About 20 observers—4 from host RA, the rest split developers and residents.
Briefing on terms—By Right and Zoning, Faheem Darab of DPZ.
Faheem clarified meaning of “by-right” zoning, which in the case of Wiehle (and RCIG?) meant the maximum F.A.R., building heights and open space that land owner is entitled without having to go through rezoning or any public hearings if new development proposal is within those limits. At Wiehle, there is also provision for higher F.A. R.s and building heights when rail comes.
This led to lively discussion of the obvious need to rezone what is basically all currently industrial at Wiehle. Committee, showing signs of exhaustion, wondered if this isn’t for the full TF or some other body—not them to address? Faheem suggested that it would help the county and the process if they made recommendations. What then should be the designation, one of the planned P zoning categories—PDH, PDC, PRM, or what most of Reston was created to be, PRC (Planned Residential Community). Back and forth, but weight in discussion tilted toward PRC, but it was left for future discussion and no conclusions were reached.
Discussion: Form and mix of development in Wiehle TOD
The co-chairs distributed respective handouts for discussion. Bill Penniman handed out a piece titled “Overview of DRAFT Wiehle Station Recommendations, consisting of a summary of “Principal Themes and Objectives” which includes some fuzzy guidance using terms like “in general”, “generally” and “reasonable” where definition will vary by user.
It then goes into suggested mixes and non-numerical F.A.R.s ranging from greatest density (F.A.R. A) to reduced density, level E. Bill also handed out 3 maps—one overlaid with a possible (strawman?) street grid which sent Heidi into a mini-panic—“OK for folks in this room, but probably not a good idea on the street” (the unworthy ones!), where it will no doubt be assumed to be the final and thus misused. How about labeling it strawman, I asked. Most seemed to think the map indeed was useful whether or not it went into final Comprehensive Plan. There was a parks overlay suggesting lots of small, middle size parks and two large athletic fields, and a third showing proposed higher density delineated areas at different radiuses from the station.
Co-chair Van Horn handed out his latest version of “Incentive Structures” by land bay, ordered from By-Right column to TOD Baseline FAR to Above Baseline FAR, the latter two listing what he thought were appropriate incentives at each level. Several folks objected to his inclusion of screened Structured parking as an Above Baseline Incentive for greater FAR. You have to see it to understand it, so I hope it is attached.
The discussion had barely begun on these documents when time ran out. They will be the subjects of next week’s meeting which should be a substantive and important one.
Notetaker: John Lovaas 8/11