Actions Prior to Board Meeting – The Board of Directors (Board) of the Reston Citizens Association (RCA) undertook the following actions prior to its monthly meeting on September 27, 2022.
Reston Comprehensive Plan (RCP) Review Meeting – On September 4, 2022 at 4:04 pm President Mulston scheduled a ZOOM Meeting to discuss the Board’s sponsorship of a community review of the RCP. Attendees were: Lynne Mulston, President; Joe Leighton, Treasurer; Shawn Endsley, Secretary; Scott Arwood, Director; Connie Hartke, Director; Dennis Hays, Director; Yavuz Inanli, Director; and Michele Silver, Director. Gary Maupin, Vice-President; Vincent Dory, Director; and Brian Steiner, Director were absent.
President Mulston spoke with Lisa Connors in Supervisor Alcorn’s office and indicated that RCA planned to sponsor a community outreach program to review the RCP. President Mulston indicated that RCA would like Supervisor Alcorn and Planning Commissioner Carter to attend. President Mulston indicated that the date, time and location needed to be identified. As part of this meeting President Mulston noted that she would be working with Planning Commissioner Carter to develop a presentation for this event.
Treasurer Leighton volunteered to identify the location for the event. Subsequent to this call Treasurer Leighton worked with Reston Association (RA) to secure conference rooms at RA’s Headquarters for September 26, 2022 starting at 7:00 pm. Both Supervisor Alcorn and Planning Commissioner Carter along with selected Fairfax County (County) staff were able to attend.
On September 26, 2022 at 7:00 pm the RCP Review Meeting sponsored by RCA and RA was held at RA’s Headquarters. Supervisor Alcorn, Planning Commissioner Carter along with selected County Staff attended the RCP Review Meeting. President Mulston, Vice-President Maupin, Treasurer Leighton, Secretary Endsley, along with Directors Arwood, Hartke, Hays, Inanli, and Silver were in attendance. A total of 42 individuals including those noted above attended the RCP Review Meeting.
President Mulston provided an overview presentation of the RCP along with a video recording of an interview with Robert Simon. The presentation and video can be accessed through the RCA website. Supervisor Alcorn and Planning Commissioner Carter also provided comments on the RCP. The floor was opened to residents who provided their feedback on the RCP. President Mulston noted that all comments on the RCP should be submitted through the County’s Comprehensive Plan portal.
Reston Town Center North Status – On September 8, 2022 President Mulston solicited approval from the Board to send a letter to the editor and informed the Board that President Mulston, Vice-President Maupin and Director Hays would be testifying at the County’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority hearing on September 15, 2022. Based on email responses a majority of the Board approved the following content submitted as a letter to the editor of Reston Patch.
“Nothing to see here! Keep moving.
County hopes no one will pay attention to the details of a proposed massive new development.
The County’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has withheld information from the public on a proposed project that will have a massive impact on Reston. Despite repeated attempts by community organizations and the general public to work with the County and the presumed developer, the FCRHA has chosen to keep secret basic details about the project and to steamroll the authorization process. FCHRA has now scheduled a “public hearing” on September 15th with scant advance notice, less publicity and in apparent violation of the Virginia Code. What may be the only opportunity for people to ask questions and express concerns will be held in the absence of the information needed to form an opinion, either positive or negative.
Last October 29th, the County received an “unsolicited proposal” to replace the 30 affordable three-bedroom townhomes currently at the intersection of Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive in Reston with 350 affordable apartment units. Further, in order to obtain significant tax advantages, the developer proposes to locate a new Reston Regional Library on the ground floor of a two building five story complex. The legislation that permits this project, Virginia’s Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002 (PPEA), requires such proposals be made public ten working days after acceptance. That should have been November 12, 2021, not March 25th, 2022 which is when the County finally acknowledged the proposal. And while the Virginia Code allows for the redaction of “trade secrets and financial information” other information, such as schematics and explanations as to how the project will meet rigid requirements have been completely redacted without explanation. FCRHA has also failed to report a second bidder and moved forward with the proposal in apparent violation of plainly stated requirements, which read, “The responsible public entity (FCRHA) shall hold a public hearing on the proposals during the proposal review process, but not later than 30 days prior to entering into an interim or comprehensive agreement.” (Section 56-575.17 B of the PPEA) So the public hearing willnot be held “during the proposal review process” as that ended on July 26th and it will not be held at least “30 days prior to entering into an interim agreement” as that document is already posted on the County’s website (https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/procurement/sites/procurement/files/assets/documents/btc-%20interim%20agreement%20-%20fcrha.pdf.
