Sunday, March 11, 2018

Winter 2018 Issue of Ripples

Landscape Committee

by Pete Hatfield

We should consider ourselves blessed that, so far, the winter of 2017-2018 has been kind to us in terms of contracted snow removal. Engaging the plows as part of our grounds contract can be an expensive undertaking, which we have avoided to date because the applied salt-hybrid road treatment seems to have worked well. The sub-freezing temperatures we have endured, however, are another matter!
We are also fortunate—given the major “wind event” we experienced recently—that we had extensive tree pruning done last fall, including removal of several dead trees. If that work had not been done, we almost certainly would have suffered many more limbs and even trees down.

Last December a new dogwood and two arborvitae were planted on the left side of the Lakespray hill, and the stumps of the junipers that had been cut down next to Triangle Park were removed. The common areas were mulched last month.

Upcoming landscape activities will include the installation of new path bollards, replacement of plantings at the entrance ruined by the path repaving, spring flower plantings, continued maintenance of common areas, and of course planning for landscaping around our new dock!

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

As we move from winter toward spring, we can breathe a sigh of relief that we have once again survived several months of unpredictable weather, ranging from extreme cold (and a little snow) to unexpected and almost balmy days (often within a day or so of each other!). We are especially fortunate that while many of our Northern Virginia neighbors suffered serious power outages caused by Winter Storm Riley, our underground utilities protected us from such inconvenience and possible expense.

This issue of Ripples, Lakeport’s community newsletter, contains a great deal of important and useful information to keep you informed about both Lakeport and the broader Reston area in which we live. I urge you to read these articles and to consider ways that you can contribute to helping Lakeport (and Reston) continue to be the wonderful community that drew us to live here.

 As always, we welcome your comments and responses (

Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

C:\Users\Mary Sapp\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\Snow.jpgA lot has been going on since my last Ripples letter in November. The big news of course is the new community dock. We’re very happy to have a signed contract, and the permit process is underway. Read the article on “Update on New Community Dock” in this issue of Ripples for more details.

A second major project will be scheduled immediately after the dock is completed. Owners are asked to approve expenditures of up to $21,000 for new lighting during a Special Meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 12, at Reston Association Headquarters Conference Center, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive (check-in starts at 6:30) and to submit the proxy (included in the February 22 and 27 emails to the community). As you know, our current bollards have been vandalized several times in the last year and are in need of replacement. A contractor has been identified to replace the 11 existing bollards and to improve lighting along the section of the RA path from the entrance down to the lake. The new bollards will have LED lights to minimize maintenance and are advertised as vandal-resistant. See the article on “Proposal for New Lighting” for details.

Another dock-related project that will start in conjunction with the completion of the dock relates to new landscaping and shoreline restoration. Because the new dock will be shorter than the current one, eight feet of shoreline will be exposed when the old dock is removed. That area and the adjacent shoreline between it and where the path turns up the hill will be landscaped immediately after the dock is completed. Presently the west end is suffering erosion from runoff because the uphill leg of the Lake Thoreau Loop Trail’s impervious surface channels rain water and concentrates the runoff at the edge of the dock. The slight reduction in length of the dock will allow for landscape remediation, including shoreline re-establishment and reinforcement with coir logs, medium-large boulders, a small swale, and runoff-resistant ground cover. The shore line will be blended with the new dock edge using soil obtained during the dock construction. The coir logs, which will biodegrade within a few years, will provide a stable, lap-resistant shore edge in the emergent/wet meadow zone until natural grasses to take root. In the shrub zone (above water line), juniper and itea will serve as ground cover. A half-dozen boulders will provide stability and esthetic contrast to the rectilinear dock shapes.

The Board has also been entertaining suggestions for changes to Lakeport standards. If you have not already submitted your responses to the survey about requested changes to roofs, front doors, and screen doors found at, please do so. We’ll also be soliciting feedback on these requested changes at the March 12 Special Meeting. In addition, at the suggestion of RA, we have prepared a new version of the siding standard that combines Lakeport’s two existing siding standards. The new proposal does not change any content but is intended to reduce confusion arising from having two different (and on at least one issue contradictory) documents that pertain to siding. See the article from the “Design Standards Committee” for more information about both of these proposals.

The large net income for 2017 that was projected last September allowed the Board to address several deferred maintenance issues, including new light bulbs, ballasts, and photocells, which should help reduce monthly electric bills, as well as the installation of new plants (two arborvitae and a dogwood) and the removal of stumps from old junipers cut back during Lakeport’s community work day last fall (Schipka [“skip”] laurels will be planted there this spring). See the “Landscaping Committee” and “2017 Financial Report” articles for more details.

Finally, although your Board, committees, and neighbors (see the “Thanks to Volunteers” article) have obviously been doing a lot within Lakeport, we’ve also been working on building relationships with the broader community. RA Board member Julie Bitzer attended the Board’s January meeting and shared news on RA’s response to proposals for increasing density within Reston (including the possibility of high-density housing where South Lakes Village is currently located), as well as other news from the RA Board. Board member Kevin Burke will be monitoring discussions relating to density on behalf of Lakeport and will provide ongoing announcements and Ripples articles to keep residents up to date on this issue. See his inaugural article on “The Density of Reston.” In addition, three Board members met with the president of Chevy Chase Land Company, which manages South Lakes Village, and two consultants from Kimley-Horn to discuss South Lakes Village. We shared our concerns about the possible redevelopment of South Lakes Village, noise, trash, vandalism, and new landscaping, and they asked us for suggestions on activities that could help South Lakes Village build a sense of community. We were particularly happy to hear that Chevy Chase has no plans for additional development there and that they consider South Lakes Village to be a successful enterprise. See the article on “South Lakes Village” to learn more.

I’m sure we’re all happy to start putting the cold weather and recent windstorm behind us and are looking forward to the beauty of spring, which is just around the corner!

Update on New Community Dock

By Paul Renard

Good news–Lakeport’s new dock is on the way!

Thanks to a great deal of work by Mary Sapp, Jonathan Hammer, Mary Ann Hoadley, Erin Cloney, Wayne Young, and a host of others in the community, we have recently signed a contract with VA Class A Contracting, Inc., for a dock replacement and repair of the nearby bulkhead. Although this has been a long haul, community involvement and input have produced a design and engineering specifications that should be very useful to us and stand up to lots of usage over time—including a floating dock section that will make launching small boats easier and safer. Building time will be about 70 days from inception with a planned start about 5 days after all permits are obtained, and we can expect some disruption to parking near Triangle Park and construction noise between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. weekends. All approvals from Reston Association are in place, funding has been approved by owners at the Annual Meeting, and the design has been publicized and reviewed by our engineer. So we’re ready to get started!

At the same time, we’re planning to fix the decaying bulkhead near the short leg of the dock on the Safeway side, replace the often vandalized light bollards, and deal with shoreline stabilization, erosion mitigation, and new landscaping at the other end of the dock. When the entire project is finished, RA will repave the path by the dock, which will most likely have seen some further deterioration from the construction activities.

Board member Paul Renard, working with a small dock-focused team including Jonathan and Erin, will be the point of contact with  the contractor. If you have questions or issues during construction, please contact Paul at Doing a project of this size is going to disrupt the neighborhood in a lot of ways–noise, dust, parking, closed path, moved or damaged plantings, etc. We ask for your patience because at the end, we will have a beautiful and much more usable dock with decades of life ahead, better lighting along the RA path, and a newly landscaped focal point next to the dock for the community to enjoy.