Lakeport Kids' Garden from Start to Finish

Melanie Clement's Design


Building and painting the Little Free Library to hold kids' books 


Prep Day to rototill ground, transplant, clean river rock, and install new boulders, herb garden walls, and base for Little Free Library



Planting Day to install library, put down donated soil and mulch, dig holes, and plant donated flowers and herbs.


Planting a variety of donated herbs in the raised box herb garden for kids (only) to enjoy



Celebration Day, with recognition of Kids' Garden team leaders (Melanie Clement, Gail Pitches, Heidi Warrington, and Rich Shelton), awarding of Lakeport Ranger badges, a remembrance by Don Nagley of his wife (in whose memory the Little Free Library was built), putting donated books in the library, and ice cream cones.



The final product for all to enjoy







Lakeport's Kids' Garden

 

 
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    Click here to see photos of Lakeport Rangers
  getting the garden ready



Street Paving May 17-18

Brothers Paving is repaving Lakeport’s streets on May 17 and 18.

  • Roads closed: Vehicle access to homes is restricted on Tuesday while paving is going on and on Wednesday to allow time for asphalt to cure.

  • Schedule: Brothers changed their original schedule and did most of the milling on Monday and will finish milling on Tuesday. The hope is that they can also repave all of the roads on Tuesday. Lakeport will remain closed until at least noon on Wednesday to allow time for asphalt at the entrance to cure (exact opening time dependes on whether paving can be finished on Tuesday) . All contracted driveways were paved on Monday.
  • IMPORTANT: Contractors, deliveries, and other outside visitors should not be scheduled through Wednesday, May 19. Mail was delivered Monday. We have arranged for Tuesday's mail to be held at the Reston post office for pick up there (with ID) or for delivery once streets are open again. Garbage pickup is supposed to take place on Tuesday (to as many homes as they can reach). Emergency vehicles will be able to access homes if needed.

  • Walking in Lakeport: You should not walk on streets or on the RA walking path where it crosses our streets (at Triangle Park and the Lakeport entrance) while paving is being done (to avoid machinery) or until the aphalt has cured (to avoid getting tar or hot asphalt on your shoes, dogs, bicycles, etc.). You will be able to walk on the new asphalt after it’s cured (the recommended wait time is up to 24 hours, although it should be OK to cross Lakeport Way by Tuesday evening). Walk on newly paved areas cautiously to avoid getting any residue on your shoes (if it's still warm or "squishy" it's not yet cured). Please do not walk on our new streets in spike heels, cleats, or shoes with other sharp bottoms. While repaving is being done, you can avoid the tar and hot asphalt by walking on sidewalks or on the concrete gutters between the asphalt and the curbs/concrete driveway aprons. See options below. Check the bottoms of your shoes and your dog's feet before going inside in case they picked up some residue.

  • Brothers will put out cones to block areas that are closed and have a flagman to direct traffic on the second day. Please avoid interfering with the work being done.

  • Driveways: If you have not already given your check for the contracted amount to Brothers, please do so on Tuesday. It's recommended you wait to drive on your driveway for two to three days after it is paved (longer before parking a heavy vehicle on it). Any questions about the driveway process should be directed to Abdul Salamkhail asalamkhail@brotherspaving.com.


Options for Parking Outside Lakeport and Suggested Routes to Get There

 

To help figure out how to get to parking before asphalt has cured, the Board suggests the following options:

 

·        Route A: concrete gutters starting at 1963 Lakeport Way to 2001-2003 Lakeport Way and along the concrete driveway apron at the end to RA path to SLV.

·        Route B: sidewalk from 1944 to 1966 Lakeport Way and then on RA path to SLV.

·        Route C: Either in front of carports to the intersection with Lakespray and then continue on Route B or in front of carports (or on the RA path by the dock) to 1963 Lakeport Way and then continue on Route A.

·        Route D: uphill on concrete gutters starting at 11129 Lakespray and along Lakespray to the far end and then on path through the woods to Safeway.

·        Route E: sidewalk from 11120 to 11100 Lakespray Way, on gutter across Lakespray Way, and then on path through the woods to Safeway.

·        Route F: sidewalk from 11100 Lakespray to 1944 Lakeport Way, and then continue on Route B.

·        Route G: sidewalk from 1942 Lakeport Way to entrance and then RA path to Lake Thoreau Pool parking or Upper Lake Drive.

·        Route H: concrete gutters between 1907 and 1939 Lakeport Way to RA path and then on path to SLV (Lakeport Way by Triangle Park will be safe to cross by then).

·        Route I: concrete gutters from 1923 toward 1907 Lakeport Way, through the side yard (resident has granted permission) and between the two fence railings next to the RA path to Lake Thoreau Pool parking or Upper Lake Drive.

 

Below are suggested routes to offsite parking for your address, although you should pick any that works for you:

  • Lakespray, even numbers       Route E, F on Day 2

  • Lakespray, odd numbers         Route D, G on Day 2

  • 1907-1923 Lakeport (odd) Route H, I on Day 2

  • 1925-1939 Lakeport (odd) Route H on Day 2

  • 1953-1959 Lakeport (odd) Route C on Day 1, RA path on Day 2

  • 1963-2003 Lakeport (odd) Route A on Day 1, RA path on Day 2

  • 1924-1942 Lakeport (even)   Route G on Day 2

  • 1944-1966 Lakeport (even)   Route B on Day 1, RA path on Day 2


Thanks for your continued cooperation as we finsih this project.