Reston has long been and will continue to be the leader in Fairfax and the entire state of Virginia in offering affordable housing as part of our community’s long-standing commitment to being an open and welcoming community for all peoples of all income levels. Community groups work productively with the County on other projects to increase the number of affordable housing units and to ensure people are treated with dignity and respect. This proposal, however, appears to be driven by a desire for a massive tax write off rather than concern for our fellow citizens. Final judgement must be withheld until the missing information is provided, but from what we know the project requires a much greater population density than anywhere in the region, provides no public open or green space, jams the library into a tight box that meets none of the guidelines for an attractive, welcoming space, gives the library no room for expansion, encroaches on the North County Police Station and does not provide for secure entrance and exit for police vehicles. Then there are the other unanswered questions about traffic congestion, pedestrian safety, Accessibility issues, water and sewage concerns, the overall density of the area or what happens to the 30 families that would be displaced,
FCRHA and the developer would have been much better served by being open about this project. Their failure to provide even basic information leaves an impression they have something to hide. From what little is currently known, it appears they do. If they are serious about becoming part of the Reston community, they need to postpone the meeting on the 15th, release all of the redacted material (except trade secrets and financial information) and start over. The community has always been prepared to listen.
This letter to the editor was published in the Reston Patch on September 10, 2022.
President Mulston, Vice-President Maupin and Director Hays testified at the September 15, 2022 FCRHA hearing.
Board Meeting – On September 27, 2022 President Mulston called to order the meeting of the Board at 7:31 pm. This was a ZOOM meeting.
Individual Attendees via ZOOM were: Lynne Mulston, President; Gary Maupin, Vice-President; Joe Leighton, Treasurer; Shawn Endsley, Secretary; Scott Arwood; Vincent Dory; Connie Hartke; Dennis Hays (joined at 7:36 pm); Yavuz Inanli and Michele Silver. Director Brian Steiner was absent. Project Specialist Jan DeLucien was present for part of the meeting. President Mulston determined that a quorum of 9 of 11 members was present at 7:31 pm and the meeting could proceed.
Adoption of Agenda – President Mulston asked for adoption of the agenda. Upon motion made by Secretary Endsley, and seconded by Director Arwood, the Board unanimously approved the proposed agenda.
Approval of Minutes – President Mulston asked for approval of the minutes of the August 29, 2022 Board meeting. Upon motion made by Vice-President Maupin, and seconded by Director Silver, the Board unanimously approved the minutes of the August 29, 2022 meeting.
Approval of Treasurer’s Report – President Mulston then asked for approval of the Treasurer’s Report. Upon motion made by Vice-President Maupin, and seconded by Secretary Endsley, the Board unanimously approved the Treasurer’s Report.
Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations (FCFCA) Membership – President Mulston then asked for approval of RCA’s membership in the FCFCA with annual dues of $60. Vice-President Maupin moved to renew RCA’s membership in the FCFCA for $60. The motion was seconded by Treasurer Leighton. Before voting on the motion Director Silver asked what are the benefits of membership. Director Hays noted that the FCFCA focuses on County-wide issues and establishes priorities that are communicated to the Senate and House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Director Hays noted that RCA has three votes in the FCFCA. After discussion the Board unanimously agreed to renew RCA’s annual membership in the FCFCA for $60.
Community Meeting Recap – President Mulston thanked the members of the Board who attended the September 26, 2022 Community Meeting review of the RCP. As noted earlier, 42 individuals attended the meeting at RA’s Headquarters. President Mulston noted that the presentation and video would be made available on the RCA website. President Mulston did emphasize that any comments on the RCP need to be submitted via the portal on the County’s website. Community outreach will continue through October with an October 28, 2022 deadline for comments.
Planning Commission Meeting – The Planning Commission meeting on the RCP is planned for September 29, 2022 with expected approval by the Board of Supervisors (BoS) in November/December.
Other – The County BoS Land Use Policy Committee Meeting is scheduled for October 4, 2022. The agenda includes a presentation and discussion on proposed RCP changes by St. Clair Williams and Chris Caperton from the Department of Planning and Development.
Reston Civic Center (aka Reston Town Center North (RTCN)/Bowman Towne Center(BTC)) Unsolicited Proposal – President Mulston asked Director Hays to update the Board on the status of the unsolicited proposal from Foulger Pratt, LLC. Director Hays noted that President Mulston, Vice-President Maupin and Director Hays testified at the September 15, 2022 meeting of the County’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA). Director Hays noted that the residents of the affordable housing units were never given notice by FCRHA of the likely change to their housing circumstances. Director Hays noted that the process for evaluation and approval of this proposal is apparently in violation of the legal requirements of the Virginia Code. To date the process has lacked transparency and lack of communication by the County to the concerns that have been raised through numerous letters. Director Hays noted that he and President Mulston have had preliminary discussions with a land use attorney on the concerns that have been raised. It seems apparent that more direct action needs to be taken. President Mulston and Director Hays believe that engagement of an attorney may be necessary. President Mulston moved for approval of the following motion: The Board of Directors of the Reston Citizens Association approves the retention of an attorney to pursue process and legal issues associated with the proposal(s) associated with the area designated as Reston Town Center North. Director Silver seconded the motion. After further discussion the Board unanimously approved the motion with one abstention by Treasurer Leighton.
