Monday, December 26, 2011

Bald Eagle Visits Hickory Cluster

Thank you to Pam Herring for the great pictures of an eagle in a tree at the Hickory Cluster entrance.

Friday, December 2, 2011

HC Cluster Clean-Up, 12/3 & 12/4

Time for Cluster Cleanup ... 9:00am to 1:00pm, Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4.  Rain dates are December 10-11.  Here's what we need your help to do:
BLOCK 1 ... stack tree debris, pull tree debris from the pond, cut and remove ivy on guest parking area trees, remove brush from around a power box, and more
BLOCK 2 ... stack tree debris, cut and remove ivy on trees guest parking area trees, and more
BLOCK 3 ... stack tree debris, remove brush from around a power box, and more
Please contact LC Co-Chairmen Michael Smith or Michael Poss before or during the cleanup for more information on how you can help.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reston Master Plan: Phase 2 Mtg 11/16 @ 7pm

Fairfax County Supervisor, Catherine M. Hudgins, and the Department of Planning and Zoning will host an informational meeting on Nov. 16 about Phase 2 of the Reston Master Plan Special Study. The meeting will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. at South Lakes High School11400 South Lakes DriveRestonVa.

The meeting will include:
  • A 15-minute open house to review maps and other materials.
  • An outline of the process for reviewing and updating the existing Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan guidance for preserving residential neighborhoods throughout Reston and for four of Reston’s five village centers.
  • Information about the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, the Vision and Planning Principles adopted by the Task Force, and how they will be used in Phase 2.
For further information about the Reston Master Plan Special Study, including announcements about future meetings, please visit the study website.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hickory Halloween 2011

A wonderful Halloween night in Hickory Cluster and a terrific showing for the judges of the pumpkin carving contest!  Thanks to all for the wonderful display of the jack-O-lantern arts.  It was difficult to choose from the wealth of fabulous carvings ... congratulations to this year's winners!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

RELAC System Depressurized 10/27/11

I wanted to pass along that we have shut down and depressurized the system.  This will allow customers who wish to perform maintenance on their system to do so - especially those who have concerns that their valves may not hold.  Please pass this along to your residents.

We will recharged the system in three weeks.  

Greg O'Dell
Aqua America

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween Pumpkin Carving Contest

A family pumpkin patch in Block III

Yes, it’s time once again to sharpen your knives for the annual Cluster jack-o-lantern carving contest.  To win all you have to do is – Carve a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, and display it at your front door, balcony, or in a window 
between 7 and 8 o’clock on Halloween night, Monday Oct. 31.

            Prizes will be awarded that very night by our very able witch/warlock judges. 
1st prize is $15
2nd prize is $10
3rd prize is $5

Judges decisions are final and had best not be challenged.

So join in the fun! 
Carve away! 
Come out, come out, witch ever you are, during that hour and capture the magic of the night!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

RELAC/AQUA VA Billing Questions?

If you have questions about your RELAC/Aqua VA invoice, a knowledgable contact in Aqua VA's billing/collections department has been recommended: 
Janice Bohlin,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dulles Corridor Metrorail Resource

Wiehle Ave Station--Interior Rendering

Excited about the coming of the Dulles Metrorail or apprehensive about the changes it will bring,  the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority has a Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project website that's a good resource for keeping up with the project.  Includes construction/traffic advisories.

RELAC to Close for the 2011 Season on 10/14

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Landscape Committee Meeting 10-13-11

The next meeting of the Landscape Committee will be on Thursday, October 13th at 8pm.  See the calendar at right for venue.

This meeting is open to all HCA members.  Members have the opportunity to discuss committee-specific issues at the start of each meeting.  If possible, please email either Director Michael Smith or Director Michael Poss beforehand so they can plan ahead.

Telescope Building Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Back on Saturday morning, Sept. 24 there was an Observatory Building ribbon cutting ceremony at Observatory Park, Turner Farm, Great Falls, the Fairfax County Park Authority’s only observatory.  Observatory Park is just three miles from the Hickory Cluster.  The Park Authority recently completed Phase I of a multi-phase improvement plan for Observatory Park by replacing the observatory dome and automating it for future remote access.   A telescope, recently installed, will provide opportunities for students and the general public to view our starry skies in the not too distant future.

