Town of Herndon

The following were among actions taken by the Herndon Town Council at its Jan. 22 meeting. For more information, call 435-6800.

CHESAPEAKE BAY PRESERVATION -- The Town Council amended new restrictions on development in the town designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay from pollution. Last week's move eases restrictions on development of downtown properties and allows properties not considered environmentally fragile to be excluded from the requirements.

The state now requires many area jurisdictions to create "preservation overlay districts" for fragile land areas to slow development and reduce agricultural runoff that carries dirt and chemicals to the bay and its tributaries.

Under restrictions adopted in October, Herndon required that any new development within 100 feet of Sugarland Run and Folly Lick, which feed into the Potomac River and ultimately the bay, be limited mainly to recreational facilities. In the rest of town, any proposed residential or commercial development of at least 2,500 square feet required an analysis of the potential impact on water quality, along with measures to reduce water pollution, such as erecting silt fences to block soil erosion.

Under one of the amendments approved last week, the owner of a property that is not near a stream and does not have steep slopes, wetlands or other fragile land features may request that the town omit the property from the overlay district. In another amendment, the council loosened the restrictions on new development downtown, bringing them more in line with restrictions on the rest of the downtown area, which is already densely developed and therefore regulated less strictly.

Town of Vienna

The following were among actions taken by the Vienna Town Council at its Jan. 28 meeting. For more information, call 255-6330.

HISTORIC DISTRICT -- A citizens committee, addressing complaints by some residents, recommended loosening restrictions on building alterations in the turn-of-the-century Windover Heights Historic District in northwest Vienna.

The council appointed the committee to review the town's historic district ordinance last year after about 50 residents petitioned the council to remove their properties from the district. The petitioners complained that the Windover Heights Historic Architectural Review Board interpreted the ordinance too rigorously, requiring homeowners to secure board permission before making even minor alterations, such as changing the color of a house.

The committee recommended that homeowners be allowed to paint a house without consulting the review board. In addition, the commmittee recommended that residents be allowed to make the following alterations without consulting the board: make structural repairs using similar building materials; replace or repair a stoop, porch or entryway; erect a small shed or a fence; remove a tree; install an in-ground swimming pool; demolish all or part of a structure, and replace or repair a roof (provided that the profile of the roof is not changed).

COUNCIL CANDIDACIES -- Council members Vince Olson, Bob Robinson and Rodger Seeman announced they will seek reelection May 14.

Seeman has served on the nonpartisan, seven-member governing panel since 1983.

Robinson was first elected in 1980 and was defeated two years later; he was reelected in 1983 and has served ever since.

Olson was a council member from 1976 until announcing his retirement in 1988. The council then appointed him in 1989 to fill an unexpired term on the council, a move approved by voters in an election later that year. His term ends this year.

Members are elected at large for two-year terms.