Supervisor Hudgins –
Attached is a letter from Reston Association’s Board President Ken Knueven, providing comments to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on the Draft Comprehensive Plan Text for the Reston Transit Station Areas as approved by the County Planning Commission.
In order to maintain Reston's identity, its unique character, its environmentally sensitive development pattern, and its close-knit sense of community, while at the same time accommodating major urban transit-oriented redevelopment along the Dulles corridor, Reston Association has endeavored over the past year to achieve the following three objectives (listed in priority order):
1. Ensure that Reston remains a unified and close-knit community, with all new residents being members of either the RA or the RTCA. This membership will have significant benefits to the new residents and will greatly enhance the ability of RA to continue to efficiently pursue its mission.
2. Influence the type, quality, character and extent of new development by ensuring RA (as an entity) has a "place at the table" in future planning, zoning and redevelopment negotiations.
3. Ensure that the unique characteristics, standards and priorities that make Reston "Reston," are contained in the Comprehensive Plan text.
Substantial progress has been achieved toward the fulfillment of all three objectives. First, a more open and frequent dialogue is occurring with your office, the senior County Planning staff, the Planning Commissioner, and the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee. The County Planning Staff are including RA in discussions regarding how to implement the Comprehensive Plan. RA's goal in these discussions is to obtain a commitment of County help in negotiating standard "Reston" proffers, which will: (i) ensure that all new residents are members of either RA or Reston Town Center Association (RTCA); and, (ii) address RA open space and recreation facility needs through dedications or monetary contributions.
Second, there is now a general consensus among County Planning Staff and your office, that new residents within the Dulles Corridor should be members of either the RA or the RTCA. The details of whether that involves subjecting new land to Reston covenants and the Reston Design Review Board or using some other mechanism for community input and enforcement of high-quality design have yet to be addressed. We are aware that these review process issues will be discussed in future "Comprehensive Plan Implementation" stakeholder meetings which will be scheduled by your office. Reston-wide "Standard Proffers" and new processes for the community's review of planning, zoning and development applications within Reston have been drafted by RA staff. These should help focus the discussion in a manner more favorable to the interests of RA, as well as create a defined process understood by the development community and County staff.
Third, the January 9, 2014 version of the Comprehensive Plan text is, on balance, favorable to the interests of RA. The Association's roles, responsibilities or membership are referenced no less than twelve times in the recommended Comprehensive Plan text. Urban densities have been limited to only the Phase One area, even where adjacent land is within one-half mile of a transit station platform. This is crucial to sustaining the existing private open space and stable neighborhoods which are located within one-half mile of transit stations.
Thank you for your consideration of the attached letter.
Cate L. Fulkerson, CMCA
Chief Executive Officer
12001 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston, Virginia 20191-3404
(703) 435-6512 www.reston.org
RA Position on Comp Plan Amendments, January 23, 2014