The nonprofit Analemma Society has worked with the Park Authority on the improvement and operation of Observatory Park from the time the park was established. As part of Phase I, Analemma donated the observatory telescope, telescope mount, related equipment and technical expertise.  Fund raising is currently underway for Phase II, bringing computer systems on line that will enable astronomy students at Fairfax County Public Schools, and other users county-wide, to configure remote access control of the Observatory dome, telescope and digital imaging, from their classroom or other remote location.  (Hickory Cluster’s Bob Anderson, a member of the society,  will be happy to answer any questions about the project and future development plans.)  For more information see the Analemma Society's website and The Connection newspaper's story about the ribbon cutting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hickory Cluster Stream Restoration Project Postponed

According to RA & WSSI, there has been a slow down in funds to the mitigation bank that is financing the Hickory Cluster stream restoration project.  The project start date has now been pushed back to late Fall/Winter 2012.  WSSI will continue to pursue all the necessary permissions from DRB, Fairfax County, ACOE and VA DEQ to be ready to move forward at the new start time. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

RA at Work After 9/8/11 Rains

Contact Reston Association at 703-437-7658 to report rain damage to RA property.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yard Sale, Sat 9/17/11

Hickory Cluster Yard Sale
Saturday, September 17th, 8am to 12pm
Bill Kotraba in Block I announced that there will be a family yard sale in that block this Saturday.  Folks in that block as well as other blocks are welcome to join in and have yard sales of their own.  They will be putting up signs and advertising the event.

Yard Sale Contact: Bill Kotraba, Block1 at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Landscape Committee Meeting

The Hickory Cluster Association Landscape Committee will hold open monthly meetings beginning with Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:00pm to discuss organization, bylaws/covenants, landscape maintenance, tree maintenance, the grounds contract, and related issues.

This meeting is open to all HCA members.  Members have the opportunity to discuss committee-specific issues at the start of the meeting.  If possible, please email either Director Michael Smith or Director Michael Poss beforehand so we can plan ahead.

Location for this meeting will be the Manning Residence, 11561 Maple Ridge Road in Block 2.  However, meeting dates, times, and locations may vary monthly.  Please email either Director above, or check the Hickory Cluster website and calendar, as necessary to confirm meeting details.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

High Water Levels

Hickory Cluster duck pond and canal after nearly 7" of rainfall.

Dangerous Rains!

A tree fell on a school bus on North Shore Drive in front of United Christian Parish church.  Report from FX County official was that no one was hurt. 

North Shore Drive is not passable at that section at this time (5pm 9/8). Traffic can approach MR and HC from the Lake Anne Plaza direction but traffic is heavy with cars having to u-turn in front of Hickory Cluster.

 While I was taking the bus photos a tree fell in Waterview Cluster.

Our roaring river/canal.

A sincere wish that everyone's roof holds and our trees stay rooted.
 Please be safe!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cluster Grant Opportunity

Please comment if you'd like to help and/or have suggestions on possible grant projects.

Fairfax County will be offering matching grants of up to $5,000 to neighborhood or civic groups and homeowner’s associations. The money will be awarded through the Neighborhood Enhancement Partnership Program (NEPP) for projects that improve a neighborhood’s appearance, health or safety. 

Applications will be accepted starting Thursday, September 1, and are due on Monday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. Additional information about groups or projects eligible for funding can be found online at Neighborhood Enhancement Partnership Program.

Fairfax County staff will hold information sessions to explain how to apply:
  • Thursday, September 8, 6 p.m.: South County Center, Room 221C, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria 
  • Thursday, September 15, 6 p.m.: Falls Church Human Services Building, Suite 305, 6245 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church 
In the past, communities have received money through NEPP to repair or expand children’s playgrounds, install community signs, plant community gardens, and build paths, bridges and outdoor pavilions to help connect neighbors and neighborhoods. As one of our region 2 partners, please plan on coming out to the September 15 meeting to learn more about this exciting grant opportunity!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Block III resident Lani Young has but together some useful hurricane safety information for us here.  Please view and note or print out the important contact information. Thank you Lani!


The information on this document is from the Fairfax County emergency website. I know that it is a lot of information. Most of it was just posted yesterday. But in the event that power is lost, you won’t have to depend on trying to get to a website for emergency information. 

Lani Young 
11513 Hickory Cluster 
703 742 8142 
Neighborhood Watch Coordinator and Community Emergency Response Team Member

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hickory Cluster Board Special Meeting Called TONIGHT 8/15

Special HC Board Meeting Monday, August 15th @ 7pm.
Meeting Place: TWC Association Management, 12110 Sunset Hills Rd., Suite 60 in Reston.

