Thursday, March 28, 2019

RCA hosts Hunter Mill Supervisor Candidates' Forum, April 23, 2019

UPDATE for those who cannot attend tonight
Forum will NOT be aired live. We will post on social media as it becomes available and it will be broadcast in its entirety on Channel 28 at the following times:

Friday, April 26th at 7:00pm
Saturday, April 27th at Noon
Sunday, April 28th at Noon



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reston Citizens Association Announces Candidate Forum to be held April 23 at Lake Anne Community Center

March 26, 2019 - Reston, VA - Reston Citizens Association (RCA) will be hosting the candidates for the Hunters Mill Supervisor’s seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in a Community Forum.
When: Tuesday, April 23, 2019, from 7 PM – 9 PM
Where: Lake Anne Community Center, 1609-A Washington Plaza N, Reston, VA 20190

For the first time in many years, RCA is proud to resume its tradition of hosting a Candidate Forum. This Forum will allow Restonians to learn their potential supervisor’s positions and plans first-hand.
The Candidate Forum will be free to the public and take place in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at the Lake Anne Community Center.
“RCA is very excited to resume our long tradition of connecting the citizens of Reston and the Hunter Mill district with their local leaders and with the information they need to make informed decisions,” says Dennis Hays, President of the Reston Citizens’ Association. “We expect this to be the first of many such forums.”

About Reston Citizens Association
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.

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Media Inquiries: Lynne Mulston, Vice President, Reston Citizens Association (703) 662-1687

Friday, February 15, 2019

Coalition for a Planned Reston Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2019

The Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) appreciates the thoroughness and thoughtfulness with which the Fairfax County Planning Commission has dealt with the proposal to raise the population cap of Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC.) 

CPR leadership is pleased with the Planning Commission’s determination that several of CPR's core positions are valid and in the best interest of the community. 

Specifically:
·      The Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Board of Supervisors reject the proposed density increase (and keep the cap at 13);
·      The Commission reaffirmed the need to link zoning to the Comprehensive Plan; and 
·      The Commission encouraged the formation of a Task Force to work on these issues with appropriate independent citizen participation.   

All of this has been accomplished by the involvement and action of thousands of Restonians and Reston well-wishers who have written letters, made phone calls, attended meetings, spoken to officials and helped CPR raise awareness in the community.   This was the decisive factor in achieving this result.    

While we are pleased with the Planning Commission's considered decisions, we note that this is not the end of attempts to diminish the uniqueness of Reston.  The matter now goes to the Board of Supervisors who have the final say.  While we believe the Supervisors should accept the Commissioners' recommendations, they have no obligation to do so.  The proposal on the density increase is on the calendar for Supervisors' meeting of March 5th.   We thus will continue to work to inform all the Supervisors about this issue and the destructive impact it would have if passed.   

Further, if the proposal to create a new Task Force is approved, a great deal of work will need to be done to ensure citizens' voices are heard and that the guiding principles of Reston are not pushed aside for short-term, self-interested gain.

CPR wishes to thank everyone who pitched in to preserve a functioning planned Reston. Please stay alert and informed.  Your continued passion is needed.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sample Information to Organize Your Neighbors to Attend the 1/23 Public Hearing

A meeting we should all attend:

WHAT: Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing Regarding Proposed Increase in Population Density

WHEN: Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:00pm [NOTE: meeting is starting earlier than usual to accommodate the number of people who are expected to speak]

WHERE: Fairfax County Government Center – Board Auditorium, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA (map)

WHY: There is strength in numbers – your presence makes a statement

PARKING/CARPOOLING: Parking is free, but carpooling is suggested

WHEN TO GET THERE: Try to arrive no later than 6:45pm; suggest you leave Reston at 5:45pm to deal with rush-hour traffic, find a parking place, and get a seat in the auditorium.

