Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Op-Ed: The Tragedy of the Commons

Op-Ed submitted by Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association to RestonNow.com
10/16/2017
It seems like every day, a major new development project in Reston is announced. And it seems like every day, traffic gets a little worse and schools and athletic fields get a little more crowded.
Is there a connection here? Well, of course there is.
Reston, since its founding, has excelled and prospered as a planned community. And the plan has been that development and the requisite infrastructure would go hand in hand. The problem is not (always) new development; the problem is that new development calls for a corresponding investment in roads, bridges and underpasses, schools, playgrounds, storm drainage, additional open space and, yes, trees — and this isn’t happening.
Economists often point to a phenomenon called “the Tragedy of the Commons” — the observation that when individual users of a commonly held resource are free to maximize their personal benefit at the expense of the larger community, they will generally do so. The “commonly held resource” in this case being the unique and special nature of a Reston where one can Live, Work and Play in harmony with nature. In a perfect world, everyone — the County, the developers and residents of Reston alike — would work together to grow Reston while preserving those things that make this community what it is.
Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.
The County and the developers want to dramatically increase the population density of Reston. They are naturally driven by, and give priority to, a desire for tax revenue and profits respectively. Not bad things in themselves, of course, unless they come at the unwarranted expense of others — which, in this case, they do.
That leaves those of us who live and work here as the ones with both the most to gain and the most to lose as decisions about our future are made. In the coming weeks a number of key issues — ranging from whether to triple the density of Reston, to what kind of library we will have, to how crowded our schools will be — are to be acted upon. As individuals, we have scant ability to ensure infrastructure is given equal priority to development. But this is Reston, and Reston being Reston, we have a vast community of engaged citizens with a deep commitment to balance and fairness and a future we can proudly pass on to our posterity.
Three weeks ago, over 400 individuals turned out for the County’s fourth attempt to justify the density increase — only to have the meeting canceled because we far exceeded the room’s capacity. Now the meeting has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at South Lakes High Schools. The County will draw upon the full-time lawyers and urban planners we as taxpayers pay for to tell us what they say is in our best interest. On our side we have — each other. We need everyone who believes in defending the Commons to attend this meeting.
As Margaret Mead observed, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Monday, October 16, 2017

Agenda - RCA Board of Directors Meeting

October 16, 2017
7:30 - 9:30 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.                   TURF FIELDS/GFCA                                          Hartke

5.                   RESCUE RESTON UPDATE                              Hartke    

6.                   PRC                                                               Hays  

7.                   LICENSE PLATE                                                 Leighton

8.                   OUTSIDE COMMITTEE OPENINGS              Callaghan

9.                 HOUSEKEEPING                                           Hays

10.               Other Business                                              Board

11.               Adjourn 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Upcoming FCPS Community Conversation

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand will host five Community Conversations this fall to hear what students, parents, employees, and members of the community are thinking about and what issues are important to them.

The meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a meet and greet, followed by discussion and questions from the audience from 7 to 8 p.m.

This first meeting is in Reston on Wednesday, October 18, Hughes Middle School, 11401 Ridge Heights Rd, (Lecture Hall – Region 1)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

August Board Minutes

RCA Board of Directors Meeting
August 28th, 2017
National Realty Building


Those attending included: Nick Georgas, Moira Callaghan, John Hanley, Dennis Hays, Joe Leighton, Hank Schonzeit, Annmarie Swope, and Isabel Santa. Connie Hartke arrived at 8 pm.
Absent were: Lynne Mulston, Yavuz Inanli, Charles Dorfeuille, and Patrice McGinn
Guest: Julie Bitzer


