79°Rain

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

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DRB seeks feedback from the public on changes to the content of its guidelines amid some concerns that the policies are outdated and inconsistent.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.

14 Comments

Reston Association Board of Directors Elects New President

Reston Association’s Board of Directors elected Andy Sigle to the position of board president Thursday night.

Over the next year, Sigle said he hopes to ensure a new CEO and CFO are hired promptly, fine-tune RA’s biannual budget, facilitate the passage of policies regarding ethics and conflicts of interest, and work with the community to ensure land use changes, particularly in the Planned Residential Community district, are implemented in a thoughtful and strategic manner.

Sigle was elected to the board earlier this year and previously served on the board between 2011 and 2014. David Bobzien, the former board president, resigned last month due to a leukemia diagnosis.

In opening remarks, Sigle also said he is committed to enhancing communication between RA staff and the board. He also hopes to ensure information is readily available so the board can make informed decisions.

Sridhar Ganesan, the board’s interim president, failed to gain enough votes to maintain the position. Board members cast private ballots and the number of votes garnered by each candidate was not made public at the meeting.

The vote follows a spirited debate during last month’s board meeting when board members failed to make a decision on the next board president. In his opening remarks, Ganesan also noted that transformational change was required to bring about a more “harmonious” tone to board meetings whilst preserving opportunities for vigorous debate.

Photo by Reston Association

12 Comments

Reston Association Board to Consider Improving Design Review Process

Reston Association’s Board of Directors will consider recommendations to make the process of the Design Review Board more efficient at a meeting tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in RA headquarters.

The board will also elect a board president and welcome Catherine Baum, the new apartment owners’ board representative, to the governing body.

According to RA, the volume of applications received by the DRB and staff cannot be processed with current staff resources unless the process is streamlined. The DRB is an independent unit responsible for reviewing exterior improvements of properties within RA.

Under the recommendations, approvals for more “ordinary” applications, which could include signs, storm windows, utility boxes and roofing, would be reviewed by staff.

Some cluster standards applications would be reviewed by a panel of consultations instead of selected members of the DRB. This change would open up the panel’s agenda by 30 percent, according to RA. The DRB would meet monthly to review standard cluster applications with two members of the DRB.

The changes would also increase the DRB application fee for development and redevelopment of sites from $1,350 to $2,250.

The meeting will be live streamed tomorrow. The complete agenda is available online.

11 Comments

Vacant Apartment Owners’ Seat on Reston Association Board Filled

Apartment owners have selected Catherine Baum to fill the vacant Apartment Owners’ Representative seat on Reston Association’s Board of Directors.

The position was vacated in April when David Bobzien, also board president, resigned after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Baum, who has lived in Reston since 1975, will serve as a director until April 2019. The following description of Baum was issued in an RA press release today:

She has held several senior level positions with the country’s top homebuilders throughout her professional career. She is also a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, Inc., and is a past president of the Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Baum will officially join the board at its meeting on June 28.

7 Comments

Reston Association Working Group Kicks of Meetings on Lakes, Docks and Boats

A Reston Association working group created to analyze rules governing lakes, docks and boats kicked off it meetings on June 13 (Wednesday).

RA’s board of directors formed the group on March 22 in response to residents’ concerns about outdated boating policies, enforcement issues and overall usage of local lakes. The group will provide recommendations to the board in November.

During the first meeting, members received information on Reston’s lakes, as well as the type and number of boats and docks currently allowed.

The group’s objectives include identification of the environmental impact of docks and boats, a review of current rules and policies and whether or not rules infringe on lakeside property owners’ use of their properties.

The presentation given to the working group is linked here.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

13 Comments

Reston Association Board to Consider Changes to Staff and Board Relationships

As it grapples with recent leadership and board vacancies, Reston Association’s Board of Directors will explore the possibility of changing the relationship between RA’s governing body, the CEO, CFO and general counsel.

At June 5 work session (agenda), the board will consider changing the reporting structure between the CFO and the general counsel.

