Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Notes on the RTF Steering Committee Meeting, Feb. 16, 2011, Dick Rogers

Summary:  Issues were raised about the relationship of the Steering Com to the TF. In addition, there was wrestling about who will revise the planning principles based on the Goudie-Nicoson and Reston 2020 input.  These issues will be discussed at next week’s TF meeting. Some more limited progress was made on the “character” and ”form” of the stations in the “checklist”.

     Attendance: All members present except Otteni and JBG Rep (Nick Bauer monitored by phone). A couple of Task Force members, two major property owners and Goldie Harrison from Supervisor Hudgins’ office were also present.

     Public comments: Terry Maynard read the Reston 2020 view of the Steering Committee process and submitted the 2020 suggested revisions of the Goudie-Nicosen planning principles (available on 2020 blog and county web site).

     Doug Pew criticized the Steering committee abrogation of the role of the Task Force (TF), saying “that to all appearance, this has become the super committee.”

     Dick Rogers lamented that much of the material to be considered today was not on the website as of yesterday afternoon and there were not enough copies for everyone at the meeting.

     Judith Pew noted that the new shortened draft Planning Principles failed to say anything that protected Reston’s tree canopy, a defining feature of the community.

     Admin: Patty Nicoson reported on a MWAA meeting that discussed air rights. Sums like $34 and $64 million were apparently cited for pilings, depending on the distance between them. There will be further MWAA discussion on this issue.

     Planning Principles: The Reston 2020 revised version of the Goudie-Nicoson shortened Vision and Planning Principles (V&PP) statement was generally well received. John Carter and Kohann Williams suggested that the Vision Committee at tonight’s meeting review the suggestions and submit a version for TF review next week.

     Robert Goudie objected to this and said he would produce a new version “by noon” today for the Steering Committee to submit to the TF.  The Vision Committee reps in turn objected to this and again said they would consider the V&PP tonight.

     Goudie raised a number of substantive objections to the 2020 draft, among them:  
     --goes too far in “protecting” natural areas, particularly in point 9.
     --the word “balance” re jobs and housing could be read to mean 50/50.

     Several members objected to the wording that Reston should not be “burdened” by requirements generated by TOD development. Looney, for example, said this could be read as forbidding any children in the TOD area from attending existing Reston schools.  One raised the issue of residential communities wanting to sell themselves to developers.

(Comment: It was unclear how the process will actually evolve, but apparently something will be submitted to the TF for discussion next week.)
     Process: Heidi Merkel again acknowledged that the Steering committee’s (SC’s)role in the process has not always been clear. She again stressed that SC work will be submitted to the TF for approval. The “checklist” will provide guidance to the staff for drawing up plan language.  Heidi then held out the possibility that the TF will write a report that will accompany the staff plan.

     Checklist Substance
     Wiehle: More discussion about whether Wiehle is a community, a neighborhood, an area etc.

     Town Center: Discussion triggered by Judy Pew about whether the south side of TC needs separate treatment. Goudie insisted that TC is all one area.

     Herndon Monroe: Goudie objected to the characterization of HM as “a transit oriented employment center” saying that while there are constraints (presumably the garage) over 20 years there may be opportunity to increase the residential component of a mixed use community.

     Sunrise Valley as a ‘Grand Green blvd”: Two big landowners (Brookfield and Vornado) questioned what this might entail. They were concerned this might encroach on their land and or restrict the ability to construct residential directly along the south side.  The staff will try to clarify. John Carter suggested some pictures might help a lot in providing an actual “vision” here. (This was the first time property owners have come in to directly address the SC).

     Next: There was some discussion on whether there should even be a TF meeting on February 22, since the Vision Committee apparently will not have its report complete.  Eventually it was decided to keep the TF meeting alive to discuss the shortened V&PP, to provide a report on what the SC is doing, and to hear a report on VC activity.
The Steering Committee will also meet next week apparently on Wednesday evening.

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