Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Notes from Town Center Committee Meeting, September 28, by Dick Rogers

Process: Although the Town Center (TC) committee made some progress through its line by line, it will meet again on 5 Oct to complete review. It still intends to present to the Task Force (TF) on 12 October.
 
Public Comments:  During this session, Terry Maynard presented his short analysis of density and residential balance that was being proposed for Town Center.  His comments were greeted coolly if not coldly by the TC group. Robert Goudie, co-chair, argued several points:
  • Even if we give 5 FARs for development, it will never be built in all places to that.
  • The projections as presented to the TF are 14,300 residential units and 57,000 new jobs, much less than Terry's  projections.
  • The TC committee's  1:1 residential-to-office space projections are more than double the GMU projected demand for residential housing. 
The brief discussion was ended by a curt request from one member to end the discussion, and Maynard's comments were not discussed latter. (Comment: Terry suggested a 4/3/2 "wedding cake" FAR model as an alternative.)
 
Police Station: Half the Fairfax County government showed up to discuss the police station issue. The FC DPW (commendably) had tried to take into account the committee's planning by re-orienting a 2-story police station facing the proposed green with a plaza in front of it. Cameron Glen Drive would be kept open as part of a potential grid. The station would be rebuilt in the area along TCN next to the Bowman Towne affordable dwelling units. The fuel depot was labeled as "critical" to police operations and desirable for the rest of FC services. The police acknowledged they were sensitive to any high rise buildings around the station, but could not control what was eventually done there.  (Comment:  The committee seemed to collapse under this show with lots of "that is great"s. One member asked if the police had considered anything else within 5 miles--"not really, we want to stay on county-owned property.  No one asked about alternative fuel depot sites. Various TC residents applauded a continued big police presence.)    
 
Developer collaboration: The committee went back over the issue of how to promote developer collaboration in the south area regarding a major park area.  The debate ranged from requiring them to collaborate to leaving it optional.  The upshot was general consensus to avoid a requirement with a language that implies that the first one into the gate with a proposal will set the parameters for overall development.
 
Line by line:
  • Residential collar: The draft met the usual resistance;  wording should be changed to allow more commercial in TCN (see below).
  • Road Issue: The character of the roads in and around TC were discussed.  There was much discussion about how bike traffic should be handled.  (Comment:  This pre-occupies many, but the Mercedes, BMWs, etc., overwhelm the bikes outside the meeting room.)  Heidi Merkel, County Planning Staff, noted the county is trying to get VDOT to think about urban roads and suggested generalized statements.   
  • Town Center North (TCN).  INOVA continued its work to erode a large residential designation in TCN.   They wanted to eliminate the goal of 2,000 residential units in TCN.  Among other things was the idea ""If the County does not want residential on its land, it would put all the pressure to do the residential on INOVA's property.  (Comment:   So much for the idea of civic facilities being the primary purpose of the county land.)    
  • TCN boundary:  There was a "deja vu" discussion of the boundary between TCN and TC.  Whether the Library area should go in TCN.  Eventually it seemed decided that the 7 1/2 acres around the Library (and Library park) should be in TCN North. (Comment: This will change all the park-open space-development ratios.  It was noted in the discussion that FC Park Authority will probably want 5 acres for its existing 5 acre TCN park land so how this is calculated impacts the bigger parks/open space calculation.  This makes it possible for the committee to claim that some of the 7-1/2 acres around the library--already designated as potential parkland-- should meet the FCPA goals of an equal 5-acre park for its area.)
    Preview

Subcommittee Envisions Walkable, Mixed-Use Area at Wiehle Station, Reston Patch, September 29, 2010

Preliminary plans mention pedestrian highway, reduced parking.
By Karen Goff

When Metrorail's Wiehle Avenue station opens in 2013, expect a new Reston to grow around it.

The Reston Master Plan Task Force's Wiehle Avenue Subcommittee envisions that development to "a viable pedestrian and transit oriented place in which residents and workers can live, work, learn, shop and play with minimal need to drive a car." . . . .

This article provides a very good overview of Tuesday's presentation and a link to the full report.  You can read it all here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Five Minutes with Robert E. Simon, Reston Patch, September 28, 2010

Please read Karen Goff's excellent Q&A interview of Bob Simon in the Reston Patch.  He gives some good personal views on where Reston has been, where it is, and where it's going, including the good and the bad. 

The article is here

Here's an excerpt: 
  
Q:  How do you think the community is doing today? So many changes are coming.
A:   I get asked this question not infrequently. Do you want the bad first or the good first? The No. 1 bad is New Dominion Parkway. New Dominion is a giant wall that cuts the Town Center in half. Town Center goes from Target to Home Depot. New Dominion cuts it. Everything that side of New Dominion is not town centerish. Garages  are designed so you can never put anything on the ground level.

No. 2 - the village centers, as well as the town center. There is only one village center. This one (Lake Anne). The other so-called village centers, they are shopping centers. . . .

Q:  So what is good about Reston in 2010?
A:   The good is actually the marvelous. I will start with the pathways. We have 55 miles of paths. My successors finished the building of the paths and underpasses, continued the recreation facilities and continue to take care of it.

Second most wonderful thing, the Reston Community Center in Hunters Woods, with that wonderful theater and it is used so well.

And Fountain Square [at Reston Town Center]. Fountain Square is an ideal plaza. I think it is just about perfect.  It is a gathering place, as a plaza is supposed to be. Mixed use, of course. it's got places to sit outside, places to go inside, a skating rink, a movie theatre.

Also good: the recreational facilities and the Walker Nature Education Center.

RTF Wiehle Committee Interim Report, September 27, 2010

This report will be presented tonight (September 28) to the Reston Task Force at its meeting.

Wiehle Subcommittee Interim Report 9-27-10a (2) Wmaps                                                            

The Reston TC Committee Report: A Developer's Dream, A Community's Nightmare, Terry Maynard, September 27, 2010

Commentary on Reston TC Committee Draft Report, Terry Maynard, 9-29-10                                                                   

Monday, September 27, 2010

Agenda: Reston Task Force Meeting, September 28, 2010

DRAFT
RESTON MASTER PLAN SPECIAL STUDY
TASK FORCE

September 28, 2010

Task Force Meeting
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne

AGENDA


7:00 p.m. Public Comment Period

7:15 p.m. Administrative Items – Patty Nicoson, Task Force Chair
               · Upcoming meetings

7:30 p.m. Review of schedule
                Heidi Merkel, Dept. of Planning & Zoning

7:45 p.m. Vision Sub-committee presentation –
                John Carter and Kohann Williams, co-chairs
 
8:35 p.m. Wiehle Avenue Sub-committee presentation –
                William Penniman and Andrew Van Horn, co-chairs

9:25 p.m. Adjourn – Patty Nicoson

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Notes on RTF Town Center Committee Meeting, September 21, 2020, Dick Rogers

Process: The Committee will meet at least one more time on 28 September to complete the draft.  Robert Goudie, Co-Chair, hopes to get it around to the Task Force prior to the scheduled 12 October presentation.
 
