Friday, December 16, 2016


From the NOAA National Weather Service this afternoon for Fairfax and Loudon Counties:  "Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect from midnight tonight through noon Saturday. ... Snow and sleet accumulation of less than 1/2 inch with 1/10 inch ice glaze.  Periods of snow and sleet will overspread the region after midnight tonight then change to freezing rain before dawn Saturday morning.  Freezing rain will change to rain by noon Saturday. Hazardous travel is expected due to icy roads and walkways."  Because expected rain will melt the limited amount of snow and ice, and also wash away ice treatment, contractor Perfect Landscapes advised yesterday they do not plan to treat HCA streets during this storm.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Project Manager WSSI confirmed late last week that streambed reconstruction work was substantially complete by December 1, and that additional new erosion control planting is scheduled to start mid-December 2016.  In addition, footbridge removal and replacement will be delayed pending Fairfax County re-approval of an expired permit within the next few weeks.  Full completion, including clean-up of the staging area, is now planned for February 2017.


Contractor Perfect Landscapes advised today that they plan to provide third and final contracted 2016 leaf removal services midweek next week, and as early as Tuesday, December 20.  Their crew will also remove and chip fallen tree debris recently collected and stacked near footpaths by Members, and deposit as much resulting chipped material as possible on the HCA North Shore Dr. dirt emergency and maintenance vehicle access road adjacent to Block 3 to replace similar mud control surface material typically blown away during leaf removal. 

Saturday, November 19, 2016


HCA Fall Cluster Clean-Up will run from the remaining days of November 2016 through the third of three planned leaf removals in mid-December.  During the Clean-Up, we encourage Members to remove vines from tree trunks and branches, remove debris behind rear row houses and carriage houses, stack fallen tree debris near footpaths, and remove personal property stored on nearby Common Areas.  The HCA grounds maintenance contractor will remove the stacked debris in mid-December as part of the final leaf removal.  However, Members should not otherwise remove invasive species English Ivy from HCA Common Areas because it provides inexpensive ground cover that controls soil erosion.  Be careful to avoid Poison Ivy and similar plants.  Contact individual Directors to coordinate special projects.

Monday, November 14, 2016


The Republic Services website advises local residential customers in their updated Northern Virginia holiday schedule, as follows:
- No trash pick-up on Thursday, November 24
- Service resumes on next normal pick-up day, Monday, November 28
- Normal Monday morning trash and recycling service provided
- Normal Monday morning trash and recycling service provided
- Wednesday mornings, January 4 and 11, 2017
To prevent local raccoons and other animals from opening curbside bags and spreading trash on Common Areas, and to help maintain the appearance of the cluster, please place trash out for pick-up no earlier than 6:00 p.m. the evening before scheduled pick-up.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Perfect Landscapes advised HCA that the first of three HCA Fall removals will start on Monday, November 14.  The second removal will be just before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and the third removal before the Christmas holiday weekend, weather permitting.  Based on RA guidelines, the contractor plans to blow and then remove leaves from HCA meadows, planters, flowerbeds, and plazas  rather than relocate them into the streambeds.  HCA will post more information here when available. 


The HCA Board of Directors recently engaged a certified Independent Consulting Arborist with more than 40 years of experience who assessed and documented the failure likelihood, target impact, and risk rating of all high risk trees he identified first hand during site walks throughout 18 acres of Hickory Cluster Common Area, including several trees reported by Members.  Trees on private property were not included and are the responsibility of individual homeowner Members.  The Arborist marked with rings of yellow/green tape those trees that require the most immediate deadwood trimming, structural support cabling, or complete removal.  PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE THE MARKING TAPE.  It will be used by bidding contractors to identify, estimate, and perform work on those trees during January-March 2017 to take advantage of Winter reduced pricing.  Once the Arborist completes his report, the Board of Directors will review the recommendations, approve work subject to available funding, and obtain RA DRB approvals as necessary.  UPDATES ... The Independent Consulting Arborist assessment reportassessment summary, and assessment map, including Group 1 trees approved and funded for action by HCA Directors on December 21, 2016, are now available for public reference.  RA DRB approved removal of 16 live Group 1 trees on March 7, 2017, in addition to 14 dead or invasive species trees that did not require RA approval.  HCA also approved and funded immediate trimming of eight additional Group 2 trees on March 15, 2017.  Work on 17 Group 3 trees is pending HCA cable or remove decisions and funding for late 2017 or early 2018 action.  Contact project lead HCA Secretary Michael Poss for more information.

