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RCA: ‘With No Mayor or City Council, Serve on the Reston Citizens Association’

This letter was submitted by members of the Reston Citizens Association. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.

If you live in Reston, you surely know that it is a world-renowned master-planned community. Back in 1967, when people realized there would be no mayor or city council for our community, concerned citizens created the Reston Community Association (RCA) to represent its citizens and to monitor and encourage responsible development. Now called the Reston Citizens Association, RCA is still the only community-wide, non-partisan, and action-oriented organization in which everyone that lives, works and plays in Reston has a voice.

Want to take an active role in the future of Reston? Run for a seat on the RCA board!

There are eight seats available in the 2018 elections.  To run for a director seat, you must live in Small Tax District 5, be a Reston resident 18 years or older, and must live in the district which you plan to represent.  Elections will be held from June 7 to June 22 for four district seats and four at-large seats for its Board of Directors.

As a member of the RCA Board of Directors, you will interact with the community on the issues that impact them, meet with county and other local officials, and report on public meetings. You will collect information, provide analysis and, based upon feedback received from the public, inform various local organizations and news outlets directly about public expectations for outcomes on issues that affect Reston.

Your completed application must be sent to [email protected] by May 30. Terms begin at the June 25 board meeting. Download an application online.

Questions? Contact the Reston Citizens Association Election Committee at [email protected]. Learn more at RCAreston.com.

Logo courtesy of Reston Citizens Association

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Eight Candidates Sought For RCA June Election

The Reston Citizens Association is seeking candidates for the eight open district and at-large seats for its 13 member Board of Directors.

That’s over 60 percent of the total board.

Four At-Large Director seats are up for grabs, each for a three-year term.

The Town Center/Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District Director position is open for a three-year term and the South Lakes District Director seat is up for a two-year term.

Two open North Point Director positions are also seeking candidates, with one- and two-year terms respectively .

To run in the election from June 7-22, Reston residents are required to file candidate forms by May 30.

A press release from the RCA stated that “to run for a director seat, you must live in Small Tax District 5, be a Reston resident 18 years or older, and vote in designated precincts/polling places within Reston districts.’

Applications are available online and must be emailed by May 30 to [email protected]

File photo

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Woman arrested for intent to distribute narcotics — Police found marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, and THC wax during a search of the woman’s car. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Local walkouts at schools planned today — Students at Langston Hughes Middle School and South Lakes High School plan to leave class around 10 a.m. today to call for gun control legislation. Participants at SLHS will be marked for cutting class. [South Lakes High School]

Kindness rocks, coming to a place near you — Students at Aldrin Elementary School are spreading rocks they’ve designed throughout Reston. Keep an eye out for special handmade treasures. [Aldrin Elementary School]

A meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Advanced students at South Lakes High School met briefly with Netanyahu during a visit to Capitol Hill. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

If you’re concerned about issues in Reston — The Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization, is still looking for volunteers for various committees. [Reston Citizens Association]

Flickr pool photo by  vantagehill.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Big wins for Boston Properties — Ray Ritchey, senior vice president of Boston Properties, can’t remember a better year for the company, which has inked major deals since last July. [Bisnow]

Last chance to hit the ice — The season for skating at the Ice Skating Pavilion in Reston Town Center will be over this Sunday. Get on the ice while you can. Ice ice baby! [Reston Town Center]

If you’re concerned about issues in Reston — The Reston Citizens Association, a civic, non-profit organization, is looking for volunteers for various committees. [Reston Citizens Association]

Free caregiver support group — Are you a caregiver for an older adult? The county is offering a free online program to help you navigate the process. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Reston Coalition Continues to Challenge Zoning Changes Ahead of Monday Meeting

Opponents of a proposal before the county to increase Reston’s population density continue to mobilize ahead of community meeting on Monday night.

