-30-10
Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc Stream Restoration Brochure
Virginia Tech Letter

In our situation in Hickory Cluster (shown on the Wetlands project map as part of the Colvin Run Watershed project), the erosion is also very advanced and is now threatening a sanitary (sewer) line which runs alongside the stream. Because of the threat to the sewer line, not doing anything is really not an option, therefore the issue is how to optimize a solution which

(i) preserves our natural area,

(ii) stops the erosion process, and

(iii) costs the cluster as little as possible.

RA and the Wetland Studies & Solutions people are aware of our concerns and have promised to work with us to ensure the best possible outcome which satisfies their technical requirements as well as our commitment to retaining the wooded areas in Hickory. Since the Wetlands project would also finance replacement of our bridge and repair of the paths along the stream, this is a great opportunity for us provided we can find a workable compromise on the tree removal issue. In my view, if we decline to participate in the RA/Wetlands restoration project (by not voting to approve the required environmental easement) we will forego the 100% financing of their project but will eventually be forced into a less-sophisticated repair scheme because of the sewer issue, with unknown costs to the cluster and no guarantee as to the aesthetic outcome (since many trees are now undercut and in danger of falling, and realignment of the sewer line will inevitably also require major earth moving work).

The Virginia Tech letter illustrates that this is a complex issue, but the technical approach RA and Wetlands are using is considered leading-edge in the field. The letter does not mention the mitigation bank which would finance the project, which is a unique opportunity for the cluster to tackle some long-standing issues at no cost to ourselves. A conventional utility engineering solution forced on us by Fairfax Water might be much less attractive, so I urge all of you to read the materials we have posted and come prepared when the next outreach meeting takes place.

Thanks, Fred

HC Cluster Board President

Hickory Cluster Stream Restoration

Email note from Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc sent in response to an inquiry from Jim Livingood in Block 1:

We are currently preparing the preliminary stream restoration plan for Hickory Cluster. The restoration in Hickory Cluster is complicated by two factors: 1) The stream pattern is currently instable with several sharp curves. This places increased stress on the stream banks, furthering erosion. 2) There are several sanitary sewer lines located within or crossing the stream. The stream has even eroded enough to expose manholes. Because of these two factors, restoration in Hickory Cluster will involve smoothing the curves to create a stable stream pattern and pulling the stream away from exposed utilities as best as possible with a minimum of tree impacts. At this point, we do not know the number of trees that will be cut or which trees specifically will be removed. This information will be calculated once we finish the first version of the preliminary plan. Then we will arrange a public meeting with the Cluster to discuss the alternatives that are possible, including any specific tree impacts. We expect to be able to have an interactive discussion(s) on the design and these types of potential impacts. As soon as we are close to asking for a meeting - the project Reach engineer, Russ Dudley, will make sure that you are copied on the request so that we are sure to have you included in the process.

Mike Rolband, Wetland Studies & Solutions, Inc

Monday, February 8, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

Hickory Cluster digs out from under another blizzard!

Thank you to all who pitched in to help each other clear the roads, cars and walkways. Great community effort!

If you need assistance removing snow, there are several teens who are out of school for the next few days and available to help. Many residents are available to help get to grocery stores, etc... Comment here or contact me or someone from the HC Board if you need assistance.

Also, if you have uploaded photos of the blizzard and you would like to share them, please send the url link to me and I'll publish here.

This item was picked up by the Restonian & then via the Restonian on WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi radio show (approx. 25 minutes in).