59°Rain

by Dave Emke — May 19, 2017 at 9:00 am 18 Comments

Board President Addresses Pool Schedule — Sherri Hebert, president of the Reston Association Board of Directors, says RA’s pool schedule is broken into six sessions this year in the effort to maximize association resources. She says the board will be looking at each line item in the 2017-18 budget “to identify ways to shift funds to meet the community’s requests as they apply to pools and other matters.” [Reston Association]

Television Interview at RTC Cut Short — When a local television crew came to Reston Town Center to do a story on the effects of paid parking, they had to move across the street after security told them “photography is no longer allowed on the Town Center’s site.” [WHAG]

Bojangles’ Coming to Northern Virginia — The restaurant chain has a multiunit development agreement with a new franchisee that will bring its Southern-style chicken joints to the area. No news yet on how many are coming or where they will be. [Washington Business Journal]

Registration Open for Women’s 5K — Reston Runners will put on the “Seize the Day” women’s 5K on Saturday, June 17. The course is on Reston Association pathways. [Reston Runners]

by RestonNow.com — May 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

It’s another busy weekend in Reston, with plenty of fun activities on the agenda.

The weather hasn’t been pretty for several days now, though, and it looks like rain will be prevalent again Saturday. We recommend you check the status of any scheduled outdoor activity before heading out.

Here is just a sampling of things to do in the area this weekend:

  • Reston Association’s Community Yard Sale, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been rescheduled for Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 1900 Campus Commons Drive. Eighty-five families will be selling a variety of items. In case of rain, call 703-435-6577 that morning to check the event’s status.
  • It’s pool season in Reston. The North Shore and Ridge Heights pools are scheduled to open for the season this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
  • The Reston Community Players will continue their staging of “Private Lives” this weekend. Performances will be tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday. Tickets are $21, or $18 for students with ID and senior citizens. Shows take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).
  • The Reston Farmers Market is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • The South Lakes High School “Spirit of Reston” Marching Band will hold a rummage sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school (11400 South Lakes Drive). The event is slated to be held on the east side of the school, along Seahawks Drive; however, it will be moved inside if the weather does not cooperate.
  • The seventh annual “Be Amyazing!” Reston Youth Triathlon is scheduled for Sunday morning. It consists of a swim at Ridge Heights pool, a bike ride on roads near South Lakes High School and a run on Reston Association paths. Lengths are different for each age group.
  • Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road) is presenting “Willy Wonka Jr.” this weekend. The show will be performed tonight at 7 p.m., and at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
  • The NOVA Tour de Cure fundraising event of the American Diabetes Association is scheduled for Saturday, rain or shine, beginning at Reston Town Center.
  • Reston Chorale will present its “A Season to Remember” show, celebrating 50 years of the group, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Tickets at the door will be $30. Those 62 and over will be admitted for $25; youth 17 and under will be admitted free, as will active military.
  • Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include live music tonight from 6-10 p.m. at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. tonight and Saturday at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St., formerly World of Beer); wine tasting at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) Saturday from 3-5 p.m.; a Mother’s Day brunch at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and more.
  • Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will host a special Mother’s Day “She’s Crafty” women’s beer event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday.
  • Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road, Herndon) has a free Spring Farm Day planned for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The event will included hand-churned ice cream samples, a dairy exhibit, children’s activities and crafts, blacksmithing, and antique equipment demos.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), local historian Jim Lewis will share the story of Japan’s secret plans to attack the U.S. mainland during World War II.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Bushmaster with Gary Brown. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. This week they have Hilary Veltri tonight and Jason Masi tomorrow night.

by Dave Emke — April 24, 2017 at 2:45 pm 38 Comments

Diana Turecek of Windleaf Court calls changes in hours in the 2017 Reston Association swimming pool schedule a “slap in the face to Reston residents who continue to face substantial increases in annual Association dues.”

In a letter to the editor submitted to Reston Now, Turecek says the changes — which include no weekday swimming prior to Memorial Day weekend and only two pools open the week before Labor Day — will result in frustration for Reston residents who just want to go swimming.

“This year fewer pools will be open, and those that are open will be open fewer hours. If you like swimming at the end of the season, have kids who like to swim on the weekdays, or are a lap swimmer, the pools are going to be much more crowded.”

