Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Monday, February 14, 2011

Revised Draft Steering Committee Vision & Planning Principles

Dear Restonians,
After discussion at the last Steering Sub-Committee meeting, committee members Robert Goudie and Patty Nicoson edited the draft Vision and Planning Principles document attempting to make it more focused and concise.  Please see the revised document below which will be discussed at the committee meeting on Wednesday a.m.  Please also review the revised agenda shown below.  Both of these documents will be posted to our website today under the Steering sub-committee page. 
Sandi M. Beaulieu
Planner II
Planning Division, DPZ
Desk phone: 703.324.1239

Vision and Planning Principles Discussion Document For Steering Committee Meeting


Reston will be a complete community designed for the 21st century.  An increasingly diverse residential population will have broad choices in jobs, housing, and lifestyles.  To achieve this vision:
  • Planning will emphasize the natural environment and an array of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities.
  • Planning will take full advantage of Metrorail’s Silver Line Extension. Metrorail will connect to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Region and Washington Dulles International Airport and will be complimented by a strong local and regional bus network, complete streets that serve pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users, and a network of trails.
  • The community’s greatest densities will be at the three Metro station areas, which will be Reston’s urban centers.  A broad mix of regional retail and other attractions will be part of an enhanced urban center at the Town Center and strong local retail and a variety of amenities will characterize the other Metro station areas and village centers.
  • A full range of housing choices will be provided for households of all incomes and needs.
  • Employment opportunities will build upon the existing mix of international and national corporations, professional associations, centers for advanced technology, research and development companies, and local services.
  • A strong institutional component will include a major hospital center, a regional government center, other civic and cultural uses, and public and private educational institutions of higher learning.

Planning Principles

Planning will consider Reston as a comprehensive unit.  Development projects will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the planning principles and the particular vision and recommendations for each area, as well as their specific impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods.  The following principles will guide development of Reston as a complete community for the 21st century. 

1.              The rail corridor is transformed over time from predominantly office parks to mixed-use communities.  Each of the transit station areas will have a distinct character and complement each other to meet multiple community needs.  Town Center will be a regional urban center and destination with the community’s highest densities.  Reston East/Wiehle Avenue and Reston West/Herndon-Monroe will be urban transit neighborhoods, with special encouragement in the former for higher educational uses and special focus in the latter on its central environmental (wetlands) feature.  The highest densities will be concentrated within one-quarter mile of the rail stations tapering down somewhat within one-half mile to maximize the use of rail.  Future air rights development at the stations should be encouraged to enhance development opportunities, encourage transit use, and improve north-south connectivity across the Dulles Toll Road.

2.              Reston offers a mix of urban and suburban life styles.  The Metro Silver Line extension will add transit-oriented development to Reston’s already diverse and unique community.  In terms of emphasis:
  • The Metro Stations will be Reston’s urban areas, with densities that step down from the Town Center to the other station areas and finally to the village centers.  These will also be the areas of highest commercial activity in the community.
  • The village centers are important, lower-density community building blocks that include a mix of locally serving retail, a strong residential component, and a limited amount of employment. 
  • Residential neighborhoods outside the transit stations and village centers maintain their essentially residential character and continue to provide a variety of housing types serving all income levels.  Appropriate transitions will be provided between new development and the predominantly residential neighborhoods. 

3.              Reston remains a vibrant employment center.   From its inception Reston has provided a place for a spectrum of companies, from local to international of varying sizes.  Future development and redevelopment should continue to promote a broad range of opportunities for a robust and diverse business community.

4.              Housing accommodates people of all ages, incomes, physical abilities and households of all sizes and stages of family life.

5.              Strengthen Reston Connectivity.  A range of high-quality transportation facilities -- including roads, bridges, sidewalks, bikeways, trails, strengthened and expanded bus and shuttle services, and Metro link the residential community and resident workers with activity centers, employment, open spaces, parks, schools, and recreational facilities.  A robust transit system, expanded pedestrian and bicycle networks and transportation demand management strategies help reduce reliance on the automobile.
6.              Development will be phased with the provision of transportation infrastructure and programs and other infrastructure such as schools and public facilities

7.              Quality active and passive open space and a range of recreational and cultural opportunities are essential components of the high quality of life in Reston.  The transit station areas and village centers should include a variety of public spaces such as central greens, urban plazas, pocket parks, small playgrounds, and public amenities.  Larger active recreation areas appropriate to Reston’s residential and commercial populations should be provided outside the transit corridor.

8.              Excellence in planning and urban design, architecture, compatibility of uses, livability, and the integration of high-quality public art will continue to be a distinguishing feature of the Reston community.

9.              Plan for environmental sustainability and green technology.  Natural resources will be protected through conservation and restoration.  Environmentally sensitive areas will be respected to reduce the impact of development.  Corridors will be provided for the movement of wildlife.  Green neighborhood and building practices will be followed.  

10.          The build out of Reston as a complete community for the 21st Century will evolve over several decades.  The cumulative impacts of development and redevelopment will be continually assessed and evaluated.  Local participation will remain a hallmark of the evaluation, planning, and zoning processes.

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