Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Herndon-Monroe Metro: Will Sunrise Valley Drive Become a 'Grand Green Boulevard'? Also, Polo Fields HOA Would Like The Parking Somewhere Else, Please, Restonian, October 27, 2010

This from the Restonian's take on the RTF Herndon-Monroe Committee presentation:

And you thought our Google Map annotations were amateurish! As it did with the Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway stations, the Master Plan Task Force We're Tired of Abbreviating (MPTFWTA) issued its own report on future development around the Herndon-Monroe station. That subcommittee envisions that the area will become "less dense than Reston Parkway with more local serving retail" (translation: fewer cupcakeries, more 7-11s)....
Restonian notes the nearby Polo Fields HOA opposition to an additional parking garage there, including:

...the HOA suggests, among other things, limiting future access to the station from Sunrise Valley Drive to buses, while getting the town of Herndon to focus on building its own fancy garage, assuming it can divert its attention from other more entertaining matters.
 Read the rest of Restonian's thoughts on the Herndon-Monroe station area developments by linking here

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Possible College Campus Near Wiehle Metro? Reston Patch, October 25, 2010

Idea of higher education location in Reston being discussed.
by Karen Goff

When Metro comes to Reston with the opening of the Wiehle Avenue station in 2013, it could bring with it an influx of college students.

That is because one idea being discussed as part of the walkable, mixed-use, urban area close to the Metro is a higher education campus.

Northern Virginia Community College and Marymount University have expressed interest in having a larger presence here. . . .
 For the rest of this article, click here.  

A Wiehle Avenue Outlet, Pat Kane, Reston Planner

In this video, long-time Reston resident and community planner Pat Kane discusses a proposal for an outlet from Wiehle Avenue to Hunter Mill Road to reduce massive congestion at Wiehle and the toll road.

Polo Fields HOA Letter to MWAA re Herndon-Monroe Station Access

Polo Fields HOA ltr to Washington Metro Airports Authority re Herndon-Monroe                                                                   

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reston 2020 Blog Reaches 10,000 Visits, 18,000 Document Reads--and It's Still Growing!

Today saw the Reston 2020 blog record its 10,000th visit, a total achieved in the less than nine months since a counter was attached to the blog.   Some 7,000 readers have visited the blog, and more than 2,000 people are repeat visitors., the counter used by the Reston 2020 blog, provides a wide variety of information about the who, how, and where of visits to the blog, but unfortunately only provides free data tracking for about two weeks worth of data.  Nonetheless, it is suggestive of the interest in the work of Reston 2020 and the Reston Task Force.  For example, in this brief time period:
·         The most popular blog posts have been the Wiehle Committee’s interim report to the Task Force, the letter from Marion Stillson—RCA President—to MWAA regarding the Dulles Corridor, and Terry Maynard’s commentary on the Reston Town Center draft report.  
·         The most frequent identifiable institutional visits continue to be from the Fairfax County general computing center, Fairfax County schools, and the US House of Representatives. 
·         More than one-fifth (22%) of all the recent visits have originated from Reston, and another 26% come from Herndon and Great Falls. 
o       Over 80% of all visits come from the metro DC area, possibly reflecting both Restonians accessing the site from work and the interest of other area communities in what’s happening in Reston. 
o       There continue to be occasional visits from foreign countries, led by South Africa, Finland, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and India. 
·         “Reston 2020” is by far the most used search term to reach the blog, outnumbering searches on the Reston Task Force by more than 4-to-1.  Other recent search terms have focused on specific topics, likely Wiehle, Polo Fields, Metrorail Phase II, and so on.
·         Most people enter the blog through its home address, but the second-most frequent entry point recently has been the Wiehle Committee’s interim report.  There are three ways to enter the blog at a specific post: 
o       Links provided by another blog or e-mail.  The most frequent access to the Wiehle report appears to have come from links to the Restonian, a popular and humorous local blog.
o       A second way is by clicking from the results of a specific search term, such as “Wiehle.”
o       The final way is through the Reston 2020’s Twitter account.  Reston 2020 has posted over 120 “tweets” since launching in early summer, almost all linked to a new post on the blog.  The Reston 2020 Twitter account has 40 “followers” now—people who receive each “tweet”—including the local news media, a few Reston organizations, and numerous individuals. 

