Winter 2020 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

News from Outside Lakeport

Helpful Information

Reston Comprehensive Plan Under Review

By Kevin Burke

Walter Alcorn, the new member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors who represents Reston, is off to a quick start. At his first meeting, he asked the Board
 to begin a review of the Comprehensive Plan for Reston that controls future zoning decisions. The Board approved his resolution, which, according to Supervisor Alcorn, directs the County’s planning and zoning staff “to review key elements of [the Comprehensive Plan], including the balance of existing and planned development, infrastructure and the environment across all of Reston.”

Typically, such a staff review and community engagement process would take about a year to 18 months. The County will establish a community task force, conduct public meetings, and provide opportunities for community input. The task force will submit recommendations for amendments to the Comprehensive Plan for Reston to the Board for its consideration and potential action. The process has the potential to change significantly the future development of Reston.

Supervisor Alcorn is currently seeking nominations to serve on the task force. Task force members should live in Reston, and nominees should provide a résumé and a brief statement of interest outlining why they want to work on a group to review the plan. The deadline is Saturday, February 29, 2020.

The current governing document, which includes the zoning plan for transit station areas in Reston and the plan amendment for village centers and residential areas in Reston, is about five years old. Supervisor Alcorn noted that in that period, the Board has approved more than 30 re-zonings, including millions of square feet of development in the areas adjoining or proximate to Reston’s Metro stations.

Supervisor Alcorn’s proposal would authorize a plan amendment for Reston that focuses on the following:

  • The appropriate balance of population, infrastructure, and the environment in Reston
  • The type of land-use development now allowed in the village centers (including our neighbor, the South Lakes Village Center) and under what conditions developers need to return to the Board for approval of any deviation from the comprehensive plan
  • The adequacy of the comprehensive plan to generate additional affordable housing and to preserve and enhance existing affordable housing
  • The appropriate encouragement of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for accessing Metro stations
  • The effectiveness of the comprehensive plan to support urban-scale mobility and development design while protecting the stability of nearby neighborhoods
  • The alignment of transportation improvements with planned development
  • The enhancement of Reston’s natural environment, energy efficiency, and sustainable green neighborhoods
  • The encouragement of diverse ownership options
  • The examination of whether promoting privately owned and managed open space addresses the public needs of Reston residents.


Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact


BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President - Mary Sapp

Vice President - Paul Renard
Vice President - Kathy Powers
Secretary - Barbara Khan
Treasurer - Kevin Burke

Contact the board via email ID:  Board@lakeportcluster.org


What Residents and Board can Expect

COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan
Landscape Committee – Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement
Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster
Social Committee – Michelle Simoneau
Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll
Welcome Committee – Carol Leos


VOLUNTEERS

Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
Editor for Ripples, community newsletter – Stephen Sapp
Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer


SELECT COMMUNITY SERVICES

PORTFOLIO MANAGER: Alexandra "Ali" Long
Email: along@scs-management.com    
Direct: (703) 230-8725
Fax: (703) 266-2804
Mailing Address:  
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153  
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-2pm
Owner website: https://app.townsq.io/login 

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Image result for book club picturesWant to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature required (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades given. Just read the assigned book and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish, rotating among members’ homes.

Here are the spring selections:

Olive-Again-A-Novel-by-Elizabeth-Strout-2019-DigitalBook: Olive Again

Author:  Elizabeth Strout

Date: Monday, March 16, 7:00 p.m.

Place: Sandy’s house at 1977 Lakeport Way






The Fifth RiskBook: The Fifth Risk

Author:  Michael Lewis

Date: Monday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.

Place: Barbara’ house at 11125 Lakespray Way

Status of Construction Projects Near Lakeport

There are several construction projects near Lakeport that are nearing completion:

New sidewalk on Sunrise Valley Drive. The new sidewalk will be great for getting to the Metro station more easily, but as was pointed out in two announcements to the community, we need to increase our diligence turning into Lakeport from Sunrise Valley (especially going east when there’s a concern about being rear-ended by speeding cars behind us). So in addition to using your turn signal well in advance and slowing down in case you need to stop for pedestrians, we need to be aware that people may step into the entrance without looking for turning traffic. Several residents have already experienced this problem. We have learned from the County that they plan to paint two lines across our entrance area to mark a crosswalk, which hopefully will help increase awareness. They will also add a painted stop bar on the road at our exit, and we’ve asked for one to be added in the right-hand lane on Sunrise Valley Drive right before the entrance. A stop bar in that location will not only make it easier to get out during rush hour but also raise awareness of the entrance. In addition, we pointed out that the work crew had left a lot of dead branches and other debris, and they came shortly after our call to remove it so the area looks much nicer. Finally, we expressed our concern that the construction had cut roots in the easement area, which may cause some of the remaining trees to die, and they said they plan to send an arborist to identify any trees that are no longer viable so they can be removed.

We want to make you aware of another potential safety hazard as a result of the new sidewalk. The area at the entrance to Upper Lake Drive that leads to the pool, which is in a valley between the two hills, now floods, creating standing water after a heavy rain, which may turn into ice when it’s cold. So be sure to exercise extra caution when driving there in icy conditions. The County is aware of this problem, but  a storm drain for that spot was not included in the plans, and funds are not currently available to add one.

South Lakes Village. The renovation of the South Lakes Village mall area near the lake is in progress. The plan calls for completion this spring, including the addition of new seating. It will be nice to have our access on the Reston trail down the hill open again and a much more pleasant area to sit and enjoy the view.