This year, no pools will be open on weekdays prior to Memorial Day; in 2016, both the North Shore and Ridge Heights pools were open from 1-7 p.m. each weekday beginning May 14. Through June 23, only four pools will be open on weekdays, with one (Glade) open only three hours a night.

Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, said the pool schedule is developed annually based on a number of factors including historical use, geographic distribution of facilities, current program and rental use, potential future program and rental use, staffing requirements and budget implications.

“During the 2017 budget development process, the Board directed staff to identify significant cost savings in the budget to accommodate other strategic goals. Based on facility usage data collected over the past three years that shows a decline in pool attendance as well as feedback from the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors approved pool schedule options by which the proposed aquatics budget could be reduced while still serving the interests of the membership as a whole.”

Another reader who contacted Reston Now about the changes says the new schedule fails “to take into consideration that most people want these pools open when the weather is warm enough to swim through Labor Day.”

North Shore and Ridge Heights will be the only two pools open the week preceding Labor Day, from 4-7 p.m. each evening. All other pools will see their seasons end by Aug. 27. In 2016, Glade and Lake Newport pools also remained open through the first weekend in September.

Leone said pool staff is made up mainly of high school and college students. Fairfax County Public Schools changed its school schedule for 2017-18, beginning classes the last week of August (Monday, Aug. 28) instead of after Labor Day as in the past. Leone said a school schedule that ends June 23 and begins again Aug. 28 results in only nine full weeks of summer for pool scheduling.

Leone said the pool “season” schedule was tweaked this year to allow two more pools to stay open prior to school returning to session. In addition, he said, RA “will reopen as many pools as possible for the three-day Labor Day weekend, prioritizing those facilities which have the most capacity for swimmers and recreational users of all types.”

Turecek also expressed concern about Lake Newport pool being closed until 1 p.m. most weekends in June and July for Reston Swim Team Association meets. Other pools will be affected three weekends during the summer for meets.

“I also suspect — as in past years — there will be other non-announced pool closures to accommodate local day cares, summer camps or the dreaded ‘hygiene incidents,'” Turecek wrote.

Leone said staff has looked strategically at pools that can “generate additional revenue from rentals and activities during ‘closed’ hours.”

North Shore and Ridge Heights pools will open for the season Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

by Dave Emke — March 8, 2017 at 11:30 am 3 Comments

Hunters Woods Pool/RAAfter Reston parents raised concerns about being required to provide photos of their children for RA pool passes, the policy has been changed.

As reported last week, residents who decline to submit photos with their pool pass applications will be allowed to show another form of photo ID to gain access to a facility. Further clarifying in a post to the Reston Association website this week, CEO Cate Fulkerson said children of those parents will not be required to show anything other than their pool pass, just as in previous seasons.

“Should you still wish to opt-out of providing photos for your passes, please contact our Member Services team at 703-435-6530 or by email [email protected] with your name and address, and we will update your account accordingly. Please note, when choosing this option, the adults in your household will be required to show a photo ID matching the name and address on the pass. Youth pass holders will not be required to show an ID.”

Photos that are provided for pool passes will be stored in the WebTrac database, accessible to RA staff by swiping the card at entrances to pool facilities. Two facilities are piloting the scanning technology this year, and Fulkerson says the goal is to have the process up and running at all RA pools by the end of 2018.

Physical photos were printed on Reston Association pool passes until 1991. According to Fulkerson’s post, there has been a great deal of misuse of the passes since they were removed.

“Over the past 25 years, there have been many instances where non-members were able to use or even purchase non-member passes — at a greatly reduced rate — to gain entry into RA facilities. More specifically, violators were circumventing the need to pay their fair share by ‘borrowing’ RA member passes.”

Fulkerson and Laura Kowalski, RA’s deputy director of recreation, are expected to share more information about the updated pool admission policy at the March 23 meeting of the RA Board of Directors.

by Dave Emke — February 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 30 Comments

Lake Newport Pool/Credit: Mike CollinsIn an email to Reston Association directors last week, CEO Cate Fulkerson said a new policy requiring photos to be submitted with pool-pass applications is being altered.

A number of RA members have spelled out their concerns about providing photos, particularly of children, that would be stored in an online database to verify membership when using a pool. In response, RA will make exceptions to the requirement.