Sunday, October 30, 2016


HCA Directors at the October monthly Board meeting continued ongoing discussions and agreed on a new uniform landscaping plan to enhance both the Maple Ridge Road and Hickory Cluster entrance Common Areas.  The Member advisory team, Perfect Landscapes designer, and project leader Director Blake Travis collaborated after the meeting to revise the plans and reduce proposed costs to fit within an agreed maximum budget.  HCA then signed a contract to include regular maintenance for the first year, and work will begin following RA DRB approval of a related HCA tree removal application.  Affected Neighbors will be notified in advance and asked to remove any private property from these HCA Common Areas before clearing and planting.  Future improvements will include other similar hardscaped and landscaped areas clusterwide.  UPDATES ... a three-person RA DRB panel will discuss the HCA tree removal application and related landscaping plan as agenda item No. 5 during its Tuesday, December 6, 2016 public meeting at RA Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.  Agenda items may be called earlier or later than announced, so interested Members should arrive no later than the 7:00 p.m. meeting start time.  On December 6, 2016, an RA DRB panel of three approved an HCA application for removal of a single Dogwood tree and replacement with three new Dogwoods at the Maple Ridge Road entrance, and advised that related planned entrance enhancement planting was an internal HCA issue not subject to RA review or approval.  However, the panel requested confirmation that planned Lirope was not an RA-designated invasive species before HCA proceeds further.  On February 21, 2017, the full RA DRB heard additional Member comments and voted to support the DRB panel December 6 decision that allowed the HCA project to proceed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


HCA Directors learned this week that two unlocked Member vehicles were ransacked last night, this time at the north end of Block 2 in the 1153x and 1159x Maple Ridge Rd. address areas.  They are the most recent of several nighttime car burglaries in all Blocks dating back more than a year that HCA Directors discussed with Members at the May 2016 Annual Meeting.  Fairfax County Police detained one suspected local car burglar in August:  " ... A resident reported two males looking into vehicles in the parking lot. ... One of the suspects was apprehended shortly thereafter. Property was recovered. ... "  The arrest mugshot shows the suspect wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  Coincidentally, a Block 2 Member captured 4:30 a.m. security camera images of a car burglar at work last Spring ... tall and wearing a hooded sweatshirt.  HCA Members should call FCPD at (703) 691-2131 to formally report items stolen from Hickory Cluster vehicles, and (703) 246-2786 to claim stolen items already reported that may have been recovered.  FCPD cannot identify or return recovered stolen items without a formal crime report.  More importantly:  LOCK YOUR VEHICLES AND REMOVE VALUABLES.  UPDATE ... FCPD reported November 1 that another Hickory Cluster vehicle was burglarized in the 15000 Maple Ridge Rd. area.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Although not publicly reported until today, affordable senior housing provider Fellowship Square Foundation (FSF) signed an agreement on September 1, 2016 with affordable housing developer Community Preservation and Development Corp. (CPDC) for a new facility to replace all 240 apartment units in two 1970s buildings now massed in the center of the site.  FSF says there is " ... sufficient excess land available on the site to allow construction of a new building.  Once the new building is completed, the tenants of the existing building will be able to move in. ... "  These statements indicate that, like the 2014 plan presented to RA DRB for comments, FSF may again propose to build along Baron Cameron Ave., Village Rd., North Shore Dr., and Hickory Cluster Block 1 property lines.  It also appears that such a plan may require removal of numerous mature trees that have provided a natural visual buffer to Block 1 homes for decades.  According to the original March 1964 Reston Deed of Dedication Book 2431 page 359 subdivison land survey, the Hickory Cluster Block 1 property line with the FSF parcel is 75.66 feet from the carriage house rear patio far edges.  Fairfax County Planned Residential Community (PRC) Commercial/Industrial zoning regulations and building setback requirements may also apply.  FSF and CPDC must still finalize architectural plans, obtain RA DRB approval, obtain required zoning and building permits, and secure construction financing.  More information is available in previous HCA website posts.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


