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Wedell: Hook Road Park Should Be for Community, Not ‘Just Another Recreation Area’

by Dave Emke August 23, 2017 at 2:45 pm 95 Comments

As input sessions on a proposed capital improvement project at Hook Road Recreation Area will soon begin, one member of the Reston Association Board of Directors has big questions.

Ray Wedell, an At-Large director who lived on Hook Road for seven years, has been adamantly against the project proposal from the start. He says the future of that park must be evaluated in a “deeper and more meaningful way” than what is currently being approached by RA.

In a five-page statement (download in full) that he recently presented to the Board, CEO Cate Fulkerson and RA staff members, Wedell argues the emphasis should be on preserving the “beautiful and peaceful open space” at the park rather than on enhancements to what he views as little-used facilities.

I submitted this as part of the record before the first budget meeting, which I could not attend. I asked it be part of the record. Having heard nothing from any of the 18 recipients in the RA brain trust concerning my piece, I brought it up at the next budget meeting (very lightly attended), and again asked that it be included as part of the record,” Wedell told Reston Now. “Although politely added to the record, my sense is that it will be buried. The procedure to follow on this Hook Road project (and maybe even the ultimate outcome) [has] already been determined long ago. My opinions will be circumvented as much as possible.”

Wedell’s opinions focus in large part upon changes to the eastern portion of the property, which features four tennis courts, a tennis practice wall and a basketball court — all amenities the director says are greatly underused.

There are four tennis courts that are lit at night. There is amazingly little use of these courts during most of the year, as I have often documented. There is also no check that I can ever decipher that the few people playing there are actually Reston residents paying for the privilege. Alongside the tennis courts is a practice tennis wall, another wasted space rarely used. There is also a paved basketball court. This is almost never used.

Instead of renovating these facilities, which he says would be “expensive and unnecessary,” Wedell says they are perfect places to increase parking at the recreation area.

All of this territory can be beautifully re-purposed at minimal expense, and likely less upkeep. Furthermore, my proposal could draw heavily from private donations, whereas none of the retrofit projects to keep Hook Road as is would do so.

Wedell says adding parking spaces there, instead of finding space elsewhere on the property as has been suggested, would allow for more people to enjoy the activities that take place in the western portion of the property as it currently sits — which he says is a “wonderful open space for picnics, kite flying, frisbee with the dogs, exercise for younger supervised tots, and much more.” His argument is that this would make the park a vital community gathering area rather than “just another recreational area.”

This can easily be accomplished and would serve the needs of many more citizens. It would give many more people who do not use the tennis courts (the overwhelming majority of Restonians) a reason to think their assessments DO provide value. It clearly is environmentally robust.

At a time when Reston is literally fighting for its life against the seemingly insurmountable development forces, the establishment of such a park stakes a claim that we value our quality of life, and the citizens want to define how our community should look.

The director says the proposed redevelopment at Hook Road is “a golden opportunity for the citizens to call for a timeout and demand that we re-think the entire purpose of the park.” Wedell says there should be parks similar to his vision for Hook Road Park in areas such as Hunters Woods and the South Lakes District. He says the open-space park concept should be the new approach for Reston.

Rather than forge forward with the current debate on how to retrofit the existing structures at Hook Road, isn’t it time to take a “30,000 foot view” and determine what type of park best meets the needs of the overall community?

The first public meeting on the Hook Road Recreation Area project is slated for Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

  • Greg

    RA amenities that are rarely used? Imagine that!

    • Phil Lilienthal

      There may be some, but this is not one of them. Don’t believe this guy. Ask for his documentation. I expect there is none that could pass as reputable. These courts are among the busiest in Reston.

  • Sonia M. Valdes

    A parking lot is what he means by “beautifully repurposed”. Really? I have never heard a parking lot described this way. The last thing Reston needs is another parking lot.

    • Ray Wedell

      Not at all what I am proposing. I suggest you read what I said in full before making sarcastic comments. But Sarah, thank you for identifying yourself. And I am easy to reach. Call me anytime to discuss how we can improve things in Reston.

      • Sonia M. Valdes

        I read what you said. You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it’s still a pig.

  • Tennis barefoot

    What the eye can easily grasp from 30k feet is the color green which basically calls for lawn tennis and all that the market can bear.

    Back to you Wedell, the ball is in your court.

    • Ray Wedell

      I would love to, “barefoot.” But I have a policy I adopted from Brene Brown: don’t engage with people who won’t even tell you their name. Tell me who you are, as I do all the time, and I would be glad to discuss any and all issues in any detail you want. I am not hiding, so come on out into the sunlight with me. It is nice out here.

      • Tennis barefoot

        Thanks Ray.

        I really appreciate your feedback and most of all salute you for doing what great leaders do: deal with constituents directly and negotiate an outcome that everyone can be happy about.

        You put the rest of the board in an awkward position, I hope they get the message!