Spring 2021 Issue of Ripples

From the Editor – Stephen Sapp

Lakeport News 

News from Outside Lakeport

Helpful Information

From the Editor

By Stephen Sapp

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Among many other things that we can say about spring, it is unquestionably a time of change, and this spring many of those changes are especially welcome. Most immediately noticeable is the long-awaited and much-appreciated change from winter to spring, with the appearance of all the beauty we now see everywhere around us, the longer days, and the end of cold weather. And of course the continued and accelerating rollout of coronavirus vaccines brings the promise of the change we have most longed for over the past thirteen months: a return to some semblance of the life we knew pre-pandemic, including the social interactions we have so missed. If you have not yet received your vaccination, please do so as soon as you can, primarily for your own sake but also for the rest of us (see the article in this issue about expanded eligibility and the new sign-up procedure for appointments).

I want to highlight another significant change: With this issue we say “good-bye” to Chuck Foster as chair of the Neighborhood Watch Committee. For the past four years, Chuck has diligently shepherded this important community effort, provided wise counsel to the Board about security-related issues, and contributed informative and useful articles for this newsletter (and he was almost always the first person to submit a contribution each quarter!). Lakeport Cluster owes Chuck a deep debt of gratitude for all his hard work on our behalf. We are very pleased to let you know that James Pan has assumed the chair of the committee; please be sure to welcome James to his new responsibility when you see him out and about watching the neighborhood! And remember, Neighborhood Watch is a community undertaking that requires all of us to be alert to anything suspicious in Lakeport. To paraphrase a slogan from World War II—“Loose lips sink ships”—we can say, “Open eyes contribute to crime’s demise”!

Lakeport is experiencing a number of other changes this spring (bidding farewell to some long-time residents and welcoming new neighbors, repaving of all our streets and repairs to sidewalks and driveways, landscape enhancements, and more), some of which you can learn more about in the articles in this issue. Enjoy this wonderful season and stay safe.

As always, feel free to send any feedback or suggestions you have for our community newsletter to ssapp@miami.edu. We would be especially interested in submissions of your favorite recipes for our “Ripples Recipe” feature.


Message from Lakeport President

By Mary M. Sapp

Spring is a time of renewal and hope after a cold and dark winter, and that is where we are now after our stressful past year. A number of Lakeport residents and owners have received their COVID-19 vaccinations, part of the accelerating rate of vaccination in the country. We are not there yet, but life is slowly starting to come back to normal.

There is also rejuvenation taking place here in Lakeport as several major initiatives are improving the appearance of our community. We are currently midway through improvements to our streets, the second of the two major capital projects identified in our reserve study (the other being the dock, which was completed two-and-a-half years ago). Repairs to concrete areas next to the streets were made earlier this month to improve safety and appearance, and next month Lakeport streets will be repaved and curbs, sidewalks, and speed bumps will be painted. This project will cost much less than the $156,000 owners approved spending on this project. See the article on repaving to learn more, especially how road closings will affect you. 

Another enhancement is new landscaping at the entrance, including new shrubs, grasses, and perennials that will offer year-round color. Most of the plants are now in place, and four shrubs plus new plantings in the planter will be added soon. Thanks to major contributions by landscape co-chairs Melanie Clement and Gail Pitches, committee member Heidi Warrington, and other volunteers, we were able to accomplish this while keeping installation costs down and saving money in the long run by not having to pay to replace and water annuals each year.

You’ll also see landscape changes at Triangle Park. Liriope have been planted next to the RA path to mitigate stormwater runoff, and the Kids’ Garden will start to take shape soon, with input from our young “Lakeport Rangers.” We will also continue our multi-year effort to tackle necessary tree work throughout Lakeport, thanks to both professional arborists and volunteers. You can read the Landscape Committee Projects article for more details about all these undertakings. 

Note that we will also be resuming home inspections this year after a hiatus due to COVID-19. Although we had originally anticipated having Reston Association (RA) perform the inspections, after meeting with them last week we have instead decided to have SCS, our management company, carry out the inspections of all Lakeport homes and to involve RA only when owners do not resolve violations from the SCS inspection and have not been granted an extension past the deadline. Because the SCS inspection will be happening soon, you should examine the outside of your home yourself ahead of time and make arrangements for any repairs you see that are needed. The article Get Ready for Upcoming Home Inspections has a list of violations SCS will be looking for as well as details about what will happen when RA does their own inspection of a home that has not had its SCS violations resolved. If you know of something that needs to be fixed, now is a good time to have it done. Also, be sure to review Lakeport’s design guidelines before undertaking any replacement or major repair. If you don’t see one of our standards that pertains to what you are doing, you need to check RA’s guidelines because they apply in the absence of a relevant Lakeport standard. Links to both Lakeport’s and RA’s design guidelines can be found at https://www.lakeportcluster.org/p/documents.html (and don’t forget to check there if you plan to have a tree removed—you’ll need to submit a DRB application).

As more and more people in the country get vaccinated, we look forward to having restrictions lifted and being able to resume traditional Lakeport social activities such as TGIFs, our community-wide dock party in the fall, neighbors gathering around fire pits to admire costumes from the Halloween costume parade and hand out candy to trick or treaters, and informal gatherings with neighbors. Perhaps we can even start a new tradition this year. 