WHAT TO WEAR:  A yellow shirt/sweater/jacket (to purchase a Reclaim Reston t-shirt, please contact CPR at plannedreston@gmail.com) 


CARPOOLING: Please contact xxx at phone# or [email] if you want to carpool.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Attend the January 23 Public Hearing on Reston Density

On January 23, the Fairfax County Planning Commission is holding a Public Hearing on the proposed amendment to raise the Reston zoning density cap outside of the metro transit station areas.  This amendment will facilitate high-rise growth in the Village Centers and other established residential neighborhoods in our community.
At the January 10 Planning Commission workshop on the subject, the Commissioners made it very clear that they want to hear from the public at this hearing. 
Show up wearing yellow to send a strong message  
Where: Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA in the Board Auditorium
Time: 7:00pm (arrive 6:45 to get parked (free) and settled)
Date: January 23, 2019
What to Wear: Yellow shirts (to purchase a yellow t-shirt, please contact CPR at plannedreston@gmail.com)
Learn More:
Articles:  The Folly of FifteenRise Up Reston
Fairfax County:  December 2018 Fairfax County Staff Report, which advocates increasing density: Fairfax County Reston Zoning Amendment-Staff Report
Letter to the Editor: Why You Should Care About the Reston Zoning Cap


Friday, January 11, 2019

Letter to Planning Commissioners re: PRC Zoning Amendment

RESTON CITIZENS ASSOCIATION 
Founded 1968

January 10, 2019

Re: PRC Zoning Amendment

Dear Members of the Fairfax County Planning Commission:
 
The Reston Citizens Association (RCA) strongly urges the Planning Commission to reject the County staff's proposal to increase the population density of the PRC areas of Reston.  Such an action, if approved, would ignore the will of the residents of Reston and irrevocably damage everything Reston was created to be - a planned community uniquely open to residents from all walks of life.  Reston is nationally and internationally recognized for maintaining a balance among development, infrastructure, and nature and for achieving a much envied - and much copied - "live, work, play" lifestyle.  The Reston community is perplexed - and saddened  - by County staff's efforts to diminish this legacy and worsen the quality of life of current and future residents.  
                                 
We are concerned that actions being taken by staff are deleterious to good governance.  That is, we at RCA believe there must be a bond of trust and confidence between government and citizens.  At the beginning of this process we had an excellent working relationship with County officials and staff.  We met in groups large and small and while we didn't always reach agreement, we each gained an important understanding of the other's concerns.  After the four issue-specific group meetings last summer, however, this spirit of cooperation evaporated.   The questions we asked -  which the staff promised to answer  - have gone unaddressed for six months.  The material contained in a December 11th letter was just bits of old information stapled together - with no new information of substance.  And in a further lack of cooperation, the staff has failed to schedule committed to follow-on meetings. 
 
Why has this happened?  The conclusion we reach is that when the staff was asked to justify their proposal in hard numbers developed by an accepted procedure and to respond to other concerns, they were unable or unwilling to do so.  Instead, they just stopped talking with the community and went ahead with their preconceived proposal. 
 
We urge the Commission to instruct the County staff to return to the negotiating table with the community and respond in good faith to citizens' questions, concerns, and objections.  For example, among many other issues: Staff needs to explain how they have determined what they say is the current population of the PRC.  They need to define what they mean by phrases like the "nearer term".   They need to explain why they say there is an urgency when no such urgency has been identified.      
 
Finally, "If you propose a major project, it is incumbent on you to demonstrate that the positive benefits to the community exceed the negative."   (quoted from Liveable Portland).  In the staff report there is not a single word as to how their proposal will benefit current or future residents of Reston.   
 
The Reston Citizens Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary of service to the Reston community.  For most of this time we have enjoyed and benefited from a mutually respectful and productive relationship with County officials and staff.  We would like to have this relationship again.  We again urge the Commission to reject this proposal as a first step to restoring trust and confidence.  

