Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summer 2018 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp
Message from Lakeport President – Mary Sapp
Update on New Community Dock – Paul Renard
Landscape Committee
Design Standards Committee
Social Committee – Liz Blankespoor
Neighborhood Watch Update – Chuck Foster
Lakeport Book Club – Linda Rosenberg and Barbara Khan
The Density of Reston – Kevin Burke
South Lakes Village Plaza Update
Alerts and Friendly Reminders
Thanks to Volunteers
Lakeport Board and Committees
Ripples Recipe – Steven Browning

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Summer is here and the temperature is heating up! And so are activities around Lakeport Cluster, as you will see in many of the articles in this issue of Ripples!

Construction of the new community dock is finally underway after seemingly interminable delays with permitting, the dredging of Lake Thoreau is almost complete, and new lighting will be installed as soon as the dock is done (including restoring power to several streetlights that had to be disconnected for the dock work). In addition, tree trimming and other landscaping are ongoing, and several of our residents have replaced their siding or roofs, with others making various repairs to their homes, both outside and within. All in all, Lakeport Cluster will enter the fall (which I’m sure we will all welcome by the time it gets here!) in great shape.

Enjoy reading more about the above items, plus a number of others (including a great salsa recipe for your outdoor gatherings this summer and beyond), below.

As always, we welcome your comments and responses (

Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

C:\Users\Mary Sapp\Dropbox\Personal\Lakeport\Ripples\2018 Summer\Photos\Peony.jpgThe Board is happy to report that work on the dock is finally underway and completion is planned for August! The process up to this point turned into a saga, with the most recent chapter being the long period of time to obtain our permit. For more information, read the article by Board member Paul Renard, who has been doing a wonderful job coordinating this project, even visiting the permit office a couple of times himself. Paul’s article also mentions a couple of work projects related to the dock. Please consider volunteering—you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’ve contributed to improving this focal point of our community.

Several other projects to improve the attractiveness of Lakeport are being coordinated with the dock project. After the dock is completed, new lighting will be installed along the Reston Association walking path. Owners voted at a special March meeting to approve an expenditure of up to $21,000 to replace Lakeport’s 11 old bollards (three of which have been destroyed by vandals) and to add a twelfth bollard and another smaller light to improve lighting along the section of the RA path from the entrance down to the lake between 1923 Lakeport Way and 1925 Lakeport Way. The new bollards will have LED lights to minimize maintenance and will be more vandal-resistant than our old ones.

In addition, Reston Association will repave the section of their walking path that goes by the dock, which will complete the new paving of the RA path through Lakeport.

A third dock-related project is shoreline restoration and landscaping just to the west of where the new dock will be built. We need volunteers to help install bio-logs and related plants there to retain the shoreline, but we’ll leave the rest of the work to a landscaper. Once the dock work is done a landscaper will also be installing new plants in the landscaped areas adjacent to the dock that will be damaged by the excavator used for pile-driving. See the article on landscaping for more information about these two projects, other landscaping efforts, and information on how to get an estimate for trimming your own trees at a cost savings. A special thanks to Pete Hatfield for his work chairing the Landscape Committee this past year and to Karen Cook, who has agreed to chair the committee going forward. See the “Thanking Volunteers” article for a list of other volunteers who have helped enhance our landscaping and made other contributions to improve Lakeport.

Under the leadership of chair Kelly Driscoll, Lakeport’s Standards Committee  surveyed owners about possible changes to design guidelines, and then, based on the survey results, updated several Lakeport standards. A new Lakeport standard for roofs and a revised siding standard combining Lakeport’s two previous siding standards have already been approved by RA’s Design Review (DRB), and a new standard for front doors is pending review by the DRB at its July 10 meeting.

Other committees continue to add to the quality of life here. See the request from Liz Blankespoor, chair of Social Committee, for a host for the next TGIF (and photos of your neighbors—and a pig!—having a great time at the last one to show you why you should attend). Chuck Foster has advice on how to deal with crime in his Neighborhood Watch article, and Kevin Burke has written his second installment in his series on Density in Reston. Finally check out our list of alerts and reminders: everything from direct debit to one-lane bridge etiquette to swimming (or not).

I close with a thanks to MaryAnn Hoadley for her time on the Lakeport Board—we will miss her! We are fortunate that Alison Yeloushan, a new resident on Lakespray, has agreed to join the Board—you can learn more about her in the Board and Committees article.

Dock Construction Underway!

By Paul Renard, Dock Oversight Coordinator

The old dock is down, and a visit there will show you a long safety fence and a pile of old lumber. We’re getting ready for the next phase of construction when our contractor, VA Class A, will bring in heavy machinery to pull the existing piles and drive new ones. In the meantime, a great deal of planning and staging is necessary to get all the materials in place at the right time. The current plan for pile driving is near the 4th of July, with substantive completion of the dock and new outdoor lighting around August 8. Afterward, some minor punch list items will likely have to be corrected (as with any large project), plus a few bureaucratic hoops to jump through are inevitable before we get Fairfax County’s final sign-off on the project.

