Thursday, November 22, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
RCA Board Meeting: November 28, 2011
Present: C.J. Basik, Hank Blakely, John Bowman, Deb Eastham, John Hanley, Diane Lewis, Terry Maynard, Dan McGuire, Colin Mills (President), Tammie Petrine, Dick Rogers, Gary Walker
Absent: George Kain
Public, Off-Camera Board Meeting
Agenda: The agenda was adopted as amended.
August Meeting Minutes: After some spelling corrections and discussion, the October Meeting Minutes were accepted as amended.
Treasurer's Report: Treasurer Diane Lewis handed out copies of the Treasurer's report, which
was approved. As of October 31st, the ending balance for Discretionary Funds was $186.90 and Restricted Funds balance was $1,546.90. Not showing in the report, is a $10 fee for a license plate application. Diane also donated $1 to the 2020 Fund to avoid dormant account charges. When under $100, dormant accounts may be charged after 2 months so her plan is to put a dollar in every month.
Meeting Location: Dan shared the news that we have the Sheraton on 4th Mondays if we so choose, at no charge. The conference room will have a large table which seats up to 15 people. A few additional chairs will provided for guests and they will serve water. Of the three meeting space options (ComCast Studios, Sheraton or North County Government Center) the Sheraton has the more comfortable meeting space. The “cons” at the Sheraton are a possibility of being “bumped” and we might be somewhat more isolated. Some felt the Government Center may present less isolation. The “cons” for the Government Center include limited parking, metal chairs/ less comfortable environment, and we could also be bumped if government officials need the room.
Terry moved that the RCA meetings move to the Sheraton for the next 12 months; Tammi seconded. The vote passed with 9 in favor, 2 opposed, and 1 abstention. The first meeting at the Sheraton will be January 23.
Review of Brainstorming Session: Colin felt the mid-month Brainstorming Session had been very productive and defined our strengths and weaknesses. He passed out a summary of the notes to all board members. When asked for follow up comments, Dick volunteered that he was particularly interested in how we relate to the Reston Association (RA) and suggested forming a working group to come up with how we should relate to / approach outside organizations. This was agreed to and the working group selected will consist of Dick, Tammi, John Hanley, and Colin.
Gary recommended that the Long and Short Term Goals need to be prioritized to make a beginning of an Action Plan. Colin agreed. He will meet with John Hanley and Dan to address this before the January meeting and draft a strategic plan.
Colin pointed out that we have a dual mission in regard to Fundraising. The long-term plan is to identify and pursue grants (etc) and the short-term is to raise funds for more immediate needs (for example, participation on the Reston Festival should we want to do so). He asked for the Board to think about ways to raise at least $200 for immediate needs. Regarding our tax status, Hank offered to contact the IRS to determine the rules regarding pursuit of the 501c3 classification.
Community Forums: Colin aims for the RCA will hold several forums on our key issues throughout 2012, and hopes to find/ enlist local talent to assist us in this. Tammi suggested Property Rights in Reston regarding Developers buying private property for development as a topic. John Hanley suggested working with the Alliance of Reston Cluster and Homeowners (ARCH) on this. Dick recommended finding a lawyer to comment on this as it is a complex topic. Another suggestion for a topic is Property Taxes; the Use and Distribution of those funds. Another idea for an informational presentation was on transportation, particularly explaining how the south side of Reston will get to the new Wiehle Street Metro Station. Discussion ensued regarding the advisability of raising a topic that may be considered “incendiary”. Colin suggested that we consider finding some Education related topics. A great deal of research will be needed before pursing any of these ideas. Youth Employment was another topic suggested, and the idea of local internships being provided to students. Colin, John Hanley and Dan will work on developing a list of ideas. Dan and Hank discussed how we should approach forums, that if we are sponsoring the forums, we should moderate it using an expert or a panel rather than putting forth our opinions. The goal is to establish in the public mind that we address relevant and interesting issues.
