Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Letter to Frank De La Fe, Hunter Mill Representative, Planning Commission, from Marion Stillson, July 26, 2011

Published here at Ms. Stillson's request.  

From: Marion Stillson <>
Date: Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 8:51 PM
Subject: Fairways Apartments
To: Frank de la Fe <>
Cc: Catherine Hudgins <>

11286 Spyglass Cove Lane
 Reston, VA 20191
July 26, 20011

Dear Commissioner de la Fe/Frank,

As you may know, I have retired as president of RCA. Accordingly I’m writing this on behalf of myself alone.

I think Fairways Apartments is pivotal to the continuance of Reston as a planned community, for two reasons:

1.      The dire power of this bad example. If the proposal for Fairways is approved, the precedent will be set for all other privately-owned apartment complexes to be turned into upscale, dense, urban developments, regardless of location and the ‘as built’ environment.  We need increased density in Reston but it must be where density makes sense: near the metrorail stations and in Town Center. Allowing greater density on the basis of out-dated happenstance [zoning at high density], any old place, is the antithesis of planning.

Fairways Apartments needs to be refurbished and its accessibility improved. How this can be done without pricing moderate-income renters out, I don’t know.  A way must be found (Reston used to incubate innovation!) because of the principles at stake: housing of all types for all income levels and backgrounds.

2.      Possible litigation.  JBG’s general counsel attended the recent DRB hearing on Fairways and I think he was at the subsequent Planning Commission hearing, also. (I’m not certain it was he whom I saw sitting in the auditorium). If both the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors approve JBG’s proposal, only the DRB will stand in the way. JBG might sue and as a lawyer myself, I think the present legal climate favors them. The DRB has legal authority. If that legal authority is attenuated Reston will become less and less distinct from the rest of Fairfax County.
Please do not approve this re-development project.

Marion Stillson/Marion

PS Do you know why the Chairman of the Planning Commission attacked Barbara Byron verbally at the Fairways hearing? Is he, perhaps, opposed to the concept of PRC districts?  Or is he merely ill-informed about the historical significance of Reston?

cc Honorable Cathy Hudgins

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