From Reston RELAC LLC yesterday:  "The end of the 2016 Cooling Season is this Sunday, October 9.  We had a record number of over-90F days this summer without any major problems. ... During the next four weeks we will schedule work that had to wait until the end of the cooling season to be completed.  Many of you may need shutdown valves replaced on your systems.  While the water pipes are drained is the time for any maintenance on your units.  The water pipes will be empty from October 24 through November 23.  ... "  And remember to leave your system inside return valve open so Winter furnace-heated water or air between the supply and return valves can escape without expanding and rupturing your chilled water cooling coils.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


From AccuWeather today:  "Frequent storms across the northeastern U.S. this winter may lead to an above-normal season for snowfall.  "I think the Northeast is going to see more than just a few, maybe several, systems in the course of the season," AccuWeather Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.  Unlike last season, in which most of winter's snowfall came from a few heavy-hitting storms, this winter will last into the early or middle part of spring and will feature frequent snow events.  According to Pastelok, accumulation may be limited in areas south of New York City, such as Philadelphia, D.C. and Baltimore. These areas will see a handful of changeover systems, where falling snow transitions to rain and sleet.  "But still, Boston, Hartford, along the coastal areas up into Connecticut and southern New England, they can still have a fair amount of snow," he said.  Overall, it's predicted that the region will total a below-normal number of subzero days, though the temperature will average 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than last year."

Saturday, September 24, 2016


In response to an HCA request, the Stream Restoration team split and stacked firewood from removed trees for use only by Hickory Cluster residents in their wood-burning fireplaces or rear patio fire pits.  The firewood is stacked near the Block 1 swingset and is available now on a first-come-first-served basis.  It typically takes several months to dry before becoming fully burnable, so cover and protect this firewood from additional moisture when you take it home.  Please immediately report unauthorized removal by non-residents to an HCA Director or TWC.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


As part of the September monthly meeting, HCA Directors will discuss proposals for landscaping changes to the Maple Ridge Road and Hickory Cluster street entrance Common Areas.  Directors presented initial proposals developed by Architect Ralph Youngren FAIA, former landscape professional Toni Della Ratta, and local artist Shirley Manning, to Members at the May 2016 Annual Meeting, and discussed related issues at the July 2016 monthly Board meeting.  Since July, Ralph, Toni, Shirley, and Director Blake Travis have collaborated with a professional landscape designer to further develop proposal details.  HCA encourages all Members to attend the September meeting and discussion of current version proposals at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 21, at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


As part of the Stream Restoration project, numerous existing native plants may be destroyed unless relocated before construction begins.  To save them, Hickory Cluster gardeners are encouraged to find, remove, and relocate the following native plants recently identified by the Reston Garden Club within the HCA Blocks 1-2 streambed area, starting today through September 17:
FERNS:  New York, Christmas, LadyGrape
GRASSES / SEDGES:  Deertongue, Luzula, Pennsylvania
SHRUBS / TREES:  Elderberry, Spicebush, Cornus Florida
VIBURNUM SHRUBS:  Mapleleaf, Dentatum
VINES:  Virginia Creeper, Grape
OTHERS:  Partridge Berry, Jewelweed, False Nettle, Jumpseed, Hog-Peanut, Asclepias Incarnata, Lobelia Cardinalis, Asters, Agrimony, Liriope
These native plants can be relocated to either (1) the Blocks 2-3 streambed Common Area not part of the restoration project, or (2) Hickory Cluster private gardens within private property lines, not nearby Common Areas.  To help save any remaining native plants not relocated by HCA Members, RA will host a public Native Plant Rescue on Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., within the streambed restoration area.  During this public event, participants may remove rescued native plants from Hickory Cluster.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


