RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee indicated a need to talk with our Supervisor about the composition of the Reston Task Force, as it approaches Phase II (Village Centers). Marion Stillson, who requested the meeting, gathered participants who would represent all three “sister” organizations in Reston, both political parties, and a number of clusters. The ten people who participated were: Paul Thomas, Joe Leighton, both from RA; Marcia McDevitt and Diane Royal from ARCH; and Tammi Petrine, John Hanley, Dick Rogers, Kathy Kaplan, Dick Stillson and Marion Stillson from RCA.
First, Paul Thomas, speaking officially for RA, framed the issue. He stated that the stakeholders for Phase II the Task Force are different: more local and more residential than for Phase I, where large developers and non-residential interests were pertinent. Supervisor Hudgins agreed that different interests are involved, stating the neighborhoods of Reston are ‘owned and stable.’ She added to Paul’s list of groups who might want to be involved in Phase II by saying not only seniors but the young, with child care and other needs.
Marion Stillson asked if there are any limits on how a Supervisor can alter the composition of a Task Force mid-stream. The answer was an unequivocal “no.” Supervisor Hudgins suggested that language be inserted in the revised Comprehensive Plan to affirm the stability of established neighborhoods. Kathy Kaplan asked about County maps which imply a larger footprint in future for the Village Centers. Supervisor Hudgins did not deny this and instead distinguished between two concepts of continuity: “character continuity” and “use continuity.” In addition, she regretted the mistakes made with Lake Anne Village Center and spoke of Lake Anne’s “capture area” which is larger than the Village Center itself.
When asked what percentage of current residents must agree to sell out to a developer, Supervisor Hudgins stated “not 100%.” She spoke with approval of neighborhoods defending themselves, such as when Island Walk was decaying and re-invented itself. She also mentioned the need to help neighborhoods defend themselves (no details).
Goldie Harrison, senior Hudgins' staff member, mentioned Task Force alternates as possible ‘new’ personnel for Phase II. Supervisor Hudgins said she welcomes suggestions as to who should constitute the Phase II Task Force, and stated that she thought Patti Nicoson will continue as Chair. Tammi Petrine emphasized that having new personnel on the Task Force can be a win-win situation for all and stated that members with a stake in the outcome were more appropriate such as current Village Center landowners/developers, merchants, affected cluster owners adjacent to the Village Centers, the senior residences in the Village Centers, the adjacent “non-affected” cluster owners and Reston Interfaith should be represented on the Phase II Task Force. Paul Thomas suggested that new people with vested interested can be brought in via Task Force committee work.
Supervisor Hudgins cautioned that in Virginia, development cannot be slowed down until infrastructure is ready. She added that while some citizens are willing to consider devices such as Community Development Authorities, others oppose self-help on the grounds that Reston should not always have to find its own funding (others interpreted this as that the county should not always have to come up with funding). John Hanley asked what size the re-constituted Task Force should be, and without being specific, Supervisor Hudgins said she does not envisage it getting larger. It was suggested that it could be smaller. Supervisor Hudgins stated that because Phase II would be dealing with PRC areas and a more limited scope, the time required for Phase II would be shorter than for the more complex Phase I. She also mentioned that Phase II may being before Phase I was completed but did not set a starting date.
Tammi Petrine suggested that the attendees create a memo outlining a suggested structure for the Phase II TF, including appropriate members for Supervisor Hudgins to consider. She approved that suggestion as making her job easier.
Respectfully submitted to RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee by Marion Stillson.