In the email, Fulkerson said RA is “absolutely sensitive” to residents’ concerns:

“For those who do not wish to have their photo on file, for example, due to custody-related matters or other concerns, we ask that they contact our Member Services Department so that we may assist them. Persons without a photo on file will be required to present a current state or other government-issued photo identification evidencing a physical address matching their household information each time they visit a facility.”

The new entrance system works similarly to that of a membership-based gym, Fulkerson said. Photos would not appear on the physical pass; rather, they would solely be on the WebTrac account accessible by staff members with scanning devices at the entrances to each facility. In her email, the CEO said only two pools will be equipped with the scanning technology this year; others will be upgraded “in the future.”

The photo requirement was added to the policy in the attempt to stop people from sharing their passes, Fulkerson said.

“Unfortunately in the past, we have had individuals give their pass to a neighbor or friend in lieu of purchasing their own,” she said in the email. “We believe [requiring photos] will better protect the value of our members’ assessments by improving the way in which we verify the identities of patrons using RA pools.”

Fulkerson said she plans to provide an overview of the new pass system during the March 23 meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors.

by RestonNow.com — February 15, 2017 at 11:30 am 33 Comments

Lake Newport Pool/Credit: Mike CollinsThis is an op/ed submitted by Adam Huftalen, a Reston resident. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

As we do each year, my wife and I paid our Reston Association assessment this week.

Typically, after we’ve paid our dues, we reflexively take the opportunity to purchase our annual pool and tennis passes — our family’s favorite RA benefit. This year, however, we were taken aback by an unsettling new RA requirement that would-be pool-goers provide RA with digital photos of each family member, including children, to be stored in an RA database. The logic, as I learned after a call to RA, is that the database would allow RA employees to retrieve photos on demand to visually verify paid-up pool and tennis users.

RA exercises considerable authority to impose on its members in the name of cluster design uniformity or infrastructural upgrading, and does so often at great expense and questionable necessity. This new imposition, however, is akin to an inverse Reston Association photo ID. It is an unnecessary, perturbing and frankly outrageous invasion of personal privacy.

Events of the past year have unequivocally illustrated that we live in an era of digital uncertainty, one in which we struggle with vexing issues like hacking and identity theft. Sadly, no amount of precautionary behavior can be air-tight. But for those of us who go out of our way to protect our privacy online, this needless invitation of additional risk, especially for children, is unconscionable.

Some may argue that thousands of RA members already willingly provide digital images of themselves either on social media or for health club memberships. But to suggest that RA’s new requirement is analogous to making a personal choice about posting on Facebook or joining a gym is mistaken.

For one thing, choosing to post on social media or join a gym with a photo requirement is just that, a choice. RA members have no choice to pay their annual assessment, lest a lien be placed on their property. While voluntarily purchasing the additional pool passes is also a choice, suggesting that this is the same as the scenarios above also misses the point.

Aquatics and tennis represent roughly 13 percent of RA’s total expenses. Since a portion of each RA member’s required annual assessment is used to maintain pools and tennis courts, RA members make compulsory, not just voluntary, payments for their pools and tennis courts. Because of these compulsory payments alone, we deserve access to those facilities. The additional user fee for passes is reasonable, but making access to passes contingent on providing RA with a digital photo of one’s children is an unreasonable and startling invasion of privacy.

I can certainly appreciate the desire for RA to ensure that only those who have purchased a pool pass can use Reston’s pools, but surely there must be a better way of achieving that without invading the privacy of children. One alternative could be to require adult pool and tennis users to present a picture ID, such as a driver’s license, when signing into use those facilities. Under the circumstances, it’s unclear how such a simple solution could have been cast aside before moving forward as proposed.

Moreover, one need only consider the trouble with which multinational corporations and even the United States Government (each with far deeper pockets than RA) have struggled to secure customer or employee personal information to become anxious about RA’s ability to secure similar information. And this says nothing of the questionable cost involved with equipping seasonal employees with the technology necessary to access the proposed photo database; a cost that will no doubt be borne by assessment-paying RA members in 2018.

Plainly speaking, I consider this proposal to be a deeply disturbing invasion of privacy. I not only question the wisdom and judgment of requiring children’s photos to be placed in a RA database for the purposes of using a community pool, but also the legal authority with which RA could pursue such a requirement. One must wonder if the RA Board has considered the risk and likely consequences of a security breach.