  • Arlene Krieger

    Yet, another project without the consent of the people of Reston– the Reston Membership. I want to know who will profit $$ by these new plans. And I understand there are other projects planned that the membership does not know about.

    • areyoukiddingme

      Check your facts – the project hasn’t even started. The community is welcome to attend the input session or join the working group.

  • restonista

    A parking lot in the middle of a very nice RESIDENTIAL area??? Get a grip Ray!

  • Donald

    Geez Ray,

    I suggested this board demonstrate leadership by identifying innovative new ways to bring additional revenue to the community.

    And you come up with a parking lot.

    Again, to this board, what a shame.

    Donald

    • Conservative Senior

      RA requires payment for pool passes so why not require payment for tennis passes & lock the courts as they did years ago. That would keep nonmembers out.

      • Linda Fuller

        We do pay for tennis passes.

        • Conservative Senior

          Yes , we do pay but the number of non residents using the tennis courts is huge. The courts need to be locked & dues paying members given a key.

          • Ray Wedell

            I used to live there, as I have said. For seven years. Nobody EVER asked for a pass. Nobody EVER came by to check. And the lights stayed on deep into the night even when nobody was playing and temperature outside was 35 degrees. May eyes are bad, but not THAT bad.

          • LOL

            Well gee, Ray, if nobody is using the courts, as you claim, then your alleged claim that non-residents are using the courts is a non-issue, isn’t it?

            So which is it? Is nobody using them? Or are people using them, but they’re not from Reston?

          • Ray Wedell

            And yet another cowardly anonymous comment from a Lilliputian cleverly calling himself “LOL”. Hey funny man, I cast the vote. You have to live with it. Laugh at that. Good bye.

          • LOL

            Oh Ray you would rather babble about the anonymity of the comment than address the actual argument or clarify your logical inconsistencies? Why am I not surprised.

          • Ray Wedell

            Rather than “[email protected] an uninformed jerk going by the man “LOL”. Yes. LOL is perfect for you: a total joke.

          • Ray Wedell

            LOL = Loud Obnoxious Lilliputian. Now I get it.

          • Maura White

            The operative phrase is ‘used to’. Appreciate that this is what you thought was the situation back then, but it’s certainly not the current situation. The courts are in frequent use by all ages and RA does ask for passes. Over the 17 years of living in the area, I have been asked numerous times at different courts throughout Reston for my pass. This includes Hook, which is my neighborhood court. Also, when we lived in Oak Hill, we had to pay extra to play on the courts and in the leagues.

  • LC

    Pave paradise put up a parking lot….

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

    It does appear that the “enhancement” and “improvement” of the Hook Road space is already baked into the RA Board’s and the RA staff’s thinking. What a shame. Wasting more of the membership $$…

    • areyoukiddingme

      The reserve study called for maintenance work to be done. The money is on the capital projects list but has not be obligated in anyway. Nothing is set in stone! If you don’t believe it go to the community session or join the working group and see for yourself.

  • Ray Wedell

    Dave, thank you for the article. I suggest people link to read my entire piece. There is confusion on the “make it a parking lot” issue….of course that is not my position. I suggest we look into the east side as a form of parkland, perhaps along The lines of Dumbarton Oaks in DC. The parking lot reference is in response to strong suggestions that Hook Road has parking issues, and suggestions a consultant look into ways to ADD parking by removing some of the open space. Clearly I think that is detrimental to Reston, and my counter is to convert the existing concrete (tennis courts and practice tennis court) into the necessary parking spaces. Easy to do, no loss of green space, and no negative environmental input. That leaves the rest of the east side to be made into an actual resident-friendly park. I suggest the people do click the link to read my entire piece. Thanks to everyone.

    • Southie

      There truly is a parking problem in that area when kids’ teams are playing on the ball fields. The lack of parking is a safety hazard for families who have to walk across a busy street to get to the fields. Ray’s suggestion to convert existing concrete portions to parking spaces is a sensible idea.

      • Donald

        Really?

      • Ray Wedell

        But Ricard, above, commented that there are never any parking problems there, even on the busiest days. South, of course you are correct.

        • Richard

          It’s “Richard”, but do you hear yourselves? You’re saying that parking on the other side of the two-lane residential street is a dangerous hazard that requires converting a significant part of the recreation area to unnecessary parking. Really? Keep in mind that most of the time during the year, the facility won’t require this parking lot at all. It will just sit vacant as a wasteful eyesore.

    • Bah

      Turn tennis courts into a parking lot? WORST. IDEA. EVER. Thanks for nothing, dumbass.

      • Ray Wedell

        Nice comment, “Bah.” When you get the courage to provide real contact names and want to debate like a serious person, contact me. I am easy to find, despite my obvious mental deficiencies.

        • Bah

          There is a name for your quality of vehemently advocating stupid ideas under your own name, but “courage” is not it.

          As soon as you say something that is worth taking seriously, I will debate it like a serious person. Until then, stop wasting our time with your nonsense.