Maynard comments: I called these to the attention of the Committee.   A few had read them.  They were dismissed as inaccurate and disconnected from what the Committee was trying to achieve.  Some thought the tone was personally  offensive.  One member later cautioned me that at times tone of some 2020 comments was counterproductive.
 
Town Center office Building: The reps were back and again tried to get the Committee to address their property, which is lost amid the Spectrum development. They apparently want blessing for a denser, Spectrum compatible mixed-use redevelopment.
 
Incentives for residential development.  An extensive discussion took place on Mark Looney's proposals of how costs could be reduced to encourage "pioneering" development of residential areas on the Southside. Mark has proposed loosening requirements on parking, work force housing as well as not requiring proffers for schools, parks or public facilities for some initial developers.  There was vigorous pro and con discussion with some of the politically sensitive issues (work force housing) meriting particular controversy.  Eventually some compromise wording was introduced to allow for the possibility of such incentives in certain circumstances. (Comment: I am in the 2020 minority in thinking this proposal should be considered seriously.  The existing property owners are mostly commercial developers who in my view are of scared of the implications of residential--having to co-partner with others, for example, means giving up $. Fathomer, tenants are going to be hard to lure to an area with limited amenities initially. However, it is unclear what the limits of any relaxation would be--discussion has ranged from the initial development and a specific number of units to periods as long as 7 years).
 
    Roads: The character of surrounding roads was discussed.  The consensus seemed to be that Baron Cameron, Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley should be kept as conveyor streets (some suggested "urban conveyors")--that while more pedestrian friendly, they would not have parking.  Interior streets could be viewed as more urban in character.  (Comment: This would appear to make Sunrise Valley not compatible with what is being proposed on either side.)
 
    Draft: The Committee began a page-by-page view review of the draft. Some issues:
  •  Will try to clarify what is viewed as "functional" open space in the way of sidewalks
  •  Extended discussion of how to get owners on the south side to contribute to a central green.    Decision made to consult Heidi M on wording.
  • Residential collar: wording will be qualified to accommodate diverse uses such as the Hospital area.
  • INOVA rep was worried that wording might tie them down to 2,000 residential units. Wants more flexibility, apparently to avoid impeding commercial development.
    Governance: Robert Goudie cited view of RTCA residents that NTC should be in RTCA. Concern was that FCPA would not maintain any common ground and that this should be RTCA responsibility. No discussion of an RA role.

Notes on RTF Wiehle Committee Meeting, September 22, 2010, John Lovaas

The committee was missing Mark Looney and Mike Corrigan. Others present.

Target for the day was to review, edit latest Committee report draft in preparation for presentation to the full Reston Task Force on Tuesday, September 28.

In brief public comment, it was noted that objectives section of report listed many worthy actions, but lacked a sense of priorities, most urgent among them. The drafter/s of the report were commended for positive use of incentives above delineated list of standard requirements for developer projects. That is, incentives are proposed for positive, vision furthering actions, not giving up valued community goods such as schools, affordable housing to get developers to build at all.

Draft Report Comments/Changes:

-Multiple ped/bike crossings along Sunset Hills discussed. Paragraph needed to provide rationale for them (i.e., to change character of Sunset Hills to slower urban street, obviate need for safe but some say under-used overpasses). Leave flexibility for grade separated connections, e.g., W & OD on Wiehle.

-Paul Thomas repeated suggestion to include rec center as a possibility for Isaac Newton Square or larger G-7 landbay to east. Developer Raj noted he and another developer considering joining forces to do a rec center near ice rink, Michael Faraday area.

-Long discussion of open space requirement—whether it should be 20 or 25% when defined as publicly accessible (as opposed to private land with use restricted!). They settled on a recommendation for publicly accessible open space in the 20-25% area range.

-Andy VanHorn suggested changing language stating “…Town Center Metro North will contemplate the highest overall levels of development in Reston.” He wanted to include reference to proposed Wiehle east-west “spine” as being close to that. He did not attract a lot of interest and dropped the matter.

-Developer observer (Mike ?) objected to language in para 5. under Office:Residential ratios “New office development should not proceed without concurrent residential development or, at least, in the absence of early construction of infrastructure and enforceable phasing plans to assure desireable mix of uses will be achieved…” He argued that only market god rules this, and county could not enforce such a provision. Bill Penniman pointed out the “or …” clause which he seemed to have overlooked. Andy Van Horn and one other developer jumped in, agreeing with objection.

When Bill Penniman put it to a vote, all three developers voted to delete the paragraph altogether. Only one civilian supported Penniman. Paul Thomas and Judith Pew abstained, thus killing any assurance that residential will be accomplished early—or at all, as 20 years of experience in Town Center suggests.

-Bill Penniman postponed consideration of desired ratios of office to residential GFA, initially to return to after landbay by landbay discussion, then to a future meeting. BPenniman suggested following landbay ratios office to residential: G-3 40:60; G-4 60:40; G-5 40-60; G-6 30-70. To be discussed at next meeting, October 13!

-Under standard development requirements for rezoning, developer promptly suggested weakening “workforce/affordable housing per Fairfax standards”, or leaving option of some financial contribution. Several observers objected—noting this TOD area precisely where workforce housing needed—rather than pushing this income group further from the station and increasing the cost of commute. Comstock rep noted they had proferred to do 19.5% workforce housing rather than County mandated minimum of 12%, and in addition, made contribution to county affordable housing fund! There will be a recommendation for incentives for more workforce/affordable housing either on-site or via contributions to a Comstock-style, county-administered fund.

Comment: Watching this process at the Reston Parkway subcommittee and now at Wiehle is very discouraging if you believe in either Reston founding principles or county policy or if you have a sense of value in a social good such as affordable housing.

Landbay by Landbay changes—few!

-Sudden consensus that green spaces large enough for active recreation such as ball or soccer fields not possible due to lack of adequate land [Comment: questionable at least at ½ mile and beyond]. Like Town Center, Wiehle growth will generate demand for additional fields, but group argues that space should be found elsewhere. It's hard to find soccer/baseball sized field areas in the RCIG given current development and the area's physical constraints. It needs to be looked at from a larger perspective. Comment: Surely, somewhere in the RCIG there is space for athletic fields. Hopefully, the full Task Force will pick up the ball dropped here.

-Group agreed to add language to limit more McDonald’s (or banks??!) type of problems by recommending limit to “auto-oriented uses” [drive-throughs!].

