Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Monday, March 29, 2010

News: Fairfax riders say they feel stranded by plan to cut bus lines, Washington Post, March 29, 2010

By Nicole Norfleet
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 29, 2010

One February night, a woman boarded Deloris Bailey's 553 Fairfax Connector and said, "They're going to cut our bus!"

Bailey and some fellow passengers were shocked: Bus service had already been reduced last year by almost 40 percent.

To get to work in the District, Reston commuters can ride the bus to the West Falls Church Metro station; join the tens of thousands of drivers on the road; or jockey for a spot at one of four park-and-ride lots, three of which are filled to capacity, and then take a bus to a Metro station.

For Bailey, 48, who has lived in Reston for more than a decade, the bus is the best option. She learned last month, however, that Fairfax County is planning to cut not only her bus line but also six other routes in June. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

To sign the petition to "Save Our Buses," click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Restonian: News blog from Reston, Virginia, the mauve-colored New Town (tm): Random Silver Line Metro Proposal Not Nearly as Crazy as the Reason Reston is Losing Most of Its Bus Service

Restonian: News blog from Reston, Virginia, the mauve-colored New Town (tm): Random Silver Line Metro Proposal Not Nearly as Crazy as the Reason Reston is Losing Most of Its Bus Service

RCA Board and Reston 2020 Statement to the Fairfax County Planning Commission on the Comstock Wiehle Development Proposal, March 25, 2010

RCA & R2020 Statement to FCPC on Comstock Wiehle March 25--As Read

Agenda: P&Z Committee Meeting, April 5, 2010

The missing item in this agenda, presumably deferred, is the Fairways Apartments project on North Shore Drive.


Monday, April 5, 2010 – 7:30 pm
Main Conference Room, Reston Association Building
1930 Isaac Newton Square

1. The Committee will discuss some of the matters and issues that have been or may be presented to and discussed by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force.

2. Committee discussion of any other business, new or old, and approval of minutes of previous meeting.

3. Approve next meeting date and adjourn.

Agenda subject to change without notice by order of the Chairman, David Vanell, (703) 904-9299, or Arthur S. Hill, Vice Chairman, (703) 264-1178.

March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

News: Traffic Main Concern for Future Wiehle Station, Reston Observer, March 25, 2010

Written by Leslie Perales • Observer Editor Thursday, 25 March 2010 14:10

More than 75 people attended the last community workshop for the Reston Master Plan Special Study, which focused on land surrounding the future Wiehle Metro station.

Prior to the meeting members of Save OUR Buses, a group working to petition the county to keep a number of area buses slated for cuts, handed out flyers and collected signatures outside.

The workshop began with an overview of the area. Fairfax County Senior Planner Heidi Merkel said the county wants to ensure that existing neighborhoods close to the future Wiehle Metro station are preserved.

Merkel said the county’s vision for the area includes high-density use on the north side of the Dulles Toll Road and medium density on the south side of the DTR to help protect close neighborhoods. . . .

For the rest of this article on the Wiehle Station community meeting, click here.

Save Reston Bus Service Petition Sign-Up

As many of you know, Sustainable Reston, an initiative of the Reston Citizens Association, is striving to maintain bus service in Reston despite County plans to cut the budget for five critical lines in its 2011 budget. The program is called "Save Our Buses", yes, that's S.O.B.

Part of its effort includes a petition drive to restore the bus service. You may sign the petition to continue Reston's important bus service at the following location:

Save Our Buses

Help save Reston's bus service, ease traffic congestion, and improve our environment. Your support is deeply appreciated.

News: Tysons Plan Is Topic of Discussion, Washington Business Journal, March 24, 2010

By Tierney Plumb, Reporter

The full Fairfax County planning commission will meet Wednesday night to discuss a myriad of issues surrounding the Tysons Corner land use plan, including density maximums, phasing, and urban design guidelines.

Walter Alcorn, chair of the Fairfax County planning commission’s Tysons Corner Committee, recently made news for wanting to slash the 40-year planning horizon in half -- for now. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Task Force Comments and Proposed Changes to Baseline Reston 2020 Planning Principles for Reston

Reston 2020 Planning Principles with TF Changes & Comments

Proposed Terms of Reference for Reston Town Center Committee of the Reston Task Force, March 23, 2010

Reston Town Center Committee

Official Meeting Summary, Reston Task Force, March 9, 2010

Final Notes of Reston Task Force Meeting, March 9, 2010

News: Bus cuts could leave commuters stranded, Fairfax Times, March 23, 2010

Budget proposal threatens to cut some Fairfax
Connector routes, raise prices on others

by Kali Schumitz | Staff Writer

If Fairfax County goes ahead with a proposal to eliminate seven Fairfax Connector bus routes, reverse commuters such as Rachael Wood might suddenly find themselves without a way to get to work.

For two years, Wood has commuted from Dupont Circle to her job in Reston using rail and bus. The bus lines she relies on to get to work, the 951 and the 952, might be eliminated July 1.

"I do not have an alternate way to get to work," Wood said. "I fear I might have to look for a new job and, seeing how the market is, that would be unfortunate."

Transit users, including Reston residents who rely on neighborhood routes to take them to the West Falls Church Metro station, are protesting the cuts, in part via an online petition. . . .

Click here for the rest of this article.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Agenda: Reston Task Force Meeting, March 23, 2010, South Lakes High School

Please note that this meeting is in the South Lakes High School cafeteria, not the usual meeting place at RCC-Lake Anne.


March 23, 2010

Task Force Meeting  
South Lakes High School cafeteria 
11400 South Lakes Drive 
7:00 p.m.  Public Comment Period    
7:15 p.m.  Administrative Items  ‐  Patty Nicoson, Task Force Chair 
7:30 p.m. Discussion of Community Input from Wiehle Avenue Area Community Meeting  
8:15 p.m.  Discussion of general Reston Planning Principles  
9:00 p.m. Discussion of concept for Herndon‐Monroe Station area 
9:25 p.m.  Upcoming Meetings  ‐

   Tuesday, April 13th – Task Force Meeting--Overview of Reston Parkway area 
   Saturday, April 17th –Reston Parkway Community Meeting 
9:30 p.m.  Adjourn  ‐  Patty Nicoson

Friday, March 19, 2010

Statement by Fairfax County Planning Commission Chairman on Changing Tysons Planning Approach, March 17, 2010

Tysons Statement by Walter Alcorn March 17 2010

News: Tysons panel to weigh density maximums, 40-year span for planning, Washington Post, March 19, 2010

By Kafia A. Hosh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 19, 2010

Fairfax County officials will consider a proposal that removes density maximums but limits development and slashes the planning horizon in the county's draft blueprint to remake Tysons Corner.