From RA Watershed Manager Nicki Bellezza this morning:  "Reston Association is hosting a stream walk of the restored Snakeden Branch and Glade stream valleys on Saturday, September 10 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Walker Nature Center located at 11450 Glade Drive.  Please join me in visiting the streams that were restored beginning in 2008 and completed in 2011 to the finished product years later.  ... We will walk the paved trails in a loop to visit Snakeden Branch near Lake Audubon and the Glade Stream Valley near Soapstone Drive and then back to the Nature Center via the nature trails.  Handouts with before (condition) pictures will be provided.  Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to RSVP ... ... ."

Monday, August 15, 2016


Stream Restoration Project Manager Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. Engineering Director Frank Graziano, and Ecosystem Restoration Manager John Connelly, walked the Block 1-2 construction site with interested HCA Directors and Members at 10:00 a.m., Saturday August 20, 2016, and answered questions about the previously-approved project activities and three month schedule.  During the week of August 15-19, WSSI also updated marking tapes on up to 94 HCA trees to be removed within the project area, less those already fallen or removed earlier for safety reasons.  RA Senior Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Resources Larry Butler and RA Watershed Manager Nicki Bellezza also attended.  Updates will be posted here on the HCA website as necessary.  UPDATES ... WSSI will start work from the south end near the HCA pond, and no earlier than 7:00 a.m. and no later than 9:00 p.m. as allowed by Fairfax County noise rules.  Heavy equipment used during regular work hours will include a pump to move stream water around work areas that must remain dry.  WSSI will not include the Vantage Hills portion of the original plan in this effort.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Reston Association announced earlier this week that the long-awaited $870,000 HCA Stream Restoration project between Blocks 1 and 2, including the custom Goodman-style footbridge designed by Block 3 resident Ralph P. Youngren FAIA, was finally funded and will begin next month.  Completion is planned for December 2016, earlier than as reported by RA, and should not impact use or possible Fall 2016 asphalt repaving of Maple Ridge Road.  HCA reported a tentative September 2016 start and related information in a December 2015 HCA website post.  RA funded and completed related HCA pond dredging last summer.  Project Manager Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. will present a public information update to RA DRB at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at RA Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.  WSSI provided HCA with an advance copy of the August 16 RA DRB presentation, and is coordinating a construction site walk-and-talk with WSSI project leaders on either Saturday morning August 20 or 27 for HCA Directors and residents.  HCA encourages all interested residents to attend, and will post more information here when available. 

Monday, July 4, 2016


The Republic Services website advises local residential customers in their 2016 Northern Virginia holiday schedule that normal Monday morning trash and recycling pick-up for the July 4 Independence Day holiday will not be provided.  Service will resume on the next scheduled pick-up, Thursday morning July 7.  To prevent local raccoons and other animals from opening curbside bags and spreading trash on Common Areas at night, and to help maintain the appearance of the cluster, please place trash out for pick-up no earlier than Wednesday evening July 6 after 6:00 p.m. rather than on Sunday evening July 3.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Reston RELAC LLC President Mark Waddell just advised customers via email that the system was up and running yesterday following initial plans to start service on May 9 just before the weather cooled down, and then on the official SCC tariff operations start date of May 20 when air temperatures went down again.  The NOAA National Weather Service predicts 80F+ outside air temperatures for the remainder of this pre-Memorial Day holiday week.  Waddell requested that customers do not bleed air out of their home chiller coils because RELAC automatically bleeds air and adds water within the chiller plant closed loop.  For 2016 Summer Season startup assistance or any other home system issues, call RELAC at (703) 349-3301.