Closing- Bill Penniman proposed again postponing discussion of F.A.R.s.   (Task Force Chair Patti Nicoson reminded him they would have to deal with it soon.). Presumably will be discussed at next Wiehle Subcommittee meeting, October 20 or 27.

Someone noted that TC Committee had addressed issue of dog walk/poo areas, but Wiehle has not. Resolved by agreement to leave as offsite amenity. That is, take your dog over to Town Center as needed.
         

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Notes on Herndon Planning Commission Meeting on Herndon-Monroe Station Redevelopment, September 20, 2010, Paul Damory

Last evening I attended the Herndon Town Planning Committee meeting with their consultants, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB). The primary intent of the meeting was to discuss the two land-use scenarios for the future stop. The consultants made a persuasive argument, that was agreed upon, to provide analysis on two scenarios that were more aggressive than the study parameters defined in the Town's RFP.

VHB started by couching the discussion in the understanding that this development was not intended to distract from the "Herndon Downtown" but rather needed to be self containing, in terms of cost. I think they still have to sell the point that some redevelopment is desirable to ensure that the area does not fall into disrepair and end up detracting from the town's appeal and finances.

SCENARIOS

VHB advocated the study of two different scenarios, than the ones initially outlined. The included:

Scenario 1: A overall FAR of 2.5 for the portion closest to the station. This included everything between Herndon Pkwy, the Toll Road, Van Buren, and the Exchange Place intersection with Herndon Pkwy. This also included the other side of the Herndon Pkwy but only about 150 feet off the road. They envisioned that this would result in a blended FAR of 2.3.

Scenario 2: A overall FAR of 4-5 for the same portion of land with a blended rate of 3.2.

The commission lead explained that there would be a state purchase or reclamation of land that would provide for a pedestrian path to Herndon Pkwy but not much more. My discussion with the consultants after the meeting said that the study would suggest public parking to ensure a balanced approach to the development, but that clearly does not equate to acceptance by the commission or Town Council.

TIMETABLE

This was the second of multiple meetings planned for their TOD-designing roadmap. The first public workshop on the Herndon Metro study was held in July. Consultants and town staff worked to collect information from the public and present case studies from other local Metro projects. In the next few weeks their traffic model will be populated and results will be available at the next meeting, on Nov 8. In that meeting, there will be a presentation and opportunity for group discussion. A December meeting will provide a plan for discussion and feedback from the commission. This will roll up into a plan ready to go to their Town Council in February, and an implementable plan in June.


Thanks,
Paul Darmory

How Many Restons Are There? Dave Edwards, September 21, 2010

Is there a Reston Association North (the old First Homeowners Association), a Reston Association South (the old Second Homeowners Association), a Town Center Association, an RCIG Association, a Reston Community Center empire, renters vs owners ….How many Restons are there??

Now is the time to stop all the Reston parochialism. THERE IS ONE RESTON!!

It won’t be possible in the immediate future to solve the emotion question of “Who are we? Why aren’t we one Reston association?” Yes, the Hunter Mill Supervisor could make some decisions by fiat defining territorial boundaries, but we know the long-standing emotional scars this would leave. It would be great if all these fiefdoms would agree to merge tomorrow into one central Reston association, but this won’t happen. But aren’t there other ways to deal with this dilemma?

I see no solution other than forming an Alliance of Reston Residents Associations. Get all of the management / program organizations together formally on a regular basis to talk about differences, and also about common issues where joint participation would strengthen what is best for Reston.

It is very unfortunate that a Town Center Association was created independent of Reston Association. Understandable, but unfortunate. If the Town Center is not an integral part of the total Reston, then we as a community are in serious trouble. It is not surprising the Reston Association is very eager to prevent a further Balkanization of Reston. In most of the RCIG areas, it can make a strong case for incorporating the new residents into the Reston Association. After all, the imaginative programs and the lakes streams, woods, paths, swimming pools and tennis courts that every Reston resident assumes they own and can use are under the management of Reston Association.

However, the well-established Town Center Association is not going to implode tomorrow. The Reston Community Center, that is separate today only because Reston Association could not agree to assume the heavy responsibility of developing it 32 years ago, will not disappear as part of Fairfax County government. Its terrific schedule of programs but limited space will remain a vital Reston institution, even though there is some overlap with Reston Association programs.

Reston Association should attempt to include as much new residential development under its banner as it reasonably can. However, ultimately, rather than fight nasty border wars, ALL these entities are part of a single Reston. They have much more to gain as associates that talk to each other and work together than as turf war adversaries more concerned about furthering themselves that what is best for Reston.

Get together guys! Meet cooperatively and publicly on a very regular basis. Yes, you do meet now occasionally, but that’s not enough. Meet on a regular, scheduled basis. Talk about conflicting concerns and problems, but also talk about broader issues that affect the present and future well-being of all of Reston. You might even find areas where you can share responsibility. This is one Reston! Try to see it that way. Each organization should support the others if in doing so it makes a better Reston.

This is not pie in the sky, it’s simply pragmatic problem solving. Let’s all work together to keep Reston the GREAT place it is today. Let’s make it even better tomorrow.

Notes on Reston Task Force Meeting, September 14, 2010, Dick Rogers & Marion Stillson

1.  During the administrative portion of the meeting, the Task Force agreed in principle to support a letter from the Vision Committee to MWAA, as they get their air-rights study results (within a month), asking MWAA not to take steps which will preclude future air rights.
 
2. Heidi Merkel, FC DPZ, outlined the near term schedule for the Task Force::
  •  28 Sept.  Wiehle sub-com will report tentative conclusions (this changes what she said at the RTC Committee meeting in the morning when she said TC would go then!)
  •  5 October. Special presentation on Design and Architecture.
  •  12 Oct.  TC Committee will present what will presumably be its final report.
  •  26 Oct.  At last the county transportation presentation. 
Click here for the full presentation. 
 
She indicated that the reports prepared by the Task Force would go through a rigorous staff review, which drew no general reaction from the Task Force. She was talking about staff performing two tasks:  
  • Putting TF recommendations into CP language was one, and I think many felt relief that the TF would not have to do this. 
  • The second staff task was assessing the impact of TF recommendations against such measures as the GMU forecasts. There was an explicit TF reaction to the latter, though it might have been at another point in the evening, I'm not sure:  This reaction was to decry the GMU horizon of 40-50 years as too great, 20-30 years being more realistic. However, Heidi appeared to stick with the 40-50 year horizon. 
Someone asked her what the timeframe was for the final stages of Phase 1, and she hesitated very long before saying "the first half of the year."  I think people were so surprised at going beyond December 2010, that no one asked about Phase 2 (which will consider the Village Centers and Reston's residential areas).
 