Each year, my family proudly pays our RA assessment knowing that we generally get an excellent return on investment for the money we contribute. Unfortunately, this ill-conceived new requirement places an unwelcome invasion of privacy between my family and our desire to take advantage of RA’s most attractive member benefit: its pools and tennis courts. Worse still, it exhibits a clear and unacceptable disregard for personal privacy on the part of the RA Board.

I strongly encourage the Board to reconsider this new rule before the 2017 pool season begins.

Adam Huftalen

Reston, VA

by Dave Emke — January 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm 43 Comments

Glade Pool/File photo

Reston residents applying for pool and tennis passes for the coming season are being asked to include photographs — even for children as young as 1.

The new rule for 2017 is meant to increase security, but one resident who contacted Reston Now wonders if it might have the opposite effect.

“Requiring photo[s] of children seems like quite a liability to me,” the resident, a father of two young children, said in communication with Member Services that he shared. “If someone hacks [RA’s] systems they have pictures of all of our children and now knows where they live so they can choose which one to kidnap.”

Photos will only appear in RA’s database, not on the physical card, explained Laura Kowalski, RA’s deputy director of recreation.

I do understand the concern about the kids, but [photos are] not being shared,” she said, adding that she is confident about the security of the system.

Kowalski said photos were printed on passes “many years ago,” but that practice was phased out. In recent years, a few residents have raised concerns about having their addresses printed on them. She said questions about security were taken into account before the new system was settled upon.

When we researched and finally landed on the new registration system with Vermont Systems… we listened to what members’ concerns were about security, as well as how we could mitigate sharing of passes,” Kowalski said.

In 2014, passes being sold on Craigslist to non-residents drew RA’s attention. Passes are not transferable, according to Reston Association rules. Kowalski said she has encountered situations in the past where she knew passes were being misused.

“I’ve been in a pool helping someone by popping in that day, and saying [to a patron] ‘Hi, how are you?'” Kowalski said. “They show me the pass and I think, ‘Huh. I know this person, and you’re not that person.'”

Mike Leone, RA’s communications director, said the new system — including the photo registration — is designed to stop such transfers.

“Under the old system, pass swapping was a concern and RA had no way to prevent it,” he said. “So the new system provides a better, more secure system ensuring only those with a pass can get into the pool facility.”

RA’s new WebTrac online registration system is being used to sell and register pool and tennis passes. Swiping devices are being installed in all 15 RA pool facilities to handle the new system.

Residents will show their pass upon entering a facility. It will be scanned, and the pass holder’s picture will then be displayed to the staff member on duty. If it doesn’t match, entrance will be denied.

“The new system provides greater accountability, reporting data and enhanced member satisfaction and convenience,” said Mike Leone, RA communications director. “Once they have the new pass card, they won’t have to wait in long lines here at RA to obtain their annual passes, which has been the case every year in the past as pool season approaches.”

The concerned resident, though, said he has a simpler solution to the problem.

“Just require that adults bring [photo] ID,” he said. “The TSA doesn’t even require ID for children under 18 and they’re trying to stop terrorism.”

by Karen Goff — September 1, 2016 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Ridge Heights Pool/file photoLabor Day marks the last day for all but two Reston Association pools.

Glade, North Shore, Ridge Heights and Lake Newport will be open though Monday evening (Labor Day).

RA moves on to “Season 5” on Tuesday. You can still get some swimming in between now and Sept. 25.

Here is the Season 5 schedule:

North Shore Heated Pool & Spa, 4 – 7 p.m. weekdays; 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekends

Ridge Heights Heated Pool, 4 – 7 p.m. weekdays;  11 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekends.

Photo: Ridge Heights Pool/file photo

by Karen Goff — August 18, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

Lake Newport Pool/Credit: Mike CollinsFirst sign of the end of summer 2016: Reston Association goes to a compacted schedule beginning Monday, Aug. 22.

Turning to RA’s “Season 4” is an annual event as many of the staff members return to college in mid-to-late August.

All 15 RA outdoor pools will be open through Sunday night on their regular schedules.

Beginning Monday, here is where to swim:

Glade Pool – Weekdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekends, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Lake Newport Pool – Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekends, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

North Shore Pool – Weekdays and weekends, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Wednesdays.