The proposal suggested by Planning Commissioner Walter L. Alcorn is a significant departure from the blueprint, which lays out a 40-year plan and recommends densities for buildings based on their distances from future Metro stations. . . .

For the rest of this important article, click here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

News: Reston Buses Grind to Halt? Reston Connection, March 17, 2010

Meanwhile, toll money to be spent in Loudoun.

By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The possible loss of seven Fairfax Connector bus routes in the Reston area drew attention after County Executive Tony Griffin released a proposed budget in late February under which the routes would be eliminated, but a debate over funding for bus service in the Dulles Corridor has been ongoing between the county, the state and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) since the summer of 2008.

That was when the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) alerted Fairfax County that a grant that helped fund the bus routes would be terminated at the end of this fiscal year.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Video: The Newport Connection, Patrick Kane

Long-time Restonian and urban planner Patrick Kane offers a vision of linking the Lake Anne and Lake Newport areas in this seven minute video that ties together Newport Beach, CA, Newport, RI, and Reston's own Lake Newport.

News: Community Meeting on Wiehle Avenue Station, Reston Connection, March 17, 2010

On Saturday, March 20, at 9 a.m. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D- Hunter Mill) and the Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) will host a community meeting to provide the community an opportunity to generate ideas for the Wiehle Avenue Transit station. The meeting takes place at Langston Hughes Middle School, Cafeteria, 11401 Ridge Heights Road, Reston.

DPZ will also be reporting on the results for the Brainstorming Activity for the Herndon/Monroe station area.

Hudgins encourages all Reston residents to come out and participate in the planning process for the Wiehle station. “The whole community should be involved in the process,” Hudgins said. “We all want to retain Reston’s existing natural beauty, vibrancy and sense of community. Working together, I know we can do that.”

Questions regarding the meeting may be forwarded to Heidi Merkel of Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-324-1380.

News: McLean Citizens Talk Tysons Corner, Vienna Connection, March 10, 2010

MCA makes redevelopment of commercial center into mini-city focus of winter meeting.

By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Edwin Kuhn said he and his neighbors in the Evermay community were concerned with the additional traffic on Dolley Madison Boulevard that they expected to result from proposals to redevelop Tysons Corner. "We’re totally dependent on [Route] 123 to get anywhere," he said at the McLean Citizens Association’s winter membership meeting, on Tuesday, March 2, where the topic of the night was planning for Tysons Corner. Kuhn said traffic on the road near his neighborhood had already increased by 30 percent in the last eight years, and three intersections along the route were predicted to have failing levels of service by 2030, according to county staff projections and recommendations for higher densities at Tysons Corner.

Traffic and transportation infrastructure have been the concerns most often brought up by neighbors of Tysons Corner as talks about its redevelopment with the advent of the Metro Silver Line have unfolded over the last several years. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

News: Affordable housing needs some public funding, Washington Post, March 13, 2010

By Roger K. Lewis
Saturday, March 13, 2010; E04

Fairfax County aspires to greatly increase the amount of affordable housing at Tysons Corner for workers who now must commute there from afar, consuming time and fossil fuel while contributing to traffic congestion. But this newspaper reported recently that achieving Tysons's affordable housing goals appears to be an economic non-starter.

Residential property owners and real estate developers in Tysons say that without greater public-sector subsidy, the numbers won't work. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

County Press Release Announces Wiehle Station Area Community Workshop, March 20, 2010

Offer Feedback on Future Land Use Near Wiehle Avenue Metro Station

News Highlights:
· Workshop March 20 to solicit input on future land use near Wiehle Avenue Metro station.

As part of the Reston Master Plan Special Study, the public can offer input about future land use around the Wiehle Avenue Metro station on Saturday, March 20, at 9 a.m. The public workshop will be held at the Langston Hughes Middle School cafeteria, 11401 Ridge Heights Road, Reston. The draft agenda for this workshop is available online.

For the complete release, visit

Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
March 10, 2010
OPA 058/10

Thoughts for Task Force, Robert E. Simon, March 9, 2010

The following is the text of an e-mail sent to the Reston Task Force via Patty Nicoson by Bob Simon. It is commenting, in particular, on two principles laid out in the Reston 2020's proposed Planning Principles--achieving Gold LEED standard and reserving at least 25% open space in future development--that is serving as the baseline document for the task force's consideration of Reston's guiding principles. The e-mail was sent to Ms. Nicoson hours before the County staff announced at the task force meeting on March 9 that the Reston 2020 proposal would serve as the task force baseline.

Subj: Thoughts for Task Force

Thoughts for Task Force

Too many well meaning Restonians are favoring mandates for future development without having expertise essential to making such recommendations.

One example of this is the recommended mandate for all buildings to be built to a Leeds Gold standard. I do not have the knowledge to understand the implications of Leeds. What I did find was that to achieve Leeds Gold in Reston's recently completed Nature House it had been necessary to provide five heat pumps, whereas, in a building of this size, one would be more than sufficient. No question, these heat pumps would conserve more energy than one would, but the resulting savings would never be sufficient to mitigate the capital costs of installing the pumps and their zoning systems plus the energy expended to produce all the equipment. I don't criticize Nature House, a non-profit operation using Leeds as a symbol. But profitability is an essential concomitant of development. Developers are held to higher standards in our community than elsewhere, standards that contribute to the excellence of our community. It would be counterproductive to disregard economic realities.

Another example is the recommended mandate that there be 25% open space, that natural areas be incorporated throughout the area of new development. I am familiar with New York City as well as Washington, DC. I have no idea as to what percentage of open space is included in either of these cities. What I do know is that each takes justifiable pride in their parks, their water fronts and their major avenues although natural areas constitute but a tiny percentage of their total open spaces. Restonians also take justifiable pride in their parks and their water fronts; their natural areas are preponderant as contrasted to those of NYC and DC. It makes no sense to disregard community wide open space so as to dilute density in the areas where density is needed ----to support retail centers and to reduce car traffic by favoring pedestrians.

To conclude ( for now only ): I remain fixated on the value of planning now for two or three air-rights projects to provide lively connections between North and South Reston while absorbing some of the population increases.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Reston 2020's Proposed Reston Planning Principles

Proposed Planning Principles for Reston Master Plan Special Study

News: McLean Citizens Talk Tysons Corner, McLean Connection, March 10, 2010

MCA makes redevelopment of commercial center into mini-city focus of winter meeting.

