RA Board Proposes to End Bocce Plan — Again

Outdoor Bocce Court/Credit: Joy of BocceIt has been more than a year since the Reston Association Board of Directors approved a bocce court for Cabots Point Recreation Area. For nearly as long, the RA Board has been trying to start the process over — or abandon it all together.

RA President Ken Knueven has proposed to “direct staff, in light of the new cost information presented, to discontinue efforts in preparing a resubmission application to the Design Review Board for the installation of a bocce court and related accessible facilities at the Cabots Point Recreation Area.”

The board will discuss and vote on the proposal at its regular meeting — the last one of 2014 — Thursday evening at RA Headquarters.

The new cost information, as reported in Reston Now last week, is an estimate from a civil engineering firm. The says it will cost $14,000 to for a site review for the park.

Costs include:

  • Establishing survey control and accurate topography on site: $2,000
  • Developing a minor site plan for submission to Fairfax County. Requirements include, but are not limited to: siting of elements, grading (existing and proposed topography), possibly erosion and sediment control plan and narrative, stormwater management calculations and narrative, possible landscaping requirements: $10,000
  • Plan submittal and review to Fairfax County: $2,000

Additionally, RA documents say that materials to build the court will cost most than $4,000. However, RA says it can donate the 80 hours of labor costs ($1,884).

The RA Board voted unanimously on Dec 12, 2013 to authorize the construction of the 60-by-12-foot court at Cabots Point, which is RA Common Area land. However, there were conditions:

  • Final design and location of the court is to be reviewed and approved by the RA staff and the Design Review Board. The DRB approved the application in June.
  • Funding for the construction of the facility including but not limited to landscape materials, benches and a picnic table is to be provided by the Friends of Reston for Community Projects, Inc. The original estimate was the total cost would be $2,500, to be paid for by the Friends of Reston, which so far has allocated $1,500 for the project. RA has not earmarked any money for the bocce court.
  • Once the above required approvals and funding have been obtained, further move to authorize RA staff to: 1) perform the necessary site preparation and associated court construction, including the expenditure of costs associated with materials and labor; 2) provide ongoing maintenance of the facility; and, 3) promote bocce as a new recreational amenity for Reston.

Meanwhile, there has been considerable negative reaction from RA members, particularly those who live in clusters close to Cabots Point. Those residents say bocce will bring noise, traffic and garbage to the area off of South Lakes Drive, as well as impede on open space used for a variety of purposes.

Others have told the RA Board that they were not adequately notified of the planned project, proposed by South Lakes Director Richard Chew last December, before the board approved it. RA has since changed the process of getting member feedback before voting on a new project.

In the last year, RA Directors have twice proposed pulling the bocce plan and starting over. Both times, the board voted to move forward.

Photo: Outdoor Bocce Court/Credit: Joy of Bocce

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