President Mulston then asked for Board approval to proceed in drafting an email to Thomas Fleetwood, the director of the County Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). (HCD acts as the staff for FCRHA.) Director Hays moved that: The Board of Directors of the Reston Citizens Association authorize President Lynne Mulston to draft an email for approval by the Board of Directors to Thomas Fleetwood, Director of Housing and Community Development, on the Foulger-Pratt LLC unsolicited proposal for the area known as Reston Town Center North. Secretary Endsley seconded the motion. The Board unanimously approved the motion.
MWAA Proposal – Dulles Toll Road (DTR) Rate Increase – Director Dory reported that there had been no response to our letter regarding the DTR rate increase. It is expected that the MWAA Board will approve the rate increase in November/December with an effective date in January 2023.
Golf Courses Update – Reston National Golf Course (RNGC) – President Mulston asked Director Hartke to provide an update on RNGC. Director Hartke noted that on September 26, 2022 Supervisor Alcorn issued a statement that after reviewing the public comments associated with RNGC, Supervisor Alcorn would not support changing the RCP designation of RNGC as a golf course and considers the matter closed. In a Reston Patch article dated September 26, 2022, Steve Siegel, a partner with Weller Development, said the [RNGC] owners would pursue their existing zoning rights if they were unable to obtain Supervisor Alcorn’s support for a change to the RCP.
Director Hartke noted that Rescue Reston would be holding a rally on October 15, 2022 to cover the path forward for protecting Reston’s recreational open spaces based on the current RCP and Supervisor Alcorn’s comments.
Hidden Creek Golf Course (HCGC) – President Mulston reported no new developments with respect to HCGC.
Other Business – President Mulston asked the Board for other items.
Brian Steiner – President Mulston indicated that Brian Steiner has been unable to serve and his position as director is considered open. President Mulston asked the Board for other candidates to serve as a director.
Meeting Status – President Mulston asked the Board to consider resumption of in-person meetings. After discussion the preference by the Board was for hybrid meetings (both in-person and ZOOM). President Mulston asked for two additional volunteers to manage the hybrid format. Directors Arwood and Hartke agreed to serve as volunteers.
Metro Status – Director Inanli noted that Metro would be identifying the in-service dates for the Silver line extension. The in-service dates will be dependent on the resumption of use of the 7000 series rail cars.
Development Software – Director Inanli noted that Google will be offering a software product that will allow the user to determine alternate land uses. This would be useful in evaluating alternate proposals for specific land uses.
Vincent Dory – Director Dory noted that his ability to attend meeting will be impacted by personal matters. The exact extent will be noted over the next several months.
Closing – President Mulston indicated the next meeting of the Board would be a hybrid meeting and would be scheduled for October 26, 2022 at 7:30 pm. President Mulston then asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:51 pm. Upon motion made by Vice-President Maupin and seconded by Director Dory, the Board unanimously agreed to adjourn.
Actions Subsequent to September 27, 2022 BOD Meeting – The following actions were taken subsequent to the September 27, 2022 BOD Meeting.
Land Use Policy Communication – In an email President Mulston solicited the Board’s approval to send an email to the BoS Chairman McKay, Supervisor Alcorn and Supervisor Smith regarding the NVBIA Letter of September 16, 2022 – Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force Recommendations prior to the Land Use Policy Committee Meeting on October 4, 2022. That email is attached to these minutes as Attachment No. 1. A majority of the Board approved sending this email to the above-mentioned members on October 4, 2022.
On October 6, 2022 President Mulston in her personal capacity sent an email to Chairman, McKay, Supervisor Alcorn and Supervisor Smith expressing her personal appreciation.
Reston Civic Center (aka Reston Town Center North (RTCN)/Bowman Towne Center(BTC)) Unsolicited Proposal – Pursuant to the Board’s motion on September 27, 2022 RCA engaged Kathleen M. McDermott from the Alliance Law Group as counsel to assist the Board in dealing with FCRHA on the unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt. On October 11, 2022 Counsel McDermott sent a letter to Thomas Fleetwood, Director FCRHA, detailing RCA’s concerns with the Foulger-Pratt Unsolicited Proposal and the reasons that proposal is not ready for an Interim Agreement with FCRHA. This letter is attached to these minutes as Attachment No. 2.