Image result for image of dc metro car silver lineSilver Line Metro. The opening date for the extension of the Silver Line to connect Wiehle-Reston East Station with Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County keeps being pushed back. The latest estimates have service probably starting in 2021, although earlier is still possible. The rail yard, stations, and tracks will not be completed until the fall, but a problem with software will probably cause the biggest delay.

Report on Status of Lake Thoreau Pool

By Barbara Khan

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The first public meeting to report on issues relating to Lake Thoreau Pool and to obtain feedback about desired features was held on February 11. If you want to share your suggestions, either email the Board or keep your eyes open for an announcement about the next meeting. For more information, see https://www.reston.org/CapitalProjects/LakeThoreauPoolProject/tabid/1061/Default.aspx.

A representative from Kimley-Horn, the company retained to provide engineering and landscape architecture services, provided the following report about the current status and considerations for redesign of pool:
  1. Site/Elevation – 
    • The 20-foot drop in elevation in the pool area requires four levels and retaining walls.  
    • The pool is now in a Resource Protection Area (RPA), which means we can’t build any closer to the lake and can’t increase the impervious pool decking area by more than 10%.
    • The south side of the site has retaining walls that encroach on the private property of Winterport (the walkway to their boat dock). 
  2. Access concerns – 
    • The spa has steps to get to it, which is not good for ADA.
    • The building has narrow halls and many right-angle turns, which is also not good for ADA.
    • Access to the grassy area for lawn mowing is difficult, with no option except to walk equipment all the way through the pool area.
  3. Storm water/views -
    • Currently two paths exist for water to get from the pool area to the lake, and the new design needs to consider paths of water runoff to the lake.
    • Views of the lake and the amount of sun reaching the pool area need to be considered. Over the years, trees have grown so the view is obstructed and less sun shines on the pool.
  4. Utilities – 
    • The placement of existing electric transformers, drain inlets, and sanitary power easements must be considered.

After the presentation, the audience was split into five groups to make lists of features they would like for a new pool. Each participant was then asked to indicate his/her top three choices within the list the group developed. There was no review of all the teams’ comments so there was no voting across teams, and there were differences in opinions across teams. The following is a list of some of the suggestions:
  1. Be practical; don’t ask for too much or we may not get any pool.
  2. Leave the trees as they are; we don’t need a view and we like the shade.
  3. Make the children’s pool smaller; alternatively, eliminate the children’s pool.
  4. Take out the spa; make the spa more appealing.
  5. Incorporate art (like mosaics in the pool tiles)
  6. Install a smoothie machine so more teenagers are interested in coming to the pool.
  7. Add lights for night swimming.
  8. Heat the pool; don’t heat the pool.
  9. Eliminate the lawn because no one ever picnics there.
  10. Make sure to have plenty of lap lanes for swimming.


Neighborhood Watch Update

Image result for images for neighborhood watchBy Chuck Foster

This article offers two news items.

First, periodically a resident of the cluster will tell me he/she is uncomfortable calling the police because of uncertainty about what circumstances justify making a call. Fortunately, we have a recent example to consider: 

Last month, one of our residents was walking to the shopping center and observed a vehicle parked in a cluster space with the engine running and the windows closed. A man was inside with the seat reclined. The temperature was in the low 40s. After returning from the shopping center, the resident again observed the vehicle in the same location and condition. The resident felt the situation was odd and started thinking about possibilities. Could the occupant be experiencing some kind of medical emergency? Is the occupant at risk of succumbing to carbon monoxide? While walking home, the resident was unsuccessful in being self-convinced that everything was okay. So, the resident called the police non-emergency number, described the situation, and asked if a welfare check was justified. The police agreed and sent a police officer and a medical unit to check on the vehicle’s occupant. Later on, the resident observed the units leaving the cluster with the vehicle remaining in the same location. The resident did not inquire about the outcome of the event.

If faced with similar circumstances, would you have made the same call? In this case, the resident likely used a combination of analysis, intuition, compassion, caution, and conscience to make a quick decision. Every situation is unique, and every person is unique; so the call/no-call decision is necessarily case-by-case. When you consider that the police department and the fire department are “public safety agencies,” one could make a strong case that this resident’s call was the right thing to do.

Second, the Virginia State Police recently published the comprehensive annual report titled “Crime in Virginia 2018.” The 502-page report can be found on the website of the Fairfax County Police Department under the link labeled “Crime Statistics.” The report is fascinating if you are a crime-stats geek. What follows are just a few of the tidbits I found particularly interesting:

  • Crime declined in 2018 versus 2017 in 16 of the 23 most serious categories of offenses (“Group A” offenses). The seven categories that showed increases were kidnapping/abduction, sex offenses, aggravated assault, extortion/blackmail, motor vehicle theft, drug offenses, and pornography/obscene material.
  • A substantial majority of the victims of rape, aggravated assault, and kidnapping/abduction knew the offender (e.g., spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, family member, neighbor, or acquaintance).
  • The highest percentage of offenders committing robbery were between the ages of 18 and 34. The highest percentage of the victims of robbery were over the age of 34. 
  • The primary entry point for residential burglaries was a door or window. The primary form of “security” was a lock. The entry point was evenly divided between the front and rear of the dwelling. The highest percentage of burglaries occurred between noon and 6pm and on Mondays and Fridays.
  • The highest percentage of larcenies was shoplifting and theft from a motor vehicle, with most of those occurring on Mondays and Fridays.
  • Motor vehicle theft was primarily from residential property with occurrences concentrated between 6:00 p.m. and midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.         
  • Assault on law enforcement totaled 1,452 incidents. The majority of incidents were between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • In Fairfax County, the top five reported crimes by known category were simple assault, destruction of property, shoplifting, drug offenses, and larceny.     
  • Of the 37,102 of Group A offenses reported to the Fairfax County Police Department, 13,027, or 35%, resulted in an arrest. Juvenile arrests represented 2,146, or 16%, of the 13,027. Shoplifting and destruction of property had relatively low arrest percentages. Drug offenses had a relatively high arrest percentage.

