Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reston Patch on Local Planning Issues

The Reston Patch has three good articles today about issues of interest to Restonians concerned about planning for Reston.

The first of these articles notes that the planned Board of Supervisors hearing on the JBG proposal for Fairway Apartments has been deferred. 

The developer has asked for a deferral at the request of Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who told them she needs more time to review the proposal, a JBG representative said Monday. A new date has not been set.
The article provides a good rundown on the state of play in JBG's over-reaching proposal.  Stay tuned.

The second article reports on this morning's BIZNOW conference of area political business leaders concerning Metrorail.  The bottom line:
 Phase 2 of Metrorail to Dulles will absolutely happen, area leaders said at a conference sponsored by Bisnow at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons on Monday.
While the article presents some comments by long-time northern Virginia Til Hazel, an observer at this morning's meeting offered the following additional comments:
 At BISNOW "What's Next in the Dulles Corridor" event this morning at the Tysons Ritz Carlton, Til Hazel stressed that Dulles Rail will not work until "Who Pays for It" is addressed. Til made it very clear to the 1,000+ audience that funding Dulles Rail with $10+ tolls on the Dulles Toll Road "is absolute nonsense."  If tolls are raised "to $20 in a few years, those tolls will not work."
Til described how Fairfax County Board has refused in recent months to look at the "who pays for it" issue and said: "This needs to be addressed by the political sector."

Til also said that we need a transportation network serving the entire area. Only 4% of the Dulles Rail riders will be Dulles Airport passengers and 10 to 12% of commuters will use train. The train will not serve most transportation needs.

(Til noted that) When Cabin John Bridge was planned 50 years ago, plans for seven Potomac bridges were made. Five proposed bridges were cancelled by anti growth activists. The Techway was cancelled. Cabin John Bridge now carries 230,000 vehicles per day, more than Woodrow Wilson Bridge. He said an additional 50,000 vehicles per day is forecast at Cabin John.

He said traffic problems will not be solved by politicians but by you individuals doing something active in your community to help resolve these problems. The business community has been AWOL from issues such as building bridges.

We need to determine how to pay for what we have already planned.

Til is not a believer in "smart growth." He suggested that most people do not "want to live in a one room apartment."

Til concluded: "I can't believe that the American Dream is dead."

Sharon Bulova and other panelists did not respond to any of Til's remarks or discuss the DTR financing problems. Tom Davis said: "After two decades of no money for transportation that's why toll road tolls seems to be what the voters want."
 The third Patch article focuses on tonight's meeting of the Reston P&Z committee and its discussion of the Spectrum Center redevelopment proposal.
The Reston Association Planning and Zoning Commission will hear from the developers of Reston Spectrum Monday about its latest plan to turn the 23-acre shopping center into a mixed-use, transit-oriented development with hundreds of residences and hotel rooms.

Reston Spectrum, owned by Lerner Enterprises, secured county approval of a finalized conceptual site plan in 2008 using extra density from the neighboring Reston Regional Library, which was deemed a park in 1992, allowing it to transfer density to nearby developers.
That it seems a bit tawdry that our elected leaders allowed public property to be used as a source of extras density for commercial development at the expense of the taxpaying electorate is, unfortunately, water over the dam.   But there is an election coming in November to remind them what you think about these shenanigans.

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