3.   John Carter presented the Vision Committee's principles and preliminary overview.  They were well received. He drew particular reaction on a couple of points:
  • The Soapstone overpass across the DTR should be built soonest. Question: With what money?
  • We should be thinking of extending the Reston tree canopy, not reducing it.  (He cited a County figure of 45% tree cover up from the current 38%.)  Skeptical developers and TODers were on this one at this morning's Wiehle mtg.
  • Where are the places for quasi-industrial type uses like storage facilities, which are not generally being thought of?
  • Village Centers: He noted potential concerns--something to think about--that the VCs might be undercut by retail in the TOD areas. 
In other comments during his presentation,
  • He honored' Reston 2020 explicitly by saying his report's transportation segment uses Reston 2020 maps. 
  • At least three times he also remarked that there are 5 "failing" intersections near where the stations will be, with no satisfactory plans to improve them. In imitation of "Houston, we have a problem" he said, "Reston, we have a problem." It's no exaggeration to say he emphasized this issue, legitimately so, in my opinion.
Mike Cooper of Brandywine (a very pro-office developer) raised some questions about John's slide on residential-commercial growth which implied lots of the former and less of the latter. He stressed the need to continue to attract jobs.
 
4.  Herndon-Monroe Committee Report--The presentation largely followed that of their draft paper.
  •  Protect established commercial/office sites was emphasized but more mixed use and residential and TOD in A-2 and C-2 (the station area) was allowed for than the draft paper suggests.
  •  Protect wetlands drew applause.
  •  Paul Damory of Polo Fields thanked the committee for, in effect, protecting his neighborhood.
(Comment: I continue to find them a bit vague on improved access to the station from Monroe and FCP; also they do not really embrace the Joe Stowers proposal to convert the existing access ramp into a link to Herndon.)
 
5.  Sandi Smith of DPZ gets married Saturday--gone for two weeks!

Comment on the September 18 Draft RTF Town Center Committee Draft Report, September 20, Terry Maynard

The following is my response to the subject draft report.  It is the text of an e-mail I sent to Mr. Goudie, the Reston Task Force, and the Reston 2020 community.  The views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of any Reston organization.   Terry Maynard

Comment on the 9-18-10 Draft Reston Town Center Committee report                                                                   

Monday, September 20, 2010

Looney-led Task Force Tour of Ballson & Virginia Square TOD Areas, September 25, 9-11 AM

From a DPZ e-mail:  
Walking Tour Information for Saturday September 25 (9:00 - 11:00 a.m.)
 
Task Force member Mark Looney offered to host a walking tour in Arlington to provide Task Force members a firsthand look at two of the station areas along the Rosslyn-Ballston transit corridor.   
 
The walk will begin at Mark's house in a single family residential area north of the Ballston station area.
* See how transitions are made from single family houses to townhouses to high-rise buildings close to the Metro Station
* View the differences between the Ballston and Virginia Square metro areas from a density and design standpoint 
* See several urban parks and plazas, as well as the large Quincy Park and the new Washington-Lee High School
Hear Mark's observations as a resident of the area about what has worked well and what hasn't  
* Walk will cross over I-66 so participants can note the locations and distances of bridge crossings over the highway
The walk will be a loop of about 2.5-3.0 miles (please wear comfortable walking shoes) and is expected to last about 1.5 - 2 hours, depending on how often the group stops to talk. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reston Town Center Committee Meeting Agenda and Revised Draft Report, September 18, 2010

RTC Committee co-chair sent the following e-mail and attachments to the committee and the community on September 18, 2010, in preparation for Tuesday's 7:30 AM meeting of the committee at the West Market Clubhouse. 


All,

We will focus Tuesday on the new edits to the draft report and straw man map (both attached).  I have done my best to try to capture the essence of the items we’ve agreed to the last couple of weeks.  Pete and I want to thank all for working through these issues, and the excellent input we’ve gotten from 2020, other residents, and the landowners.  It has all improved the work product.

I used the last version (dated a/o Aug. 30) as a clean draft and then redlined off of that.  I’m sure I haven’t gotten all of it.  Among the new “stuff” I’ve added some new descriptions on street improvements.  This grew out of late discussions at the last meeting.  I think we ought to discuss to what extent, if at all, we want these and to what streets these criteria apply (e.g., presumably Reston Parkway should not be treated the same as Market Street; I have created a difference between what I’ve called “interior streets” and boundary or “conveyer streets”; while all should have sidewalks and some bike/ped-friendly characteristics, the former would have more traffic calming and on-street parking while the latter would be used more to convey vehicles around the urban core and Metro South).  I’m sure this warrants some discussion.  For example, I understand one or more of the other Committees are talking about Sunrise Valley’s character being changed considerably.  Not clear to me the group wants that in Metro South, this being an important conveyer street to some extent.  Sunrise Valley may not be the only sticky one.  New Dominion we’ve parsed a bit.  Town Center Parkway?  Open for discussion.  Here is what I propose:

Administrative (5 minutes – meet again September 28, at which time we will hear a presentation from a County representative working on the police dep’t redesign efforts and we’ll finalize the report; we still have Oct. 5 and possibly even the 12th for an additional meeting if needed)

I.                  Open Forum (15 minutes)
II.                Discussion of Looney parking/housing proposal
III.               Road Design
a.       Do we like the new language?  Any adds/edits?
b.       Do we want to designate what are interior versus conveyer streets (for lack of a better term) and define the distinguishing characteristics of the two?
IV.               Discuss other edits to the draft
a.       Suggested format:  Each Committee member will be given time to raise and have addressed by the group (pro, con, or modified) three possible changes/edits
b.       Once we’ve gone around the Committee once, we’ll return and ask for an additional edit from each Committee member
c.       Once we’ve gone around the room we’ll return and ask for an additional edit from each Committee member, and so on until we run out of time and/or get all Committee input on the draft
d.       So all Committee members should try to prepare a list of edits you’d like to see addressed so we can cover them as we go around the room.
Once again, many thanks to Rae for editing the map (more than once over the last few days!).

Joe, I’ve added your minority report.  I’d ask you to reconsider what we’ve said now on the various subjects on which you comment and ensure it matches up appropriately with what we are saying in the latest draft (e.g., is maybe the air rights criticism a bit overbroad given what the draft now reflects as but one example?)  Many thanks.
Reston Town Center Metro Draft Committee Report--09-18-10                                                                   

Reston TC Metro Development Straw Man--09-18-10                                                                   

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Defense Intelligence Agency signs massive Reston lease with Boston Properties, Washington Business Journal, September 13, 2010

The Defense Intelligence Agency has signed a 523,482-square-foot lease at Boston Properties’s Patriots Park in Reston, with plans to fill the entire two-tower property by 2013.

