Reston Spring

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

VHB Creates Herndon Metrorail Station Planning Website

"The Town of Herndon is in the process of developing a plan – the Herndon Metrorail Station Area Plan – that will guide future redevelopment in the area of the proposed Metrorail station and identify new prospects for economic growth."

"The study area for the Herndon Metrorail Station Area Plan focuses on the land area within Herndon, north of the planned Metrorail station. The station will be built in the median of the Dulles Toll Road and Airport Access Highway, with a pedestrian bridge that will connect the station to Herndon. The study area includes a core area north of the new station that is approximately 95 acres and is targeted for possible transit-oriented development, and an abutting area that is approximately 88 acres and is targeted for possible transit-related development."

Click on the title above to go directly to the website. (Interestingly, the site is maintained by VHB, the town's consultant on the station--and consultant on the RMAG study. It is not on the town's official website.)

Citing Lack of Affordable Housing, RCA Asks Hudgins Not to Support Fairway Development, Restonian, June 28, 2010

Quick quote from Restonian:

"...Actually, we're somewhat shocked that the initial plan included no affordable housing at all, given the scope of the project, the current buildings on the site, and the familiarity of JBG with development issues in the county. Shame on them...."

Click here for Restonian's full take, and click here for the original RCA letter right here on the Reston 2020 blog.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Airport authority considers more sound walls along Dulles Toll Road, The Washington Post, June 27, 2010

By Kafia A. Hosh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 27, 2010; LZ01

For years, neighborhoods along the Dulles Toll Road have complained about traffic noise.

Shouse Village, a Vienna community of 260 houses, has lobbied federal and local officials for sound walls, but to no avail.

A batch of trees separates Shouse Village from the toll road. But when the leaves fall, the highway noise gets louder, said Sue Rosenberg, vice president of the homeowners association.

"I can hear the noise, and I don't live anywhere near" the tree line, she said.

The neighborhood could finally get some relief under a proposal to build sound walls or improve existing ones along the toll road's path.

The proposal is part of a draft noise policy being considered by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which controls the 12-mile stretch between Route 28 and the Capital Beltway. The agency recently held a public workshop in Reston, where residents huddled around maps, questioned engineers and filled out comment sheets....

Click here for the rest of this article.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Town Center North Draft Committee Report, June 8, 2010

TCN Draft Committee Report

Reston Town Center Committee Notes , June 8, 2010

TC 6-8-10 Meeting Summary

The draft Town Center North report has been posted separately.

Draft Notes for RTF Wiehle TOD Area Committee, June 15, 2010

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force
Wiehle Avenue Sub-Committee

Meeting Summary – June 15, 2010

Mr. Corrigan distributed a table summarizing existing conditions in terms of land unit sizes, existing uses, zoning and FARs. He will continue to review this and check against other sources.

Presentations were made by property owners representing portions of all four quadrants of the Wiehle/DAAR intersection. The presentations shared many objectives for the properties: internal street grids throughout adjacent land units, convenient pedestrian connections within the quadrants and across Wiehle Avenue, greater density than currently permitted to make conversion from suburban office use to urban mixed use economically feasible, reduced mandated parking requirements, integrated green space, and coordinated development planning with surrounding property owners. None of the presentations represented firm plans; at this point, the property owners are studying land use possibilities, talking with adjacent owners, monitoring the economic climate and estimating how much additional density is required to economically justify the tear-down of currently profitable buildings.

JBG, Alex San Andres: JBG has a tentative concept for mixed use in its property in land unit G5.

Bernstein Companies, John Bellaschi: Deferred a presentation on their property in land unit I1 to June 22nd. In response to questions, Mr. Bellaschi noted the appropriateness of an underpass across Wiehle between land units I1 and H2 since the elevation of Wiehle is about ten feet above the adjacent land.

Veatch Commercial, Chuck Veatch: Although they have filed a zoning application compliant with the current comprehensive plan for their property in land unit G4, there is no firm plan.