By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Edwin Kuhn said he and his neighbors in the Evermay community were concerned with the additional traffic on Dolley Madison Boulevard that they expected to result from proposals to redevelop Tysons Corner. "We’re totally dependent on [Route] 123 to get anywhere," he said at the McLean Citizens Association’s winter membership meeting, on Tuesday, March 2, where the topic of the night was planning for Tysons Corner. Kuhn said traffic on the road near his neighborhood had already increased by 30 percent in the last eight years, and three intersections along the route were predicted to have failing levels of service by 2030, according to county staff projections and recommendations for higher densities at Tysons Corner.

Traffic and transportation infrastructure have been the concerns most often brought up by neighbors of Tysons Corner as talks about its redevelopment with the advent of the Metro Silver Line have unfolded over the last several years. Congestion has already become a serious problem in and around the urban center. . . .

Just for the record, many, if not most, of Reston's main intersections near the Dulles Toll Road already have a "failing level of service"--a key concern of McLean residents. Comstock's plans for the Wiehle Avenue Station area development will make conditions worse there, even with the road improvements they have proposed.

For the rest of the Connection article, click here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

News: RA Discusses Importance of Wiehle Metro Station Design, Reston Observer, March 11, 2010

Written by Leslie Perales • Observer Editor Thursday, 11 March 2010 18:33

Reston Association's board of directors held a special meeting on Monday to discuss a letter regarding the future site of the Wiehle Metro Station that is to be sent to the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

Comstock Partners was chosen to construct a parking garage for the station and has plans to develop the property above and surrounding the parking garage near the intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunset Hills Road. The site will include up to six multi-story buildings, including more than 1 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and residential space. The county is requiring Comstock to build a 2,300-space parking garage by 2013, in time for the Metro to open at the site.

The draft letter, created by RA's transportation advisory committee, includes a list of concerns and considerations they would like both the county and developer to keep in mind. . . .

Here is the rest of this article.

News: RA Works Out Position on Wiehle Station Development, Reston Connection, March 10, 2010

Board, Transportation Advisory Committee draft letter to county.

By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"It seemed appropriate to establish from the very beginning that we’re not playing the NIMBY game," Dave Edwards said as he and the Reston Association board discussed the letter the Transportation Advisory Committee had drafted regarding the development being proposed at the future Wiehle Avenue Metro Station. Edwards, who chairs the committee, was referring to the "not in my backyard" mantra so often heard at public meetings.

Before its regular meeting Monday night, March 8, the board discussed the letter, which it will send on to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) and the Planning Commission. The development proposal for the area around the Metro stop is to come before the commission on March 25. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Notes and Thoughts on the March 9 Reston Task Force Meeting, Terry Maynard

Last night I think was the first meaningful meeting of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force since its inception. The County decided to use Reston 2020’s proposed Planning Principles as the base for further discussion on this topic. The task force members engaged in a dialogue about Planning Principles and Herndon-Monroe TOD although they did not resolve any issues. In all, it was the first real step in wrestling with the future of Reston.

Here are some of the key points I picked out of the meeting and my take on them.

In the brief public comment period, several key points were made:
• Bill Dingell, President of the Polo Fields Cluster, asked that task force assure the protection of its neighborhood as development proceeds, especially with regard to overflow parking and drive-through commuters.
• Diane Blust, reading a brief statement, called for the task force to protect the wetlands at Herndon-Monroe and include language that would encourage their transfer to RA for protection as a natural area.
• John Bowman, Reston 2020 co-chair, noted that the Reston 2020 committee had provided task force members with a Planning Principles statement combining the inputs of all contributors at the January community meeting on that topic. He noted it was a work in progress as others have submitted proposed Planning Principles since then.

Patty Nicoson, the task force chair, proposed that a task force committee be set up to look at the special issues involving the Reston Town Center as suggested by Robert Goudie, task force member and chair of WATCH. The explanation provided by Heidi Merkel was that the County needs to address the badly outdated Reston Police Station (actually, the Northern Fairfax County Government Center) as part of the task force process “while retaining options around the station.”

I found the police station justification to be a non sequitur. What to do with the outdated police station on county property is truly an implementation issue, and a small one at that, involving only the county deciding what to do with its own assets. This is the kind of issue the task force has consistently and strongly opposed considering elsewhere in Reston up to this time.

So why now?? It raised the idea in my sometimes suspicious mind that the county may actually have the idea of selling the county property to private parties for development as part of the urbanization of Reston. We can’t let non-taxable public property stand in the way of taxable and profitable private urban development. If that’s so, we could also say good-bye to the Reston regional public library, the Embry Rucker homeless shelter, and maybe even the affordable housing built in this area. In the broader sense, that would mean even fewer public facilities in Reston. Nonetheless, the proposal was approved without objection. I will be glad to be shown—not told—that I’m wrong in this theory, but the justification for the committee offered last night was weak beyond belief and, if nothing else, speaks of favoritism for a subset of Restonians.

Heidi Merkel walked through a recap of the County’s TOD policy next. It generated a brief discussion about special Metro station design in Reston beyond public art. It appears this is unlikely in the absence of funds to do so. Nick Bauer raised the issue that “open space” needs to be defined and used very carefully, suggesting that some wording in the policy might allow changes in the Herndon-Monroe wetlands area. Bob Simon noted that we don’t necessarily need innovation in architecture—a TOD policy point—just excellence, which is no more expensive than mediocre architecture. He added that RTC was mediocre architecture that should not be copied.

The discussion of the Herndon-Monroe TOD area provided some important insights into many task force members thinking. Heidi Merkel began by synthesizing the key ideas that came out of the community meeting, including:
• The wetlands are beloved and the constituency wants them preserved. The same applied to the environmentally sensitive land on the County’s parking property. (Later she showed how the county envisions expanding the parking facility there on to the adjacent “environmentally sensitive” property to the west as well as to the east. So much for environmental sensitivity.)
• Preserve the stable neighborhood to the south (Polo Fields).
• Complement the TOD work done by Herndon across the DTR.
• Work on solving traffic issues in and out of the area.
• A broader need for open space in the area, including connectivity to the wetlands.
• Improve pedestrian connections across the DTR.

