Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Friday, March 30, 2018

CPR calls for postponement of meeting with Supervisor Hudgins to discuss County comments on RA & CPR Reston plan amendment proposals


Today the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) sent a letter to Supervisor Hudgins (see below) saying that it would be best to postpone its scheduled meeting with her and County staff on Monday, April 2, to discuss the County's last minute response to CPR's and RA's proposed Reston plan amendments.   

The County staff commentary highlights that it is the County's "practice" not to amend plans within five years of their approval, although it has done so with Tysons and other county areas in the recent past.  The County staff states that it "cannot support changes to land use, density or intensity recommendations in the Reston Master Plan for the Transit Station Areas until after 2019 and for 
Reston's neighborhoods and village centers until after 2020."

By that time, the County's approval of development proposals under the current plan would cause irrevocable damage to Reston as a planned community and create local crises in transportation, education, parks and recreation, and the environment.  In fact, County data shows that more than 22,000 high-density commercial dwelling units are approved or planned in Reston areas zoned Planned Residential Community (PRC), not counting thousands of affordable housing units and related "bonus" market rate units.  This also does not count a comparable number of housing units in the non-PRC parts of the Reston transit station areas (TSAs), especially around Wiehle and Town Center South. 

All told, the new development permitted by the current Reston plan could triple Reston’s population in the coming years and decades.  All of this population burden would be added with little County planning or oversight and grossly inadequate funding resources for the necessary supporting infrastructure.

“The scope of this high-density development is totally inconsistent with any sense of Reston as a planned community,” said Terry Maynard, a member of the CPR leadership.  “It ignores the quality of life values that are the foundation of Bob Simon’s vision and Reston’s planning principles detailed in its plan.” 

CPR's letter to Supervisor Hudgins highlights that a meeting on Monday would not meet the terms reached in the meeting with her in February, in particular, to have small groups on both sides meet to discuss the specifics of the County's commentary and follow-up with a joint meeting with Supervisor Hudgins.  Moreover, CPR told Supervisor Hudgins and County staff it needed to meet with the community to discuss its response before meeting with County staff and her.  CPR requested that the meeting be postponed until the Reston community and County staff have had an opportunity to review the County's response in detail.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Fairfax County finally responds to RA, CPR letters proposing changes in the Reston Master Plan

Below is the letter the Department of Planning and Zoning (DP&Z) sent to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins nominally assessing the plan amendments proposed by Reston Association (RA) and the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR).  The RA and CPR letters to which it refers are available here:
Leaders of RA and CPR are currently scheduled to meet with Supervisor Hudgins and County staff on Monday to discuss the County's response--three working days and an Easter holiday weekend after sending its reply.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Some areas express concern over potential arrival of Amazon's second headquarters

While officials in the Washington, DC, area have been falling over backwards to lure Jeff Bezos to build his second Amazon corporate headquarters in the area, community spokespeople across the country have expressed skepticism (at the least) to the desirability of this big new neighbor.  Three articles have been published within the last couple of weeks highlighting this double-edged sword.

BizNow, Denver, March 1, reports:
Congested roads.  Escalating house prices.  A stressed education system.
People who have lived in Denver any length of time have witnessed these and other negative impacts on a city that is experiencing rapid growth.  And it scares some of them to think it could get worse if Amazon selects the Mile High City for its second headquarters, also called HQ2. . . .
Amazon HQ2 would have a profound effect where it lands.  It is expected to bring 50,000 jobs and as much as 8M square feet of office development to whatever city it selects, but the actual number of people moving to the city will be higher when factoring in spouses, children, and employees from other companies who follow Amazon's lead and relocate to the chosen region . . . .
Similarly, The Guardian reported, March 15:
What do you get for the man who has everything? When it comes to Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world with around $130bn to his name – many US cities competing to host Amazon’s second headquarters have an answer: billions of dollars in tax incentives.
That proposition has united an ideologically diverse group of dissenters to Amazon’s grand HQ2 competition, ranging from rightwing organizations linked to the Koch brothers to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Groups and individuals that would normally agree only to mutual disdain and distrust have somehow come around to the same conclusion: that Amazon’s decision to pit 20 cities against each other in a fight to host a future hub is a bad deal for everyone except Amazon. . . .
And the Wall Street Journal writes, March 15, that other corporations will demand the same tax benefits:
U.S. cities vying for Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters risk facing an unexpected consequence to victory: Other companies will demand the same hefty tax breaks conferred on the online retail giant.
Already, some companies with a presence in the finalist cities are calling for similar tax breaks from elected officials. It is a pitfall that often accompanies large tax incentive packages used to lure employers to a state.
In Washington, D.C., a group of tech companies wrote last week to the city’s mayor with a detailed list of requests—from training bonuses to property tax breaks—that the city is reportedly offering to Amazon. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon recently said that he plans to call up the governor from the winning city and demand a similar deal. Finalist cities like Dallas, Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, are all places where JPMorgan already has tens of thousands of employees, Mr. Dimon said. . . .
Fairfax County (and other area jurisdictions) need to be very careful that they are not giving much more than they might receive in any deal with Bezos and Amazon on its HQ2.   After all, they are committing other peoples money.
d more at: https://www.bisnow.com/denver/news/economic-development/tk-85602?be=rpetrine%40gmail.com&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fri-02-mar-2018-000000-0500_dc-re?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

People who have lived in Denver for any length of time have witnessed these and other negative impacts on a city that is experiencing rapid growth. And it scares some of them to think it could get worse if Amazon selects the Mile High City for its second headquarters, also referred to as HQ2.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/denver/news/economic-development/tk-85602?be=rpetrine%40gmail.com&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fri-02-mar-2018-000000-0500_dc-re?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

Congested roads. Escalating housing prices. A stressed education system. People who have lived in Denver for any length of time have witnessed these and other negative impacts on a city that is experiencing rapid growth. And it scares some of them to think it could get worse if Amazon selects the Mile High City for its second headquarters, also referred to as HQ2.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/denver/news/economic-development/tk-85602?be=rpetrine%40gmail.com&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fri-02-mar-2018-000000-0500_dc-re?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser
Congested roads. Escalating housing prices. A stressed education system. People who have lived in Denver for any length of time have witnessed these and other negative impacts on a city that is experiencing rapid growth. And it scares some of them to think it could get worse if Amazon selects the Mile High City for its second headquarters, also referred to as HQ2.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/denver/news/economic-development/tk-85602?be=rpetrine%40gmail.com&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fri-02-mar-2018-000000-0500_dc-re?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser
Congested roads. Escalating housing prices. A stressed education system. People who have lived in Denver for any length of time have witnessed these and other negative impacts on a city that is experiencing rapid growth. And it scares some of them to think it could get worse if Amazon selects the Mile High City for its second headquarters, also referred to as HQ2.

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/denver/news/economic-development/tk-85602?be=rpetrine%40gmail.com&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=fri-02-mar-2018-000000-0500_dc-re?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser