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RA Board Discusses Requiring Compensation for Aerial Crane Easement Rights

by Dave Emke June 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm 13 Comments

At its meeting last week, the Reston Association Board of Directors discussed requiring compensation for use of an aerial crane for construction on Colts Neck Road that would extend over RA property.

The request by Atlantic Realty Companies is for an aerial crane that it says is needed for the placement of the garage and building structure elements at the Hunters Woods at Trails Edge construction site (2222 Colts Neck Road). The crane’s arm would extend over a portion of RA common area north of the site, the former home of the United Christian Parish church.

The request to provide the easement in-kind was originally part of the meeting agenda’s consent calendar, but it was removed for further consideration. When the topic came up, Director John Mooney spoke up.

“That we would help something like this out is, I think, totally appropriate,” Mooney said. “But in my experience, local municipalities charge a fee for this species of temporary construction easements. I think that we as Reston Association should be equally diligent to seek that.”

Prior to moving to Reston last year, Mooney was senior assistant county manager in Arlington.

No live loads would be carried over the RA property, just the aerial arm of the crane. The arm would be above the tree canopy and would not impact the ground area or trees, ARC says. RA would also be added as an additional insured property on ARC’s insurance policy.

CEO Cate Fulkerson and Sherri Hebert, board president, asked what the going rate for such an agreement would be. Mooney said the formula to determine the charge would involve the land value of the parcel in question and the length of time for which it would be used. A representative for ARC said the aerial crane would be in use for about nine months.

“We’ve granted numerous easements to the Reston Association for trails, for restoration of the stream, with no compensation,” said the ARC representative at the meeting. “We think we’re trying to be a good friend and neighbor and we really request the same thing in kind.”

When it is complete, the IntegraCare facility will have 210 senior-living units — including 90 independent living units, 81 for assisted living, 24 for memory care and 15 for special needs.

Approval of the easement was tabled and discussion was moved to executive session.

Image via Reston Association

  • Diane

    We’re already in a crisis for senior living accommodations…we’re Boulevard Builders charged?

  • Reston Realist

    I’ve been involved with commercial and residential development for most of my career. It is very unusual that there is a fee involved for a temporary construction easement. the norm is to cooperate with your neighbors. At some point RA is going to need an easement – then what will the fee be to the community?

    • Reston2000

      They should at least consider if there is a fiscal impact – if we (RA) are accruing any costs on this (legal, staff), then shouldn’t we be compensated? Arlington County builds fiscal impact into their decision-making on easements…shouldn’t we?

      • Reston Realist

        I agree and am not disputing that….. See my comment above.

    • Mike M

      It does bring up an interesting situation. Heretofore, our local officials have basically held us down while the developers (like you) have had their way with us. What if they stopped cooperating completely? Might it adjust some attitudes about community impact?

      • Reston Realist

        I think RA should do what they can to slow down development in Reston. It’s gone too far too fast and the $$ for the most part is lining the pockets of interlopers based on the other side of the river. Perhaps extracting fees for temporary construction easements may be one way. My point though is that it is a slippery slope when you start playing the that game. Believe me, Reston will always need temp. const. easements in the future for some restoration or repair project, you don’t want the precedent to be that the quid pro quo is not to cooperate but rather to extract. In the long run it’s going to prove costly to RA (us)

        Btw, I’ve always been a small time player in the development arena…. and have never worked in Reston. I have been interloping primarily in Loundoun County and West Virginia.

  • Greg

    “CEO Cate Fulkerson and Sherri Hebert, board president, asked what the going rate for such an agreement would be.”

    Why doesn’t $225,000 a year Cate Fulkerson know these things? What does she do all day?

    • 40yearsinreston

      There​ are meetings to attend
      Conferences with minions where she can apply her’leadership skills’. Salary reviews, job applicant to interview, direct org chart updates, network for her next sinecure
      Last but not least, prepare the 3 envelopes to be opened for her eventual replacement
      The work of a business executive and leader is never completed

      • Mike M

        Expensive consultants and legal counsel briefs. Just look at that vapid chart posted with the RA story! Boxes of text lists with arrows between them! Nearly no meaning whatsoever.

        Children pretending to be adults.

  • Tammi Petrine

    I for one applaud the new attitude of the RA BOD to seek added income opportunities when they present themselves. Actually other jurisdictions routinely seek compensation for temporary easements. Because something has never been done does not necessarily make it a bad idea. I applaud the board for considering the pros and cons of each case. Thank you, directors, for your service.

    PS: Considering the prices telecom is charging us, I only wish old BOD’s had extracted easement fees for the permanent rights to run through RA properties around town. Sigh… These are not temporary rights of course…

    • Reston Realist

      compensation for temporary easements is typically charged by a municipality only when that municipality needs to hire inspectors or others to insure the work is done properly and nothing is damaged. From my limited understanding of why ARC is asking for the easement, I don’t think this is one of those cases. Simply used as a tool to extract $$ from ARC is not a good use of RA’s time and resources. Especially when one considers that there are many times when Reston asks for the same courtesy. RA needs to be logical on how they use their powers. To ignore the debacle which was tetra and then nickel and dime another developer to show how bold you are is kind of sad.

      • Tammi Petrine

        RR, Interesting comment… I’m not aware RA has ever needed crane or temporary easements. Can you share your specifics? Maybe for lake dredging? Love to learn however. Thanks in advance.
        PS: I do believe RA is currently assembling easement info on customary practices and fees which will serve all of us well in future. Being a good neighbor is of course a great goal. However, passing up income from a profit-seeking entity needs to be considered closely when these requests require RA staff and contractor time – attorneys are super expensive and charge by the hour. RA should attempt to recoup administration costs in addition to being a ‘good neighbor’.

        • Reston Realist

          pretty much what I said above, correct? My point is not to be used as an opportunity to extract fees that are not commensurate with the expenses which are incurred. I apologize for not being clearer….

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