Monday, May 16, 2016


Block 3 Member David R. Pickering announced in a May 15 message and statements of interest and qualifications that he will seek election to the HCA Board of Directors.  Block 1 Member Thomas Drake also confirmed in a May 18 message that he too will be a candidate for Director and provided statements of interest and qualifications.  In addition, Director Madeline Cohen announced at the May 18 monthly Board meeting that she is resigning her unexpired 2014-17 term, and Director Ashley and Secretary Poss indicated they would seek re-election.  Although an election for three Director terms was previously announced, the election will now be for three 2016-19 full terms, and for the remainder of one 2014-17 unexpired term, at the 2016 HCA Annual Meeting on the morning of Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the Lake Anne Reston Community Center.  Please note that the meeting packet cover letter dated April 29 incorrectly stated that the May 21 election was for only two Directors.  HCA encourages all Members in good standing to participate.


As announced in a notice distributed to all Members as part of the 2016 Annual Meeting information packet, Block 1 plaza powerwashing starts today, Monday, May 16.  Block 2 is scheduled for Tuesday-Wednesday, May 17-18, and Block 3 for Thursday-Friday, May 19-20.  The schedule is subject to change depending on weather and other factors.  Members should remove private property stored on Common Areas and relocate nearby vehicles to provide contractor access to plazas and related surfaces, and to prevent the chance of personal property damage.  Please refer to the notice above for more information.

Friday, March 18, 2016


The remainder of March and all of April 2016 will be annual HCA Spring Cluster Clean-Up time during which Directors will coordinate projects with other Members, including:
  Various tasks TBD ... Director Smith
  Remove Common Area debris behind rear patios ... Director Travis
  Remove Common Area streambed debris ... Director Poss ... DONE
  Remove plaza flower bed debris near 1153x ... Director Poss ... DONE
  Relocate parking island Dafodils to bed ... Director Poss ... DONE
  Remove Common Area debris behind rear patios ... Director Cohen
  Remove western storm drain blockage ... Director Poss ... DONE
  Clean central Common Area sheep sculptures ... Director Poss ... DONE
  Remove Common Area debris along North Shore Drive ... TBD
  Remove Common Area streambed overgrowth ... TBD

HCA also encourages Members to stack tree and other debris near curbs and footpaths for removal, remove private property stored on Common Areas, and remove ivy from tree trunks and branches.  However, Members should not remove English Ivy otherwise growing on HCA Common Areas because it provides inexpensive ground cover that effectively controls soil erosion, even though it is an invasive species.  HCA will remove stacked debris in early May, powerwash Common Area plazas in May, and post updates here when available. 


The HCA Annual Meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Saturday, May 21, 2016, at the Rose Gallery in the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.  TWC will mail meeting information, Director nomination forms, and Proxy absentee vote forms to all HCA Members in late April or early May.  HCA will also post the 2016 meeting packet on this website.  However, only Members in good standing with no current balances due may vote. 

Three current Director three-year terms will expire and are up for nomination and election this year, and Treasurer Zerrin Turner advised Directors this week that she will not seek re-election.  HCA encourages interested Members in good standing to provide Nomination Form statements of interest and qualifications to TWC as soon as possible, but no later than 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 20, 2016, and to indicate if you would like that information posted on this HCA website.  Or you can choose to be nominated at the Annual Meeting itself.

Volunteer Directors of this non-profit, non-stock corporation are tasked by the original 1964 HCA Articles of Incorporation with maintaining and improving the Common Areas; enforcing covenants and restrictions; and assessing, collecting, and disbursing funds; all for the benefit of the property and peace, health, comfort, and safety of residents.  Directors typically review budgets, proposals, and contracts; collaborate with other Directors, neighbors, and consultants to make critical decisions; and may provide hands-on project leadership.  Directors must meet at least quarterly, but usually meet monthly.  At whatever level, HCA welcomes your participation.

