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CEO: No Q&A with Bozzuto on St. Johns Wood Proposal Planned

by Dave Emke March 27, 2017 at 11:30 am 20 Comments

Bozzuto Management tonight will present to the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee the latest tweaks to its application to redevelop St. Johns Wood.

While the topic was not on the agenda of last week’s Reston Association Board of Directors meeting, Director Ray Wedell spoke for about 10 minutes in regard to a rumor that an email question-and-answer opportunity with Bozzuto was being set up by RA for members.

“To open the door in any manner for any member to directly confront Bozzuto or discuss with Bozzuto anything about this when we have on the table that we’re firmly opposed to this… would be a huge, huge, huge mistake,” Wedell said. “If I’m wrong, at least make the board vote on it to say that.”

CEO Cate Fulkerson said, contrary to the rumor, no email service for members to submit questions for Bozzuto has been created. She did say that in response to a member’s suggestion, there had been discussion about setting up a page on RA’s website for staff to answer member questions about Bozzuto’s proposal.

The most recent proposal for the redevelopment of St. Johns Wood called for two multifamily residential buildings totaling 467 units, along with 44 townhomes. Last year, the Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution stating it is firmly against the plan. A letter communicating such was sent to the county in September. Considering that, Wedell said, RA should not entertain any further discussion of the proposal.

“If we can’t kill this abomination, we’ll never kill anything,” Wedell said. “And there’s a hell of a lot of abominations coming, as we all know.”

Fulkerson reiterated to Wedell that no work has been done by her or staff to extend the conversation through a Q&A with Bozzuto.

“We have done nothing,” Fulkerson told him. “I want to make it very clear, no email Q&A has been set up [and] nothing has changed on the Association’s website.”

While the RA Board and concerned members have both expressed their displeasure with the proposal to Bozzuto, the developer remains within its rights to propose the redevelopment. That could be approved by the county through waivers and exemptions to the Master Plan. The plan is scheduled to be reviewed again by the Fairfax County Planning Commission on May 25.

Tonight’s meeting of the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee to hear Bozzuto’s latest proposal is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

  • Donald

    Perhaps I missed something here. But, I see nothing wrong setting up a communication vehicle allowing Reston Association members to ask questions with RA staff about St.Johns Wood, the Kensington Assisted Living, Colts Neck Assisted Living, Tall Oaks, Reston National, or any property. It’s important members feel they are fully informed in a timely manner.

    Mr Wedell, you admit to being long winded. May I suggest you take the next step – and think before you speak.


    • 30yearsinreston

      As per usual, RA have done nothing
      Ms Fulketsons words, not mine

      • 40yearsinfallschurch

        HAHA YES!

    • Bernie Supporter

      Donald, what you’re missing is that — after being rejected — the burden of proof that SJW meets our Master Plan is on Buzzotto. And just as they say on cop shows, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.” Loose cannons shooting off their mouths can give Bozzutto ammunition. They can point to these Q & A s as being “responsive to the needs of the community.”

      WORSE, these people didn’t just want direct talks with Bozzutto. They wanted Cate to set it up THROUGH Reston Association and its website. That would mean these communications were AUTHORIZED by RA.

      If that’s not a problem for you,, its a problem for me. I don’t want unelected people talking directly to a developer whose only goal is to destroy MY neighborhood. Who knows what they would say? Who knows what trouble they could inadvertently cause us?

      • Donald

        Bernie, no offense. But you’re starting to go down the same path as that infamous “Baghdad Bob.” Please take a breath and relax.


        • Bernie Supporter

          God, you I love it when you begin your posts with “no offense” and then proceed to say something offensive. It’s such perfect passive aggression, and it goes with you so well.. 🙂

          • Dwight

            Haha burn!! You feeling the bern now?

    • John Higgins

      Donald, the only thing you are missing (from Bernie Supporter’s perspective) is a second X chromosome. Members have a need, a desire, and a right to communicate among themselves on important matters. If development is not one of them, what is? Now, absent a vehicle for info sharing, we seem to have three choices: attend every meeting and read every document ourselves; rely on summaries from RA; filter through the misinformation and half-truths we get here and fill in the blanks as best fits our own biases.

      At BS’s urging, I went back to the video. I know as little now as I did before. Ms. Krieger appears to have been primed by someone to raise this issue, but her briefing was incomplete. She turned to CEO Fulkerson to explain what it was someone had asked RA to set up. No one took the time to tell us. It has been characterized as an “email link” to Bozzuto, but that seems fanciful. They certainly do not need RA to receive emails from RA members. Later descriptions suggest the idea was a page on RA’s site where members could pose questions and presumably get responses. That strikes me as a pretty bad idea. So the information void continues.