Vernado, Mike Novotny: Vernado’s property in land unit H2 abuts Metro’s south landing. They would like to redevelop to allow a pedestrian path straight south from the landing through a retail/office area to residential units on Sunrise Valley, and to create a street grid within H2. They think that along the DAAR, buildings could be as high as 275-300 feet tapering to a much lower level adjacent to Sunrise Valley compatible with the residential areas to the south. The concept would be for no canyons, elegant height and an open ground plan.

Centennial, Pete Scamardo: Centennial intends to convert an existing building to office condominiums and has several other parcels within H2 where development is possible, preferably at higher density than currently allowed.

Members Attending:
Bill Penniman – Co-chairman
Andy Van Horn – Co-chairman
Judith Allen
Mike Corrigan
Van Foster
David Gill
Dick Kennedy
Mark Looney
Art Murphy
Paul Thomas

Notes from Herndon-Monroe TOD Area Committee Meeting, June 14, 2010

Herndon-Monroe Com 6-14-10 Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fairfax Dems criticize McDonnell over Metro standoff, Washington Post, Virginia Politics Blog, June 22, 2010

Fairfax County's top elected official Tuesday called Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's threat to withhold $50 million in matching funds from Metro a "hostile action," saying it was jeopardizing the transit agency's efforts to improve safety.

Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) was critical of McDonnell (R) and his threat to withhold Virginia's share of matching funds for the agency in exchange for two seats on Metro's board of directors.

"I personally consider it a hostile act," Bulova said. "We are absolutely open to a discussion about adding new members but it should not be a factor about funding commitments. There should be no strings attached."

For the rest of this post, click here.

RCA Letter to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins re Fairway Apartments, June 22, 2010

Reston Citizens Association
PO Box 2851
Reston VA 20195

June 22, 2010

Hon. Catherine Hudgins
North County Government Center
12000 Bowman Towne Drive
Reston VA 20190

Re: JBG Proposed Re-Development of Fairways Apartments

Dear Supervisor Hudgins:

I am writing to you today on behalf of the Reston Citizens Association (RCA) to ask you to oppose the proposal by the JBG Companies to redevelop the Fairways Apartments on North Shore Drive.

The JBG proposal is scheduled for hearing by the Fairfax County Planning Commission in July. It calls for tearing down the 347 recently refurbished, affordable apartment homes comprising the Fairway Apartments community across North Shore Drive from the Lake Anne Elementary School and replacing them with 941 high-end condominiums.

While the proposal has undergone some design modifications thanks to the persistent efforts of the Reston Design Review Board, the result can be compared to rearranging deck chairs on the proverbial Titanic. Moving the pieces around a bit, adding some taller buildings and a few trees and bushes does not alter the substance of a large, overly intense development in a medium-density location where it is obviously out of place. After a struggle with the developer, the DRB finally moved them from a position of refusing to include any affordable units to agreeing to the current County minimum standard of 12%, a net loss of about 225 affordable dwelling units for Reston.

This project, as designed, would deliver a shock to a stable residential neighborhood that is vital to the diversity of this area. This stable neighborhood is consistent with Robert Simon’s founding principle of assuring a variety of housing to serve all income levels to provide “the heterogeneity that spells a lively and varied community.” Regrettably, this project would augment the trend of the last decade of wiping out affordable housing in Reston. This trend should be halted and indeed reversed if we are to remain true to our founding principles.

Furthermore, if this project is adopted, we can only assume that affordable apartments and townhouses throughout Reston will similarly be marked for destruction in the not-too-distant future. Thus, the residents of The Sycamores, Chestnut Grove Square, Parkcrest Apartments, Southgate Apartments, Hunters Square, and Winterthur Apartments, for example, will suffer similar fates, unless you act now to avoid setting this bad precedent.

In addition to replacing affordable homes with exclusive, high-income types, this project violates not only Reston’s founding principles as embodied in our PRC Zoning Ordinance that remains in effect today, but also the planning principles near adoption by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, and the County’s existing land-use policies. Let me point out a few principles/policies with which the JBG proposal sharply conflicts:

--Protect well established, stable residential neighborhoods.—The proposal would result in high-rise development with three times the existing development level and a very different character.

