News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brown's Chapel Rec Center: Puppy Cruelly Denied Entrance to RCC "Community Input" Session, Bipedal Speakers Permitted to Complain

save-browns-chapel21.jpg.jpegThe Reston Association and Reston Community Center finally got themselves some of that "community input" they claim to crave about their plan to build an awesome $65 million rec center / Wimbledon replica at Brown's Chapel Park during an RCC meeting Monday. How'd that turn out, gang?

What started as a low-key fact-finding mission flared into a full-scale revolt May 18 when nearly 250 people packed the Lake Anne Community Center to voice their displeasure to the Reston Community Center's finance committee.

Over the course of two hours, 43 of 45 speakers ripped the project for, among other things, hurting property values, destroying open space, and disproportionately taxing Reston residents for a facility that's just as likely to be used by people with Herndon, Great Falls and Oakton addresses.

Project officials were also criticized for failing to thoroughly explore options beyond Brown's Chapel, a 22-acre park that now contains three baseball fields, a basketball court, exercise trails and tot lots.

One well-received suggestion involved building an indoor pool at South Lakes High School and covering the school's five tennis courts with a bubble or more permanent structure. Others pointed to vacant parcels of commercial land around Reston that could satisfy the community's need for more meeting space without knocking down a single tree or compromising home values.

“They woke a sleeping giant by putting a park on the table for development," said Edy Greenberg, whose home backs up to Brown's Chapel. "People are starting to realize what's going on. We heard from people in Tall Oaks, people in south Reston and people who don't even live (in Reston). They're mad ... and they should be."
But do you want to know the true tragedy? Read on:


This is Simone. She turned up dressed in white, with wings no less, to support SAVE BROWN’S CHAPEL. Simone was accompanied by about 250 others for the event. While RCC did not allow Simone in, most of the others did join the meeting. They had to do so in relays as the meeting room was too small to accommodate everyone. The meeting far exceeded the time allotted as people made their points and frustrations clear. The chairperson closed the meeting when she ran out of tape on her recording device.
DISSENT WAS CRUSHED! We've said it before, we'll say it again: People love puppies. With PR like this, supporters of the project might as well consider it dead.


  1. The blog posting missed the lead.

    RA is looking for ways to avoid the referendum!!!!!

    So Deb doesn't care what her membership wants.

    By God, she going to destroy Brown Chapel, no matter what.

    Is there a recall procedure for the autocrats?

  2. Arise, North Reston gentry! Arise, South Reston peasantry!
    All to the barricades! Bring your DRB-approved torches and pitchforks and let's have a tarring and feathering party!

  3. Deb = robin smyers

  4. I love reading the postings. It certainly helps give me insight. Thank you! I do want to set the record straight. I have never wanted to destroy Brown's Chapel, nor any other space RA owns. And, this issue will be decided by our members, if it ever gets to a vote. I have lived here for 30 years, when Reston Avenue (now Parkway) was 2 lanes and one stop light. I remember when Brown's Chapel had only woods behind it, where I took my Hug-a-tree campers for their cookouts. Now there are homes there, not open space, but I don't begrudge the changes. I am not trying to destroy anything, but I do feel it is my responsibility to listen to the all members of this community. We have been asked by many people over the 5 years I have been on the board, and even before that on the DRB, for consideration of additional facilities. Swimmers, tennis players, campers, seniors, teenagers, soccer players, baseball players, lacrosse players, skateboarders, and the list goes on and on. Everyone deserves to be heard no matter what your interest may be or where you live. Let's disagree but let's do it with facts, education and civility. Participation will make this a better process and ultimately bring us to a community decision.

  5. The Convict in Gulag 4May 22, 2009 at 10:43 AM

    If that's how you feel, Robin, then let's...

    Bring Roller Derby to Reston.

    BTW, you look like you might make a good Jammer!

  6. Robin - we have watched your smug, arrogant, condescending mistreatment of all who question you on the cablecasts of RA Board meetings and at DRB mtgs for the last year, especially regarding the office bldg and Snake Den fiascos.

    You have no credibility, e.g., your posting here did not deny the Save Browns Chapel claim that you are looking for ways to evade a RA referendum.

    This project is wired to go forward: no baseball reps on the study committee, $90,000 on a marketing study.

    You just go from one bad idea to the next and castigate any one who dares to oppose you.

    How do we start a recall for you and the others who have perpetuated these fiascos on the people of Reston?

  7. It's very unlikely that Robin Smyers will give you that information.

    This is what it says about removal. This is from the deed, one of the governing documents of Reston.

    V.4 Removal. Any Director may be removed for cause pursuant to Deed Section III.5(d)(1).

    Deed of Reston:

    (d) Director Removal, Resignation, and Vacancies.
    (1) Removal. Any Director may be removed only for cause through a referendum by
    a majority vote of the Members entitled to elect such Director and a successor may then and
    there be elected to fill the vacancy thus created. For the purposes of this Section only, a
    referendum to remove a Director for cause may be called by a petition which is signed by at
    least ten percent of the Member Category entitled to elect such Director. Any person whose
    removal has been proposed by the Board of Directors or the Members shall be given at least
    seven days notice of the time, place, and purpose of the meeting and shall be given an
    opportunity to be heard at a public hearing.

  8. So lets bring removal petitions to the public meetings on June and after and get the opponents to sign removal petitions for all RA directors who fail to end this fiasco that night.

  9. I think 10 percent of the membership is somewhere between 1,700 to 2,000 eligible signatures.

  10. If the representative in question was elected from a specific district, rather than at-large, the signatures would have to come from only 10% of the households in the representative's own district.


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