Reston Spring

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Fairfax Planning Sends Transit-Oriented Master Plan to Supervisors, RestonNow, January 10, 2014

Karen Goff provides insight into the Planning Commission's decision last night to send the Reston master plan to the Board of Supervisors in an excellent RestonNow article this morning
The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously agreed to send proposed changes in the Reston Master Plan on to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for approva.

The plan — which was formulated after nearby four years of discussion and numerous draft changes by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force — was sent on with a few line item changes and last-minute motions. . .
. . . (A)t Thursday’s meeting, (Hunter Mill Commissioner) de le Fe verbally added these conditions, which were also unanimously passed:
  • A recommendation to direct planning staff to review with Reston stakeholders how to incorporate Reston design specifics into future planning. “Special attention to design has been a hallmark of Reston from beginning,” said de le Fe.
  • A recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to develop an inclusive process to prepare a funding plan for transportation improvements. “The planning commission strongly believes public and private investment in Reston is crucial,” he said.
  • A recommendation to conduct a detailed valuation and analysis of an enhanced street network, prioritize improvements and develop an implementation strategy for it.
The Board of Supervisors is slated to discuss the plan on Jan. 28.
A couple of comments on de le Fe's changes:
  • The recommendation to look closely at design issues appears to be intended to mitigate de le Fe's amendment not to require review by RA's Design Review Board.  It is a weak improvement.
  • Funding transportation improvements is a major and critical issue for redevelopment around Reston's stations.  If Tysons is any indicator, we could see a special tax district incorporating the area covered by this revision created to address the $1-2 billion in transportation needs (current dollars; double that over 40 years--not including interest on bonds).  Worse, the Board could decide all of Reston should pay the price even though the development will provide no advantage--and huge traffic delays--to most current Reston properties.
  • Implementation is the most massive missing ingredient in this plan.  As Reston 2020 has said for years, "Planning without Implementation is Empty."  And that's what this plan is.

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