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Op-Ed: Rescue Reston Says Vote ‘Yes’ on Tetra

by RestonNow.com April 30, 2015 at 3:00 pm 77 Comments

Tetra buildingThis is an op-ed by Rescue Reston, an open-space advocacy group. It does not represent the opinion of Reston Now.

Rescue Reston has a focused mission statement of opposing redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course into residential housing or any site development other than a golf course or comparable open space.

Our board sees important parallels between defending the golf course property and the opportunity to purchase the 3.47-acre Tetra property (formerly the Reston Visitors Center). At stake is our control of open space and development in Reston. Rescue Reston therefore recommends that Restonians vote yes in the Tetra Referendum, which is open for voting until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 8.

All seven Rescue Reston board members are Reston Association members. Our own households have voted yes on the referendum. This is a rare opportunity to put this property under the ownership of our homeowner’s association, to serve our interests, and remove the potential for an unknown developer entity to commercially develop the site.

Few developers have ever seen “open space” that couldn’t be improved by a few buildings on it. They have high-powered attorneys who know how to blow their way through almost any “protection” we may think a space is subject to.

As the economic impact of Metro’s Silver Line continues down the line to two other Metro stops in Reston, it is vital that we speak in one voice on issues that affect the open spaces in our neighborhoods. After five Reston Master Plan Phase II community meetings and community outreach, the County and Restonians agreed that the neighborhoods should essentially stay “as built.”

Now, with the draft plan ready to move forward in June to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for approval, we read that some in the development community are implying there should be more wiggle room for higher density development in our neighborhoods, unchecked by BOS approval or Reston community input: Not enough potential planning for areas outside of transit centers

Both Brian Winterhalter, a lawyer with Cooley LLC, which represents several developers, and Patty Nicoson, Reston resident and Master Plan Phase 1 Task Force Chair, said there is not enough leeway for future development without more comprehensive plan changes.

“It would require comprehensive plan amendments for any redevelopment proposals,” said Winterhalter. “Fundamentally, I don’t think that is the right approach. A community as large as Reston should provide opportunities to grow. This downplanning does not make sense.”

This sends shivers through those of us who understand the implication of what they are saying.  They want everything on the table for higher density — our neighborhoods, our two golf courses, what else? As Ms. Nicoson well knows from chairing Phase 1 of the task force, high density is approved in the transit center corridor. The radii circles extending out from each Metro stop are not full circles and have hard stops at some very real borders, such as Sunrise Valley Drive and Sunset Hills Road, with a bump-out for Reston Town Center and Town Center North.

We are heartened that there are developers in Reston who value the uniqueness of an urban core with a short walk to “the country.” Comstock has offered funds that they specifically want to go toward improvements of the former Visitors Center. They see the value. All eyes (and we stress  — the developers are watching) are on the Tetra referendum.

Do Restonians mean it when we say open space is critical to the uniqueness of the Reston in which we live, work and play?

In the past, Restonians have tended to look at the geographic confines of their own neighborhood. In the case of the threat to Reston National Golf Course, it took time for greater Reston to grasp the ripple effects of development of these 166 acres. For instance, medium density residential development on just ¼ of the golf course could add 700 units. At two cars for each unit, think what that adds to our traffic.

When Rescue Reston (RR) was formed almost three years ago, it was difficult to explain the potential danger outside those who lived immediately around the course. Now, the ripple effects are crystal clear to most in the community.

There is a parallel to the potential acquisition of nearly 3.5 acres on the north side of Reston. With the Tetra acquisition, we have the rare opportunity to put this space under the stewardship of RA and protect it from commercial development. This acquisition is fully embraced by one of Reston’s major developers, Comstock, which is donating more than they are required because they are excited about this amenity. Increasing RA’s amenities will encourage new residential development in the corridor to join RA rather than Reston Town Center Association, a key point to consider.

The parallel to the golf course is that some day we may have the opportunity to put these 166 acres into the public domain, possibly through a conservation trust, when a willing buyer comes along. If that buyer is either RA or the County or a combination of both, will voters embrace the opportunity? Is it possible that several of the “good” developers in Reston will want to contribute to such a venture? Possibly so if we encourage them now to fully embrace and get involved with the “Reston Way” of Live, Work, Play.

When one of them (Comstock) knocks on our door with a gift (their donation is higher than required), we need to think long and hard before not answering that offer.

