Reston Association defers Barton Hill tennis court upgrades

Aging courts in need of repairs, which have also been eyed for shared pickleball space and new lighting, will have to wait at Barton Hil Recreation Area.

The Reston Association Board of Directors voted 4-2 on Thursday (Oct. 28) to defer the matter to the 2023 budget. Directors Jennifer Jushchuk, John Mooney, Bob Petrine and Sarah Selvaraj voted in favor and directors Caren Anton and Tim Dowling were opposed.

“The response from the community is … overwhelmingly in favor of doing the … pickleball conversion and the lights,” Anton, the board’s chair, said before the vote. “It’s like 75 or 85% in favor.”

Jushchuk said she’s not getting that response from her members in the South Lakes District where the courts are. She said she tends to support more community outreach and wanted staff to have time in 2022 to have a plan to implement in 2023.

“I’m not saying that we should not do this,” Jushchuk said, adding, “We need some time to figure out” what RA is going to do, what it’s going to cost and looking at community buy-in.

Petrine said that there have been emails both for and against the project and he would want a more thorough review of the project before the association spends over $870,000 for the project.

The Barton Hill Recreation Area along Sunrise Valley Drive has no stoplight at an intersection with Barton Hill Road. At an Oct. 13 public hearing on the budget, one father noted safety concerns with a crosswalk and visibility for traffic there, recommending that issue be considered with upgrades.

The courts were built in 1985 and the association has discussed the possibility of adding roofing to the outdoor courts, but acting CEO Larry Butler said last month during a public hearing that’s no longer being considered.

When asked how quickly the courts would need to be replaced, Chris Schumaker, RA’s director of capital projects, said they wouldn’t necessarily need to shut the courts down, but he wondered how playable they would be given surface cracking that’s already there.

He said they’d likely have a lot more come spring given a freeze-thaw period.

The decision comes as the board is moving toward approving a 2022-2023 biennial budget. A second public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 10. A copy of the second draft of the budget is available online.

Mike Leone, a spokesperson for the association, said in an email that the fiscal committee will likely continue their budget discussions in November and the board will likely approve the final budget and the 2022 assessment rate at their Nov. 18 regular meeting.

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