The Reston Association board voted yesterday to increase assessments to $590 next year, a $25 increase from 2012. The RA board could have raised assessments to as much as $600, but opted for the lowest possible option, so good on them.
To be fair, the RA is getting squeezed from both ends. The awesome demolition of half of Parc Reston has resulted in a loss of $48,000 in revenue for the RA, and more households are qualifying for tax relief and reduced assessment rates. Meanwhile, the RA is spending $25,000 in legal fees as part of its involvement in opposing the redevelopment of Reston National Golf Course. There's been lots of handwringing over this issue on this filthy "web log" of late, but to our thinking, this is still one of the smartest decisions the RA Board has made in recent years -- it's not just a defense of some homeowners with fancypants golf course views, but the authority of the RA to oppose any undesired project. And rest assured, there will be more of those on the way. If you want to get picky about what the RA's spending its money on, there's always the $50,000 it plans to contribute to South Lakes High School's planned turf field, and $20,000 for a "documentary about Reston for its 50th anniversary in 2014." Even though we've already got that second bit covered, we're happy to throw a few of our ducats to both projects.
As our BFFs at Reston Patch pointed out, only one person spoke up about the increased assessment at a meeting last night.
The resident of Sagewood Lane encouraged the board to find creative solutions other than consistently raising assessments.The RA needs to keep pushing to ensure that future residents of all the bollardy projects on the table become assessment-paying members for just that reason.
"Eighty-two units are gone at Parc Reston," she said. "We are going to see more and more of this kind of thing. Isn't there some sort of tax the developers can pay? They are making big bucks. Those of us who are retired are not making big bucks."