Residents eager to hear about Reston's future came to S on Wednesday to Fairfax County Planner Heidi Merkel outline the next part of the Master Plan Special Study process, which will concentrate on residential and village centers.
Merkel says the Master Plan Special Study Phase II process will likely begin late next spring after Phase I is expected to be completed. , has been going on for more than 18 months.
Ideally, Phase II will take three months, Merkel said.
Merkel says both phases are necessary to accommodate changes as the original Master Plan was formulated nearly 50 years ago.
"The bottom line, is future growth is going to happen," said Merkel. "We need to figure out how to give places for that growth to happen in Reston in a way that is still respectful of the original idea and concepts of Reston."
Merkel also said most of the residential neighborhoods are not likely to see drastic change.
"We are not planning from scratch," she said. "I am not saying going to take existing map and start over. Really, we are building on fine tradition of Robert Simon’s original master plan."
Key points of the presentation:
* The population of Reston (58,404 in the 2010 U.S. Census) is not likely to radically change in residential neighborhoods, keeping them well under the Planned Residential Community population cap of 83,000.
"The PRC district area will remain basically constant at currently 13 people per acre," she said. "Phase II will evaluate options how to address a time when it may go above where the cap is. It could be exceeded on a case-by-case basis."
Merkel said the plan intends to "preserve the stability of residential neighborhoods in Reston. Part of process will entail how best to do that."
The task force will look at how neighborhoods were zoned originally and what ended up being built there. For instance, if a neighborhood was zoned medium density and townhouses (rather than high-density apartments) were built there, the zoning might be reclassified as low to accommodate what is already there, Merkel said.
Redevelopment projects already under consideration, said Merkel.
* The other part of Phase II will look at South Lakes, Hunters Woods, North Point and Tall Oaks Village Centers, as well as smaller shopping centers at Baron Cameron and Reston Parkway (Home Depot), on Sunrise Valley at Soapstone (Reston Barber Shop) and on Soapstone near Glade (7-Eleven).
has already been the subject of a study, so it will not be a part of Phase II, Merkel said.has also been under consideration as part of Phase I, so it will not be included in Phase II.
"I think there is merit about what village centers should evolve into in the future," said Merkel. "What should village centers be? Should they be retail strip centers? That has a place, perhaps, in Reston, or should they evolve, as Mr. Simon has said, to make them community gathering places – places where residents can come together around a variety of activities?"
Discussions will include residents as well as property owners, but any action might not happen for a long time, Merkel said. Rather, ideas could be in place for whenever the owner decides it is time to redevelop.
There might be charrettes (design study work sessions with a variety of input) for envisioning redevelopment. Charrettes were used in 2002 to work on the areas around the Metro stations and in 2006 at Lake Anne.
Merkel mentioned that a charrette may be helpful for
To see Merkel's presentation, click here.