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)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Community Input Needed

Op-Ed: The Road from Nowhere

The following opinion piece was printed in Reston Now on December 4, 2017

This is an op/ed submitted by Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.
Good governance requires a bond of trust between citizens and their elected and appointed officials.  This trust can best – in fact only – be achieved and maintained when citizens are confident officials have the community’s best interests at heart and all proposals and plans affecting the community are fully presented and discussed.
County officials are currently proposing to amend zoning ordinances to allow significantly more population density in Reston.  They make their case by stating such amendments are required to fulfill the vision of the Reston Master Plan.   More specifically, the Plan is the only justification given for proposals to add tens of thousands of new housing units without providing the basic infrastructure needed to support such growth. 
So, is the Plan by itself enough to satisfy the need for transparency and to engender trust?
County officials will tell you the Plan was developed by the “community” through an exhaustive series of meetings held over six years.  Sounds good, but the reality is something very different.  First, membership in the working group was heavily weighted toward developers and their attorneys.  Second, and equally troubling, the Plan has been amended after it was theoretically finalized, without community input.  The following is one example why this should be of concern to everyone who lives, works or plays in Reston.
In mid-2015, after community involvement had concluded, an unmarked line representing a new road mysteriously appeared on revised maps associated with the Master Plan (Staff Report, Appendix B page 60).  This new road would connect Isaac Newton Square and American Dream Way.  The stated purpose is to “construct or improve {a} local or collector street.”  What it actually does is cut through the full length of the fourth fairway and across the approach to the third green of the Hidden Creek Golf Course, thus destroying the integrity of Hidden Creek.   As several observers have pointed out – there is no such thing as a 16 hole golf course.
The placement of this road directly violates the letter and spirit of sections of the Comprehensive Plan rarely mentioned by County officials – the sections  which call for this area to perpetually be “open space, designated as a golf course.”   And open space and recreational areas – along with roads, bridges, schools and public safety – are among the issues ignored or shortchanged in the density proposals. 
So, where did this road come from?  No one knows–or will admit to knowing.  The Reston Association wrote to the County last January opposing this road and asking for an explanation of how it appeared.  Eleven months later they continue to wait for a response.
Perhaps this was a mistake, quickly corrected?  No, the road remains in the current edition of the Comprehensive Plan –  no longer in an appendix, but now promoted to the main body of the report (page 137).
Does the addition of this road have anything to do with the recent sale of Hidden Creek to a development company? One can only speculate. 
The County/citizen relationship is important enough to give the benefit of doubt as to how we got to this point.  But this can’t be ignored any longer.  County officials need to explain why this road appeared out of nowhere and why the County has refused to provide information on it, despite repeated requests.  Although it is late, it isn’t too late for the County to respond.  But there are only two possible explanations and courses of action:
First, the County acknowledges this was a mistake, perhaps just an overeager subordinate acting without proper review or authorization.  If so, the road needs to be immediately removed from the Plan.  Second, this was not a mistake and the County does want this road built and open space bulldozed.  In that case, the County needs to take ownership of the proposal and try to justify the multiple violations of its own rules and planning guidelines.
It’s a matter of trust.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

RCA Resolution on Artificial Turf Playing Fields

Reston Citizens Association Resolution
Artificial Turf Playing Fields
November 27, 2017

Whereas, RCA recognizes the need for Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County Public Schools to ensure that there are adequate athletic facilities to meet the demand from schools, community groups and the public at large;

Whereas, artificial turf athletic fields offer an effective way to meet this demand by allowing for greatly increased playing hours;

Whereas, RCA acknowledges that recycled tire crumb, while currently approved by the relevant regulatory bodies, is under study[1] by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and that many public groups have expressed concern with tire crumb;

Whereas, RCA has learned that alternatives to tire crumb exist including organic infill,


  1. The Reston Citizens Association requests that the County create a framework to allow community groups to voluntarily raise funds to cover the difference in price between infill materials if community groups feel more comfortable with alternative infill materials.
  2. The County should continue to monitor further studies by relevant bodies and take appropriate actions.
  3. RCA strongly recommends that the relevant authorities add signage similar to Exhibit 1 that provides users of synthetic turf fields with best practices regarding safe use.

Exhibit 1

urf sign.jpg

Monday, November 27, 2017

Agenda - RCA Board of Directors Meeting

November 27, 2017
7:30 - 9:00 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building
11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA


ITEM                                      TOPIC                                              PRESENTER

1.                              ADOPT AGENDA                                                 Board

2.                              APPROVE OCTOBER MINUTES                         Board

3.                              APPROVE TREASURERS REPORT                    Leighton

4.                              TURF FIELDS/GFCA                                            Hartke

5.                               VIRGINIA TECH TRANSPORTATION  STUDY    Hartke    

6.                               Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR)                  Hays  

7.                               LICENSE PLATE - LAST TIME!                           Leighton

8.                                PLANNING & ZONING COMMITTEE                 Hays

9.                                 ATTRIBUTION POLICY                                       Hays

10.                              OTHER BUSINESS                                              Board

11.                                 ADJOURN