Much of what has been posted on the Reston 2020 blog are “embedded” documents—reports, proposals, graphics, commentaries, and the like—that are stored in their original format on and copied as is into the Reston 2020 blog.  Scribd is a digital archive of documents of all types—from cookbooks to constitutions—stored by people who wish to share them with the blogosphere. 

The results for Reston 2020’s documents are astounding:  The 180 documents Reston 2020 has embedded in the blog have been “read” (accessed) more than 18,000 times since the blog’s launch in December 2009.  That’s an average of 100 reads per document. 
·         433 reads occurred on its busiest day, June 8, 2010, the day Reston 2020 posted its series of reports for the community readership.
·         The average daily readership trend line has climbed six-fold as more documents have been added. 
o       In January 2010, 16.0 readers per day accessed the few Reston 2020 documents on Scribd. 
o       In September 2010, that average jumped to 96.6 reads per day. 
o       These documents are being read at the rate of 69 reads per day over the course of the blog’s lifetime.
·         The most read documents on Scribd are those produced by Reston 2020’s several Working Groups, including:
o       A Strawman Proposal for the Wiehle Transit Metro Station Area, RUDL Working Group (491 reads)
o       Vision for the Herndon-Monroe Station Area, RUDL WG (434 reads)
o       Parks, Recreation, and Public Facilities:  Needs for a New Master Planned Reston, PRPF WG (418 reads)
o       Proposals for Parks in North Town Center, Rando/Kaplan, RUDL WG (368 reads)
o       Introduction to the Reston 2020 Committee Work Group Effort (321 reads)
Not too far behind are the reports from the other Reston 2020 working groups. 
  • These documents have been downloaded, that is, physically copied to an individual computer, 179 times from Scribd. 
    • Over twenty percent of these downloads occurred in the three weeks following the publication of the Reston 2020 work group reports.
    • There have also been a few downloads of items posted directly in the blog, that is, they are not embedded there via Scribd.  Virtually all of these have been images, led by images of the Comstock Wiehle Avenue development posted months ago.  
Taken together, the Reston 2020 blog, Scribd, and Twitter are enabling Restonians and others with an interest in urban planning to gain a thorough understanding of ongoing activities, their implications, and the course of the Reston planning effort.  It is exciting that this effort is garnering such a broad and growing audience.  By keeping informed, Restonians are making a difference in their community’s future. 

Terry Maynard

Thursday, October 14, 2010

News Coverage of Reston Town Center Committee Report Presentation

The Fairfax Times, in an article titled, "Greater density, urban growth eyed for Reston" by Holly Hobbs,  reports the following on Tuesday night's Town Center Committee presentation:

With exponential growth expected in Reston with the extension of Metrorail, a community ad-hoc committee is coming up with a plan that aims to snare appropriate development at Reston Town Center.
"[For the] overall vision - think urban," said ad-hoc committee member Robert Goudie, a Town Center resident, during a Reston Master Plan Committee meeting Tuesday night. "We've got to get urban. We've got to get into that mindset."
Goudie, who serves on a Town Center subcommittee to the Reston Master Plan Committee, said county officials should look at equal residential and commercial density at the Town Center. The county is planning to revisit zoning in the Reston area because of Metrorail's arrival by 2016, and created the community-led committee to gather public recommendations.
Residential growth alone in the Reston-Dulles corridor is expected to double during the next 50 years, according to a study by George Mason University. As many as 26,000 new jobs could come to Town Center by 2050 as a result of Metrorail expansion. . . .

Reston Patch had this to day about the presentation in an article by Karen Goff entitled "Reston Town Center Committee Sees Dense Urban Core":

The Town Center Committee of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force envisions the Reston Town Center area of the near future as a dense, urban core with as many offices as residences.
The committee's recommendations have been outlined in a 39-page final report that will be taken into consideration as the Master Plan Task Force and Fairfax County look toward develpment on Reston Parkway when Metrorail opens its Reston North station sometime after 2013.
And, of course, the Restonian has his own humorous take on the report in a post "The Reston Town Center of the Future: Bigger and Better -- or at Least More Dense "