    • Donald

      No matter how you say it Ray, you’re still talking about a parking lot. I don’t think that community is going to agree with you.

      Donald

      • Donald

        Ray, I do give you credit for coming to the RestonNow comments area. Thank you. I hope your counterparts will do the same.

        Donald

      • Ray Wedell

        No Donald, with all due respect, that is absolutely NOT what I am talking about. How about something more like a botanical gardens? A community-friendly gathering place in a centrally-located place that can be accessed by a wide portion of residents, particularly beneficial to the many 55+ residents within quarter mile of Hook Road Park? That is a radical idea? Please take the time to go to paragraph three of the article above to click “download in full.” It will give you the details of what I actually said, and it is light years away from saying this should be a parking lot.

        FYI, the west side of Hook Road Park is brimming with small kids on weekends, and parking has often been cited as a major problem. Rather than “solve it” by paving more of Hook Road’s current footprint, I am saying that we already have paved area on Hook Road Park that can serve this purpose. Do not pave any more open space! This leaves enormous opportunity to create fabulous parkland, gardens, etc. on the majority of Hook Road Park east side land AND creates the needed parking lot (the parking lot is actually already there). So, let’s solicit the input in a format much different from the same old working group formula (which has failed miserably recently on other projects) and have environmental experts, architectural experts, etc. propose what we should do to make this an area Reston can be proud of 10, 20, 50 years from now. And an area others can see as a model for helping improve THEIR communities. There is overcapacity in Reston on tennis courts as it is, so before we agree to drop another $250k to $500k on Hook Road to fortify the existing footprint, shouldn’t we at least EXAMINE potential alternative uses????? And not through a hand-picked “working group”, but with actual experts who understand the value of properly-crafted open spaces? Hello, my friends at Friends of Reston, the environmentalists who love our town, open space supporters, IPAR and lovers of the arts…..you should be all over this idea and come forward with ways to make it happen. Thank you.

        David, I am easy to find and always open to communication with residents. Feel free to contact me at any time. As my friend, Tom Ferry, is always hammering.”Your strategy matters and your passion rules.” I won’t apologize for my passion.

        Ciao.

        • Donald

          Ray, I believe the majority of the community around there will disagree with you. Turning the tennis courts, basketball court, and practice area into a parking lot just doesn’t muster your logic.

          I suspect most will tell RA to make sure things are up to speed from a maintenance standpoint. Replace or repair items in disarray, and perhaps add some amenities like additional landscaping and better restroom facilities.

          That’s what I think the rational community will say.

          Donald

          • Arlene Krieger

            Still the same issue: RA wasting our money on something not needed but someone will make a lot of money. To whose benefit is this Red Hook Plan financially?. This RA Government has no meaningful l checks and balances. It not a very good governing model. It is dated and inefficient and I guess Lake House is the best example of the ineptitude of a system that has outlived it usefulness.

          • Donald

            Ms. Krieger, capital projects for any community or municipality are based on reserve studies, usually updated every five to ten years. This is to make sure all community assets are properly maintained for their useful life. You must know that.

            As I read the official notice from RA, this upcoming capital project (reserve study item — Hook Road) will take community input to make sure residents are aware as well as to gather suggestions for improvements, etc.

            I believe if you would have read the RA notice, you would have seen this. There is no profit motive, no subterfuge, no collusion, no – nothing.

            By the way, this idea of ineptitude you toss out, is aimed directly at the new board you wanted to be put in place. If you ask this new board, I suspect they will tell you this part of the system actually works very well.

            Donald

          • Greg

            A reserve study is a snapshot estimate of what may be needed 5- 10 years into the future. They are almost always inaccurate and, of course, no one can predict the future.

            Just because a decades-old asset exists does not mean it needs to be preserved, updated, expanded or modified. One option that must always be considered is to close the facility.

            And, of course, with the way the RA wastes money, all readers are wise to question profit motives and more.

          • Donald

            You make valid points. Reserve studies are guidelines. Hook Road is an item that is now up for review. The community has been informed, work sessions are now underway, and outcomes will be agreed upon – with the community being involved in the process all the way through.

            And you are right, the outcome may indeed be — nothing is needed at this time. Job done, let’s move on…

            Ms Krieger’s assertions (and now yours) are just blatantly off base and appear to be ill informed. May I suggest you stop arguing here on RestonNow and attend the session. I suspect you will see the system works.

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            Donald, I agree with your conclusions in the posts above. The imagined profiteering is fanciful.

            There is an element of the Hook Road “project” that is new to RA, deserving some discussion. First, it may help to put aside confusion of the reserve study with a capital plan. The purpose of the reserve study is to guide the RA in putting aside sufficient funds to replace existing capital assets. Engineers evaluate the condition of those assets, ongoing maintenance, and estimate the remaining useful life and replacement costs. It is a financial planning tool, not a capital project plan.