The need for separate contractors to handle both electrical work on the new bollards and landscaping means that juggling the integrated master schedule for the project is a little complicated. VA Class A has provided the main schedule and we’ve been working to include all the other activities that will complete the full project.

In that regard, our Cluster Association has plenty of work we will do ourselves around the dock to reduce the cost of the project: re-planting some plants that we rescued from the area that will be disturbed by the dock construction; installing bio-logs along part of the shoreline near the dock to prevent erosion; and placing plants in the disturbed area near the new floating dock section and near the restored bulkhead at the other end. We will need your help and will be sending more communications with specific dates and times for community action.

Finally, as you may have noticed, we have marked off three parking spaces near Triangle Park. Once we get farther into the project, we will mark off two more for a total of five. However, and this is very important, when VA Class A brings in and removes its excavator, that entire parking lot will need to be clear for the two days on either side of those moves. We’ll give you plenty of warning, but it will be necessary NOT to ignore the cones and tape closing that lot for those time spans. We realize that this may be an inconvenience for some residents, but in a small community like Lakeport, access to the dock is extremely limited, and failure to honor the reserved spaces will significantly hinder the construction of our new dock.

If you have questions about the dock or any part of the project, or would like to volunteer in some capacity, please contact Paul Renard at

Landscape Committee

C:\Users\Mary Sapp\Dropbox\Personal\Lakeport\Ripples\2018 Summer\Photos\Entrance 2.jpgThis month marks a transition in the leadership of the Landscape Committee. Pete Hatfield has just completed a year as chair, and we are grateful for his work with all of the projects going on during that time. We also appreciate Karen Cook’s willingness to take over at this point. Although the “big project” this coming year will be the landscaping and shoreline restoration next to the new dock, other landscaping projects are also in the works.

In July SavATree will remove two large dead white pines to the east of the entrance to Lakeport along Sunrise Valley Drive and trim branches from 13 other trees on common property. There is still time to contact Brian Kayhart to get a quote for your own tree work (at a lower cost since your work would be done in conjunction with the work on common property). If you are interested, send an email right away to or call Brian at (703) 709-0007 with the following information: your name, address, phone number, email address, the location and description of the tree(s), and the type of work (e.g., trim, treat, or remove) for which you would like to receive a quote. Note that you do not have to meet with Brian if you send a clear description of the tree(s) needing work.

The new dock will expose around eight feet of shoreline that will need to be restored. After consulting with Reston Association (RA), we decided to install bio-logs to build up and retain that section of shoreline and then extend them around the nearby point of land (a total of 80 feet of shoreline, with a double stack of logs). RA is graciously donating the bio-logs and will lend us waders, but we need volunteers to help install the logs and to plant native water plants in them to hold the shoreline in place after the logs disintegrate in a few years (see for more information about bio-logs). Once the dock construction is completed, a landscaper will remove existing plants to the west of the dock (Reston considers the decorative grasses to be invasive); re-grade the area; install decorative boulders, new native landscaping, and mulch; and address storm-water runoff from the RA path.

It is expected that the excavator that will be required to drive the pilings for the new dock will encroach on nearby landscaped areas, damaging the plants that are there. Volunteers (Pete Hatfield, Kevin Dandy, Jonathan Hammer, and Kay Quam) have already moved some of the existing plants, but we’ve decided to relocate some additional plants as well (and soon). Please contact Karen Cook ( if you would be willing to help in that effort (or join the Landscape Committee). After the work is done, a landscaper will install new plants to restore the landscaped areas.

You may have noticed that the hedge of Japanese hollies near the Safeway brick wall has not been looking good. Unfortunately the hollies have been diagnosed with Botryosphaeria canker. Volunteers have periodically pruned away infected branches, but it’s turning into a losing battle. The Landscape Committee obtained a proposal to remove the hollies, grade the area (which will remove some of the infected soil and also mitigate runoff of mulch across the street into driveways), and replace the mulch. The plan is to let the area lie fallow for a year and then add new plants in fall 2019. The committee is also investigating possible options for mitigating storm-water runoff down the hill between 1952 and 1954 Lakeport Way.

New liriope were recently installed by volunteers (Pete Hatfield, Gil Blankespoor, Terrill Evon, Paul Yeloushan, and Stephen Sapp) by the entrance and next to the wood fence leading down to the South Lakes Village dock to replace those killed when RA repaved the path last fall (with the cost reimbursed by RA ☺). RA also plans to remove leftover gravel and sod next to the section of the path that goes through Triangle Park. Watering for the new sod and the new plants from this year and last fall is also being handled by Lakeport volunteers (Don Nagley, Gail Pitches, Gil Blankespoor, Stephen Sapp, Lola Miller, and Phong Nguyen).

Earlier this month Karen Cook and a couple of other Lakeport residents participated in a walk-through with Blade Runners, our landscape maintenance contractor, to discuss areas that would benefit from additional weeding and trimming and to clarify the mowing schedule (every 7-10 days, depending on rain), as well as other landscape needs. Blade Runners’ response was positive, and we anticipate the walk-through will translate into improved maintenance.