The Coalition for a Planned Reston, a community organization that includes Reclaim Reston, Reston 20/20 and the Reston Citizens Association, will gather community feedback about the proposal and discuss specific changes to scale back Reston’s master plan in an effort limit the scale of development in the planned community.

The proposal, which will go before the county’s Board of Supervisors, would increase the maximum allowed population per acre in the Planned Residential Community district from 13 persons up to 16.

The zoning change could also open up Reston’s village centers to increased residential development. The proposal would allow the Board of Supervisors to approve developments above 50 residential units per acre within the district’s Transit Station Areas (TSAs) — so long as the projects comply with the area’s master plan that guides development.

Reston Association staff opposed the changes. In a letter, In the letter, the RA staff also asks county supervisors to hold off on any further consideration of the PRC density cap increase until RA staff and county staff together can examine the Reston Master Plan portion of the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

Meanwhile, the coalition will pitch amendments to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins before Christmas. Overall, the coalition is seeking to constrain density growth and ensure infrastructure keeps up to pace with development.

CPR hopes to maintain the intensity of opposition to the proposal, which eclipsed in late October during a 900-person public community meeting in Reston where an overwhelming majority of attendees opposed the proposal.

“We are anxious to present what we believe are reasonable Reston plan amendments to Supervisor Hudgins rather than just denoting a list of topic areas where changes could be made,” said Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 Committee. “We are hopeful that the community will buy in to these proposals and possibly suggest some modifications and additions.”

Changes under consideration include reinstating a population cap throughout Reston which existed in the community’s 1989 plan; placing a cap on high-density, high-rise residential development, which the coalition stated is unlimited in the current plan; and phasing development with supporting infrastructure similar to the Tysons plan.

On a broader level, the coalition seeks to ensure county policies and standards that govern schools, parks and transportation are realistically in line with Reston’s growth potential.

CPR will also use the meeting platform to discuss other controversial zoning matters, including the “densification of Saint Johns Woods” and the addition of a road through Hidden Creek Country Club.

“The last minute inclusion by the Planning Commission of developer language allowing Bozzuto to re-develop St. Johns Woods at triple its current density is a perfect example of community exclusion in the development process,” said Reclaim Reston member Bruce Ramo.

The meeting will be held on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Reston Association Conference Center.

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Op-Ed: The Tragedy of the Commons

This is an op/ed submitted by Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

It seems like every day, a major new development project in Reston is announced. And it seems like every day, traffic gets a little worse and schools and athletic fields get a little more crowded.

Is there a connection here? Well, of course there is.

Reston, since its founding, has excelled and prospered as a planned community. And the plan has been that development and the requisite infrastructure would go hand in hand. The problem is not (always) new development; the problem is that new development calls for a corresponding investment in roads, bridges and underpasses, schools, playgrounds, storm drainage, additional open space and, yes, trees — and this isn’t happening.

Economists often point to a phenomenon called “the Tragedy of the Commons” — the observation that when individual users of a commonly held resource are free to maximize their personal benefit at the expense of the larger community, they will generally do so. The “commonly held resource” in this case being the unique and special nature of a Reston where one can Live, Work and Play in harmony with nature. In a perfect world, everyone — the County, the developers and residents of Reston alike — would work together to grow Reston while preserving those things that make this community what it is.

Sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.

The County and the developers want to dramatically increase the population density of Reston. They are naturally driven by, and give priority to, a desire for tax revenue and profits respectively. Not bad things in themselves, of course, unless they come at the unwarranted expense of others — which, in this case, they do.

That leaves those of us who live and work here as the ones with both the most to gain and the most to lose as decisions about our future are made. In the coming weeks a number of key issues — ranging from whether to triple the density of Reston, to what kind of library we will have, to how crowded our schools will be — are to be acted upon. As individuals, we have scant ability to ensure infrastructure is given equal priority to development. But this is Reston, and Reston being Reston, we have a vast community of engaged citizens with a deep commitment to balance and fairness and a future we can proudly pass on to our posterity.