Reston Festival: Dan reminded us that the registration period for the Reston Festival will be upon us very soon and we need to decide whether or not we want to participate. Colin pointed out that the decision to participate depends greatly on whether we have on-line voting worked out. The other key issue will be staffing of the booth. Tammi pointed out that people on the election slate cannot man the booth. Colin summed up that we are not yet committed to the Festival but will need to finalize a decision soon.
License Plate: Dan told us about the changes made to the License Plate application. He has concerns over the web presence of the License Plate campaign. A brief discussion ensued but was cut short due to time constraints.
Public, On-Camera Board Meeting
Welcome: President Colin Mills called the meeting to order at 8:30 and the Directors introduced themselves.
RCA Citizen of the Year Award: Colin announced that we are now accepting applications for the RCA Citizen of the Year Award. The criteria is as follows:
- The nominee must have been a Reston citizen for at least the past 5 years,
- The Nominee’s actions are consistent with the goals of Reston and the RCA,
- The Nominee has contributed to the quality of life in Reston,
- People in need of help have benefited from the Nominees actions
- The Nominee’s deeds were done without thought of personal gain or recognition
- The Nominee is not currently an elected public official or serving on the Board of a major community organization (including RA, RCA, etc)
The application should be on the RCA website shortly and are due the end of the year for selection in early January.
Master Plan Task Force: Phase 1 Update and Phase 2 Preview: RCA attended an Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee Meeting discussing the Metro Rail and the regular Task Force meeting on November 1, and the Community Meeting on November 16th.
Terry presented information from the Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee and the Task Force meetings. From the first, we learned that Dulles Toll Road users now look like they will be paying 54% of the cost of Phase 2 if it goes on for the projected cost. Regarding costs, it is realistic that the budget will go from $2.7 to $2.9 billion on Phase 1 and possibly 3 months late (6 months late is the worst case). While not acknowledging any delays in Phase 1, the Task Force do have several schedule problems that they are trying to work around, for example the weather related delays during “Snowmageddon” two years ago while working on the overhead section through Tyson’s Corner. To counter the delays, they are working 24/7, which will incur overtime costs. An interesting side note, when the Chairman of the MWAA asked for new agenda items for the next meeting, there was a request for a “back of the envelope” calculation for what it cost to run a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system instead of Phase 2 and what the impact there would be on Wiehle Avenue. Phase 2 could to be delayed about 6 months for a good reason – an effort to look for other opportunities for financing that may reduce costs.
The Task Force meeting on November 1st presented a second more residential intensive alternate for looking at traffic analysis in Reston. The original scenario is based on planning for 134,000 jobs and approx. 51,000 people living in the TOD areas. The alternate presented with a higher residential ratio, stayed with the same commercial (jobs) level of 134,000 jobs and bumping up the residential component to 100,000 in the TOD area, thus lowering the jobs to household ratio. They then also applied both approaches Reston wide, which had not been done before, estimating an additional 20,000 households in the base case to about 90,000 people and an additional 70,000 households in the residential intensive option for about 150,000 people in Reston. Both estimates are a far cry from the current population of about 58,000. In other words, we are looking at potentially doubling or tripling the population of Reston. Terry plans to write a paper on this and post it in his blog. Dan commented that the fact that they added to the residential side of the equation rather than reduce the commercial to shift the ratio is telling, as is adding the device of including the rest of Reston to the mix which artificially change the commercial/ residential balance without solving the real problem. The majority of the increase will result from Phase 1, not Phase 2.