     

Reminders

Related imageSnow shoveling: Please be aware that the sidewalk near your home is your responsibility to shovel, but we encourage everyone to help their neighbors whenever possible. And please remember to be cautious while walking (or driving) on snow/ice.

A suggestion to improve lighting in Lakeport: A well-lit community is one of the most basic measures we can take to ensure the safety of our residents and the security of our property. One way to further the goal of safe lighting is for residents to leave their lights on at night, especially those in end units with short post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community.

Regular trash collection: If your trash or recycling is not picked up by 2:00 p.m. on a scheduled collection day, please call ADS at 703-388-0500 (also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin if you forget the number).

Dog Waste: If you see a dog walker who fails to pick up the dog’s waste, please remind the person that doggie bags are available at two stations on the walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: Please consider paying your quarterly assessments by direct debit through your bank instead of sending a check or paying online (which incurs an extra fee). If you decide to switch to automatic debit, it means that you never have to worry about incurring late fees because you forgot to make the payment (currently $25 plus the charge from SCS for sending the letter). Alternatively you could pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2020). Either way, you save the Board time spent reminding people who haven’t paid shortly before the late fee would be incurred, as well as extra costs to the Association for processing and mailing quarterly statements (last year we paid around $600 to have statements sent to owners who had not prepaid or set up direct debit). You can cancel the arrangement at any time. To take advantage of this convenient way to pay your Lakeport assessment fees, follow the instructions for filling out and mailing the form at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1U_9xgrDVzZlOBoUG04XT2vlxmWa99C6q/view.

Questions for the Management Company: If you have a question about inspections, we ask that you start with the Lakeport Board (board@lakeportcluster.org) because we are apt to be more aware of your property, and it saves a $10 charge for each phone call or email related to inspections. For questions about quarterly assessments or other questions for Select Community Services (SCS), contact Lakeport’s portfolio manager Ali Long at along@scs-management.com.

Update Your Contact Information: Please go to the Lakeport Directory (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1t3bYAGlA-u_NdjY2DxIbxm_nQqBBCX28/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, or if you need the password, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please also ask them to fill out the form. Remember that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.


Ripples Recipe – Jo’s Sweet Potatoes

Image result for sweet potato imagesBy Jo Leir

(Editor’s Note: This recipe is from Jo Leir, who recently moved from Lakeport to Ashby Ponds).

Jo’s Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (select those with orange or red skin, preferably Garnet or Diane), unpeeled and pricked lightly with a fork
  • Salt and pepper

Method
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400o F. While the oven preheats, place potatoes on a large plate and microwave for nine minutes, turning every three minutes. Set a wire rack on an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, place potatoes on rack, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. They will be done when lightly browned and soft to the touch. Slit open and serve with your favorite toppings.


Social Activities

We have a new Social Committee Chair, Michelle Simoneau. Please show her your thanks and support her efforts by coming to these Lakeport social events already planned for this year (and any others we announce!):

  • Our community-wide dock party later this spring will be a great opportunity to gather and celebrate Lakeport and what makes us a Community of the Year. As in the past, it will be a potluck gathering at the dock.
  • Hosts for TGIFs are already lined up for this spring, summer, and fall (see photos that show what you missed at the December TGIF).
  • Kids (and adults as well) will want to attend the popular Lakeport Easter Egg Hunt the weekend before Easter (Saturday, April 4). More details will follow. 
  • Also consider joining Lakeport’s Book Club, which has a dedicated group of members who meet monthly to discuss a book on interest. See the separate article for the next two books and dates. 

Be sure to keep your eyes open for announcements with more information about all of these events. They are not only an enjoyable way to spend your time but also a great way to meet your neighbors.



Thanks to Volunteers

C:\Users\msapp\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache\Content.MSO\A7098EC7.tmpPlease take time to thank your neighbors for their efforts to make Lakeport a better place for all of us to live. If you want to volunteer, let the Board or a committee chair know—it’s a great way to get to know people and contribute to your community.

Landscape Projects
  • Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement for agreeing to serve as co-chairs of the Landscape Committee
  • Carol Leos for serving as Landscape Chair for the last year and a half
  • Marilyn Bursch for alerting us to the possibility of receiving a grant from the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District that will pay for 75% of two projects to mitigate storm-water runoff and for her offer to maintain the rain garden that will be installed this spring. 

