Monday, October 27, 2014

DRAFT Agenda RCA Board of Directors Meeting October 27, 2014


Item
Time
Topic
Disposition
Presenters

  1.  
7:30 PM
Adopt Agenda
Action
RCA Board

  1.  
7:35 PM
Approve September 22, 2014 Minutes
Action
Nick Georgas

  1.  
7:45 PM
Approve Treasurer’s Report
Action
Joe Leighton

  1.  
7:50 PM
Guest: Tim Thompson, President, Federation of Citizens Association
Interactive Conversation
RCA Board

  1.  
8:10 PM
Fairfax Library Advocates Update
Update
Dennis Hays

  1.  
8:15 PM
Reston Master Plan Phase 2 Follow-Up
Discussion
RCA Board

  1.  
8:40 PM
Lake Anne Fellowship House Update
Discussion
Tammi Petrine,
Connie Hartke

  1.  
8:55 PM
RA –  (1) Proposed Governance and Ethics Committee, (2) Annual Assessment
Discussion
Dennis Hays
Sridhar Ganesan

  1.  
9:10 PM
RCA Priority Issues & Resourcing Plan
Discussion
Sridhar Ganesan
RCA Board

  1.  
9:25 PM
Other Business
Discussion
RCA Board

  1.  
9:30 PM
Location and Time of Next Meeting; Adjourn
Action
RCA Board

Friday, October 17, 2014

RESTON MASTER PLAN and LAKE ANNE FELLOWSHIP HOUSE

RCA feels it is urgent that the greater Reston community understands the implications of development on one of our Reston Comprehensive Plan ten Planning Principles which is “housing provided for all ages and incomes.”[1] Our community support is needed to ensure that land owners and potential developers respect and honor our Plan.

Who Lives at Lake Anne Fellowship House (LAFH): Folks 62 or older on limited fixed incomes and those of any age with a qualifying disability and income. A good description is at fellowshipsquare.org/fsf/who-are-we.

Who owns it: Fellowship Square Foundation (FSF), a non-profit provider of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled in the DC metropolitan area. They own and operate LAFH, Reston’s Hunters Woods Fellowship House and two others.

The FSF website does not currently post a mission statement, but we find this on page 5 of their 2013 annual report:
“We specialize in financially fragile residents. We celebrate that we make a difference in their lives and the life of the community they live in.”

The original purpose of the Foundation according to its founder Dr. John Scherzer, told to the RCA on March 13, 1970:
“The purpose of the Foundation as set forth in our Charter is to sponsor adequate retirement facilities for lower and middle income people who must depend for their livelihood upon the fixed income from civil service retirement and/or Social Security.”[2]

How LAFH Came to Be: In 1970, FSF purchased the land that LAFH sits on for $138,000. On this property at the corner of North Shore Drive and Village Road two adjoining buildings were built with HUD and VHDA[3] loans.

What LAFH is not: It is not an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Although it is not ADA compliant by current standards, LAFH remains accessible for the majority of current and potential residents. As the founder of FSF said in the briefing to the RCA in 1970: “All our plans have been focused upon the features of comfort and convenience for people . . . who are active, self-sufficient and independent.”[4] LAFH today still fulfills this need.

Why should you care? Because this could be you, your sibling, parent, best friend. Medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy[5] in the United States. Retirement planning can quickly go awry and one can be left with little more than Social Security income to live on. Let our Fairfax County staff and government know that you support the Reston Comprehensive Planning Principle for “housing provided for all ages and incomes.”

Know someone who might want to live there? Get on the waiting list now. When you call or stop by, do not be deterred if told “no vacancies.” This is what RCA Board member Connie Hartke was told. Sources indicate there are approximately 30 of the 124 “market rate” apartments vacant.[6]  When Connie pressed that she was inquiring for a market rate (unsubsidized) apartment (monthly rental of $483 - $803), she was told there is a 4-5 month waiting list. One apartment that has been vacant for over 10 years was just rented. It seems the waiting list might move along if more of the vacant apartments are made available.

Several of us in the Reston Citizens Association (RCA) have friends who live at Lake Anne Fellowship House (LAFH) and we have visited the buildings and their apartments. What we find is comfortable, clean and quite adequate for many.

What does the future hold for LAFH? RCA will be following developments closely since we believe that just as in 1970, Reston still cherishes the “proposal to make the limited-income elderly a planned part of the social structure of the new community envisioned by Mr. Simon . . .”[7]

When FSF teamed with a developer not experienced in the affordable housing market, residents were frightened. They wrote a letter to FSF which has been signed by 183 (71 percent) of the residents. [8] They are a community, and they are part of our Reston community.

Follow us on facebook.com/RestonRCA and subscribe to our newsletter at RCAreston.com. We’ll keep you informed.



