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Community Forum Looks at Reston of the Future

Citizen groups trying to find balance in keeping Reston principles as it transforms into a transit-oriented community.

Reston Association president Ken Knueven addressed the crowd.   Credit: Karen Goff
Reston Association president Ken Knueven addressed the crowd. Credit: Karen Goff
What will the Reston of 20 or 30 years from now look like? Will it be a concrete jungle, or will open space be adequately preserved for the next generation?

These were some of the concepts that representatives from Reston Association (RA), Reston Citizens Association (RCA) and the Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH) discussed with a standing-room only crowd at a community forum at RA Headquarters Thursday.

While the representatives did not have specific answers, they have a vision of what Reston of the future should be. Reston's first Metro Silver Line Station (Wiehle-Reston East) is slated to open in the next few months, with Reston Parkway and Herndon Monroe to follow in about five years.

With the Metro stations will come major Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), and the community organizations want to make sure Fairfax County, developers and the Master Plan Special Study Task Force get it right.

The panel said that Reston may grow by as much as 22,000 new housing units, 32,000 new jobs, 37 million square feet of commercial space and tens of thousands of residents.

The groups have similar opinions on some aspects and differing opinions on others, they said. But they are united on this mission statement: 

Ensuring proper transitions from the newer urban designed developments in the TODs to existing suburban neighborhoods.

These transitions will be key for maintaining the integrity and fabric of our mature neighborhoods, while encouraging integration between older and newer communities.

The proper combination of our existing neighborhoods and new development in the TSAs will give rise to an even better Reston. 

One major point emerged from the opening presentation by Patty Nicoson, chair of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force. That group has been working for more than three years on standards that will define the new Reston.

Nicoson said now is prime opportunity for Reston to get what it needs from developer proffers and other agreements. The task force would like to see a performing arts center, street grids, a memorial garden, an indoor recreation center, public art, all types of housing, green building technology, and additional crossings of the Dulles Toll Road to mitigate traffic on Reston roads.

Reston is being looked at as 12 districts, with the highest density levels within a quarter-mile of the transit stations, Nicoson said.

Developers could get additional density by contributing amenities, she said.  

"They would have to meet basic standards," she said. "If they want [density at the] higher end, then they could contribute to performing arts center, toll road crossing, rec center. To qualify for bonus density, the developer would have to make a very significant contribution."
 
Meanwhile, the community organization reps say their guiding principles involve 
SUSTAINING RESTON
OPEN SPACE
PARKS, & RECREATION
FLEXIBILITY
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
MOBILITY
IMPLEMENTATION 

To read more about what they would like to see in these categories, CLICK HERE  or see the document attached to this article.


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The Convict October 18, 2013 at 01:48 PM
"Street Grids"? Really? How do you propose to do that? Flatten the existing neighborhoods so that you can install straight roads in a grid?
Karen Goff October 18, 2013 at 01:53 PM
To clarify - they were talking about new streets around metro stations laid out in a grid to connect other streets rather than in a curved, cul-de-sac/suburban configuration.
Diane Lewis October 19, 2013 at 09:54 AM
We are certainly on our way to the concrete jungle look. The number of highrises and proposed concrete towers are making us look like Manhattan, without Central Park.
Rob Whitfield October 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM
The presentation by Patty Nicoson and the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning representative indicate that Phase 1 plan is a potential disaster for Reston. Tysons Corner today occupies about 1,700 acres -similar to the former Reston Center for Industry and Government land which, plus Town Center and Town Center North constitutes the Phase 1 plan study area. Tysons has about 27 million SF of office and total of 43 million SF of commercial development including retail. This is similar to what planners want to add in Phase 1 plus residential development, previoulsy precluded in RCIG. RA, RCA and ARCH deserve credit for a well managed presentation. Very few specifics were offered and most questions went unanswerered by County. . See the RA announcement and link to You Tube presentation (about 2 hours long). http://www.reston.org/NewsCenter/NewsReleases/RAReleases.aspx?qenc=if7nvhr4VvfiD1BH7ccCLA%3d%3d&fqenc=HzT9ACzZbNs%3d The County claimed Thursday that it has backed away from prescriptive development density standards shown in earlier plan drafts. This implies that the County intends to negotiate proffers in secret with developers, under recent planning process changes adopted by the Board. More later
Stella McEnearny October 19, 2013 at 12:54 PM
So very faux :(

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