Many of the task force members highlighted what they heard at the community meeting, including maybe less overall density here than elsewhere with more variability across the area (higher east, lower west), an office-centric focus to developing the area to take advantage of nearby FC Parkway, need for better road linkages to Monroe (west) and FC Parkway (east) from the area, more involvement with Herndon on planning the area, a difficult area to create a grid of streets given the wetlands, and much confusion about why and how the county was planning to double the size of the parking garage—noting, “build it and they will come.” On a process note, one task force member suggested the task force needed to come to some kind of closure on these topics while they are still fresh in people’s minds rather than waiting for months to rejoin the topic. The staff will look at how this can be fit into the schedule.

Heidi Merkel then presented the DPZ staff’s synthesis of the many Reston Planning Principles they had received. She shared the data results from the community meeting preferences (where participants put “dots” on the 10 ideas they thought most important). She noted that the staff had decided that the format and issues addressed in the Reston 2020 Committee proposal were very useful. They had decided to use the Reston 2020 proposal as the core document for the task force to review and propose amendments. She asked the task force members to try to send their proposed changes to her so the staff could integrate them into the Reston 2020 proposal. Some discussion followed on whether this was a workable way to handle this given the number and variety of inputs staff was likely to receive. Heidi suggested that they would try this approach this time to see if they could make it work.

During this discussion, Mike Corrigan, RCA member of the task force, challenged the development community to provide its vision of Reston’s Planning Principles like so many Reston citizens’ groups had. He noted that he imputed from the APR nominations held by the task force that developers were interested in increased FARs, fewer height restrictions, contributing nothing to public facilities, amenities, or open space, and the most profitable mix of uses (adding "not that there's anything wrong with that"). In short, he asked them to lay their hand on the table. None said they would.

And I don’t think the development community—developers, land owners, property managers, and their attorneys—will take the challenge, at least not seriously. They could offer a strawman, but from their perspective, it would most likely yield them criticism, some of it misguided, but nonetheless unneeded. Moreover, showing your hand is not how the business negotiation process operates. They might try to nick editorially some of the Reston 2020 Planning Principle proposals they find most disagreeable by seemingly modest language changes that reduce their constraints, such as changing “require” to “encourage” or “preserve” to “enhance.”

To developers, however, the key Comprehensive Plan language will be the specific wording and numbers attached to the development of various land sub-units, the FARs, the height restrictions, the open space and public facility requirements, and so on. Moreover, while they might raise these issues reactively in the task force to some unusually constraining demand, their focus will be on persuading County Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors members outside the public glare of the task force. Who knows what deals they will make in this unobserved process? In the end, they are much more likely to trust their strong historic ability to influence the County’s planning and zoning decision making outside the public eye to achieve their ends.

Following this discussion, county staff walked through the existing conditions report for the Wiehle TOD area. The several viewgraphs included maps of current land uses, densities, etc., although not all the viewgraphs were in the task force members’ packets. The briefing ended with a look at a table reporting existing development, approved zoning, and development authorized under the current Plan.

The final chart provoked a question from Mike Corrigan about the availability of the much-promised existing conditions report from the County. In his view, it is important to start the discussion with some facts. Fred Selden, Chief, DPZ, tried to explain why it wasn’t important in his experience and that it could result in bad decisions in one of the most outlandish displays of bureaucratic blather I have seen. Mike pressed this issue by noting we don’t know how much we need to change if we don’t know what exists or could exist under the current plan and that this information was as important to the development community as to the citizens of Reston.

Jerry Volloy, ARCH President and task force member, added a third dimension to this discussion: The County. He noted that the County has its own revenue needs and obligations both now and in the future and it would help tremendously in planning what should be done if the task force knew what those revenues and costs are and might be, basically a financial existing conditions and projections report.

The overarching point the two task force members were making is that the task force could make better decisions about what planning changes needed to be done if it could it knew the current situation and what the current plan would allow in development and generate in tax revenues. From that foundation, a better Plan could be developed that met the needs of all the core parties—developers, residents, and the County. Still, it generated no commitments from the task force chair or the county staff.

From this observer’s perspective, this task force meeting was a huge improvement on the meetings up to this point precisely because there was discussion about the topics under consideration. Much of that discussion was aimed passed another member’s point in a somewhat passive-aggressive manner, but nonetheless a sort of dialogue began to emerge even if no issues were resolved. For those familiar with small group dynamics, this was the beginning of the “storming” phase of the process characterized as Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing. While the task force has been a long-time reaching this point in what is clearly an over-ambitious schedule, we can hope that it will now fully engage in solving the tough development issues it is charged with resolving. We would like it to become a fully “performing” task force all can be proud of.

Draft Agenda: Reston TF Community Meeting on Wiehle Avenue TOD, 9AM, March 20, 2010, Langston Hughes IS

March 20, 2010 
9:00 a.m.
Langston Hughes Middle School, Cafeteria, 11401 Ridge Heights Road 
9:00 a.m.  Welcome 
9:05 a.m.   Meeting Objectives 
  Brief Overview of Reston Master Plan Special Study 
  Staff, Department of Planning and Zoning 
9:45 a.m.  Community Brainstorming Activity regarding future station area character 
10:45 a.m.   Reporting of results of Brainstorming Activity 
11:15 a.m.  Public Comment   
11:30 a.m.  Adjourn

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

County Compiles Public Input From Herndon-Monroe Meeting on February 27, 2010

County Compilation of Herndon-Monroe Community Comments--030810

Letter to County and Reston Officials on Comstock's Wiehle Avenue Development Proposal, Bob & Tammi Petrine, March 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Fairfax County Planning Commission
Fairfax County Dept. of Planning and Zoning
Reston Planning and Zoning Committee

Subject: Wiehle Avenue Metro Station Proposal by Comstock

Dear Board, Planning Commission. P & Z and Reston P & Z,

By way of introduction, our family has lived in Reston for 34 years. My children have grown up and have homes here as well. We love our community and want you to know that we are but one of many! Reston is full of energetic, highly intelligent, activist people.

I have seen Comstock’s proposed plans for the Wiehle Metro Station area. Good grief, I don’t even know where to begin! I am no expert in Urban Design and Traffic Studies but a 5th grader could tell you that this plan is beyond pathetic.

Reston is a world famous PLANNED community full of charm, nature and warmth. None of those or any other attractive qualities have been translated into the present “plan” of this project. The look of the proposed structures is terrible: bland, depressing, boxy and big: nay, prison-like.

The traffic, which is horrendous now, will become gridlock IF you let this plan proceed. The whole area will become a war zone from which drivers, cyclists and pedestrians will battle to escape.