Reston Association's full Design Review Board will be considering the proposed renovation details for 11501 Maple Ridge Road during its next meeting on August 16, 2011.  The DRB meeting starts at 7pm @ RA headquarters.  This is planned as agenda item #6 so please be prepared for a wait.

The 11501 Maple Ridge proposal is a major re-construction project.  The HC board's general position is that any renovation should follow the original architectural design as closely as possible, and any modifications such as enclosing a balcony, should follow existing precedents in keeping with the original architecture. We have already conveyed this previously in writing and in meetings with RA's covenants advisor for Hickory Cluster but this was prior to the revised design produced by the owners' new architect.

The 11501 MR renovation plans are made complicated by the scope of the reconstruction and the fact that the homeowners proposed a roof design in 1998 which was approved by the DRB (the then HC board objected to the design but it was approved by DRB, apparently without HC board awareness at the time). The homeowner's current architect has new drawings of the reconstruction.

Questions/concerns the HC board will discuss at a 8/14 meeting with the new drawings:
* Do the new roof drawings match those approved by the DRB in 1999?
* Will the roof elevation be visible from the ground or by neighbors?
* Do the windows and new enclosure match the original HC architecture and/or other precedents?
* Will all the incorrect window work that has been done to date by the previous contractor be taken out and replaced?

11501 MR homeowners and their architect have been invited to attend the special HC board meeting.

August 16, 2011 UPDATE:
DRB did not approve the proposed renovations to 11501 MR.  DRB asked that the homeowners appear in one month with proposed changes that follow HC standards and precedents as well as a renovation schedule/time-line.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Special HC Board Meeting Scheduled, 8/14 @ 8pm

Reston Association's full Design Review Board will be considering the proposed renovation details for 11501 Maple Ridge Road during its next meeting on August 16, 2011.  The DRB meeting starts at 7pm @ RA headquarters.

This is a major re-construction project.  The HC board's general position is that any renovation follow the original architectural design as closely as possible, and any modifications such as enclosing a balcony, follow existing precedents in keeping with the original architecture.

The 11501 MR renovation plans are made complicated by the scope of the reconstruction and the fact that the homeowners proposed a new slanted roof design in 1998 which was approved by the DRB (the then HC board registered their objections to the new design).  The homeowner's current architect has new drawings of the reconstruction with the proposed roof which has an elevation with a portion of the roof's run-off  going to the existing drain and the other portion draining to pipes and down spouts.

Questions/concerns the HC board will discuss at a 8/14 meeting with the new drawings:
* Do the new roof drawings match those approved by the DRB in 1999?
* Will the roof elevation be visible from the ground or by neighbors?
* Do the windows and new enclosure match the original HC architecture and/or other precedents?
* Will all the incorrect window work that has been done to date by the previous contractor be taken out and replaced?

11501 MR homeowners and their architect have been invited to attend the special HC board meeting.
Sunday, August 14th @ 8pm.
Meeting Place: TBA     

Monday, July 11, 2011

Volleyball Court Dredging Bag

RA reports that the Lake Anne dredging bag removal and volleyball court area clean up is scheduled for the week of July 25th.
UPDATE: Contractor has moved removal to week of August 1st

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fairway Apartments Redevelopment Before FX County Tonight 7/7 @ 8:15pm

JBC developers will discuss their plans for the Fairway Apartments redevelopment at an open public hearing of the Fairfax County Planning Commission tonight at 8:15pm.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


A new blog for Hickory Cluster parents of little ones to network and share ideas and resources!

Katie Vizenor, one of Hickory Cluster's newest residents in Block II, has launched a new site for parents in and around HC.  Get tuned in by becoming a follower of  Katie's new site and/or leave a comment on her first post to show your interest!

Ukulele Festival July 9th! - Lake Anne Plaza

The 2nd Annual Ukulele Festival will take place on July 9th down on Lake Anne Plaza. This year’s line up includes blues artist Del Rey and features special guests Grammy Award winning Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink. Also in the mix are The Aloha BoysThe Sweater Set & Hoa Mele Wakinekona. For the complete schedule go to the Lake Anne Fan Page! The festival will also include a Beer Garden hosted by local brewery Port City Brewery and a wine bar by Unicorn Winery, so bring a lawn chair and settle in for a great afternoon.
Later that day the Plaza will be host to the Lake Anne Reunion Group—also known as “I grew up on Lake Anne in the 70’s.” LAR as they are affectionately known will be descending on Lake Anne from all over the July 9th weekend. As a part of their entertainment they have a concert featuring the Curb Feelers and Jeff Smith and the band of Steves beginning at 6:00 pm. The beer garden will be open until 8:00 pm.
You can also see the full line-up here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

AAA Trash/Monday July 4th, 2011 SERVICE

AAA Trash/Monday July 4th SERVICE Curbside Residential Trash and Recycling Services 
--- All Counties AAA will be closed -- 
Due to the majority of the disposal facilities being closed on MONDAY, JULY 4th AAA will not be running trucks and services.

