Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Misinformation on Tetra property purchase from Rick Beyer, former RA Board President

Yesterday Rick Beyer, former President of the RA Board, sent an e-mail out to friends asking them to vote for the Tetra purchase and to further share his e-mail.  It came to us eventually, and it is filled with half-truths and misrepresentations.

Here is the substance of what he said, and our inter-linear comments:

Press ? for keyboard shortc

Please don’t be passive on this vote – Please Vote Yes on the 
Reston Association -  Tetra Referendum

Four Reasons to Vote Yes
·       Unanimous Board Decision -  By the RA board to purchase the 3.5 acres of property on Lake Newport and its beautiful facility  for $2.6 Million; with an appraisal value higher than its purchase price; the facility would be revenue generating for Reston Association.  This decision needs to be ratified by RA members.
The appraisal is NOT higher than its purchase price.  The appraisal is the purchase price ($2.65 million) and the appraisal overstates the value of the property by about $1.4 million (the County assesses the value at $1.2 million) because it hypothesizes a mythical new 6,930 SF structure there that can't be built in the unrestricted area available. 
While the existing building will like generate some revenue for RA (RA optimistically estimates $100K next year, escalating at 3%/year), Mr. Beyer completely ignores the operating and borrowing costs for the facility.   In fact, the property will average more than $90,000 in LOSSES every year for the first 20 years at least, using RA's own assumptions extended to a two decade horizon.  Total losses will exceed $1.8 MILLION over the period.  Those losses will be added to RA assessment fees.
The Board's decision was NOT unanimous.  Three members were absent and did not vote:  Mike Sanio, Ellen Graves, and Lucinda Shannon.
 ·         We Protect our Common Area - The 3.5 Acres of property on Lake Newport and its beautiful facility will allow Reston Association members to permanently solidify a contiguous band of 98 acres of common area and parkland for our community. We protect our green space and the community.
The Tetra property is already heavily protected by environmental laws and easements that will prevent development there.  Virtually all of the Tetra property, including the current building, is protected from additional development or redevelopment by federal, state, and local environmental laws protecting the Chesapeake Bay.  This includes Lake Newport itself and the first 100' of inland shoreline.  Moreover, most of the rest of the property is under some form of easement, including RA's own parking easement for the Lake Newport tennis courts. 
A near contiguous green space band already exists.  Except for the roadway between RA's Brown's Chapel and the land it owns or controls for its tennis courts, the area is already protected open space.
·         Reston Association is one of the strongest financially run associations in the country. The facility will be revenue generation for RA and the appraised value is higher than the purchase price. Fiscally, the decision is very sound.
The same argument and the same errors as in the first point.  Price = appraisal; appraisal in more than double "as is" market value.  Nearly $2 million in losses, NOT net revenues, over two decades. 

·         True Consensus – YES  – Supported by both fiscal and environmentally concerned members.  If is a rare opportunity to purchase green space that is revenue producing.
Again, the same errors and misrepresentations as above.  
One further misrepresentation:  This purchase is NOT supported by all the groups and people Mr. Beyer asserts support it.   For example, Ms. Connie Hartke, President of the grass roots Rescue Reston group, sent this e-mail to members of the RCA Board (on which she serves) and others noting that Rescue Reston has NOT endorsed the Tetra purchase:
I wanted to make you aware of this email that is circulating and my response to the author.

Should you hear anyone suggest that "Rescue Reston" has taken a position, I will appreciate you helping me with this misinformation, or send whomever my way and I will explain.

Thank you,

Connie Hartke

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Connie Hartke <>
Date: Sat, Apr 11, 2015 at 5:19 PM
Subject: Fwd: A pro-Tetra email I received
To: Rick Beyer <>

Hello Rick,

Please remove the reference to Rescue Reston from any future communications. We are singularly focused on the golf course and have not and cannot take a position on other issues.  The views of individual board members cannot be construed to be support from the organization.

Best regards,

Connie Hartke, President
Rescue Reston

cc: Rescue Reston Board of Directors

We suspect that a far more important reason for Mr. Beyer's pro-Tetra purchase position is that he lives directly across Lake Newport from the Tetra property as you can see in the map below.  We suspect he may be more interested in protecting his view, his solitude, and his property value than he is in protecting community green space and RA's financial condition.

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