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Discussion About Lake Newport Soccer Field Upgrades Continues

by Dave Emke — February 8, 2017 at 4:15 pm 22 Comments

Lake Newport Soccer

Reston Soccer Association and Reston Association are holding a community input meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m. “with residents from clusters adjacent to the Lake Newport Soccer Fields to discuss their potential concerns regarding RSA’s proposed enhancements to the field.” The meeting will be at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

The upgrades would involve the installation of artificial turf fields, LED lighting and a clubhouse building. All would be paid for by Reston Soccer.

Earlier Wednesday, women’s professional soccer team the Washington Spirit announced they would be partnering with Reston Soccer to bring a U.S. Girls’ Development Academy to Reston later this year. Robert Anguizola, Reston Soccer president, said the project and the academy are not directly related, as Reston Soccer also plays at a number of other facilities in Reston. However, he said, improvements to Lake Newport’s fields would be beneficial from multiple standpoints.

“[The partnership] highlights the need for better fields so that we can continue to attract good players, coaches and soccer programs here,” he said. “The partnership with Washington Spirit, that we hope will be a long-term partnership, gives us a good fundraising platform.”

Not everyone is happy about the development, though.

Eric McErlain, president of Bayfield Station, one of the clusters in question, says he is a soccer fan. However, he adds, he was irked by the fact that very few people in his community were even aware of the meeting or the proposal as a whole.

“Only a portion of the community received letters by mail from the RA,” he said. “The letter was dated Jan. 27, but the envelope wasn’t postmarked until Jan. 30, and the envelope itself didn’t get to me until Friday. I didn’t open my mail until Saturday, and there it was.”

McErlain said he and other residents of the area — which also includes Arbor Glen and Concord Green clusters — have been trying to spread the word about tonight’s meeting.

Anguizola has previously estimated the improvements will add 191 extra field hours during the season and 550 during what is now the offseason. McErlain said he is worried about what that will mean for the neighborhood.

“I’m incredibly concerned, now that I see more and more the scale and the scope of it,” he said. “I can’t help but be alarmed, and I can’t help but feel the RA is rushing us and not giving us enough time to study this project and be able to comment on it intelligently.”

Reston Association and Reston Soccer are separate and independent entities.

The Reston Association board set a timeline in October on discussion about the project, including public hearings in the early part of this year. Tonight’s meeting is the “first in a series” on the matter, said Mike Leone, RA’s communications director. Should the board allow the project to move forward, a member referendum would take place.

Anguizola said continued discussions with the community, starting with tonight’s meeting, will help determine the future of the project.

“It should be a happy development for the community, because I think it’s part of the civic fabric,” he said. “[But] we’re happy to have a conversation.”

  • Concerned Resident

    A week’s notice to the neighbors and residents is not sufficient time to plan to attend these meetings. I received an email yesterday about this meeting. Recommend the RA publish through Reston Now and its website a month in advance the schedule of meetings and the list of orgs requesting projects / development plans. Need better communication.
    Reston Soccer is saying it will fund the development, but what about the cost to residents for the maintenance of facilities, turf, etc.?

    • Mike M

      I am sorry. If you work, they just want a slice of your income. Your input is not that important.

      • Jeannie

        We, as homeowners adjacent to the field, are giving RA a chance to recognize the absurdity of this proposal and how gravely it would impact our lifestyle. In the event that they allow this to proceed to future steps, then we will simply up our game. Protests are effective.

        • Bob

          lol you’re going to protest something that will be good for children, at least you go your priorities straight.

          • Jeannie

            Which children? The one’s whose bedrooms’ windows are adjacent to the field? Or the ones who are free to play on the fields now until dark? Check out the 1:30pm article to see how close the homes are to the field to understand what is at stake.

          • Bob

            Maybe just not make it all about you all the time and thing of others.

          • Jeannie

            lol

    • Rational Reston

      These meetings do seem to come up at short notice, but these issues are largely just agenda items on standing meetings.

      However, they do publish these meetings via the website and social media. I’m unsure when this one was publicized by RA.

      Don’t know if a month is reasonable, but they can be more transparent about the meetings.

  • I own a home in Bayfield Station which backs onto these fields. I’m not in favor as I think the additional noise/light/etc will be a huge annoyance to homeowners whose property backs onto the field (mine doesn’t, but many others do). I didn’t find out about the proposal till Monday, only two days before the meeting.

    • Rational Reston

      I think if you purchase a home that backs onto a park, you must accept that there will be some noise.

      If someone does not like the sounds of children being happy, and enjoying themselves, they should not purchase a home next to a park.

      • It’s not a park, it’s a soccer field that is currently used during daylight hours and on weekends. The current noise is not an issue, but additional noise from longer hours – especially at night – would be a concern for homeowners near the field.

        • Rational Reston

          It’s a park, in that it’s an open space where people can do recreational things. Yes, this is a park that is specialized with two fields. Swing sets and jungle gyms are not requirements for it to be a park. But again, it’s been there and adjacent owners must accept that there would be some reasonable level of noise that originates from a park.

          I don’t think there will be any 2AM games or practices on these fields, as I’m pretty sure Reston Soccer has proposed that there would be some time where the lights would go off. Or they would not go on if there’s no permit for them to go on. Also RA can impose such a limit of 9PM or whatever. My understanding is that the lights would aid Reston Soccer during standard time when it gets dark very early.

