Autumn on Lake Audobon

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Future Reston: Live, Work, Good Luck Finding a Place to Play?, RestonNow, January 13, 2013

Karen Goff writes:
Where people will live and work in the Reston of the future has been spelled out in changes to the Reston Master Plan, which the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will discuss on Jan. 28.
But where will they play?
 Pick up soccer in the park
Athletic fields have continued to be a sore spot for development watchers. Reston 2020, for instance, says that with tens of thousands of additional residents likely to move into high-density areas around Reston’s three transit stations there will also be an increased need for more athletic fields.
There already is an existing field deficit, the master plan points out, especially in the area lining the Dulles Toll Road, which was formerly designated as commercial only. Growth and development planned for that area, as well as in the one-quarter mile area closest to the transit stations, “will exacerbate the existing deficits,” the Master Plan draft amendment says.
The draft formulated by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force originally called for 12 additional athletic field to be added in Reston based on projected population growth of about 44,000. The final version that passed the county planning commission last week asks for at a minimum, three fields to be built — one near each of the transit stations. . . .
Click here for the full article.

This article hits on one of several major shortcomings, if not outright travesties, in the draft master plan now headed to the Board of Supervisors for approval after clearing the Planning Commission unanimously and approved by the developer-dominated Reston Task Force.

Beyond this article, there was a meeting of Reston stakeholders (RA, RCA, & ARCH) with County parks staff, who insisted that only three playing fields were needed in the master plan study area because there were enough other playing fields nearby.  Moreover, they said, improvements in those fields would allow greater playing capacity--specifically the addition of lights and artificial turf.

The foregoing ignores the basic facts that Reston's playing fields are fully booked now for existing Reston and other users.  Moreover, it ignores Reston's decades-long disapproval of light pollution and who will pay for all these improvements (Restonians again?).  Finally, among the "nearby" playing fields it says may be used are those at Baron Cameron Park--more than a mile from the master plan study area.  Unfortunately, within days, the County Parks Authority will be proposing eliminating two (& maybe three) of the ten fields that exist there to locate a new recreation center center.

The plan seems to be going backwards, not forwards, with any consideration of the needs of Reston's residents.

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