In the meantime, enjoy spring in our lovely award-winning community.


Street Paving and Concrete Work

At Lakeport’s Annual Meeting last September, owners approved spending up to $156,000 
for repaving Lakeport’s two streets and making any needed repairs to concrete areas. Last month the Board selected Brothers Paving & Concrete Corporation from among three proposals submitted. The project will end up well under budget, although the exact cost will depend upon what repairs are ultimately needed. 
Phase One of the project, which included repairs to six sections of sidewalk, seven driveway-apron sections, and 25 feet of curb and gutter pans, was done on April 15. These areas were selected because they posed tripping hazards or had major damage.  Phase Two of the project, the repaving, will be done the week of May 17 (the delay is to let the new concrete cure enough for heavy machinery to drive on). 

The upcoming repaving and related painting of curbs, speed bumps, and parking spaces will improve the appearance of the neighborhood, but it will also inconvenience all of us. While streets are closed for repaving, residents, contractors, service providers (including delivery services, mail, and garbage), guests, and others will not be able to drive on our streets or walk on the RA path (which crosses our streets in two places). Emergency vehicles will be able to access homes if needed.


We will send email communications and put up signs when the time comes, but we will need the cooperation of all residents, including parking your car outside Lakeport while streets are closed if you expect to use it. Here is information to help you plan:
  • Brothers plans to do asphalt repaving the week of May 17, weather permitting. Paving of owner driveways will take place Monday, May 17, and streets will be started once driveways are complete. 
  • IMPORTANT: Contractors, deliveries, and other outside visitors should not be scheduled the week of May 17 (and it would be safer not to schedule them at the beginning of the following week either in case of a rain delay). Mail will be held at the post office for pick up there or delivered once streets are open again. Garbage and recycling will also be curtailed.
  • Once milling and paving of the streets start, vehicle access to homes will be restricted. Prior to commencement of paving, owners should move any cars they might need to use to offsite parking, and all vehicles must be moved from common parking spaces by 6:30 a.m. or they will be towed at the owner’s expense.
  • The Board will investigate alternative parking arrangements because owners must park outside of Lakeport if they want to use their vehicles while street paving is being done. 
  • Brothers anticipates street work will take two days. They will start street paving on Lakespray, then move to the south end of Lakeport, before working their way from there toward the entrance. To speed up return of residents’ access, stripers will be onsite in the afternoon each day to paint the areas that have been paved that day. 
  • The RA walking path, which crosses our streets, will also need to be closed while asphalt work is being done. 
  • Owners will be able to start driving on Lakeport streets once asphalt has dried and parking stripes and speed bumps have been painted. Brothers will put out cones to block areas that are closed and have a flagman to direct traffic.
  • If you are having your driveway repaved, please plan to give a check for the contracted amount to Brothers on Monday, May 17. Any questions about the driveway process should be directed to Abdul Salamkhail asalamkhail@brotherspaving.com.
  • The Board will send reminder announcements and share additional details as we get closer to the project. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

The completion of this repaving project, which along with the dock is one of Lakeport’s only two large capital projects, will bring about a lull in projects funded by reserve funds. In the last five years, we spent reserve funds to replace the dock (for engineer’s plans, reviews of proposals by attorneys, and construction), and we also repaired the bulkhead next to the short leg of the dock. In addition, we installed biologs and landscaping where a section of the old dock was removed to mitigate soil erosion there and along the shoreline of the natural area to the right of the dock, and we added some landscaping on the hill down to the dock next to the RA path. We also used reserve funds for the following: replaced all the bollard lights beside the path (and added two more lights on the north end for safety), replaced two timber retaining walls, arranged for interim paving in 2018 to flatten three areas where tree roots had caused tripping hazards, and commissioned the required five-year update of our reserve study. Because of this work, the good news is that nothing is scheduled in the reserve study for next year or for 2024, and the only project scheduled for 2023 is replacing the sign and lights in the entrance.

Get Ready for Upcoming Home Inspections

Detective, Searching, Man, SearchBoard members met with RA staff last week to discuss their inspection procedures, and we decided not to have RA do inspections this year. RA supports this decision. Cam Adams, RA’s Director of Covenants Administration, explained that despite their observation that Lakeport homes and common property are very well maintained, it is likely that if RA were to perform the inspections, every Lakeport home would end up with a violation for something because RA inspectors check not only for maintenance issues (which is what we ask SCS to focus on) but also for violations of HOA standards and RA guidelines (of which there are many, some that would be a surprise to owners).

We thus decided to use the following alternative approach suggested by RA: SCS will conduct inspections of all homes again this year, probably around the beginning of June. We will ask SCS to allow 90 days to ameliorate violations (SCS normally allows just 30 days, but we want owners to have time to obtain multiple bids when needed and to schedule the work). A list of what SCS will be looking for appears below.

If an owner does not resolve all of the violations identified by SCS by the specified deadline or has not received approval by the Board for an extension, the violations will be referred to RA. RA will then conduct its own inspections for any non-compliant homes, potentially finding further violations in addition to what SCS found. If the combined list of SCS and RA violations has not been cured by the time RA conducts a subsequent follow-up inspection, staff will refer the violations to RA’s Covenants and/or Legal Committees. If violations are still not fixed, RA is authorized by Virginia’s Property Owners Association Act to impose fines (up to $10 per day per violation!) and/or refer the case to an attorney for action. If a design violation is identified, the owner will be required to remove the unapproved items or apply for Design Review Board (DRB) approval for the changes on the property. 

