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RA Decides to Press on with Bocce Court

by Karen Goff — August 4, 2014 at 4:30 pm 15 Comments

Reston Association 50The Reston Association Board of Directors decided on Thursday to keep the plan for adding a bocce court at Cabots Point, despite resident pressure to reconsider.

The board voted in December to authorize construction of the lawn bowling court at the area off of South Lakes Drive. The $2,500 cost would be paid for by Friends of Reston, said South Lakes Director Richard Chew, who proposed the amenity.

The design plan was approved by RA’s Design Review Board in June and $1,700 has already been donated to the project, RA documents show.

But the board has recently heard from several Cabots Point residents who were concerned that the new recreational amenity would bring unwanted traffic and noise to the neighborhood off South Lakes Drive.

That led to RA CEO Cate Fulkerson’s proposal to take the plan off the table and come up with an alternate plan that may or may not include bocce for Cabots Point. That proposal was on Thursday night’s RA meeting agenda, but was voted to be thrown out.

Fulkerson had said several RA members who live near Cabots Point have contacted RA “concerned that proper notification and opportunity for public input or a hearing was not made regarding the proposed project and change in use of the recreation area.”

Construction will not begin until funds are in place and final design work has been approved, said Fulkerson.

Photo: Bocce/file photo

  • Tortola

    Wrong. The Board voted to take the motion by Ms. Fulkerson off of that night’s agenda. Let’s be clear here. It’s not about the court(s). It’s about the process. The same process that apparently so many residents feel has been abused by the RA in jamming projects down members throats for years. It’s also about one man who claims to represent a district as a board member yet fails to reach out to the members of his district, indeed his own cluster that put him the role in the first place. But wait, there’s more: the RA did not notify affected clusters of the project. RA seems to be more concerned about covering up their failures to abide by their own rules regarding advance notice of changing common areas shared by clusters and communities.

    • Karen Goff

      Yes. That is what the story says. “That led to RA CEO Cate Fulkerson’s proposal to take the plan off the table and come up with an alternate plan that may or may not include bocce for Cabots Point. That proposal was on Thursday night’s RA meeting agenda, but was voted to be thrown out.”

      • Tortola

        Karen, can you give any more details as to why it was thrown out? Who moved to get it off of the agenda? Any other details you may have? Ask yourself, why would the CEO of RA move to rescind a decision of the board and ask for community input. Details, please?

  • Capo

    The removal of this item from the board agenda was a political maneuver by board member Richard Chew, who has been the proponent of this ill-conceived project from the start. Mr. Chew, who lives only a couple of blocks away from where he wants these courts constructed apparently so he can easily walk to them, did not follow board processes from the start. Residents near the proposed small park were not informed nor given the opportunity to comment in advance, other board members were apparently not appropriately and fully apprised of the project, and little regard was given to the impact of this construction on the surrounding neighborhood, traffic patterns, parking availability, and regard for Reston’s overall community. The park in question is a small area with a playground and some open space (which Mr. Chew would transform into his personal bocce ball courts) where little children and their parents frequently play informally. Compared to other open spaces in Reston, it is tiny. If the RA Board is serious about spending $2500 on a bocce ball facility, it should look at areas where such construction would have less impact on the neighborhood, traffic, parking, and overall beauty of the surroundings. Most important, however, is the fact that the board and all of its members should follow their own established processes. In this case, of course, doing so might mean that Mr. Chew would have to transport himself a little further to play bocce, but then again, being a board member should not mean that you pursue projects that are for your own personal comfort. This ill-conceived plan needs to be scrapped; doing so would re-establish some faith that the board believes in following its own processes and in doing what is best for Reston residents.

    • Mike M

      Thank you. Fits the pattern.

  • Guest

    Excellent! Can’t wait to use it!

    • Capo

      Good, “Guest”…then please contact the RA and have them build it in YOUR backyard. And have them do it without notifying you or any of your neighbors or studying traffic patterns or parking availability or other less-intrusive, more community-oriented ways to spend the $2500-plus that the full project is expected to cost. Oh, and make sure that your local board member can easily walk to it; after all, it is not about fair process or what is best for the community, it is about providing what a board member wants.

  • reston99

    Nobody in the community seemed to want this facility and in general nobody else seemed to think it was “necessary” or prudent as the budget outlined didn’t cover maintenance or parking, etc.
    RA is not listening to it’s community, it’s corrupt.

  • Road Apples

    RA: If indeed this location is deemed not appropriate. Consider moving the court to RA land at the corner of Glade/Thrush Ridge.

  • Floriano de Graziello

    People of Reston need to wake up to the fact that we live in a global economy and hardly a deal was closed outside a bocce court. Restonians should rest in comfort that now that the plans of construction are confirmed local GDP will be boosted and many new jobs will be created. As for parking it is already well understood that Mercedes Lamborghini Maserati and the like are community friendly vehicles that blend in well with their environment and at the same time provide educational opportunities for the youngsters in our community. In short a great accomplishment is forthcoming and I am proud of what Reston stands for: work live and pay. Hooray!

    • Mike M

      I’ll have what he’s drinking.

  • BB

    This is not the first time that the RA board has shown they do not want community input. Is the the board’s motto: Rush This Through; Maybe They Won’t Notice? (And if they do, do it anyway.) The bocce court doesn’t affect me, but RA members in the community where it will be placed should have been notified well in advance.

    Similarly, before granting a business owner approval to conduct and publicize his business to non-Restonians on Lake Audubon, residents of the lake should have been notified (One person still conducts business there; the other one was modified substantially and a Restonian thankfully took over the business which is being conducted carefully. But it was only because of a last-minute outcry.)

    Similarly, when residents wanted to hunt deer near their houses, the RA community was not notified. People found out a couple of days beforehand, with virtually no time to express their opinions. Conversely, the pro-hunters had tons of time to come up with “experts witnesses” and reasons to shoot deer with bows and arrows because they had all the time in the world to prepare.

    • reston99

      Indeed. I believe the only time RA notifies me of anything is when they want their annual dues paid.

  • Guest Who

    Every initiative in Reston is always opposed. Why all the nay-saying? So this is a $2,500 project, and people are saying it needs a traffic study, community surveys, etc. Next someone will suggest we need the EPA, the DOI, and the DOD involved. It’s bocce people. Nobody’s proposing to put a gun range in the park.

    • Southside

      Because, actually parking is a problem for the residents, and obviously the park will need annual maintenance, care. That costs more than $2,500/yr. The signage they put up will probably cost more than $2,500..the $2.500 bocce court is a pipe dream.

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