Sunday, April 22, 2018

Reston's Density Debate Monday, April 23 at 7pm Public Meeting

Community Meeting
when:     Monday, April 23 at 7 pm
where:    Reston Association HQ, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive
CPR is seeking feedback from the community on Fairfax County's rejection of our proposals to amend the Reston Master Plan.  Sponsored by Coalition for a Planned Reston, this is YOUR chance to learn the status of PRC* Cap 13 debate (change in Reston's Zoning to add more density!) Learn what YOU can do before it's too late.
Please complete the Survey Questions in the link below and attend the Community Meeting on April 23, 2018 where we will share the survey results and discuss the community’s next steps.
The community-wide organizations Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and Reston Citizens Association, which have advocated for fair and effective Fairfax County land use policies, have joined forces to help keep Reston a planned communityWorking together we are Coalition for a Planned Reston, or simply referred to as CPR.

Read more:

A bit of a long read - but this will give some great historical perspective that is still relevant today:

note - references to RPC Zoning changed in 1978 to PRC Zoning

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Meeting Report: Reston Transportation Service District Advisory Board - 4/5/2018


The following is an update to my previous communicationabout the Reston Transportation Service District Advisory Board. To recap, the Advisory Board’s role is to review and advise Fairfax County on the tax rate for the new Transit Service Area (TSA) tax that residents start paying in 2018 and advise on the allocation of funds.

We met on Thursday, April 5, to discuss and recommend the 2019 TSA tax rate and to discuss and recommend the allocation of funds for an intersection improvement. Meeting minutes and the handouts are available

The county’s minutes document the Advisory Board’s unanimous vote to keep the 2019 TSA tax rate at 2.1 cents per $100 valuation, despite a comment from a member (me) that I’d prefer a zero tax rate. But given that the transportation improvements are critical to Reston and the county has established the TSA tax as required to partially fund the improvements, everyone voted yes.

The minutes also show that the Advisory Board voted to recommend that $500,000 be allocated towards funding the interim project to ameliorate the congestion at the corner of Fairfax County Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. This is the second most congested intersection in Reston. Funds to address the most congested intersection, Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive, will come from another source. The county agreed to provide metrics, i.e. intersection projected wait time improvements, the next time they recommend funding a project.

There was a clarification of the pedestrian bridge issue. Apparently, there will be two bridges leading to the Reston station. One bridge from the south side of Sunset Hills Drive over the Toll Road to the station will be available when the station opens. A second pedestrian bridge, across the north side of Sunset Hills Drive to the south side, will not be be in place until Boston Properties completes phase 2 of the Reston Gateway development. No projected date was available. In the meanwhile, pedestrians will have to cross the 4-lane Sunset Hills Drive which has few crosswalks and even fewer traffic lights.

Since the Reston Transportation planning studies are performed are every five years and the next one isn’t due until 2021, I asked the county to provide statistics on automobile registrations prior to our next meeting. The numbers of cars registered in Reston can act as a surrogate traffic congestion metric, prior to the formal studies. The county agreed to provide these.

The Advisory Board again questioned the accuracy of the 45% Reston residential vacancy rate and whether it includes the new high-rises opened in 2018. The county agreed to contact the source of the information and get back to the group. Updates will be posted when  available.

County staff also agreed to recirculate information about which projects will be funded through the TSA service district and which ones will be funded by other means. And finally, in the fall, the Advisory Board plans to discuss whether it wants to suggest a 2020 tax rate prior to the county advertising their suggested maximum TSA tax rate.

The posted minutes and handouts provide additional details.

