News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DRB Discovers 'Track Changes' Feature in Microsoft Word, Gives Us Migranes

So the Reston Design Review Board has decided that it's time to make sweeping changes to the Gutenberg Bible of Reston, its giant design guidelines booklet (large, annoying PDF file at link). Okay, so maybe that makes it the Steve Gutenberg Bible, but it's still very, very exciting to see that the 1970s are being brought forward to the... well, 1980s!

The RA Board will be discussing these many exciting changes at its regular meeting Thursday. So break out the legwarmers and Rubik's Cubes, and let's see what the DRB has in store for us. As our favorite informant, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, points out, "the DRB helpfully highlighted the proposed changes, ironically enough, in a non-DRB approved shade of bright red." Among the highlights:

•  No red mulch! No white stone! As the Peasant points out, "Only shades that Joe McCarthy would approve -- no Commie-colored mulch allowed in the People's Republic of Reston!"

• Compost bins must be NO MORE THAN THREE FEET HIGH, or else the DRB will borrow some of the heavy equipment from the stream deforestation restoration project and cut them down to size for you.

• Fencing can only have single gates -- double gates are now verboten. Time to start that diet! Also, chain link fences have gone from "generally not appropriate" to emphatically "not appropriate." The earth-toned fist of justice strikes again! On the other hand, they're considering allowing "composite materials" for fences, so long as they "closely match" the appearance of natural wood. Are our standards slipping? There are entire subdivisions in Loudoun County that closely match the appearance of natural wood.

• Only two political signs are allowed per yard, and they must be "well crafted and durable." The same can't be said for most of the politicians they represent.

But that's not all! The DRB has also added a section about "public art," and surprisingly, they're all for it! Public art, they say, is awesome and should "encourage community identity, creativity and pride through artistic expression and to enhance the aesthetic appeal in public spaces through harmonious, appropriate artwork." Wow. Just make sure you provide sufficient lighting and seating for the multitudes to enjoy your creatively expressed meditation on man coexisting with nature (i.e., your collection of pink flamingos and other lawn statuary), or be prepared to face the DRB's wrath.

And for some reason, the DRB has gone from recommending to requiring scale models of many large-scale projects. Maybe after their meetings, the DRB plans to pull out their Playmobil figurines and play everyone's favorite children's game of yesteryear, "earth-toned real estate development planner."

Finally, there's also a whole new section about security cameras and other systems, but at this point we started nodding off. Suffice it to say that any security systems involving moats with sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their frickin' heads probably will require DRB approval, the end.


  1. Stop your whining you panty waist! Step up like a man/woman and volunteer to be a member of the DRB....they are members of your community, like you, voted to the DRB by members like you!!!

    But I suspect like most of the dirt bags on this blog, you want to just make disparaging remarks about problems with the Association instead of offering solutions. Be a part of the solution, again you whimp step up and volunteer and see how long you last before they drag your butt across Reston Pkwy!!

  2. To the above Anonymouse:

    As one of the self-described dirtbags who sometimes posts on this site, shall I point out that, first of all, this is a satirical Website that pokes fun at the more inane aspects of life here? Maybe you need to develop a sense of humor?

    Second, before you cast aspersions on anyone who posts here, perhaps consider that many of us in fact do volunteer to try to improve our community.

    Third, you might also want to consider why the RA, the DRB in particular, has the reputation it does. The RA always seems to find a way to do whatever it wants to do -- regardless of what people in this community may actually want -- often by gaming the system. Think I'm exaggerating? More than 250 people (dirtbags all, I guess) signed the petition asking for a review of the stream restoration project before any more work was done. Needless to say, the RA is just plowing onward with the project, albeit with a bit more restraint thanks to the citizen outrage over the massive deforestation of the first phase.

    Since you suggest we offer solutions, here's one for the DRB: focus on the big issues and stop micromanaging on such questions as red mulch and white stone. The Onion couldn't make up this stuff if it tried!

    I would gladly offer orange-flavored Metamucil to anyone offended by this Website, but then again orange is not a DRB-approved color.

  3. I'm very happy that this blog exists. Thank God someone in this place called "Reston" has a sense of humor. My neighbors seem to live in fear of the RA -- so stupid -- when we should revolt! This is like living under communism -- I'm surprised we aren't all issued regulation Eddie Bauer sports wear for all REstonites to wear!

    It's easier to leave our homes rotting than to deal with the bureaucracy at the RA. I'm pretty sick of it.


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