RTC Map.jpg

The hott mess pictured above illustrates the final recommendations of the Reston Town Center Committee of the Reston Master Plan Task Force We Won't Bother Attempting to Acronym Any More (RMPTFWWBAAAM). Like the Wiehle Avenue subcommittee, the group was tasked with providing a comprehensive vision for the area to reflect the coming of Metro, and their vision isn't an altogether bad one -- extending the Fake Downtown, creating a better mix of residential and commercial space, and ensuring open space throughout the area.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Final Report & Supplementary Material of the Reston Town Center Committee, October 10, 2010

Final Report of Reston Town Center Committee--October 10, 2010                                                                   

Final Density Spreadsheet for Reston Town Center North & South                                                                   

Final Reston Town Center Graphic Strawman                                                                   

Draft Agenda--RTF Meeting, October 12, 2010, RCC--Lake Anne


October 12, 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
·        Comments about Paul Goldberger talk
·        Upcoming meetings

7:30 p.m.      Town Center Sub-committee presentation –
                              Robert Goudie and Pete Otteni, co-chairs

9:25 p.m.      Adjourn – Patty Nicoson

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

RCA Letter to MWAA re Dulles Toll Road Air RIghts, September 29, 2010, Marion Stillson, RCA President

Lynn Hampton
Acting President and CEO
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Ms. Hampton,

I am writing as President of the Reston Citizens Association (RCA), an organization founded in 1967. Our mission is to protect and promote the founding principles of Reston, established as a pioneering new town.  Foremost among the founding principles are the ideas of community and of comprehensive planning. As long as Robert E. Simon, Jr., owned the land, he was able to foster these goals. Ownership is now scattered among thousands of entities.

When the Dulles Access Road split Reston in two, the community suffered a body blow. The addition of the Toll Road further separated the north and the south halves of our community. With the advent of metrorail comes the possibility of increasing the number of bridges connecting north and south Reston. This is because current transportation infrastructure cannot support the increased population and number of jobs in future transportation-oriented development close to Reston’s three stations and along the Dulles corridor. Obvious ways to alleviate traffic congestion are to supply additional bridges and/or tunnels, particularly near the Reston stations.

Such bridges and tunnels, whether for pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles would serve not only the success of rail in Reston, but the re-connecting of our two halves. They are also very costly and are not likely to be funded in the near future. In the interests of optimal town planning, RCA urges MWAA not to build anything into the Dulles Rail Project that could preclude future bridges and tunnels.

RCA also supports the concept of future air rights in buildings over the Dulles Toll Road. Please do all you can do now to ensure that actions today do not preclude this possibility in the future. 

RCA is represented on the Reston Master Plan Special Task Force, and has a land-use committee which monitors Task Force work closely. We intend to do all within our power to ensure that the Fairfax County Master Plan, when amended.  fosters Reston as a community, and makes plans comprehensively to the extent possible in the free market. We ask your help in the areas which you control. 

Marion Stillson
Reston Citizens Association

Changes in the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee Selection Process, Marion Stillson, President, Reston Citizens Association

Change in the selection process for the Reston Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Committee has been in the works for several months. The culmination came on September 29 when Supervisor Hudgins called together representatives of various groups for a meeting in her office. The goal was to make the selection process for the P & Z more inclusive, and thus more representative of the Reston community as a whole. In addition to the P and Z, there were representatives at the meeting from the Reston Association, the Reston Chamber of Commerce, the Reston Town Center Association, and RCA. 

The organizations present agreed to begin a new process, starting immediately. All will advertize vacancies on the P and Z within their networks.  Generally five 3-year terms expire each year, along with three one-year “Associate” terms. A Selection Committee of seven will select from the candidates nominated by the community. On the Selection Committee, in addition to three members of the P and Z Committee, there will a representative of each of the four organizations listed above. At the end of the year when selections for the next year have been made, the Selection Committee will be dissolved.

This system contrasts with the current system, which uses only current P and Z members for selecting nominees. It is hoped that not only will the new process bolster the P and Z’s legitimacy, but also that it will increase the pool of P and Z applicants.

RCA congratulates the Reston P & Z for developing this new process, and appreciates being part of it. Thank you to everyone who has participating in achieving this advance.

By Marion Stillson

Reston 2020 Comment to Reston Task Force on Open Space, Parks, Recreation, and Governance, Reston Task Force Meeting, September 28, 2010, Dick Rogers

Open Space, Parks and Recreation

     I have attended a variety of meetings of the sub-committees of the Task Force (TF). Here are my observations on the issues of open space, parks and recreation.

