Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letter: Reston Future Begins Now, Robert E. Simon, Reston Connection, January 26, 2010

To the Editor:

In his column "Master Plan-Lines Are Drawn," Reston Connection, Jan. 20-26 John Lovaas once again impugns the integrity of those with whom he disagrees. Mr. Lovaas says, "Let’s face it: developer and Fairfax County interests lie in a plan maximizing new construction, the developer for profit, the resource-strapped county to broaden its tax base." It is impossible to have a rational discussion with someone who insists on such a premise. And it is really difficult to see Mr. Lovaas embracing any change.

Is it inconceivable that developers and county officials might have the community’s best interests at heart? And isn’t it true that they are much more familiar with the financial realities and construction and zoning issues than the average citizen? Have we not been told that the Washington metropolitan area will experience population growth of some 2,000,000 people over the next 20 years? Can anyone believe that a reasonable share of that increase will not devolve to our county and to Reston? Be sure that if we don’t plan to locate future residents where it is in our best interest to have them, unmanaged growth will occur and likely in a manner that is destructive to our community fabric.

In presenting a RCA "Reston 2020" alternative to the County Task Force that has only just begun its work, according to Mr. Lovaas, Mike Corrigan contended that developers are over-represented on the County’s Task Force. The fact is that of the 40 appointed Task Force members and alternate members, only 11 are developers; and of these, five are Reston residents. (Although I have retired, I included myself as one of the 11.) In view of the mission, it could be said that we developers are under-represented — certainly not over-represented.

Finally, I apologize for any intemperate remarks I made at the meeting that may have offended. While not an excuse, I am wildly impatient for there to be movement toward revitalization. Discussions began with regard to revitalization more than 10 years ago during good economic times. Delays in any real movement toward revitalization find us now in economic times that make revitalization more difficult. While organizations such as the Reston 2020 group have every right to make their views known to the County Task Force and the community at large, it feels very much, to me at least, like another delaying tactic of the kind that has kept anything meaningful from happening to date. I certainly hope I am wrong.

Robert E. Simon
Reston Founder

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