--Concentrate major new high density development near transit stations—Transit-Oriented Development.—Fairways is not near a transit station. It is 0.95 miles from the Reston Parkway transit station at its closest point and 1.2 miles at its farthest.

--Assure that necessary infrastructure is in place to meet the needs of new development.—There will be NO off-site improvements to infrastructure, and little if any for North Shore Drive, which was designed for the development that exists there, not a three-fold increase.

-- Encourage pedestrian connected and oriented high density communities.—Fairway is 0.6 miles from the nearest walk-to destination, and more than a mile from other potential walk-to destinations. This is vehicle-oriented, not pedestrian-oriented development.

Given the inappropriateness of this proposal to the site, the violence it does both to Reston founding principles and more current land-use planning policies, and the loss of over 220 affordable homes it would cause, we strongly encourage you to act on behalf of important principles and the community to forcefully oppose the proposed Fairways redevelopment.


Marion B. Stillson
President, Reston Citizens Association

Cc Ms. Sharon Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Mr. Frank de la Fe, Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner
Ms. Kathleen McKee, President, Reston Association

Notes from RTF Wiehle Committee Meeting, June 23, 2010

The meeting heard from a Marymount rep on their interest in an expanded Reston Campus.

It also heard from additional property owners, particularly Bernstein Co. which owns a key property in the southeast quadrant of the station across Wiehle (I-1). They appear very flexible re a grid, mixed use residential redevelopment and access from elsewhere on the south side. They want to keep their two existing buildings, which are relatively new and in which they have invested $20,000,000 for a while but are ready for additional development on their North and South side. One question left open was access to Metro. (Comment: Given the topography, a tunnel under Wiehle seems best but Bernstein is skittish about cost, security and esthetics.)

Discussion was held on an educational focus for Wiehle. The consensus seemed to be to support this but with urban oriented campuses without field houses and athletic fields.

(Comment: In view of the NOVA letter to the TF on interest in a Reston campus (cited again), it would be very useful to have a NOVA rep address the sub com.)

Rick Stevens RMAG/Transit related presentation held off to 7 July.

Notes on the Reston Task Force Meeting, June 22, 2010

Report on the Task Force Meeting, June 22, 2010

Results of RA Board Special Meeting on Reston Master Plan Task Force, June 19, 2010

Brainstorming Session Notes

June 19, 2010 Special BOD MTG Brainstorming Notes

Resolution Creating a Special Committee

June 19, 2010 Special BOD MTG Brainstorming Notes

Comments by Richard Chew, RA Board Member

Chew Comments Re RMP Review to RA Board 100619

Pre-Work Raw Data for Board Members

Chew Comments Re RMP Review to RA Board 100619

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Draft Agenda, Reston Task Force Meeting, June 22, 2010


June 22, 2010 
Task Force Meeting  
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne 
7:00 p.m.  Public Comment Period   
7:15 p.m.  Administrative Items ‐ Patty Nicoson, Task Force Chair 
• Task Force vote to establish new Committee 
• Approve meeting summaries 
7:30 p.m.  Introduction to Draft Forecast for Dulles Corridor  
  John McClain, Deputy Director, Center for Regional Analysis  
‐ George Mason University 
7:50 p.m.  Task Force members participate in Lego exercise 
9:00 p.m.  Report‐out of results of Lego exercise 
9:30 p.m.  Adjourn ‐ Patty Nicoson 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Feasibility of development over Dulles Toll Road studied, The Washington Post, June 21, 2010

By Jonathan O'Connell

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is studying the feasibility of selling the right to develop over the Dulles Toll Road, a potential source of millions of square feet of new housing and offices near Metro stations planned in the second phase of the rail extension to Dulles International Airport.

In April, the airports authority's board agreed to perform a $150,000 study of the engineering requirements and costs associated with incorporating plans to build mixed-use developments atop the toll road as a revenue generator. E. Lynn Hampton, president and chief executive of the airports authority, said Reston Parkway Station, the furthest east of the second-phase stations, near Reston Town Center, will be examined as a test case.