The agency, which works with the Pentagon on intelligence about foreign threats, will take space in the offices at 12310 and 12300 Sunrise Valley Drive under a 20-year lease and will gradually move into it, starting with 270,000 square feet in 2012. DIA workers will move into the remaining 250,000 square feet in May 2013.


Read more: Defense Intelligence Agency signs massive Reston lease with Boston Properties - Washington Business Journal

Friday, September 17, 2010

Updating the Plan, Reston Connection, September 17, 2010

By Alex McVeigh,The Connection
Friday, September 17, 2010

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority conducted an informational session Monday, Sept. 13 to show Northern Virginia residents the progress on Phase Two of the Dulles Corridor Metro Project. The second phase of the Silver Line includes six new stations, from Reston Parkway to Route 772 in Ashburn, and it includes a stop at Dulles Airport. The Reston Sheraton was the site of the session, and maps of each station were set out in their order on the Silver Line going east to west. Each station featured a design of the station as planned in 2004 and an updated map with the current plan. . . .

Click here for the rest of this article.  

Fairfax Planners Postpone Decision on Excelsior Project, Again!, Restonian, September 17, 2010

Hey, remember that time that a developer wanted to slap two fancy mid-rise residential buildings smack dab in the middle of the Oracle Campus on Sunset Hills Drive, only those nerds in the Fairfax County planning office wanted the project rejected, in part because of questions about how it would be integrated with the existing office space, and in part because of the "lack of detail" in the smudgy, poorly Xeroxed renderings of some off-the-shelf architectural dreck that looked like it was designed by a bored 12-year-old using AutoCAD?

Yeah, that was awesome. Well, the Fairfax County Planning Commission took another look at the project this week, and once again deferred a decision on Excelsior LLC's proposal. For those of you keeping score at home, this is the fourth time this project has been deferred by county planners. Maybe someone just can't take a hint!

 For the rest of Restonian's take (take down?) on the FCPC decision, click here.

Next Steps for the Reston Task Force, September 14, 2010

The Reston Task Force is in the midst of drafting its Phase I reports on the areawide vision for Reston and each of the Metrorail station TOD areas and Town Center for presentation over the next month.  The County Department of Planning and Zoning Staff presented an outline of how they anticipate the Task Force will proceed in the months ahead as it proceeds to its Phase II look at the rest of Reston, including the village centers and residential neighborhoods.  The following is the DPZ presentation on this transition. 

Next Steps in Reston Task Force Process, Sept. 14, 2010                                                                   

Notes from RTF Wiehle Avenue Committee Meeting, September 15, John Lovaas

          What a way to spend the 200th Anniversary of Mexico’s Independence!

          Most of the Subcommittee was present.  Bill Penniman led the meeting.

          The group completed a paragraph by paragraph review of the “Outline of Wiehle Subcommittee Report”.  Last section was land bay recommendations, beginning with land bays north of the Toll Road.

          V Foster, taking a cue from John Carter’s Vision Committee report to the full Task Force the night before, noted the group had not characterized the kind/s of retail they’d like to see in Wiehle area.  Consensus settled on “local” defined as retail businesses serving Wiehle neighborhood and other parts of Reston—as opposed to regional (destination, beyond Reston), neighborhood or convenience only.

          Mark Looney, CoC representative, raised concern of Beacon Properties (he disclosed Beacon is his client) which has a property up for development which is partially outside the ½ mile TOD circle of higher density.  He said they were looking for an exception for the whole property to be allowed higher density, and he wondered if the group “would entertain supporting the request.”  He said he’d stay out of discussion.  Group seemed uncomfortable dealing with specific request for support of an action in process in Task Force context.  Bill Penniman said he thought it would be better to discuss general policy rather than a client’s request for an exception.  In the end, group agreed to a “fuzzy boundaries” approach—recommending that properties right near frontier might be considered for exception IF they made special contribution to TOD and to overall vision for area, including, e.g., especially attractive proffers.

          Note: developers and their lawyers have used this Task Force process to advance the interests of their specific properties frequently, like a feeding frenzy at times, without always disclosing their interests.  This may have been different because it was a request for favorable treatment for a specific project exception, as opposed to new comp plan language.  But, this was disclosed.
          The problem of McDonalds’ restaurant on Wiehle was raised a couple of times in context of “can’t we do something” about the traffic nuisance it creates?  Some thought county should force McDonalds to somehow correct traffic flow into the outlet or move.  Others argued, Fairfax County approved exactly what McDonald's does, so it is the County’s problem to solve.  Wording may be proposed for the report on this subject—sounds like a complaint coming but not a solution.
         
Group discussed language under land bay 5, Isaac Newton Square area, calling for building heights “…tapering [off?] to the golf course.”  Consensus that higher buildings near attractive golf course views were better than
near low-rise housing, as in case of JBG’s seemingly ill-fated Fairways project.  Language will be deleted.

          There was a lengthy discussion about pedestrian/bike crossings of Sunset Hills in particular.  Words like safety and character were used a great deal, and while “cost” was not, surely it is a factor for developers.  Several committee members felt that it was critical for pedestrian/bicyclist safety to have grade separated crossing over/under Sunset Hills at least connecting station to Isaac Newton Square area where dense residential is under consideration.  Mark Looney argued that instead there should be several marked at-grade pedestrian crossings which, taken together, will have the effect of calming traffic and indeed altering the very character of Sunset Hills at least for the stretch from about the proposed Soapstone crossing to down to the skating rink area from 4-lane fast road to a neighborhood street with much slower pace.  [This would also lower developer costs substantially.]  He argued that drivers wouldn’t like the slowed pace which favored pedestrians.  Foster wasn’t sure he wanted to see his body as a traffic calming device.  Bill Penniman will draft language giving options, stressing pedestrian safety top priority, but noting possible benefit of multiple at-grade crossings.
         
          A developer suggested altering draft language for Isaac Newton Square area to change proposed 20:80 office to residential ratio to 30:70.  Questions of these ratios overall and in land bays remain to be resolved at a later session.

          Paul Thomas, RA representative, suggested that Association Drive corner of Land bay 1(western tip of south part of Wiehle area), because of its special character—occupied by associations for which Reston is known and having stands of nice trees (possibly preserving some tree canopy Vision draft report mentioned as important part of Reston)—might be protected.  Co-chair and Mark Looney pointed out that area is within ¼ mile of station where TOD calls for dense mixed-use development.   Agreed to prepare language to add “incorporating woodland feel” vice preserving, and noting associations good character!


          Someone noted that while protecting established residential neighborhood south of Sunrise Valley had been discussed, the draft lacked specific language excepting area from new density.  Language will be added.