Thursday, March 3, 2016


From the NOAA National Weather Service this morning for Reston:  " ... Rain and snow likely before 9:00 p.m. (Thursday), then snow. ... New accumulation of 1-2 inches possible. ... Snow likely (Friday), possibly mixing with rain after 9:00 a.m., then gradually ending.  ... New snow accumulation of less than 1/2 inch possible. ... "  No information received from the snow removal contractor as of midday Thursday, but plowing may occur if accumulation exceeds 2 inches.

Monday, February 15, 2016


From Republic Services earlier this morning:  " ... With the present inclement weather conditions, we would like to inform you that our Fairfax office and operations are closed today.  With the storm coming faster and worse than expected bringing snow and ice, and with safety at the forefront for our employees and the community alike, closing was the right thing to do.  Expectations for service will resume on the next regularly scheduled day (Thursday).  "

Sunday, February 14, 2016


UPDATE MON FEB 15 AM:  With snowfall at about the 2 inch service trigger depth, our contractor plowed HCA streets at about 9:00 this morning. 

From NOAA National Weather Service Sunday afternoon:  "Snow likely tonight after 1:00 a.m. ... less than one inch.  Monday ... snow before 1:00 p.m. then snow and sleet ... freezing rain ... .  New snow and sleet accumulation of 2-4 inches possible.  Monday night ... freezing rain and sleet ... ice accumulation ... around 1/10 inch ... new sleet accumulation of less than 1/2 inch possible.  Tuesday ... rain or freezing rain ... chance of snow showers."  Last update from our snow removal contractor was Friday morning:  " ... Our next round of winter weather will be passing through our area on Monday.  ... this system looks like it has the potential to drop several inches of snow during the day before transitioning to freezing rain and then finally rain in the overnight into Tuesday.  Plowing is anticipated during the day on Monday and will commence when accumulations have reached approximately two inches.  Sand/salt/chemical applications will follow as required."


Fellowship Square Foundation Inc. (FSF) announced earlier this week that they have new plans to redevelop the Lake Anne I and II Fellowship House, adjacent to HCA Block 1 carriage houses.  According to FSF, "... new construction will replace all 240 apartment units in the 1970s era buildings."  The announcement followed a five month evaluation of two existing buildings by the Community Preservation and Development Corp. (CPDC) commissioned by FSF.  The study concluded that existing buildings should be torn down and replaced rather than renovated because of "structural obsolescence" and that "excess land" would allow new construction.  New FSF partner CPDC is described as a "... non-profit agency that purchases and revitalizes distressed low-income housing communities."  It has helped redevelop other regional properties including Island Walk, a 1970s Reston 102-unit limited-equity cooperative developed by the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority that suffered from poor design, inadequate funding, deferred maintenance, and significant deterioration. 

FSF and then-partner Novus Residences LLC originally said they could replace only 140 of 240 (114 subsidized) affordable senior units because of limited property value leverage, and because FSF/Novus hoped to build 285 new Lake Anne market value living units to generate revenues that would fund other FSF housing elsewhere.  In response, Fairfax County indicated it would not continue to offer Section 8 housing vouchers to residents.  FSF/Novus then said they would be forced to raise rents to cover increased operating expenses and loss of subsidy income.  In addition, FSF/Novus plans that included large mid-rise buildings covering most of the North Shore Dr. existing buildings site and an adjacent currently undeveloped Village Rd. site, with a large above-grade parking garage along Baron Cameron Ave., resulted in a number of negative comments during a March 2014 RA Design Review Board public working meeting.  The project has been on hold since late 2014.  More information is available on a previous HCA website post.


