None of us on the current RCA board live where RELAC is mandated, but we listen to Restonians who do and who live on the sunny side of Lake Anne. From a website created about the issue www.freefrom15.org: “A number of residents have been dissatisfied for many years with the poor quality of the service available and would like to install their own units. Some people experience high temperatures and humidity which requires them to run dehumidifiers and fans 24 hours a day to keep cool and to stop mold growth. Since the covenant states that it may only be amended or revoked by members of the residential clusters which have air-conditioning service to the lot line, the only way to resolve these problems is to revoke the covenant.”
Let us be clear – voting yes to revoke the covenant is a vote for choice. It does not end RELAC!!
When RELAC was installed, it was state of the art technology. In the intervening 5 decades, technology has vastly improved, and HVAC (Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning) systems have undergone several major iterations of improvements. New systems are energy efficient, quiet, cost effective and allow maximum flexibility by individual homeowners for how cool/dry/warm they want their homes to be on any given day. They do not pollute our atmosphere like the older Freon-using RELAC behemoth. More on this in John Lovaas’ article RELAC—A Museum and Environmental Problem.
In speaking to unhappy Lake Anne area RELAC subscribers, we have learned that their quality of service is dismal, the air is moist requiring the running of dehumidifiers constantly, and costs exorbitant. You can view the RELAC cost by address at the “Reference Documents and Links” tab of freefrom15.org. As our weather becomes more extreme and the water levels of Lake Anne vary depending on Hidden Creek Golf Course’s needs and drought conditions, the quality of RELAC's product is anything but constant for all users.
If the referendum passes then everyone will get a fair choice. It is a matter of fairness in allowing choice in the important area of comfort. This will require that 2/3 of those voting will agree to choice for RELAC 's involuntary subscribers by voting yes. Vote yes even if YOU are happy with your summer cooling. Consider your neighbor across the street/lake/cul-de-sac who may not have the same experience.
Mass exodus from RELAC is highly unlikely as conversion costs are a major factor, but to imprison anyone in a system that does not work for them is ... well, unkind. Kindness and fairness is crucial to maintaining the fabric of our community. Forcing bondage to an antiquated monopoly is not kind, fair or necessary.