This is not what we want in Reston. Our community is special. So special in fact that we get to pay escalating tolls in perpetuity, the only community in the county to do so… so special that we finance our own community center and its maintenance by through a special tax district. Reston more than pulls its weight with its generous contributions to the county’s coffers. We deserve so much better.

Whoever is the architect of this proposal, should hang his/her head in shame. If you do approve it, you should do likewise.

Thanks in advance for sending this “dog” back to the drawing board!


Bob and Tammi Petrine
Reston, VA

Monday, March 8, 2010

WATCH Proposes Its Own Town Center Committee to the Reston Task Force

Below is the text of an e-mail from WATCH Chair Robert Goudie to the Reston task force proposing a Town Center Committee under the auspices of the Reston task force. The attachment he refers to in this e-mail is WATCH's proposed planning priorities earlier posted here.

Attached for the Task Force’s consideration concerning Town Center’s future development is input from WATCH, the Working Alliance of Town Center Homeowners. WATCH is an informal organization comprised of Town Center’s HOAs and residents that I nominally chair (as one of the residential reps on the Town Center Board). The attached synthesizes what I received – after soliciting written comment and holding two open community fora on the subject. The document cannot pretend to speak for every resident or HOA, but I have forwarded it among the WATCH mail list asking that HOA Boards and residents consider contacting the Task Force to “me-too” this document or offer their own views on these important subjects (whether in writing or at the April community forum on Town Center).

I want to address briefly the procedural recommendation that the Task Force immediately create a Town Center Committee:

1. I know some in our group are reluctant to have any committees. I respect that view, and I’m open to persuasion on the subject. But my instinct is that there are a number of issues pertaining to Town Center that will not easily lend themselves to the large forum format and, equally important, the compressed time frame we have to consider this (I understand we hope to be done with Phase I by June).
2. My thought is to borrow the committee mechanism from the Tyson’s effort and innumerable other task forces to maximize our time. WATCH proposes that the committee would be appointed by the Task Force and be comprised of Task Force members, report to the Task Force, be accountable under County FOIA and regular Task Force order, and, importantly, be guided by Staff. Non-voting expertise could be sought if the Task Force deemed that appropriate, but this would be a wholly accountable arm of the Task Force.
3. The committee would have a narrow focus: do some of the initial heavy lifting in terms of research, getting additional community input that could address specific pieces, and doing some real nitty gritty on grids, sorting out north-south connector options, pedestrian crossings, open space, development options for the North County lot, considering density issues, and other key items. It would then make recommendations or present options to the Task Force, which the Task Force would be free to accept, reject, or modify. My concern is that any one of several of these issues could alone consume an entire Task Force meeting. Enlisting a committee from among our number I think gives us the best chance to thoughtfully hit our deadline.

I defer to the wisdom of the Chair and Staff to decide when it is appropriate to consider this issue of a Town Center committee, though my personal hope is that this be sooner rather than later.

Supervisor Hudgins, I’ve included you on this because this document is a good-faith effort to coalesce diverse resident inputs into some kind of consolidated view of Town Center’s future, so it may have some value for you beyond the Task Force.

On behalf of WATCH I thank you for your consideration of these issues.


Robert Goudie

One has to wonder if ALL Reston's neighborhoods shouldn't have their own committees to protect their equally important interests the way WATCH proposes protecting town center residents.

Terry Maynard
Reston 2020

News: Dulles Rail project on track, Wolf says, WTOP, March 8, 2010

WASHINGTON - Despite wrangling over funding that put the brakes on the Dulles Rail Project for years, one Virginia congressman says the project is now moving ahead at a good pace.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., says the first phase of the Silver Line, running from East Falls Church to Reston, is set to open by 2013.

"The next section, they're doing the planning and engineering, and that will take you out to Dulles (International Airport) and several miles beyond," Wolf says.

Click here for the rest of the story.

Letter to Fairfax and Reston Authorities Expresses Concern Over Comstock Wiehle Proposal, John & Fran Lovaas, March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

TO: Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (all)
Fairfax County Planning Commission (all)
Fairfax County Dept. of Planning and Zoning
Reston Planning and Zoning Committee (all members)

Subject: Comstock's Development Proposal for the Wiehle Avenue Metro Station Area

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The advent of rail in Reston will change the face of our community and likely affect its very character. The two planned rail stations, one at Wiehle Avenue and the other near but not at Reston Town Center, will bring intense new development to the very heart of the community. Unlike any other developments, what arises at these the sites will seriously alter Reston--for better or worse. Thus, it is vital that we get it right from the start at Wiehle Avenue.

The process is not off to a promising start. Since its first presentations going back six months or so, Comstock has refused to alter a seriously flawed proposal. They seem to believe that they have the county and ultimately our community over a major barrel with a sole source PPEA deal and tight timelines to meet a train coming down the track. The Reston community has no power to alter Comstock's plans. So, we must look to Fairfax County to act on our behalf and demand excellence in the plans for this site.

Excellent critiques and suggestions have been offered by Restonians Guy Rando, Dave Edwards, Terry Maynard and others. I ask that you adopt their suggestions to improve this flawed proposal. For example, fewer buildings on the site would open the main plaza up to sunlight. There also needs to be much more open space for the would-be residents--which could be accomplished in part by fewer, but taller buildings.

Air rights are encouraged by the comprehensive plan. Isn't this the ideal location to introduce them to open additional area for recreation and open space! Furthermore, air rights expansion could set up foundation for additional buildings, additional parking and a sorely needed pedestrian bridge.

The Comstock development is only the first development anticipated in the station area. Other property owners will be coming forward with proposals for other corners of the area of the intersection of the DTR and Wiehle Avenue. The stage is being set for complete gridlock and standstill, a traffic nightmare rivaling the worst in the country UNLESS the county steps up and prepares a transportation master plan for the area 1/2 mile around the intersection. There is time to do so. The question is: is there the will to do it right?

This is an opportunity to demonstrate the best of mixed use planning and the ballyhooed Transit Oriented Development. Shouldn't we be seeking to make this new station area a place where people want to be? This includes making a charming ambience and providing a range of attractive retail, and a first class hotel--landmark stuff. But, what is proposed is such a drab, car-filled plaza instead of a pedestrian haven that it is likely to be a place people avoid spending time. We do not like to think of Reston in those terms. The plaza needs to be reworked as do the plans for the retail and the over-apparent ugly garages.

