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Blog :: 03-2017

How to Get Your Exterior Project Done (or at least approved)

Spring is in the air and people are thinking about all the ways they want to spruce up the outside of their homes. It’s exciting. But in Reston, it may not be fast. If you are part of Reston Association, that plan is going to have to be approved, and it takes time. Here is a primer on the RA Design Review Board application process.

First, this is not something you need to dread. The DRB application procedures are very easy to follow. It just takes a little bit of time. But you will have help along the way: the Covenant’s Advisors are one of Reston homeowners’ greatest resources that nobody knows about. They are here to help make the design review process the easiest part of your renovation project.

DRB application procedures

The Reston Associate website has all the phone numbers and forms you need. Here is a recap of the DRB application procedures.

1. Contact RA to find out who your Covenant’s Advisor is. They’ll meet with you and advise you on your project and everything you’ll need for your application.

2. Submit your application. The application can be found on the RA website. The application includes the following:

  • A detailed written description of the proposed exterior modification or addition
  • Scale drawings
  • A site plan showing the size and location of project
  • Photographs of the existing condition
  • A brochure, detail sheet or catalog photo of materials
  • Estimated project completion date
  • Signatures of at least three different property owners adjacent to or within view of your alteration or improvement. If your property is located within a Cluster Association, at least one of the signatures must be that of a Cluster Officer. 

Bring in or mail your application to the Reston Association.

4. Property Visit
RA staff and/or members of the DRB may visit and possibly photograph your property for reference.

5. Attend the DRB review panel meeting
While not all projects go in front of the DRB review panel, if your project does require it, you should plan on attending the meeting. Your Covenant’s Advisor can you let you know when it’s on the agenda.

Those are the basic steps. If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision. Or you can revise the plans to meet RA Design Covenants and Guidelines and resubmit your application. However, if you work with your Covenant’s Advisor and follow the RA guidelines, your project should be approved and you are on your way!

What do you have planned? Let me know.


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Newport Springs Cluster, North Reston

Newport Springs Cluster, photo from Zillow.comBack in the late 1980s, the face of North Reston changed. In 1989, Newport Springs Cluster joined the collection of close communities that line Reston Parkway. Newport Springs is a community of 28 townhouses designed with Folk Victorian architecture, homes that are relatively plain in construction and then embellished with decorative trim.

Grouped into six buildings fronting Newport Spring Court, the street meanders in a wide curve with a cul-de-sac at the end—providing privacy and safety as there is no through street. 

The homes are three stories high with a garage on the first level and a flight of stairs leading to the front entry on the second floor. The end units have wrap around porches; the others have recessed front entries. The three-bedroom homes range in size from 1,400 to 1,550 square feet.  The lot sizes range from around 1,500 to 2,200 square feet.

Located off Lake Newport Road between Reston Parkway and Fairfax County Parkway, Newport Springs Cluster is walking distance to North Point Village Center. There you’ll find a Giant food store, Starbucks, restaurants, gym, gas station, and more.

This is a great neighborhood for a growing family.

St. Patrick's Day 2017 Around Town

St. Patrick's DaySt. Patrick’s Day always feels like the official start of Spring to me, especially when the weather has been as nice as it has been lately. Hopefully, we’ll have great weather for all the parades and other fun events happening over the next two weeks. Here is a run-down of some fun things to do.

Musical St. Patrick’s Day with Miss Susan at Reston Library 

This one is for the wee little ones. On March 9 and March 14 at 10:30 a.m., bring your toddler over to the Reston Library to enjoy Celtic music and learn a simple circle dance. It is never too early to foster a love of bagpipes. Cosponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library. For age 9-24 months with adult.

18th Annual Greater Manassas St. Patrick’s Day Parade 

I do love a good parade. So on Saturday, March 11, 2017 head to Old Town Manassas to get things started. The parade begins at 11:00. There will be music. There will be dancing. There will be a lot of fun had by all. If you’ve never ventured to Old Town Manassas, plan to stay awhile. It’s a charming place and it will be bustling on parade day.

Washington, DC Saint Patrick's Day Parade

The main parade event: March 12, 2017, Noon to 3:00 p.m. Come celebrate the Nation’s Saint Patrick’s Day with a parade along Constitution Avenue - 7th to 17th Streets NW. There will be floats, marching bands, pipe bands, military, police, and fire departments. Local Irish pubs also sponsor parade parties featuring Irish musicians, dancers, and singers. Yes, it is fun. Really, really fun.

St. Patrick’s Day Scramble at Reston National Golf Course

Not in the mood to go downtown for a parade? How about some golf at Reston National? The St. Patrick’s Day Scramble on Sunday, March 12th has a 9 a.m. Shotgun Start.

Lucky Leprechaun 5k Race

Maybe a 5k race is more your thing? Also on Sunday, March 12 and starting at 8:30 a.m., is the Lucky Leprechaun at Reston Town Center. The 2,000ish runners all dressed in green will run a quick 3.1 miles and then enjoy Irish treats (like Guinness) in the RTC pavilion. Even if you don’t run, it’s kind of fun to cheer the runners on and enjoy the very creative costumes some of them wear.

The Main Event

Just about every bar does something on St. Patrick’s Day, especially when it’s a Friday night. There will, of course, be things happening at Lake Anne, which is where I’ll be. However, if you want to explore any one of the actual Irish pubs in the area, just take a look at this list of Irish Pubs of Northern Virginia. With too many options to list, I’ll just leave it at this: drink responsibly and download the Uber app if you don’t have it already. Or walk to Lake Anne… that is always a good choice.

Waterfront like along a lake