            Each year RA reviews the projections in the study and determines which, if any, of the upcoming replacements should be included in the capital plan. About two years ago, RA staff suggested stepping away from the narrow focus on individual assets and instead looking at each facility as a whole. Thus, if tennis courts needed to be resurfaced one year, fencing and lighting another, and amenities still later, there could be economies of tackling all at the same time.

            What’s new is introduction of the concept of re-purposing entire facilities. Hook Road is the first facility to be looked at this way. The original proposal envisioned a contractor looking at each facility (at a cost of $30k to $50k each) and suggesting how it could be made to better meet the current and future needs of the RA, rather than merely replacing what is there. The prior board bought this approach; we will now see if the current board agrees. It’s usually unwise to object to a plan that has not been formulated, but I admit to some negativity. The study alone will cost each of us $15 to $25. I’m skeptical that major changes will be affordable within the amounts set aside for simple replacement. I’d like to hear early on from the board where they propose the additional funding will come from.

          • Donald

            Mr. Higgins. You’ve been close to these matters. As RA addresses its facilities, especially those used by the residents, are there county, state, or federal requirements to update them to be ADA compliant? If so, this could be an expensive endeavor. I saw this happened with the Tetra building.

            Perhaps the Board should be planning for these matters now, or would a reserve study already catch this?

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            You raise an important point. There are two aspects of ADA issues. The simple one is technical compliance. Generally the ADA rules do not kick in when there is a one-for-one repair or replacement of an asset. But if there is a change to the facility (e.g., addition of an amenity) the entire facility needs to be looked at for ADA compliance. The second aspect is perhaps more important: whether the law requires it or not, RA should use every opportunity to assure that all members can use its facilities, whether or not physically challenged.

            This can be costly and not part of what the engineers include in projecting how much should be reserved for repair and replacement.

          • Donald

            Well said.

  • Richard

    I use the Hook Rd fields with my kids on some of the busiest days of the year and there is not a parking problem. We who use the park for recreation are also willing to walk a few more feet down the road to park. I would much prefer the recreation areas to additional parking that will spend it’a time vacant a lot more frequently than the existing tennis courts. I hope a nicer restroom facility is still in the plan.

    • areyoukiddingme

      Well said!

    • Ray Wedell

      Never a parking problem? Glad to hear that. So paving more of the grounds to create parking is now thrown out of the consultant’s plan. Thank God.

      • Richard

        I suppose you’re being sarcastic, so no, there is not a parking problem. A parking problem would be one in which parking is not available. I have never experienced that at Hook Rd, even on busy days. Parking along both sides of the street is crowded on busy days, but not a problematic. It doesn’t warrant wasting recreation space for new parking. If the consultant’s plan still includes a parking lot, it shouldn’t. Trading recreation facilities for a parking lot is not an acceptable compromise.

    • Carolee Locklear

      Love Hook Rd! Never a day I dont see people utilizing tennis courts, tennis wall, basket ball, soccer & baseball field. Why this location is on the docket for discussion is beyond me. It doesn’t take a mental giant to simply drive around Reston to observe many many common areas needing improvement. Hook Rd, aint one of them 🙁

      • Richard

        It certainly could use some improvements, including better restrooms and accessibility. They did a nice job on he baseball fields this year, but the backstops could be improved. I just don’t think we should give up recreation area for parking lots.

        • Maura White

          Yes, the work on the fields was beautifully done. Mostly great for the kids. Enhancements for the courts are good for all ages. And agree, we all would benefit from better restrooms!

      • Ray Wedell

        You finally said something that is true! Hook Road does not need a potential $500,000 renovation. Or even a $300,000 one. Thank you for finally getting on board with common sense, Carolee! I have been saying exactly that for six months now.

    • Maura White

      Yes! The rest room at Lake Newport is an excellent enhancement.

  • Nope nope nope

    Ray, you are WRONG that the tennis courts and practice wall are rarely used. I live nearby and I see them in use ALL THE TIME. Indeed, I play tennis with my kids there very often. I see people playing at night all the time. There is absolutely NO NEED to “repurpose” this area.

    “the Hook Road tennis courts are rarely used.”
    “What is the utilities costs to Reston of having these lights on perpetually, all year round?”

    How can the lights be on “perpetually” if nobody is using the courts? The lights are only turned on if someone is using the courts. You contradict yourself.

    Go away, Ray, you suck and your input is worthless.

  • Rob

    This strikes me as a grumpy old man complaining about kids on his lawn.

    I don’t live on Hook Road, but I was there 4 times a week for several years with Reston-Herndon Little League. I do live 3 minutes away, though, and have friends who live on Fairway, as close to the tennis courts as you can possibly get.

    The facilities – ALL of them – are used extensively. I couldn’t disagree more with the characterization of “barely used” for any of the area. Probably the least used area is the basketball court and it gets a decent amount of traffic. Further, the baseball fields are in need of new backstops and dugouts as the current ones are becoming safety hazards.

