News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gone Fishing (Just Not in Lake Newport)


So we actually managed to get a travel visa allowing us to leave the earth-toned confines of our lovely planned community and will be incommunicado for the next week or so. We're assuming we'll return to find a giant gilded combined indoor recreation facility/juicery/RA headquarters, complete with waterproof filing cabinets and child-labor cubbies, already half-built and rising from Lake Anne's primordial muck, but that's where all you "web log" readers come in. Keep everyone updated on the latest comings and goings in the comments -- or just share stories about hilarious DRB notifications -- and see you in early August.


  1. The latest news in Whisperwood, just on the tranquil side of the Reston line of demarcation is that people are upset about 2.5 things: First, lights continue to be out near South Lakes which is scaring some homeowners whose homes are near school property and report on occassional "hoodlums" frequenting the area

    Second, an abandoned Celica with a broken rear window has remained in Whisperwood for going on two months with no action.

    .5: "Kids from South Lakes" continue to use Whisperwood common areas to smoke pot, apparently even in summer.

    This is the Whisperwood report for anyone who cares. Very hard-hitting...

  2. I just have a question - what is up with the bearded dude who is always sweeping up the intersections on Baron Cameron, near Town Center Drive? Every time I see him, I think "I MUST EMAIL RESTONIAN!!!!" and finally I remembered! What's the story? I'm sure you know! :)

  3. RA HQ is baaaaack.

    Its special committee has issued the specs for the lease space: 25,000-30,000 sq. ft. which translates to an employee count of 150-200 staffers.

    Wow! Guess our assessments are headed straight up to pay for the increase in rents and all the new employees.

    What's with this group of clowns? Milton's empire must expand to fit Robin's ego?

  4. From the Uplands of RestonJuly 25, 2009 at 3:36 AM

    he RA HQ plan PDF had 11 conference rooms and 4 pantries for the staff, directors, Milton, and Milton's ego. The largest two conference rooms could seat 200 people when combined into one.

    This seems a tad excessive. Are we getting information from RA to make us feel calmer? RA & Staff -- thanks. Do you realize you're just a HOA?

  5. Once again, we ask --- has anyone from RA reached out to Columbia and inquired about their HQ? A similar, but much larger, place, the Columbia HQ is smaller than the current RA HQ! No pantries, no kiddie cubbies, no theaters or auditoria (JUST what Reston DOES NOT NEED MORE OF!)

    It's located in a beautiful Columbia setting, on the lake and near the town center (which, in Columbia's case IS ACTUALLY A PART OF COKUMBIA -- imagine that!). Why RA insists on going from one asphalt jungle to a traffic congested, hard to find place, is beyond reason. I guess it's to hide the outrageously large spaces not needed or wanted by those who pay the RA ASSESSMENTS (not "dues," kathleen mckee).

  6. Have you ever lived in Columbia? I have and the HQ is smaller because they have village centers all over. They have a visitors center (we don't), HQ, skate park (another thing we don't have), golf course(check) and they won't tell you what the prices are for all the extra amenities until you sit down with them for "personal and confidential assessment" What is that all about? If you think Columbia does it better you are mistaken. A lot more money too.

    Check out their website. The community associations administer the village Covenants, manage CA's community buildings, advocate for their residents in all aspects of community life and foster community participation on a grassroots level. The community association office is located in the village's community center building.

    Each community center has a unique design and personality. Community centers feature classes for everyone from tots to senior citizens, full kitchens and space to rent for meetings, parties and special events. The community associations sponsor free seminars, political forums, fairs and holiday parties. Activities sponsored by the various community associations are open to all residents of Columbia regardless of the village in which you live. All community centers are accessible to those with disabilities.

    The staff of each village is knowledgeable and always happy to talk with residents. Your village community association is a place where you should feel comfortable going to share your concerns, suggestions and feelings about your neighborhood — you will always be welcomed.

    Since you know so much about the location for RA, why not share where this hard to find place is. It has to be better than the current hard to find place.

  7. Anon 1:03

    RA doesn't need 25,000-30,000 sq. ft. unless they plan on hiring 150-200 staffers. Which RA better not plan on hiring.

    RA doesn't need 11 conference rooms or 4 pantries.

    Once again Milton and the RA board are pursuing boondogles.

    When are we getting rid of this clown?

  8. Anon 4:56: When are we getting rid of this clown?

    When we replace the members of the board who are not representing the homeowners and the new board fires Matthews. That means, of course, that some homeowners have to be willing to run for the board and give up some free time. What about you Anon 4:56?

