Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors, examining the feasibility of building a new recreation center featuring a 50-meter indoor pool, said on Monday only three locations in Reston would be viable options for the center: Reston Town Center North, Baron Cameron Park or renovating the existing pool at Hunters Woods.
The board has been discussing the idea with residents and with consultants with Brailsford & Dunlavey since February. The idea, which would have to be put to a public referendum with voters in Small Tax District 5 in order to move forward, has been met with mixed reaction. Many swimmers are in favor. Residents near Baron Cameron Park — where RCC could build on Fairfax County Park Authority land for no cost — are not. There is also concern from many residents that Small Tax District 5 should not be burdened with the cost of the $35 million facility.
The RCC Board building committee toured 10 sites in Reston over the summer and has now sent a letter to Deputy County Executive Rob Stalzer asking the county to consider planning for a rec facility in the area known as Reston Town Center North. Building there would also be a partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Over the summer, the committee toured sites and determined this:
Baron Cameron Park — Pros: Available; no land cost; central location; no changes to tree canopy. Cons: neighborhood opposition; some prefer retaining open space. Recommended.
Isaac Newton Square — Pros: Close to Metro; Cons: not available; not zoned for active recreation; car accessibility issues. Not recommended.
Lake Fairfax Park — Only option is in south end of the park, which takes five minutes to reach through the park’s only entrance. Pros: No land cost, rezoning cost, central location. Cons: not available; neighborhood impact; reduction in tree canopy; one park entrance problematic. Not recommended.
North Reston Park (behind Home Depot) — Pros: Central location. Cons: No water and sewer lines; not available; too close to residential and commercial properties; loss of trees; poor traffic egress. Not recommended.
RCC Hunters Woods — RCC owns the property of current community center and shopping center owner Edens says it would be open to discussing expansion. Pros: Buildable land; good traffic flow; no land costs. Cons: Zoning challenges related to parking; significant impact to residential and commercial properties; current RCC would have to close for at least a year. Possibly recommended.
Reston Heights Phase II — Not available and mixed-use development already planned. Not recommended.
Reston National Golf Course — Owners not interested in providing land. Not recommended.
Reston Town Center North — Twenty-two acres near Reston Town Center (current site of library, police station, unused land and Inova buildings. Site is currently being master planned by county. Pros: Not yet master planned; located close to other public facilities; center of Reston growth; accesible. Cons: Difficult construction due to challenging topography; lengthy planning time. Recommended.
Tall Oaks Village Center — Management company not interested in selling the land. Significant accessibility issues. Not recommended.
U.S. Geological Survey — USGS unavailable for discussion. Not recommended.