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Votes

Short Subject: RA Survey, Lake Anne Progress?

It turns out ours was one of 3,000 or so households included in Reston Association’s community survey. In fact, we got not one, but two in the mail.

It is not what I expected. The survey was billed as feedback on RA performance to “help ... its Board of Directors set benchmarks for tracking the quality of services provided to residents.” Sounds like a good idea. In fact, the lengthy survey asks for little direct info on RA or its performance. Only one in five questions are directly or partly relevant to association services—35 out of 158 questions. And, these are not probing questions likely to ID RA services which are excellent, problematic or in between.

More questions ask about preferences for future development of Reston, land-use matters and services provided by the county. They seem to be more of a referendum on the county. Other questions ask opinions on existing or future businesses in Reston and how the economy is affecting us. Several questions are more a peek at how we interact with our neighbors and how we perceive the sense of community in Reston. The survey concludes with 16 personal data questions.

While the survey might be interesting as a reading on community feelings about the economy, land-use and development issues, and county services plus a snapshot of demographic information, it seems a weak attempt at a performance review and unlikely to effect changes at RA. I look forward to a new RA Board’s report on survey outcomes, costs, and what will be done with the extensive data.

  • Lake Anne Redevelopment. Fairfax County finally invited a couple of representatives from the Lake Anne community to participate in developer proposal review and selection for new residential and commercial construction here. The chance to have a voice came as good news to Lake Anne residents and even more to businesses. The merchants have experienced many lean years and they were, according to the county and promoters of the redevelopment, supposed to be principal beneficiaries of new high-density development. The businesses have many concerns about the new development—how it will be linked with the existing plaza, the nature of the commercial components, and how construction will be phased to assure minimum disruption of their businesses. The future livelihood of these small, family-owned businesses is at stake.

The bad news, according to merchants I’ve spoken with, is that the condominium association did not include a single business owner to participate in the review of proposals, selection of a winner and negotiation of terms.