If your regular service day is MONDAY, July 4th service will be as follows: 
Monday Trash will be serviced on Thursday, July 7th  
Monday Recycling will be serviced on Saturday, July 9th 

If you have questions please feel free to call AAA Customer Service Center at 703-818-8222. Please share with all involved. AAA appreciates your patience during this holiday week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Relac Service 6/25/11

From Michael Poss:
Lake anne water levels are apparently low and within one inch of what is critical for proper relac a/c chiller operation. So the relac team has brought in an external auxilliary pump. They are now hooking it up to make sure adequate service is available to customers during this period of warm summer weather. The pump should be online within a few hours.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hickory Cluster: Meet Your Neighbors...

Meet Your Neighbors at the Lakeside Café Saturdays at 9:15am

At Bob Anderson’s (Block II) suggestion some members of the HC Board gathered this past Saturday for breakfast and conversation at the Lakeside Café at Lake Anne Village.  Breakfast outside was good on a perfect morning.  It was such a pleasant time that it was suggested that it might be worth expanding the idea to include HC residents who would like to gather for a breakfast and to get to know one another a little bit better.  Bob has agreed to be there for the next two Saturday’s at 9:15 to greet all who are interested.

Please comment if you plan to join or just drop in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Public Works of Art - Reston Inventory

The Reston Historic Trust, in conjunction with Initiative for Public Art - Reston (IPAR), is requesting help in compiling an inventory of all public works of art in Reston. This database will serve to educate and support appreciation of public art in the area.

To share any knowledge you may have about public artworks, please e-mail You may also call Reston Museum at 703-709-7700 for more information. Below is the list of artwork that IPAR is seeking information about. The information is needed by the end of June and will be used in an exhibition early next year.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fairway Apartments Proposal Before DRB Tomorrow 6/21 7pm

Restonian reports...
Fairway to Heaven: Redevelopment Proposal to Go to DRB for Review

DRB Meeting:  RA Headquarters on June 21, 2011, 7pm Agenda
Also on the agenda are stream restoration project updates.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lake Anne Revitalization Restaurant Promotion

Lake Anne Plaza is launching a new program that rewards diners who embrace local living and enjoy the lakefront restaurants on the plaza. Lake Anne announced today the launch of  “Dine in the Neighborhood Program” – a rewards card that offers special deals and benefits for dining at participating restaurants.

Guests who dine at each restaurant twice will receive exclusive deals or a complimentary menu item.  Dine in the Neighborhood participating restaurants include:  Café Montmartre, Café Lakeside, 
G Sushi, Jasmine Café, Kalypso’s Sports Tavern, and Singh Thai. 

Dine in the Neighborhood Promotion Information

Selections From RA's eNews

Our native trees, ferns and wildflowers are under attack by invasive exotic plants like English Ivy, Japanese Honeysuckle and Bamboo. We need warriors like you to join us in rescuing Reston’s beautiful parkland from these aggressive plants. These fast-growing, invasive plants escape from people’s yards and seriously threaten local ecosystems, taking away vital food and habitat from already stressed wildlife populations. Please spend a couple hours in our parkland protecting our forests every fourth Saturday of each month as we help restore Reston’s forests to their natural state.

For all projects:
Children under 13 must be supervised by an adult.
Please wear long sleeves and long pants if you are allergic to poison ivy. RA will provide tools, gloves, snacks and water. To volunteer, contact Ha Brock, RA community outreach specialist at or by phone at 703-435-7986.

Each season, we need at least one volunteer to help us monitor two sites in Reston. If you are interested, join our volunteer monitors’ e-mail distribution list for notices of upcoming monitoring dates. E-mail with the message, “add me to the stream monitors list” and you will begin receiving e-mails.

