Reston Real Estate: Appealing a DRB Decision

by Eve Thompson March 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm 1 Comment

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This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now.

Many of my clients are curious about the whole Reston Association Design Review Process. It is something they really want to understand before buying a home in Reston.

In a previous post, I talked about working with Reston Association’s Design Review Board. Today, the topic is appealing a DRB decision. And yes, you can do it.

How to Appeal a DRB Decision

To appeal a DRB decision, you must be either the applicant or a registered Affected Party. And the DRB will hear only one appeal of a decision.

To get your appeal heard, you must submit it to the DRB Secretary within 15 days after the notice of a decision has been mailed. If you’re filing the appeal as an Affected Party, it must submit it within seven days after notice of a decision has been mailed. All requests for appeals must be submitted in writing.

After that, the process is that the Secretary will schedule the appeal to the next available full Design Review Board. DRB decisions may be overturned on appeal for either or both of two reasons:

  • If the original reviewer(s) misapplied specific guidelines or DRB-approved cluster standards.
  • If there is new and/or additional design information that was not available to the original reviewer(s).

Typically, the appeal decision becomes the final decision.

For more information on the Design Review process, visit the Reston Association website.

  • MuteNDC

    Unfortunately the appeal goes to the same body, the Design Review Board, who determines whether they themselves misapplied their own subjective interpretation of the guidelines, which in their own words, are not hard and fast rules.

    As an Affected Party, you have less than one calendar week to prepare an appeal, and, in most cases, your appealing a decision that supports a business or other collective, which typically has the funding to hire lawyers and architects, who convinced the DRB to approve the plan in the first place.


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