Dear Mr. De La Fe,
On behalf of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth, I would like to express our strong opposition to any JBG proposal for redevelopment of the Fairways Apartments in Reston that disrupts the surrounding existing neighborhoods, adds traffic congestion to North Shore Drive, is not true “transit oriented development”, and results in loss of affordable housing in the community of Reston. I understand there have been modifications to the original JBG proposal which was harshly criticized by County staff, Reston Association and the Reston Citizens Association. Absent a radical change to the JBG proposal that fully addresses all our concerns outlined in a July 23, 2010 letter to Supervisor Hudgins (see below), we urge and expect the Planning Commission to reject JBG’s proposal.
The concerns we voiced to Supervisor Hudgins in July were the following:
1. Loss of affordable housing. Even if JBG provides 12% affordable housing units in the new development, this will amount to a net loss of approximately 230 affordable housing units.
2. Increased traffic on North Shore Drive and Temporary Road. The JBG proposal would almost triple the amount of parking spaces at Fairways (520 to 1500). One can extrapolate, therefore, an attendant rush hour increase in traffic in the area which, as you are aware, includes an elementary school, numerous medium density clusters, churches and even a small County office presence.
3. Disruption of stable neighborhoods. One of the key County objectives in redevelopment of portions of the County is the protection of stable neighborhoods. Superimposing a high density development in the midst of medium density neighborhoods far from retail and transit runs counter to this objective. This proposed development is much more suited for a high density area around one of the future metro stations.
4. Absence of rail transit and support retail infrastructure. The proposed development will be over a mile from the future metro station at Reston Parkway. It is approximately ½ mile to the nearest retail establishments; this will not be a walkable community. Bus headways along North Shore Drive range from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the time of day. This low level of transit service virtually guarantees people will use personal vehicles to run errands, travel to the Town Center or go to other appointments. The additional traffic will result in traffic jams and an increase in air pollution in the area.
Thank you for your attention to this issue which is of great importance to Reston and its citizens.
President, Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth
12132 Quorn Lane, Reston 20191
Attachment: Full copy of July 23, 2010 letter to Supervisor Hudgins