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Bocce Court Plans Finally Killed by Cost Estimate

by Karen Goff — December 19, 2014 at 9:00 am 9 Comments

Cabots Point ParkA year after approving plans for a bocce court at Cabots Point Recreation Area, the Reston Association board of directors finally voted on Thursday to kill the idea.

It was not a quick task, as the idea of a 60-by-12 foot court on RA property off of South Lakes Drive was controversial from the start.

For months — and even as late as the public comment session at Thursday’s meeting — the board heard testimony and received written complaints from residents of South Bay and Cabots Point clusters, who were concerned about everything from parking to noise to garbage, public drinking and loss of green space for other activities.

There also was concern from some residents that the proposal was approved without any public input or notice.

Twice this year, the RA board voted down motions to rescind the approved plan and start over.

In the end, money was the deciding factor. The original estimate to build the court was $2,500, which would be paid for the Friends of Reston and not Reston Association.

However, an engineering firm estimate recently received by the board said the site review would cost $14,000.

“What should have been so simple is now so complex,” said South Lakes Director Richard Chew, who originally proposed the bocce plan, adding that he and former director Andy Sigle saw little downside in proposing the what they thought would be a “low-cost, high-benefit amenity for members.”

“RA is now estimating getting external estimates to be $14,000, bringing the total cost to $20,000,” said Chew. “It is clear to me spending $20,000 for a single bocce court is not in the cards nor should it be.”

The board on Thursday was set to vote on RA President Ken Knueven’s proposal 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.

However, Chew amended that motion to one that at least holds on to slim chance that bocce could someday come to Reston if the price and location is right.

Chew made a new motion to “move to rescind the board’s 2013 decision to authorize construction [of bocce at Cabots Point]. It is further moved to direct RA staff to explore more practical and more cost effective approaches to bring bocce to Reston.”

The motion passed unanimously.

Photo: Cabots Point Recreation Area/file photo

  • Knotso Much

    Chew made a new motion to “move to rescind the board’s 2013 decision to authorize construction [of bocce at Cabots Point]. It is further moved to direct RA staff to explore more practical and more cost effective approaches to bring bocce to Reston.” Then he made big production out of presenting a bocce set to an RA staff person. Obsessed.

    • Karen Goff

      Yeah, that was sort of a gag gift/personal gift for Larry Butler, so I left it out of the story.

      • Knotso Much

        I understand. Just seems odd to make bocce such a specific demand on staff after the past year. Isn’t that what the new P&R committee should be doing instead of paid staff?

  • John Farrell

    This the second example in a week where the cost of County review of very small projects eclipses the cost of the job by 3- 10 times.

    This is absurd and needs to be corrected immediately.

  • Mike M

    Bringing bocce to Reston. Whose job is that Same department responsible for bringing pogo stick racing? I say we cut that department. Is there anything that some people think might not be the business of government?

  • RestonLyons

    Bocce is a fun game for all ages which means kids too so families can play. We plan to learn how to play this summer in Burlington, VT courtesy of the VT Italian Club. The court already had a large following prior to VIC using it too. I have kept VIC players informed of how certain Restonians think it is a game for the undesirables, people one shouldn’t want in our parks.

    I’ve seen people play it across the street from where we live in Reston with no court. I wonder if those who put it down know the game. They bother no one and do not eat, drink, or smoke when playing the game. They don’t even seem to talk. However where they play is not a good set up for the game as not level.

    I am looking forward to playing it with my grandchildren in Reston.

  • HP

    Hallelujah!! Crack is whack…so too is bocce!

  • John Lovaas

    What a farcical production from beginning to end.

  • Cluster Tycoon

    I think this bocce project is way too small to be taken seriously. Had we proposed to redo the Lake Newport site to become bocce courts with the nearby Tetra Building to be the new clubhouse we would have had the support of the whole community. So sad, I am just trying to forget the whole thing maybe move out of Reston. All I need is some help with the boxes really.

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