Also, on October 11, 2022 Director Inanli sent his own email to Thomas Fleetwood detailing his concerns that the letter from Counsel McDermott exceeded the authorization of the Board.
In response to these two communications and the impact on the credibility of RCA President Mulston asked for a special meeting of the Board on October 17, 2022.
Special Board Meeting – On October 17, 2022 President Mulston called to order the special meeting of the Board at 6:00 pm. This was a ZOOM meeting.
Individual Attendees via ZOOM were: Lynne Mulston, President; Gary Maupin, Vice-President; Joe Leighton, Treasurer; Shawn Endsley, Secretary; Scott Arwood; Vincent Dory; Connie Hartke; Dennis Hays; Yavuz Inanli and Michele Silver. President Mulston determined that all 10 members of the Board were present at 6:00 pm and the meeting could proceed.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the credibility issue that resulted from the conflicting communications from Counsel McDermott and Director Inanli and to identify steps to restore RCA’s credibility.
Vice-President Maupin, Treasurer Leighton, Secretary Endsley, Director Arwood, Director Dory, Director Hartke, Director Hays and Director Silver noted that RCA should speak with one voice and that conflicting communications after Board action has been taken should not occur in the future. Director Inanli presented his reasons for sending his communication. After discussion the following Motion was proposed by Treasurer Leighton and seconded by Secretary Endsley: That the Board of Directors of the Reston Citizens Association reaffirms the content of the letter sent on October 11, 2022 by Kathleen M. McDermott of the Alliance Law Group and that President Mulston reiterate this support to the original recipients of the October 11, 2022 letter. President Mulston asked for a vote by the Board. The Board unanimously approved the motion 9-0 with only Director Inanli abstaining.
The Board then requested that Director Inanli draft a letter indicating his support for the original October 11, 2022 letter and send such letter to President Mulston for her review and for inclusion with the reaffirmation of the original October 11, 2022 letter from Counsel McDermott. The Board believes that the completion of these two letters should help restore the credibility of RCA with the FCRHA. The completion of these letters is also time sensitive as the FCRHA Board is meeting on October 20, 2022 to discuss an Interim Agreement with Foulger-Pratt.
Based on the expected delivery of these two letters President Mulston asked for a motion to adjourn the Special Meeting of the Board at 6:48 pm. Based on a motion from Treasurer Leighton and a second from Director Silver the Special Meeting was adjourned.
On October 19, 2022 President Mulston sent Director Fleetwood an email reaffirming the contents of letter from Counsel McDermott noting that letter had been approved unanimously by the Board with one abstention. See Attachment No. 3 for that email and the acknowledgement of receipt from Director Fleetwood. President Mulston was unable to reach agreement with Director Inanli on the contents of his follow-up letter and no such letter from Director Inanli was sent.
FCRHA Meeting – October 20, 2022 – Neither President Mulston nor Director Hays was able to attend the FCRHA meeting on October 20, 2022. In their place Secretary Endsley presented the following statement at the FCRHA meeting. This statement had been reviewed by President Mulston, Vice-President Maupin and Director Hays.
Statement of RCA – My name is Shawn Endsley and I live in Reston. I am speaking for the Reston Citizens Association which has served Reston citizens since 1967. We presented testimony at the Public Hearing on September 15 in strong opposition along with so many others that testified to the FCRHA going forward with the Foulger-Pratt Unsolicited Proposal. Our attorney, Kathleen McDermott, also wrote to Mr. Fleetwood on October 11, 2022 reflecting many specifics of opposition to this proposal. We have not heard, nor have others, any replies to our comments in our testimony or in our letter. The Reston Citizens Association requests that you not approve the Interim Agreement with so many technical, legal and ethical flaws. Approval of the Interim Agreement would not be appropriate given all of the critical issues presented, by not only the Reston Citizens Association and our attorney, but by so many others.
Thank you for your attention.
Meeting Results – Six citizens made statements at the FCRHA meeting of which five (5) citizens spoke in opposition to the FCRHA entering into an Interim Agreement with Foulger-Pratt. One citizen spoke generally about the need for affordable housing in Fairfax County and did not address the Interim Agreement.
Later in the meeting the FCRHA Commissioners voted unanimously with one abstention (Commissioner Feng) to authorize an Interim Agreement with Foulger-Pratt with respect to development of RTCN. There was no mention of the citizen concerns that had been raised with respect to the authorization of an Interim Agreement.