    RA has done an excellent job with its parks and athletic facilities and should be commended for being very “choosy” about the work they plan.

    • Ray Wedell

      Nice try on the “grumpy old man”comment, Rob. I won’t return with personal insults your way, whether deserved or not. But I refuse to let your insults stand.

      I lived on Hook Road for seven years. The reason I lived there was to be able to play in the park across the street with my kids. I was extensively involved in kids’ programs when both my son and daughter were growing up, and for many years thereafter. After my son died of cancer at age 19, I remained active in Reston sports as the coach of Select basketball for many years and was highly praised by most parents and peers in the coaching community. I started a program in my son’s name to help underprivileged kids go to a summer golf camp (my son was a very good golfer and three-sport player in high school before cancer struck him down). I was very active for years in the Reston Youth summer basketball programs at Southgate, beginning when my son began to play basketball there at age 7. You are free to ask Mr. Cabellas at Southgate about my love for kids and sports, and my support for kids in his community.

      Yes, Rob, I MUST be a grumpy old man who hates to have kids on his lawn. That clearly is my motivation, isn’t it? You don’t know anything about me, obviously. You don’t care to learn anything about me, obviously. But you feel free to hide behind the anonymity of your lap top and hurl such ludicrous insults at a volunteer worker who is simply trying to open up a conversation regarding potentially better uses for our open spaces? Let me repeat and emphasize, Bob, to open up a conversation and debate, NOT to propose a single specific action. Maybe you should read what I wrote before hurling insults.

      Many people complain about lack of engagement from the RA Board and others in RA. Some wonder why such a small percentage of people run for the RA Director positions, devoting significant volunteer hours (I probably average 80-100 hours a month) to try and be leaders in generating more debate and more awareness. Please run for RA Director in the next cycle, Rob. Then you can feel the joy associated with being accused of being a grumpy old man who hates kids every time you propose something that upsets an anonymous member, while devoting 100 hours a month to your community.

      In this specific case, your accusation is laughably off base. On a more general note, all of the personal attacks by anonymous people do nothing to change the community for the better, and often influence those who may want to serve, and serve well, to simply choose a different path and leave RA leadership to someone else. Congratulations.

      • Rob

        My opening statement characterizes the tone of the article and your comments that are quoted in the article. That does not equate to a personal attack or “insults”, or an accusation of any sort. I stand by that as my opinion. Yet, somehow you felt compelled to write a 469 word response which I would call a vigorous defense of your being something other than a “grumpy old man”.

        I read your 5-page document on how you would like to see Hook Road facilities altered and why. I found it to largely be an opinion piece where several facts are either mis-characterized or flat out wrong. Your assertions about the current usage of the facility are not accurate and largely serve your desire to see the park re-developed as you would prefer to have it re-developed. I find very little in your prepared statement where you invite debate aside from your closing line which basically is a call to cancel the current plans and start over. Let me ask you this – aside from your own anecdotal observations, what data can you show to substantiate your assertions about facility usage?

        I serve on the Boards of 2 non-profits and donate hundreds of hours per year to them. Roles of responsibility are often accompanied with criticism from all angles. Voluntarily seeking a role as an elected official and public servant further exposes one to criticism. You were criticized, not insulted.

        Simply put, I disagree with your entire agenda on and presentation of this issue. I criticize your position because I do not believe it is based in fact and find it to be self-serving. If that is difficult for you to hear, then perhaps public office isn’t your cup of tea.

        You say you want to encourage debate on the issue, yet, when contrary opinion and the opportunity for debate is presented you take the opportunity to insult and demean the same constituents you are supposed to represent.

        Allow me to close by asking you a (mostly rhetorical) question – do you honestly believe the tone of your comments here is in any way furthering support for your position?

        • Ray Wedell

          Again, Rob…nice try. How can it be an opinion piece when the only opinion I have stated or have is that we need to thoroughly examine potential alternatives before going down the same failed procedural Road that brought you Tetra, Pony Barn, and others?

          Tone? Passion to stop committing member money to potentially expensive and less-than-optimal use of valuable scarce open space? For that I should feel some sort of shame?

          Thoroughly vet viable and beneficial alternatives. That is my “opinion.” I apologize if that is “too radical” a thought process,

    • Conservative Senior

      Sorry, RA is not “choosy”. They just planted what appears to be a holly tree next to the Uplands tennis court by a path leading up to the ball field. There was never a tree there & it serves no purpose. What did it cost us? Ray, do you know?

      • Ray Wedell

        Of course not….you think they told the Board?

      • Richard

        RA serves its members and improves our home values by doing both the big projects and the little ones well. I applaud Ray Wedell for initiating a broader discussion about Hook Rd, if I disagree with the parking lot idea. On the holly tree, I just had to go down and take a look after reading your comment. Here’s a photo of the offensive beast. Looks to me like this native evergreen fills a gap in the trees, prevents erosion and foot/bike traffic on a steep hill, and blocks an unsightly fence from the road. And it will look nice when it gets a big bigger, improving the entrance to our neighborhood, thus, my home’s value. Good job, RA!