In as much as RA & RR stand together on the golf course issue, Rescue Reston joins RA in recommending a yes vote on Tetra.

  • Ray Wedell

    Proud to see Reston Reston speak out on this valuable open space acquisition. Beautifully written. Thank you.

    • guest

      Self serving, RAY??? Have you no shame? You helped write the piece or at least were in on it as you sit on board of Rescue Reston, do you not? Revolting and short sighted. You have diminished the heroic role of Rescue Reston with this bone-headed move. Tetra has NOTHING to do with RNGC and you ought not to have conflated the two. BAD MOVE for Rescue Reston.

      • JCSuperstar

        Don’t you love it when people go right to the gutter. Accusations flying, facts thrown to the wind…damned the torpedoes!! Really people?

        For the YES crowd, I too was wondering about Rescue Reston’s view on this. I even questioned their motives weeks back. At least their support shows a consistent view regarding Reston and their mission

        Mind you, I disagree, as I believe property owners have the right to do what they are ultimately allowed to do.
        I’d welcome a good discussion with RA and RR and promise no mudslinging from me. Perhaps some warped sense of humor, but that would be it.

        • 2+2=5

          So if property owners have the right to do what they are ultimately allowed to do: I would think that you would agree with the sale, and just not with the purchase. If a fancy restaurant on the property would create a value of 2.7, then you are willing to either allow a restaurant, or pay 2.7 million to prevent it. Both options allow the property owner to realize their rights. Am I missing a loophole or something?

          • JCSuperstar

            Very good question. Your logic is sound. Thank you for taking the time with a meaningful point. To answer your question, there is no difference. Except, my only argument to counter your premise is I personally don’t think Reston Association should intervene with Member dollars.

            (edited)

      • Sally Parker

        Wow- That’s a lot of hostility. I think it makes a lot of sense that Rescue Reston would come out it favor of this-their stated mission is about preserving open space.

        Why is Mr. Wedell being self-serving? He is passionate about both Tetra and RNGC. He’s entitled to his opinion on this topic, your slightly sinister tone is a bit disturbing.

        • RAmember2

          No, their state mission is saving the RNGC space as a golf course or other “open space” per the County plan. Nothing in their mission covers any other square of land, lake, or swamp anywhere.

          • JCSuperstar

            And they call themselves Rescue RESTON because?

            I read their Mission Statement, maybe you should too.

            Mission Statement

            – Maintain Reston’s status as #7 of Money Magazine’s top ten places to live in the United States by preserving Reston as a place that embodies its founding principles of “Live, Work, Play and Get Involved.”

            – Maintain the sense of community that Reston has enjoyed for almost 50 years through thoughtful planning and zoning.

            – Rescue Reston from proposed development that is counter to the adopted Reston Master Plan and the vision for Reston laid out in its founding as an ideal place to live, work and play.

            – Preserve the integrity of the Master Plan for Reston.

            – Prevent the destruction of the Restonian way of life that includes building–free open spaces where nature can thrive and people can enjoy wildlife and natural horizons.

            – Maintain the vision that Reston offered homeowners. People bought homes here with the understanding that Reston would maintain a geography of lakes, golf courses, and open spaces forever free from houses, commercial space, or other development.

            – Maintain the guiding premise of Reston as a true planned community, still used to attract families and individuals and businesses.

            I’m not defending RR, but, if I were opposed to redevelopment of natural areas, as they appear to be, then it would be important to defend ALL natural areas.

            Otherwise, RR would be, and has been, labeled a bunch of NIMBYS who don’t want their backyard golf views taken away. This is the same argument you and others are stating regarding the NIMBYS at Lake Newport who don’t want to see development there.

            My recommendation, get your act(s) together.

      • RAmember2

        Strangely, Rescue Reston’s support of the Tetra purchase will cost it more in donations, public support, and integrity than doing nothing.

        It forgot what it’s mission is and wandered into areas it knows nothing about.

  • Mary Anne Louis

    I’ve been wondering where Rescue Reston was in all this– Thank you this helps!

  • Wings!!

    I would like to see an Op-Ed from Terrence M. Marks, CEO of Hooters Incorporated, as to why this building should be turned into a Hooters and bring jobs to Reston.
    #HootersForReston

    • JCSuperstar

      How about a German Wings. The Luftwaffe.

  • Rational Reston

    “Buy it because it’s there” By this logic, RA should purchase EVERY property that goes on the market in Reston.