Ridge Heights Pool – Weekdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Weekends, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Thursdays.

Season 5 will begin on Sept. 6, with Ridge Heights and North Shore remaining open after school (4 to 7 p.m.) weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekends through Sept. 25.

See the RA website for more details.

Photo: Lake Newport Pool/file photo

by Karen Goff — July 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm 6 Comments

Glade PoolReston Association and Fairfax County Police are investigating vandalism cases that occurred at two RA pools late Thursday or early Friday.

Vandals hit Glade and Hunters Woods Pools, where damage was found Friday morning, said RA spokesman Mike Leone.

At Glade, feces were found in the skimmer pots of the pool. Unfortunately, the mess was not discovered until after swim team practice, said Leone.

The pool was shut down for most of the day Friday as RA personnel cleaned the pool and followed sanitation procedures, he said.

At Hunters Woods, swim team coaches discovered cigarette butts, a torn hot tub cover, whole beer bottles in the hot tub, and broken bottles on the pool deck and in the pool.

The debris was cleaned up and the pool sanitized. No one was injured by the glass, said Leone.

Leone said all pools have six-foot high fences and locks. But there are cases every summer of people scaling the fences to get into the pool.

Despite the two events on Friday, vandalism case reports are down from last summer, said Leone.

by Karen Goff — July 7, 2016 at 4:30 pm 5 Comments

Hunters Woods Pool/RANon-Reston Association member who want to swim and play tennis can get a great deal on RA memberships for the rest of the summer.

RA has extended its summer non-member pass sale through July 15. The deal saves a family up to $106.

Memberships give access to 15 pools and 52 tennis courts.

Here are the pass options:

Family Pass — Annual, non-transferable passes for two adults (18+) and up to four children (1-17).

  • Pool & Tennis: $424 (you save $106)
  • Tennis Only: $288 (you save $72) 

Individual Pass

  • Pool & Tennis: $296 (you save $74)
  • Tennis Only: $208 (you save $52)

Promo code (FB0629) prices valid only in person or by phone.
Call 703-435-6530 or visit 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20191.

by Karen Goff — May 23, 2016 at 11:30 am 19 Comments

Ridge Heights Pool/file photoWhen Reston Association Pools open for the season May 28, double check pool schedule before you grab your towel.

Seven of RA’s 15 pools are open weekends only from May 28 until Fairfax County Public Schools close in late June. That’s a departure from recent years, when most pools were open, even if just for a few hours in the afternoon, during the RA pools’ “Season 1” schedule.

It’s part of a money-saving measure the RA Board approved in a vote last September.

Reston Association’s outdoor pools cost about $1.6 million annually to administer and staff. They also take in upwards of $800,000 in revenue, according to RA documents.

Changing to the weekends-only schedule early in the season is going to save about $10,000 annually, RA estimated when examining making the change. There will also be a reduced number of pools open in late August. That will save the association another $14,000.

RA aquatics officials said that the pools are scarcely used during mid-day hours while children are still in school.

Here is what you need to know:

From May 28 to June 23 it is weekends (Friday evening-Sunday) only for Dogwood, Golf Course Island, Lake Audubon, Newbridge North Hills, Shadowood and Tall Oaks pools.

North Shore and Ridge Heights, RA’s two heated facilities, are open daily from 1 p.m. (11 a.m. on weekends). Also open daily, but with more limited hours, are Autumnwood, Glade, Hunters Woods, Lake Newport and Uplands. See the complete schedule on Reston Association’s website.

The “Season 3” summer schedule, with all pools open daily (minus one day a week for cleaning, training, special events and lifeguards’ day off), runs June 24 to Aug. 21.

Four pools — Ridge Heights, North Shore, Glade and Lake Newport — will be open Aug. 21 to Sept. 4. In previous years, eight pools had been open during that time. RA has said staffing problems are widespread in late August as aquatics staffers head back to college.

The RA Board had looked into permanently closing the least-used pool in each district: Shadowood in Hunters Woods/Dogwood; Tall Oaks in Lake Anne/Tall Oaks; Autumnwood in North Point; and Newbridge in South Lakes.