In sum, we wholehearted agree with the analyses which indicate that this project has a way to go if it is not to be a major disappointment and do serious harm to the quality of life in our special place. Please tell us that we can count on you to turn this around, turn it into something we can all be proud of and not just shake our heads when we look at it.


John and Fran Lovaas
Reston, VA 20190

News: Fairfax plans Metro development around wetlands, Washington Examiner, March 8, 2010

By: Brian Hughes
Examiner Staff Writer
March 8, 2010

A wetlands area near the expected Herndon-Monroe Metro station is complicating plans for an urban, walkable community around the transit center.

The Sunrise Valley Wetlands are nestled within a quarter-mile of the planned station, with a pocket of single-family homes -- both of which area leaders and residents say should remain.

But those wetlands could diminish visions of high-density development near the station, the blueprint for planned Metro stations on the Metrorail extension to Washington Dulles International Airport. . . .

Click here to read more at the Washington Examiner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Proposed Planning Principles for Reston Town Center Development (Final), WATCH,

Below is a copy of the final version of the Working Alliance of Town Center Homeowners (WATCH) proposed planning principles for future development in Reston Town Center. The document has been sent to the Reston task force.

It is an updated version of the draft posted here on February 16.

RMP Town Center Principles-Final, WATCH,

RCIG General Planning Guidelines, Dave Edwards, February 12, 2010

Embedded below are the ideas of Dave Edwards, long-time Reston resident and urban planner, on developing the area in the Reston Center for Industry and Government (RCIG), roughly the Dulles Corridor between Sunrise Valley and Sunset Hills, plus Reston Town Center (RTC).

A key principle he introduces is a more nuanced version of the "tapering off" of density described in Fairfax County's TOD policy. In particular, he allocates density and height limits at 700 foot intervals from the center point of each TOD site--the Metrorail platform.

Dave shared these ideas with the Reston task force.

Read the details below.

RCIG General Planning Guidelines Dave Edwards, 021210

Draft Transportation Plan Ideas, Dave Edwards, February 12, 2010

Embedded below is a document prepared by Dave Edwards, long-time Reston resident and urban planner, providing his ideas on handling transportation issues as Reston evolves. He provided this document to the Reston Special Study Task Force. Here is a key excerpt:

Central among the many critical factors relating to livability is accessibility and mobility throughout Reston. If the overall transportation system serving all parts of Reston breaks down, Reston will decline rapidly. The transportation system includes all modes in proper balance – rail transit, bus and other types of public transit, bicycling and walking stand out. The private, single-passenger automobile will have an important role, but during peak hours, the Reston Core will choke if the private auto continues to dominate. All the other modes, particularly modes of public transit, must be greatly enhanced relative to accommodations for the private auto.

For the full text of Dave's ideas, see below.

Reston Transportation Planning Ideas, Dave Edwards, February 12, 2010

News: Fairfax's affordable housing plan might not change Tysons, Washington Post, March 7, 2010

By Kafia A. Hosh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 7, 2010

The following extract points to the continuing disconnect between Fairfax County officials and developers in how to re-develop the Tysons Corner area. For the full story, click here.

Budreau (who commutes two hours to work at Tysons Corner) exemplifies the kind of worker Fairfax County officials hope will one day have a chance to live near their jobs in Tysons. The county's ambitious 40-year plan to remake the work-oriented area into an urban, transit-focused downtown includes sweeping guidelines to boost the affordable housing stock.

Affordable housing "is something that we thought it was time to introduce into the discussion," said James P. Zook, Fairfax's planning and zoning director.

But the guidelines have sparked concerns among developers who say efforts to include more affordable housing would be too costly and hinder residential growth.

Official Meeting Notes: Reston Task Force Community Meeting, February 27, 2010

Reston Master Plan Special Study
Community Meeting

February 27, 2010
Langston Hughes Middle School

Welcome from Supervisor Hudgins: 9:05

Overview & Meeting Goals/Structure (9:12)
• Heidi Merkel, Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning, presented an overview of the Reston Master Plan Special Study

Herndon’s TOD Future (9:34)
• Kay Robertson, Town of Herndon Department of Community Development, presented an overview of the Town’s planning activities on the north side of the Herndon-Monroe Metro Station
• Questions for Kay re: toll road and coordination between Town of Herndon and Fairfax County.
• Comments included a strong support in the preservation of open space near the transit areas such as plazas and pocket parks etc.
• There were additional questions re: impact on the homes that are located within the ¼ and ½ mile radius.

Breakout Groups (10:00)
• Heidi Merkel briefly described the existing land uses in the Herndon-Monroe area. Participants broke into focus groups to discuss their ideas and opinions on the Herndon-Monroe area.

Report out (11:15)

• Following the group discussions, each focus group reported its significant findings to the larger group.
• The input gathered from this exercise will be transcribed in a separate document.

Next Steps (11:35)

• Heidi Merkel addressed some questions regarding how and when the information will be presented to the Task Force. She announced the cancellation of the March 2nd meeting and confirmed the March 9th Task Force meeting will be held at 7pm in the Lake Anne RCC.

Members Present

Bauer, Nicholas
Carter, John Anderson
Corrigan, Mike
Costello, Frederick
de la Fe, Frank
Foster, Van
Goudie, Robert
Looney, Mark
Murphy, Arthur
Nicoson, Patricia
Otteni, Peter
Pew, Judith
Seidenstricker, Jay
Thomas, Paul
Volloy, Gerald
Walker, Robert
Williams, Kohann
Bowman, John
Noritake, Rae
Penniman, William

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Official Meeting Summary, Reston Task Force, February 23, 2010

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force
Meeting Summary

February 23, 2010, 7:00 PM.
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston

Patty Nicoson opened at 7:05pm

Public Comment Period (7:10)

Limited to 2 minutes/person.

• Marion Stillson, President of Reston Citizens Association, expressed concerns regarding citizen participation in the Reston Master Plan Special Study to date. She noted several specific actions and inactions that she feels have precluded Reston citizens from contributing to the Task Force process, including not publishing task force meeting agendas and related materials in a timely manner, and the lack of direct notice to residents in and around areas that will be discussed at informational meetings or community meetings. She also commented on the lack of an existing conditions report for the study area to date and that those who participated in the Land Use College have not had a role in the Task Force process. Her comments were distributed to the Task Force.
• Kathy Kaplan noted that she has compiled an email distribution list that includes most Task Force members and asked that those members not on her list send her their email addresses.