Remember that although no one wants to get an inspection violation, owners have found that regular outside inspections can alert them to something they did not notice themselves so it can be fixed before it turns into a major (expensive) problem. Keeping homes well maintained protects the value of what is likely your largest investment and also preserves property values of your neighbors and of the community. 

SCS will check for the following items (all of which RA inspectors also look for):

  1. Siding (rotted/cracked wood, peeling/faded paint, mildew, mold, grime, and mismatched paint colors)
  2. Trim (rotted/cracked wood, peeling/faded paint, mildew, mold, grime, and mismatched paint colors)
  3. Garage doors (water damage, peeling/faded paint, warping, mildew, mold, grime, and vertical black streak in the middle) 
  4. Carports, including pavement, roof, brick, and trim (rotted/cracked wood, peeling/faded paint, mildew, mold, grime, and refuse/debris) 
  5. Gutters/downspouts (damaged/detached/missing/broken sections, peeling/faded paint, mildew, mold, grime)
  6. Roof (needed repairs, mildew, mold, grime, and color match with adjacent roofs of the same type) 
  7. Decks and/or patios (rotted/cracked wood, peeling/faded paint/stain, mildew, mold, grime, stains on steps and landings, and rusted and corroded metal railings) 
  8. Brick siding/walls (needed repairs and/or cleaning)
  9. Entryways and doors (needed repairs, rotted/cracked wood, peeling/faded paint/paint, mildew, mold, grime, stains on steps and landings, and rusted and corroded metal railings)
  10. Fences (damaged/detached/broken elements, rotted/cracked wood, warping, peeling/faded stain beyond "weathered naturally," excessive mold, mildew or fungus, and color match with siding) 
  11. Lighting, front and back (whether fixtures are present and peeling/faded paint)
  12. Landscaping (overgrown vegetation, whether every house has a tree in front)
  13. Any other glaring problem with maintenance or violation of standards.

While RA staff were here, they noted that several homes had violations for the following: exposed security-camera wires, dirty roofs, and dirty garage doors (if you have a black streak on your garage door, the second item on the “Preventive Maintenance Check List for Spring” will tell you how to prevent this from happening in the future). 

For additional information about RA’s inspections, see the following:

  • Covenants & Design Review Board FAQs
  • Resolution 8, which describes what inspectors are evaluating when they inspect a property to determine conformance with Reston’s Use and Maintenance protective covenants
  • Resolution 12, which addresses inspections and includes information such as identification of exterior elements and an explanation of the terminology that RA staff uses to label those elements and describe their condition. This resolution also discusses “party” or “shared” elements in detail. Reston’s policies concerning party elements are unique and can be confusing, and this document will help you understand this counterintuitive policy. 


Landscape Committee Projects

Spring is a time of renewal, and that is certainly the case with Lakeport’s landscaping. Your Landscape Committee and Board have been busy planting, transplanting, trimming and removing stressed and/or dead trees, and generally sprucing up the entire community.

The first step this year was a “spring cleaning,” carried out by 16 (!) volunteers who turned out for Lakeport’s spring workday. A huge pile of branches and pieces of dead trees (cut by Rich Shelton in January and during the April workday) was collected for Blade Runners to haul away. As a result, the area next to the sidewalk on Sunrise Valley looks much more attractive without the dead branches that had been piled there, and natural areas also look better now that dead trees have been cut down. 

Last fall the Board, at the recommendation of the landscape co-chairs, approved planting perennials at the entrance, thereby saving the cost of around $1,200 each year to have annuals planted and watered. To help prepare the entrance for the new landscaping, workday volunteers transplanted shrubs and yuccas from there to fill in gaps near the corner of the dock and grasses to shield the transformer adjacent to 1932 Lakeport Way. In addition, volunteers dug up and washed rocks at the entrance and next to the dock, removed the “No Outlet” sign to make way for new grasses in the median, and sanded and painted the entrance sign. 

This past week most of the work for the new landscaping was completed. Meadows Farms raised the stacked rock wall on the west side 6”, removed dirt and mulch that had built up over the past 14 years (which exposed even more of the walls), and reconfigured the metal edging that had been buried by the accumulated soil (along with all the rocks that are now on the surface). They planted six blue star junipers and three muhly grasses and will soon add four confetti abelias (all warrantied for life and also discounted). In addition, the co-chairs and volunteers selected and planted twelve heucheras (Midnight Rose, Glitter, Tiarella Sylvan Lace, and Heucherella Tapestry) plus 10 Marcus salvia. Next week they will install succulents in the planter. If you are interested in identifying the plants, labels will be up for a while. See the Thanks to Volunteers article for residents who helped with these and other efforts. 

The entrance wasn’t the only area where new plants were installed. Meadows Farms planted liriope spicata in the narrow bare area between the RA path and the parking spaces next to Triangle Park to mitigate erosion of soil that had washed into the parking area. 

New plants need extra watering right after they’re planted, and we’re fortunate to have residents who have volunteered to water them. If you would be willing to do that when there’s something planted near you, please let the landscape chairs know.

