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RCA: Choose Right Scenario for Reston

Reston Citizens Association president urges task force to choose slightly lower density to keep quality of life.

Reston Citizens Association president Colin Mills is urging the Reston Master Plan Task Force to choose a development scenario with lower density as the group moves forward with its recommendations for transit-oriented development (TOD).

In a letter sent Thursday to Patty Nicoson, Chairman of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, Mills and RCA outline their support of Fairfax County's latest draft Reston TOD area planning scenario—"Scenario G."

Scenario G rolls back some of the permitted densities and adjusts the mix of uses to a slightly more residential orientation.

The letter responds to two letters sent to Ms. Nicoson by attorney Andrew A. Painter of Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh PC criticizing Scenario G as restricting the development opportunities of two of his clients with properties in the Wiehle Avenue TOD area.  

Mills points out that RCA has endorsed urban mixed-use transit-oriented development in the Metro station areas since the task force was established as long as they are the right densities of the right mix in the the right places. 

 The County's Department of Transportation demonstrated through a detailed engineering analysis that development in 2030 under the previous baseline planning scenario—"Scenario E"—would bring key area intersections to a virtual standstill—three- and four- minute traffic light delays at peak use being the norm—even with county upgrades (such as new turn lanes, adjusting traffic light timing) at intersection.

"No development project, no matter how innovative or attractive, can be 'great' if it comes at the cost of Restonians' quality of life," Mills says in the letter. "RCA, supported by its Reston 2020 community planning committee, will continue to advocate for sustaining, if not improving, the quality of life in Reston through "win-win" development planning and implementation, including meeting vital infrastructure and amenities needs, throughout the Reston master planning process."

To read the full letter, see the PDF atatched to this article.

Ken Fredgren November 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Thanks, Colin and RCA Board members!
Terry Maynard November 10, 2012 at 04:15 PM
County staff will be updating "Scenario G" at this week's meeting of the task force. We remain hopeful that it is consistent with the earlier version. RCA has asked that this iteration be comprehensive, not incremental as the last presentation was, so all task force members can understand the full impact of the reduced density and more residential mix. Ideally, it will show the prospective "absorption" (largely an assumption about occupied space) of people--workers and residents. For those interested, the task force will meet Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7-9 PM, at the RCC--Lake Anne.
Terry Maynard November 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Yesterday's Washington Examiner local editorial follows up on Colin's letter, highlighting the gridlock that would be created by "Scenario E" with 50K new residents and 100K new workers in Reston's TOD areas. Check it out here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/examiner-local-editorial-in-reston-silver-line-wont-prevent-gridlock/article/2513108 It provides some important additional detail beyond RCA's letter to Chairman Nicoson, which possibly assumes more knowledge of the issues than most Restonians' who haven't been following the task force's long, winding trail possess.

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