June 28, 2011. Free.
Reston Association Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive.
7 p.m.-9 p.m. Guest speaker: Ivy Main, Sierra Club, Virginia Chapter.
Virginia has opportunities to harness clean, renewable energy to meet its growing demand for electricity and to replace its older, polluting coal-fired generating plants. This slide show presentation explores the opportunities and barriers to bringing solar and wind energy to Virginia consumers, and describes an aggressive campaign to build enough offshore wind capacity off our coast to power 700,000 homes by the end of the decade.
RSVP: or call 703-435-6503

Thursday, June 30, 2011
7-8:30 p.m.
Sign up by June 27, 2011
Location: Walker Nature Education Center, 11450 Glade Drive.
$5/person (Free for count participants)
To sign up, call (703) 476-9689 or e-mail


Saturday, July 2, 2011
9:30 a.m.-12:45
Sign up by June 29, 2011
Location: Walker Nature Education Center, 11450 Glade Drive.
Free. To sign up, call (703) 476-9689 or e-mail
Discover the colorful and diverse lives of Reston’s “flying flowers.” The butterfly class will focus on the basic identification and life cycles of our local butterflies. Through a combination of field guides, handouts and a Power Point presentation, learn how to identify Reston’s common butterflies, and get a basic introduction to their life history. Join staff and volunteers for the annual Butterfly Count through Reston’s natural areas. Meet fellow butterfly lovers, learn tips on identification and have fun while helping to collect important information on our fluttering friends.

Summer monitoring session is July 1-Aug. 31.
Reston Association is in need of volunteers to assist with stream monitoring at several locations throughout Reston during all seasons. If you are willing to learn, can work with a partner, enjoy data collection, insect identification, and are interested in the health of Reston’s streams, this is the job for you. Volunteering consists of four monitoring sessions of 3-4 hours each for a total of 12-16 hours per year. Training and practice are required and a two-year commitment is encouraged.

Saturday, July 9, 12:30-3 p.m.
Reston Museum
Meet at Reston Museum at 12:30 p.m. to join a tour of community garden plots and hear inside stories from Claudia Thompson-Deahl, RA Environmental Resources Manager. There are 270 garden plots, in four locations, many of which go back to the earliest days of Reston. Join a carpool to a few prime spots for a firsthand look at what Reston gardeners have in the ground and hopefully pick up a few gardening tips to take home. Naturalist Thompson-Deahl will also be available to sign copies of Nature of Reston, for which she wrote the text to accompany a series of superb full-color photographs of Reston’s natural areas by Charles A. Veatch.

At least eight (and probably more) Hickory Cluster residents (including myself) maintain a community garden plot.  This is an awesome RA program. If you are at all interested in gardening, check it out! -Sara
Saturday, July 23
The Weed Warriors will pull Japanese Stiltgrass and English Ivy that has spread throughout the natural area in south Reston. Japanese Stiltgrass threatens the native understory. The only chance native plants have is the protection provided by the Weed Warriors. We need as many hands as possible to remove this aggressive grass. Please meet at the natural area on Running Cedar Road, just past Foxcroft Way, next to 11425 Running Cedar Road. Look for the RA truck.

Win the new iPad 2 and help your community at the same time. Tickets are $10. Proceeds go to "Friends of Reston" for projects such as camp scholarships, green building initiatives and environmental education. The drawing will be July 11, 2011 at 5 p.m. You do not need to be present to win. A maximum of 500 tickets will be sold. For further details and online ticket sales, go to

Free wood chips are available Monday-Friday at Reston Association’s Central Services Facility, 12250 Sunset Hills Road, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The supply is currently unlimited.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lake Anne Plaza FREE Summer Concert Series

Every Thursday night from 7pm-9pm over the Summer, RCC-LA hosts their annual Take-A-Break concert series on Lake Anne Plaza.  Each week a different style of music is featured.  Check out the lineup here.

RELAC Service 6/16/11

Several residents have reported that there are grinding noises and vibrations coming from the RELAC plant, similar to what happened before the pump failure last month. I have notified Greg Odell at Aqua VA in Richmond but have not heard back. Hopefully this is not a precursor of another breakdown.

Fred Swartzendruber 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

RELAC Service 5/29/11

RELAC Update: 10:28am Sunday 5/29

I spoke with Mike Coleman at the plant and had an email exchange with the head of Aqua Virginia in Richmond. At 11:30 last night a pump failed, which blew out some control switches which are now being repaired. One chiller has been restarted and they say we should start to notice some cooling by 1:00 this afternoon.

