Saturday, April 27, 2013


HCA and TWC are finalizing details for the HCA Annual Meeting to be held Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Rose Gallery in the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, at 9:00 a.m.  TWC mailed additional information to all HCA Members on April 30.

Three Director positions are up for nomination and election this year.  HCA encourages Members currently in good standing who are interested in becoming Directors for a three-year volunteer commitment to provide statements of interest and qualifications to TWC no later than 1:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2013, and to indicate if you would like that information posted on this HCA website.  Or you can choose to be nominated at the Annual Meeting itself. 


HCA is finalizing a contract to reconstruct numerous Hickory Cluster pathways, to resolve a number of long-standing pathway problem areas, and to integrate with existing recently repaved Reston Association pathways.  This follows HCA discussions with almost a dozen interested contractors and professional advisors, and responses from three finalists submitted April 17, 2013, to an HCA Request for Proposals.  Work is scheduled to start May 2013 for completion by June 1, 2013.  The contract was unanimously approved by the HCA Board at its April 17, 2013 meeting, pending additional details negotiated by TWC Managing Agent Kim Hendon.  Based on his extensive business procurement and homeowner's association experience, HCA Director Michael Smith devoted countless hours to identifying needed work, formulating an effective strategy, interviewing contractors, developing an RFP, and evaluating RFP responses.  He will lead the project to completion.


HCA has contracted with Mr. Spray of Spray Services in Reston to provide follow-on Hickory Cluster powerwashing and bleaching of Blocks 1-3 Common Area plaza, step, and wall surfaces starting in Block 3 on the first good weather day for two days during the week of May 6-10, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Mr. Spray successfully provided the same services to HCA one year ago.  This hopefully annual effort will focus on typical problem spots and will help keep Common Area hardscape free of mold and mildew for another year.  TWC will provide additional information directly to residents.

Several Hickory Cluster homeowners have also individually hired Mr. Spray to powerwash their exterior house walls, window frames, patio walls, and/or patio floors this Spring.  Contact Mr. Spray at (703) 864-4703 or for more information.  Disclaimer:  This additional information is for reference only, not an HCA endorsement or guarantee.


Daly, Hamad & Associates PLLC, Certified Public Accountants, audit HCA financial statements annually.  Both 2009-10 and 2010-11 audit reports are now available on the HCA website.  The audit of 2011-12 financial data as of December 31, 2012, is still in process.


To limit visual, acoustic, and financial impacts of Outdoor Mechanical Equipment on neighboring properties and property values, Fairfax County and Reston Association publish and enforce certain long-standing general codes and design guidelines, respectively.  To provide more specific protections within Hickory Cluster, to allow timely HCA review and feedback to RA, and based on recent RA DRB decisions involving Hickory Cluster homeowners, HCA is proposing new HCA General Resolution 15 to provide more specific guidance on installation and use of Outdoor Mechanical Equipment, including but not limited to heating and air-conditioning heat pumps and electrical generators. 

In addition, and in response to numerous HCA homeowner concerns about installation of various types, styles, and colors of exterior-mounted mailboxes inconsistent with original Goodman House design and construction, HCA is also proposing new HCA General Resolution 16 to provide specific guidance to Hickory Cluster homeowners on the installation of through-door mailslots and exterior-mounted mailboxes.

As required, the proposed new resolutions were read into April 17, 2013 HCA Board of Directors meeting minutes.  Following First Reading, they were published on this HCA official website on April 25, 2013.  Following Publication, discussion and a Hearing on the new proposed resolutions will be at the May 15, 2013 monthly Board of Directors meeting, typically held at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, at 7:30 p.m.  A brief Managing Agent report and Board Action on these new proposed resolutions are also planned for the May 15 Board meeting.  All HCA Members can attend and provide comments.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Aqua Virginia recently contracted with Reston RELAC LLC to prepare and operate the RELAC plant from April 1 to May 12, 2013.  Preparation is well underway, ahead of schedule, and RELAC will be ready for operation following the first two consecutive days of 80F weather in May, or May 22, whichever comes first. 

The Customer Cooling System Information sheet above includes a Cooling System Diagram of typical home RELAC system equipment, and a Customer Checklist for Preventive Maintenance of the Cooling System.  Aqua Virginia will perform this annual system check and advise homeowners if repairs are needed, but as usual will not repair homeowner cooling system equipment.  Call Aqua Virginia at (877) 987-2782 to schedule a system check. 