1.   Different definitions and standards. The 2020 group, of which I am part, laid out the standard of 25%.  However, the Vision Committee, in laying out the TF Principles, did not use a numerical figure.  It says “expand and enhance” open space.
     A variety of ideas have been tossed out in the sub-committees, such as:
·         The Town Center sub-committee has wrestled with the Fairfax County Parks Authority (FCPA) urban open space standard and found it irrelevant.
·         Various other standards in various zoning categories  (PDC and PDM) of 15 and 20% have been mentioned.

In my view there probably should not be a uniform standard for each Transit Oriented Development area since they differ greatly.  But the absence of any common measure makes discussion and comparison hard.
     Complicating the discussion is any agreed Task Force definition of open space.  For example, the Town Center sub-committee has debated how it could include storm water ponds—not generally counted toward open space—in its open space category. The various sub-committees have debated whether wider sidewalks can be counted as open space.  
     The Town Center reports devotes considerable discussion to open space, while Herndon-Monroe has none,except for the commendable preservation of the wetlands.
Suggestion: Adopt some common reference point and terminology.  Ask an “impartial” and experienced intermediary like Sandi Stallman of FCPA to come again and review the individual sub-committee reports.  The basic point is whether the projected open space will meet the needs of the potential residents.

2.   Impact on existing Reston Association (RA) and FCPA properties:  development projections of the various sub-committees seem to imply considerable pressure on the existing facilities of RA and FCPA:
·         Perhaps 30,000-50,000 additional residents, who will have considerable impact on “free” RA open space and trails.
·         The Town Center sub-committee states it does not see room there for large athletic facilities (baseball, soccer or football fields).
·         The Weihle sub-committee has had to rule out some potential active athletic areas because the owners have other plans for the open space.

Comment: The use of valuable TOD land for large open space recreation may not be the best use of the land. Indeed, the Vision Committee’s principles talk of the need for such recreation areas “outside the transit areas.”
     But who will provide it?  RA? Lake Fairfax, maybe other FCPA less-developed properties?  There needs to be an assessment and inventory and some idea of who will pay for it eg proffers, or should it be written into the Master Plan? Should this all be pushed off until phase 2 or should it be dealt with sooner?

3.  Governance: This relates closely to the above issues. How will recreational facilities in the RCIG area and town Center be maintained and administered?  One can put this off till implementation but there have been several ideas put forth by Joe Stowers, Dave Edwards and Gerry Volloy to encourage dialogue.

Suggestion. What is needed is the beginning of discussion soon among the interested entities.

Takes on Presentation by Paul Goldberger, Pulitizer-Prize Winning Architect, on Reston Architecture and Planning, October 5, 2010

The Reston Patch has an excellent overview of Mr. Goldberger's presentation at the RCC-Hunters Woods theater on the evening of October 5.  Here are some key excerpts:

"This is [Reston's] greatest moment since its founding," he said. "It's an extraordinary time, and I do not say that lightly. . ."
With Simon listening in the first row, Goldberger spoke about the importance of architecture, design and urbanism in the context of the work of the task force.

"Reston is a success story,"  Goldberger said of the planned community.

When Reston was founded in the mid-1960s, its plan of working and living in the same place, with an integrated community and housing at many different price points was considered highy innovative.

"It is beyond amazing compared to other post-WWII development," he said. "For its time, it was an extraordinary statement."

Moving forward, he said, Reston has the potential to be the new model, particularly around Reston Town Center. The challenge is to integrate the reality of the automobile with the qualities that make a downtown viable, as well as integrating nature and open spaces.
For the rest of this excellent article, see "Pulitzer Prize-Winning Architecture Critic Takes a Look at Reston's Future," by Elizabeth Vandenburg.  

New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberg and 
Reston founder Robert E. Simon at RCC Tuesday.  

Of course, Restonian has his own take on the presentation, including, 
Aside from addressing one of the many Metro elephants in the room (the distance from the Metro station to Town Center), Goldberger trashed the existing village center model -- "a commercial strip is not a village," he said. He also made some excellent points about the higher density coming to Reston -- at least assuming that it's done right, which remains an open question at this point. 
You can catch the rest of Restonian's commentary at Reston Parkway Metro: Fancypants Architecture Critic States the Obvious.