Regarding the meeting of November 16, which was advertised as the “kick-off” of Phase 2, but wasn’t, John Bowman told us that the attendees were basically given was a history lesson of the Task Force to date – the timeline and some of the issues. What was not presented, and what those who have been engaged in this process were hoping to hear about, was a true discussion on how the County is going to approach Phase 2. The County was non-committal in regard to the use of the Task Force in Phase 2, so the opportunity for the community to comment in Phase 2 is undetermined. Timing for Phase 2 is delayed until they receive the results of the modeling come in during January or February with a set of recommendations from Phase 1. Depending on those results, the County may have to come to grips on how much commercial they can really do and not ruin the quality of life in Reston. Another interesting thing that will come out of the meeting was the County’s acknowledgement the Reston’s current 13 person per acre population cap clearly is going to get busted, the question is how that is going to work. Discussion ensued regarding possible options for how the County might go about collecting and using community opinions.
2020 Update: Tammi described a robust meeting on November 9th. The primary issue of concern continues to be the tremendous burden that the Dulles Toll Road users face but in addition to that another concern of the 2020 committee is who is going to underwrite bonds. When you are looking at the majority of funding coming from a toll road fee that going to raise so high usage is going to drop dramatically, you need to consider how it is get underwriting. Another issue brought up was the fact of the tremendous flooding that occurred this past fall along the W&OD trail along Wiehle Ave with the submerged cars. This was due to a natural stream that has been blocked up and has resulted in a floodable area. We want to be sure when the TOD development along the corridor is built that no natural streams are blocked off, because that is the result. This is also in the Planning Principles committee. The meeting was largely focused on Phase 2 which as John Bowman has pointed out to us is now in abeyance for a number of months.
Terry added that MWAA / Dulles Toll Road bond rating has slipped from A to BBB so there is an issue as Tammi as pointed out.
Fundraising Possibilities: Colin stated that we covered most of this issue in the off-camera segment. No one had anything to add.
IT Committee Update: Gary stated that not much progress had been made. He reviewed the three goals of the committee:
- Revamp the website
- Create the ability to have on-line voting
Hank pointed out how Fundraising and the website go hand-in-hand. Gary hopes the committee will have made concrete progress for the January meeting, possible have a Beta version to show the Board. Colin shared that we want to develop a dynamic website with interactive elements.
Education Committee: Colin described Education as an area that our Brainstorming Meeting pointed out as a good issue to pursue. He does not currently want to start a committee on this, but asked for ideas on what such a committee might focus on. Ideas included Community College in Reston, developing a Reston History curriculum that could be taught in area schools, and advocacy for an Arts / Technical/ Vocational High School which may focus on things like Green Technologies to train young people in industries that may not yet even exist. Another idea is a form of mentoring program with local professionals and businesses.
Other Business: Diane told us of 2 free EV charging stations for electric cars in front of Mom’s Organic Market in the Kmart Shopping Center in Herndon. There are additional charging stations at the Clocktower Shopping Center, also in Herndon.
The Soapstone conversion of bike lanes is completed. There is also a sensor in the bike lane so the traffic light system will be able to detect when a bike is there.
A question was asked if there was new information from the Planning and Zoning Committee regarding a 22 story building that is being considered in the Reston Town Center. The opinion from the meeting was the audience was enamored with the architectural presentation but not much discussion focused on the land use issue. It’s a Class A office building on top of a 6 story garage (not underground). The vision is to attract an international headquarters to Reston, which would be great, but there was no discussion of other impact points such as the commercial/ residential balance, etc. Otherwise, the Spectrum proposal has been withdrawn for the time being.
Location and Time of Next Meeting: No December meeting. The next RCA meeting will be January 23, 2012 in the Sheraton Hotel. The address is 11810 Sunset Hills Road, Reston. The public is invited to come.