    • Ming the Merciless

      I’ll gladly sell my house to the RA right now for twice its appraised value.
      To preserve open space!

      • Mike M

        Dude! I’ll help you pack! 😉

    • Reston Realist

      They can have mine for $2.65 million–and my heating and AC work!

  • Ming the Merciless

    Few developers have ever seen “open space” that couldn’t be improved by a few buildings on it.

    Tetra isn’t an “open space” right now so developers would not be doing that in this case. (Leaving aside the issue of whether or not they can do anything at all.)

    We are heartened that there are developers in Reston who value the uniqueness of an urban core with a short walk to “the country.”

    The country??? There is “country” in Reston? Where is that, exactly?

    Reston is suburbia. So is the Tetra property.

    There is a parallel to the potential acquisition of nearly 3.5 acres on the north side of Reston.

    It is an incredibly weak parallel. You are reaching way too far in trying to make it.

  • BBurns

    Thank you Rescue Reston. Developers are salivating to develop even more than usual because of the Metro. There are some connections between the golf course and Tetra – look at the big picture.

  • Mike M

    I wonder does the yes crowd have a dollar limit they would put on this proposal to buy. It’s a common problem with leftists that they savor their idealism at any price.

    • Ming the Merciless

      At any price… as long as it’s your money, your freedom, or your very existence.

  • Robert Mowbray

    It is not clear to me that this property can be developed. Isn’t it legally protected for storm water management? If so does it make sense for us to purchase it and add its cost to other dues increases which are sure to come?

    • JCSuperstar

      Nope. Ask Mr. Looney.

    • RAmember2

      Actually, it’s protected by the VA Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.

      Unfortunately, our wise elected leaders “parted the waters” for storm mgmt purposes in the area immediately adjoining the Tetra bldg–hence, his “nope.”

  • Reston Member

    Specious arguments abound. Crazy arguments. Nonsensical arguments. Idiotic arguments.

    And if everyone really cared, then why on earth was the million dollar Lake Anne open tree space given away with little more than a whimper? Now we are the proud owners of a worthless open space ditch. Guess open green space wasn’t that important.

    Let’s go for a halfway decent restaurant outside of the town center on the Tetra site. Or maybe the Reston Yacht Club. We can cruise up and down Lake Newport. Bet the NIMBY residents of Lae Newport would fight that!

    • JCSuperstar

      How do you feel about those darn NIMBYs at Rescue Reston?

      How much money has been spent by members in the golf course fight so far? How much more are members ready to spend to keep the fight going? How much money are the members ready to spend buying the golf course — the very likely outcome?

      • Rational Reston

        I’m intrigued by this “If we don’t like the results of the golf course, we’ll buy the golf course…” angle.

        First, I wouldn’t mind if RA bought the golf course, because it would have a clear purpose and will make money. (completely unlike Tetra)

        Second how does RA force the golf course owners sell to them? I am unaware of such a mechanism.

        • JCSuperstar

          You inadvertently answered your own questions.

          RA cannot force the golf course owner to sell to them. If RA intends to stop the development, it will have to offer a very, very high Fair Market Value price tag to the owner. Not as it stands today. As Mr. Maynard points out correctly (one of the few times) the owner envisions a “billion” dollar development.

          “The future of the Reston National Golf Course (RNGC), the neighborhoods that surround it, and County and RA infrastructure that supports that area of southern Reston—schools, streets, parks, open spaces, and natural areas—are in jeopardy because golf course owner Northwestern Mutual (NWM), operating as RN Golf Management, wants to turn its $5 million golf course purchase into a one billion dollar-plus mega-housing extravaganza. That could be some 8,000 new homes and more than 20,000 added people living on its 166 acres, limited only by Reston’s overall density ceiling of 13 people per acre.”

          http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2014/11/whats-going-on-at-reston-national-golf.html

          Would you allow RA to spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars to own and run a little $5M golf course? I think not.

          The same holds true with Tetra.

          • Rational Reston

            Thanks, this is the information that needs to be out there for all those well meaning folks who think RA can just wave a magic wand and solve problems without creating any new ones.

          • JCSuperstar

            The choice is simple — allow development or don’t allow — for all of these properties. Each, as has been explained by some here, have costs AND opportunity costs associated with them.