Director John Mooney suggested holding a work session at a May 24 board meeting. RA’s Board Governance Committee has been discussing how to amend the resolution that covers Board and Association operations and the relationship between board and staff.

“This revision is necessitated by the fact that we now have an in-house counsel so we need to deal at least with that,” Mooney said.

Rather than redraft or revise the current resolution, the committee has created a matrix that outlines possible relationships between the CEO, in-house counsel, and the board.

That matrix will guide the board’s discussions about changing reporting structures and relationships, including the role of the board in hiring, firing, disciplinary actions and salary.

File photo

14 Comments

Reston Association to Continue Discussions on Recreational Facilities’ Cost and Usage

As the mid-year point before next year’s budget cycle approaches, Reston Association’s Board of Directors and staff will discuss how to approach a comprehensive analysis of RA’s recreational facilities.

The analysis, requested by Director Julie Bitzer in March, would be the first comprehensive examination of RA’s recreational facilities in 13 years.

Larry Butler, acting CEO and senior director of land use and planning, said the last study was done in 2005 and examined issues like cost utilization trends, usage, maintenance, repairs and suggested upgrades.

Staff recommended hiring a consultant to complete the study due to limited staff resources over the next two-to-three months and ongoing summer projects like the Hook Road working group and the lakes, docks and boats working group.

The board will hold a work session on June 5 to discuss the scope of the analysis, whether a consultant is needed to complete it and better define the goals and scope of the work.

Other recreation-related decisions may be more pressing.

Board members suggested a timely decision on the future of Lake Thoreau pool, which Director Sherri Hebert said was “falling into the lake,” was necessary. Hebert said an expenditure of $1 million is estimated to bring the aging pool up to go code. No decision on the future of that pool has been reached.

The longterm examination will guide the board’s budget decisions on replacement, repairs and upgrades to facilities.

Photo by Mike Collins

16 Comments

Reston Association Board Appoints New Director; Remains Deadlocked on Next Board President

After several failed attempts to appoint a new board member, Reston Association’s Board of Directors appointed Caren Anton, chairwoman of RA’s elections committee, to serve as the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District Director through April 2019

The board was tasked with appointing a new director from a pool of four candidates after the previous director resigned earlier this year. At a Thursday meeting, five board members voted for Anton to fill the position after several motions to appoint other candidates failed to garner enough votes.

But the board failed to make a decision on the next board president after David Bobzien, the former president and apartment owners’ representative, resigned due to a leukemia diagnosis earlier this month.

Despite two rounds of voting, the board remained deadlocked due to a tie between two directors: newly elected Andy Sigle and incumbent Sridhar Ganesan. The board deferred a decision to its next June 28 meeting when an apartment owners’ representative is expected to be seated. Sigle previously served on the board from 2011 to 2014.

Sigle’s first attempt to appoint Anton failed to gather enough votes. But after Director Sherri Hebert’s motion to appoint John Bowman and Julie Bitzer’s nomination to appoint Travis Johnson fell through, the board reconsidered Anton’s appointment. Both Bowman and Johnson ran for a board seat earlier this year.

Board members lauded Anton’s experience as a Reston resident for 30 years, her knowledge of the community and what Sigle called her “goals of independence and collegiality.” Newly-elected Director Ven Iyer applauded Anton’s “independent thinking,” a point that Hebert found “offensive.”

“I have to say Ven that I find it offensive that you think the rest of the board members do not think independently and do not make the votes on their own merit,” Hebert said.

Iyer also urged board members to recuse themselves from voting if any financial intermingling took place between them and other candidates in order to shield the board from accusations of “cronyism or impropriety.” Bowman and Johnson ran for seats on the board earlier this year.

Hebert abstained from voting for Anton and instead unsuccessfuly pushed for Bowman, who previously served on the board. She said he would “hit the ground running” as RA navigates complex issues in the coming months, including the absence of a permanent CEO and other staffing changes.

Rick Landers, who also ran for the position, was not nominated.

