News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, February 12, 2010

SnowmageddonpocalypsesnOMGredux 2010 (tm): The Wolfman Rides Again


As we continue the big post-blizzard dig and Fairfax County Schools are practically begging stir-crazy parents to shovel their walks to help get their cooped up kids back to school sooner and our neighbors in gun-lovin' Herndon are using a plow the city bought on eBay for $150, this exciting photo of the Reston Association's snow removal efforts shows why you should think twice before confronting a plow operator during a full moon.


  1. Listening to the Kojo podcast. Well done!

  2. Yes, Good job on the Kojo show! I was myself broadcasting my 20 seconds of fame on the Reston Association's YouTube and Comcast broadcasts today. Or at least recording it. All ten of us candidates will be bunched together in on kind of great big video collage leaving me to wonder if anyone would really watch despite my brilliant summation of my goals and if there was any other way reach the citizens of Reston.

    Arriving early I went in to the Design Review offices to kill some time and to inquirer about if there were any restrictions (a stupid thing I know to wonder about in Reston) on putting solar collectors ( I had been wondering about saving the planet from global warming)on the roof.

    Well it turns out there were some(why was I not surprised). Reston citizens are restricted to a system with a maximum size of 96 square feet or three panels maximum. I was informed by Covent Case Manager JT McConnel and given a application and advised to check with my own personnel Covenants Advisor Patti Piccianno. No matter that as I explained that I was merely looking through my Harbor Freight Catalogue.

    But get this: while in the men's room and practicing my 20 second speech(well you don't want to get it wrong) I happened to meet a Solar Installer newly transfering from Florida who told me after noticing my regulations stacked on the paper towel rack told me that Federal Law supersedes local Home Owners Associations! Obviously newly arrived from Florida he had no idea of the scope and power of our Reston Association.

    Solar Hot water heaters are cost effective while tank less hot water heaters are not he told me, the same as my heating and air conditioning guy told me.

    Will Reston Citizens opt to save the planet in compliance of Federal regulations or wisely decide to comply with local Reston Association regulations? Can we save the planet from global warming? Or will our Home Owners Association be able to prevail in regulating our solar collectors so they conform to our own special regulations* here in Reston or will anyone see any of the candidates in order to vote intelligently? Stay tuned to this network.

    *I was recently at a Reston Association meeting as a spectator when special counsel informed the board that special state legislation was (yes, yes, yes) being drafted to allow Home Owners to regulate solar collectors so that Home Owners regulations could have some control over there use!

  3. what ever happened to snow tires? I remember my dad would used to put them on the car in the winter then store them in the summer. Should we get some since it's been snowing so much? And what if we don't have a car?

  4. Rod, I've been railing about this solar collector issue with RA for years, and yes, Federal Law supersedes RA's short-sighted policies. On the other hand, who wants to get into a long-term goat rope with RA with the results being that THEY pay their attorneys more and we get to suck up the bills. It is a typical RA 'we know better than you' policy. I wonder how many hours it took to get them to back down on satellite antennas -- those used to be verboten in Mauve-land as well...

  5. If elected I would like to be able to propose (remember I will be only one of ten) either resolve this by board action or put it on the referendum to allow citizens to decide on the merits so that citizens can proceed to use this technology for their benefit without having to worry that they might have to either fight the Reston Association or in the worse case remove it. Would we want the design and review board to add still more to their area of activities or would we want citizens and their neighbors to be able to work this out on their own?

    I remember hearing a kind of glee in his voice when the legal counsel was reading about this new State legislation.

    Remember it would cost $20,000 (they are telling me) to hold a election. On the other hand the salary of the Design Review staff hours and legal fees over years and years would add up too.

    Are there a lot of people worried that they would someday have to look up on their neighbors roof and see a solar collector?

    While I am not so sure about the global warming we do have increasing "Red alert days." Could having more solar collectors have any positive effect that everyone might benifit from.

  6. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonFebruary 14, 2010 at 7:43 PM

    Rod, you're getting my vote -- a voice of sanity om the RA Board. Hope you make it.

  7. Rob,

    You stated that "Reston citizens are restricted to a system with a maximum size of 96 square feet or three panels maximum." I'm not sure if you misread the Design Guidelines or if you were misinformed, but this is not accurate.

    There are three levels of review for design items: Staff, Consultation, and Panel. What you've referenced is the maximum limits that can be approved at the Staff level. Larger collectors can be approved at the other levels of review.


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