Last month, visits were scheduled with arborists to identify trees that need to be removed or trimmed because they pose a potential hazard or are encroaching on a home. The Board will review proposals for this year’s tree work at its April meeting and decide which to do.  

Next on the agenda is work on the Kids’ Garden, the circular area at the tip of Triangle Park. Melanie Clement is making “Lakeport Ranger” badges for kids in the neighborhood who are working on this project. Rich Shelton is in the process of building a Little Free Library that will hold children’s books, using a design selected by the Lakeport Rangers, and Don Nagley will fund it in memory of his late wife. A garden box for herbs, to be maintained by the Rangers, will also be included, as will stepping stones, annuals, and an additional large boulder so people can linger and visit. Donations in kind (but not cash, please) are welcome. 

Of course, in the midst of new planting, maintenance continues. Blade Runners has done their own spring cleanup, mulching, trimming, pruning, edging, fertilizing, and so forth, and the landscape co-chairs did a walk-around with Blade Runners to discuss areas needing special attention. If you notice something, please email Heidi Warrington (hwarring@aol.com) to let the Landscape Committee know. 


Neighborhood Watch

By James Pan

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As I assume the role of chair of the Neighborhood Watch Committee, I want to thank Chuck Foster for his diligent work on our behalf over the last four years. If you see Chuck, please express your appreciation.

I also would like to share a few of my thoughts, beginning with the benefits of dog walking (and joys, too).

Why is walking a dog great for both Neighborhood Watch and your health?

Elderly Walking Dog Cartoon Vector Images (over 190)

When you have a dog as a family member in Lakeport, it helps the cluster. Usually, you need to walk the dog three or four times a day. You get to see your neighbors, catch up on informal cluster news, and become part of the rhythm of our community. So when something is off, you are more likely to spot it. And this is what Neighborhood Watch is all about.  

As for benefits to you, if you walk a dog three or four times a day, that is equivalent to walking one to one-and-a-half miles a day, over 450 miles per year, or more than 5,500 miles over the average lifespan of a dog. That is like walking your dog to Los Angeles and back, which has to be good for both you and the dog (and a lot safer than trekking across the country!).   

Then there is the enhanced emotional health that results from the companionship a dog provides. After the last year, we can use all the love and friendship we can get. 

So having a dog is a win/win/win situation: Good for the neighborhood, good for you, and great for Fido.

Also, always carry a cell phone while dog-walking or simply walking in the neighborhood. There are two benefits: (1) you can quickly summon the police in case of an emergency, and (2) you can take photos or video if warranted.

It is important to remember, though, that if you observe a suspicious event, person, or vehicle, DO NOT INTERVENE. Call the Fairfax County Police Department’s non-emergency number (703-691-2131) to report what you observe (it’s a good idea to add the number to your phone’s Favorites). And don't be timid about calling the police. The police are routinely dispatched to calls involving suspicious activity or persons, and your call may result in a critical piece of information for, or even resolution of, an ongoing investigation.

We are aware of the armed robbery at our Subway in late February. Luckily, the store specializes in hero sandwiches and nobody was injured. Finally, we are working with the South Lakes Center management company to ensure that the new plaza lights work at night.


Book Club

By Barbara Khan, Coordinator

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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 (not even a bachelor’s!), and no grades given. Just read the assigned book and show up for a lively, lighthearted discussion. We usually meet monthly on the third Monday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8-ish (but note different date and time in May!), rotating among members’ homes (or, in May, we will take advantage of our beautiful Lakeport setting and spring weather to meet outside in Triangle Park).

Here is the May selection, which The Washington Post calls "a feel-good book guaranteed to lift your spirits”:

The Midnight Library: A Novel

Book: The Midnight Library

Author: Matt Haig

Date: Monday, May 24, 5:00 p.m. (note later date and earlier time)

Place: Triangle Park, if weather is fine and space is available           

"Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?"


Thanks to Our Volunteers

Image result for pictures of volunteersPlease 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 

  • Melanie Clement and Gail Pitches – co-chairs of the Landscape Committee
  • Melanie Clement, Gail Pitches, and Heidi Warrington – selecting and planting perennials at entrance to go with the shrubs and grasses planted by Meadows Farms; removing and cleaning river rocks buried at the entrance and next to the dock. 
  • Rosemary Welch and Barb Pavon – helping to plant the perennials.
  • Marilyn Bursch – researching the storm-water runoff system between 11112-11122 Lakespray and 1944-1952 Lakeport and possible solutions for mud between 1952 and 1954 Lakeport Way.
  • Steven Browning – helping to test water from downspouts at 11114-11120 Lakespray and 1948 and 1950 Lakeport
  • Jeff Warrington – participating in visits from arborists to identify trees that need to be removed or trimmed
  • Rich Shelton – cutting down 10 dead trees identified in visit from arborist
  • Gil Blankespoor, Dave Fleming, Henryk Gorski, Phong Nguyen, and Melanie Clement – watering new plants. 
  • Jerry and Maria Beiter; Melanie Clement; John Fitzgerald; Don Nagley; Barb Pavon; Gail Pitches; Paul Renard; Mary and Stephen Sapp; Rich Shelton; Jen, Tim, Gregory, and Robert Taylor; Heidi and Jeff Warrington; and Rosemary Welch – participating in spring workday by collecting tree debris to be hauled away; transplanting shrubs, yuccas, and grasses; digging up and washing rocks next to the dock; and collecting rocks at the entrance. See photo collage below. 

