News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

We Read the Proposed Reston Design Guideline Changes So You Don't Have To

It's been a few years since everyone's favorite homeowners association tweaked its design guidelines, thereby making white stone and red mulch thoughtcrimes covenant violations. Now, winter is coming it's happening again. Our Favorite Correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought-After South Reston, delves into the proposed changes and, in true journalistic web-logging fashion, What They Mean For You:

The current issue of our Pulitzer-winning Reston Connection "news-paper", which was delivered to my hovel today by a Uniformed Federal Agent, contained a notice on page 7 from our RA overlords designed to strike terror into the heart of all property owners in Reston: the Committee for the Defense of the Mauve Revolution, i.e., the DRB, is making changes to the design guidelines and application process (drum roll please!). You can find all the info on the RA website.
The Peasant examined all 79 sections being revised, including the 33 involving clusters and the 32 for single-family homes. Here's what he found:

Cluster common area signs
DRB language: "The top of the sign (is) no higher than 36" above grade...18" maximum height from grade to bottom of sign"

Translation: "We are responding to numerous complains from residents about lost hobbits and dwarves wandering into the wrong cluster ("Bilbo, we want Mirkwood, not Shadowood!") because the existing signs are too high for them to read."

Compost bins
DRB language: "The compost bin is...made of durable plastic or wood...Its capacity is no more than 27 cubic feet."

Translation: "OK, you can now use wood, but if that Hurley dude from "Lost" fits comfortably in your compost bin, it's way too large"

Landscaping: tree removal
DRB language: "The DRB will require a statement from a certified arborist...This statement must include the arborist's International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certification number and the reason for (tree) removal."

Translation: "Backwoodsman Billy Bob, who was one of the extras in the film "Deliverance", doesn't count as a certified arborist any more."

Landscaping: tree removal (continued)
 DRB language: "Dropping of fruit or leaves is not a valid reason for (tree) removal unless the litter creates a hazardous situation."

Translation: "We're thinking ahead to 100 years from now. When climate change turns Northern Virginia into the tropics, you WILL be able to cut down that banana tree so you don't slip on its peels."

DRB language: "When reviewing applications for window or patio door replacements or additions, the DRB will compare the width of the new window and door frames with the old...The DRB will require the frame width to match as closely as possible, and will generally accept a difference of 1" or less."

Translation: "We're still grooving to Reston's original hippie vibe of the 60's inspired by the rock musical "Hair". Let the sun shine in, let the sun shine in...".

Carpet (indoor/outdoor)
DRB language: "The indoor/outdoor carpet is neutral in color (brown, gray, or tan)."

Translation: "As much as we like recycling and repurposing, don't even think about using that lime green shag rug you bought in 1973."

Sheds & Storage Boxes
DRB language: "There is only one per property...Its footprint is no greater than 80 square feet, and the roof no higher than 8 feet from the ground."

Translation: "Hoarders, if you have more than 640 cubic feet of crap made in China, you better start cleaning out."

Spas and Hot Tubs
DRB language: "No one with a BMI greater than 25 is to wear a tanga, thong, or Speedo while in an outdoor hot tub visible to others.

(OK, so we made that last one up).

The DRB is holding a public meeting at 7 tonight to discuss the changes.


  1. I wish that last one was real. lol

  2. I predict problems with the window frame requirement especially if a older, dated design is being replaced with modern casement-style windows. Contemporary double and triple pane windows will generally have thicker frames than a single-pane window, which is still found in some of our clusters and especially in inexpensively built housing dating back to the 70's. I hope that I am wrong about this. Beware the DRB.

  3. Admittedly, I'm the idiot who tried to park a Silverado at Trader Joe's. But I wonder how long it will be before the Mighty Oz tries to tell us what cars we can drive, what color they should be and when they are just too damned old.

  4. Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson is no longer welcome in Reston!


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