Hampton cautioned, however, that consideration of the sale or leasing of air rights was in the "very, very early stages." She expects to see the results this fall.

"We don't have any plans, any thought at all, about a project," she said. "What we're trying to do is determine if it's a good thing to do, what does it cost to do this and is that cost recoverable through commercial development."

For the rest of this article, click here.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Charter for RTF Herndon-Monroe Station Area Committee, June 8, 2010

Herndon-Monroe Committee Charter 06-08-2010

Summary of RTF Herndon-Monroe Station Area Committee Meeting, June 8, 2010

RTF Herndon-Monroe Station Area Meeting Notes Draft, June 8, 2010

Draft Work Plan for Wiehle Avenue Subcommittee

June 9 –

Public comments


Identification of issues to be addressed and discussion of work plan

Presentation from Comstock

Initial discussion by committee members of vision for station area.

June 16 –

- Presentations by property owners/developers around Wiehle Station concerning their visions and plans, potential for coordinated development, likely impediments to high quality development, traffic issues, networks for cars/pedestrians/bicycles, expectations on timing, impacts of Wiehle development on nearby residential areas and the rest of Reston, relationship of Wiehle development to development near other stations, including Tysons.

- Public comment on same issues.

- Committee discussion concerning issues, opportunities and concerns raised by presentations, general comments on development guidelines.

June 23 –

- Public input.

- Presentation(s) on traffic issues and RMAG recommendations to address and answer questions concerning traffic issues, strategies for mitigating traffic, other transportation issues (including parking), other infrastructure needs.

- Solicit representatives from County, RA and others to address and answer questions concerning parks, recreation, cultural, educational opportunities and issues.

- Committee discussion concerning traffic issues, traffic mitigation, parking, and open space, recreation and cultural issues, plus continuation of discussion of issues from last meeting.

June 23 -

- Public input.

- Committee discussion (both generally and by sub-unit) and identification of agreements/disagreements concerning appropriate densities, heights, mixes of uses, interconnections among parcels, requirements for setbacks, open space, preservation of natural areas, and pedestrian/bicycle pathways in corridor, and incentives for builders.

July 7 –

- Public input.

- Committee discussion of unresolved issues from prior meetings and first draft of recommendations to Task Force.

July 14 –

- Public input.

- Committee discussion of issues from prior meetings and finalization of recommendations to Task Force.

Summary of RTF Wiehle Area Committee Meeting, June 8, 2010

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force
Wiehle Avenue Sub-Committee

Meeting Summary – June 8, 2010

The initial meeting of the Wiehle Avenue Sub-Committee was held on June 8th in the Reston Association conference room. Mr. Penniman opened the meeting, invited public comments and then discussed committee organization, including the following points:

o Schedule: The committee will meet each Wednesday at 8AM in the Reston Association conference room through July 14th.

o Sub-Committee Report: The report is to be submitted to the RMPSSTF Chairman on July 15th. The sub-committee co-chairs will draft the report but may ask members to contribute specific sections.

o Report topics: The draft work plan outlines topics to be addressed. Transportation is a major issue and there is a need to extract from the RMAG report the key issues affecting the Wiehle Station. Mr. Penniman suggested that a volunteer review the report in detail and identify the significant points.

o Information gathering: The sub-committee will invite presentations from landowners in the Wiehle station area; in addition, there will be a briefing by an RMAG representative and perhaps the Reston Association.

o Sub-committee scope: The consensus of the sub-committee was that it should address the area defined by the County’s “Wiehle Avenue Area” map, focusing on the area within a half mile of the station. The sub-committee will co-ordinate with the Town Center Sub-committee on the adjoining land units.

o E-Mail: The sub-committee must comply with the FOIA rules restricting substantive non-public discussions among more than two members. Regarding E-mail sent from a Co-Chairman to all members, replies should be sent only to a Co-Chairman.