Hank Schonzeit, CDP
RCA Board of Directors
RTSDAB Rep for RTC Homeowners

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Meeting Report: Reston Transportation Service District Advisory Board - 3/29/2018

As a member of the RestonTransportation Service District Advisory Board (RTSDAB), I attended its March 29 meeting. RTSDAB’s role is to review and advise Fairfax County on the tax rate for the new Transit Service Area (TSA) tax that residents start paying in 2018. This was a public meeting, and I can share the details.
The County provided and elaborated on a handout on Reston Development and Transportation Projects. We were informed that the handout will be posted on a Fairfax government site soon, but I thought to inform the community about some highlights:
The country reported major (high-rise) “construction deliveries” of 1,616 rental residential units between 2015 and 2017, capable of housing about 3,000 new Reston residents.  These numbers do not include the 531 rental units (and expected 1,000 new residents) that recently came online with the opening of the Signature complex.  In addition, the County reported that there are another 1,600 residential rental units (Signature included?) in the construction pipeline. This could mean as many as 7000 new residents.
However, these new units are not filling up very fast: The county stated that Reston’s residential rental vacancy rate is currently 45%. (Some in our group questioned this figure, but the county confirmed their estimate.) Such a high vacancy rate can have a serious impact on the marketability of condominiums and HOA townhouses, depressing prices and increasing time-on-market. It also implies that the increase demand on our infrastructure, roads, schools, libraries, parks… has yet to be felt.
We also heard that the pedestrian skywalk from Reston Town Center to the new Reston Station will not be in place when the station opens. It is currently planned to be included in Phase II of the Reston Gateway project. Those of us living in and around Town Center will have to either walk along Reston Parkway or Fairfax County Parkway, across the toll road, and then along Sunrise Valley Drive to the station. This will be almost as far as walking to the Wiehle station. I’m awaiting a response to my request for the status of the overpass construction and a projected implementation date.
A presentation slide provided a summary of both approved and pending Development Totals. I found this slide difficult to parse. It seems to indicate that the county projects a 61% increase in both total square footage and units (residential and commercial combined) after the in-process rezoning applications are approved and a 294% increase in both total square footage and units if all pending applications are approved. I suspect that these percentage increases are only for the TSA area. Nevertheless, this is a staggering increase and further explanations are necessary. The slide will be available when the county posts the presentation on their website.   I’ve included an image of the summary slide below. Many of us attended a more detailed county briefing on the projected increases about six months ago, where similar increases were projected.
There was some good news: The county hasn’t recommended an increase in the 2.1 cent TSA residential tax rate. The county also provided an update on the status of transportation projects. Significant project delays were not apparent or highlighted. Interested parties should look at the presentation when it is uploaded. When the County link becomes available, we'll add it here and say "updated on x date. "
On the traffic analysis front, someone asked if the county has begun studying the actual traffic impact of the new construction. The county responded that a study is being considered.
The next meeting of the RTSDAB is scheduled for Thursday, April 5 at the Lake Anne Community Center at 7:00 PM. The RTSDAB will formally vote on a TSA tax rate recommendation for the County.

Hank Schonzeit
RCA Board Member

Sunday, March 25, 2018

RCA Board of Directors Meeting

March 26, 2018
7:30 - 9:00 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building
11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA

ITEM                          TOPIC                                                    PRESENTER
1.                  ADOPT AGENDA                                               Board
2.                  APPROVE SEPTEMBER MINUTES                   Board
3.                  APPROVE TREASURERS REPORT                   Leighton
4.                  RESCUE RESTON/HIDDEN CREEK                  Mulston/Hartke
5.                  WEBSITE                                                            Inanli
6.                  PRC/HUDGINS MEETING                                  Hays  
7.                  ELECTION COMMITTEE                                    Board
8.                  COMMITTEES                                                    Board 
9.                  HOUSEKEEPING                                               Hays
10.                OTHER BUSINESS                                            Board
11.                ADJOURN 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

RCA Wants Committee Volunteers

Are you concerned about civic and residential issues affecting our Reston community? Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization that upholds Reston’s founding ideals — work, live and play — is looking for volunteers to serve on different committees. Check out how you can become involved and make a difference.

We especially welcome volunteers who are not RA members. We are all OneReston and every group's input is valued.


The Reston Citizens Association (RCA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation serving over 60,000 people who live in Reston. Founded in 1967, RCA is the only community-wide, non-partisan, and action-oriented organization in which everyone that lives, works and plays in Reston has a voice. 