Standards

  • Kelly Driscoll – chair of the Standards Committee

Social

  • Michelle Simoneau – chair of the Social Committee
  • Carol Leos – welcoming new residents

Maintenance

  • Paul Renard – sanding and painting Lakeport sign at entrance and metal railings next to RA path
  • Stephen Sapp (with help from John Fitzgerald, Paul Renard, and Rich Shelton) – removal of bent “No Outlet” sign in median at entrance
  • Annabelle Hammer and Paul Renard – keeping our dock clean
  • Annabelle Hammer – restocking doggie-bag stations

Other 

  • Barbara Khan – reporting on renovations for Lake Thoreau Pool and coordinating the Lakeport Book Club
  • Chuck Foster – chairing the Neighborhood Watch Committee for four years
  • James Pan – assuming the position of chair of Neighborhood Watch
  • Tom Barnett – maintaining Lakeport’s online directory and listserv for announcements and posting Ripples
  • Stephen Sapp – editing Ripples



County Zoning Amendments and Lakeport’s Home-Based Businesses

By Kevin Burke

As far back as 2016, Fairfax County’s Planning and Zoning staff have worked to modernize the County’s extensive and detailed master zoning Ordinance. Termed the Zoning Ordinance Modernization (or “zMOD”), this project attempts to make zoning regulations easier to understand and to remove inconsistencies that have crept into the zoning Ordinance due to subsequent amendments since its initial adoption in 1978. 

Last year, as part of the zMOD process, the County proposed some changes to the Ordinance, and on March 23, 2021, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the revised Zoning Ordinance, which will be effective on July 1. Included in this massive document are issues that Reston Association has pointed out are of particular interest.

The first of these is the revision to regulations governing home-based businesses. Currently, such regulations vary by business type. For example, certain uses, like teaching music lessons or Pilates, allow customers or clients to come to the home with a comparatively simple-to-obtain administrative approval.  At the same time, other businesses, like accounting services, require a costly special permit if they are operated out of the business owner’s home.

The revision that the Board approved will allow more home-based business owners to apply through the simpler administrative process. The new permit will allow up to eight customers in a day. Only businesses in detached single-family homes will be allowed an employee; if the business is based in a townhouse, like at Lakeport, no employees will be permitted.

Last year, in a letter to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn, Reston Association expressed concern that the (then proposed) revised Ordinance did not take sufficiently into account its effects on parking, access, and traffic. The County decided, however, that the changes in the regulation and application processes would create a more equitable system for home-based business owners.

The second of the issues raised by the Reston Association was in support of the changes that would require the disclosure and showing of all easements on properties, regardless of easement width, on rezoning and entitlement plans being submitted for review.

Third, Reston Association expressed concerns about changes to the regulation and application process for Accessory Living Units, which would no longer require the person living in such a unit (or the owner) to be 55 or older or a disabled person. However, the County requires that Accessory Living Units be part of a detached single-family home. Thus the changes do not affect Lakeport homeowners.


State Expands Vaccination Eligibility

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Photo Credit: Tyrone Turner / WAMU/DCist

All Fairfax County residents 16 and older can now make COVID-19 vaccination appointments via VaccineFinder.org or call the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-324-7404. The state moved into Phase 2 of vaccine distribution on April 18.

In announcing the new policy, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said, “With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many parts of Virginia and across the country, it is important that everyone has an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment. If you are over 16 and want to get the safe, effective, and free vaccine, please make a plan to get your shot.” Northam’s announcement cautions that there may still be delays in finding and booking appointments, given the influx of newly eligible people: “Virginians seeking an opportunity to get vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment, as demand for vaccination is expected to continue to outpace supply in many parts of the Commonwealth.”

People eligible under Virginia’s Phase 1 who are struggling to find an appointment through the VaccineFinder tool will be able to use the old system—vaccinate.virginia.gov or 877-VAX-IN-VA—to register for a priority appointment.

Additionally, the state has also opened a mass vaccination facility in the former Lord & Taylor store at Tysons Corner Mall. This facility will administer up to 3,000 shots a day to county residents. Read more.

Click the link below to access Virginia's COVID-19 web page for updates:

MORE INFORMATION

NOTE: Pfizer-BioNTech has requested that the FDA extend its emergency use authorization of their vaccine to children as young as 12, based on a successful clinical trial that showed the vaccine to be 100% effective among 1,131 vaccinated study participants. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also testing their vaccines in this age group. So if you have children 12-15, be alert for an announcement that they can now be vaccinated.


“Part and Parcel” Comes to Lake Thoreau

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The South Lakes High School STEAM Team has completed their seventh temporary art installation on the Lake Thoreau spillway. The sculpture, titled Part and Parcel, “explores the Gestalt principle, the idea of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Just as the pipes come together to form a greater whole, our communities and frontline workers have joined to fight COVID-19. The distinct colors also represent connections between different communities which occur in times of crisis.”

We thank the STEAM Team and their sponsors for this intriguing and needed reminder during the difficult times we are experiencing!



Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Spring

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 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.