Autumnwood has had an average of 10,165 visitors per summer over the last five years; Shadowood, 3,542; Newbridge, 4,211; and Tall Oaks, 4,587, RA said. (more…)

by Karen Goff — May 13, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

swimIt may be cold and gray, but according to the calendar it’s swim season.

Two of Reston Association’s pools — the heated ones, of course — open on Saturday, May 14:

Ridge Heights Heated Pool
Weekdays 1-7 p.m.
Weekends 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

North Shore Heated Pool & Spa
Weekdays 1-7 p.m.
Weekends 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The remaining pools are scheduled to open Saturday, May 28. Visit RA’s website for a full pool schedule.

If you still need to purchase pool passes, go to the online RA Marketplace or visit RA Member Services at 12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.

by Karen Goff — September 18, 2015 at 9:30 am 86 Comments

Shadowood PoolReston Association’s Board of Directors is looking into altering outdoor pool schedules — including the possibility of closing up to four of them.

In a 2016 budget work session on Wednesday, Deputy Director for Recreation Laura Kowalski presented several cost-savings options to the board.

The board opted to move forward with two of them: to change seven pools to weekends-only from Memorial Day until the last day of school in June, and to change the number of pools open from mid-August to Labor Day from eight to four.

Reston Association has 15 outdoor pools that cost about $1.6 million annually to administer and staff. They also take in upwards of $800,000 in revenue, according to RA documents.

Changing to the weekends-only schedule early in the season would save about $10,000 annually, RA estimates. Reducing the number of pools open in late August would save about $14,000.

RA’s Board will vote on the final budget and set next year’s assessment in November.

The board opted to leave early morning and late evening swim hours at North Shore and Lake Thoreau pools in place, as well as keep North Shore and Ridge Heights open before Memorial Day and past Labor Day. It also will keep offering free sunscreen.

“I think having a longer pool season adds to the value of the pool pass,” said Larry Butler, RA’s Senior Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources.

A suggestion put to the board was shutting down the least-used pool in each district: Shadowood in Hunters Woods/Dogwood; Tall Oaks in Lake Anne/Tall Oaks; Autumnwood in North Point; and Newbridge in South Lakes.

Autumnwood has had an average of 10,165 visitors per summer over the last five years; Shadowood, 3,542; Newbridge, 4,211; and Tall Oaks, 4,587.

Closing each pool would save RA from $47,116 to $59,849 per pool annually, but that would only result in a savings of less than $3 on annual assessments, RA estimates show.

Butler explained it is not that easy to close a pool. When the former Lake Anne Pool was turned into a park over a decade ago, there was much discussion with Fairfax County, as well as large expense, said Butler.

“You have to get determination for zoning,” said Butler. “When Lake Anne [Pool] closed, the development plan specified ‘pool/tennis.’ The county said you had to replace it with something equivalent. You can’t just close it, bulldoze it and walk away.”

Butler said it cost RA about $700,000 to repurpose Lake Anne Pool into a park. He added that $40,000 was in demolition costs alone.

Board members said closing pools is a tough subject that is worthy of more discussion, but not as a means of keeping assessments down. They said it should be part of a future bigger discussion on facilities and long-range planning.

“Some pools are just not getting utilized and it is costing us,” said At-Large member Michael Sanio. “We have to look at what the opportunities are for savings.”

Some of the other suggestions: Save Tall Oaks for a joint investment opportunity when the Jefferson Apartment Group redevelops the nearby Tall Oaks Village Center; encourage pool rentals to groups and corporations to increase revenue; and consolidating staffing, operations and schedules among pools located close together.

by Karen Goff — August 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm 12 Comments

Dogwood Pool closed

Dogwood Pool has been closed for nearly a week as Reston Association officials try and figure out the cause — and the solution — to a water quality issue.

RA spokesman Mike Leone said the association still is not sure what caused the issue. RA has tried several things, including draining some of the water out of the pool, to try and fix the problem.

“At the present time we anticipate the pool opening sometime this week,” Leone said. “Our staff continues to monitor water clarity on a daily basis. It must meet Fairfax County Health Department requirements before we’re able to reopen the Dogwood pool.”

Dogwood is supposed to be one of the RA pools that would remain open until Labor Day. Looking to go for a swim? Try Glade, Lake Audubon (weekends only), Lake Thoreau, Lake Newport, North Hills, North Shore or Ridge Heights.

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