Standards
  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee (new standards for decks and house numbers approved by RA’s Design Review Board; garage standard drafted)
  • Kathy Powers, Andrew Powers, Paul Renard, and Stephen Sapp – volunteers who installed nine house numbers so homes would be compliant with the new standard, and a half dozen other owners who installed their own numbers
  • Barbara Khan – purchasing house numbers on behalf of 13 owners

Social
  • Michelle Simoneau – for agreeing to become the new chair of the Social Committee 
  • Diane Zoukis – for serving as Social Committee Chair last year
  • Mary and Stephen Sapp – for hosting Winter TGIF

Maintenance
  • Annabelle Hammer, Jonathan Hammer, and Paul Renard – for keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – for restocking doggie-bag stations
  • Kevin Burke – for purchasing replacement doggie bags

Other 
  • Chuck Foster – for chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee 
  • Barbara Khan – for redesigning the web site and monitoring the status of Lake Thoreau pool
  • Kevin Burke – for monitoring density issues
  • Barbara Khan – for coordinating the Lakeport Book Club
  • James Pan – for chairing the Disaster Preparedness Committee
  • Carol Leos – for welcoming new residents
  • Tom Barnett – for a major revamping of the Lakeport website, maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements, and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – for continuing as editor of Ripples


Winter Maintenance Checklist

Important note: If you are addressing issues with the exterior of your home, please consult the Lakeport Standards and remember that you may have to seek approval from the Reston Association’s Design Review Board.

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways. This checklist is designed with Lakeport homes in mind. The Board has been building a checklist with suggestions that will reduce major repairs in the future. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.

Most maintenance in the winter involves minimizing the snow and ice around the home. It is also important to make sure home heating equipment is functioning properly.

Outdoor Checklist
  • Snow and ice removal – Clear snow or ice from your driveway and walkway and the Lakeport walkway in front of your home (if applicable). Consider de-icing the driveway using pet- and environment-friendly products available at home improvement stores. Shovel decks to avoid water leakage into the house.
  • Ice that accumulates in gutters and downspouts can be harmful to the heat retention of the house and can allow water to enter the home. Where possible, and when it can be accomplished safely, remove icicles from gutters and downspouts.

Indoor Checklist
  • In past winters several Lakeport residents have had to deal with burst water pipes as a result of freezing temperatures. If you have pipes that are vulnerable, you should take steps to avoid broken pipes and potentially costly damage and repairs. It is also a good idea to arrange with a neighbor to have access to each other’s homes in case one or the other of you is out of town when this (or some other emergency) arises.
  • Turn off outdoor water spigots from inside the house while leaving the spigot open (to drain the line). The valve is usually in a storage area near the hot water heater or utility tub or in the storage area on the lower level.
  • If you have disaster preparedness kits, check expiration dates and batteries. If you don’t have one, consider assembling emergency preparedness items, including for your car in case you are stranded in a snowstorm. See Disaster Preparedness Plan at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/disaster-preparedness-plan.html for more information.


Lakeport Designated 2019 Community of the Year Award

At the suggestion of our management company SCS, the Board submitted an application to the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI) to be considered for their 2019 “Community Association of the Year” in the small community association category. We were notified in December that we had won, attended a WMCCAI conference in January where winners were announced, and then participated in the WMCCAI Conference and Expo in DC, which drew over 2000 participants. Board member Paul Renard was a member of a “Best Practices” panel at the WMCCAI Expo in February. An article about Lakeport will be included in the March edition of the chapter’s monthly magazine, and a February edition of RA News also mentioned the award.

It’s gratifying to win recognition for our community, especially because the CAI judges informed us that the applications were much stronger this year than they have been in the past. This award not only affirms our opinion that Lakeport is a special place to live, but we’ve been told that it will also help increase home values. We’ve benefited in other ways as well. Along with picking up ideas at the CAI conferences and meetings and being more introspective about what seems to be working and why, the Board has used CAI resources to develop a Code of Ethics (https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/code-of-ethics.html), a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/rights-and-responsibilities-for-better.html), and a list of good financial practices for us to follow. A special thanks to SCS for suggesting that we apply and for paying the required CAI membership for the year.

We thought you might be interested in seeing the essay we submitted, which reflects what Board members thought was important in making Lakeport an award-winning community.

Lakeport Cluster Association

Lakeport Cluster in Reston, Virginia, is home to a wonderful group of community-conscious and caring people of all ages and backgrounds who enjoy its natural environment and constructed amenities and have banded together to achieve important goals. Your first impression is of mature trees shading quiet streets, a stunning vista across Lake Thoreau, and flowering bushes and plants wherever you look.  We have made this a friendly and attractive community of 82 townhomes by using our lake and landscape to create inviting gathering spots, and one of Reston’s walking paths winds through our community, encouraging residents and others to exercise, walk their dogs, admire Lake Thoreau from benches on our dock, and stop to chat.

Lakeport encourages involvement at all levels: active committees, community-enhancing projects, and civic activism via engagement with Reston Association to improve our surroundings and the broader community and with local officials on urban planning and redevelopment. When we need something, the community responds—be it shoreline restoration, an Easter Egg Hunt or welcoming Halloween firepits for trick-or-treaters, Neighborhood Watch, a movie night promoting the history of Reston, and even anonymous donations for charities and amenities that are beyond our budget.

Recently, when faced with a 130’ lakeside dock that needed replacement, dozens of residents discussed how to use our Reserve Funds and attended meetings to review the likely uses of the dock, its aesthetics, and its engineering foundation.  Cluster homeowners developed the final design, contracted the work to a builder, supervised quality control, and performed innumerable subprojects to improve the dock while staying under budget.  The result is a beautiful facility that will last.

