The Reston Master Plan Task Force held a special meeting on Thursday to discuss potential changes to the Comprehensive Plan draft. RCA’s Dick Rogers wrote up a report on the meeting, which appears below. If you want to see the latest draft and share your comments, be sure to attend the next Task Force meeting, which will be on Tuesday, September 10 at 7 PM at RCC Lake Anne.
Summary: The Reston Master Planning Sub-group met for two hours on 4 Sept to hash out several issues for the TF meeting on 10 Sept. The three proposals—expand the
TOD areas by moving the central point from the
station platform to the station entrances, count hotels as residential, and
re-allocate residential at the stations (the Goudie proposal)—were all nixed. Heidi indicated the RCA call for less
flexibility in the draft will probably not be possible.
The meeting was attended by John Carter, Joe Stowers, Judy Pew, Bill Penniman, Nick Bauer, Dick Rogers, and Matt Valentini from JBG. Patti Nicoson chaired and Hedi Merkel provided staff support.
In response to questions from Dick Rogers, Heidi indicated that the only “closed” issue is the square footage per office worker--that would have to be taken up with the Planning Commission. Re the schedule, she and Patti implied there could be minor slippage from the Oct 30 date with the Planning Commission. They will look at a two week postponement.
Re the extensive Reston Association comments of 16 August, Heidi said these will be addressed in text boxes.
Heidi said a version 6 will be forthcoming but is unlikely to be available before Monday 9 Sept.
Heidi called the meeting with RCA President Mills and RCA TF Rep Maynard “fruitful”. She stressed that there will be changes in the parks section in particular. However, she said there was limited ability to make any changes re stiffening language as RCA had proposed. She said Maynard contrasted the overall draft with the urban design section (which tells developers how precisely to do various design elements). However, Heidi said that “one simply could not have a checklist that had to be met” as RCA seemed to be proposing.
Some panel members asked what the flexibility issues were.
Patti suggested that any unresolved issues could be presented in the TF report.
Station platform or entrances? There was a long discussion on this that recited familiar arguments. Eventually John Carter summarized the issue as of having little significance at Wiehle and
except on the east and west edges. He
suggested that the plan have some language that would give some flexibility to
properties on the border lines but to keep the existing boundaries. This won the day.
Hotels as residences. There was little support for classifying hotels as residential. The consensus was the keep hotels in the commercial category.
Residential balance at stations: The idea that residential units should be shifted from Town Center to the other
TOD areas was
quickly disposed of. There was no strong
proponent of the concept in the group. No
Apparently the results of these discussions will be summarized Tuesday.
Heidi Merkel noted that the new draft will have several new paragraphs about what is special with Reston.
John Carter again brought up his proposal that Reston be “visionary” in Fairfax County. He laid out 6 issues:
- Get the jobs-to-households balance right.
- Push for Bob Simon’s “placemaking.”
- Be more aggressive re community facilities
- Have a recreation center at the station area.
- Focus more on getting a university here.
- Create “LEED neighborhoods” with LEED architecture, a tree canopy, “place making” and walkability
John said all this would “put
out in front”.
Judy Pew raised several issues including the need for interior sound proofing in condos, the need for urban parks and a civic center and the need for harmonious design in North Town Center.
There was a desire for the group to meet again after the 10 Sept TF mtg. Tentatively a meeting was set for 17 Sept at 7 PM. There also will be a regular TF meeting on 24 September.
There was talk of an additional TF meeting in Sept but this was left a little vague. Keep posted.