Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Notes on the RTF Steering Committee Meeting, Feb. 8, 2011

                                          R. Rogers
                                        9 Feb 2011


Summary: The Committee made limited progress in defining the character and form of the stations.  Much was kicked back to the DPZ staff for reformulation.  No votes were taken.

     Attendance: All present except Carter, Otteni and JBG Rep. A couple of Task Force members and Goldie Harrison were also present.

     Public comments: Terry Maynard read the 2020 view of the role and performance of the SC (see 2020 blog post). Dick Rogers raised Paul Thomas suggestion last week re separating out the North Town Center area from the three station areas.  Heidi Merkel, DPZ, said (apparently with input from Goudie) that NTC was envisioned as part of the whole TC area. Goudie had added some ticks on NTC to the various TC discussions on the checklist.

     Planning Principles: The re-revised PP were discussed. Now down from 15 to 12 items. Heidi said the idea was to eliminate redundancy and take out “how to” statements that are not “visions”. There was some wordsmithing but no serious issues raised.  Paul Thomas suggestion of sending wordsmith comments to the DPZ staff was accepted.

     Stable” Neighborhoods: The insertion in the PP of the qualifier “stable” into the point on protecting neighborhoods was questioned.  Heidi Merkel said the concern was the possibility of a “buyout” offer welcomed by a community (presumably this would make a neighborhood “unstable!”). After various objections, particularly by Bill Penniman, it was deleted.

     DPZ “Checklist:” A disorganized discussion of the Checklist “character” and “form” sections took place. It appeared that under “character” the staff was looking for a brief and relatively un-informative sentence for each station (see the broad ticks under staff comment on p 4).

     There was some agreement that under “form” broader points common to all stations would be handled in a “vision” section.  The station sub-sections would then emphasize what is distinct about each station area.

     Robert Goudie urged that re Town Center the character statement should be broadened to include hotels and highest density. He also stressed that TC would be distinctive because of taller buildings, and that retail and open space would be distinct.

     Mark Looney raised the issue of a public performance area at Wiehle.  Bill Penniman said TC was more appropriate.

     Re Herndon-Monroe, the garage issue was brought up as a major complicating factor.  HM sub com members urged that the garage be mentioned in the character statement. Heidi asked them to send her some language to clarify mix of uses and form.

     The thrust of the discussion from SC members that was that the staff needs to take a more pro-active approach to putting forth possible wording.  Heidi M agreed to take aboard more comments about what makes each station area distinctive and post new language on the website.

     Comment: This observer and apparently SC members were quite confused what the county was looking for.  The “character” section of the checklist now contains a mish mash of submissions by the sub-committee, DPZ staff comments and points from the 25 January SC discussion.  If the original point was a “vote” on the character of each station, it was completely unclear what the SC would have been voting on.

     Schedule and Next Meeting: Heidi said that in response to Otteni’s request at the 25 Jan meeting, a longer SC schedule had been drawn up (see county website). This now lays out “votes” on the planning principles and some checklist elements at the next SC meeting and presentation of them to the full TF on 23 February (an ambitious schedule given the nights discussion). The Vision Committee will also present its report on 22 Feb.

     The schedule goes through March. Heidi hoped to begin work on Phase II in April.

     The next SC meeting was set for Wednesday, 8AM, 16 February (place TBD).

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