Three weeks ago, over 400 individuals turned out for the County’s fourth attempt to justify the density increase — only to have the meeting canceled because we far exceeded the room’s capacity. Now the meeting has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at South Lakes High Schools. The County will draw upon the full-time lawyers and urban planners we as taxpayers pay for to tell us what they say is in our best interest. On our side we have — each other. We need everyone who believes in defending the Commons to attend this meeting.

As Margaret Mead observed, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Meeting Rescheduled for Oct. 23 at SLHS Cafeteria

(This article was updated at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, to add official information about the cafeteria’s occupancy limit.)

After being postponed last month because of a huge turnout at Lake Anne Elementary School, the next public meeting on a proposed Fairfax County zoning ordinance amendment for Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district has been rescheduled.

The meeting is slated for Monday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive).

The Sept. 25 meeting at the LAES elementary school was called off after a large number of people — estimated at more than 400 — showed up to oppose the plan. It was to be the fourth public meeting on the proposal, which would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.)

The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for possible major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

The occupancy limit for the SLHS cafeteria is 668 when tables are present, though it can hold up to 1,280 if the several dozen large tables are removed.

The SLHS activities office said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office requested a space that would be able to accommodate around 650 people. The school’s auditorium was unavailable for the meeting, the activities office said, because of scheduled theater rehearsals. That space has fewer than 600 seats anyway, according to SLHS officials.

The school’s gym also was not an available or acceptable option, Hudgins’ office said.

Hudgins’ office said contingency plans are being considered if attendance exceeds the cafeteria’s capability, but declined to go into detail about what those plans would entail. A representative from the office said the lunch room is the largest available facility that can safely accommodate such a meeting.

The SLHS activities office also said there may be issues with parking for the meeting, as space is limited due to a renovation project at the school. Hudgins’ office said it is looking into alternative arrangements for that situation as well.

At a community meeting prior to the Sept. 25 meeting, members of Reston activism groups Reston Citizens Association, Reston 20/20 and Reclaim Reston encouraged residents to spread the word and rally attendance. Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association, said those efforts helped spark the large crowd Sept. 25 and he expects the number to grow again before Oct. 23.

“We appreciate the Supervisor and her staff working to reschedule this meeting, but I think this location may be too small too,” Hays told Reston Now. “Interest in this issue continues to build.”

After three community meetings on the subject in May, which were met with growing opposition from residents, the Reston Association Board of Directors requested the fourth meeting be scheduled. At their meeting Sept. 28, directors expressed their opinions on the proposed zoning amendment, assuring members they will continue to challenge unfettered growth.

“We appreciate that Supervisor Hudgins has rescheduled this meeting,” Sherri Hebert, RA Board president, told Reston Now. “Restonians are very concerned about the proposed ordinance amendment so I expect a large turnout. Let’s hope the SLHS cafeteria is big enough.”

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Too Many People in Small Space Results in Postponement of Meeting on Increasing Density Cap

Reston residents argue that a zoning ordinance amendment proposed by Fairfax County would cause the community to become too overpopulated to manage.

That makes what happened at a scheduled county meeting to discuss the topic Monday night particularly ironic.

After hundreds of Restonians crowded into the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School for the forum, Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and staff from the Department of Planning and Zoning told them the meeting would have to be postponed until a larger venue could be booked.

“It is a safety issue and a code violation [to have so many people in the cafeteria],” Hudgins said to a chorus of boos from the crowd, many of whom were wearing yellow-shaded Reclaim Reston and Rescue Reston T-shirts. “You did come out and that’s important, and I’m glad that you did, we appreciate that.”

The proposal from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.) The PRC District does not include any of the Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

According to signage displayed in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School, the fire code caps the number of occupants of the cafeteria at 210 when tables and chairs are present, as they were Monday night. Estimates of attendance for the meeting ranged from 350 to over 400.