Meeting called to order at 7:32 PM

  1. Adopt Preliminary Agenda - Based on a motion by Joe and a second by Annmarie the agenda was unanimously adopted by those in attendance.
  2. The July RCA Meeting Minutes - Based on a motion by a second by Joe, with Hank and Nick abstaining, the minutes were approved by those in attendance. Hank, Annmarie, and Nick abstained.
  3. Treasurer’s Report – The group discussed the accessibility committee and what the RCA funds go towards. Based on a motion by Hank and a second by Isabel the Treasurer’s report previously approved as distributed by all members in attendance.
  4. Approve By-Law Changes - Joe went over discussions with the SCC about voting members and discrepancies with the application. Joe will send the information to the group for further review before any response is provided for the inquiry. Dennis discussed a “sustaining members program” and the importance to keep RCA funded and moving forward. Having different levels of financial donations would be beneficial to fundraising activities. The group agreed that this would be a good idea to proceed with.
    1. The potential for a term of office revision was discussed. Dennis called for a vote on a change to term limits. The vote for three year terms received four votes (Hank, Nick, John, Joe); the vote for a two year term received three votes (Moira, Isabel, Annmarie). The three year term limit will remain.  
  5. Committee Assignments - Dennis will resend the committee assignment email to the group for discussion in September. Each committee will need a chairperson and co-chairperson by the September meeting.
  6. Library Issues - Dennis has had ongoing discussions with Library Trustees about how things could be done differently. The biggest item was the County dropping their fight to attain the assets of the various Friends of the Library groups. Dennis will send his final version of proposed changes to the group later in September. The other issue discussed was the future of RTC North Blocks seven and eight. The winning developer will be announced in February.
  7. PRC and Sponsored Meeting - Hank discussed the previous PRC meetings and the new fourth meeting proposed by Supervisor Hudgins on September 25th. RCA’s role was discussed and how it can impact the future of the planned amendment. Dennis has requested a meeting with Fred Seldon to discuss RCA’s plan for opposing the change. Ahead of the September 25th meeting hosted by Supervisor Hudgins, Dennis proposed a September 20th joint meeting between RCA, Reclaim Reston, Reston Association, Reston 2020, and Reston United. Dennis suggested talking points for the meeting as follows: connection between development and density, replacing missing infrastructure, height limits/density limits per parcel, and how density is counted. Various speakers were discussed such as a social worker representative and school representative.
  8. License Plate Update - Moira updated the group that checks were starting to be mailed out to former supporters of the program. There will be further discussion on what to do with returned money or addresses that couldn’t be found. Hank offered to research new addresses for those that could not be found.
  9. Hook Road - Connie discussed the upcoming Hook Road meeting on 8/29 at RA. Joe stated he will attend on behalf of RCA.
  10. SCC Update Homeowners Group - Joe said that the SCC paperwork was approved after lengthy discussion.
  11. RNGC Update - Connie spoke about potential investors that have shown interest in the golf course property due to it being back on the market. Fairfax County, Reston Association, and Rescue Reston are still working together to oppose any redevelopment plans of the golf course. Donations by the board are voluntary. Connie proposed a motion that RCA sponsor a high school golf team for the Rescue Reston golf tournament. Hank seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.  
  12. Other Business
    1. Hank was appointed to the Reston area transportation committee.
    2. Connie requested that RCA author another article for Around Reston. The article would be due on the 20th of September. The request was for an article about the future density increase to the PRC Zoning.
    3. There is a drop in event at the Lake House about pools on September 10th.
    4. Moira asked that the file sharing structure be redone so that there is a more centralized location for file sharing.
  13. Location and Time of Next Meeting - The next meeting will be September 26th, 2017 at 7:30 at the Hartke Building. Isabel made a motion to adjourn the meeting and John seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved by all those in attendance.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Agenda - RCA Board of Directors Meeting


September 26, 2017
7:30 - 9:30 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building
11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA

ITEM                              TOPIC                                                    PRESENTER

1.                              ADOPT AGENDA                                               Board

2.                              APPROVE AUGUST MINUTES                         Board

3.                              APPROVE TREASURERS REPORT                  Leighton

4.                              COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS                            Board

5.                              TURF FIELDS -board action                               Hartke 

6.                               WEBSITE/G--suite                                              Inanli

7.                               SCC FOLLOW UP                                            Leighton

8.                              LICENSE PLATE REFUND UPDATE                   Leighton

9.                              PRC MEETING                                                    Hays

10.                            Other Business                                                    Board

11.                            Adjourn

Friday, September 22, 2017

Follow Up from 9/20/2017 Community Forum

Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and Reston Citizen’s Association’s
Presentation on
Fairfax County’s Proposal to
Increase the Population Density of Reston

Slides from meeting.

Video of meeting. 


**PLEASE ATTEND THE ZONING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT MEETING ON SEPTEMBER 25 - 7 p.m. at Lake Anne Elementary

Critical Dates

  • Monday, September 25 - Zoning Ordinance Amendment meeting, Lake Anne Elementary
  • November 2017 - Board of Supervisors to authorize amendment
  • January 2018 - Planning Commission
  • February 2018 - Board of Supervisors vote - change in law (zoning ordinance)


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Please attend an informational forum about a matter crucial to our community:

Fairfax County’s Proposal to Increase the Population Density of Reston

Wednesday, September 20th
7 – 9PM

Reston Association's Conference Center

Fairfax County is recommending changes to the Reston Planned Residential Community (PRC) zoning ordinance that would allow:

 • an increase in the number of persons per acre in Reston’s PRC district from 13 to 16; and

• a significant increase in high-rise multi-family buildings

We will share with you why these changes are being proposed and the impact on our open space, traffic, schools and other public facilities. 
We invite you to ask questions, and share your views and concerns.

This informational meeting will prepare all for a community gathering called by Supervisor Hudgins to hear the County’s own explanation on September 25.

Let’s come together to ensure we can continue to say “Reston is a planned community”

and NOT “Reston was a planned community.” 

This forum is hosted by Reston Association with presentations by Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and Reston Citizens Association


We sincerely apologize for the scheduling conflict with Rosh Hashanah.