    • Secret Observers

      “Specious arguments abound. Crazy arguments. Nonsensical arguments. Idiotic arguments”.
      ….Agree. The battle is heating up. Glad to be back in Reston. In other places, (Iraq, Afghanistan….) people don’t argue much. Instead, they shoot not only “developers” but also each other and … the messengers for “property rights” and “open space”.:)

  • Stop the Insanity

    If RA wants to buy property on Lake Newport so desperately maybe it should consider this property: http://patch.com/virginia/reston/reston-wow-house-lake-newport-lakefront-0. It even looks better maintained than TETRA. At $1.5 million it’s a bargain compared to what they are currently considering. Of course RA would probably want to pay $3 million.

    • JCSuperstar

      The property you point out is only on .55 acres of land. The Tetra property is on over 3.5 acres. Uhhhh, that’s a whole lot more land.

      Imagine if the property, highlighted, was on a 3.5 acre lakefront parcel. What would its sale price be then?

      • Stop the Insanity

        I guess you couldn’t tell I was being facetious.

        The other bonus of this property is that it has a great view of the Lake Newport Hooters that is going to be built in the TETRA space.

        • JCSuperstar

          Yup, hard to grasp nuances in these threads. While I love the Hooters idea for all the right reasons Wings and I agree to, I’m hoping for something a little more like Chez Francois.

  • WeOwnAllYourBase

    The problem is not in buying open space, the problem is buying it at any price. The problem is buying open space at an unreasonable value with no practical use in mind. The problem is asking to borrow 2.7 million dollars , spending 2.7 million for the building, and then squandering an additional 650,000 dollars to improve it.
    That 650,000 can better be used elsewhere.
    The problem is asking the RA members to borrow 2.7 million with no conditions on how it is spent.

    • Russell Reston

      ? SELFISH or SACRIFICE ?
      borrow 2.7 million dollars , and then squandering an additional 650,000 dollars
      …. then borrow an additional $$$ million dollars to fight
      …..then borrow an additional $$$$$$ million dollars to buy the golf course
      …..so that few can play…golf.

      That $$$$ can better be used elsewhere
      …. to buy lands and build more playgrounds so children from “high density” of South Lake and North Shore apartment complexes can have more “open space” to play as children from million dollar houses in Lake New Port.
      ……so that “All children can live and… play” growing up in Reston

  • freestylergbb

    Aside from all the reasons to vote NO, the picture of Tetra that runs with all these opinon pieces is misleading in and of itself. Try these, which I took while looking at the property before voting, which are more more indicative of the state of the site.

    • Dodge

      The major issues of the HVAC, windows, roof, and other repairs have already been addressed and will be paid for by the seller.

      • Reston Realist

        Ummmm–only up to $275K, and there is much more that needs to be done.

      • freestylergbb

        We all know that repairs and other construction work always cost more than estimated and who knows what other problems will arise. That’s why these pix are more representative of the state of Tetra than a pretty sun-dappled view.

  • 30yearsinReston

    NO
    I’m not paying for residents who live in $M houses on Lake Newport
    Let them chip and buy it if they want it

    • JCSuperstar

      You ready for the Reston members to buy a golf course? That’s the other question. Careful with your answer.

      • 30yearsinReston

        comparing apples and oranges

        • JCSuperstar

          Not really. Both are subject to owners’ existing rights.

  • 30yearsinReston

    tetra open space ?
    Puleeze

  • Molly Brown

    I’m really glad to see that Rescue Reston is behind this- they have no “hidden” agendas, they’re not the RA Board. They’re just citizens like us, like me, who want to see the things that make Reston “Reston” remain intact in the face of so much development pressure. I voted YES. We’ll never have another opportunity to add to our open space. I hope enough people can see past a potential $4.00 increase in their dues to do the right thing.

    • edgyone

      I am really disappointed rr would be for squandering money that could be used to buy reston national in the future. The points Terry made can be summed up as this. Tetra, is not an uncomplicated property to develop yet the appraisal that was made by RA assumes it is. Therefore, the price is not what tetra would get in the market. Second if a developer buys this decrepit building the cost to fight for development will be figured in the offered price, that will likely be less than 2.7 million. Regardless, I will not contribute one cent to this idiotic purchase. I urge intelligent residents veto the morons at RA.

      • Stop the Insanity

        Edgy, you aren’t going to win any converts by insulting them or RA. Is there a risk of development, yes. Is development as great as RA (con) or JC (pro) is making it out, probably not. Is development as impossible as you and Terry make it seem, no. I expect the truth lies between.

