Reston Panorama--Urban and Open Space

Reston Panorama--Urban and Open Space

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Developers have the Wiehle Avenue Metro surrounded, Washington Business Journal, October 5, 2015

WBJ's Michael Neibauer provides an excellent round-up of the various re-development schemes underway around the Wiehle Metro station, all of them except Comstock's BLVD residential tower in the paper planning stage.  Most of the proposals focus on residential development, not office development, recognizing the huge overhang of vacant or available office space in Fairfax County and across the metro area  (approaching 20%, direct and indirect vacancies and availability).  This is especially important in the Wiehle area where, unlike Reston Town Center, the Reston Master Plan calls for a higher mix of residential than office space and more moderate overall densities.

Here is how the article begins:
Despite Metro’s troubles of late, developers have not lost confidence in the lure of the Silver Line to draw residents to the Dulles corridor.
Case in point: Wiehle-Reston East, where no fewer than eight projects are currently underway, or planned, totaling nearly 3,000 new residential units. . .
Wiehle-Reston East, according to Metro, “continues to be Silver Line’s commuting powerhouse.” The terminus of the line’s first phase surpassed first-year ridership projections, with upward of 14,000 daily weekday users, by far the most of any Silver Line station.
Developers are banking on that surging growth, adding thousands of residential units to an area that, until recently, was largely comprised of mid-rise office and light industrial uses.
One small nit to pick:  Neibauer cites JBG's redevelopment of Reston Heights--"less than a mile away"--as part of the Wiehle redevelopment.   It is, in fact, across Reston Parkway from the soon-to-be built Town Center Metro station and is part of the Town Center transit station area, not Wiehle.

Click here for the rest of this article, including a brief description of each of the eight projects.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Upcoming Hearing on Proposed 40,000 SF Addition to South Lakes High School

The first item on the Fairfax County Planning Commission's agenda for its October 15, 2015, meeting at 8:15PM at the Fairfax County Government Center auditorium is a proposed 40,000SF addition to South Lakes High School.

The construction of the addition would result in a total gross floor area of 373,750 square feet.  The purpose of the addition is to provide additional classroom to increase the capacity of the existing school from 2,126 students to 2,500 students.  Along with the building addition, the School Board proposes the addition of 128 parking spaces raising the total number of spaces to 758.  In addition, the Board proposes to modify stormwater management by installing open joint pavement blocks and five filterras.  The School Board also proposes waiving transitional screening requirements on the west, north, and east sides of the school. 

The high school clearly needs additional capacity to handle the number of students as the large number of modular schoolrooms there highlights.  At the same time, there may be concerns about:
  • Additional traffic, especially during the morning rush hour, as students and faculty attempt to enter the school's parking areas.
  • Stormwater issues, which have been a decades-long problem for neighbors east and south of the school, just partially corrected north of South Lakes Drive this year.
  • Waiving of screening requirements will create an additional noise issue for residential areas east and west of the school.
If you wish to speak at the hearing, the instructions for registering and speaking are available here under "Meeting Information."

Here a perspective drawing and an annotated overview plan of the proposal.