Dozens of meeting attendees filed out the door after Hudgins made the announcement, saying they were making room for the meeting to go on as scheduled. Meanwhile, suggestions were shouted that the entire meeting be picked up and moved to the school’s gymnasium or even outside.

However, the decision to postpone had already been made.

“We want to communicate, and we will try to find a solution,” Hudgins said. “We’ll get a facility where we can accommodate you.”

The large turnout came after a community meeting last week where members of Reston activism groups encouraged residents to spread the word and rally attendance. One of leaders of that event was Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association.

“I’m disappointed that we’re not having the meeting, particularly after several hundred people volunteered to walk out to try to get us down to the [maximum occupancy] number,” Hays said Monday night. “[But we] sent a message. The message was that the citizenry are concerned by this and willing to stand up and say something.”

The Reston Association Board of Directors had been scheduled to hear an update on the situation and take an official stance on it at their meeting Thursday; however, that will now likely be postponed as well, President Sherri Hebert said.

Hudgins and Fred Selden, director of the county DPZ, said the proposal will not move forward in any way until all feedback from the community has been received.

“This is not a done deal,” Hudgins said. “If it was a done deal, we would have stopped [scheduling meetings] long ago. We’re back here to continue to hear from you.”

Information about the date, time and location of the rescheduled meeting will be provided when it becomes available.

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Restonians Encourage Each Other To Fight Against PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment

A zoning ordinance amendment being suggested by Fairfax County could result in Reston’s population increasing threefold by 2050, community advocates say, and local residents are being encouraged to speak out against it.

Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association presented a community information session on the County’s proposal Wednesday, attended by more than 100 concerned Restonians. The goal of the event was to help residents learn more about what the amendment means and to prepare them for a fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins at 7 p.m. Monday at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive). The first three meetings on the proposal, held in May, were not seen as adequate by many Restonians who attended them.

“Community participation is vital and must be continuous,” said Dennis Hays, Reston Citizens Association president, during the presentation. “I don’t believe just sitting and having someone tell you what they’ve already decided is participation.”

The proposal from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre.) The PRC District does not include any of the Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Those areas that would be marked for major residential development include all of Reston’s village centers.

If the zoning ordinance were to go into effect, Hays said, it would be akin to the genie being let out of the bottle for development all over Reston.

“Once it’s a zoning ordinance, it’s done; it’s over; there’s not much we can do, ever,” he said.

According to numbers presented by Terry Maynard, co-chair of Reston 20/20, the proposed changes combined with high-rise development in TSAs could result in Reston’s overall population increasing to more than 177,000 by 2050. John Mooney, representing Reclaim Reston, said that even by conservative estimates, this would increase peak-time traffic in the community by nearly double if infrastructure needs are not addressed concurrently.

In addition to a lack of adequate streets to accommodate the increased population, Maynard said the lacking infrastructure would also include a deficit in schools and parks. Concerns about police staffing, fire coverage and more were also brought up by other residents.

“You don’t put that cart before the horse,” said Bruce Ramo, of Reclaim Reston, which has organized a petition effort in the attempt to get the county to stop new development proposals and zoning changes until infrastructure needs are addressed. “That’s why we’re saying what we’re saying here tonight: Let’s step back and do it right.”

Residents were encouraged to show up en masse to Monday’s meeting, to let Hudgins and county staff know that they do not want to see Reston grow out of control. They were also requested to call Hudgins’ office and leave messages relaying their displeasure.

“Shut down the office with your phone calls,” resident John Farrell told those in attendance. “Tell her what you think, and don’t stop telling her what you think.”

The DPZ had originally hoped to bring the proposed amendment before the Board of Supervisors in July, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October. It now has those projected dates pushed back to November, January and February, respectively.

If Reston residents who attended Wednesday’s meeting have their way, though, the end result will be the proposal being left by the wayside until more pressing concerns are met.