  9. Where are you getting 150-200 staffers? That's a new one. RA only has 50 employees year round now and they are in 20,000 sq ft, and sitting in hallways. What's the problem with having 4 pantries and conference rooms that are available to us as members? You didn't reply to my facts about Columbia, all of their 10 villages have pantries (actually full blown kitchens), Executive meeting rooms, oh, and bathrooms! How many bathrooms are too many for RA?

    I agree with the last sentence of Anon 10:52. What about it?

  10. Please see my post on about
    the Land Use College meeting tomorrow night.

    Kathy Kaplan

  11. Anon 8:20

    It's fairly standard space planning to allow for 150-200 sq ft per employee which incorporates hallways.

    If R/A's current space is 20,000 sq. ft. (and I seriosly doubt that), it is an exceptionally inefficiently lay-out.

    Pantries/kitchens are expensive because of the plumbing. One large employee lunchroom per 50 employees is more than adequate.

    RA members already have rooms we can rent for meetings at RCC, the Glade room etc. RA doesn't need 11 conference rooms.

  12. While the space seems excessive, I wouldn't get caught up by the number of kitchens and meeting rooms. Often when an organization takes over a space, they inherit the previous occupants floor plan. The kitchens and costly plumbing are most likely already there. It would cost more to take them out. They may be throwing up, tearing down or moving some walls around, but I doubt they are adding plumbing to an existing building.

    The question should be, why not look elsewhere or only lease half the floor?

  13. Has anyone had experience/knowledge of the following situation? I would like to hear of other cluster experiences.

    Our cluster has 2 paths that lead from the cluster sidewalks out to the RA trail going past the neighborhood. Both need some work but one is in bad need of repair. The HOA Board contacted RA to see if they would fix it. RA's grounds and maintenance guy came out and stated:
    - The path IS on RA property.
    - It was installed by the original cluster builder.
    - It is not RA's path.
    - Many clusters in Reston have these builder installed paths on RA property.
    - RA leaves the path there out of kindness.
    - RA will not fix it.
    - If they did, and other clusters caught wind of it, then all the clusters would want their little, illegal access paths repaired and that would cost too much.

  14. Anon 9:46

    The 35,000 sq. ft., 11 conference rooms and 4 pantries are part of the RA's space wishlist not part of an existing space under consideration.

    The wishlist needs to be pared down to a set of specs. that doesn't unnecessarily burden RA members with excessive rental costs.

  15. Anon 9:52

    If the path is on RA property, RA owns it and is liable for any injuries suffered by persons because RA allows it to fall into disrepair and become a danger to persons on the path.

    In all likelihood, the County required the paths to be connected as part of the subdivision or site plan process which authorized your neighborhood to be built.

    RA received notice of the path's connection during the subdivision/site plan process and during the bond release process. Obviously RA did not object to the connection at that time.

    Larry Butler needs to fix the path and the RA Board needs to direct him to do his job and stop leaving dangerous hazards on RA land.

    I would contact my district RA Board member to get the path fixed.

  16. Whisperwood update: Police activity has occured twice in a week. Late Saturday night/Sunday morning the cluster was blocked off with numerous police cars. And this morning there were at least three police cars and police activity focused on a home.

    And finally, the abandoned red Celica with the busted out rear window and "I heart Jamaica" bumper sticker complete with Jamaican flag has not moved in over two months now.

  17. Reston Citizen link on the right is dead.

  18. Please see info on Plant Save tomorrow, Glade Stream, Reach 4 on

  19. I can report from Less Sought-After South Reston the conversion of Lawyers Rd into an anorexic, bike-friendly velodrome has begun a few days early. They have already torn up a section at the Soapstone traffic signal, and some more along the eastbound lanes closer to Reston Pkwy.

  20. I understand that there's a grass roots write-in campaign to bring Wegman's in to replace the Spectrum development.

  21. for your viewing pleasure, Reston Town Center bike race crash ... over and over and over.

  22. Come back, Restonite, I need a laugh.

  23. Seriously, Anon 10:39! Restonian needs to come back. I'm starting to think RA's workspace demands might be reasonable and the RCC really didn't fully intend to build at Brown's Chapel. I need help!

  24. Anon 9:56 --

    Thanks for posting that clip on YouTube; it made my day. As the kidz would say, "OMG! ROTFLMAO!" Now that the Lawyers Road/Tour de France repaving is officially underway, I can't wait to see this kind of chain reaction right from my very living room window as the Spandex Brigade comes roaring down their five-foot wide bike path at 50 MPH. Splat! Splat!


    Six bank robberies in Reston since November. Who knew? Maybe I shouldn't take my granddaughter into the bank anymore.


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