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ac7fbe42796f1cf729b1369fa1cb94811bdad63896637ef6099a85eb82d9dee.jpg

  • Ray Wedell

    Very nice comments. Carolee. I remind you that I take slander and libel very seriously and will not be afraid to pursue. As for my reputation in my “other career”, it is laughable that you attempt to gain personal advantage by ripping a competitor in your field, especially since I don’t recall ever even having worked with you on a single transaction. And I guess the Realtor Code of Ethics doesn’t apply to you? I know dozens of people who will vouch for my strong ethics and authenticity, and who are overjoyed that they have worked with me. Any Reston resident is free to call me for the names and numbers of these people. So you can go on and launch unsubstantiated jealous comments about me, and sit around the happy hour table with similarly-minded Realtor friends lamenting that intelligent, creative, authentic competitors are “in your market”. But please keep your opinions among yourselves. They don’t define me, nor do they define “my reputation.” Thank you so much for tipping me off that there is a coterie of my fellow “professionals” who feel so free to spread derogatory false narrative to those who could benefit greatly from my professional services. I am not qualified to make such judgements about you, nor any other person in my field… nor would I. Nor should I. I know better than that.

    • Bah

      She gains no advantage by ripping on you because your own words already expose you as a complete buffoon.

      • Ray Wedell

        Well spoken from the bleachers by the courageous “bah.” Pathetic.

  • Kimberly Anne King

    I am pretty shocked at your personal attack. Very unprofessional of you. I have worked with Ray to many times over the years selling area homes. Ray was nothing but honest, hardworking and ethical. I take issue with your remarks. You owe him a public apology.

    • Carolee Locklear

      Glad u think the above. My opinion and thoughts are quite the opposite as this is a public forum. I have the right to express my opinion especially on this post. I’ve been a Restonjan since 1974 and Ray’s position on this very topic is ludicrious. As u can read, the other comments are clearly similar to mine…

      • Ray Wedell

        Thank you Kimberly, and I am very happy to know most of the people in our field remain classy, professional, and appalled by cheap attempts to gain favor by ripping somebody else. I look forward to closing many more transactions with you and your clients. I have never even been presented that opportunity with Ms Lockleer.

        And don’t you find it amusing that a fellow “professional” blasts me for my position on this topic when she hasn’t even read my paper? My “position” is to not rush into a decision that would cost us huge dollars when what is in place is not crying for immediate change, and before we thoroughly vet possibly better alternatives. She is probably out telling people I want to pave this lovely open space into a parking lot. But everything eventually comes full circle, so I really don’t care much what sad things she feels the need to say.

        You take care.

      • Kimberly Anne King

        I was clearly referring to your remarks regarding Ray’s professional business and livelihood. You owe him a public apology. And you are correct this is a public forum. You may want to weigh in on the issues as you see them, but it is best to leave the unprofessional slanderous remarks out of your comments in the future. I hope this advice is helpful to you now and in the future.

        • Carolee Locklear

          My comments did NOT specify a specific individual nor a specific profession. Both of u assumed & specifed the individual & the profession.
          Again love my fellow Restonians & all their comments.
          Sorry u have to spend so much time defending our valid opinions .

          • Kimberly Anne King

            Deleting your initial remarks….good for you, it had no place here.

          • Carolee Locklear

            No place like Reston. We’ve got call kinds here. SMH

          • Carolee Locklear

            Breakin out the popcorn! Love people who can’t read and who love to argue 🙂

          • Ray Wedell

            This is a blatant lie. Your comments did, indeed, specify a particular individual…me. And it was likely a pathetic attempt for you to gain favor in your job, but I am not a mind reader so cannot say that for certain. Only you know why you would engage in unnecessary and hurtful commentary about a fellow Restonian, one who works long volunteer hours and tries to open conversation on an important issue.

            Need I re-post your exact comments? I have them printed out.

            Authenticity is very important to me, and to most of us in Reston. Blatant lying does not conjure up any thoughts or visions of authenticity. And the “sorry to Restonians” comment at the end is truly sad. If you don’t realize that, then I feel sorry for you.

          • Kimberly Anne King

            So untrue. Your statement was a direct very personal and professional public attack. Which is why you deleted it. You owe Ray a public apology.

          • Greg

            Yes they did. They absolutely did.

      • Yup

        Agree!

  • Drip

    Wedell was one of the most vocal and verbose advocates for the Tetra debacle. Based on his zealousness in selling such an albatross onto this community, particularly in the skewed manner that he did, I believe he has very little credibility. Wedell’s significant role in Tetra should not be forgotten or discarded.

    • Ray Wedell

      Please do not forget it. I own it. I am a major advocate for open spaces in Reston, as my work with Rescue Reston attests.

