Comments at Reston Planning & Zoning Meeting, May 15, 2017
My name is Sridhar Ganesan. I am president of Reston Citizens Association and have been based in Reston since 1998.
I believe that many speakers from the community have spoken or are scheduled to speak on many aspects of the proposed PRC amendment, so I will limit my comments to some specific items that I think are important before we go headlong into this zoning ordinance that would change the density from 13 person per acre to 16.
A basic premise before we proceed - We are not against development per se, but anything that we do must be:
- Consistent with Reston founding principles and vision and not lead to Reston becoming an urban sprawl
- Planned well in all respects, such as
- Open and green space, and
- Various infrastructure that we need to support development, including transportation.
We must have that planned and in place before we start the development.
I recognize that the Reston Master Plan is providing the guidelines for this amendment, but that was an outcome that does not have wide support from the people that live in Reston. Many believe that the actual residents did not have much say in that process. Now the plan that the public did not feel was responsive to their concerns is guiding this proposed amendment?
Why the rush to get this amendment through in such a short time?
There are a lot of things that are missing from this plan. Where is the demand and economic analysis to support this?
What we would like to see first is a side-by-side comparison of demand projections that were made 10 years before the current build-out that we are seeing today and the take-up so far of both commercial and residential developments that have come up since then.
Does that analysis indicate a strong demand?
We ask that the County perform a detailed demand analysis as a precursor to any new zoning ordinance.
Such demand projections should cover residential and commercial development and that report should be widely circulated and debated within the community.
Because, it is our landscape and lifestyle that will be changed.
Currently, all we have is a projection for expanding residential capacity in Reston. That was capacity was pegged at a high of about 72,000 by a 2010 GMU study. And mind you, that 72,000 size was a “high” estimate for all of Reston.
Using the simple of math of increasing the density per acre from 13 persons to 16 persons per acre, the County is proposing that just the PRC areas of Reston can support a population of nearly 103,000 in Reston. Again, this does not include the TSA areas including Reston Town Center.
Where is the analysis that shows that Reston can support that kind of capacity?
And most of all, do people that live here today want such high densities that would change the Reston as we know and bought into?
Our ask is as follows:
- We don’t think there is such pressing demand that we have to rush this process through so quickly.
- Lets slow down and look at this is in more detail from all aspects and all the ways in which it can impact the community.
- Lets get more feedback from the people before we open the gates for developers to drop 40 to 50 more high-density buildings within PRC zones.
Because the developers may build even on speculation, make money or for that matter, take their losses and move on.
But we as a community have to live with high-density implications forever.
Thank you for taking the time.
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