Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Notes from the RTF Steering Committee Meeting, January 25, 2011, Dick Rogers

Summary: The well attended mtg focused on reviewing the "vision" for each station. In general the push was to emphasize the predominance of Reston Town Center vs the outlying stations. However, changes were modest.
    Attendance.  All present except Penniman and Riegel. Van Foster there only briefly. Surprise: John Schlichting came for JBG; said Andy Van Horn has been re-assigned to Arlington; noted he has a lot of catching up to do. Several other TF members present including John Bowman as well as Goldi Harrison from Cathy Hudgins' office.
    In public comments at the meeting's outset, the head of the Reston Chorale spoke up in favor of a performance center. Got a non-committal response.
    Planning Principles: I asked if the omission of housing from the introductory section of the PP was deliberate; was told no. I suggested the PP be remanded to the VC. Was told that DPZ staff is still working on them. John Carter said his Vision com was busy finishing its overall report but noted the VC had unanimously voted for the PP.
    Herndon-Monroe: Patti Nicoson, RTF & SC chair, noted last week's meeting of the Herndon planners and developers and thought it noteworthy that the consensus was to cut back the area for re-development.  Soto voce she noted that the view seemed to be that anyone who wanted to drive to Metro should go to the Reston side; she said "obviously this will need more discussion."  Nick Bauer said he hoped that the HM sub com will meet again to discuss the situation.
    Task Force (remember that group?): Heidi M noted that the purpose of the checklist had been revised to specifically note the SC will return to the full Task Fore with proposals for votes on "the sub-committees' recommendations."  She said this was not well stated originally (See the FC website for the checklist). Kohnan Williams, who made several adroit observations on process, suggested that a note be sent to TF members explaining what the SC is about.
    Review of station "visions": About an hour was spent on this.  In the checklist the DPZ staff had presented a condensed version of visions based as much on its own conception as what the sub coms had done. In general the discussion involved clarifying that the TC is predominant in terms on density  and that the other stations will be less dense. Wiehle was described as a "urban transit neighborhood" vice "urban village" but generally left unscarred.
    Re HM the staff was subtly pushing for more a greater residential emphasis (the HM sub com summary stressed offices).
    Robert Goudie pushed for more residential at HM but did not press his 2/1 idea re Wiehle aggressively.
    Paul Thomas noted the difficulty of dealing with the large and diverse TC area in the few sentences provided by the TC sub-com and the staff. He suggested breaking out the North Town Center as a fourth area.
    Mark Looney pushed for more office development in all areas.
    Comment: The staff effort was not particularly strong: things relevant to all stations were singled out for only one or another (grids of streets, protecting established neighborhoods). The staff vision did not pick up some of the important points laid out by the Wiehle SC in particular. The large TC area is treated very briefly. How the staff vision will be combined with those of the sub coms was left unclear. As usual, reading the actual text will be needed.
    Impatience: Some comments indicated impatience with the pace of the effort. Otteni urged a schedule be put forth and asked how the SC effort will relate to the TF. Goudie urged a vote at next mtg on the planning principles and station visions.
    Schedule: Some discussion about morning meetings although some members noted they have to work.  The next meeting will be Tuesday 8 Feb, presumably at Lake Anne.  The "form, general location, and connectivity" sections of the checklist will be discussed then.
    The next meeting of the RMPTF was set for 25 February to hear the Vision Com report.

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