        There are many businesses that wouldn’t make sense in that location. A 7-11 with a gas station, not going to happen because of environmental concerns. A carpet store, there would be no benefit to the location. Pretty much anything that would exist better in one of the village centers because of foot traffic wouldn’t work in this location.

        Best use that I can think of would be executive office building (like what is there now) or a stand-alone restaurant (Hooters or Chez Francois) which would benefit from the outdoor deck space on a lake.

        You do make a good point that there are additional development costs for a business to take on with this property that would reduce the desirability of development. Not so much with an office but more so for a restaurant that would need to build a kitchen as well as numerous other updates and changes.

        A restaurant done well could have minimal or no impact on green space and would be an asset to the community. In my opinion very few other businesses would do well in that location.

        That’s why people should vote no.

        • edgyone

          A nice spa or drug rehab center would do well too! I stand by my opinion of the Lord’s of brown town, trying to forever keep 1970s architecture alive.

        • edgyone

          I do not believe that development is impossible. I do believe it is not currently attractive and the economics do not support the price valuation given. In the end a developer only cares about making a profit, I can not see that for this property in any near term scenario, and I can’t see development of this property being a negative in any case.

  • Terry Maynard

    I am deeply disappointed that Rescue Reston (RR) has taken this position and, in particular, that it sees the Tetra and golf course properties as comparable. “At stake is our control of open space and development in Reston,” they say.

    That certainly is the case with the golf course where RR has been focused until now. The decision there concerns whether or not that 166 acres of beautiful greenspace should be converted into an apartment complex with thousands of new residences.

    The legal decision hinges on whether the existing Reston Master Plan, part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, actually allows that to occur. The new Master Plan, to be approved in June, unequivocally calls for it to be retained as open space. The Plan, however, is just a guideline as developers like to say. And the case for preserving this space has been hampered by the disappearance of dozens of key documents that I don’t think disappeared inadvertently. RR has an uphill fight that all of us who believe Reston was planned to retain large open spaces like the golf course absolutely must fight for all our good, even if it becomes expensive. This legal battle will go on for years.

    On the other hand, RR is wasting its time, our contributed money, and their credibility by endorsing RA’s purchase of the Tetra property. It shows they do not understand the different protections afforded the two properties. The Tetra property is protected by environmental and stormwater LAWS preventing lakeshore area development there, RA’s EASEMENT banning development in nearly all other areas of the property, and, yes, even the new Reston Master PLAN that calls for it to remain as built. It is a war no intelligent developer would wage, and the stupid ones would lose politically, judicially, and administratively.

    I don’t expect RR to change its position, but I would hope RestonNow readers would understand the difference between the two cases and vote accordingly. A “yes” vote is a vote for irrational fear and gross expense. A “no” vote will prevent the waste of RA member’s assessment fees—and better enable RA to secure funds later if needed to buy the golf course—while the law keeps development at Tetra to its current level.

    • JCSuperstar

      Mr. Maynard challenges the developer Empire.

      https://youtu.be/Zzs-OvfG8tE

      • Ming the Merciless

        Sometimes the Ewoks win!

    • JCSuperstar
    • Sally P

      Mr. Maynard- you are one condescending piece of work. I’ve listened to and read your analysis for these many years and I have to say that even though in the past I’ve agreed with some of your positions, I am tired of your “holier than thou” demeanor. I’ve worked hard on RNGC and RR and I think their position on this is exactly correct. I think your real issue is that you an a few of your posse just want things the way YOU want them, and you think you know what’s best for the rest of us. Well guess what?! You don’t know what’s best for me and my family. I live in South Reston and even though this land isn’t in my backyard I’m not willing to gamble on the chance that it will remain as it is; nothing stays the same.

      • edgyone

        If it gets developed it would be a net benefit to all of the residents of reston by adding an attraction that we may want to use. What has reston built that has helped my property value in the last ten years? The owner of this property should be allowed to do with it what he pleases, and RA should not use our money to pay twice what it is worth to protect it.

        • JCSuperstar

          The golf course or Tetra?? Confused. The golf course price tag will be WAY, WAY,WAY more than twice it’s present value.

          • edgyone

            Tetra. Keep gunning for yes votes jc.

          • JCSuperstar

            edgy…not my plan. I think it’s idiotic to allow Reston Association to invest member dollars to purchase these properties.