Soon we will repave our roads and parking areas, and volunteers with experience in asphalt contracting and project management have come forward. This is not an isolated example.  We are a collection of people with a wide range of talents—technical, administrative, horticultural, etc.—and with the willingness to work hard for the common good of Lakeport via committees, other ongoing responsibilities (from maintaining Lakeport’s web page to cleaning goose poop off the dock), and ad hoc projects.

Lakeport’s Board, which meets monthly, assists owners by identifying areas needing maintenance through annual home inspections, revising standards to simplify repairs, and developing online resources (quarterly home checklists, expected home element lifespans, disaster preparedness guides, aging-in-place resources, and safety tips). The quarterly e-newsletter, regular community announcements, and timely responses to emails address other issues.

Life in Lakeport, however, is not all work.  There are many group and individual activities to have fun, meet our neighbors, and discuss topics of interest.  From our Book Club, to owners focused on supporting our local high school with scholarships, to TGIF get-togethers that rotate through homes, to outdoor parties, to a lake-beautification partnership with the art department at South Lakes High School, our residents understand the importance of “Play” in Reston’s motto:  Live, Work, Play.

Lakeport is a great place to live because of its good neighbors and beautiful scenery—truly one of the best communities in America. 

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

Yes, this is the Winter issue of Ripples, and no, this picture is not a photo taken last spring that I pulled from the archives! One of the challenges of publishing Ripples four times a year is finding current “seasonal” photos to illustrate the articles and to show our community at its best. Although this is the “winter” issue being published in late February and I would normally take advantage of a winter snowstorm to include a snowy scene, I couldn’t resist using this photo I took on February 17. Granted, it is not what one would typically expect to see as an illustration of winter, but I hope you enjoy this (very) early harbinger of spring!

If you see a particularly photogenic scene (a great snowscape, for example, or a wonderful fall display of color), please take a picture and e-mail it to me at ssapp@miami.edu, along with a simple statement of permission to use it in Ripples and/or on the Lakeport web site. I am also happy to receive any feedback or suggestions you have for our community newsletter.

Image result for images of caution signsI’m sure we are all pleased to see the new sidewalk on our side of Sunrise Valley Drive, which makes walking along that busy street much safer and more enjoyable. With the improvement, however, has come a downside that I want to emphasize because most of us turn into Lakeport from Sunrise Valley: One of our
residents reinforced the need to watch for pedestrians crossing the entrance lane from Sunrise Valley Drive into Lakeport by writing, “I have twice had to catch myself as people simply walked right in front of me, assuming I would see them” (or, I will add as happened to us recently, not even bothering to glance back over their shoulder before starting to cross Lakeport Way). She went on to point out that it can be hard to see people at night, especially if they are wearing dark clothing. The Board is working with the sidewalk contractor and VDOT to address the problem, but please be careful.

Enjoy reading all of the informative and useful information in this edition of Ripples, and let me know if there is something you would like to see in the next one!

Landscape Enhancements

Our thanks to two residents who have volunteered to co-chair Lakeport’s Landscape Committee: Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement. We also appreciate the willingness of Carol Leos to fill this position for the past year and a half.

Normally late fall and winter are down times for landscaping, but we were able to accomplish quite a bit at the end of 2019.

Tree-trimming along Lakeport Way and up the Lakespray hill was the most obvious project. We rented a “crawler” and the Blade Runners crew to operate it for a day to save the cost of paying to have each tree trimmed separately. The crawler looks a bit like an over-sized spider but is effective at reaching tall branches. The crew also did trimming the old-fashioned way by climbing up into the trees using ropes. In addition to trimming branches that were dead or an impediment to trucks on Lakeport roads, a hazard tree that was deemed to be a threat to a nearby home was also removed.

We have started the process of planting replacement trees (with an emphasis on flowering trees when they are planted in the sun and on evergreens when trees are planted behind homes under existing trees so they can screen year-round). Two flowering native white fringe trees and two new American hollies were planted late last year, and native ferns were also put in to replace invasive English ivy removed earlier. In addition, river rock was added near the dock to enhance that area, and the retaining wall at the end of Lakespray, installed to block the view of Safeway, was repaired.

Lakeport has several areas that show the effects of storm-water runoff in terms of barren soil and runoff into Lake Thoreau. Thanks to owner Marilyn Bursch, who alerted the Board to the Conservation Assistance Program administered by the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, we applied and were approved in January for a grant that will pay three-quarters of the cost of a storm-water mitigation project to install a rain garden (which Marilyn has volunteered to maintain, a requirement of the grant) and conservation landscaping, all using native plants (another requirement of the grant).

This storm-water project will be one of two major 2020 projects to enhance landscaping in Lakeport. The other will be planting new landscaping, including an evergreen hedge, in the area next to the RA path leading from Triangle Park to South Lakes Village.

Blade Runners’ annual maintenance will begin soon. If you note any area that needs extra attention by Blade Runners when they are here, or if you have suggestions for landscaping improvements, please pass them on to the new committee co-chairs (their contact information is in the Lakeport Directory) or the Board.

Two Design Standards Approved and One Proposed

Reminder: Before you do any work on the exterior of your home be sure to check Lakeport Standards at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html. If Lakeport doesn’t have any relevant standards, you next need to check Reston Association Guidelines (https://www.reston.org/PropertyOwnerResources/DesignReview/DesignGuidelines/ClusterHousing/tabid/377/Default.aspx). The “Getting Started” document will walk you through the steps, including where to find the application form needed for a DRB application.

