Monday, May 23, 2016

Draft Agenda RCA Board of Directors Meeting

May 23, 2016
7:30 - 9:30 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building, 11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA


7:30 PM
Adopt Agenda
RCA Board

7:35 PM
Approve April 25, 2016 Minutes
Discussion and Action
Nick Georgas

7:40 PM
Approve Treasurer’s Report
Joe Leighton

7:45 PM
Elections Committee
Sridhar Ganesan/ Annmarie Swope

8:05 PM
501 (c) 3
Update/ Action
Yavuz Inanli

8:10 PM
RTC Parking Proposal
Update/ Discussion
Yavuz Inanli/ Lynne Mulston

8:20 PM
RTC – Redevelopment, Library
Hank Schonzeit/ Dennis Hays

8:30 PM
St. Johns Woods
Annmarie Swope/ Nick Georgas

8:40 PM
Tall Oaks
Lynne Mulston

8:50 PM
Reston Transport Network Meeting
Yavuz Inanli/ Connie Hartke

9:00 PM
411 Information Doc
Connie Hartke

9:15 PM
Other Business
RCA Board

9:29 PM
Location and Time of Next Meeting; Adjourn
RCA Board

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

RCA Board of Directors Meeting 04/25/16

RCA Board of Directors Meeting
April 25, 2016
National Realty Building

Those attending included: Connie Hartke, Nick Georgas, Sridhar Ganesan, George Kain, Yavuz Inanli, Annmarie Swope, John Hanley, Joe Leighton, Robin Hogan, Hank Schonzeit, Dennis Hays
Absent were: Lynne Mulston, Geoffrey Lewis
Guests were: Michael Travis
  1. Agenda - Based on a motion by Annmarie and a second by Joe the agenda was unanimously adopted by those in attendance.
  2. March 28th RCA Meeting Minutes - Based on a motion by Joe and a second by George the March 28th, 2016 minutes were unanimously approved as distributed.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – Based on a motion by Joe and a second by Hank the treasurer’s report previously circulated by Joe via email was unanimously approved as distributed.
  4. Citizen of the Year Review - Connie thanked the Board and gave a rundown of the successful Citizen of The Year Ceremony on April 24th. The event was well attended by members of the community and the RCA Board. For next year, pending RCA activities and Citizen of the Year award winner,  Annmarie suggested that we explore  other venues and continue to identify high profile and relevant speakers. Hank suggested vegetarian food options to be more inclusive and to get RTCA involved in an outreach effort. Annmarie suggested inviting other associations within Reston (i.e  cluster and neighborhood associations, community non-profits, etc  next year). The Congressional Commendation was discussed as being an added honorfor Rescue Reston and other community organizations.
  5. Elections Committee – Sridhar updated everyone on the Call for Candidates and the actions taken by the Elections Committee. May 13th is the deadline for the Call for Candidates and elections begin on May 20th. In addition to media and neighborhood outreach, flyers will be distributed to local businesses.
  6. 501 (c) 3 – Yavuz said that the application is completed pending the Tax ID Number, which Joe then provided. We will need to review finances in an effort to come up with the required $400 to file the application. John will work with Joe to figure out the finances from the Citizen of the Year Ceremony to determine if RCA has any available funds to go towards the filing of the application. Yafuz offered to pay the fee and ask RCA to reimburse in near future. Connie made a motion and Robin seconded it to allow Yavuz to pay for the application immediately. The motion was unanimously passed by all those in attendance.
