Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Friday, June 3, 2011

Notes from the RTF Steering Committee Meeting, June 1, 2011

                                      2 June 2011
                                       R. Rogers

     Summary:The meeting focused on an extensive set of DPZ data on the Reston transit corridordesigned to contrast sub-com recommendations to the 2030 GMU high forecasts.  This triggered extensive discussion and no conclusions.  It resulted in a request to DPZ for additional data.

     Attendance: 8 out of 12 present (HM sub com members have missed last two meetings).  Also Katherine Mckee and Fred Selden.

Based on recent meetings she had been to, Patty Nicoson outlined some of the extensive proposals in Loudoun county for development around its Metro stations. This includes considerable commercial development and a town center.  All this will be up in the air if Loudoun does not participate.

DPZ Data
     As promised last week, DPZ put forth extensive data on the overall stations areas and the specific TOD stations (available on county website).   This included a new map which applied sub-committee recommended FARs to the different sub units (5 FAR in the case of TownCenter). In particular, it compared estimates of sub-com recommendations to GMU forecasts for 2030 as well as current development and approved zoning.  In general the sub-comnittee recommendations were considerably above even the GMU 2030 high and 20% option.  As noted during the discussion, this was in part because the sub-committees were using a longer time horizon than GMU. In addition, the staff projected commercial–residential balance ratios in a number of categories. (Note: As usual with data, there were many potential glitches including the definition of residential units used by different sources—these ranged from 1,000 sq ft per unit to 1,500.  The staff had tried to adjust for this.)

          (In addition, the staff passed out a separate page comparing different area wide development potentials with resulting job-housing balance. This showed that sub-com recommendations would slightly increase the residential ratio in the jobs-housing equation. And Van Foster showed additional datacomparing GMU with sub-com recommendations.  Hopefully these will get on the county website too.  UPDATE:  The DPZ presentation has been posted and is available here on the blog.)

     A number of issues were raised during the extensive discussion:
  • Heidi noted that the sub-coms were proposing 30% more residential development than GMU demand figures projected.  Could this development be accommodated?
  • Again there was discussion of whether the GMU figures should be the basis for planning as opposed to what the Task Force would like to see.
  • Mark Looney raised the issue of what inducement commercial developers will have to go through the wholeplanning process.Will there be enough office development to encourage residential mixed use as well?
  • It will be difficult to get to any desired commercial residential balance by the 2030 time frameso the time frame really needs to be longer.
  • Bill Penniman urged using caution with any sweeping area wide ratios when the sub-units are much smaller.
  • Peter Otteni wondered if a “flexible planning framework” is used whether there will be a rush by developers to get plans approved sooner.
     After discussion it was agreed that next time the staff should come forward with additional data:
  • Look again at current plan distribution of development
  • Adjust the sub come recommendations to a 2030 time horizon (how would this be done?)
  • Take the 2030 GMU commercial projections as given and project the residential balance needed under different commercial-residential balance ratios.
  • John Carter requested a projection of what would be needed to achieve a 2 to 1 commercial-residential sq ft balance in all of Reston (this is projected today as 3 to 1)

     (Comment: Some of the implications of the last issue forthe PRC area were noted.  Some said that to achieve a 2-1 balance in Reston extensive residential development of the Village Centers would be needed.  Joe Stowers, who was sitting in, raised the issued of development of the “sinews’ with more residential units.)

     DPZ will go back to the data boards for the next SC meeting, 7-9PM Tuesday 7 June at the North County Govt Center.

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