          At the end of land bay discussion, Bill Penniman noted issues still to be resolved as noted, including the big one on residential:office space ratios.  Also next time, the group will discuss Mark Looney draft proposal on standards or objectives for parks/green space in various land bays [this has been a huge, contentious problem topic in Town Center subcommittee], a new strawman for the whole area which Bill Penniman will prepare, and Mike Corrigan’s proposal for development over the toll road itself (an area ½ mile around the station and 400 ft wide equaling 49 acres potentially) which was handed out at meeting.  

          It was a day of good progress, but several knotty issues remain to be resolved before Wiehle group delivers final report to Task Force on September 28th—to be accomplished presumably in just one more meeting on September 22nd at RA Offices. 


JLovaas, 9/15/10
         

Thursday, September 16, 2010

1,150 More Miles of Toll Roads in Metro Area? A TPB "Aspirational Scenario"

TPB's "aspiration" means HOT lanes, more pollution

by David Alpert • September 15, 2010 11:06 am

Today, the Transportation Planning Board will hear a plan scenario for a major expansion of highway lanes outside the Beltway, coupled with road pricing, BRT, and some concentration of development in "activity centers."

The plan scenario tries to bring evaluates the possibility of bringing road pricing, a controversial yet valuable idea, to the Washington region. Variably-priced lanes coupled with transit alternatives make roads work more efficiently while also giving people options to get around without driving or paying the tolls.

New Bus Rapid Transit would run on the new lanes and use special dedicated ramps to access stations, making them act somewhat like rail in that vehicles would make few stops and run between them fairly quickly. It would most resemble the Metro lines that are currently on or near freeways, since these stations would be close to the freeway and therefore more like park and ride lots with potential for development rather than serving commercial corridors as underground Metro lines do.

Unlike some early versions, it even includes options for pricing 500 miles of existing capacity in DC and on parkways instead of adding lanes. . .
But the plan scenario falls short in its largest component: 650 miles of new lanes on virtually every non-NPS freeway outside DC (emphasis added). . . .
. . . the title, "aspirations scenario," is TPB jargon for a scenario that goes beyond the standard Constrained Long-Range Plan, and doesn't necessarily represent a value judgment.


 Roads Identified with Possible Variably Priced Lanes (VPLs) (TPB "Aspirational Scenario")



OK, this is far from a "done deal;" it is a "scenario."   But you must really read the rest of Mr. Alpert's article on the Greater Greater Washington blog for a full understanding of the idea.

Letter: Concerns about Phase II of the Silver Line, Dave Edwards, September 14, 2010

Lynn Hampton, Acting
President and CEO
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority


Ms Hamilton;

I am very pleased with the aggressive posture the Dulles Corridor Rail Project has been taking. I am pleased that there is a concerted effort to attempt to maintain seamlessness between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project.

I must express some concern about certain elements of the project which still may be possible to affect:

1. Because the Dulles Access/Toll Road has created a high degree of schizophrenia within Reston by limiting the number of points of interchange between north and south. For this reason we are especially sensitive that nothing built into the Dulles Rail Project preclude future bridges or tunnels that may be possible to cross the Dulles Corridor and lessen the congestion associated with the funneling effect of a limited number of current crossings.

2. Likewise we are extremely supportive of any potential effort to allow for future building in air rights in the Dulles Corridor connecting north and south Reston. There are indications that MWAA may also see some future potential in utilizing it proprietary interest in this. Please do all that can be done to assure that no action today precludes what may be possible in the future.

3. Likewise, while today’s costs are of critical importance, please do all that can be done to assure that future additional access points to the various stations are not precluded. Beyond 2013 and 2016 we want the Dulles Rail system to be flexible enough that significant improvements can be added as the ridership demand and the availability of additional funding permit.

4. Of particular importance, please do not let short-term expediency, and the severe shortage of funds cause a less than effective Dulles Rail interface with the air terminal at Dulles result from a bad compromise in design. We greatly appreciate the care being taken by the Dulles Rail team to effectively manage the very scarce funding available. However, this critical element of the project must function effectively for at least the next fifty years. Let’s make no short-term expedient decisions today that reduce the long-term effectiveness of Dulles Rail for airline passengers and employees at Dulles. By whatever means, including more Toll Road tolls, let’s find the money to achieve the optimum Dulles Rail interface with the Dulles terminal.


David A. Edwards

Dulles Airport Metrorail Station: A Terminal Decision, Terry Maynard

"Consultants have been evaluating a secondary location for the station, between Daily Parking Garage No. 1 and Saarinen Circle, that officials have said would save millions of dollars.", Washington Post.

Aside from my general view that rail is much more expensive and less flexible than buses for achieving all the same commuting, airport, and other objectives outlined for the (maybe not so) Silver Line, I find it pathetically laughable now that the MWAA powers-that-be are considering NOT building a station at the Dulles terminal to save 10% on the line's overall cost. Wasn't it Saarinen's intent to have Metrorail at the doorway? Isn't that why we have that unused space in the middle of the access road for 40 years? Isn't that what Metro and MWAA and everyone else in authority said we'd be doing? Isn't that why we're spending more than $6 billion on the Silver Line in the first place?

And now we get word that MWCOG is looking at building 1,650 lane miles of roads at a cost of $52 Billion paid for by tolls. The projected $640 million in savings by moving the Metrorail station out there somewhere is about one percent of what our leaders are planning to spend on roads--and have you pay for in tolls.

So why don't these officials encourage Metrorail use at the expense of toll roads and driving? I know this is heresy, but couldn't they displace some of the vehicular traffic and parking around the Dulles terminal (Oh, no, I have to drive to the door!) and and build a surface station there instead if the 2-mile access tunnel is too expensive? Just askin'!

Oh, MWAA will build a station nearby, within walking distance (about 0.2 miles) over yonder to drop you off so you can walk with your luggage, your kids, and your pets to the terminal. OK, maybe you can use the movable walkway from Daily Parking Garage No. 1, but I'm betting that there is no red cap to greet you and take some of the load off as you step off the Metro.

Enjoy your flight!

The good news is that it will keep the taxis in business, I guess.

What are these people thinking??

For Whom the Bill Will Be Tolls: WaPo on COG Toll Road Plans

Council plans public survey on regional toll road project

By Ashley Halsey III
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 16, 2010


A fresh blueprint for the region that calls for 1,650 miles of toll lanes and more mixed-use land development in the suburbs was unveiled to predictable reaction on Wednesday.