  7. RTC North Redevelopment - Dennis discussed a response from Andy Miller which didn’t positively address all of RCA’s concerns expressed to the County both at meetings and in writing. There will be a community meeting announced a month prior to the meeting regarding the RFP. There is concern that the smaller size of the proposed library (39,000 sq feet)  is less than adequate to handle the current and future Reston Region population estimates (80,000+) over the next 20+ years. In addition, the temporary Library is expected to only be approximately 5,000 sq ft. Dennis will  reconvene with the RCA Library Committee to develop a survey and press release  to help secure input from the community and raise awareness. We should target the folks using the library, especially those from underserved households and families to get their feedback and to help support the cause.
  1. RTC Parking Proposal - Dennis discussed the RTC parking proposal. Yavuz explained the proffer condition that led to the paid parking requirement. The issue is the current plan of how paid parking will be  implemented beginning in August. The group discussed all of the concerns and strategized what RCA’s approach could be to help the community. It was agreed to await feedback from Geoff and Lynn who attended the public meeting hosted by Boston Properties before discussing other implementation options.
  2. Proposed Transportation Tax - The Board of Supervisors is creating another Reston Tax District to help fund transportation programs in the County. The impression is that the County is trying to move the legislation through quickly to avoid public input. RCA will investigate the tax districts and where the boundaries are and what we can do to enhance education and engagement of the community.
  3. St John’s Woods - Annmarie spoke on her experience at the DRB presentation for St. John’s Woods and the reaction of the developer’s proposal by the DRB and citizens who attended the meeting. The biggest takeaways were the elimination of 30’ft buffer of trees on Center Harbor, the design looking more like RTC than St John’s Woods, and the traffic study proposal and access points onto Center Harbour. Annmarie is going to follow-up with Cate at Reston Association to find out if Reston Association will explore an independent traffic study.
  4. Zoning Ordinance - John discussed the FAR changes to the Zoning Ordinance and the Fairfax County Federation’s reaction to County efforts to push through the FAR5 proposal. The Fairfax Federation is against the changes, which could see FAR5 developments being permitted well outside the CBC, CRD and TSA areas. They would like to see FAR limited to 4 within a ¼ mile of metro stops. John will find out if this affects Reston when he attends the Federation Board Meeting on Thursday, April 28th.
  5. W&OD Trail Lighting - Michael spoke about the safety issue of the unlit W&OD trail.  RCA should get involved to take up the cause as being good stewards. George spoke with the Town of Herndon to get information on the cost of adding lighting to the trail as they are currently in Phase III of lighting the W&OD. George will continue to pursue this information with the Town of Herndon. RCA will need to contact the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to get more information on potential past studies and lighting options.
  6. Other Business -
    1. Robin brought up the County Septage facility. After strong negative public reaction, it is likely that it will either be renovated at the present site, or be moved elsewhere, not to Reston.
  7. Location and Time of Next Meeting - The next meeting will be May 23rd, 2016 at 7:30 at the Hartke Building. Joe made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Dennis seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved by all those in attendance.