Outdoor Checklist (these items will also help you prepare for annual inspections)

  • Several Lakeport owners recently have had to replace their roofs because of damage from windstorms and aging of the roofing materials. If you have not accessed your attic to check for leaks, it’s a good idea to do so. You may avoid potential damage to the interior of your home.
  • A dark vertical line on the middle of your garage door is most likely caused by insufficient tension on the chain from your garage door opener to the front wall of your garage. Over time, the chain will slacken and start to drag on the door, which leaves that black mark and eventually will wear through the paint if left uncorrected. Most of these chains have a tensioner or turnbuckle that can be tightened to fix the problem. Once you have tightened the chain, the door can be cleaned with something like Scott’s Outdoor Cleaner (or whatever you prefer) and the gentle use of a scrubbing sponge from your kitchen.
  • Check for mildew, mold, and grime on exterior walls, garage doors, fences, decks, walkways, brick, roofs, etc., and power wash if needed.
  • Sand and paint rusted railings so the rust doesn’t cause further damage.
  • Trim overgrown vegetation. 
  • For most Lakeport homes, make sure your home address numbers are properly positioned over your garage door or entry arch (see House Numbers standards). If you have a brick wall by the sidewalk, be sure the brass number plate is glued tightly to the surface and that the numbers are legible from the street. This helps first responders find your house more easily in case of an emergency.
  • Inspect and repair any damaged fences or other outside boundaries. If you have a brick wall in common with your neighbor, examine it for mildew and mold. If there is staining from either, try removing the stains with a power washer.
  • Check the outside lighting around your house and replace bulbs and batteries that aren’t working.
  • If you have outdoor security cameras, make sure they haven’t been damaged by snow or harsh winter weather. Check that camera lenses are focused on the areas you want them to cover. Clean lenses with a microfiber cloth and tighten all camera mounts. As summer approaches, you may want to protect your cameras from spider webs and insects that can obscure the view. One suggestion is to attach a dryer sheet to the outside of your camera with a rubber band (just make sure not to cover the lens); the strong smell will keep bugs away. You can also try looping a flea collar around the camera.
  • Remove leaves and other debris that have collected over the winter and place in large paper yard bags available at home improvement stores. Check the current waste management company procedures for proper disposal.
  • Remove leaves from gutters and make sure gutters are still firmly anchored and properly connected to downspouts.
  • Take steps to protect wood on the decks, patios, and entrance walkways. These areas should be sealed every two to three years. The wood will hold up better with a sealant rather than with paint.
  • Check your siding for staining. If you see a problem, check with a home repair supplier for a suitable cleaning product.

Indoor Checklist

  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors.
  • If you have an alarm system, periodically change your access code and remove passcodes you’ve given out to contractors, cleaning people, babysitters, or guests who no longer need access to your home. Test your security systems regularly to ensure they are functioning properly and communicating with the central station.
  • Flooding is the single largest source of loss for homeowners, so it may be helpful to install water leak sensors in flood-prone areas. The sensors will detect accumulation of water caused by cracked or broken water pipes, loose pipe connections, inadequate drainage, or flooding. Some sensors connect to larger security systems, some work alone, and some connect to an app on your phone.
  • Move boxes or other items at least 30 inches away from your furnace and water heater; crowding either could lead to a fire.
  • Do a semi-annual check of the furnace/heat pump to assure that you have sufficient refrigerant for air conditioning. Follow manufacturer guidelines for replacing air filters (typically once per month or quarter). A clogged air filter places an unreasonable load on the HVAC system and will likely shorten its life.
  • Turn on outdoor water spigots from inside the house and be sure the spigot is closed on the outside. The valve is usually in a storage area near the water heater or utility tub.
  • Inspect the firebrick panels inside your wood-burning fireplace for cracks and replace them if they are damaged. Have the fireplace cleaned if you use it frequently or haven’t used it in a long time. Remove all ash from your fireplaces and clean the grates. Additionally, schedule a chimney cleaner to inspect the flues once a year. 
  • Check all window and door locks. If any seem loose or faulty, tighten or replace them.
  • If cleaning your windows isn’t already part of your spring-cleaning routine, then add it. Clean windows will make your home brighter and improve the visibility of your surroundings.


Reminders

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Covid vaccinations now open to everyone over 16. To find available vaccine and how to register, go to VaccineFinder.org, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website that shows users a map of available appointments pulled from public health providers, hospitals, medical practices, pharmacies, and more. See the separate article in this issue (State Expands Vaccination Eligibility) for more details. 

Inspections this year: The Board has decided to have SCS rather than RA do inspections this year, although any owners who have not resolved their violations by the deadline or requested and been granted extensions will be referred to RA, which will do its own inspection and follow-up (which can include imposing a fine or referral to an attorney if not resolved). Now that the weather is better, you should walk around the exterior of your home to check for any needed repairs and arrange to have them taken care of before the inspection. See the separate articles Spring Maintenance Checklist and Get Ready for Upcoming Home Inspections for more information. 

Group Projects: If you will be undertaking a major repair (e.g., new roof, new windows, siding replacement with HardiePlank, or resurfacing/sealing your driveway) and would be interested in investigating the possibility of a group rate from a contractor for multiple houses at the same time, let the Board know and we’ll share names of others doing similar work. For instance, two Lakeport owners received a discount for having their roofs done at the same time, and two others had HardiePlank installed at a discounted rate. In addition, several owners had discounts on work done on their driveways by the same contractor.