Fred Swartzendruber

Friday, May 27, 2011

Selections From RA eNews

June 1, 2011 at 7pm
Reston Association Headquarters Conference Room. Free.
What bills passed this session in Richmond that may impact cluster, condo, apartment and single-family residents? Find out by attending the Annual Virginia Legislative Update facilitated by Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani of Mercer Trigiani Law Firm. Trigiani is the president of the Virginia Bar Association and an active lobbyist in Richmond for homeowners' associations.
RSVP: Arlene Whittick, Neighborhood Outreach Specialist (703) 435-6503 or

The Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR), in partnership with the Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel (owner of the Hyatt Park), the Reston Town Center Association and Reston Community Center, seeks an artist to develop contemporary artwork in a permanent medium for the Hyatt Park located at the Reston Parkway Greens, across from the Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel in Reston Town Center. This opportunity is open to established professional artists living in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. The entry deadline is June 17. For more information and to apply to this call, check CaFÉ™ Listings at

You can pick up free wood chips Monday-Friday at Reston Association’s Central Services Facility, 12250 Sunset Hills Road, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The supply is currently unlimited.

Saturday, June 4, 2011
Location: Walker Nature Education Center, 11450 Glade Drive.
Sign up by June 1, 2011. Free.
To sign up, call 703-476-9689 and press 5 or e-mail
Join us for the half-day annual Summer Bird Count throughout Reston’s natural areas. Meet local bird experts, learn tips on identification and have fun while helping us obtain important information to help our feathered friends. Enjoy an optional lunch, tally results and swap stories back at Nature House after the count.


Sunday, June 12, 2011 4pm
Reston Museum
Robert E. Simon and Oscar Haynes talk about their combined 190-plus years of living history. Join this unique event to hear their remembrances of the past century. There is limited seating; no reservations required. All welcome.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lake Anne Village Center Reinvestment Plan

In April 2011, the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization & Reinvestment contracted with Alvarez and Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services to conduct and publish a comprehensive analysis of Lake Anne Village Center's non-residential uses.

Conclusions include the potential Lake Anne revitalization as a focused dining destination. Check out the report here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reston Planning & Zoning Approved Fairway Expansion

JGB's design to transform the 328 Fairway garden-style apartments into 804 residences including four and five story apartment buildings and townhouses was approved by the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee in April.  Read about the Reston Citizens Association opposition to the proposal in the Reston Patch for more information.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hickory Cluster Annual Meeting 2011

Hickory Cluster Annual Meeting
RCC- Lake Anne
May 21st, 2011  9-11am
2011 Annual Meeting Doc
Hickory Cluster president Fred Schwartzendruber gave community updates on....
  • LA Canal Dredging: Dredging is complete, water bags will take a week or so to drain and will then be removed. 
  • RELAC: Up and running and is expected to get performance benefits from the recent RA canal dredging.
  • Stream Restoration: The Forest Edge restoration project is coming to a close.  WSSI is still on target to begin the HC stream restoration next Fall.  Funding has not yet been secured but may be 'bridged' as has been done in other portions of the project throughout Reston. WSSI will present the next phase to the DRB at an upcoming meeting. 
  • 11501 Maple Ridge: Renovations have halted and the homeowner is in communication with RA and DRB concerning design issues.  HC is registered as an affected party.
Hickory Cluster board member Madeline Cohen spoke about HC reserves being at a level where we can soon plan needed repairs to Block 3 stucco and rusted metalwork as well as plantings and maintenance for planters throughout the cluster.

Board member Michael Poss spoke about local efforts to gain National Historic Registry Status for Lake Anne Plaza and improvements slated for the Gonzalo Fonseca Underpass (the HC North Shore Drive underpass).
Virginia Department of Historic Resources Form 4/2011

Two board members were up for re-election, Judith Loomis & Madeline Cohen.  Ralph Youngren and Michael Smith announced their interest in running for the seats as well.  Ralph Youngren and Michael Smith were elected to the Hickory Cluster board. 

A very special thank you with infinite gratitude to Judith and Madeline for their great work on the board and off in support of Hickory Cluster and its residents!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

North Shore Heated Pool Opens

Season 5 for the Reston Association pools has begun!  RA complete pool schedule here.