Guy Rando Proposal for Reston Town Center, Letter to Committee Chairman, October 4, 2010

Guy Rando, one of Reston's original planners active community participant, prepared the following excellent letter, complete with drawings, in which he suggests the Reston Town Center Committee should "envision a world-class Central Park like Propsect Park in Brooklyn, Golden Gate Park in San Franciso, Central Park in New York, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Villa Borghese Gardens in Rome, and Parc de la Villette in Paris, etc."

Rando Letter to Goudie Re Reston TC--October 4, 2010                                                            

Notes on Town Center Committee Meeting, October 5, 2010, John Lovaas

Reston Parkway/Town Center Subcommittee
Meeting Notes –October 5, 2010

Meeting was moved to daylight, starting at 8:30 AM with Robert Goudie chairing.  This was last meeting before the committee’s final report  presentation to the Task Force on Tuesday, Oct. 12.  The purpose of today’s meeting: address latest redline of draft report, get final comments.  After meeting, Goudie said he would do final edits incorporating agreed changes, with a view to getting report to TF in next couple of days—well before Tuesday meeting.  He noted that Joe Stowers may want to update his “Minority Report” and that Teri Phillips may also add a dissent statement.

Goudie opened meeting by remarking on receipt of letter from Guy Rando with open space water feature proposal.  Did anyone want to re-open his proposal—no, moving on!  Then, he noted Terry Maynard’s comments on the committee draft.  Rather than discussing substantive suggestions made in said letter, Goudie instead angrily bashed it as “personal attack [in] nature’, “factually inaccurate, mean-spirited and in bad faith…from people [sic] who are supposed to be responsible.”   

(Maynard comment:  Nothing in my remarks in either my e-mail to the committee or my analysis of the massive density the committee is proposing—more development than in Tysons!—was personal.  [Both are available on the blog here and here.]  My remarks were—and remain—highly critical of the report the committee is assembling that would give developers building rights unprecedented anywhere in Fairfax County at the great expense of the Reston community. I will continue to criticize the report accordingly.  If Mr. Goudie wishes to take the remarks personally as a sign of failed leadership, that’s his choice.  Most importantly, the comments I made were mine alone—as I’ve said before—and may or may not reflect the views of other “people.”)

As a discussion of open space issues began, Robert Simon walked in and was introduced by Mr. Goudie.  Simon contributed thoughts on open space and natural areas:  Open space, he said, is “distance between things”, nothing more.  Hence, parking lots, rooftops, lakes, areas between buildings, etc all qualify.  No qualifiers such as functional or public-use are needed.  Further, he disagrees with percentage requirements for open space.  He also repeated his view that there should be NO natural areas in urban areas such as Town Center.  (In a Vision Committee meeting, he had upset a few folks when he said all natural areas should be bulldozed, replaced with well-designed, attractive plantings consistent with the urban design.)  His remarks led to a half-hour discussion of open space definitions –e.g., functional open space, publicly accessible, etc.  Heidi said the Vision Committee should focus on open space definitions for overall TF use. 

Mark Looney expressed concern with use of functional open space being construed to mean “for public use or accessible”.  That could get us into all kinds of tough areas involving:  private land, liability issues, access control, inadequate policing, etc, he said.   Pete Otteni could envision a scene with “Cindy Sheehan coming to protest” on Boston Property land, for example!

Goudie tried to move to new topic, pointing out that some groups, like RCA, were arguing for 25% open space, others for strict application of county urban park standards and larger recreation uses.  The committee, he said, had tried tocome out somewhere between extremes although he did not indicate the low-end extreme.  Time to move on. . . .    

Before moving, Otteni said the committee was in fact setting higher open space requirement than is urban norm.  Why not say, target is “20% with as much as possible functional.”  Teri Phillips spoke up—if we are protecting an urban norm, then we should not widen roads, e.g., Reston Parkway, through the urban area.  Suggestion died.

Discussion of the FAR 5.0 for all Metro North and South.  Feeling by Keefe, Goudie, others that the concept is widely misunderstood.  That is, the FAR 5.0 is not “by right” but is available only to all those coming in with land-use applications which meet the many criteria established by committee—such as 1:1 residential to office (trades with other areas do apply), inter- and intra-parcel connectivity, adequate open space, and distinctive architecture.  So, applicant must apply for 5.0 option and meet these criteria.  (Note: Anyone applying for lesser F.A.R. like a 4.5 would not be held to these criteria?)  Goudie will add a statement to make clear 5.0 is an option, not by right for all.