Improve Lighting in Lakeport: Even though it is staying light later and becoming light earlier, please leave your outdoor lights on at night. 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 exterior lights on at night, especially those in end units with post lights, which according to long-time Lakeport residents used to be standard practice. This is of course voluntary, but doing this one small thing would be a gracious contribution to the overall safety and attractiveness of our community. 

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Report Suspicious Activity: If you see suspicious activity, don’t confront anybody but instead call the Fairfax County Police non-emergency number, 703-691-2131 (use this number also to report vandalism or any other crime that has already occurred). The police request that even if you just have a “gut feeling” something is wrong, you notify them with as many details as possible. It is helpful if you can also take photos unobtrusively. Police will be dispatched (or you may be able to provide a report over the phone). Also notify Lakeport’s Neighborhood Watch coordinator James Pan at jpamco@gmail.com. Please pay special attention to suspicious activity or sounds near the Lakeport dock, in the woods, or at night.

Maintenance of the Exterior of Your Home: Be sure to review the Preventive Maintenance Checklist for Spring in this issue for smaller maintenance projects that could save you major expenses and headaches in the future. And remember that RA has entered into an arrangement with Sherwin-Williams for a discount of 30% to 40% off paints and stains (exterior and interior) and 15% off paint supplies at Sherwin-Williams store #3385, located at 495A Elden Street in Herndon (703-471-1484). If you want to take advantage of the discount, the code is 2214-8496-7.

You Must Replace Any Tree You Remove: If you recently removed a tree (dead or alive) on your property, remember that Reston Association requires that you replace it with another tree. RA has several resources for finding a replacement tree: See the lists of recommended small trees at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a1epMYHN4gx8EB7l_K68ewk8bZnXnh1-/view

and https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5eeek6x2yjzhzl6/AAC5MThw7Rx_e-zZ108TCq2_a/Nature%20%26%20Environmental%20Resources/General%20Information?dl=0&preview=Trees+in+Reston.pdf&subfolder_nav_tracking=1.   

Party Walls: Although sometimes counterintuitive, the RA Deeds make the repair of any architectural element that falls on the property line between two houses (e.g., wall, trim, fence) a joint responsibility. If you aren’t sure whose responsibility it is to pay for the repair or replacement of a shared wall or trim, please see https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxSpjzCTaI6Jd0xnbEZEcEhLT3NiWjRKODNlZDBtTWdRdTBJ/view for information relating to party walls. 

Reston Association Covenants Portal: RA recently launched a Covenants Portal that has a record of all communications from RA relating to resale inspections and DRB approvals for your home. It also allows you to see the status of current DRB requests. To create an account, go to https://hoa.smartwebs.com/Jicv2 and enter “Lakeport” as your association. If you have any questions or encounter a bug in the new system, contact Meagan Micozzi (mMicozzi@reston.org) or Vern James (vern@reston.org). 

Glass Recycling: Glass pickup, free for all Lakeport residents, will be the first Wednesday of each month, but if you’re ever unsure of the date, you can go to http://www.lakeportcluster.org/ and check the calendar under the photo of the Community of the Year banner on the left. Just leave your glass by the curb in a plastic bin by 7:00 a.m. Bins will be emptied and left (cardboard boxes or plastic or paper bags cannot be used). Your glass will be taken to the glass recycling center in Lorton so that it doesn’t end up in the landfill with your garbage (glass is no longer allowed in the regular recycle bins).

Regular Trash and Recycling 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 (if you forget the number, it also imprinted on the outside of your trash bin).

Drive Slowly: With the warmer weather, neighborhood kids are outside even more now, playing on sidewalks and in the streets. Please remember to drive slowly and keep your eyes out for children (and other pedestrians), especially given that the ongoing need to maintain a six-foot separation means that people cannot pass on the sidewalk and may well be farther out in the street than expected.

Help Keep Our Community Clean and Beautiful: Please contribute to the appearance of our community by picking up trash anywhere you see it while you’re out walking and enjoying nature in Lakeport (and elsewhere). Also, if you notice overflowing trash from the can in Triangle Park or the one at the entrance to South Lakes Village, please take a photo and forward it to the Board so we can pass it on to Reston Association or South Lakes Village management company. 

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 RA walking path in Lakeport and another on Lakespray Way.

Canada geese used to feed D.C. homeless | CBC News

Geese: We continue to experience problems with goose poop on our dock. Please don’t feed the geese (not only does this attract them, it’s not healthy for them), but do feel free to shoo them off the dock (just be sure not to harm them or allow them to attack you—we just want to make their time on our dock unpleasant enough that they will choose to hang out somewhere else!). 

Never Again Be Late Paying Your Quarterly Assessment: If you’ve been contacted by the Board for not paying your assessment as the end of the month nears (or even if you haven’t), 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 can pay the entire assessment at the beginning of the year ($1380 for 2021). 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 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/1XEGACnYzsLrWd5euSPBJuBzCx3obg9EX/view) and check the contact information listed there for you. If a correction is needed, either send an email to webmaster@lakeportcluster.org and copy along@scs-management.com or fill out the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfFILfWGBoWIgWlBPSQmIKj4kIX0kPA7XsRjnsaOsNXuvVSkw/viewform. If your home has renters, please ask them to fill out the form to be listed in the directory. Remember also that if you need to contact a neighbor or just forget someone’s name, you can always check this directory.