Season 5: North Shore Pool Hours: Sept 6-25, 2011
Weekdays: 3pm-9pm (after 9/11 closed at 7pm)
Weekends:  11am-7pm

Need a pool pass?  Online here or in person available at RA 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Keep Swimming!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cluster-wide Community Yard Sale on Saturday 5/14 8am-1pm

Hickory Cluster & Maple Ridge Community Yard Sale
Saturday, May 14th 2011 from 8am-1pm 

  • Set up sale items in front of your place
  • Signs will be posted throughout the area
  • Please park on North Shore Drive before the sale to free up space for shoppers
  • Please break down by 1:30pm on Saturday
  • No trash on curb until Sunday night, thanks!
  • PLEASE HELP!  If you can assist with posting signs, please contact Madeline Cohen

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lake Anne Farmers Market 2011 Season Opener

Saturdays 8am-12pm May-October
Fresh produce, plants, meats, baked goods, prepared foods, entertainment, crafts, wares, etc... check it out on any given Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza, rain or shine!

Friday, April 29, 2011

RA Projects in and Near HC

On April 25, Reston Association began dredging Lake Anne Canal, located near North Shore Pool, and will continue for about another week. We are using a small floating dredging machine at the canal, which hydraulically pumps the soil and water from the lake bottom through hoses to dewatering bags located on the old volleyball court in Hickory Cluster. The water level will remain unaffected. There will be some engine noise from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. each weekday and maybe on Saturday. There will be some turbidity in the lake during the dredging period, but this will be about the same as experienced after a strong thunderstorm.
Should you have any special needs, questions or concerns, please contact Dan Warfield at 703-435-6549 or
Note: RA task done every six/seven years and to be complete by RELAC operation season.

Along with the Lake Anne fountain replacement, there will be several upgrades necessary. These include a new electrical system to operate the fountain, removal of several abandoned conduits on the bottom of the lake and dredging the bottom to allow for proper operation of the fountain. The new fountain will be in operation by the end of May, barring any unforeseen difficulties or scheduling conflicts.
Please contact Paul Priestley at 703-435-6541 or email if you have any questions.

Lake Anne Dredging & HC Stream Restoration Response 
Reston Association has an easement giving them access through Hickory Cluster for dredging the pond to ensure the water supply needed by RELAC. In the past RA has brought-in heavy earthmoving equipment, and used our volleyball court as a staging area for the work. Any damage was then rectified by RA when the work was complete. This time, RA has hired Wetland Studies & Solutions, which is using a new technology to dredge the cove next to the RELAC inlet, without bringing in earthmoving equipment (which I consider a big advantage). The cove has a heavy build-up of silt (about 3 ft., according to the site foreman) and this was not removed in recent years because it would have required temporarily lowering the lake level, then draining water from Lake Newport to restore the level at Lake Anne when the work was done; this is also quite disruptive and again requires the use of earthmoving equipment. The tradeoff is that the filtration bags on the volleyball court need to remain for 2-3 weeks after the pumping is finished so that the silt is dry enough to haul away. Compared with the use of the volleyball court as a staging area for earthmovers, I don't consider the filtration bags to be a real nuisance, but perhaps you see it differently.

WSS is not dredging the pond at this point because that is slated to happen as part of the upcoming stream restoration project which was discussed at length at the special community meeting last October. The volleyball court will again be used as a staging area for the restoration project, and WSS has committed to restoring the area to the community's specification when the project is finished. After discussion with participants at a community forum, we have asked WSS to convert that area to low-maintenance landscaping using native species and consistent with the surrounding area which will be replanted as part of the conservation project. The engineering design of the restoration is intended to preclude the need for dredging in the future (or at least to greatly minimize it), so if things go well we would no longer have periodic disruption of the site in order to protect RELAC.

At the community meeting on the restoration project last October, the main area of concern was the design of the standard bridge which will replace our existing (and delapidated) wooden bridge next to the pond. The community was very unhappy with the visual elements of the standard bridge, and Ralph Youngren was asked to come up with a design more appropriate to the Goodman architecture in Hickory Cluster. Ralph and Richard Speier (who established the Goodman Fund) held several meetings with WSS, RA, and cluster members on the site to discuss options, and drawings were presented at a member forum during one of the Board meetings. The preferred design was sent to WSS and RA representing the Cluster's recommendation, and this design was accepted. Not surprisingly, the upgraded bridge is going to cost more ($8,850 at last estimate) and the cluster was initially asked to contribute $3,000 toward this. We were able to negotiate an agreement with WSS that they would forgo this request and fully cover the additional bridge cost if the Cluster was able to move quickly on approving the conservation and construction easements (since delays could be costly to them). After a legal review by the Cluster's attorney, and some minor wording revisions which he recommended to the text of the easements to protect the Cluster's rights, the Board approved the easements and the permitting process is now well underway.