Advocates for more and better highways generally embraced the portion of the plan that recommends them. Proponents of smarter land use and more mass transit gave thumbs up to proposals for more walkable communities and thumbs down to almost $52 billion in construction to create toll roads.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Design changes proposed for next six new rail stations, Fairfax TImes, September 15, 2010

Public input sought before the Airports Authority's planning moves to final stage
by Kali Schumitz | Staff Writer


Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project officials unveiled design changes Monday for the next six stations that will be built on the new rail line.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority now is collecting public input on the station designs before the project proceeds to final design stages. . .

. . . The proposed changes from the original designs at most of the second-phase stations are minor, said project director Patrick Nowakowsi.

"Other than the airport station, these are tweaks," Nowakowski said. "For the most part, the tweaking is where the pedestrian bridges land."


For the rest of this article, click here.

Notes on RTF Reston Town Center Committee Meeting, September 14, 2010, Dick Rogers

Process: Robert Goudie, Co-Chair, said he hoped that in two more meetings (21 and 28 September) the committee would be able to report out to the Task Force. However, he also has tentatively scheduled a 5 October meeting.

Open Space: The main issue. Sandi Stallman of FC Parks Authority (FCPA) sent a few comments stressing that an area must be publicly accessible to be considered open space. She suggested the committee worry less about numerical standards and focus on defining quality open space. She does not believe storm water ponds and medians should be counted in open space. (In discussion, the committee seemed to decide that if a storm water pond was configured as a park and if sidewalks were "wide urban sidewalks" with features like benches, they could be counted).

The committee thought the figure of 20% open space would be realistic but thought that if a developer contributed to form a large park/open space this could be discounted.

The committee acknowledged that Town Center would not be the place for large active recreation fields, in effect throwing the ball to RA and FCPA. They thought the Vision Sub-com might also want to address this. Heidi Merkel, FC Department of Planning and Zoning, thought the whole Task Force will have to look at the issue of adequate parks.

The Brookfield representative again strenuously objected to placing a major Southside park of 5-8 acres on its property in E-5, saying "you are putting us in a very narrow box" with parks and roads cutting up its 36 acres. "The large park will become our burden".

Robert Goudie strongly argued for making the existing Town Square Park in the urban core larger, saying that Town Center residents wanted more park area. Since this would come from the newly acquired adjacent Boston Properties property it drew a groan from Peter Otteni, Co-Chair, and not much support from others. (Comment: This struck me as ironic since Robert has been in the lead in reducing the park area in North Town Center--this could have been a relief value for his park hungry Town Center compatriots). Again dog walkers were cited as a major consumer of Town Center parkland.

Urban Core periphery: There was much disjointed discussion about peripheral areas around the urban core--whether it should be all residential or "predominantly residential". There was much discussion about whether the urban core should be extended into D-3 and the southern part of D-1 since they are within or fall on the half-mile circle. Eventually, it was decided that the Vornado property in D-3 would be included in the urban core and blessed with a FAR of 5. The sentiment seemed to be to leave things elsewhere alone; for example, Target apparently has existing rights for considerable expansion/increased density.

There was some discussion about the character of major streets such a Sunset Hills and Reston Parkway with sentiment leaning toward making the former an "urban" boulevard and the latter a speedway.

Other peripheral areas such as the Home Depot area will be left for a Phase II. (Note: Phase II of the Task Force's work will look at all areas of Reston outside Town Center and the station Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) areas now being examined.)

Representatives of the Town Center Office Building--the lonely former home of the late Reston Times left adrift in the Spectrum area--came and asked for an "integrated vision" about how their property may fit into Town Center (curiously, it is not in RTCA). Nothing much was forthcoming on this from the committee.

Vision Committee: I called attention to the work of the Vision Committee and urged Robert Goudie to sit in on a session to get a feel for the different atmosphere. There was some resentment that the Vision Committee could even be thinking of commenting on the Town Center area.

Reston seeks brighter future for Lake Anne Village Center, Fairfax Times, September 15, 2010

Groups work to better market retail center, which has struggled to attract and retain tenants

by Kali Schumitz | Staff Writer


Reston's Lake Anne Village Center, the historic heart of the planned community, remains a paragon among urban planners and architects nationwide.

But despite its fame, the 1960s commercial plaza has struggled to attract and retain tenants for years. The small retail condos and offices are not up to modern standards, and many patrons not familiar with Reston often have difficulty even finding the plaza, which is not visible from main roads and is incorrectly sited in many electronic mapping systems.

Now, merchants and residents are starting to get behind a plan to breathe new life into Lake Anne. . . .



Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times
Despite its fame for its aesthetics, Reston's Lake Anne Village Center has struggled with keeping and attracting tenants.

For the rest of this article, click here.

Phase 2 of Metrorail Extension Outlined at Public Meeting, Reston Patch, September 14, 2010

Officials seeking feedback from community.
By Elizabeth Vandenburg


Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project officials met with citizens Monday at the Sheraton Reston to discuss the plans for Phase 2 of the Metro extension to Dulles Airport.

Phase 2 will extend the rail from Wiehle Avenue in Reston to Dulles International Arport. Phase 1, from East Falls Church to Wiehle, is under construction and slated to open in late 2013. The construction timetable for Phase 2 has not been set.

For the rest of this article, including a shout out to RCA Reston 2020's John Bowman and the blog, click here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Notes from Herndon-Monroe Committee Meeting, September 13, 2010, Dick Rogers

The Herndon-Monroe Committee met today, 13 September. It turns out they are to deliver a preliminary report to the Reston Task Force on 14 September; they had not expected this. Since they will report then, I will minimize substantive comments and offer some impressions. (This is the first meeting I attended.)

The committee is relatively well along in its work. It has a relatively small area to cover, and is relatively conservative in what it wants to accomplish.

There was a strong "let us not rock the boat" attitude present, particularly among the developers-property owners (Mike Cooper--Brandywine REIT Gregg Riegle--WARD), who seemed leading forces on the group. "Let us not do anything that would compromise already successful commercial development" was the tone. They tend toward commercial re-development and protecting the existing property owners in A-1, C-2/3/4.

Arthur Hill strongly argued that no one would ever want to live in the Herndon-Monroe area, there is nothing there and it is "isolated". I had commented that the draft report seems to strongly suggest the sub com favors continued commercial development in the area rather than Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

This led to some discussion--it seems that mixed-use TOD development was only supported in the areas immediate to the station (C-2 and a-1). There were comments that residential development would mean lower tax returns for the county and increased expenses for social services like schools and fire protection.

The committee seemed to recognize that development on the Herndon side would have a major impact. After discussion, it seemed the Committee will employ stronger language to urge the county to monitor this process and perhaps reconsider the south side when Herndon gets its act together. Some thought Herndon deliberately will not get its act together.

Joe Stowers, who sat in, called the attention of the committee to the section of his Vision Committee transportation paper which urges conversion of the existing bus access to the garage to a direct link to Herndon. There was no particular reaction and the draft paper only alludes to the issue of access from the North side.