[1] Staff, DPZ. WorkingDraft (Strawman) of Reston Master Plan (n.d.): n. page 11 in print, page 14 online. Web.
[2] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation. Reston, VA: RedBrick, 1989. 54. Print.
[3] VHDA = Virginia Housing Development Authority. This mortgage will be paid off in 2016. At that time, the current rental assistance program can be converted to Section 8 assistance.
[4] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation. Reston, VA: RedBrick, 1989. 54. Print.
[5] LaMontagne, Christina. "Medical Bankruptcy Accounts for Majority of Personal Bankruptcies" NerdWallet Health, 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
[6] FSF 2013Annual Report, pages 17 and 19
[7] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation. Reston, VA: RedBrick, 1989. 58. Print.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Help Shape Fairfax County's Future Bus Network!

FCDOT is working hard to improve bus service in Fairfax County with better connections and service. They are hoping to get the community's input to do even more to improve service and ensure the community can learn, get engaged, and provide recommendations.  

There are multiple ways to get involved:

1) Go online to fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/Connections2015 to find out more about the existing and future bus systems

2) Join FCDOT online during the Ask Fairfax! online chat!

          Wednesday, October 8 from 12:30-1:30


3) Attend a workshop where you will learn more about the County's existing transit network and help plan for the future through small work groups.  Upcoming works shops include:

          Thursday, October 9 from 6-8pm
          Chantilly Regional Library
          4000 Stringfellow Road
          Chantilly, VA  20151

          Tuesday, October 14 from 6-8pm
          Mount Eagle Elementary School
          616 N. Kings Highway
          Alexandria, VA  22303

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recap of September 13th Reston Community Meeting

by RCA Board Member - Hank Schonzeit


About 10 days ago, 100+ Reston residents met with Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning representatives to review the “strawman” draft text of Reston’s Master Plan Phase II. The strawman was proposed as an initial draft designed to start the public dialogue.  The plan can be accessed at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/reston/staff_documents/20140905_draft_strawman.pdf.

This plan is crafted to set the goals and criteria for development outside of the Reston Transit Station Area. Among others, Reston Citizens Association (RCA) also wrote to the Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Ms. Cathy Hudgins, expressing concerns about opportunities for adequate public review. Thankfully, Cathy Hudgins responded, and additional community meetings have been added to the plan development schedule.

At the September 13 community meeting, after Fairfax representatives presented an overview of the study area, schedule, vision and planning principles and an overview of the working draft, participants were invited into focus groups. Eight representatives from RCA participated in these groups. 

The focus of this meeting was the text on Neighborhoods, the Convenience Centers and the commercial area north of Baron Cameron Avenue and west of Reston Parkway. 

The following comments and suggestions were brought up and discussed.

Some participants felt that most of the relevant issues were covered in the plan. However, the text contained considerable duplication often with slight variations, i.e. in describing new development, some passages mention a traffic study and some do not, in describing road improvements, some passages mentioned bike lanes and walkways and others do not, some passages mention achieving Silver LEED Certification green goals and other describe “Gold.” Which is it? These inconsistencies made the strawman Master Plan difficult to evaluate and would make it even harder for the plan to serve as a guide. The duplication should be eliminated and where duplication or summarization is needed, the text should be consistent.

Missing were any mention of specific guidance on street crossing safety, traffic monitoring, how and where additional parks and recreation centers would be created to accommodate the expanded population and how our existing library will be maintained and enhanced.

There are no metrics mentioned for: traffic, green space verses development, park acreage/resident, library space/resident… The only metric included was for affordable housing. That metric however, does not differentiate between the two components of affordable housing, workforce and subsidized.

Someone noted that there was no text describing accommodations for pedestrians and bicycles when the new proposed bridges and underpasses are built, safe crossing of North Shore Drive when the revitalization of the Lake Anne area is implemented and noted that there is no guidance on the maintenance of existing facilities and paths, accommodation for electric charging stations, soliciting a book store, a mechanism to monitor traffic, and the process of how Reston will encourage developers to adhere to Phase II guidelines. A representative told RCA that the Plan sets the framework for evaluating proposals that are brought forward to the Planning and Zoning Department.

One of the main goals of Phase II was to create a new land use map - one that reflects all parks, recreation and open spaces in Reston, both public and private. New site-specific recommendations were added for Reston’s two golf courses – saying they are explicitly planned to remain as golf courses.

There were no goals set for the Baron Cameron Community Retail Center.  Should there be a goal, for instance, to eventually bring that center in line with the architecture of the Town center complexes as was the intention of the original Master Plan? Comments on the draft text are invited at restonmasterplanspecialstudy@fairfaxcounty.gov.

The next community meeting to present and discuss "Strawman" text for Phase II will be Saturday, October 18, time and place to be announced.  The focus will be on the draft Village Center text. There are no goals or plans for the four village centers in the draft text. Apparently the owners are satisfied with the current state of these locations. Someone questioned, “Shouldn’t we have a goal for how these centers will look like in 10-20 years?” If you have an opinion, please mark your calendar for October 18. 

Update:  

RCA Reston 2020 comments on the "strawman" draft Phase 2 Reston Master Plan, September 25, 2014