News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the YouTubes: A Month-Old Video of RA's Annual Meeting Will Take You Back to The Future, or Maybe Ahead to the Past

If you, like us, had a full plate of candystriping duties that kept you from attending April's Reston Association annual meeting, you're in luck. The RA has finished encoding the video -- given that it's been nearly a month since the annual meeting, they must have used a vintage Atari 800 -- and posted it on the Internets. So settle in with a big 'ol bucket of popcorn and get ready for 1 hour and 2 minutes of hardcore RA action!

Actually, Robert E. Simon's part, at about 7:20 in, is worth a listen. "Please do not think of density as evil," Simon told the assembled crowd. "Do not think of high rises as evil. You can certainly enjoy low density if you want, but let the other guys have theirs."

"There's no sense crying about the things we know are bad," Simon also said, which pretty much goes against everything ever posted on this filthy "web log," the end.


  1. "There's no sense crying about the things we know are bad," Simon also said.

    WTF? So, we should just resign ourselves to the inevitable and move on with our lives? I'm glad that nobody took that philosophy when ObL/AQ implemented his/their Urban Renewal program at Battery Park on 09/11/2001.

  2. The dude is losing it --- and it's a disgraceful statement if ever one was uttered.

    Time for Simon to retire and, at least, shut up and listen more.

  3. Cut the guy some slack -- he's 97! I was at the meeting, and I don't think he meant his comment as telling people to resign themselves. He just wanted people to focus on the future and the changes that are coming -- something a lot of people half his age apparently have trouble doing.

  4. Mr. Simon's apartment at Heron House is protected from redevelopment by the Lake Anne Historic District created by the Board of Supervisors. He doesn't have to worry that if 75% of his neighbors decide to sell out to a developer, that he will be forced by the county to move. Unfortunately, the rest of us are not protected by a historic district from developers eager to make money.

    Many of Reston neighborhoods are currently zoned high-density, but were built out at medium-density. They can be redeveloped at the higher density allowed by their zoning.

    Kathleen Driscoll McKee told homeowners last year that every homeowner in a cluster has to agree to a sale of the cluster. She was misinformed. Only 75% of those living in a neighborhood have to agree.

    The only protection we have to is to say no, show the developers the door, and hope our neighbors agree to do the same.

  5. Huh? So if 75% sell out, does that mean the developer can take the rest by eminent domain?

  6. I don't know what legal mechanism is used to force people to sell their homes. That is not discussed in the county comprehensive plan which specifies the 75% number. I am sure Cathy Hudgins could fill you in on that.

    The Virginia legislature passed a law to counter the Kelo vs New London decision by the US Supreme Court. Eminent domain cannot be used by local jurisdictions to increase revenue.

    The legal implications of clusters selling out to developers need to be discussed in a public forum. What happens to cluster wooded areas? Reston Association retains property rights over all our properties. How will this affect the sale of a cluster?

    When asked, an RA Board member told me redeveloped townhouses will be replaced with eight-story apartment buildings.

    The Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Phase 2 will make decisions about village center redevelopment and neighborhood redevelopment.

    This is a good time to pay attention. Phase 2 will begin soon. The late Dave Edwards said that Cathy Hudgins would have to bend to the will of her constituents.

    Do her constituents have any will?


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