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Old 08-23-2010, 10:25 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,119,309 times
Reputation: 1264

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
That's the beauty of an HOA. Cascades HOA handles all those services (and more) without the need for an expensive city hall or city staff. My HOA dues are under $60 monthly, making it much more reasonable than paying city taxes.

Regarding Reston, I don't think anyone thought that attempt at incorporation stood a chance. I totally understand why the vast majority of Reston residents voted against it. It's financially much better for the average citizen to remain an HOA.

The people pushing incorporation for Reston were the same ones who want to promote what you call nimbyism. They write editorials and make noise, but it doesn't accomplish anything. They can spout off all they like--it's meaningless noise since most Restonians don't agree. They don't have any power, they didn't prevent Metro or other projects from getting built, they didn't incoporate the community, and they generally don't get their way.
The big difference is that in the town of Vienna, we had no rules about what we planted in our yard, what color our house was painted, or anything else that an HOA might impose.

I agree that Reston is the worst of all worlds, TONS of rules, without the power of being in a town.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:28 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,119,309 times
Reputation: 1264
[quote=marnay;15588214]We are looking to make the move from Hampton Roads to NOVA and I visited Wegmans for the first time.... it is worth the move just to be able to shop there!!!! LOL! It was like walking into grocery nirvana.... [/quote

You are SO right! Move to Loudoun! I LOVE my Wegmans! I had NO idea that a grocery store could be THAT good, and cheaper than Giant too!
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:36 PM
 
3,164 posts, read 6,119,309 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caladium View Post
You were? Wow, I'll have to ask normie about that. She recalls the meeting you attended but has a slightly different version of how active your participation actually was.
Gotta agree with you there. There seem to be very different versions of ''very involved''.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,187 posts, read 6,808,367 times
Reputation: 2161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denton56 View Post
The big difference is that in the town of Vienna, we had no rules about what we planted in our yard, what color our house was painted, or anything else that an HOA might impose.

I agree that Reston is the worst of all worlds, TONS of rules, without the power of being in a town.
They have rules about what you can plant?!? Our current HOA is pretty strict but not that strict. Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the HOA Covenants for Reston? I went to the Reston.org website and the link they provided gave me the broken link error? I will continue looking around for the Brambleton one but since Reston is still on the top of our list, I want to know what we are getting into.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,620,837 times
Reputation: 8315
My parents' HOA in Pennsylvania has rules on what trees they can plant.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,136 posts, read 4,635,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley01 View Post
They have rules about what you can plant?!? Our current HOA is pretty strict but not that strict. Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the HOA Covenants for Reston? I went to the Reston.org website and the link they provided gave me the broken link error? I will continue looking around for the Brambleton one but since Reston is still on the top of our list, I want to know what we are getting into.
Here are Brambleton's rules on landscaping:

Quote:
Application and review is not required for the following modifications:
1. Planting of annuals or perennials in existing beds.
2. Installation of new beds less than four feet wide around the perimeter of the house foundation (and deck, patio, or fence if present) and perimeter of the rear of the lot, provided that plants installed have a mature height of less than eight feet.
3. Installation of new beds less than three feet wide adjacent to walks from the driveway to the front of the home, provided that plants have a mature height of less than four feet.
4. Installation of new beds less than two feet wide around a mailbox post, and around transformer utility boxes, provided that plants have a mature height of less than three feet.
5. Installation of black plastic around existing or approved beds, provided that it is installed to be below the height of the top of the grass.
6. The installation of individual trees or shrubs on the lot, provided that such plantings at maturity are in scale with the home and lot and do not interrupt designed drainage patterns and swales.

Any other landscaping modifications...require application and review by the Covenants Committee.
Also, vegetable gardens:

Quote:
Vegetable gardens which conform to the following guidelines do not require approval. Vegetable gardens must be located in the rear of the home and must not exceed fifty (50) feet in area. No plant which will exceed the height of three feet at maturity may be planted. Vegetable gardens must be maintained in a neat manner, and all plant debris must be
removed and the soil turned at the end of the growing season.
Brambleton's covenant enforcement is focused on a few big issues: lawn mowing, garbage can visibility, and parking/commercial vehicles. Otherwise, unless someone files a specific complaint, they just don't have time to go around and measure if the flower bed around your mailbox is more than 24" in diameter. Also, if you do want an exception considered, the application and review process seems to be pretty efficient. Their goal is to work with you to get your stuff approved, not automatically veto any plan submitted. Driving around Brambleton, you will see a lot of interesting landscaping that has been approved by the Committee.

Alley01, send me a private message and I'll e-mail you a copy of the Brambleton design guidelines.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,837,713 times
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If HOA restrictions are a concern, you might prefer Cascades to Reston. Reston probably has the most restrictions of any of the HOAs nearby (at least of the ones I know). Cascades is probably the most restriction-lite of the HOAs. I don't know about Ashburn/Brambleton but I'm guessing they're in the middle ground. You're smart to look at the guidelines and see what feels comfortable for you.

On the other hand, Reston is famous for its beautiful trees, and deservedly so. They're very protective about invasive species and they don't want people cutting down a big swath of trees without getting permission, but when you drive around and see how gorgeous the area is (especially in the spring) it makes a little more sense.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,837,713 times
Reputation: 42860
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
Their goal is to work with you to get your stuff approved, not automatically veto any plan submitted. Driving around Brambleton, you will see a lot of interesting landscaping that has been approved by the Committee.
I think that's how Reston and Cascades are, too. For example, some neighborhoods have grading issues. The HOAs will want to approve any landscape change that involves building walls or other structures that could potentially flood your neighbor's yard or basement. But they're nice about it. What usually happens is they approve your plan once they know what it is, or they make a suggestion on how to accomplish your goal. It's actually a fairly pleasant process (although time consuming since you may have to wait a few weeks unless you're in an emergency situation.)

In certain situations, HOA rules get suspended. For example, in the blizzard last winter Reston allowed people to cut down trees and branches without getting permission. When in doubt, just call the office and ask.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:57 AM
 
9 posts, read 16,736 times
Reputation: 13
I'd say live in Reston or Sterling. The prices arent that much lower in Leesburg for some STRANGE strange reason (they should be since they are a little farther out) but they are not so I wouldnt bother looking for places there.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
2,005 posts, read 3,527,842 times
Reputation: 1147
Reston has 8 prohibited plants - all invasive exotics - but doesn't enforce the rule as I see lots of English Ivy.

http://www.reston.org/Portals/3/Park...icBrochure.pdf
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