      I have stated multiple times that I was totally hoodwinked on financial projections that proved totally erroneous after the Tetra purchase. I was not on the Board that created those projections.

      Shortly after closing we were told that the Lake House working group was doing a fabulous job in creating a fabulous site that we would all be proud of. Many months later, the RA Board was presented with a roughly $450,000 “overrun” for work already done, and asked to approve it. Obviously, many Board members knew of this much earlier and were loathe to tell those who would likely object.

      This is all part of the public record, and in video archives. Lucinda Shannon (another Board member at that time) and I went ballistic when this was presented and voted to deny funding the overrun. We lost the vote 7-2. We spearheaded the effort to have the matter thoroughly investigated as others tried to make it gently go away.

      So now we have had our investigation, and we decided as a Board early in 2017 to delay further discussion on this matter until a new Board took over in April. We have our new Board. It is August 23. Do you hear the Board outcry to dig into the Lake House investigation? I do. It sounds like a caterpillar walking across a Persian rug.

      So “Drip”, I share your anger over the Tetra fiasco. Obviously if we had been provided accurate information before the referendum, I would have opposed it. Obviously if I knew that this working group was concocting and approving work way over budget without the Board knowledge, I would have worked to stop it.

      The above is all on video and published on record. It is also public record that I do not consider the door closed on finding out exactly what went wrong, how it happened, and who knew what and when did they know it. But there is nobody pushing the issue, so hence, we will both have to dance to the beat of that caterpillar walking on the Persian rug.

      The same methodology used to give us the Lake House fiasco is being proposed to deal with Hook Road Park. I am trying my best to change this obviously failed paradigm, but that is not likely. There will be the same old “working group” teams formed, the same unmonitored process undertaken, etc. we know this does not work, so how about a paradigm shift? Why must we do things a certain way because they have always been done this way? Even though we clearly see major flaws in this procedure?

      Thank you for caring, and when you want to contact me, please do. I am easy to find. And a real name would be nice.

  • Cubsfan6116

    Okay, let’s try this. I’m not going to be snarky, but I’m going to completely disagree.

    Tennis Courts and Basketball Courts are community amenities. How many people bought their homes proximate to this park purely to have these available? How many people would now be looking out at a parking lot instead of recreational facilities.

    All tennis/basketball courts and parking lots have in common area their impervious surfaces. To suggest that replacing a tennis court with parking isn’t taking away open space is an absurd argument. Tennis courts are a component of parks/open space in practical terms and per zoning. Parking isn’t open space.

    Adding parking within the Hook Road / Fairway Drive loop means cars traveling in a currently car-free area, thereby making this more of a commuter “drive to” park then a local community park. It would degrade the value of this land to the surrounding neighborhood. And adding a parking lot only encourages people to drive, rather than bike or walk – you know, how Reston was envisioned.

    I do agree with everyone else’s comment about the use of the courts. If they’re not used, prove it with a comprehensive analysis. Compare their use to other tennis courts and basketball courts in Reston. How do they compare? Would removing these courts place a strain on nearby facilities? There’s only two other courts anywhere nearby (without crossing Baron Cameron Ave). Is it actually what the nearby community around Lake Anne wants? Perhaps the basketball and tennis courts would get greater use if those amenities were improved to include more benches and improved services (e.g., water fountains).

    If we do get rid of the tennis and basketball courts. is there an overwhelmingly demand for the passive open space you recommend? There are TONS of trails off the park. Passive open space seems plentiful. Also, is this taking a long-view? Will removing active recreation options help draw new residents (likely with children) and provide the amenities they need?

    What about parking? Are we actually under-supplied? Are people having trouble finding parking? What’s a reasonable distance for people to walk to reach the park before we say “there’s really not enough parking”?

    These are the kinds of questions that we Restonians need validated answers to before the idea of spending MORE money to do MORE studies because you don’t like where this improvement plan is going.

  • Carolee Locklear

    WORST IDEA EVER! Love that my fellow Restonian’s comments are also aghast …Keep em comin so this option is not supported.

    • Rational Reston

      Sorry, “Worst Idea Ever” is already taken by the Tetra debacle.

  • Bernie Supporter

    Ray Wedell, you must be the dumbest smart person I know. You argue for common sense with a group of mostly anonymous people (myself included) who misrepresent what you says, and then vilify you for their perception of what you said.

    As for me, I would argue that the most disturbing part of your comments was on page one, in the Background section. RA reviews the need for “capital projects” in Reston on a “rotational” basis???? People are arguing over Hook Road Park because its number came up??? WTF. In my opinion, our assessment dollars should go to what NEEDS attention most in Reston — and Hook Road Park ain’t it. Next.