I am still hoping that the project will be able to begin in the Fall, though there are still some approvals in the pipeline, and WSS is also facing financing gaps because of a decline in payments into the stream restoration bank (which is financing the project) from developers as a result of the financial crisis. WSS has said that they are working on bridging finance (no pun intended) to enable the project to start on-time so that they can keep their crew at work instead of demobilizing them when the Forest Edge phase is complete, and then remobilizing at a later date (which is very inefficient for them). The permits are not within their control, so they can't give any guarantees about when the work will actually begin. We will provide the latest update at the Cluster's Annual Meeting later this month.

Best regards,
Fred Swartzendruber
HC Board President

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring 2011 Cluster Clean-Up Scheduled

Cluster Clean-Up on Saturday & Sunday, April 30-May 1, 2011: 9am-1pm

Hickory Cluster took a beating this season and there'll be lots to do including: Ivy removal in natural areas, weeding in beds & cleaning of porches, carports and fence lines.

As you get ready for Spring, please take a look at the RA and Hickory Cluster guidelines pertaining to 'in view' storage items. Thank you!

RA Regs
HC Regs

Cookout in Block II will follow at 5pm.

Other ideas in the works...
  • A scheduled big item trash pick-up day
  • Clusterwide Yard Sale:  May 14, 8am-1pm

Sunday, March 20, 2011

RA: Design Review Board Agenda for March 22, 2011 @7PM

Below is a link to the March 22, 2011 7PM DRB agenda.  On two items to be discussed, the HC Board has registered HC as an Affected Party.
  1. Possible design changes to 11501 Maple Ridge
  2. North Shore tennis court conversion to 6 mini practice courts. (Courts next to the Lake Anne canal)

Reston Association
12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20191-3404

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RA's Proposed North Shore Tennis Court Redesign

RA is proposing to convert the two North Shore tennis courts into six smaller training courts (see photo below).  The HC Board objects to the proposal for the reasons posted below.  If you are concerned about the proposal (con or pro), please plan to attend the DRB meeting at RA Headquarters on March 8th at 7pm. 

HCA has the following concerns about the North Shore Tennis Court Redesign proposal:
1.  It will eliminate 100% of ONLY TWO existing full-size North Shore tennis courts within easy walking distance of Hickory Cluster, thus denying Hickory Cluster resident tennis players and guests future use of these courts.
2.  Small dedicated teaching courts could be better accommodated at RA tennis facilities with more courts, such as Lake Newport or Hook Road, where elimination of two full-size courts would impact a MUCH smaller percentage of total existing courts, and where there is more room to expand with new construction if necessary.
3.  It may add to existing traffic congestion at the North Shore Drive entrance to adjacent parking and create additional intersection safety issues near the Maple Ridge Road entrance to Hickory Cluster Blocks 1 and 2.

The Lake Anne Canal Swing is Back!

Hooray for RA!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

JBG to Propose New Fairway Apartments Redevelopment Plan

JBG will present a their new and slightly reduced plan for redeveloping the Fairway Apartments property on North Shore Dr. to the RA Zoning and Planning Committee on Monday, February 21, 2011 – 7:30 pm

"The JBG Company, owners of Fairway Apartments located off North Shore Drive, will make a presentation of a revised redevelopment plan for this complex. It will have 810 units, no building over five stories, some underground parking. Additional details and features will be explained at the presentation." -Reston 2020
There was also a post on the Restonian

Saturday, January 15, 2011

HC Volleyball Court Renovation

Hello Neighbors,
When the Hickory Cluster Stream Restoration project is completed (projected to be some time in 2012), the WSSI staging area that is the existing common area volleyball court adjacent to North Shore Drive will need to be renovated as well.  The cost of the renovation will be covered by the stream mitigation banking fund responsible for the stream restoration project.

The HC Board is requesting resident ideas/input on the volleyball court restoration.  Do we...
(1) rebuild the volleyball court,
(2) re-landscape it to become part of the surrounding landscaped common area, or
(3) create another to-be-determined type of Hickory Cluster common area outdoor space?

What do YOU think Hickory Cluster should do with the volleyball court AFTER Stream Restoration work is complete?  Please share your comments here and identify your comment with your name and Block#.  If you'd rather keep your suggestion private, please send them to any of the board members at the email adresses at right.

Thank you,
Hickory Cluster Board