Administrative Items (7:15)

• Chairman Patty Nicoson announced that an email was circulated to the Task Force with her recommendation regarding sub-groups or working groups. In summary, she agreed with the majority of the Task Force that there may be a place for these groups as the study proceeds. However, there was not support for establishing an array of working groups at this time.
• Heidi Merkel reminded the Task Force that the meeting summaries were sent out with the agenda in an email on the previous Friday. She explained that time will not be set aside during Task Force meetings for discussion of the meeting summaries. She asked that Task Force members send corrections to Sandi. The summaries will be posted on the web.
• Task Force member Jerry Volloy asked when the guiding principles will be discussed. Heidi stated that staff is working on a document which will include a compilation of the results of the preference activity at the January 26th community meeting and a written summary regarding all the proposed guidelines.
• Chairman Patty Nicoson announced that Task Force member Robert Goudie would like to create a Task Force sub-committee for Reston Town Center. A draft position paper by the Working Alliance of Town Center Homeowners (WATCH) was circulated. A WATCH meeting to discuss the draft paper will be held Wednesday, 2/24. Contact Robert for more information.
• Jerry Volloy asked about the subject matter of the upcoming meetings and why the Task Force is not talking about the Wiehle area first, in light of the pending Comstock rezoning case in that area. Heidi Merkel explained that the County zoning staff reviewing that rezoning case is evaluating it under existing Comprehensive Plan recommendations. The rezoning case is not a part of the Task Force’s charge. Task Force members are welcome to attend the public hearings and offer their personal comments. The Task Force will be looking at the Wiehle area to identify what adjustments are appropriate to the current Plan recommendations. If the present application is still pending then the developer would have the opportunity to amend the application. That may be unsatisfactory for some people, but the state law requires that the zoning applications be acted upon in a timely manner. Staff decided to review the Herndon-Monroe area first because in some ways it is the simplest. Staff made the decision in part based on logistically concerns.
• Mark Looney pointed out that the pending Wiehle rezoning case can provide many lessons to be learned from the developer’s proposal. This can be seen as a “test case” as to how well the current Plan recommendations works. These lessons include:
o Problems with including height limitations in the Plan;
o Challenges presented by requiring specific mixes of uses;
o Issues related to consolidating property;
• Patty Nicoson noted her optimism that the changes may help create a project that the community may be more likely to support.
• Arthur Hill stated that the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee Meeting will be about the rezoning case at Wiehle Ave on Monday [3/1] and the committee will make a decision on the case soon.

Overview of Transportation Plan (
• Leonard Wolfenstein, Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, gave a presentation about the Transportation Plan element of the Comprehensive Plan and the recommendations for the Reston area
• In response to a question, Leonard explained that Route 7 is an enhanced Public Transportation Corridor between Baileys and Tysons Corner but not west of Tysons Corner.

The Montgomery County experience (7:50)
• Task Force member John Carter, who is Chief of Urban Design and Preservation Division of Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Division, gave a presentation on Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) in Montgomery County, MD.

Arlington County experience (8:35)
• Robert Brosnan, Arlington County Planning Director, gave a presentation on TOD in Arlington County
• Questions for Bob Brosnan re: how Arlington handles parking, changes they’ve made to planning along the way (this was mid-course correction question), how other transit such as bus service, and affordable housing in transit corridors.

Presentation on the Reston Metro Access Group (RMAG) Report (9:10)
• Keith Goodman, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, gave a presentation on the Reston Metro Access Study that was completed in 2007 for areas around the Reston Parkway and Wiehle Avenue transit station areas.

Overview of the Herndon-Monroe area (9:24)
• Faheem Darab, Department of Planning and Zoning gave a presentation about the planned, zoned and existing development in the Herndon-Monroe station area.
• Questions for Faheem re: the zoning map shown in the presentation and how it relates to the planned development in the area and how to deal with the significant number of office buildings in the corridor.

• Heidi reminded the audience of upcoming meetings. Community meeting will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at Langston Hughes Middle School beginning a 9am. The Task Force meeting scheduled on March 2, 21010 has been cancelled. The next Task Force meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9, 2010 at Lake Anne RCC.

Meeting adjourned (9:52)

Members Present

Bauer, Nicholas
Cooper, Michael
Cortelyou, Stephanie
Costello, Frederick
de la Fe, Frank
Foster, Van
Goudie, Robert
Hill, Arthur
Looney, Mark
Murphy, Arthur
Nicoson, Patricia
Pew, Judith
Riegle, Greg
Seidenstricker, Jay
Simon, Robert
Thomas, Paul
Tobey, Phil
Volloy, Gerald
Walker, Robert
Williams, Kohann
Bowman, John
Gilley Sr., Wade
Keefe, William
Matthews, Milton
Mills, Colin
Noritake, Rae
Penniman, William
Phillips, Terri
Stowers, Joe
Strange, Anne

Friday, March 5, 2010

News: Reston Looks at Herndon Metro Station, The Observer, March 4, 2010

Written by Leslie Perales • Observer Editor Thursday, 04 March 2010 16:12

On Saturday dozens of residents from both Herndon and Reston spent the morning discussing planning of the Herndon-Monroe Metro station.

The north side of the station will land in Herndon and the south side will land in Reston. Heidi Merkel, a senior planner with Fairfax County, said they expect the Washington, D.C., region will see an increase of about 2 million people over the next 20 to 30 years and good planning is a must.

Merkel said the county is attempting to channel some of the growth into regions where people will be able to rely on public transit rather than add to vehicular traffic. She said Saturday’s meeting was to help get ideas from the public on what types of development they would like to see in their communities....

For the rest of this article, click here.

E-mail to Reston P&Z Committee Expresses Concern about Open Space in Comstock Wiehle Proposal, Diane Blust, March 5, 2010

Dear P&Z Members,

I am concerned about the lack of open space in the Comstock development proposal for the Wiehle Avenue metro station area. The plaza area as currently configured would be so shaded by tall buildings it would be difficult to provide any type of green space for those visiting the plaza. Indeed, the plan to route traffic around the plaza would ensure any plant life in this small area would be exposed to far too many vehicle emissions. I am also terribly concerned about the increased traffic, ergo increased pollution, at the Wiehle Station and the surrounding developments.

As a citizen of Reston and staunch supporter of RA’s renowned and valuable open spaces and natural areas, I hope your committee will continue to press for the highest levels of environmental and ecological stewardship of areas to be developed or redeveloped in Reston. New development in Reston should include features designed to decrease stormwater runoff from any given site; such features range from pervious surfaces for any paved areas to landscape features such as rain gardens/ green roofs to rainwater catchment systems designed to capture and reuse rainwater for toilets in commercial buildings. Additionally, new buildings in Reston should meet the highest environmental standards as established by the US Green Building Council.

