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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Official Meeting Summary: Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting, January 12, 2010

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force
Meeting Summary

January 12, 2010, 7:00 PM.
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston

Meeting began at 7 PM with Chairman Patty Nicoson asking members to reintroduce themselves due to the addition of several new members subsequent to the initial Task Force meeting.

Public Comment Period (7:10)
Limited to 2 minutes/person.
• Kathy Kaplan & Guy Rando compared Reston’s core development with Arlington’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor and commented they want more roads and connections like R-B corridor has.
• Dick Stillson (Reston Citizen’s Association member, Reston 2020 Committee co-chair) suggested “working groups” to assist the Task Force. As outlined, the working groups are not under the authority of their respective affiliated civic groups. He suggested this would allow serious input (from wider citizenry) to assist the Task Force.
• Joe Stowers discussed his work regarding urbanizing Reston. He pointed out that only the Reston Town Center has been designed from the outset to be an urban place.
• Rob Whitfield would like the Task Force to understand the full context of what’s going forward at the Wiehle Avenue Transit Station (public-private rezoning case).

Administrative Items (7:20)
• Review of revised Task Force schedule.
• Bob Simon expressed concern that the schedule does not adequately address revitalization in Lake Anne Village Center’s. Heidi Merkel (Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning) recommended that follow-up on Lake Anne should be with County’s Office of Community Revitalization and Reinvestment.
• Heidi reviewed the details of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its influence on the Task Force’s work. This was followed by discussion among the Task Force regarding the constraints. There was concern from several Task Force members that their interaction with the wider community and civic groups might be negatively impacted by FOIA rules. They suggested that Heidi have the County Attorney’s office provide a 1-page guidelines sheet on FOIA rules for the Task Force.

Overview of Existing Comprehensive Plan Recommendations (7:50)
• Heidi gave a PowerPoint presentation on existing Comprehensive Plan Recommendations. It included:
. o Classic Planning Process
. o Task Force’s Charge
. o Trends-Future Growth
. o County’s Comprehensive Plan’s Organization
. oo Policy Plan
. oo Transit-Oriented Development Guidelines
. oo Area Plans

Work Groups (9:10)
• There was discussion among the Task Force of a proposal by several Reston civic groups to offer their idea for “Community Work Groups” to facilitate the work of the Task Force.
• The Chairman asked Task Force members for their opinions of the concept. After hearing from all members who wished to comment, the Task Force discussed some pros and cons of creating such groups.
• Several of the Task Force members stated the inclusion of work groups is a essential to obtaining real and serious input from the community as well as taking full advantage of the varied expertise within the community.
• Many Task Force members expressed opinions that the work groups are unnecessary or would not work. The constrained schedule was cited as one of the reasons that several TF members felt the work group concept should not be adopted at this time. They referred to the duration of the Tysons Study as something to avoid. Additionally, several members of the Task Force noted that there are many opportunities for public input and that the panel is composed of many experts/professionals who were appointed by the supervisor to represent the community.
• No decision was made on the Work Groups idea.

Upcoming Meetings (9:45)

• Heidi outlined what will be covered at the upcoming “Planning Principles” meeting on 01-26-10.
• Mark Looney suggested that the suggested Work Groups and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce (the group he’s representing) and any other interested groups could meet before the next meeting and analyze what was presented about the County’s current Comprehensive Plan as well as Reston’s founding planning principles. He offered to lead this effort in order to keep the idea of the Work Groups viable if the Task Force decides to adopt the proposal.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55 PM.

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