      As others have observed, development of SJW is not dead. It was badly wounded. To the extent Ms. Krieger and others gathered data and Ms. Mooney produced compelling analysis, we should thank them, not referee a wrestling match for credit. How distasteful and self-serving.

      By the way, Virginia Code Sec 55-510.2 demands: “The board of directors shall establish a reasonable, effective, and free method, appropriate to the size and nature of the organization, for lot owners to communicate among themselves and with the board of directors regarding any matter concerning the association.” RA has part of that covered, but the “among themselves” part needs works. That Q&A page or a well monitored blog would go a long way.

      • Bernie Supporter

        John, glad that you thought this idea was bad. And thank you for citing Virginia code. As you point out, it talks about owners communicating among themselves and/or the board. Not lot owners talking to developers. I certainly don’t want my dues paying for other people to talk on my behalf as an affected party when I have no clue what they well say, or how it could adversely affect me. And for Cate to even consider giving this bad idea legit-status by having it on RA resources like our website is even worse.

        • The Constitutionalist

          There’s not many things we can agree on, but I can certainly agree with you here.

      • Donald

        Thanks John, you certainly have more patience than I do. Your points are solid.


  • cRAzy

    Mr. Wedell–please take your meds! First, you got it wrong and then, second, you discouraged communications between RA and the community.

    Finally, Bozzuto will get approval to re-develop the SJW property. Our best hope–and goal–is that the approved plan sticks closely to the constraints of the Reston Master Plan–not the abomination that Bozzuto has proposed so far. Who knows, maybe tonight’s proposal will be better.

    And thank you to Mr. John Mooney, candidate for North Point RA director, for his detailed analysis of Bozzuto’s earlier abomination that killed it. He may have a new project ahead of him, but then I thought that was why we were paying a high-priced land use attorney. Vote for him now if you haven’t already!

    • Donald

      Mr. Wendell, if you are reading this, I believe Reston Association encourages such communication. The model was likely initiated with the Reston National Golf Course fight.


    • Bernie Supporter

      No matter how often you repeat this lie about Mooney’s analysis not being build on the shoulders of others in Reclaim Reston, it doesn’t make it true. This is not to say that Mooney’s brief wasn’t good. It was. But I find it shameful for ANYONE to pass off others work as solely there own. THREE WOMEN began the fight against St. John’s Wood — and Arlene Krieger was one of them. So unless Mooney is transgender he was a late comer to this fight. His work appreciated — as one of the TEAM. Krieger is a community organizer and activist. If you want to fight abominations like SJW, vote for Arlene Krieger if you haven’t already. We need another outspoken leader on the RA Board. Vote for her now if you haven’t already.

      • cRAzy

        You certainly are outspoken, Arlene, but you’re not a leader.

        • Bernie Supporter

          Crazy, I urge you to follow your own advice;.
          Please take your meds:

  • Bernie Supporter


    Don’t take my word for it. Listen to her own words.

    Click on the story’s blue link about Wendall “spoke for 10 minutes.” It takes you directly to the exchange which began 38 minutes into the meeting.

    Yes, Cate said that no email service for members to submit questions directly for Bozzuto had been set up. But she also said YET. And she said she hadn’t had a chance yet to talk to her staff about it. She didn’t say NO. She didn’t say HOW INAPPROPRIATE that would be. Instead she says, “I would not want it to be a Q&A for the developer… ” and goes onto say what she WOULD want it to be.

    AND JUST LOOK AT HER FACE WHEN WENDAL ASKS HER ABOUT IT. If you have kids, you’ve seen that look before. That’s the look kids give you when they’ve just been caught with their hands in the cookie jar. (Or doing something else they shouldn’t be doing.)

    Equally disturbing, is that Wendall said that he and Cate had been talking about this for WEEKS. Wendall is right on the money when he says, “To open the door in any manner for any member to directly confront Bozzuto or discuss with Bozzuto anything about this when we have on the table that we’re firmly opposed to this… would be a huge, huge, huge mistake.”

    But then Cate knows a LOT about making HUGE mistakes. Or am I wrong? Was Tetra NOT her baby in every way?

    • 30yearsinreston

      She should be fired for incompetence

    • Jenny Gibbers

      To enlighten us all, can Bernie Supporter step forward and reveal his / her real name?

      I think this would make things a lot more clear and also establish a solid platform by which we can evaluate the candidates and how things will shape up for Reston.

      Work live and play!


  • meezark

    It is important to note that Bozzuto is NOT the owner of this property, that is JP Morgan, although that is difficult to decipher from property records. Bozzuto, as the developer, is the public face of this project so the hate directed toward them is understandable as they are willfully participating in the project, but let’s note that detail for whatever it’s worth.


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