          • Jeannie

            I live with a front-row seat to Lake Newport Soccer. I love it TODAY. It is currently an undeveloped, pristine field where wildlife roam, neighbors jog, and soccer is played during a portion of the year, during a portion of the day, until dark. There is happy noise during the daylight hours. It is great. The proposal involves DEVELOPING the field (greenspace), adding offensive lights and creating an unacceptable environment for those of us who live here and cannot leave to go home. This is our home. We enjoy using our decks and our yards. We would no longer be able to do so with bright lights shining in our eyes, not to mention open windows to enjoy quiet and fresh air as we sleep. We peacefully coexist with Reston Soccer today. Please feel free to stop by to see what it is you are referring to and try to imagine how the changes would impact those who live here.

          • Rational Reston

            You forgot to mention the treeline. And I would suppose that the lights will be directed at the field as opposed to your house, that said you may have some indirect light. Does the North Point Center’s lights offer any inconvenience?

            And again, I think Reston Soccer wanted to limit the light timing, so that they would not be operating all hours. This sounds like a good discussion point as opposed to an opposition point.

          • Jeannie

            I did not forget to mention the treeline. Take a look at the article that was just posted at 1:30pm to see a clear view of my home from the field.
            The lights at NorthPoint Village Shopping Center lights are visible, as well, ever since most of the trees contracted a disease and/or were inadvertently poisoned by those attempting to remove the diseased trees. Replanting occurred, but the majority died. Given the topography, no number of trees will mitigate the view of the field from my deck and windows. Feel free to stand on the field and see for yourself. It think it would clarify why lights are not a palatable option for this neighborhood. Timing is immaterial. Strong opposition point.

          • Rational Reston

            Thanks. That view was unknown to me from passing by on Reston Parkway.

            Despite it’s talk, Reston has become very good at destroying trees in the name of protecting them.

            Perhaps there’s a solution to it, between bigger evergreen trees and making a berm (throwing out ideas) to both block light and errant soccer balls.

          • Rational Reston

            To your point on timing, during early and late summer days, people are on those fields until maybe 8PM when the sun goes down. After daylight savings time goes away, they’re lucky to be out there at 530PM. Having lights until some agreeable hour and an agreeable geometry should be something people can work to.

          • Jeannie

            They are on the fields until 9pm or 9:30 in the Summer, so late that I am surprised they can see the ball. That is late enough for the warm months. Try stopping by this neighborhood before commenting further.

  • Drip

    In another article about Robert E. Simon, it discussed his intent to make Reston a diverse, inclusive community. Why does it always seem like wealthy, non-diverse groups are constantly pushing their own self-serving initiatives that are completely contrary to Simon’s vision, yet they then laud Simon for his vision. For example, Lake Newport homeowners pushed the Tetra mess and then hamstrung it further by limiting its use. Then there is the tennis court costs and Eve Thompson’s costly proposed Lake Anne expenditures. I suppose we can throw in Boston Properties self-inflicted implosion of the Town Center since we don’t see Hudgins holding their feet to the fire. But with RA finances in particular, it seems like a small group of wealthy people desire to spend so much of RA’s money that lower-income people will be priced out of living in Reston. If that’s their thing, then fine, but please stop touting Simon’s vision if that vision stops at your own property values.

  • Jeannie

    I live with a front-row seat to Lake Newport Soccer. I love it TODAY. It is currently an undeveloped, pristine field where wildlife roam, neighbors jog, and soccer is played during a portion of the year, during a portion of the day, until dark. There is happy noise during the daylight hours. It is great. The proposal involves DEVELOPING the field (greenspace), adding offensive lights and creating an unacceptable environment for those of us who live here and cannot leave to go home. This is our home. We enjoy using our decks and our yards. We would no longer be able to do so with bright lights shining in our eyes, not to mention open windows to enjoy quiet and fresh air as we sleep. We peacefully coexist with Reston Soccer today. Please feel free to stop by to see what this is truly referring to and try to imagine how the changes would impact those who live here (approximately 100 feet from the field).

  • MaggieSays

    I am pretty happy that improvements will be made to the fields. Practice schedules on the unlit fields are really difficult for teams, especially in the fall season. Soccer has been such a positive part of my son’s character development, and it’s nice to see RA and RSA working together to make sports an easier part of his life.

  • Tuni

    Rational Reston I’m curious why you have hidden your name? Reading your comments certainly gives me an idea who you’re directly involved with.
    As a homeowner whose home backs up to the field I have done some research into to this little 2.5 million dollars “project”. This so called project has been shopped around Northern Virginia from Arlington to Leesburg and shot down no less than 7 times. Only the corrupt RA has even given it a platform.
    This project is being advertised as a great thing for Reston kids. Exercise etc…but in reality this is a money making project for Reston Soccer. THEY WANT TO BRING IN KIDS AND ADULTS FROM ALL OVER N.V. AND MD to use the fields. We as homeowners pay for the upkeep of the fields in Reston.
    They have also recently contracted with a professional women’s team in DC to use our fields to offer “academies ” for children from all over the metropolitan area.
    This project also includes a ticket booth?? Why would a not for profit little old field upgrade include a ticket booth.
    I think the RESTON SOCCER ASSOCIATION needs to be re-evaluated in regards to its “not for profit” designation.

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