Bitzer said she looks forward to having another woman serve on the board. “I feel that we as a board in a sense owe Caren a chance to show how much more she can do and give to us,” she said.

Positioning herself as “an open, honest, ethical and transparent” candidate, Anton said she hopes to engage with apartment renters, who often have little knowledge of the function and role of RA. She also wants to explore ways to make the Hunters Woods Village Center a more enjoyable place to dine, play and gather.

“I come to you with no hidden agendas or allegiances,” she said.

Photo via Reston Association

44 Comments

Reston Association Board to Tackle Vacancies, Relationship with Staff at Thursday Meeting

Changes to Reston Association’s Board of Directors and its relationship with staff are being contemplated ahead of the board’s Thursday meeting at 6:30 p.m.

North Point District Director John Mooney has proposed a resolution to evaluate the relationship between the CEO, CFO, attorney, and board as part of an ongoing process initiated by several parties. Reston Association’s CEO and longtime RA advocate Cate Fulkerson left RA earlier this year.

Resolution: RA Board and Staff Relationship by Fatimah Waseem on Scribd

The board will also consider a motion to form a CEO search committee to fill the vacancy created by Fulkerson. Currently, Larry Butler, RA’s senior director of land use and planning, is filling the position after acting CEO and CFO Robert Wood left RA for another employment opportunity.

A new board president will also be elected following the resignation of David Bobzien. The apartment owner’s representative resigned this month due to a recent cancer diagnosis. The board will elect the new president, who will serve through April 10, 2019.

Additionally, the board will appoint a new Hunters Woods/Dogwood District Director from a pool of four candidates. The vacancy was created when the former director resigned one day after this year’s board elections. Four candidates – Rick Landers, Caren Anton, John Bowman and Travis Johnson — will be interviewed.

The meeting will be streamed live on YouTube.

File photo

24 Comments

Reston Association Board to Fill Board Vacancy Next Week

A vacant position on Reston Association’s Board of Directors could be filled on Friday (May 24).

Four candidates — Rick Landers, Caren Anton, John Bowman and Travis Johnson — are vying for the open Hunters Woods/Dogwood District seat.

The position became vacant in April — just one day after the board election — when Victoria White resigned. The board will vote to elect the new director during its meeting.

Bowman finished second for the one-year, at-large director seat during elections earlier this year. Johnson finished fourth in the race for a three-year, at-large director as well.

The candidates’ statements are below.

Candidate Statements – Vacancy by Fatimah Waseem on Scribd

Photo by Reston Association 

13 Comments

Reston Association President Resigns After Cancer Diagnosis

David Bobzien resigned from his position as the president of the Reston Association Board of Directors Monday evening after revealing he has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

In a statement on RA’s website, Bobzien informed residents that he has already begun chemotherapy treatments for acute myeloid leukemia.

Bobzien was elected to a three-year term on the board in 2017, as the apartment owners’ representative. He  has served on several committees, and was the board’s vice president before the board elected him president.

Sridhar Ganesan, the board’s current vice president said in a statement, “David played a strong leadership role during the last year helping Reston Association make some critical decisions. His governance approach helped bring about consensus on many matters before the board. I thank him for his service to RA during a critical time and wish him strength and success through his treatment and a speedy recovery. “

“David will be missed as both a board member and president. His understanding of the county and its many components was a real benefit to RA,” said RA’s acting CEO, Larry Butler. “I am hopeful that his treatment is speedy and effective so that he can get back to all of the things in which he was involved in the Reston community.”

Bobzien’s departure means there are now two vacant seats on the board, as Hunters Woods/Dogwood Director Victoria White resigned her position on April 11 when she moved out of her district. A replacement for White is scheduled to be elected during the May 24 meeting.

A replacement for the apartment owners’ representative will be elected by a majority vote of apartment owners, to serve out the rest of the year until the 2019 elections.

Though he won’t be on the Board of Directors anymore, Bobzien said his love for Reston will remain strong.