Draft Minutes will be approved at the next Board Meeting

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Great RCA Evening Honoring Rescue Reston and its Supporters
Over 100 people attend gala event including Reston and Fairfax County luminaries

By Sridhar Ganesan, President, RCA

Greetings!  Hope you enjoyed the spring and summer like weather that we have been getting recently. 
On Sunday, April 24, 2016, Reston Citizens Association (RCA) was proud to present the 2015 Citizen(s) of the Year award to a very deserving recipient – Rescue Reston (RR) organization and its 6000+ supporters. 

The award was presented at a ceremony held at Reston Community Center, Hunters Woods in front of over 100 attendees, including the Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Cathy Hudgins, Virginia State Delegate Ken Plum, Fairfax Federation of Citizens Association President, Tim Thompson, Reston Association (RA) President, Ellen Graves, RCA as well as RR Board of Directors and a variety of community leaders, past honorees Cate Fulkerson, CEO, RA, Kathy Kaplan, Marion Stillson and John McCrea, who nominated Rescue Reston for the award.
After my opening remarks, Mr. McCrea, long-time Reston golf course resident and President of Reston firm Achieve-it, LLC, described why he nominated Rescue Reston. He was followed by Ms. Hudgins; Mr. Plum; Alex Robbins, Fairfax Outreach Representative for Congressman Gerry Connolly, Mr. Thompson, and Ms. Graves.
While US Rep Gerry Connolly could not attend the event, in his entry of RR’s award into the Congressional Record, he said, “It is fitting that this award is given by one grassroots organization to another. It speaks yet again to the legacy that the founder of Reston, Robert E. Simon, leaves behind. I believe that such a high level of engagement is one of the best indicators of a healthy and vibrant community.”
I presented the award to RR board members - Lisa White, Robin Hogan, Ray Wedell, John Pinkman, a co-founder of RR, and Connie Hartke, President – who also invited the audience to join in on this honor.  Mr. Pinkman and Ms. Hartke made acceptance speeches. 
Reston Connection newspaper has reported extensively on the event and it can be read here - "Thousands Become Citizen of the Year".  From my perspective, while there was much to celebrate in how the community came together as one voice to preserve the golf course as open green space, what struck me was the excellent collaboration between all the different local and County organizations involved (the County, RA, RCA and RR).  The golf course fight represents a great example of what can be accomplished by working together. 
Citizen of the Year Award
Since 1976, RCA has named a Restonian as Citizen of the Year. The Citizen of the Year event is our signature public event of the year, when we take the time to celebrate the citizens who have contributed to Reston above and beyond what was expected of them.  Through this award, we spotlight the work of dedicated citizen volunteers and civic activists who work tirelessly behind the scenes. They are the heroes who have made Reston what it is and represent the best of Reston’s values.
We called for nominations from the public early February 2016 and received names of several very qualified nominees, thus making it a difficult choice as it always is.  The Citizen of the Year Committee of our Board then went through a process, following which the RCA Board picked the Citizen of the Year.  This was done after we weighed a variety of factors – among others, whether the awardee’s efforts had enhanced the quality of life in Reston and whether they were consistent with Reston’s planning principles, vision and RCA’s goals.  And we looked at outcomes as well. 
This year’s citizen of the year was different in one way - we chose a unique recipient – Rescue Reston and its supporters, the first time we have chosen a group of citizens and an organization.
Rescue Reston was founded in August 2012 specifically to challenge a potential proposal to have Reston’s only public golf course rezoned for residential development. 
It started with three people, who mobilized hundreds of activists and it is now a 6,000-member strong organization.  Its supporters were galvanized to fight an appeals process in front of the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) initially.  Then the organization and support base expanded and strengthened as a legal process unfolded. Fairfax County, Supervisor Hudgins, RA and Recue Reston were great partners in the fight, with Rescue Reston leading the charge from a public perspective. 
·      Hundreds of people attended rallies, a variety of local organizations joined the fight including environmental groups. 
·     Thousands contributed funds to support legal costs as the process wound through the courts.
·  Over 500 people showed up to show support and comment at the BZA meeting in which Fairfax County, RA and RR attorneys presented evidence that the golf course land use designation is permanent open green space.
·    Critically, Rescue Reston researched and found incontrovertible historical documents that supported the open green space designation for the golf course. 
The Rescue Reston website ( and press reports detail the chronology of events and what transpired, but as things stand the coordinated efforts resulted in the Fairfax County Circuit Court requiring the golf course owners to file a plan with the Fairfax County for any proposed redevelopment.  They must follow the same County process for a land use change as any other landowner.
The golf course owners, RN Golf Management, have decided not to pursue an appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court against the Circuit Court ruling.
This outcome was a great result and many thanks from RCA to Rescue Reston members and leadership for uniting thousands of citizens and many of the leading organizations, and fighting on our behalf for a great public common good for the Reston community. 
We anticipated a well-attended event last Sunday and we were not disappointed.  Any event like this one cannot be held without the support of a lot of people. 
The JBG Companies, the property developer that is expanding Reston Heights “in a location” that we would want a developer to build (north of Sunrise Valley Drive, opposite the golf course as opposed to on it, J) was a significant contributor.  Local companies that supported us also include National Realty, a premier Northern Virginia real estate agency, and Bleevit Interactive, a company that provides web-design, search-engine optimization and social media services. 
Area grocery chains also supported the event strongly – Wegman’s of Fairfax, Harris Teeter and Safeway of Reston. 
And not least of all, many thanks for direct donations from the public as well as from directors of RCA and RR to help make this event possible. 
A lot of people worked long days and hours to make this happen.  My thanks to RCA’s Citizen of the Year Committee – Hank Schonzeit, Geoff Lewis, Lynne Mulston and especially the Chair, John Hanley, but for whose tireless work from January of this year, we would have been hard pressed to have gone through the process and ultimately actually host an event.  I am grateful to Jacqueline Carr Photography for great pictures (view here) and South Lakes High School students Madison Evans, Kathryn Becker, Lindsey Daniels, and Kahlil Dover for their cheerful and enthusiastic help. 
Finally, of course, thank you to the members of the public and all the community leaders for attending and making it a memorable and successful event. 
I look forward to another fantastic event next year and RCA honoring another great citizen or who knows – another great organization!!!