Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Save Our Sunrise (SOS) has joined CPR as official member.

Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR)

 

A voluntary group of residents from the Reston Citizens Association, Reclaim Reston, and Reston 20/20


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 8, 2019

The Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) is proud to announce that SOS (Save Our Sunrise),
also known as Rescue Sunrise Valley, has joined CPR as an official member.

SOS quickly mobilized to protect their established neighborhood, located adjacent to the Wiehle
transit station area (TSA), from developer over-reach that would shatter their privacy and quality
of life.%SOS has endeavored to work with Campus Commons developer, TF Cornerstone*, who
initially neglected to include them in the required affected neighbor notification. SOS and all of
CPR, will continue to urge TF Cornerstone to modify its plans in order to satisfy the letter and
spirit of the Reston Master Plan.% To help attain that imperative goal, CPR’s entire membership
stands ready to address any and all Campus Common shortfalls.

CPR acknowledges that incomplete county planning has resulted in disastrous gridlock in the
entire Wiehle/Sunrise/Sunset area and that TF Cornerstone is not solely responsible for ‘fixing’
the situation.% HOWEVER, the success of their project and indeed all the Wiehle TSA depends
on their full and earnest cooperation to ameliorate the cumulative effects of huge density in a
condensed area. CPR and SOS particularly will advocate for a clear plan to enable new TSA
community members safely to access the Metro station across an already congested Wiehle
Ave.% Other major stakeholders with whom TF Cornerstone and county staff must collaborate
include Comstock, which owns the two western quadrants of the Dulles Toll Road/Wiehle and
JBG who own Midline, the NE quadrant.%

Welcome, SOS, to the CPR family.  We look forward to supporting you as we link arms to
promote a sustainable functioning One Reston!

*Note: TF Cornerstone is a for-profit developer not to be confused with Cornerstones, a local
non-profit, social services support organization.


Media Contact: Lynne Mulston, Coalition for a Planned Reston (703-662-1687)

CPR: Please vote to defer Campus Commons

This is a re-post of a letter posted on the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) website.

The following letter was sent today to the Fairfax County Planning Commission to urge them to vote to defer the proposed Campus Commons development at the corner of Wiehle and Sunrise Valley Drive.

Letter to Plan Comm-Oct 2019

**********

7 October 2019


Chairman Peter Murphy, Vice Chairman James Hart, Commissioner John Carter
Fairfax County Planning Commission, Fairfax, VA


Dear Chairman Murphy, Commissioner Hart, Commissioner Carter,

I am writing to urge you to vote to defer the Campus Commons proposal when it comes before you on Thursday, 10 October.  While this project has improved, it still contains significant flaws that are directly material to its readiness for consideration, especially since the developer is requesting final approval at this time and is slated to go before the Board of Supervisors less than one week later for a vote.

TF Cornerstone’s team has made commendable changes in response to community input, notably on Sunrise Valley and Wiehle setbacks and streetscapes, additional tree plantings, reduced massing of the corner commercial building, and somewhat more robust wording of a proffer on an above-grade Wiehle crossing.  Having participated in every community meeting held thus far, I appreciate their decision to heed the voices of residents.

Nevertheless, I remain deeply concerned over how pedestrians will safely cross Wiehle to reach the Metro station, the impact of the 6,000-plus new vehicular trips per day that this project will generate, and the height and scale of the 26-story residential tower proposed for the northeast corner of the site.  A vote to defer will allow time for key stakeholders to identify solutions to these issues before the project goes before the Board of Supervisors.

Pedestrian safety and the at-grade crosswalk:  Pedestrian safety at the proposed at-grade crosswalk at Wiehle and the Toll Road is a critical concern raised repeatedly by the Planning Commission itself, the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee (Reston P&Z), and the Reston community.  At the Commission’s 25 September public hearing, Commissioners Carter and Cortina both flagged it, stressing that the crosswalk lands pedestrians on a concrete “refuge” in the Toll Road’s eastbound exit ramp.  Indeed, the Campus Commons project twice failed to win approval by the Reston P&Z, due directly to the Committee’s worries over pedestrian safety at this very busy intersection.  And safety has been a major factor in community opposition, particularly from residents who use Metro and personally know the risks of crossing Wiehle during peak morning and afternoon periods.

Indeed, it was because of pedestrian safety that Fairfax County DOT and VDOT have from the outset repeatedly identified a grade-separated pedestrian connection between Campus Commons and the Wiehle Metro station as a “critical need,” requesting that a “pedestrian underpass or overpass be provided as such a facility would better accommodate the anticipated demand for this crossing” [my emphasis].  However, as FCDOT’s report notes, TF Cornerstone “refused to entertain this option, instead preferring to further study an at-grade crosswalk.”  (See Fairfax County staff report, PDF pp. 236-240.)

Of the five crosswalk designs submitted by the developer, FCDOT and VDOT found only one to be “potentially feasible,” with FCDOT noting its unease over the 11 lanes of traffic and two bike lanes that pedestrians would have to cross.  FCDOT further wrote that it “remains concerned about pedestrian site access and connectivity to Metrorail” and “recommends that the applicant provide a grade-separated crossing between the site and the Metrorail Station to accommodate its future residents, workers, and visitors.”

For its part, VDOT pointed to additional issues in its 23 July 2019 report to County staff:

“A grade separated pedestrian crossing should be considered.  Pedestrian access will not be allowed across the Limited Access Line at the Toll Road Ramps.  The Limited Access Line has been shown along Wiehle Avenue and the pedestrian facilities need to respect this line and not cross it.  No site disturbance should extend into the Toll Road right of way.  No breaks in the limited access will be permitted.  There appears to be some construction indicated on this property, which will not be permitted.”

The graphic below shows this intersection, along with the VDOT Limited Access Lines: