News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

RA Headquarters Referendum: Brother, Can You Spare $15 Million?

You know how your "house," assuming you still have one and haven't been forcibly relocated to Targetville, isn't exactly worth what it was a year or so back? As your friendly neighborhood Realtor(tm)(R) will tell you, that means it's a great time to buy -- unless, that is, you're a homeowner's association looking for new office space in a vibrant planned community. Turns out the Reston Association, which won approval to spend up to $5 million on new earth-toned digs a few years back, just can't find anything at that price level, because now they want to spend up to $15 million. So later this month, watch your mailbox for a referendum ballot on the issue.

You see, the RA's lease will expire on its current headquarters in Isaac Newton Square in 2010, and with the Metro station on its way, that building is expected to be redeveloped into something big and shiny and awesome with Macaroni Grills and other chain retail and whatnot. But apparently no one's clear on how much space the RA wants for its new pleasure dome headquarters, or even if it would be located in Reston! (They might save some money if they move it to Chantilly.) Anyway, they had some sort of meeting where they said they wanted to put it to a referendum, and the Reston Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH) said something like, "Whoa, dudes, how about giving us a few minor details, like how much space you think you'll need to hand out pool passes, and will it be staffed by a wacky, wisecracking fix-it guy like that dude with the toolbelt in One Day at a Time?" and generally harshed the whole buzz, because they're buzzkills.

In conclusion, be sure to vote for the referendum, or whatever, when it comes in the mail so the RA can build a giant floating fortress in the middle of Lake Anne, which will then be immediately demolished because its window trim isn't an approved shade of teal, the end.


  1. I think somewhere in the FAQs it says the $5 million one called for about 20,000 square feet and this time they're looking for 35,000.

  2. Milton Matthews and his empire-building madness is a shame and a fraud on the "citizens" of no place called "Reston." That idiot should be fired before he squanders yet more of the poor "feepayers'" funds!

    What kind of Kool-Aid do they serve over there at the RA HQ? Let's not forget that the existing Pantone-perfect RAHQ is just a few meters east of where the infamous Ebola-infected monkeys were housed (Read or see "Hot Zone" for more details on that little Reston tidbit). Maybe those idiot lap-dog board members are really Ebola-infested ignorant Reston-atons...who knows, but the lack of transparency around this disaster of a plan is just plain stupid in a time of such economic crises and when see-through buildings are a dime a dozen in Reston and beyond.

    BTW--it's sure interesting to know that the Reston Town Center is not even a part of Reston---and, oddly enough, those million-dollar penthouses and fancy-schmancy condos and townhouses pay not a penny to the Reston Association at all! Now who is the brainiac who came up with that nonsense?

    Meanwhile, Lake Anne, the festering eyesore and disaster of a development, despite countless failed attempts by the powers that be from Reston and the REAL Taj Mahal; a "charette" or two, whatever they may be; tax breaks and outright gifts of taxpayer money clearly squandered on renovations unseen sits as a fallow wasteland while the county takes a very valuable piece of property off the tax rolls (and the number of $54 million comes to mind---but I digress) and uses it for it's so-called "affordable housing" initiative. I sure hope I get laid off soon so that I can go live in the nice social housing provided by the county! No need to even worry about paying the RA fee in that case -- I am sure the county will pay it for me for free! And, best of all, no more RA on my back harassing me about the sheen of my paint, the patina of my azaleas or the glare from my 10-watt post lamp. Such heinous crimes indeed, but I AGAIN digress...

    $15 MILLION for an office building to hand out pool passes to dilapidated pools that no one wants or uses?

    What does that RA DO for $500 bucks a year? Just a few blocks from the existing HQ, in any direction, dated ugly neighborhoods and commercial eyesores fade away and fester among a Byzantine labyrinth of covenants, supposedly restrictive, but nevertheless failed models of governance. The place looks like crap -- it's no wonder they want to move their HQ to a place other than Reston!!!

    And the regressive "fee," now approaching $500 a year, for what? weedy, dangerous, dark, drug-lord havens called "paths"; the festering underused pools and tennis courts; some million-dollar nature "house" (joke must be on me --- I thought the purpose of nature was to avoid the nasty footprints of humankind -- but, not in Reston!)....

    I guess the real Reston infrastructure will continue its decay while the don't call me I am not interested in hearing from you directors and RA managers hide away in their new $15 million bunker.

    I can't wait to get out of this dump and as soon as property values increase, I am gone. I have never seen such incompetent management and leadership and ALL of the RA directors, and especially Kathleen McKee, should resign in shame!

    Good Riddance Reston, and, unfortunately, I will have to give you $250 for that privilege as you "tax" me on my way out. What a sham!

  3. Don't let the doorknob hit you where the dog should have bit you.

  4. Last year, when filling two vacant RA board of director seats, the four candidates running stated that "transparency" was a primary goal. You can put two and two together...

  5. Two + Two = dan chambers and lois lynch.

  6. So after reading through the referendum booklet I'm still not sure if leasing is going to cost more or less to my person. Are we actually going to see the supposed savings carry over into the association fee?

  7. If you're waiting until housing prices rise, plan on leaving sometime in 2015.

  8. Day of the TriffidsApril 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    What Anonymous said back on Feb. 14, 2009 still holds true. The deck chairs may have been rearranged, but Reston still has major deficiencies it cannot overcome. I will be moving soon, good luck and good riddance to RA.

  9. Rose By Any Other NameJuly 13, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    As a former city planner myself, in my opinion Reston simply isn't "all that". Yeah the neighborhood pools are nice, the walking paths are ok, too, (but other places have these same things) but the rest of it is just a suburb. Nothing to see here folks, move along...


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