Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Monday, November 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Reston's Future is on the Line, Reston Patch, November 28, 2010, Terry Maynard

Master Plan Special Study Task Force almost ready with recommendations. Has your voice been heard?

It is time for all Restonians to pay attention to the work of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force—even if the name itself puts you to sleep.

After a year of semi-weekly meetings hearing presentations from Fairfax County, planning and other experts, and creating four subcommittees to look at each of Reston's three prospective Metrorail station areas and one to provide a vision for the overall effort, the task-force-with-a-long-name is about to actually begin to propose recommendations for the county comprehensive plan.

Its recommendations and the language that is ultimately included in the comprehensive plan for the area will affect how you live, work, and play in Reston, for better or worse, for decades to come.   Whatever you think is important, good (or bad), valuable, or any other criterion you can think of about Reston's direction for the next two decades is on the table—right now.

Here's a very brief summary of where we are:

The Vision Subcommittee, comprised pre-dominantly of Reston's citizens, has nearly completed drafting a vision for Reston's future that hits on key areas that are important to most Restonians—like open space (parks, plazas, etc.), protecting key environmental areas, infrastructure (especially transportation), excellence in future design, and so on.  Will the whole Task Force adopt what the Vision Subcommittee recommends—and will it make any difference in legally-binding Plan language?  Both are vital for a vibrant Reston.

The Herndon-Monroe Subcommittee has prepared a skeletal report for the Task Force that seemingly follows the physicians' creed:  "First, do no harm"—at least to existing developer interests there.  It also serves citizens by preserving the wetlands, suggests meekly adding roads that would ease the burden of traffic from Herndon (which so far has ignored the idea of transit-oriented development on the north side of the station), but generally offers no vision of future robust transit-oriented development for the area.  You can see RCA's Reston 2020 comment on the report at its blog.

The Wiehle Subcommittee - the most open, diverse, and systematic of the sub-committees -  has prepared a preliminary report that provides a solid vision for the area.  It now is dealing with the really thorny issues of just how dense development in the area should be, and how to deal with the already traffic gridlock there.  More to come there.

Ah, and then there is the Town Center Subcommittee so heavily influenced by developer presence, which is offering up a tenfold increase in density in the immediate station area.   While strong on advocating density, it is weak on infrastructure (schools, roads) and amenities (open space, cultural needs) that are vital to preserving Reston's quality of life.  RCA's Reston 2020 Committee has responded by preparing an alternative vision for the Task Force's consideration.

All these diverse threads will begin to come together in Task Force meetings at the Reston Community Center - Lake Anne on Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.  I encourage you to come and observe -  even comment in the opening period for those comments - about your interests, ideas, concerns, and opportunities.  If you can't make it, please keep up to date on the Reston 2020 blog and here at Reston Patch.

And if your time permits, please participate in Reston 2020.  Our next meeting is at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 9,  at RCC Lake Anne.  We'll be looking at what happened in the last two Task Force meetings, and what we need to do to respond.   If you come, you have a say and a vote in Reston 2020's activities.  We welcome and strongly encourage your participation.

Terry Maynard
Reston 2020 Committee
Reston Citizens Association

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