Redline draft recommends that classifications of roads and streets and their uses be lifted from the Tysons plan which he said will serve RTC.  No objection.   Group agreed to Goudie’s suggestion that he replace language proposed by owners of Reston Times building property that would have allowed them unlimited flexibility, including doing single use office building.  Language will require use/s consistent with surrounding Spectrum plan and overall TCN.

Goudie opened meeting to comments from committee members.  Only Teri Phillips and Susan Mockenhaupt had suggestions.  Noritake, Otteni, Looney, Keefe all accepted report as redlined. 
  • -Teri Phillips still preferred another approach to TCN open space and might add a minority opinion to end of report.  She also had concerns about inadequate connectivity and saw many issues with functionality of proposal without addressing connectivity, infrastructure—implementation issues.
  • -Ray Noritake opined that it would have been better in many respects if the Vision Committee had been created first (as many of us had argued to no avail), and given the others a better framework.  But, what’s [un]done is done!
  • Susan Mockenhaupt had 5 points, two really stirred up the dust!
    • She argued that wording calling for “distinctive architecture” was too weak, that what exists now is not that good (with some exceptions) and we should strive for world class in Reston Town Center.  Otteni took strong exception, arguing curiously enough that she needed to understand that there were cost factors to be considered, it wasn’t just a matter of getting a world class architect—and theirs was pretty good.  Further, he argued, the tenants were not concerned about architecture or seeking “leading edge” anyway!   [Seemed to me he was making her argument.]
    • She also said she wished to change her earlier vote supporting the Looney proposal to drop workforce/affordable housing requirements to incentivize developer “pioneers” in Metro South.  Why?   She said, “because it is simply wrong’ to exclude exactly the kind of people who would benefit by access to rail.  Miraculously, in a quick re-vote of the committee, everyone bailed out on their previous votes, mostly on the grounds that this was becoming politically embarrassing, hurting the report.
When Goudie called for a possible re-vote on issue of relieving developers under similar circumstances of the requirement to make contributions to “offsite improvements” such as schools, firehouses, and other community goods, the group had lost its community spirit and would not revote that point.  Interestingly, on these last two matters of County policy, Heidi Merkel told the group it was unlikely staff would go along with either of those two suggestions for developer desired cost savings.

Attendance—I counted 17 in the room—10 development-related, including 6 developers, 2 architects, and 2 land-use law firm reps; and only 7 civilians, including Dave Edwards!

Notetaker:  John Lovaas

Monday, October 4, 2010

Notes on the Reston Task Force Meeting, September 28, 2010, Marion Stillson

Reston Master Plan Special Task Force, September 28, 2010
Reported by Marion Stillson for RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee

NB This report does not include the Wiehle Avenue presentation, which was posted in its entirety to the County website. It consists of thirteen pages of text and four colored maps.

There were about 20 persons in the audience.

There was one only, from Dick Rogers, comparing TF Committees’ treatment of open space and parks. Dick’s testimony has been posted to the 2020 Blog.

Patti Nicoson announced that she is circulating the TF’s letter to MWAA.

There was a long discussion of the walk in Arlington the previous Saturday organized by Mark Looney. Joe Stowers had distributed a summary the same day. Judith Pew noted that from Arlington bridge one could see how frequent the bridges across I66 are: every quarter mile. Robert Goudie noted that Ballston has a 6.0 FAR but nevertheless, 25 years later, has one-level, humble stores right across from the station. He also mentioned lots of open space and open lots around Ballston, some planned, some not. Patti Nicoson described a 7-acre park there as being unattractive because it has no design review. Joe Stowers said there were many parallel streets  in the station areas, which were not congested before metrorail and are not congested now. Judith Pew noted that a parking lot for a high school had been built over I66, and was camouflaged.

Heidi Merkel showed her timeline diagram again and said she had been asked who will reconcile the differences between committees in their reports. In response she implied that county staff will. John Carter announced some Vision Committee changes of date, time and meeting place. He invited developers to attend, stating that none have attended at all (later he repeated this invitation).