However, a Reston RELAC division will check and repair homeowner cooling system equipment.

Call Reston RELAC at (703) 349-3301 to schedule check and repair service calls as soon as possible because, after system pressurization on or about April 29, 2013, certain homeowner repairs will not be possible until the October end of the 2013 cooling season.

Also note that The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) will announce their decision on transfer of ownership from Aqua Virginia to Reston RELAC by May 2, 2013.

For additional information, check the RELAC page and posts on this website.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Today is the 45th anniversary of the untimely death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968.  On April 16, 1963, in a letter from a Birmingham, Alabama jail in response to criticism from local colleagues, Dr. King wrote the following words that seem directly applicable to past, present, and future challenges facing Reston and Hickory Cluster:  " ... I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states.  I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.  ... "

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


  Saturday April 6 ... increasing clouds, high near 53F, north wind 6 mph
  Sunday April 7 ... partly sunny, high near 66F, south wind 11-14 mph

GENERAL TASKS ... 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  Spread stacked bagged mulch in plaza planters and Common Areas
  Remove tree debris and personal property from Common Areas
  Remove leaves from stair landings
  Wash white stair railings
  Cut and remove ivy growing on trees
  Stack tree debris near paths and streets for removal
  Meet your neighbors

HCA purchased and delivered 356 bags of mulch to spread within Blocks 1-3 plaza planters, the Block 3 traffic island, the Block 3 east stair area, and other HCA Common Areas.  IT IS NOT FOR PRIVATE USE IN PRIVATE PLANTERS OR ON PRIVATE PATIO GARDENS.  Also, this is a volunteer resident effort.  HCA did not request that Blade Runners spread the mulch.  For uniform coverage spread each bag of mulch over an area only TWICE the bag size.

HCA requested that Blade Runners pick up stacked tree debris no earlier than April 14 and no later than May 1.  This will give other residents time to gather and stack material after the clean-up weekend.  And it will give Blade Runners time to cost-effectively coordinate other related tasks, including RA-required removal of fallen tree debris between Block 3 and United Christian Parish following a planned April 9 UCP-HCA property line survey and marking.

  Block 1 ... Director Michael Smith
  Block 2 ... Director Michael Poss ... Blake Travis will be unavailable
  Block 3 ... Directors Zerrin Turner and Ralph Youngren


Current owner Aqua Virginia and proposed owner Reston RELAC LLC are now working to prepare the RELAC community air-conditioning chilled water system for 2013 operation.  This involves cleaning out silt and other debris from the Lake Anne plant closed water loop, clearing debris from the inlet intake screens and filters, and starting and testing all equipment.  The customer closed water loop serving 325 customers, including several large multi-family residences, will be pressurized as early as next week. 

As required by Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) utility tariff rules, RELAC will provide 2013 Cooling Season chilled water in May following the first two consecutive 80F days, but no later than 12:00 noon May 22, 2013, through 12:00 noon October 9, 2013.  The plant will operate 24x7 unless outdoor temperatures drop below 55F, when service will be temporarily suspended until outdoor temperatures exceed 60F.

Noisy and expensive external diesel pumps to compensate for low Lake Anne water levels should not be necessary this year because RELAC recently modified its intake configuration to draw deeper water.  This and other improvements have increased RELAC reliability.  According to a Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) October 31, 2012 report, RELAC met tariff-required chilled water temperatures during 144 days of the 160-day 2012 Cooling Season.  During that time, the system was only one degree warmer for eight days, and only two or three degrees warmer on two days.  That's 90 percent consistent water temperature performance during 2012 record summer heat, and 95 percent consistent performance within one degree.

See related RELAC posts and the RELAC page on this website for more information, including important 1974 suggestions for maximum cooling that are still relevant today:
"1.  Be sure your (furnace air) filter is clean.
2.  Run your fan at high speed.
3.  Do not block registers.
4.  Balance air flow so more air goes to top floors.
5.  Use draperies to screen (out) the direct rays of the sun.
6.  In the past, a few homeowners have ruptured their water coils by closing both chill(ed) water valves when they put the furnace on.  NEVER close both.  The supply (line valve) only should be shut off.  This valve is located on (the) line that has (the) electric solenoid on it (the valve with two wires going to it).  If in doubt, call RAC (RELAC)."