“It’s quite clear that the County, with our spineless supervisor, is determined to push through an ill-considered, ill-organized PRC proposal,” said John Hanley. “We need to stop it dead … for at least a year or two years to discuss it and to find out what all the ramifications are.”

Restonians who want to learn more should contact representatives of Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and/or the Reston Citizens Association.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

PRC Zoning Ordinance Amendment Info Session Tonight — Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association will present the forum tonight from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). This is being held in advance of the fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented Monday by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and County Planning and Zoning staff. [Reston Now]

Site Lists Top Places to Eat in Reston — Eater’s list includes 10 locations within Reston Town Center, but it also branches out to Lake Anne, South Lakes and more. [DC Eater]

Copperhead Spotted on W&OD Trail — The venomous snake was spotted last week on the trail near the Luck Stone Quarry overlook in Ashburn, serving as a reminder to be watchful when out in nature. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]

Dulles Day Festival is This Weekend — The 25th annual open house event at the airport Saturday will include a 5K/10K on runways, a festival on the airfield, and the plane-pull competition. [Dulles International Airport]

Another Brewery Coming to Route 28 Corridor — Rocket Frog Brewing Company is looking to open in Sterling early next year. This is on the heels of Ono Brewing Company opening recently in Chantilly. [The Burn]

File photo by Audrey Lawson

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Community Organizations Work Together to Set Up Informational Meeting on Density Ordinance

Three community advocacy organizations have combined efforts to plan an informational forum about Fairfax County’s proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would increase the density cap in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) district.

Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association will present the forum Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). This is being held in advance of the fourth public meeting on the proposal, being presented by Supervisor Cathy Hudgins at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25 at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive).

The proposal from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s PRC from 13 to 16. (The density is currently about 11.9 people per acre. The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.

“We will share with you why these changes are being proposed and the impact on our open space, traffic, schools and other public facilities. We invite you to ask questions, and share your views and concerns,” reads an invitation being distributed for the forum. “Let’s come together to ensure we can continue to say ‘Reston is a planned community,’ and NOT ‘Reston was a planned community.'”

Information was first shared by the county with the community in three public meetings in May. At May’s meetings, residents expressed their concern that the county was trying to rush the amendment through the approval process. They were especially upset when the third meeting was held in an open-house format rather than as a question-and-answer session.

The DPZ had originally hoped to bring the plan before the Board of Supervisors in July, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October. It now has those projected dates pushed back to November, December and January, respectively.

For more information about the Sept. 20 informational meeting, contact members of Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and/or the Reston Citizens Association.

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After More Than a Decade, Reston Specialty License Plate Campaign Is Over

Dreams of the issuance of a special Reston license plate have fallen flat, and now those who applied will be getting their money back.

In 2006, Reston’s Dan McGuire began a campaign along with the Reston Citizens Association to garner enough support to get the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a Reston-themed license plate. Special license plates are eligible to be issued for any group that receives at least 450 prepaid $10 applications, as well as authorization from the General Assembly.

Virginia offers more than 250 unique varieties of license plates.

The design for Reston’s special plate, which featured the “Live, Work, Play” motto, was by Doug Fuller. Though McGuire and the RCA campaigned for the plates for several years, the effort fell short. McGuire died in 2013.

Tuesday, the Reston Citizens Association announced it will refund all residents who signed up. RCA says it will be sending notifications to all applicants, letting them know they have a refund coming. Any funds that are unable to be returned by Oct. 1 will be donated to a local charity.

Moira Callaghan, vice president of RCA, said 83 applications were prepaid. She said any future effort to create a Reston specialty plate would have to be “an entirely new campaign.”

“The best course of action [right now] is to refund these applicants and possibly start over,” she said.

For more information, contact Callaghan at [email protected].

Photo of Dan McGuire courtesy Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax Times

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Hays Becomes President of Reston Citizens Association

After Monday’s Reston Citizens Association meeting, the group’s Board of Directors walked away with a new leader.