Updated versions of two of Lakeport’s Design Standards were recently approved by RA’s Design Review Board:
  1. A new standard for House Numbers, incorporating feedback from a survey sent to owners last summer and then vetted in a second survey sent to owners last fall, was approved on December 3.  See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Im6BhVzF0pw_td_gJqVrtQWufwmbwGTH/view. New numbers were installed on 15 homes to bring them into compliance with the new standard.
  2. Following a survey of owners in November, a new standard for decks was approved on February 4. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WKIpvhb9cG8CxPJjYREXQLWe5TVVsmu4/view.
In addition, the Board voted to modify the online Colors Summary (available on http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html) to remove the restriction that gutters and downspouts had to be an exact match to the trim color. Instead only a “close match” to the trim color is required. Although the summary doesn’t state this, please try to avoid a bright white color in future installations.

An owner recently brought to our attention the very strict color requirements in our current standard for Garage Doors. We have drafted the following version that no longer requires an exact match to the trim color. As is our custom, before submitting it to the DRB, we want to get feedback from owners. Please email the Lakeport Board at Board@lakeportcluster.org by March 13 with any concerns or suggestions.

Proposed Modifications to Lakeport Cluster Standard for 
Garage Doors

Lakeport Cluster would like to change the color requirement in the existing standard for garage doors that was last approved by the DRB in 2006 (see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jdk9ncHVnMGlQZDg/view).

Current language
Color - see Color Standard for more details
must match Trim Color

Problem
Owners are now purchasing doors that have factory-installed paint that is often in the same palette but not an exact match to the trim color specified for their homes.

Proposed solution
Rather than requiring owners to paint over the durable color already installed on the door, we would like to change the color requirement in the standard to say, “Must be a close match to the home’s trim color (see Lakeport Color Summary). If the color is not a close match, a DRB application must be submitted for Staff approval.”

Although the new standard would include this change to the requirement for colors, there are no changes in the requirements for type/design, size, and hardware.

On February 20, an announcement was sent to owners letting them know about the proposed new standard and requesting feedback. No objections were voiced by owners.

Lakeport Cluster Association Standards
Garage Doors 

Reston Association’s Design Review Board approved the following revision to Lakeport Cluster standards on XX, 2020.

Requirements

  1. Type/Design: 
    • Four-section roll-up
    • Flush design (no raised/recessed panels)
    • Wood grain texture – see photo 2
    • No windows
  2. Size: Width and height must match existing door frame
  3. Color:  Must be a close match to the home’s trim color (see Lakeport Color Summary). If the color is not a close match, a DRB application must be submitted for Staff approval. 
  4. Optional Hardware
    • Hardware is limited to a grip-handle, a twist-lock handle, and a key lock; and these must be horizontally centered and vertically positioned as in Photo 1. 
    • Gaskets/weather seals, if installed, must match the garage door or the trim color (see Lakeport Color Summary). 
    • A door opener remote keypad is permitted on either side of the frame.

Reston Association’s Design Review Board (DRB) Approval Requirements
Check Reston Association’s Cluster Property Guidelines (www.reston.org) for current requirements prior to commencing any exterior change!
A DRB application must be submitted and reviewed by Staff for any color that is not a close match to the home’s trim color (see Lakeport Color Summary) or if any other requirement is not met. A DRB application is not required if meeting this Lakeport Cluster Design Standard exactly.

Standard History

  • Original
    • Door color requirement only. Reston’s DRB approved varied replacements on a case-by-case basis, producing an inconsistent look within the Cluster. 
  • 10/10/2006
    • Added door size, type/design, and hardware details to maintain visual harmony within the Cluster. No pre-painted door of any manufacturer was pre-approved.
  • 10/20/2009
    • Updated format for standards continuity.
  • ??/??/2020
    • Updated to specify that the color of the garage door must be a close match to the home’s trim color. Otherwise, a DRB application must be submitted and the color must be approved by Staff. 










Message from the President of Lakeport Cluster

By Mary M. Sapp

The recent big news for Lakeport Cluster is our selection by the Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (WMCCAI) to be their 2019 “Community Association of the Year” (in the small community association category). In meeting with CAI judges we learned that although following good practices for managing a community is a necessary element in being selected as CAI’s Community of the Year, providing “correct answers” to all of the questions in their application related to governance, facility and financial management, and risk control was not sufficient to win. It turns out that CAI puts a lot of emphasis on effective two-way communications with owners and also on a sense of community, something we actively try to build. Please read the Ripples article on this award to see more about what sets Lakeport apart from other communities. This tribute affirms what we all already know about what a great place Lakeport is. According to CAI, this honor also has the added practical benefit of increasing our property values.

Although good governance isn’t sufficient to win, it is still vital to supporting a great community. The Board therefore has been spending a lot of time on various aspects of governance, including the recent adoption of a Code of Ethics and a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities for Lakeport owners and Board members (linked under the Management tab at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/), as well as approving guidelines related to finances.

We have also been very busy updating Lakeport Standards, with seven of Lakeport’s nine standards (plus an updated Color Summary) approved in the last two years, and one more (removing the requirement that garage doors be an exact match to the trim color) was recently sent to owners to review before being submitted to the DRB. Fortunately we don’t think the remaining two standards will need to be updated any time soon. The changes to these eight standards were all generated by requests from one or more owners and are intended to make it less onerous for us to repair homes and to allow us to take advantage of new technology.