Sincerely,
 
Dennis K. Hays
President
Reston Citizens Association

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Folly of 15

Letter to the Editor published by RestonNow on 1/2/2019.  Dennis Hays is the President of Reston Citizens Association.
Fairfax County has proposed to increase the population cap of the Reston Planned Residential Community district (PRC) from the long-standing 13 persons per acre (ppa) to as many as 15 persons per acre — which when combined with already approved projects would add an additional 30,000 people above our current population for the established, primarily residential areas of Reston. Please keep in mind this doesn’t include the areas around the Metro, where the county is on track to authorize building enough high rises to add an additional 80,000 residents.
Here are 10 reasons why the cap should be left alone. There undoubtedly are more.
1. If the ceiling (13) is shattered, there is no new ceiling: Fourteen or 15 today will be 16 tomorrow, 17 the day after and 20 down the road. The current 13 ppa has been in effect since Robert Simon created Reston. Does anyone believe the county will stop at 15?
2. The county bases its proposal on numbers that are rough estimates at best, gross misrepresentations at worst. The county has provided no established methodology that can be used to arrive at accurate numbers. The county promised to meet with the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) and the Reston Association to agree on a methodology before any action would be taken. We’re still waiting.
3. There are thousands of dwelling units (what the county calls where we live) that have been approved but not yet built (1,400 at Spectrum alone). How will all these already authorized residences affect roads, schools, first responder services, and parks? The county counts them for cap purposes, but not for the provision of services.
4. The county doesn’t count people who live in affordable or workforce housing as part of the cap, despite CPR’s frequent complaints. These neighbors of ours have kids in school, drive to work, go to the library and play ball in the parks just like everyone else. So why are they second-class citizens in the county’s eyes?
5. Although the county is in a frenzied hurry to authorize new high-density construction, they are in no hurry to provide the needed infrastructure that should go along with it. Reston has received no funding from the county in its current transportation budget. There is no land for additional athletic fields or open space confirmed. The Master Plan calls for infrastructure to be phased in with development. County officials talk for hours about their “plans” for roads, schools, parks, etc. but when pressed they are forced to admit they have no funds, no identified land and no timetable for the required infrastructure.
6. Why the push to raise the cap now? Even using the county’s questionable numbers there aren’t any development proposals that take us over the 13 ppa limit. So what is the rush? Why not use this time to assess how we grow in phase with the services needed to support our neighborhoods?
7. Until five years ago the county had an official on the Planning staff dedicated to working on Reston proposals. This provided some coordination. They haven’t replaced that official. Now the county can’t say specifically where the development allowed by their increased cap will go, although it doesn’t take much to figure this out — initially it will go to build high rises in the Village Centers, take parking spaces away from the library and push again on St. Johns Wood and the other “hot spots” the county believes should be more urban. And by urban they mean you will only walk, bike or Metro to work, the grocery store, the movies, to see family and friends and everywhere else. And then they will come for the golf courses.
8. The Reston Master Plan was changed in significant ways after community representatives had signed off on what they believed to be the final version. Leaving that aside for the moment, the Virginia Code calls for Master Plans to be reviewed and updated at least every five years. The Master Plan for the Metro areas is up for review next month. The PRC portion must be updated no later than next year. Yet the county has taken no steps to begin the review process. Given all that has happened, isn’t it time to pause and take stock?
9. The more you dig into the county’s assertions, the shakier they become. The CPR and the Reston Association met with county officials in four sub-groups last summer. It became immediately apparent that a lot more information and data was needed to properly review and assess the issues surrounding the cap. We had agreement coming out of all four meetings that the additional information would be developed before any action on the cap was taken. CPR and RA asked over 30 specific questions. On Dec. 11 the county responded by sending a blizzard of paperwork — that restated what we had already been told but provided no new information. Why hasn’t the county met its commitment to answer these questions? Could it be that the answers would be more damning than not answering?
10. The county speaks often of the need for “community involvement” and the Master Plan lists community participation as the foundation stone on which all else rests. So why has the county refused to meaningfully engage with its citizens? We remain ready to work with the county to further the unique vision of Reston as a balanced, welcoming community that takes to heart our motto of “live, work, play.” Is that too much to ask?
If you agree that raising the cap is unneeded and counterproductive, please let our Fairfax County Supervisor (HunterMillBOSEmail@fairfaxcounty.gov), the other supervisors (bos@fairfaxcounty.gov), the Planning Commission (PlanningCommission@fairfaxcounty.gov) and the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZPRCZOA@fairfaxcounty.gov) know. We can make this a Happy New Year if we act together.
— Dennis K. Hays

Monday, December 3, 2018

RCA Board of Directors Meeting - Agenda

December 4, 2018
7:30 - 8:45 pm                                                     
National Realty/Hartke Building
11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA


                   TOPIC                                                         PRESENTER

1.            ADOPT AGENDA                                                      Board

2.           APPROVE PREVIOUS MINUTES                              Board

3.           APPROVE TREASURERS REPORT                          Hays

4.           PRC POPULATION CAP                                           Hays

5.           USGS                                                                        Hartke

6.           FEDERATION of CITIZEN ASSOCIATIONS              Hanley                                               

7.           HIDDEN CREEK                                                       Hartke
    
8.           2019 ELECTIONS                                                    Johnson

9.           WEBSITE  UPDATE                                                  Inanli  

10.         OTHER BUSINESS                                                  Board


11.         ADJOURN