            What you don’t seem to care about, or understand, is the preposterous idea of “don’t worry, never happen, it can’t, it’s not allowed.” That is foolhardy and myopic – at best.

            JC

          • edgyone

            It costs money to fight to develop. That is what you don’t admit. No one will buy this property anywhere close to what RA is willing pay when this referndum is defeated.

          • JCSuperstar

            You seem to have selective reading with preconceived notions.

            That’s my point, I agree, it costs a boat load to fight on all properties. It’s not worth fighting unless you are truly willing to pay FMV. Golf Course/Tetra/St. Johns Woods/Tall Oaks/Isaac Newton Square/Lake Anne/…

            I too, voted NO. But, you just don’t read, interpret, research or maybe just want to say “waaa waaa’ — I wonder.

          • edgyone

            You would lose money as a developer.

          • JCSuperstar

            That’s just a laughable statement. Besides, I absolutely love the business I own and run – profitably, here in Reston.

          • edgyone

            Sure you do…. I’ll stop by your lemonade stand later. The information is all on the counties Web site. I read it, it is not obvious that development would be possible as you suggest, and it is definitely not going to be cheap or quick. That uncertainty coupled with the cost of getting through to developing the property reduces it’s value. Also, the value of a fully developed venture is also limited by the demand In the area and the 3.5 acre size. Then, there is the fact that other properties are still available nearby that have better prospects to generate better returns. So, if someone wants to make money the hard way, they are welcome to Tetra.

          • JCSuperstar

            Typical response, go for the mud.
            Well. Sir/ma’am. You and I will have to respectfully agree to disagree. And I wonder if you could afford, or would even have a need, for my “lemonade.”
            JC

      • Sally Forth

        You could not say anything further from the truth that Terry Maynard is condescending. He has given 5 years of his life almost full-time for the good of the Reston Community. His views are shaped by astute research and hard facts; not emotion. Shame on your and others rude attacks on this community hero. Few if any of the commenters have earned the respect that Terry has for his tireless work on behalf of protecting the founding priciples of Reston. What value is there to damn his character with careless and inaccurate words because he does not agree with your views on Tetra.
        Thanks to the poor handling of the Tetra referendum by RA, our community has been fractured just when we should all be pulling together to fight for the retention of the RNGC as open space. This is a sad time for all of Reston.

        • JCSuperstar

          I’m sorry. Tell all of us what outcomes in Reston, over the last five years, are a direct result of Mr. Maynard.
          I respect the man and his use of academic methods, but how he uses them are not kosher.

        • Sally P

          I beg to differ! He has done nothing to foster a dialog any more than your comments do. If Terry wants to run Reston so badly he should step up and try to get elected and have to participate in a process. Instead he sits on the sidelines bestowing his “knowledge” on all of us down below. A LOT of people worked on the multitude of issues that have faced Reston over the past 5 years. He’s one of many, his problem is that he simply can’t get behind something he didn’t launch his ego won’t let him!

          Look at his comments “On the other hand, RR is wasting its time, our contributed money, and their credibility by endorsing RA’s purchase of the Tetra property. It shows they do not understand the different protections afforded the two properties.” He not a lawyer is he? He simply can’t believe or acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion on the question of the development potential. He doesn’t say “in my opinion” he states everything as fact. Well I’m sorry but I don’t think RR is wasting my money, I find it very simplistic to presume that that the Tetra parcel will just languish forever, it’s just ridiculous.

        • Terry Maynard

          Thank you for your kind words, Sally Forth. I, too, was a bit perplexed why Sally P thought I was condescending although she tries to explain herself below.

          In this particular case, when RA has consistently failed to
          present salient facts about its Tetra purchase contract, I thought it was important to find out what I could about the deal made in secret. As it turns out, I found that RA was not giving us the full story and that, on balance, the weight of the evidence—high price, low probability of development, and lack of a need—weighed strongly on the side of voting “NO,” which I’ve done. I’ve tried to present the related information and analysis in a way that gives people a reason to believe there is a real, consequential choice in this referendum, and that is what a dialogue is about.

          I believe Rescue Reston’s decision to support the RA purchase will undercut the broad support Restonians have given it to protect RNGC. That’s a vital community battle that Rescue Reston has led well. Tetra is a sideshow, but that hasn’t stopped the RA Board from pushing it forward with all
          its (our) resources, including twisting RR’s arm. As a result, people who rightly have supported RR, but oppose the Tetra purchase, may step back from their enthusiastic support for RR given its endorsement of the Tetra purchase. And that harms us all in what promises to be a long, tough, expensive legal battle.