RCA comprises a Board of Directors serving three-year terms who are elected by Reston residents (16 or older). To achieve its mission and goals, RCA utilizes independent committees and collaborates with other community and Fairfax County organizations.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Op-Ed: Are We Reston? Or Rosslyn? February 9, 2018

Money Magazine has rated Reston as one of the best places to live in the country. Nothing new here. Reston has long been ranked among most desirable locations to live, work and play.  As the magazine notes, “Robert E. Simon mapped out a vision of a community that upheld open space, recreational facilities and aesthetic beauty.”  Further, Money explains, Reston “offers a woodsy atmosphere that includes expanses of parks, lakes, golf courses and bridle paths.”
Of course, Money’s brief report doesn’t capture all of Reston’s attractions, like the fact that we have always been a big hearted community that welcomes everyone, that we value development when it is appropriately supported by infrastructure and that preserving a quality of life for our children and grandchildren is more important than the passing obsessions of the day.
Perhaps more interesting than which communities are considered great places to live is to look at the sort of communities not on the list.  You will search in vain for a Ballston, a Tysons, or a Rosslyn – and yet these are the models for what our County officials want us to become.
A show of hands – does anyone think that advocates of massively increased density in Reston care about your family’s quality of life? Anyone?
Reston has been a planned community for over fifty years.  And for more than fifty years Reston has generally delivered on its promise of being a great place to live.  Ballston and Tysons have many attractions – I have friends who are quite happy in both places – but they aren’t Reston.  Nor do they want to be.  And that’s fine.  Let Tysons be Tysons – but let’s let Reston be Reston. 
If you care about keeping the “planned” in our planned community, support the efforts of the community groups working to make sure Reston is on Money’s lists in 2023, 2028 and beyond.  Please go to  from more information.  It’s your future.
Dennis HaysPresident, Reston Citizens Association

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Nominations Open for Fairfax County Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award

RCA is a member of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations.

The Fairfax County Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award is sponsored by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations. The Citizen of the Year Award and Citation(s) of Merit recognize and honor those Fairfax County residents whose voluntary contributions of time and talent have resulted in major accomplishments or who have enhanced the quality of life for citizens of Fairfax County. Once the nomination period closes on 31 January, a selection committee of countywide organizations meets to review the nominations received.


·      Nominees must be current residents of Fairfax County.
·      The Citizen of the Year is recognized for voluntary acts that are not related to employment.


·      The Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (The Federation) sponsors the Fairfax County Citizen of the Year Award.
·      After the nomination period is over the Federation chairs a selection committee of countywide organizations to review Citizen of the Year nominations for recognition at an annual springtime banquet.


·      Contributions and accomplishments must have countywide rather than local significance.
·      The nominee's achievements can be either:
·      General, such as multi-year community service with one or more organizations or activities with cumulative impact over the years of current importance or with positive implications for the future, or
·      Specific, including intense efforts as the major promoter of a single program or project completed in a finite period of time.
·      Achievements by elected officials and full-time County or Commonwealth employees are ineligible for consideration if the contributions are employment related. If so, they may be considered for a Special Gratitude Award (see below)

Special Gratitude Awards:

·      Persons who do not meet the eligibility standards for Citizen of the Year consideration but whose contributions of time and talent resulted in major accomplishments that have enhanced the quality of life for citizens of Fairfax County may still be recognized. These include:
o   Non-residents
o   Deceased residents
o   Elected officials and full-time County or Commonwealth employees whose contributions are employment related.

Please submit nominations on the forms available on the Federation’s website: Be sure to include as much detail as possible. If necessary, attach additional sheets or endorsements of the nominee by others, as there will be no further contact for information. The Federation will not consider nominations postmarked, emailed or submitted online after 31 January.

Additional sheets and endorsements of the nominee by others may be attached to the submission, emailed to the Federation COY selection committee at or mailed to the Federation at

    Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations
    C/O Citizen of the Year Chair
    P.O. Box 3913
    Merrifield, VA 22116-3913

For more information please contact

Jeffrey M. Parnes,
Citizen of the Year Chair
Fairfax Federation
703.424.2956 (P)
484.307.2552 (F)