and a request for your support of RAC’s work. Included are updates on our
disability rights advocacy in Reston and in striving for changes in Virginia’s Unified
Statewide Building Code (USBC) for improved accessibility for people with
mobility disabilities. The report is divided into four sections – Reston
Projects, Statewide Advocacy, Awards Given and Received,
and RAC Finances.
Three RAC projects have been completed so far in 2013:
response to RAC’s suggestions, three existing Accessible Parking Spaces (APSs)
were relocated for safety reasons in January. At the same time, four
additional APSs as well as one curb ramp, two detectable warnings, and two
crosswalks were completed. RAC recognized the Center with its Universal Access
Leadership Award at a meeting of Rotary Club of Reston in August.
North Point Village Center, BB&T Bank APS realignment for
safety reasons suggested by RAC as part of the original North Point project
(February, 2011) were completed in the bank parking lot in March. The two
APSs were moved to a newly-created level location beside the bank and an
improved accessible route provided safe access to the outdoor ATM and the main
entrance. Compliant accessible parking signs were added.
Reston Hospital Center In April, in response to suggestions
from RAC, several APSs were moved to more accessible locations, and a variety
of APSs, curb ramps, curb cuts, crosswalks, detectable warnings, and accessible
parking signs were added. RAC recognized the Hospital with its Universal
Access Leadership Award at a meeting of Rotary Club of Reston in August.
12007 Sunrise Valley Drive
in the Reston Corner office campus
Chris Hembree, VP, Cassidy Turley, has included substantial accessible parking
space (APS) and accessible route expenses in the 2014 budget he has submitted
to the owner. This is a long-standing RAC project, but new ownership and
new management took control of the property in 2013, and we are hopeful of
seeing improvements in 2014.
General Manager, has promised to improve the five existing non-compliant
parking spaces for members and guests with mobility disabilities by the end of
2013, and to add two APSs to complete ADA
compliance. The existing spaces have no access aisles and the signs are
not compliant with Fairfax
requirements. Ken Plum and Cathy Hudgins both sent letters to Mr. Rodarte
asking him to follow RAC’s guidance in updating accessibility.
There are 92 parking spaces and only two are designated as APSs. There
should be four, per ADA and Virginia requirements. We are hoping
that Bill Lauer of Tetra Partnerships, owner of the Center, will respond
positively to RAC’s suggested accessibility improvements.
Building, Sunrise Valley Dr at Reston Pkwy The 54-space
parking lot needs three APSs near the main entrance in order to meet ADA requirements.
At present there are none. The building is owned by Paul and Keith
Subsequent to the renovation by the new owner, Edens, about a year ago,
Development Manager Reynolds Allen committed to add two APSs at the Ledo’s to
Dairy Queen side of the parking lot. The current four APSs are
consistently occupied, and Mr. Allen is aware of that.
Both local management and national management have understood the need for
additional APSs, but Carrabba’s doesn’t own the property. They did
immediately replace non-compliant accessible parking signs with compliant
signs. National management wrote a letter to the property owners on
November 12, asking them to add at least one APS (required by law), and
possibly two (RAC’s suggestion).
website. Projects are listed chronologically.
of accessibility, House Joint Resolution 648, passed both Virginia houses in February, 2011.
That resolution mandated the creation of a stakeholders committee to study and
make recommendations for improved accessibility in Virginia
through the process of code change proposals to Virginia’s Unified Statewide Building Code
(USBC). The first committee meeting was in August, 2011, and there were
several of those meetings, Commonwealth standing Work Group meetings and
Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Board meetings since
then. Someday I’ll count the trips to Richmond.
Work Group and Board meetings processes, resulting in several compromise
revisions over many months.
In its March and October, 2013 meetings, the DHCD Board approved a total of
four of our five proposals, and denied one. Even though they are described briefly in the next
paragraph, consider reading the actual proposals for important details.
Briefly, they include:
— Revising upward the 22-year-old table prescribing the number of accessible
parking spaces required per size of parking lot;
— Creating a minimum APS requirement for newly-constructed doctors’ and
— Mandating a minimum 34″-wide passage to specific living areas –
bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room – on the main level in new residential
construction, thus enabling access to critical areas by occupants/visitors
using mobility devices; and
— Specifying all aspects of Universal Design that a builder could use to have
his/her new residential construction certified as a UD home by the local
Mr. McAuliffe – will have to sign off on the code changes before the process of
making them law can begin. Once approved by the governor, the DHCD staff
is shooting for a July 1, 2014, effective date.
Emory Rogers, Deputy Director of the DHCD and convener of all the Work Group
meetings, considers this package a significant coup for Virginia, and he has said he is looking
forward to touting it at national conventions of his peers. If they
become law, Virginia will be the first state
in the US
to have taken these measures.
RAC’s Community Partner Award was presented in May to Leila Gordon of Reston
Community Center, Milton Matthews of Reston Association, Greg White of
Cornerstones, and Sherri Witowski of United Bank. This award recognizes
the exceptional support of individuals in facilitating RAC’s mission.
Leadership Award was presented in August to Reston
and to South Lakes Village
recognition of the exceptional accessible route improvements for safe and
efficacious access for [persons] with mobility disabilities.” This
award recognizes the exceptional support of organizations in
facilitating RAC’s mission.
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services “for promoting safe
access to buildings for people with physical disabilities. . . . The group
participated in a state-sponsored study to look at amending the 2012 Uniform
Statewide Building Code to make buildings more accessible to people with
disabilities and incentivize universal design. . . . The Building Safety
Community Partnership Award recognizes significant contributions towards
ensuring building and construction safety in Fairfax County.
It is presented annually during Building Safety Month.”
$604: $170 in membership dues ($10 per year) and $434 in contributions.
Our bank balance is $144.38.
modest, including infrequent photocopying and printing, certified mail postage,
off-the-shelf certificate frames for awards, a banner for out Reston Farmers
Market booth, and our Accessibility for All buttons. (We would be glad
for you to have one of the latter.)
hotel stays in Richmond,
making it possible for me to represent RAC in advocating for the changes to the
USBC. RAC has been able to reimburse me for several trips over the last
two years, but there are four remaining (Mar-Oct, 2013), totaling $515.33.
I have contributed meal and gasoline expenses.
RAC is a committee of Reston Citizens Association (RCA), a 501(c)(4) nonprofit
organization. In order to help us continue our work on behalf of people
with disabilities, RCA and RAC would appreciate any support or contribution
that you can give us. For your consideration, you can download our
membership form which doubles as a contribution form. Checks should be
made to RCA/Accessibility, and mailed to me at 2407 Bugle Ln, Reston, VA 20191.
Reston Accessibility Committee (RAC)
of Reston Citizens Association