Potential issues were discussed, including the need for a vision for the Wiehle station area. Education has been discussed as a possible theme for the area and the Mr. Penniman suggested that the group think about how this should be defined. Mr. Penniman is going to develop an issue list for discussion at the next meeting.

Ms. Maggie Parker, Director of Community Outreach and Communications for Comstock Partners, presented an overview of the Comstock development plans for the Wiehle station area. The concept for Block 1, the area immediately adjacent to the Metro station, is to have a below-grade garage beside the DAAR for Metro parking with two future office buildings above. On the west will be a hotel and a multi-family residential structure. The plaza between the office and hotel/residential structures will be pedestrian friendly with stringent vehicular traffic restrictions (for example, none between Memorial Day and Labor Day).

The garage will be constructed in time for the 2013 Metro opening, probably followed by the residential development. Comstock hopes that when Phase II of Metro is completed, the Metro parking needs at the Wiehle station will decrease and part of the garage can be re-allocated for office parking.

Comstock supports the concept of an internal grid of streets and believes it is feasible to extend Reston Station Boulevard westward to Plaza America.

Members Attending:

Bill Penniman – Co-chairman
Andy Van Horn – Co-chairman
Mike Corrigan
Van Foster
Dick Kennedy
Judy Pew
Anne Strange
Paul Thomas
Rob Walker

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Re-imagining Reston’s Future, Reston Connection, June 16, 2010

Committee presents ideas for future of Reston.

By Alex McVeigh, The Connection
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Reston 2020, a committee of the Reston Citizens Association, presented their vision for the next decade of development in Reston June 8. They presented their findings to community members and members of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force.

Reston 2020 has been working on a series of papers for the last six months about the future of everything from parks and recreation to residential and urban design. Their main goal is to make sure future growth and development in Reston is well-planned to benefit current and future residents, as well as developers and businesses.

"We've been working these past six months with the idea of assisting the [Master Plan Special Study] Task Force, with working groups preparing their papers," said Richard Stillson, the co-chair of Reston 2020. "We've tried to be completely open to input, and we encouraged as many people as possible to participate."

Click here for the rest of this article.

Monday, June 14, 2010

RA Special Meeting to Discuss Reston Master Plan Planning, Saturday, June 19, 2010, 9AM, RA HQ

The RA Board of Directors will have a special meeting this Saturday, June 19, at 9 AM to discuss their plans regarding the Reston Master Plan Task Force. The specific agenda items are:

1. Begin the process of outlining the Association’s position(s) relative to the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force; and

2. Establish a subcommittee to be tasked with refining/finalizing the Association’s position.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

URGENT--CHANGE OF VENUE: Tonight's RTF Meeting at South Lakes High School, 7 PM


I just received a telephone call from the County DPZ office notifying me that the venue for tonight's community input meeting of the Reston Task Force will be at:


Still scheduled for 7PM.

I look forward to seeing you all there.

Terry Maynard

Monday, June 7, 2010

Letter: RA Board Encourages Dulles Corridor Air RIghts Development, June 2, 2010

RA Letter re MWAA Air Rights--June 2, 2010

Draft Agenda, Reston Task Force, June 8, 2010


June 8, 2010

Task Force Meeting
Reston Community Center at Lake Anne


7:00 p.m. Public Comment Period

7:15 p.m. Administrative Items - Patty Nicoson, Task Force Chair

7:30 p.m. Presentation of Development Overview paper
Fred Costello, Task Force member

7:40 p.m. Community Group Speakers
1. Freya de Cola, Reston Association Board's Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
2. Reston 2020 Committees – Introduction by Dick Stillson
3. Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
4. Others

9:30 p.m. Adjourn - Patty Nicoson

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Achieving Residential-Commercial Balance for Town Center, Joe Stowers, June 2010

Residential Commercial Balance in Reston TC -- Stowers-- 0610

Proposed Planning Principles, Dick Kennedy, RTF Member, June 2010


Reston will continue to be a welcoming community where, at each stage in their lives, families and individuals can live, work and play in an attractive, human-scale setting. The primary Planning goal is to preserve these essential, special and unique characteristics of Reston while continuing to build and redevelop in a sustainable fashion to address the new opportunities on the 21st century including transit-oriented development. Further development must respect and enhance Reston’s existing neighborhoods, Villages and Town Center utilizing the following principles:

