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Effort to Streamline Reston Association’s Review of Design Changes Moves Forward

by Fatimah Waseem June 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm 14 Comments

Residents seeking to approvals of design modifications and improvements may experience a more manageable process following the adoption of new workflows to streamline the design and review approval process.

Reston Association’s Board of Directors voted to pass a number of operational changes that could delegate some responsibilities from RA’s Design Review Board to staff. The DRB is an independent agency of RA charged with reviewing exterior improvements of properties within RA.

The move comes as the DRB seeks feedback from the public on changes to the content of its guidelines amid some concerns that the policies are outdated and inconsistent. The board will hold a public hearing on July 17 at 7 p.m. to discuss changes to the guidelines.

At their Thursday night meeting, the board approved a measure that could delegate the review of select design changes to be considered at a late date to staff instead of a consultation-level review by the DRB. Changes to cluster design standards could also move from panel-level review to consultation-level review.  The board’s votes simply clarified the definition of consultation-level reviews and other terms and created the ability to move reviews from panel to consultation-level. Specific changes to the standards linked above will be discussed in mid-July. 

Additionally, staff would have the authority to disapprove applications that do not comply with design guidelines or cluster standards when the application has no registered affected party. Residents will be able to appeal staff’s decisions to the DRB. The application for requesting design review was also tweaked to clarify requirements and collapse separate forms into one for all applications. Votes were unanimous, with one abstention.

The board also increased the fee for non-residential applications from $1,350 to $2,250 in order to cover staff time spent processing applications and resources allocated for additional meetings. 

For more information on proposed changes to guidelines, visit RA’s website.

  • Time hog

    The issue here Anna crying about the workload but cannot back up her story with numbers to show how many approvals/disapprovals per day/week/month instead offering lengthy and boring presentation details about change process etc without summary, the icing on the cake: that it took her and Julie B 1.5 YEARS to make this happen.

    I think this pretty much sums up why the DRB needs to be dissolved.

    • Why do you bother?

      Or perhaps more realistically, revised.

      • 30yearsinreston

        The premise for a DRB is wrong
        It is an extension of the nanny mentality that doesnt trust people to look after their own interests
        They must be supervised by their betters

        • Why do you bother?

          If you had lived some of the places I have, you’d get how bad people can made their properties look.

          That said, again, if you hate DRBs, don’t buy in an HOA.

          • The Original Drive By Critic

            Let’s “revise” the DRB out of business, or severely limit the scope of its review activity. It is a deeply flawed process.

          • FedUp2

            If you don’t like people complaining about a distrustful, slow moving, harassing, over-reaching, expensive, tyrannical, self-governed HOA then don’t buy in an HOA.

            Again …absolute power corupts absolutely…

            …if your not part of the solution your part of the problem…dissolve the DRB

          • Why do you bother?

            The problem with your “solution” is that it isn’t a solution.

          • FedUp2

            Think your outnumbered by about 10K.

          • Why do you bother?

            I have had plenty of experience with the DBA and RA, including a psycho neighbor who tried to blame me for her hot water heater leaking.

            Your neighborhood has been failed by your HOA. If you want a better HOA, run for the board and recruit others to join you.

    • Greg

      Anna Varone is the next RA staff person who needs to go. The sooner, the better.

  • 30yearsinreston

    Fire them all and abolish the DRB
    Its a talking ship of overpaid arrogant, opiniated wannabe ‘designers’ whose views are no better than others
    Reston can do without them

    • I’d Rather Post As A Guest

      I must agree with the general tone of your statement. Our townhome subdivision once sought to make revisions to the architectural review standards for exterior windows and the DRB dragged us thru an unnecessary five- month process where one of its members made an intemperate and insulting remark abouit our little neighborhood which some of us found to be not only irrelevant but offensive as well. They are an effete bunch of no-goodniks, in my view.

      • FedUp2

        Third fully agree

      • Greg

        Let me guess — was it pony-tailed Richard?


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