    Also, anyone who thinks Ray is arguing for a parking lot must have missed one the earlier meetings when Hook Road came up. Others wanted to redesign this beautiful little neighborhood park into oblivion. If memory serves me what was on the table was spending tens of thousands of dollars JUST to draw up some new designs for Hook Road. Another waste of money. Another pay day for developers. Another soccer-field-like demand from people who think their recreation is more important than other Restonians. As I understood it, Ray’s parking lot discussion was an ALTERNATIVE to what was actually being proposed at the meeting … turning this family area into more of an athletic field which would then need a REAL parking lot. He was brainstorming alternatives, the lesser of evils.

    Ray, wise up. Stop responding to these same few knuckleheads whose names appear over and over in virtually every comment section of every article in Reston Now. They are never wrong. Might as well just listen to the political pundits argue on CNN.

    • Ray Wedell

      Bingo, Bernie!

    • Kasich supporter?

      Wasn’t “Bernie Supporter” outed as Wedell’s sock puppet?

      • Bernie Supporter

        Don’t be a dick. I was ‘outed’ by some knucklehead who thought I was one of this year’s board candidates. If you’re going to get everything wrong, at least get what you get wrong “right.”

  • Linda Fuller

    What isn’t more community than tennis courts, basketball, baseball as well green park space when the grassy area is not being used for organized sports? I have been playing tennis at Hook Road for 30 years and find I am NEVER the only singles or doubles playing there. There are organized groups of players that also use the courts during the day and at night as well as lessons. Parking has never been a problem. We do not need more impervious surface.and it’s untreated run off going into Lake Anne.

    What would be nice is a permanent bathroom facility like at Lake Newport courts for all the sports participants, and new lights to replace the existing ones that can not be turned off when you are done playing and stay lit (4 courts at a time) until 10 PM.
    Could save $$.

  • Reston Lifer

    Mr. Wedell, First let me apologize for the some of the comments from my Reston neighbors. I am disgusted with how little respect you are receiving in return for your generous service to the community. I might not agree with you or the other representative’s opinion at times but cannot believe how uncivil and viscous some comments that you are receiving for a simple question/idea to Reston citizens. How did something as simple as asking for a review of common space in Reston become so inflamed? I have seen similar behavior at local children sporting events where parents, relatives, and sometimes just friends of families lose their minds and make such poor examples for their children. I think that most people are lashing out for other personal reasons and not because of the heart of your suggestions. I have met you but do not know you well but am hopeful that you will continue to serve the Reston Community.

    • Ray Wedell

      Thank you so much for the kind words. My only answer to the above comes from Brene Brown, who many of you know or have followed (If not, look her up…she is good): Anonymous comments on blogs and the like encourage the savagery and stupid sarcastic “humor” in people. It is not just here, but a generalized problem of this form of news distribution.

      Brene’s advice is clear: ignore anyone who writes anonymously. It is extremely difficult being in the arena, as she calls it, and the only guarantee about being in the arena and trying to make a difference is that, “You will get your ass kicked. If you are not okay with engaging in the fight and getting your ass kicked, do not get in the arena……. however, to those who think they are finding safety by hurling insults and trying to guide the conversation from their perches in the grandstands, tell them that they can get in the arena and join the fight—–give real names and show up—— or they are simply howling at the moon. Ignore them.” So she passes on this advice to those in the arena: “Don’t read the comments’ section and don’t pay attention to anonymous commentary.” To date I have done that, and will again, but this post had me so prominently featured that I made an exception. A one time exception.

      Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing you at future RA meetings. The coming months are chock full of important issues with many different opinions.

    • LOL

      Ray’s sock puppet praises Ray. Yay!

  • Rational Reston

    I’m not a huge fan of Mr. Wedell, but he’s scratching at the surface of a good point about the usage of RA tennis facilities (most seem to go unused), and the lack of actual data to connect proper paying RA residents versus folks just using the courts.

    From what I’ve seen in the various materials sent out by RA, tennis is a series of big line items (maintenance, lighting, staff, store, etc). It’s one place where someone should be taking a long look as fees continue to rise.

    Maybe we should take that 30,000 ft view of tennis in general.

    • Ray Wedell

      Thank you.

    • restonresident

      Tennis is a big money loser for RA. Not only are the courts expensive to maintain but RA has a staff dedicated to tennis. ( Can’t tell if all the staff is full time. I hope not!)
      The solution is for the tennis program to be run by a volunteer community organization with RA merely providing the courts. This is the model used for all the grass fields so why not for tennis.
      I know we have thousands of participants in softball, baseball, soccer, football and lacrosse, and although I don’t see any numbers published I am sure tennis attracts no more than a few hundred participants.
      RA is not a country club and should not be running a tennis program.

  • Michael Wood

    Can anybody say Bocce Court’s?

    This park is heavily utilized but adding Bocce would be awesome and there is plenty of room on the opposite side of Basketball court towards Hook Rd.

    Who can’t agree on Bocce?

  • .

    Ray,
    You are a f at worth less pi ece of sh it.
    Eat a bag of di cks and d ie in a fire.

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