          As for “stepping up,” over the last half-dozen years, I have
          been elected twice to the RCA Board of Directors after initially being chosen by the Board to fill a vacancy. I
          stepped down a year ago. I have co-chaired the Reston 2020 Committee for most of that time. I served as RCA’s representative to the Reston Master Plan Task Force for two (endless) years and backed up RCA’s efforts there from its launching. I was awarded a “citation of merit” (runner up as “citizen of the year” to Reston’s Walter Alcorn who chaired the Tysons Task Force) by the Fairfax County Federation of
          Citizens Associations.

          So, yes, I think I have stepped up. In doing so, I have tried to represent Reston’s planning principles and values and Restonians in every situation, sometimes successfully,
          sometimes not (as JCSuperstar likes to point out here).

          So be it. I welcome other ideas, facts, analysis, and points of view, but I, too, tire of personal attacks.

          • JCSuperstar

            Mr. Maynard, first, I do apologize for much of the satire I’ve thrown way, but again, I have to respectfully disagree with you. I believe the facts regarding the golf course, as well as the Tetra parcel, have been vey well laid out. They are both subject to being redeveloped, and in this market, likely.

            The efforts and reasons for Rescue Reston and Reston Association attempting to protect these properties can be admired and respected as well. They truly understand what property rights mean. They truly understand what would be involved by intervening (which is where I absolutely disagree with them, taking action with member dollars).

            As I see it, from reading your blog posts and letters, you have been against the development of Reston since the advent of the Silver line. I still can’t find one thing you are in favor of, or, let me put it a different way — your willingness to listen.

            Pardon my satire again, but, you remind me of the famous character from the Movie “Network.” — “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”

            One of the commenters above said it best, you think you know what is right and what is best for the rest of us. You attempt to manipulate the uninformed through your “expert analysis.”

            As for the RCA and your blog, Mr. Looney came up with a great developer term — “crickets.” RCA is still broadcasting their meeting agenda and before that, the Citizen of the Year. They are completely out of touch. And it appears all you have been capable of over the last month or more is reposting articles.

            I suggest you look at the history of the counterculture movement decades ago — much of it still exists — but only after people got into the system to change the system. You being a part of RCA and having your own blog is not getting into the system – quit pretending.

      • Constance (Connie) Hartke

        Sally, thank you for your support of RNGC and RR. I must say, for the record that I, Connie Hartke, personally respect and appreciate Terry Maynard and his 2020 analyses, even though we DISAGREE on the Tetra purchase. He has indeed made many contributions to our community and he was recognized for these contributions in 2011 with a Citation of Merit from the Fairfax Federation of Citizens’ Associations (see
        http://www.fairfaxfederation.org/COY/2011COYHonorees.htm).

        In a short 2 years, I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge about Fairfax County Planning, the Comprehensive Plan and more, largely because of my association with Terry Maynard and RCA 2020.

        This is Reston – we agree; we disagree; but even when on opposite sides, we love our community.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    Rescue Reston’s mission remains unchanged. No expenditure of funds donated to Rescue Reston was made in connection with the process by which the seven volunteer Board members came to their own conclusions regarding this matter.

    Restonians live very busy lives and often look to trusted sources for guidance. The inquiries from supporters wanting to know our Board’s opinion on the Tetra referendum was outweighing the number of supporters who wished us to remain silent.

  • JCSuperstar

    Please explain.

    • east297

      Duh!!! That means vote NO NO NO!!!

      • JCSuperstar

        Please explain the tripling of dues.

        • east297

          When we moved to Reston the RHOA dues were $65 yearly…now the RA dues are $600+…We did pay $15 for tennis and $35 for pools but those items were optional. Now you figure out where RA is going with all this acquisition of more property business. Those bonds will have to be paid for. RA constantly dreams up more programs to justify hiring more employees…buying more RA vehicles…….why cannot employees drive their own autos and receive mileage? This does not include maintenance vehicles. RA is a bureaucracy run amok.

          • JCSuperstar

            You’re kidding, right? What was your home worth when you paid $65? What was your county tax assessment when you paid $65. What were your cluster association dues when you paid $65? What decent gym membership can you get for $65. Who owned Reston when you paid $65?

            Facts please.

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