Several HCA Members requested a post about mailing services that recently returned to Lake Anne following closure more than a year ago of a long time Contract Postal Unit within the former Lake Anne Pharmacy.  Conveniently located within Chesapeake Chocolates, the new CPU just opened for business on February 1.  In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service reported that for every CPU opened it closed two, and profit margins are thin, so community support is critical to help CPUs generate enough revenue to make operation worthwhile.  But then again, not every CPU is located in a chocolate shop within a Modern Architecture historic district.


The Hollin Hills Civic Association recently announced its 2016 House and Garden Tour, usually held every other year.  Hickory Cluster Architect Charles M. Goodman FAIA designed 326 acres of Hollin Hills detached, single-family planned community homesites and homes in Alexandria, VA during the post-World War II building boom, years before his Reston, VA Hickory Cluster and Washington, DC River Park Mutual Homes multi-family projects.  Tour-goers can easily identify architectural elements common to Goodman Houses everywhere.  Hollin Hills is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, February 12, 2016


Summarized from the NOAA National Weather Service forecast Friday morning:  Snow possible today after 3:00 p.m., tonight, Saturday, Sunday night, Monday, and Monday night, with rain Monday night, Tuesday, and Tuesday night.  Below freezing temperatures with blustery wind chills as low as -8F Saturday night and gusts up to 40 mph.  From our snow removal contractor Friday morning:  " ... this evening we are expecting snow flurries/showers.  While the predicted amount of precipitation is negligible and plowing operations are not anticipated it is cold enough that whatever does fall will stick and potentially cause slick and icy conditions.  We ... will be making sand/salt/chemical applications to combat any slippery conditions as required."

Monday, February 8, 2016


UPDATE TUE FEB 9 AM ... Big, wet, heavy snowflakes have been falling since about midnight, but mostly melting on plazas and streets.  Cars are moving in and out freely.  No plowing necessary ... yet.  Block 2 photo caption time is one hour later than actual Daylight Savings Time.  And from our snow removal contractor this morning:  " ... As predicted temperatures never dropped below freezing overnight. ... and will reach a high of approximately 40F.  Currently I do not foresee the need for any snow and ice management services ... ."

From NOAA National Weather Service for Reston on Monday morning:  "Tonight, rain likely before 9:00 p.m., then rain and snow between 9:00 p.m. and midnight, then snow likely after midnight.  Low around 31F ... snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.  Tuesday, snow likely before 3:00 p.m. then rain and snow likely ... new snow accumulation of 1-3 inches possible.  ... A (40%) chance of snow showers before midnight Tuesday ... a (30%) chance of snow showers before noon Wednesday."

And from snow removal contractor Perfect Landscapes to HCA Directors also early Monday morning: " ... Temperatures are forecast to be above or right at freezing for much of the storm.  Since this storm will start as rain, pretreatment of roads will not be effective.  ... Our plan is to monitor the situation through the afternoon today (Monday) and overnight into Tuesday and dispatch snow plows when needed ... once snow reaches approximately 2 inches of accumulation on pavement.  ... (if) temperatures get cold enough we may make an application of our Simple and Safe mixed with a bit of sand on Tuesday evening. ... "

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


From Republic Services, formerly AAA Rainbow, this afternoon:  "Republic Services will be operating residential routes tomorrow, (Thursday) January 28. Please keep in mind that we may not be able to access all streets due to narrow or icy conditions. Also, please have residents place containers on a cleared surface accessible by our crews.  ... Recycling missed on ... Monday ... will be serviced the next scheduled recycling service day (next Monday).  ... all routes will be delayed in the coming days due to street conditions and large amounts of materials.  Thank you and we appreciate your patience and understanding."