Thank you for your service on the P&Z and your attention to these important issues.

Diane Blust
Reston, VA

Agenda: Special RA Board Meeting on Comstock Wiehle Proposal, March 8, 2010

Here is the agenda for the special meeting of the RA Board of Directors to consider a letter to be sent to the Fairfax County Planning Commission about the Comstock Partners proposal for the Wiehle Avenue Metrorail Station development. The draft letter suggests that a number of important changes need to be made in the development proposal to meet Reston's core expectations. The full agenda and draft letter are embedded below. The meeting will be held at RA headquarters at 7PM, Monday, March 8, 2010.

I. Procedural Items

7:00 pm Call to Order & Opening Remarks, Robin Smyers, President Discussion--The purpose of this special meeting is to consider a letter to be sent to the Fairfax County Planning Commission regarding the current Comstock proposal (Rezoning Application RZ FD P2009-HM-019)for Wiehle Avenue Station.

II. Discussion/Action

A. 7:05 pm Member & Board Comments

B. 7:20 pm Adoption of Special Meeting Agenda

C. 7:25 pm Transportation Advisory Committee; Letter Regarding Current Comstock Proposal for Wiehle Avenue Station

D. 8:00 pm Adjourn

Comstock Wiehle March 8, 2010 Special Board Meeting

Draft Agenda: Reston Task Force Meeting, March 9, 2010, 7PM, RCC--Lake Anne

March 9, 2010 
Informational Meeting  
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne 
7:00 p.m.  Public Comment Period    
7:15 p.m.  Administrative Items  ‐  Patty Nicoson,
7:30 p.m. Recap of Transit‐Oriented Development (TOD) Presentations  Lessons Learned and Fairfax County TOD Guidelines  
Heidi Merkel, Department of Planning and Zoning 
7:45 p.m.  Review of Herndon‐Monroe Community Meeting  
H. Merkel 
8:15 p.m.  Task Force Initial Discussion of General Reston Planning Principles  
H. Merkel 
9:00 p.m. Overview of Wiehle Avenue Area 
 Faheem Darab, Planning Division, Dept. of Planning and Zoning 
9:25 p.m.  Upcoming Meetings  ‐  Heidi Merkel  
9:30 p.m.  Adjourn  ‐  Patty Nicoson 

Letter: Comstock Wiehle Proposal Inconsistent with County TOD Policy, Terry Maynard, March 5, 2010

Embedded below is a letter I sent this morning to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County Planning Commission, and Reston's P&Z Committee, and copied to the Reston Task Force and the County Department of Planning and Zoning. The letter explains how the Comstock proposal for the Wiehle Avenue Metrorail Station area is broadly and deeply incompatible with the County's Transit-Oriented Development policy. It recommends that the Planning Commission reject the proposal and demand that Comstock present one that is consistent with the policy.

Terry Maynard
Reston 2020
Reston, VA

Ltr to County & Reston Authorities re Wiehle Proposal and TOD Policy--030510

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Letter: Comstock Proposal for Wiehle Avenue Station Development Is Immoral, Rando and Kaplan, March 2, 2010

Guy Rando and Kathy Kaplan, Citizens Advisory Work Group #1, have written a letter to Reston and County officials criticizing the proposal by Comstock Partners for developing the Reston Park N' Ride site as immoral. They give specific examples of how the proposal fails to meet either Reston or County standards for quality of life, and offer an alternative design proposal. The full text of the letter is below.

Comstock Wiehle March 2010 PC BOS Letter

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

News: "Reston, Herndon Meet over Shared Future Metro Stop," Herndon Connection, March 3, 2010

Task force is Reston’s, but future of Herndon-Monroe station could be town’s.

By Mike DiCicco
Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ian McDonald of Herndon wondered whether more pedestrian and bicycle routes over the Dulles Toll Road were planned for the area where the Herndon-Monroe Metro station will one day be situated. Regarding the existing Monroe Street bridge, he said, "The pedestrian facilities on there are not great."

Meanwhile, Anthony Balducci of the Polo Fields neighborhood in Reston worried that in the future, drivers would park in his community and walk to the Metro station, as some already did in order to access the existing park-and-ride facility.

Both men live less than a half-mile from the planned Herndon-Monroe Metro station, but the community workshop at Langston Hughes Middle School Saturday morning, Feb. 27 represented a rare occasion when they might meet in a public forum, as residents and leaders of Reston and Herndon came together to discuss the future of the area around the Metro station they expect to share by 2016. It was the first of four community workshops planned by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, with each addressing the area around one of the stations in the Reston area.

For the rest of this article, click here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News: "Community weighs in on Herndon-Monroe plans," Community News, Fairfax Times, March 2, 2010

Fairfax County planning staff collected preliminary input from Reston- and Herndon-area residents Saturday about options for building around the future Herndon-Monroe Metro station.

Guidelines for development around the future rail station, expected to open by 2016, will be added to the Reston Master Plan. That plan is also being revised in several other areas of Reston, and the county is reviewing land use around all seven planned Metrorail stations in Tysons Corner, Reston and Herndon through various processes.

"Herndon-Monroe, in some ways, is the most challenging of all the station areas," said Heidi Merkel, of the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.

For the rest of this article, click here.

"Wiehle Metro Development: Standing Room Only Crowd Listens to P&Z Consider ARBs, TIAs, and DRBs," The Restonian Blog, March 2, 2010

Here's "citizen journalism" or "web logging" or whatever at its finest. No sooner than we sent out our call for information about yesterday's Reston Planning & Zoning committee meeting about the awesome Wiehle Metro station development than did the eyewitness accounts start rolling in. And here's what we heard. . . .

For the rest of this post, click here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

News: Big Plans, Empty Pockets, Washington Examiner, March 1, 2010

Massive budget gaps hinder commercial development projects

By: Bill Myers
Examiner Staff Writer
March 1, 2010

A lack of money is hobbling local governments' plans to transform their towns from sprawling cul-de-sac suburbs into dense urban centers.

"The future of this region lies in creating walkable, livable communities," said Cheryl Cort of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. "Our country is broke, our local governments are broke and we need to make much better decisions about our investments."

The region's leaders have tied, or are thinking of tying, billions of public dollars into these new developments, from Tysons Corner in Fairfax to White Flint in Montgomery County. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.