The committee has decided at this point not to address floor-area ratios (FARs), density or the specific balance between commercial and residential. Some said that "let the market take its course" on these matters should be the policy.

John Carter (Co-Chair of the Vision Committee) attended, apparently to get a better feel for the Committee. He commented that so far the numbers being generated by the various station-area committees seem to be twice those of the proposed Tyson's redevelopment.

The committee has a number of other important points in its draft:
--It seems to endorse the idea of east-West connectivity from FCP and Monroe to the station, but in a disjointed and underemphasized way.
--Don't expand the parking garage and if possible use the existing garage for TOD.
--Protect the wetlands
--Turn Sunrise Valley into a "grand green boulevard".
--Protect Polo Fields residential area south of Sunrise Valley Drive.
--Put higher density and taller structures long the Dulles Toll Road.

Reston Station: Planning for the Last Stop of the New Metro Line, Bora Mici, DCMud, September 6, 2010

The following is the opening line of a puff piece in DCmud--a DC urban real estate blog--about the coming of Comstock's development at the Wiehle Avenue Metro Station, which it calls "Reston Station."

When it comes to development along the new Dulles Corridor Metrorail Silver Line, connecting downtown Washington DC to Tysons Corner and Dulles Airport, developers think big. Reston Station, a transit-oriented, mixed-usedevelopment (sic) soon to be brought into the orbit of Washington DC as the terminus of Phase 1 of the Silver Line, is no exception. . . .


For the rest of the DCMud post, click here.

I've commented on the blog post. I re-post that comment here, since it may not be accepted by DCMud:

Well, as others have said, "Reston Station" is really "Wiehle Avenue Station." It is at the end of the Phase I construction of the "Silver" Metrorail line that will ultimately go to Dulles & beyond (Phase II).

The Comstock development proposal so prominently featured here was violently opposed by all Reston civic groups on many grounds.

--There is absolutely nothing architecturally excellent, even redeeming, about it. It reminds most Restonians of the worst of Crystal City development in its overwhelming mass and cubism.

--Unlike the rest of Reston, it has virtually no usable public open space. It's plaza is about the same size as Reston's Lake Anne Plaza (Washington Plaza)which is about one-tenth as dense, will allow traffic (none at Lake Anne), and will virtually never see sunlight due to the overwhelming buildings around.

--Block I will be a congestion magnet, despite what Comstock's Parker says about it. It will add 5,000-plus parking spaces to an area that receives failing traffic grades even AFTER the marginal improvements Comstock has agreed to install.

. . . and there's more. See the Reston 2020 blog for details at http://reston2020.blogspot.com, a blog on Reston development created by the Reston Citizen's Association's Reston 2020 Committee. See "Comstock" in the index or search the blog.

The County, which negotiated an agreement with Comstock to build the parking for the site by the 2013 arrival of Metro, agreed to this proposal over the objections of virtually all Restonians.

It will be an eyesore for decades allowed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Sep 13, 2010 2:36:00 PM

Readers weigh in on Metro's new line to Dulles International Airport, Dr. Gridlock (Robert Thomson), Washington Post, September 12, 2010

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I foresee nightmarish traffic congestion both during and after construction of the Wiehle Avenue Metrorail station (and, later, the Reston Parkway station) and adjacent development. . .

. . . Traffic will escalate near the stations in Reston, and anyone attempting to drive out of Reston will be caught in it. Greatly expanded rapid bus transit would have been far less disruptive and costly.

-- Alice Markham, Reston


Dr. Gridlock's response doesn't address Ms. Markham's concerns, but provides a lengthy descriptive response about the planning for the still-not-officially-named Silver Line, especially Phase II.

Official Notes from the RTF Vision Committee Meeting, September 8, 2010

Vision Subcommittee Meeting
Reston Master Plan Special Study Committee


Date: September 8, 2010
Time and Place: 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
North County Government Center


Participants:
John Bowman, Task Force
John Carter, Co-chair
Fred Costello, Task Force
Van Foster, Task Force
Kathy Kaplan
John Lovaas
Milton Matthews, Task Force
Patti Nickoson Task Force Chari
Terri Phillips, Task Force
Bill Penniman, Task Force
Judith Pew, Task Force
Guy Rando
Richard Rogers
Dick Stillson
Joe Stowers, Task Force
Kohann Williams, Co-chair
Heidi Merkel, Fairfax County DPZ


Item No. 1: Summary of Recent Transit Station Sub-committee Meetings
Representatives from each of the three transit station sub-committees presented the early draft recommendations for the levels of development at each transit station. The Vision Sub-committee will combine the recommendations for the levels of development from each of the transit station areas and present the results at a later meeting.

Item No. 2: Land Use Recommendations
Draft recommendations and a chart that compared the existing development, the amount of development allowed in the existing master plan, and the George Mason University projections were presented. (See below.) In addition, a paper was prepared with land use data and recommendations. The following recommendations items were included in the presentation:
 Add the 2030 GMU projections in addition to the 2050 projections to the chart of land use comparisons
 Incorporate the land use recommendations from each of the other sub-committees
 Add a fourth column to include an increase of 25 percent in the GMU 2050 projections fro information only

Item No. 3: Transportation recommendations
A map that combined the recommendations from each of the transit station sub-committees was presented. The map included recommendations for streets and pedestrian ways that connect both sides of the Dulles Access Road. Arterials, boulevards, new complete streets, bikeways and trails were included on the map. A draft paper describing in detail the recommendations for consideration by the Vision Sub-committee was also presented. The following items were included in the presentation:
 Identify Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Drive and Reston parkway as major green boulevards
 Identify portions of New Dominion Drive and portions of Sunset Hills Drive within the Town Center for a reduction in paving and traffic calming techniques (road diet) to improve pedestrian crossing areas
 Improve the indication for the proposed crossing of the Dulles Access Road
 Add a map of the transitways and bus network
 Consider separating the map of streets and highways from the map of trails and bikeways

Item No. 3: presentation to the Full Task Force
The Vision Sub-committee supported the idea to present the sub-committee recommendations to date to the full Task Force on September 14, 2010. The presentation should include the sub-committee recommendations for the planning principles, environment, transportation urban design, and land use.

Item No. 4: Implementation
The sub-committee will focus on completing the draft recommendations for the above items in the near term and then return to the important implementation issues.

Item No. 4 Next Steps
The meeting on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, has been cancelled (see the web site for the future time and location for the next meeting).



Vision Sub-committee Meeting Notes 9-8-10


Reston TF--Vision Committee Agenda, September 8

Reston Vision Committee--Transportation Draft5_9-7-10

Reston Vision Committee--TOD Area Land Use Numbers