Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Draft documents to be discussed at January 29, 2013, meeting of the Reston Task Force

Although a draft agenda for the January 29, 2013, meeting of the Reston Task Force has not yet been published, the following two documents will be discussed at that meeting.  (UPDATE:  No agenda has been published as of 11AM, January 29, the date of the RTF meeteing.)  Here is the text of the e-mail sent by RTF Chairman Patty Nicoson to the task force's report drafting group: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM



RMP SS TF Writing Group,

Attached are revised drafts of:
Achieving a Vision for Reston
Task Force Statement on Intensity of Use
Bill Penniman and I worked on the documents to incorporate comments that were made at the Writing Group's 1/23 meeting.
We also included some elements of comments by Judith Pew, Matt Valentini, and Greg Trimmer.
As we discussed, we will present the two documents as drafts of our work to the task force on Tuesday, January 29 for members consideration.
We will bring the task force up to date on our efforts and discuss the purpose and intent of the documents.  We will be looking for feedback.  Since, members will be just getting the documents, there will be no formal approvals sought.   We will invite comments.
Patricia Nicoson, President
Dulles Corridor Rail Association
11800 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite B
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: (703) 716-5750
Fax: (703) 716-5751
The two documents are embedded below for easy readability.
  • The first document, Achieving a Vision for Reston, is a set of proposed performance standards for development in the Phase 1 study area. This document, prepared by the Reston TF writing group, will be presented to the RTF on January 29, 2013, for discussion. It defines basic performance standards all developers must meet, additional standards that will help developers achieve the higher end of the proposed range of development density, and special "bonus" density standards for exceptional contributions.   
  • The second document is a proposal by developers and their attorneys for greater density than County staff believes Reston's streets can handle.  The County has prepared a "Scenario G" with densities, distribution, and mixes it believes may achieve minimum traffic impact standards.   Developers are not pleased with the restrictions County staff has proposed placing on development in Reston's TOD areas as laid out in the County-developed "Scenario G." This draft document proposes that higher density should be authorized in the areas. It will be discussed at the January 29, 2013, meeting of the Reston Task Force. The RTF report writing group did not vote to present this to the RTF; it has been placed on the agenda by the Chairman. 


  1. Both documents share the assumption that further construction in central Reston is a good idea because it will (might?) produce certain amenities. These amenities appear to be limited to an arts center, a recreation center and a memorial sculpture garden. If this proposition were put to the Reston voters, however, it would lose overwhelmingly. In fact, I suspect that the percentage of yes voters would be in single digits.
    The documents also acknowledge that further construction will require additional public facilities, including roads. The documents read as if these new facilities are a benefit produced by the further construction. In fact, they are not since Reston would not need them if the construction did not take place. Furthermore, it is troubling that it is far from certain that the developers will bear the full cost of the additional facilities their construction will necessitate.
    Finally, the documents ignore the fact that the new construction will necessitate (if central Reston is not to be in persistent gridlock) extensive new feeder bus service beyond Reston's borders. A high percentage of the traffic currently using Reston Parkway in particular originates outside Reston. Putting Restonians in buses will do little good if our neighbors are not encouraged to use feeder buses as well

  2. You are absolutely right, James. At the minimum, we must have language in the report that the needed infrastructure (roads, etc.) and amenities (performance center) be constructed prior to our concurrent with development. That will be tough to do, however, in this Dillon Rule state (ie--once a development has received zoning approval, the developer may develop it "by right.")

    We're working on making sure needed infrastructure and amenities go hand-in-hand with development and that development is not allowed to overwhelm the capability of the infrastructure to handle it.


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