Ensure high excellence in planning, urban design, and architecture integrating the built and natural environment

Promote public art

Concentrate most new development as transit-oriented, mixed-use development at the three new metro rail stations

Maintain and enhance the Town Center and surrounding area as Reston’s Center

Augment and enhance the Village centers

Maintain and protect existing residential areas

Establish and implement a comprehensive intermodal transportation plan with special support for safe and effective pedestrian and cycle use

Provide abundant and high quality usable open public space, both active and natural

Provide adequate housing opportunities for all ages, incomes and life stages

Ensure economic and environmental sustainability throughout Reston

Promote and support a vibrant business environment for local, national and international companies of all sizes.

Ensure the commitment of the necessary infrastructure, particularly for transportation to support new development.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fancy Garage May Be Only Thing Standing When Metro Comes to Reston, Restonian, June 2, 2010

Although Fairfax County supervisors approved the fancy new Comstock Wiehle Metro development last week, there's no guarantee anything except the attractive parking garage will be started--much less finished--by the time the first dangerous, smoke-filled Metro cars roll into the Wiehle Metro station in 2013. . . .

Click here for the rest of Restonian's take on the Wiehle Metro station site development on his fancy "web blog."

The Rise of the Rail, Part 1: An Overview of the Dulles Metrorail Project,

This is the first of a six-part series by Mr. Vecchio. The remainder will be posted and linked here as they are published by the Loudoun Independent.

Matt Vecchio
Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The year is 2016. At 7 a.m., our fictional commuter, Tom Frank, hops in his car in Ashburn and gets on the highway—headed for his office in Washington D.C. A sprawling line of cars and brake lights stand between him and making his 8:30 meeting. Tom cracks a smile, veers his car to an exit and hops on the metro—the Silver Line—that will take him straight to Washington’s core.

In present day, Tom groans as he maneuvers his car slowly through the gauntlet of honking horns and idling engines. He dials his radio to the traffic station and gets a firsthand report of an accident 10 miles in front of him. Just great.

While 2010 is the current reality; the “Rail to Dulles” project is well underway. The year 2016 may not be so far off after all. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

A brief glimpse at transportation systems around the world reveals that subway, metro and train lines are still among the premier transportation options in large cities around the world. . . .

For the rest of this article, click here.

Polo Fields HOA Statment on Herndon-Monroe TOD at Reston Task Force Meeting, June 1, 2010

Polo Fields HOA Statement, June 1, 2010

Reston Town Center North Draft Vision Statement and Comment

DRAFT TCN Vision Statement (Revised)

Comments on NTC Vision--Dick Rogers

Summary of Reston Town Center Committee Meeting, June 1, 2010

TC 6-1-10 Meeting Summary

Summary: Reston Town Center Committee Meeting, May 25, 2010

TC 5-25-10 Meeting Summary

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wiehle Metro Avenue development gets green light, Fairfax Times, June 1, 2010

Rail service in Reston scheduled for late 2013 after Board of Supervisors approval

by Kali Schumitz | Staff Writer

Although there might not be any new buildings at the Wiehle Avenue Metro station when service starts in 2013, riders at least will be able to park at the Reston commuter rail station.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved plans last week for an eight-building residential and office complex near the future station, centered around a public plaza. The project also includes a 2,300-space public parking garage, as well as bus and "kiss and ride" facilities.

Although the market will determine how quickly new buildings go up, developer Comstock Partners has promised that, at a minimum, the Metro facilities, parking garage and the public plaza will be complete when service begins in late 2013. Comstock is building the project through a public-private partnership deal with Fairfax County, which owns most of the land that will be developed.

Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) said this project is only the beginning of redevelopment proposals to accompany Reston's two future Metro stations. . . .

Click here for the rest of this story.