This updated set of standards will be especially important for the next architectural inspections, which will be conducted next fall by RA inspectors instead of by SCS. These inspections probably won’t be quite as detailed as RA’s pre-sale inspection, but the RA inspectors will try to spot existing maintenance issues before they become larger and more expensive problems, and they will also check for conformity with Lakeport and RA standards. So now is a good time to review Lakeport’s Cluster Standards to make sure the features of your home follow them and to make a thorough check of the outside of your home and take care of any maintenance issues you find. More information on the 2020 inspections is available in the Ripples article on “Reston Association to Conduct Inspections Next Fall.” Feel free to contact the Board if you have a question or a concern.

By the way, while you’re checking Lakeport’s online cluster standards, be sure to notice the new organization of information on our web site. It is now much easier to find Design Standards and Related Resources as well as other documents you’re looking for (just click on the Documents tab at the top). Also check the list of resources on the Residents tab, including a Directory with contact information in case you need to get in touch with someone in Lakeport. A huge thank you goes to Board member Barbara Khan for developing the design and to our wonderful webmaster, Tom Barnett, who implemented it so quickly.

Landscape enhancements continued at the end of last year despite the cold weather. You can read the “Landscape Enhancements” article for a list of projects completed and planned. In addition to work to improve things within Lakeport, Board members have been monitoring developments outside Lakeport that impact us. Kevin Burke continues to follow issues relating to density, most recently the proposal by new Supervisor Walter Alcorn to review the RA Comprehensive Plan, and Barbara Khan attended the recent meeting to discuss the Lake Thoreau Pool. See articles on these topics as well as one on nearby construction (the Sunrise Valley sidewalk, South Lakes Village, and the Silver Line).

Let me close with activities involving residents. The “Social Activities” article summarizes some of our fun events; the “Neighborhood Watch” article is a report from a group of your neighbors who enhance our safety; and “Thanks to Volunteers” describes contributions that Lakeport residents are making that help us be a Community of the Year. Although many volunteers are listed (as usual), I want to give a special thanks to Michelle Simoneau, who has agreed to chair Lakeport’s Social Committee; Gail Pitches and Melanie Clement, who will co-chair our Landscape Committee; and Paul Renard (VP), Kathy Powers (VP), Kevin Burke (Treasurer), and Barbara Khan (Secretary) for the many hours they contribute at but mostly between Board meetings. 


Reston Association to Conduct Inspections Next Fall

Later this year, Reston Association, rather than SCS, will be performing inspections of Lakeport homes. Note that anything identified in this inspection would likely be caught during the required RA inspection when your home is sold, but passing this inspection now will not guarantee no additional issues will be identified at sale.

There will be several differences in the approach taken by RA and SCS:
  • Focus: We have requested that the primary focus of the RA inspection be on maintenance issues (which was the case with SCS), but RA will also be looking for conformance to Lakeport and RA design standards. In addition, RA-trained inspectors may notice things SCS wouldn’t notice and vice versa.
  • Timing: Inspections will take place in September and owners will have six months to remediate any issues that are identified prior to a re-inspection by RA the following spring. They use this timeline so owners can line up contractors over the winter months and schedule the work in the spring. 
  • Enforcement and extensions: Owners will be dealing with RA instead of the Board (we will not receive a list of violations and cannot give extensions, as we have done with SCS inspections). 

Because this will be a somewhat different process from the past, we recommend you take the following steps to avoid receiving a violation letter from Reston:
  1. Review the nine Lakeport Cluster standards at http://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/cluster-standards.html and make sure you are in compliance. Many of the changes to Lakeport Standards that have been made in the last two years mean that homes that otherwise would have been in violation (e.g., for missing house numbers, window replacements, or colors of garage doors, decks, or gutters) will now be compliant, but some Lakeport homes are still in violation of some of the revised standards. Note that gutters and downspouts will no longer need to be an exact match to the trim color, a recent change to avoid having a number of Lakeport homes non-compliant.
  2. We anticipate that the main non-compliance issue will be color; so be sure to check all of your colors to make sure they meet the requirements of the various standards. Lakeport’s Color Summary (available on the standards web page) is a helpful reference, but you’ll also need to check the roof, deck, window, and recently proposed garage-door standards separately for those colors. If you aren’t sure of the name of a paint color used on your home, compare the colors on the exterior of your home with the colors used on the other homes in your building. If they’re the same, you probably should be all right since the color palettes are set up so that all the homes in a given building are the same. 
  3. We have requested a copy of the checklist the RA inspectors will use to identify maintenance issues and will pass that on once we receive it so you can proactively fix what they will be looking for. 
If you have any questions about whether you are in compliance, please contact Lakeport’s Standards Committee Chair, Kelly Driscoll, at kmdriscoll@outlook.com or a Board member, realizing that you’ll receive a good faith opinion but the RA inspector may interpret things differently. Fortunately repairs in response to the SCS inspections over the last three years mean that a number of issues have been taken care of. And this year’s inspection will do even more to improve the appearance of Lakeport and our home values.


Fall 2019 Issue of Ripples


From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

News About Lakeport 



News from Outside Lakeport


Helpful Information





“Wishful Recycling”: Adjusting to the New Realities of Recycling


If you are a committed recycler like many of your neighbors here in Lakeport, you need to be aware that the nature of recycling has changed rather dramatically recently. You have already received notice of the major change, namely, that glass is no longer accepted by Fairfax County recyclers but now must be taken to designated collection points (we are fortunate to have a purple glass-only recycling container relatively nearby at Reston South Park and Ride, 2531 Reston Parkway, Herndon, roughly 10 minutes from Lakeport). It is important, however, to be aware of other restrictions that must be observed to avoid having an entire lot of recyclables consigned to the landfill. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 30 percent of material received in recycling pickup is actually trash.