Minutes submitted by Debra Eastham
Saturday, September 10, 2011
RESTON PLANNING AND ZONING COMMITTEE
JULY 18, 2011 MEETING NOTES
Members Present: Bruce, Cerny, Cupina, Donohue, Hill, Kennedy, Muhammad, Straits, Vanell, Walker, Weber, Weissburg, and Wynands
Members Absent: Eckhardt, Murphy, Romeo, and Traylor
Agenda Item: Reston Spectrum LLLP submitted PRC Plans for the redevelopment of the Spectrum Center located north of New Dominion Parkway, east of Fountain Drive, west of Reston Parkway and south of Baron Cameron Avenue (PRC 86-C-121-04). The PRC Plan implements the Town Center Concept Plan approved by Fairfax County in 2008. The project is divided into three Land Bays (A through C). Land Bay A (north of New Dominion Parkway, south of Bowman Towne Drive, west of Reston Parkway and east of Fountain Drive) is planned for up to 546 dwelling units, 255 hotel rooms, 172,000 square feet of office space and 62,500 square feet of retail uses within buildings of up to 180 feet. Land Bays B and C are bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue to the north, Bowman Towne Drive to the south, Reston Parkway to the east and Fountain Drive to the west. Land Bay B is planned for up to 643 dwelling units, 270 hotel rooms and 48,650 square feet of retail uses. Land Bay C is planned for up to 237 residential uses and 134,896 square feet or retail and bank uses. Approximately 84,000 square feet of this retail space currently exists within the Harris Teeter store and will be retained. Building heights of up to 120 feet are proposed in Land Bays B and C.
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm.
Mark Looney of Cooley LLP represented Reston Spectrum. Approximately 275,000 square feet of retail space currently occupies Land Bays A through C. In 2008, Fairfax County approved a Town Center Concept Plan for this area. Under that plan, Fountain Drive would become a north-south urban core axis extending from New Dominion Drive on the south to Baron Cameron on the north. Fountain Drive would be the “orienting feature” of the redevelopment project.
The Concept Plan included 579,000 square feet of office space, 246,000 square feet of retail, and 1,426 residential units.
The PRC plan is very similar to the Concept Plan, but provides more detail. Some revisions were made. Residential units have been reduced by 25. On Land Bay B, an office building has been replaced by a hotel. Adjacent to the hotel, a drop-off lane was added along with a small plaza near Fountain Drive. Slight revisions were made to the design of the residential building on Land Bay B.
Land Bay A Building Heights: The office building opposite the Paramount will have a height of 165 feet, which is less than the 180 feet maximum. The building to the north of it will have heights of 120 and 80 feet respectively, both of which are below the allowable maximums.
Fountain Drive Streetscape: Developer envisions converting two of the existing four lanes to parking during off-peak periods to foster a pedestrian-oriented environment.
Shuttle Service to Metro Station: Details not yet determined.
“Reston Times” Building: Although a redevelopment proposal to develop an 18-story building on the site was recently withdrawn, it is anticipated that it will be revised and resubmitted. The withdrawn plan did not include a “cut-through” street adjacent to the site that is envisioned by the Reston Spectrum developers. The same architect is working on both projects and the two plans will be “married-up” as details are finalized. VDOT will not allow construction of the cut-through street unless the existing curb cut on Reston Parkway is eliminated.
Retail: Specific retailers have yet to be identified. Existing leases range from 5 to 15 years. Retail space along Fountain Drive will be located in 2-level stores. There will be less retail space in Land Unit A than now exists. After it is fully redeveloped, the total amount of retail space in Spectrum will decline by about 30,000 square feet. Approximately 75% of the frontage along Fountain Drive will be retail.
Residential Units: Unit sizes will average between 900 and 1100 Square feet. None of the residential buildings will be “stick-built.” A mix of ownership and rental is envisioned. Plans currently call for 55 work force units. County officials may seek to increase. A set-aside of 12% would yield approximately 174 units.
FAR: Slightly above 2.0.
Construction Phasing: Phasing will depend upon on the extent to which existing leases can be renegotiated. If existing leases cannot be renegotiated, redevelopment cannot proceed until they expire. Because of this, the first phase of redevelopment may not occur on Land Bay A. Market factors will also play a role.
LEED Certification: Offices buildings will probably meet “Silver” requirements. Residential buildings will meet a lower LEED standard.
