According to the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the “Year of the Horse.” But in Reston, it seems like it’s shaping up to be the “Year of the Master Plan.”
In February, the Board of Supervisors approved changes to Reston’s Master Plan
to allow for mixed-use development around the Silver Line Metro
stations. And now, the County Park Authority is preparing a Master Plan
for Baron Cameron Park.
RCA and our Reston 2020 Committee is very interested in what happens at Baron Cameron, particularly in light of the projected athletic field shortage
in Reston when the aforementioned mixed-use development is built. But
more importantly, we’re interested in hearing what the community has to
That’s why Reston 2020 is holding a “ResTown Hall Meeting” on the
Baron Cameron plan on April 7. This is your chance to speak out about
the proposed changes to Baron Cameron: what you like, what you don’t
like, what you think should be added, and what unanswered questions you
Baron Cameron Park has a bit of an
interesting history. The site was original owned by Fairfax County
Public Schools, which intended to use the site to construct a middle
and/or high school for Reston. In the mid-1970s, with no school yet
built on the site, the school system allowed the Fairfax County Park
Authority to build and manage some temporary recreation facilities on
Over time, these facilities included athletic fields, a community
garden, a playground, and an off-leash dog park. In 2006, with no
school ever having been built on the site, FCPS turned Baron Cameron
over to the Board of Supervisors, which in turn transferred it to the
Park Authority in 2011.
Historically, no one’s paid that much attention to Baron Cameron.
But interest in the park has increased dramatically in the last year or
so. The news that RCC was considering the park as a possible site for
its proposed indoor rec center generated a great deal of public discussion. More recently, some of the park’s neighbors filed a lawsuit to shut down the dog park due to the noise.
With public attention focused on the park, the Park Authority has come up with a draft Master Plan,
which it will formally present at a public meeting on Thursday, March
27 at 7 p.m. at Aldrin Elementary. The draft plan includes a number of
changes to the park: adding artificial turf and lights to the fields,
increasing parking, adding a picnic pavilion and restrooms, expanding
the community garden, including multi-use courts, and building a trail
network that connects to Brown’s Chapel Park next door.
There are also plan alternatives, which would allow construction of
an indoor rec center and relocation of the dog area to an interior part
of the park.
I encourage everyone to attend the Park Authority’s meeting if you
can. But I also hope you’ll come out to the ResTown Hall Meeting on the
April 7 to learn more, make your voice heard, and talk with your
neighbors about the plan and what you think.
Our meeting will begin with a recap of what’s in the plan, for those
who couldn’t attend the Park Authority’s presentation. But we’ll also
provide additional information. We’ll attempt to put the proposed
changes at Baron Cameron in the larger context of Reston’s coming
redevelopment. We’ll also discuss any issues that were raised by the
public at the Park Authority meeting, and fill you in on the research
and analysis Reston 2020 has done on the rec center and the athletic
field situation in Reston.
But the main purpose of our meeting is to listen to you, Reston’s
citizens. So after providing this background information, we’ll break
into small groups to talk in detail about the plan. Each group will
have a chance to talk about the strengths of the Baron Cameron Plan, any
concerns about it, suggested additions to the plan, and any questions
that might arise.
After the small groups have had the chance to provide their feedback,
we’ll report out and try to identify the most important comments,
suggestions, and concerns that the community shares about the plan.
Reston 2020 will then take the contributions received at the meeting,
consolidate it, and present it to the Park Authority as a community
response to the draft Master Plan.
Why is this meeting so important? Because the proposed changes to
Baron Cameron are significant, and time is of the essence. After the
Park Authority’s meeting on the 27th, there is a 30-day
window for public comment on the plan. Once that window is closed, the
Park Authority Board will be able to approve the draft plan, and then it
will be locked into place. Once approved, the Master Plan will guide
the Park Authority’s vision for the park for the next decade.
So if there are things you think should be added to or removed from
the plan, now is the time to speak up. By consolidating the citizens’
comments and thoughts into a single community response, Reston 2020’s
document will speak with a louder and clearer message than a bunch of
individual comments. The document should give the Park Authority
something to consider carefully, if the citizens believe that changes
I look forward to seeing all of you at the ResTown Hall Meeting on
April 7. If you want to learn more about what the Baron Cameron plan
means for Reston, or if you want to speak out about anything you want to
see preserved or changed in the plan, you’ll never have a better
opportunity. This is your community; make sure that your voice is