The RCA appointed Dennis Hays as the president of its Board of Directors, succeeding Sridhar Ganesan. Ganesan stepped down from his position on the Board after being appointed to serve on the Reston Association Board of Directors, as both an At-Large member and treasurer.

“I am excited to work with a proven network of community leaders who are drawn from the heart of the Reston community,” said Hays in a press release. “As Reston grows we need to work with the community and build a coalition of voices to preserve the ideals Reston was founded on.”

On the Board since 2014, Hays was recently re-elected to serve another three-year term. In addition, Hays is the chairman of Fairfax Library Associates, serves on the Friends of Reston Regional Library board and is a former president of the Reston Runners.

In addition to Hays’ appointment, Moira Callaghan of the North Point District was elected as vice president and Izzy Santa of the South Lakes District was elected to the Board. Joe Leighton of the South Lakes District was re-elected as treasurer; Nick Georgas, At-Large, was re-elected as secretary; and Connie Hartke, Hunter Woods district, and Hank Schonzeit, Town Center/Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District, were re-appointed to their seats.

There are still two vacant board seats that need to be filled: an At-Large (one-year term) seat and a North Point (three-year term) seat. If you’re interested in applying, contact [email protected].

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Reston Citizens Association Board Election Coming in June

The Reston Citizens Association elections will be held June 7-22. Four district seats and two at-large seats on the group’s Board of Directors will be chosen.

“This upcoming year is going to be another exciting one for RCA, as we continue to focus on educating and engaging the community and reflecting their voice,” said Sridhar Ganesan, RCA president. “New development, re-development, transportation and other Reston infrastructure, open spaces and other issues like Reston Town Center pay parking have been at the forefront for Reston and RCA during the last two months and will continue to be important for the people that live here.”

The six seats up in the 2017 elections are for three-year terms as the Hunters Woods District, the Town Center/Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District, the South Lakes District, the North Point District and an At-Large seat, as well as a one-year term in an At-Large seat to replace a director who resigned in 2016.

Anyone wishing to run for a seat must:

  • be a Reston resident
  • live in Small Tax District 5
  • be 18 years or older
  • vote in designated precincts/polling places within Reston districts

Those interested in joining the Board must file a completed candidate form by May 30. For more information, email [email protected].

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Citizens Association to Boston Properties: Give Parking Money Back to Community

The Reston Citizens Association says it wants Boston Properties to give the money it is collecting from paid parking at Reston Town Center — a number the group projects to be $8 million annually — back to the community.

In a Tuesday statement, RCA says it has attempted to engage with Boston Properties for more than a year in the effort to “find a compromise that would allow the Town Center to retain its character while respecting [BXP]’s development rights.” Further, the Citizens Association challenged Boston Properties to — if paid parking is here for good — commit the revenue to “community betterments and activities that benefit Reston.”

“RCA makes this call because of the misinformation and untruths that [BXP] provided to RCA. From the very beginning, knowing how central the cellphone app would be for the paid parking experience, RCA asked many questions regarding how the App would work. Despite the assurances that were given to RCA that the ParkRTC App would provide a very user-friendly experience, today it is clear this is patently not true.”

In its statement, RCA says the paid-parking system is “confusing, contradictory and [the] subject of great frustration for users.” The citizens’ organization says it stands with merchants and others who are calling for the system to be scrapped or significantly overhauled.

Last week, Jackson’s restaurant filed a lawsuit against Boston Properties regarding the implementation of the paid-parking system. Other merchants within the Town Center say they are likely to do the same, and they continue to organize events to shed light on their displeasure.

The Citizens Association says it is willing to continue to work with Boston Properties on any mutually acceptable agreement that can be found.

“[BXP] has in the past been a good and generous manager of the Reston Town Center and can be this again. RCA stands ready to work with [BXP] to address its legitimate concerns about commuter parking while at the same time preserving the open and welcoming character of the Town Center that has made it such a centerpiece of our community and the greater region.”

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