Hey, remember that time last year that there was a bit of excitement on Cutwater Court, what with one family planning to tear down an existing lakefront home and build a new larger one, only the neighbors weren't happy and the DRB got involved (or overinvolved, depending on who you ask) and the Action McNews van showed up, and then everyone pretty much forgot about the precedent this would set for piecemeal redevelopment in Reston neighborhoods, which is only more likely to happen as our original groovy earth-toned homes age and Metro makes the property they sit on more valuable?
Yeah, that was awesome. Well, our BFFs at Patch recently dropped by the neighborhood and found a bunch of chopped down trees, plus lots of hard feelings.
When bulldozers knocked down the Lendmans' home at 2004 Cutwater the first week of May, it marked a milestone in a saga that has taken nearly three years.Turns out the DRB finally approved the project back in February. The owners say the neighborhood feud added at least $50,000 to the overall cost of the project.
The Lendmans had to file and refile plans with Reston Association's Design Review Board. Several neighbors spoke at many DRB and RA Board of Directors' meetings, complaining about a number of things. Among them: that the house's footprint was too big, it disregarded the environment and that there was a conflict of interest in using a DRB member, Richard Newlon, as the project's architect.
Discussions were heated. Feelings were hurt. Sides were taken.
However, all the heat and noise has led to real changes. Last year, the RA Board of Directors sent the DRB new guidelines governing conflicts of interest. Now, they've put in term limits for the board and the Covenants Committee.
Board and Committee members will now be allowed to serve three three-year terms. Those currently serving on the board are considered to be in their first term.Something tells us this isn't a coincidence. It certainly will add credibility to the DRB, albeit at the expense of institutional knowledge and one gutsy recent decision. Plus, given all the recent finger-pointing, we wonder how hard it's going to be to find new architects familiar with Reston willing to
Term limits had been discussed in recent months with varying opinions. Those in favor of unlimited service said DRB members who served a long time had a great depth of knowledge and history on the subject. Some favoring limits cited the limits on the RA Board of Directors (two consecutive terms) as a way to guard against favoritism and conflicts of interest.