Please read the following article carefully and put forth the extra effort that may be required to make what you put in your recycle bins each Friday usable instead of  merely “wishful recycling,” that is, placing items in the recycling bin because you think (or hope!) they will probably be recycled:
https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/adjusting-to-new-recycling-realities-5-ways-you-can-help-stop-wishful-recycling/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social#prettyPhoto

Here is one of the major takeaways from the article (#1 is one of the most difficult to follow for many people):

5 Ways to Adjust Your Recycling Habits
Wishful recycling actually harms the whole process described below, so here are five ways you can help:
  1. Only place empty, clean, dry, loose items in your bin
  2. Dump the Filthy Five! These five items should never be placed in your recycling bin:
    1. Plastic bags
    2. Shredded paper
    3. Tanglers (hoses/hangers/cords)
    4. Styrofoam containers
    5. Dirty diapers
  3. Purchase products made with high recycled content
  4. When in doubt, throw it out
  5. Make an effort to reduce the amount of waste you create — reuse what you can


American Disposal Services Holiday Schedule

Lakeport Board, Committees, and SCS Contact







  • Mary Sapp, President
  • Paul Renard, Vice President 
  • Kathy Powers, Vice President
  • Barbara Khan, Secretary
  • Kevin Burke, Treasurer








Committee Chairs
  • Disaster Preparedness Committee – James Pan
  • Landscape Committee – Carol Leos
  • Maintenance Committee – Paul Renard
  • Neighborhood Watch Committee – Chuck Foster
  • Social Committee – Diane Zoukis
  • Standards Committee – Kelly Driscoll
  • Welcome Committee – Carol Leos









Other Volunteers 
  • Book Club – Barbara Khan, Coordinator
  • Webmaster and Listserv Administrator – Tom Barnett
  • Editor of Ripples, our community newsletter – Stephen Sapp
  • Fill doggie-bag stations and keep community dock clean – Annabelle Hammer



Select Community Services (SCS)

Ali Long
Portfolio Manager
Alexandra Long <along@scs-management.com> 
Direct:  703-230-8725
Fax: 703-266-2804
Mailing Address:
PO Box 221350
Chantilly, VA  20153
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

Want to join some of your neighbors and talk about a good book? Lakeport has an informal book club that is always open to new members. No master’s degree in literature required, and no grades given. Just read the assigned book and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish, rotating among members’ homes.

Here is November’s selection:

Book: The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

Date: Monday, November 18, 7:00 PM

Place: Sandy’s house at 1977 Lakeport Way

Hours after the attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, all aircraft in the United States were grounded. Planes were told to land at the closest airports. For 36 planes, many of them jumbo jets, the airport at Gander, Newfoundland, was the closest; so those flights’ 7,000 passengers and crews became the guests of this town of 12,000 and the surrounding towns. What followed was nothing short of amazing.

Call Barbara Khan at 703-390-0506 or e-mail her at bskhan@att.net for further information.




Check Your Water Pressure Regulator

By Paul Renard

You may not know what a regulator valve is . . . but it’s important. All Lakeport houses have a pressure regulator valve somewhere near the main water cutoff valve inside your house. This steps down pressure from the outside water supply to a better level for home use. Recently, I discovered that ours was steadily leaking into a storage closet that we rarely visit, and we were fortunate to have the drip falling by chance into an open ice chest; so the damage was not too bad. However, the original metal valve body had cracked and was on the edge of rupturing when the plumber arrived, and we would have had serious flooding if it had been undetected for a little longer.

The normal lifetime for these valves is 15-20 years. If you haven’t checked yours for leakage, you may want to do so. The cost of replacement was $450 and took about an hour, which seems like a bargain compared to the cost of repairing flooded flooring and rugs. I’m going to order a few internet-enabled water alarms, too.




Fall Maintenance Checklist

Homes in Lakeport Cluster, which are now more than 30 years old, are unique in several ways and have special maintenance requirements. The Board has been building a checklist with suggestions that will reduce major repairs in the future. Your help in keeping this list current and relevant is essential. Please send suggestions to Board@LakeportCluster.org.

Outdoor Checklist 

  • Although the cluster’s landscaping contractor takes care of common areas, our own driveways, yards, and other areas are our responsibility. Residents should not dump what they collect into the wooded common areas. Instead, they should dispose of leaves and other debris (e.g., fallen branches, dead outdoor potted annuals) from yards, patios, driveways, decks, and entranceways by placing them in large compostable paper yard-waste bags available at home improvement stores. Pickup for yard waste is Thursdays. 

Indoor Checklist

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • Do a semi-annual check of the furnace/heat pump to minimize the likelihood of a surprise malfunction during cold weather.
  • Turn off the valves of the water lines to outdoor spigots. Typically, the valves are located in the same room as the hot water heater. After turning off the water, open the outdoor spigot to drain the line so that there is no water in the line to freeze over the winter.
  • This is also a good time to check the water pressure regulator valve to make sure there are no leaks or cracks (see separate article in this edition of Ripples for more details).
  • Check weatherstripping on outside doors and replace as necessary to reduce heating loss.