Parking Spaces: Approximately 100 more spaces than required will be provided. Bicycle parking will also be provided. Office buildings will provide shower facilities, lockers, etc.
Audience Comments: Mary Ellen Craig, representing Paramount residents, expressed concern that increased traffic on Fountain Drive will impede vehicular ingress and egress from the property. She also noted that the current street environment is not pedestrian-friendly. Nick Stillson criticized the lack of “openness” in the design of the project.
Town Center North Master Plan Task Force Planning: The Task Force is using the Concept Plan as a “starting point.” When recommendations are made, they are not expected to conflict with the Concept Plan or PRC plan.
Town Center DRB Approvals: Approvals will be sought on a building by building basis, not for the project as a whole.
Minutes of the May 16, 2011 P&Z meeting: Vanell motioned for approval; Cerny seconded. The minutes were approved by unanimous vote.
No other business was discussed.
The meeting adjourned at 10:10 pm.
Next P&Z meeting: Monday, September 19, 2011, 7:30 pm, North County Government Center.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Reston 2020 Meeting Minutes: Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
The meeting was convened at 7:30 pm at LA RCC by Co-Chair Terry Maynard. 15 members were in attendance. Special thoughts were expressed for our member Dave Edwards who was unable to attend. In addition, birthday wishes were expressed to Dick Rogers who is the most prolific Task Force committee meeting attendee of 2020!!!
Implementation was the first item of discussion and was presented by Dick Stillson. 2020 has been grappling with the issue of indentifying a viable method of financing infrastructure improvements in advance of development so that our community does not suffer erosion of reputation and quality of life issues unacceptable to current Restonians as well as commercial and residential newcomers.
Various vehicles were discussed again; specifically TIF or Tax Increment Financing where a portion of the increased taxes collected from Reston businesses and new residences would stay in Reston to fund the debt load on new infrastructure improvements and CIP or Capital Improvement Program, the county’s list of desired improvements that are funded in order as funds are available. The group decided to definitely get some of the necessary improvements on the list, but was realistic that the long wait required would be unsatisfactory in most instances.
Of specific concern is the extension of Soapstone Drive north over the toll way to a connection with Sunset Hills Road. Without this vital link in our transportation network, Reston will experience grid lock during extended rush hours once Metro arrives at Wiehle in three short years.
Reston 2020 decided to write a paper detailing some specific recommendations and alternatives for financing Reston’s new infrastructure to the County Executive, the Board of Supervisors, and other officials. The author of the paper will be Dick Stillson with assistance from a new committee. Offering to staff that committee were: Stillson, Rob Whitfield, Terry Maynard, Joe Leighton, and Tammi Petrine.
One committee suggested starting the process by identifying exactly what we need in the way of improvements for Phase 1 of Metro. Secondly, a committee member stated that the custom of Fairfax Co. of letting developers off the hook for paying for infrastructure improvements has to change as that puts the county and the affected community in the position of not being able to get enough money fast enough to build the necessary facilities and transportation improvements.
A committee member suggested talking to Len Wales, the county debt manager to get some insight into how that process works and to explore possible remedies.
The Steering Committee of the task force was the next item of discussion on the agenda; discussion was guided by Terry Maynard and Dick Rogers.
The first concern for 2020 was how the Steering Committee got the authority to edit the Vision Committee’s work. Dick Rogers stated that Heidi Merkel, DPZ, and Patty Nicoson, RTF Chairman, had clarified that the SC’s role was to decide the vision or character of the three station study areas for what will be presented to the Task Force.
One member suggested that the county staff may already be trying to write the language for the Vision Committee’s planning principles for the entire master plan for presentation to the Task Force. This is a difficult but critical process.
