Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Notes on RTF Wiehle Committee Meeting, August 4, 2010, John Lovaas and Kathy Kaplan


--Presentation by Peter Lawrence Group, owners of Isaac Newton Square

--And discussion of Co-chair Andy Van Horn (JBG) “Aspirational Densities” introduced last week plus Co-Chair Bill Penniman Comments on JBG Proposal

Attending: Subcommittee members: Bill Penniman, Andy Van Horn, Art Murphy, Paul Thomas, Judy Pew, David Gill.

Speaking for Peter Lawrence was Mike Saale. He said PL was a family Corp. at Wiehle for the long haul. No specific plans yet, but interest is primarily commercial-office, less interested in residential.

-Art Murphy mentioned that PL had done a master plan for Isaac Newton area over 10 years ago and he’d like to see it.

-Joe Stowers said he’s written dissent on RTC subcommittee draft report re: residential – commercial balance. He believes Isaac Newton Sq. is prime for residential rather than office. He recommends 2:1 (residential to commercial or office) to achieve needed balance to reduce peak traffic trips.

Penniman presented his comments on JBG’s proposal of July 29. He noted that Wiehle now zoned 0.35 to 0.5 FAR. JBG proposal would allow By Right up to 1.0 to 2.5. The Task Force should not change by right FARs even if the comp plan recommends higher FARs. See JBG's and Bill Penniman's presentation here.

-Penniman offered presentation “Comments of JBG’s July 30 (last Wiehle Subcom meeting) “Wiehle Character Overview”. Copy of excellent presentation is attached. Some highlights:

-JBG Proposal would raise F.A.R.s 2 to 10 times current levels, up to 5.0 for several land units Recently approved Comstock project only 2.5; TC urban core is 2.0

-JBG would increase densities up to 1.5 miles from the station (way beyond TOD)

and shift focus to Wiehle Ave away from transit station.

-Current Comp Plan according to DPZ, would allow building to for an estimated

60,171 employees and residents (7.2 jobs to residents!) and 40,200 parking spaces.

-high JBG density option would yield total of 205,562 employees & residents and estimated 142,400 parking spaces. Some shocked looks among non-developers.

Penniman also different concept of what developers would be REQUIRED to do to achieve CP basic density in TOD environment—including high quality architecture, workforce housing, basic infrastructure improvements, mixed used development, etc (see attached presentation). He pointed out this is consistent with current FC Comp Plan requirements, unlike suggestions by JBG that many basic parts of any project would earn EXTRA density. Under Penniman formulation, Extra Density Incentives reserved for Special contributions, e.g.,--First movers in station area development, educational and cultural facilities; unique infrastructure such as toll road/rail crossings, indoor rec center); high-quality joint development with contributions.

Committee members Thomas and even JBG’s Andy Van Horn expressed support for Penniman concepts vice JBG proposal. Apparently Penniman changed the frame for coming discussions.

Note Takers: KKaplan/JLovaas

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