John Carter says he wants the committee to fill the ‘gaps’ in roads between the maps of the various other committees. He also wants to reconcile the demographic projections they use, because increases in population at one station imply decreases at other station areas. He wants to start “on the ground” with current facts, check the Master Plan, use the GMU projections (though he remains skeptical of them)and produce 2 or 3 alternatives, including one alternative from each committee.

Mark Looney called for the committees to use a common set of numbers, with staff helping to decide which to use. Jerry Volloy worries about the impact of plans and of offering FARS as incentives; he also asked what assumptions the TF has about funding infrastructure. Heidi Merkel responded to Mark Looney re ‘common set of numbers’: staff has recommended numbers. Someone responded that it may be necessary to provide information to rebut staff’s recommendations. Here Heidi mentioned Terry Maynard’s Town Center committee presentation that morning, describing it as a “broadbrush” approach to FARs. She answered Jerry Volloy’s question on infrastructure by saying the TF’s job is more to list infrastructure needs than to describe how infrastructure might be provided. John Carter agreed, saying you start with the land use, then work backwards from that.

Robert Goudie asked about committee reports: will the TF amend them? Or will the Vision Committee? Heidi answered that it will be the Vision Committee which will spot commonalities and work on the differences. Robert asked if the committee reports will be the basis for staff to work on Comprehensive Plan language. Heidi said “somewhat.” Robert requested a committee scrivener, but Heidi has reservations about this because she hasn’t discussed it yet with Patti. Heidi said the TF will NOT consist of committee reports, cobbled together. John Carter added that he expects all four committees will arrive at both area-wide recommendations and specific recommendations.

Heidi was asked again to explain her diagram on elements of the process. She said it will be iterative, with multiple drafts, and Phase II simultaneous at the start of 2011. She said there will be an extended period of overlap because the transportation analysis is not available. Phase II should take months, not a whole year. She can give no date for advancing to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. All four stations (including Rte. 28) will be bundled together to forward to VDOT at the “Final CP Alternative” stage. VDOT is allowed a certain time for their assessment. She hopes she’ll have a clearer schedule in mind by Thanksgiving.

Paul Thomas asked if the same people will be on the TF for Phase II—what about shop owners. Heidi thought it would be the same personnel. Jerry again asked about implementation and Heidi reminded him there is a twenty-year horizon. Even so, she said the TF would need to prioritize between stations. John Carter asked what the state will do. Heidi said “Check on Fairfax’ analysis,” whereupon Fred Selden (present throughout) took the mike and added: “As they did with Tysons, the state will assess the impact on state roads, and suggest mitigations (which are comments, not requirements).


Post-presentation discussion:

Jerry Volloy, referencing one of the Wiehle maps, asked if Kaiser Permanente knows a road is supposed to be built right through their building? Bill Penniman replied that the building is fairly new, and said it is the County’s responsibility to tell them.

Paul Thomas commented that the fractured ownership of condos makes ownership a problem. Bill responded that landowners are starting to talk to one another; they will realize it’s in their own best interests to work together.

Robert Goudie asked if the Wiehle committee will supply an office-residential ratio, and Bill said no, only an end-expectation. Robert prefers requirements, and Andrew Van Horn added that you have to attract residents. Robert insisted that a jobs ratio must be calculated but Bill said it won’t be hard to get residential in this location.

Robert raised the topic of ballparks and stated that ballparks are better placed near the Wiehle station. Pointing out that Boston Properties owns multiple lots in Town Center, he suggested that incentives be swapped from one station to another.  Someone asked if the National Wildlife Federation would give up some parking lot? Another commented that part of Lake Fairfax Park is the last heavily forested area in Reston.

Robert , likening Wiehle to Virginia Square station, said that education, plus residential, would be a good focus for Wiehle. He wants civic functions in Town Center and asked what kind of performance facilities would Wiehle offer. Bill responded, “A beer garden, or small theater. “ Andy described the Town Center’s performance focus as “regional” and Wiehle’s as “local.

Patti lamented that Plaza America and Fannie Mae are not included in any Committee’s work. Robert suggested they be included in Phase II. Bill thinks another grocery store will be needed. Cohann Williams asked if a Children’s Museum is still under consideration? Bill said it would be nice at Wiehle.
Patti, who just visited Shanghai with the Chamber of Commerce, learned how the Chinese provide street crossings for bikes---although bikes are now outnumbered there by cars.