2020’s largest concern is the enormous amount of proposed development in the Dulles Corridor when all of the numbers are added together. The total approaches the density proposed for Tysons Corner in the next 20 years under DPZ’s “Scenario A,” and much higher if the Town Center Sub-committee’s recommendations are accepted. Because the numbers have never been presented en total, 2020 proposes to write a brief paper doing just that. This document including graphics will be prepared by Terry Maynard and will be presented to the whole task force. Members of the Task Force need to understand what they are proposing for the overall plan.
A committee member offered to send all 2020 a copy of HR3202 which deals with urban development and is important to understand in the context of proposed development.
The Herndon/Monroe Area was the next topic of discussion and was presented by Paul Darmory, a resident of Polo Fields. The H/M committee is stymied by the current refusal of the Town of Herndon to take responsibility for any Metro parking and/or adequate access to the station area from the north Herndon side of the toll way. The result of this posture by Herndon is to put 100% of the burden Metro with all of the parking and traffic congestion on Sunrise Valley Road with will effectively barricade Polo Fields residents in their neighborhood and restrict the flow of traffic on this critical Reston access artery.
2020 views the H/M study area as best suited for a mixed use TOD area of residential, commercial and supporting retail with a highlight feature being the existing wetlands with added walkways and amenities. Doubling of the existing garage as currently proposed by the county is unacceptable and would negate the possibility of a vibrant TOD area in the opinion of 2020.
At the very least, 2020 would like to see the funding for the extra garage space be spent instead on a garage-only access road paralleling the toll road and extending from Ffx Co. Pkwy on the east to Monroe St. on the west. This would allow Polo Fields and other E/W commuters to use Sunrise Valley during rush hours.
The current Herndon impasse is very frustrating and John Carter mentioned several issues that should be considered when thinking of a solution to this dilemma. What does Herndon really want to accomplish with development around Metro? Is the original old town area of Herndon going to remain its core or are they going to move it to the new development area? If it is moved, Elden St. will become the bypass. The current Town Council seems split with longer-term members wanting the old town to remain the town center and new members favoring a focus on the newer Metro area.
Another Herndon Metro access problem is that a newer building stands square in the way of easy access to the Metro station. In discussing a possible solution to the Polo Fields / H-M area viability issue in the face of overwhelming traffic congestion, Tammi Petrine suggested presenting a plan to the Herndon Town Council for Herndon to purchase the area in proximity to the Metro station for a huge parking structure that could accommodate both Metro commuters from the north and new Herndon commercial development employees. The funding for the garage could be paid by parking revenues and also provide the town of Herndon with a nice income-producing instrument. This would seem to be a win/win for both Herndon, its citizens and the Reston development plan. The only problem might be a loss of expanded parking revenue for Metro due to maintaining the current number of spots in the south garage. Nonetheless, with the number of parking spots being built further west in Phase 2 and bus service from outlying lots, it is hoped that this issue may be ameliorated.
The last issues discussed briefly were the Fairway Apartments Project and 2020’s planning for Phase 2 of the Master Planning exercise. Tammi Petrine led this portion of the program.
The Fairway Project is still on indefinite deferral per the county DPZ. When new plans are presented, 2020 will again examine them for suitability.
Phase 2: Marion Stillson, president of RCA asked for and received a meeting with Supervisor Catherine Hudgins in early Dec. to discuss Phase 2. In attendance at that meeting were 9 community reps including folks from RCA, 2020, RA and ARCH. The idea was presented to CH to change the composition of the TF for Phase 2 to reflect the interests in the study area and to better address the scope and structure of the TF so that the work can be better managed. Supervisor Hudgins was amenable to a change of task force membership, and it was agreed that RA/ RCA 2020 and ARCH would create and present a memo outlining our views and including a list of potential members for the Phase 2 task force. This memo has been drafted by 2020 and presented to both RA and ARCH for revision. CH has also been sent a note stating the current status of the memo indicating a final iteration will be sent to her shortly.
The meeting was adjourned by Terry Maynard at 9:45PM.