Autumn on Lake Audobon

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Prepared statement of Jerry Volloy, President, ARCH, on draft Reston Master Plan for Board hearing, January 28, 2014



                                     
28 January 2014
    
TO:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

FROM:  Gerald R. Volloy, President, Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH)
  
RE:  Reston Master Plan Special Study, Phase 1 – Reston Transit Station Area, ST09-III-UP01(A)



Chairman Bulova, Supervisor Hudgins, and Fairfax County Board Members.  Good afternoon.  My name is Jerry Volloy, and I am the President of the Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH).  It is with great pride, but yet with mixed emotions that I stand before you this afternoon. 

As a Member of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, I am so very proud of the Vision we have put forward and which-- if achieved-- should prove to be an exciting, welcoming, and accommodating environment for Reston’s future growth and development: a place where businesses and residents alike will be proud to locate and call home.  If achieved and if implemented, the vision will continue to support many of Bob Simon’s original goals for Reston, and where the tenets of “Live. Work, Play, and Get Involved” will continue to be viable realities in Reston’s future.

With mixed emotions, however, because of concerns about how future development and residents will be assimilated within the greater Reston community and how the goal of attaining the critical balance between development and infrastructure will be achieved.

ARCH believes that membership of future residential development and residents within one of our two master associations – the Reston Association (RA) or the Reston Town Center Association (RTCA) – is essential to maintaining our community’s integrity, cohesiveness, and property values, and that the current language contained within the Plan, is so very inadequate in its support of this goal and in defining what processes will be established to realize it.

The Vision and Planning Principles within the Plan include language about excellence in planning, design and architecture-- hallmarks of the Reston community and assured by oversight and adherence to architectural design oversight processes such as the RA and/or RTCA Design Review Boards, manned by Reston residents who understand Reston’s character and are committed to protecting it.

Further, one of the most distinguishing aspects of Reston that is core to its values and characteristics is this special sense of “community” and its residents’ incredible willingness to respond to calls to get involved and/or serve our great community.   These calls often emanate from these major community organizations and play a large role in bringing our community together through volunteerism and/or service.

Additionally, an almost future doubling of Reston’s current population over the foreseeable future will have impacts upon Reston’s existing open space, natural areas, lakes, watershed and recreational facilities-- the repair and maintenance costs for which should be contributed, in part, by future new residents.

ARCH believes the document should be loud and clear in supporting the requirement that future commercial and/or residential development, within the RCIG, be assimilated under the governance of either RA or RTCA thereby amalgamating them as future stakeholders in our great Reston community.

Additionally, with mixed emotions, however, because I believe we leave such an important aspect of our work yet before us.  At the very beginning of this process, each of us, who represent major community organizations took a position in support of Metrorail to Dulles and its attendant growth and development, as long as the infrastructure and public facilities to support and accommodate that growth and development were provided.

ARCH endorsed the Comp Plan’s Planning Principle that “development will be phased with infrastructure including aspects such as community amenities, and larger open spaces that would not be triggered by any one single development.  These raise different considerations than community assets or needs that are specific to a particular site that might be secured via proffer or as prerequisites to granting higher FARs.  Our concern arises with how common infrastructure needs will be secured in a time of scarce public resources given that no one developer is likely to be responsible for these types of improvements.
       
Without an operational or implementation plan and the processes needed to make this plan a reality, I suggest that our work, and the County’s work is incomplete: that achieving the vision defined within the plan may well be based only on hopes but not reality.
Supervisor Hudgins:  With regard to assimilating future development within existing community governance entities, I ask that you NOT recommend approval of this Plan to your fellow Board Members without strengthening the language that requires association membership, and defines how that goal will be realized. With regard to future implementation processes, ARCH stands ready to continue to assist you and Fairfax County, as appropriate, in support its important work. 
Thank you for your consideration of ARCH’s views.
GERALD R. VOLLOY, President
Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners



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