Sunday, January 24, 2016


UPDATE SUN JAN 24 PM ... The contractor Bobcat track loader was onsite late Sunday and working hard until almost midnight.  Looks like all HCA roadways are now mostly clear, including the Blocks 2 and 3 traffic loops.  What remains are major plaza snow piles that may last weeks or months, and some snow rows in front of parked cars to shovel out tomorrow.  North Shore Drive and other major roadways are mostly clear except for some narrow or missing right lanes.  NWS official total snowfall at Lake Anne was 29.0 inches for this January 22-23 storm and was reported to be only the eighth snowiest.  The January 2010 record still stands at 40.8 inches, followed by the 1996 record at 32.0 inches. 
UPDATE SUN JAN 24 AM ... The contractor was unable to fully plow HCA roads during the blizzard yesterday and plowing is not now possible within the rowhouse area of Block 2.  Their plan is to bring in a track loader to dig out and relocate the roadway snow today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


About removing snow from Goodman House flat roofs:  The Washington Post published related information in a 2010 homeowner snow safety article recommending that homeowners not risk injury to themselves or their roofs by shoveling rooftop snow.  Members should also consult with Fairfax County building officials or licensed Professional Engineers for official information and professional opinions about snow loads and depth limits.  However, unofficial estimates based on public information including 2010 Fairfax County design loads of snow plus workers / equipment / supplies, and typical 10 percent minimum to 45 percent maximum water content densities, suggest that for dry light minimum density snow the depth limit is about 123 inches, for average density snow the depth limit is about 45 inches, and for wet heavy maximum density snow the depth limit is about 27 inches.
UPDATE SAT JAN 23 PM ... The storm is in full blizzard mode today and the roadways are full of snow again.  No plowing.  Snowfall stopped at about midnight.
UPDATE SAT JAN 23 AM ... Two snowplow passes performed late last night or early this morning.
UPDATE FRI JAN 22 PM ... Snowfall began at about noon.
UPDATE FRI JAN 22 AM from NOAA National Weather Service ... " ... Blizzard Warning remains in effect from 3:00 p.m. Friday through 6:00 a.m. Sunday  ... heavy snow and wind with blowing and drifting snow ...  whiteout conditions ... snow accumulation of more than 24 inches ... strong north winds 25-35 mph with gusts to 60 mph ... temperatures in mid-20F ... potential life threatening conditions expected ... travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm ... possibility of power outages ... ."  VDOT roadway plowing information is available online.  RA will clear RA and some pre-agreed County footpaths only.
UPDATE THU JAN 21 from the contractor ... " ... We have made sufficient preparations and are ready ... Our equipment and employees will be pushed to their limits and in some cases beyond. ... during the heaviest snow we will be working hard to keep at least one lane open in your neighborhood.  As the storm moves away from our area on Saturday evening we will begin the process of digging out.  It will most likely take until late Monday or possibly Tuesday before we are able to wrap up snow operations.  Throughout the storm we will be periodically updating you with current information ... During this time please be patient with us and understand that we are working as efficiently as we can considering the circumstances.  We will get through it with determination and everyone's cooperation and understanding."
Perfect Landscapes LLC, Ashburn, VA will provide 2016 HCA roadway snow removal, in addition to similar services for nearby Waterview Cluster and other Reston communities.  The contractor began storm preparations this week by placing curb and fire hydrant vertical reflector markers for typical late night operations to start after more than one inch of snow accumulation.


HCA sent residents a letter on December 10, 2015 announcing upcoming parking hang tag distribution and related enforcement starting February 1, 2016.  Unfortunately, this letter included the following instructions in error:  " ... If someone is parked in your assigned spot you will need to call Henry's Towing at 703 471-0010.  You will need to meet them at your reserved space and show proper ID. ...

Residents should disregard these specific instructions and must contact a Director or TWC to authorize towing a vehicle from HCA Common Areas, including assigned parking spaces, because only Directors and TWC have that authority, and because unauthorized towing could result in personal liability for damages.  Note also that parking hang tags dated as issued in 2015 will be valid until re-issued.  For complete parking rules, residents should refer to HCA General Resolution 1, Parking Regulations on this website or available in your home purchase Disclosure Documents package, and contact a Director or TWC for tags not yet received or other concerns.