RA Proposal Has New High-Rise Residents as Partial Members

by Karen Goff June 4, 2015 at 9:30 am 69 Comments

BLVD Apartments under construction in RestonReston is about to undergo a major residential development spurt. That is why Reston Association is proposing a new model for adding properties to the association that could have some residents paying half as much as current members in annual assessments.

RA CEO Cate Fulkerson presented some of the details at RA’s regular board meeting last week. The changes come as RA is in the process of adding Comstock’s BLVD apartments at Reston Station, the first of what will likely be several new multifamily developments added to RA.

BLVD, which will begin leasing later this year, will have 540 units. It will be the first residential development in the area along the Dulles Toll Road that was formerly zoned industrial. Since no residential development was there before, properties will be new to RA’s jurisdiction.

“Currently, new or existing properties along the corridor do not fall within RA’s jurisdiction (RA covenanted land) therefore assessments from those residences are not collected by RA,” says a statement by RA. “Those properties also do not fall under RA’s design guidelines and could potentially create an appearance of ‘two different Restons’ if the properties are not properly maintained.”

Under the new model, developers would have the opportunity to join RA. The association would receive an initiation fee and/or proffers from developers in exchange for RA providing certain services such as overseeing the future administration and design review process of the properties, RA says.

Because much of the new development, including BLVD, will have on-site amenities such as swimming pools, RA would reduce the assessment fee to half the amount paid by full members of the association. The 2015 assessment fee for full members is $642.

Fulkerson said new RA members in the former industrial corridor area would not have the same access to RA amenities that full members possess, but would benefit from various RA services.

“While all of the details have not been worked out yet … the key point under consideration has to do with services more than amenities,” said Fulkerson.

Fulkerson said all residents, regardless of whether they are members or not, have access to Reston Association’s pathways, open spaces, ball fields and other public amenities. The services RA would provide to new members are administrative in nature, such as design guideline oversight.

“Members who receive the half-price discount would not qualify for the reduced rates that full members get on things like tennis and pool passes,” she added. “We feel this is fair to both our existing members and any potential new members. “We also don’t anticipate providing reduced camp or other programing rates for members who are receiving the lesser assessment rate.”

By adding new properties to RA, the association would have greater control over the design guidelines of the properties. The new assessments and initiation fees would bring revenue to the association and allow the new area  to become part of “one Reston,” says RA.

RA will hold a public hearing on the subject on June 25, prior to the board voting on the changes.

The proposal looks like this:

Project/development owner pays a lump sum (often pursuant to proffer) and/or other initiation fee.

Development may be subject to some or all of the provisions of the RA Deed through a Supplemental Declaration.

Owner may pay some portion of or all of the Annual Assessment per residential unit owned.

In the case of Rental Apartments, the Owner will be considered a Category B Member (Multifamily Dwelling) with voting rights for Designated Director Election, Deed amendments, and Common Area Referenda; In the case of a Condominium, each Owner of a Unit is considered a Category A Member with specified voting rights pursuant to the RA Deed.

In the case of Rental Apartments where Owner pays an Annual Assessment per Apartment, Apartment Occupants could be considered Category C Members (Occupants) with right to run for the Board of Directors and vote in Board Elections.

Alternatively, if Owner does not pay an Annual Assessment per unit owned, then, in accord with the Supplemental Declaration, Occupants would not be Class C members and would only be eligible to purchase a RA Recreation package for a specific annual fee for the same recreational services.

For an annual fee, RA administers the developments Design Guidelines under a separate architectural board of review.

For an annual fee, RA could agree to provide development owner with onsite common area maintenance/landscaping/snow-removal services and/or recreational programming.

Photo: BLVD Apartments

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