“My hope is to get through this so that I can continue to enjoy the people and pathways that [my wife] Cathy and I fell in love with when we moved to Reston in 1975,” said Bobzien. “‘Reston for Life’ has taken on a new meaning for us.”

7 Comments

Reston Association’s CFO and Acting CEO Resigns

Reston Association’s CFO and acting CEO Robert Wood will resign, leaving two top leadership positions open at the homeowners’ association.

Wood was named acting CEO in February following former CEO Cate Fulkerson’s resignation in February. He has taken a new job at a national nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., ending a roughly three years of work at RA.

Larry Butler, RA’s senior director of land use and planning will take over as acting CEO. The board is actively searching for a new, permanent CEO following Fulkerson’s departure. Job listings were posted on online job platforms, including an April 9 posting.

Wood’s last day is tomorrow (April 20).

Photo via RA

86 Comments

Reston Association Seeks Candidates for Vacant Board Seat

Reston Association’s Board of Directors is seeking candidates to fill the seat of former Hunters Woods/Dogwood District Supervisor Victoria White.

White resigned one day after RA’s board election results were announced. She was ineligible for the position because she recently moved out of the district.

The term for the seat ends April 2019. To qualify, candidates must be residents of the Hunters Woods/Dogwood district, complete a candidate statement, and meet with the board of directors to indicate interest and present qualifications.

For consideration, candidate statements must be submitted by Friday, May 11 at 5 p.m.. Applicants will be interviewed by the board on May 24.

For more information, email [email protected].

3 Comments

One Day After Election, Vacancy on Reston Association Board Surfaces

Victoria White stepped down from Reston Association’s Board of Directors Wednesday (April 11).

The vacancy comes just one day after four new board members were elected to serve on the nine-member board.

She stood alongside her colleagues on the newly formulated board at the conclusion of RA’s annual member meeting on Tuesday (April 10) when results were announced.

White who served as the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District representative resigned because she no longer lives in the district she represents, according to a statement by RA. She also served on RA’s covenants committee and the board governance committee.

RA will issue a call for candidates to fill the open seat, which expires in April 2020. The board will consider possible candidates at its May 24 meeting.

Information on when and how RA was made aware of the need for the change was not immediately available.

At a meeting on Wednesday, David Bobzien, formerly the board’s vice president, was elected board president. Sridhar Ganesan, formerly the board’s treasurer, was elected vice president.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Photo via Reston Association

42 Comments

Ellen Graves, Former Reston Association President, Leaves Behind Legacy of Volunteerism

Ellen Graves, a former Reston Association president and a community leader known for her volunteerism, died Monday (April 9).

Graves, a Reston resident for more than 30 years, worked with many organizations and was well-known for her ability to spot talent, identify community needs, and find solutions to challenges she saw in Reston.

Local residents who knew Graves said she had a penchant for encouraging others to make contributions to the community.

“She was probably the friendliest person you’d meet. She had a big small and could talk to anybody,” said Ed Robichaud, who knew her for more than 20 years. “Small groups tend to be divisive at times or personality driven. That was just not Ellen. She was always one level about the fray.”

She served on RA’s Board of Directors beginning in 2013 and was elected to a three-year term as apartment owners’ representative in 2014. The next year, she was elected president by RA’s board.

Michael Sanio, who served with Graves on RA’s board, said he declined an offer to run against her when she sought the board president position.

“I said absolutely not. She had the time, willingness and leadership skills to do this. She made a real effort to work directly with all members of the board and make sure everyone had a voice in the community,” Sanio said.

In 2004, Graves was named a recipient of the Best of Reston awards.

Professionally, Graves worked at IBM and was executive director of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women, Inc.. She was formerly Chief of Staff for Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. 

“She was a very dear friend to me and many, many others. She’s touched countless in the community,” Sanio said.

Graves served on other boards like the Fairfax County Social Services Board, Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help and the Private Industry Council.

“She had the biggest rolodex in town,” Robichaud said. “If you needed someone to pick up trash on South Lakes Drive, she could come up with a name in ten seconds.”

Graves is survived by two children. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.

7 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list