Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Summary with Presentations: Reston Town Center Committee Meeting, April 27, 2010

AGENDA - 4/27/10

Interlineations in italics reflect action taken

• Today’s objective: begin discussion on a possible grid for North Town Center
• Will almost surely take more than one meeting
• Could present more than one option to the Task Force
• Want to start with seeking to accommodate the police station parameters as we know them; if material concerns remain, then consider alternatives
• Other public facility/open space pieces: County offices and Supervisor’s office; library; 5 acre PA site and possible exchange; tot lot; adult open space; science center; art
• Open Forum at close rather than beginning of meeting – will allow community to truly be part of the dialogue and give Committee time it needs to vet the straw man

I. INOVA Straw Man (15 minutes, presentation by Dave Sittler and Tim Sampson)
See attached outline of INOVA presentation and slides showing the draft grid. Key takeaways:
- Consensus agreement this is a very good beginning point. INOVA received appropriate thanks for taking the laboring oar in creating this draft and making the good-faith effort to balance the various interests that had been articulated in our first three meetings – police and other County needs; open space; creating a more vibrant use of this series of parcels; and optimizing chances for commercial success.
- As to latter point, Mark Looney (in response to a question on the subject) said while he could not speak for Lerner he thought this concept offered reasonable prospects for realizing the vision of a more animated Fountain Drive that was a key driver in the County’s thinking when it approved the revised Spectrum concept plan.
- On open space, there was a good deal of discussion about extending the proposed park/green across Bowman Towne Drive through the current Library and Library Park lots (to New Dominion). This would create an @ 5 acre park site (equivalent in size to the current PA lot) but be a much more functional/usable space that could serve diverse interests.
- There remains meaningful concern about the police station design/location. Consistent with the stated goal of having the initial concept make a good-faith effort of accommodating the parameters of what the County has been internally discussing with the police for the past year or more, the INOVA draft locates the police station in Parcel H (on the draft) with a natural buffer along the north and west perimeters. No high-rise commercial buildings are proposed adjacent the lot (also meeting a police request). Still, concerns about the design and space requirement for the new station remain (the police preference being no more than a two-story building with its own parking; the chief committee concern being this is more of a suburban rather than urban style design).
- Perhaps even greater concerns were expressed about having a fuel depot in this area. There is deep concern whether this is appropriate long-term.
- There was a suggestion and some favorable comment that Parcel E might be better utilized as a civic lot at the end of the long public green (assuming extension of that green south to New Dominion). It was noted that the proposed parcel designations were just that, proposed. The thought was less (for the moment) the parcel designations (which might change over time) and more the conceptual layout. That said, the discussion made plain the multiple possibilities for the various lots.
- There was also discussion about whether a north-south corridor through Library Park and all the way to Baron Cameron made sense. INOVA felt that was not likely achievable due to anticipated VDOT concerns with turning requirements etc.
- There was wide agreement that a ped/bike overlay for the layout is needed to ensure that what is created here is easily accessed and used by foot and bike.
- There was appreciation for the traffic calming nature of the smaller park that was included, and discussion about whether additional traffic claming approaches should be reflected.
- Noted with some enthusiasm is the ability to phase aspects of this proposal, including the police station (which could have parking temporarily on the northwest corner of Parcel G until the Cameron Glen facility is razed).
- There seemed to be a consensus emerging that the committee now needs to look at the bigger picture – how this kind of re-imagining on North Town Center could be tied into a new vision that includes the metro station – that we need to look at a full north-south footprint that completes a vision from Baron Cameron at least to the metro station (if not further to the south to the USGS site). There was some sense that should perhaps be the committee’s next focus – looking at a vision for the sites closest to the metro station and then knitting this together.

II. Committee Q&A/Input on Straw Man
(60 minutes)
See above.

Open Forum (15 minutes)
Several residents spoke with the following items raised:
- Concern that we should be starting with the metro station and then working north and south, not starting at North Town Center and working our way back to the metro station.
- Deep concern about the design and size of the police station, and the location of the fuel depot. One suggestion was the fuel depot should be relocated to the RA storage lot across from Target.
- Continuing input about the need to protect ped/bike travel as a priority.
- General compliments for the effort and thought that went into the straw man as a starting point; very constructive.
- A caution that if there is going to be any future air right development at the TC metro station then steps need to be taken fairly quickly to protect that in the planning.
- The notion of extending the park space through to New Dominion was generally positively received, although there was at least one who felt a north-south connector through that area may still make the most sense.
- We cannot ignore south of the metro station, and the hope is that the committee will look at this in an integrated way.

INOVA Presentation to Subcommittee 4-27-2010

INOVA Draft Grid for North Reston Town Center 4-27-10

1 comment:

    Prepared by Dick Rogers, Reston 2020

    This supplements Robert Goudie’s excellent formal write-up which, with the attachments, provides a good picture of the overall meeting.

    INOVA Stawman: Stimulating. Of note was their proposal that the police station be buffered by protecting some of the existing FC open space trees. (Comment: Might not a better location for the paramilitary police station be somewhere outside NTC. The portion of Baron Cameron park at the corner of Wiehle and Baron Cameron comes to mind. That would free up more FC land at NTC for parks, recreation and other civic uses).

    INOVA said they envision a 50-50 commercial-residential split (Comment: It was not clear how much of this would be civic and how much retail. Until a clearer picture emerges of the civic uses envisioned (schools, fire department etc) it may be difficult of get the proportions right.)

    Fueling station: In addition to the Reston Association lot at the FC parkway, it was suggested that the VDOT lot east of Sunset Hills near Hunter Mill might be suitable. This already has industrial like fueling facilities.
    Connectivity to metro: One problem with the INOVA proposal is that it appeared to be made up as if NTC was an independent community. As a result, the tie in to Metro was not clear. There needs to be some clear planning on how people and traffic will move from Metro through the Town center to NTC. (For example the INOVA grid proposal does not carry Explorer Street on North to NTC.)

    Discussion centered on whether Library Street should be extended. Mark Looney suggested that Explorer Street might make the best connection. This seems a key issue since NTC is ½ to 1 mile from the station. Some sort of shuttle bus/street car/Trolley link would seem essential.

    The New Dominion Parkway barrier/speedway was discussed. One suggestion was traffic circles at key intersections.


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