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Fairfax Planning Sends Transit-Oriented Master Plan to Supervisors

by Karen Goff January 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

Wiehle Reston East Metro

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously agreed to send proposed changes in the Reston Master Plan on to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for approval .

The plan — which was formulated after nearby four years of discussion and numerous draft changes by the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force — was sent on with a few line item changes and last-minute motions. Read the entire revised document here.

Citizen development watchers Reston 2020 gave the final draft of the document — which will guide density, land use and future development around Reston’s three future Silver Line Metro stations — a letter grade of “D” when the plan was finalized last fall.

Reston 2020 was also not pleased with several changes marked up by Hunter Mill Planning Commission representative Frank de la Fe. Among them:

  • Allows additional “bonus” density for contributions to Corridor crossings above the already generous proposed development standards and “bonus” density.
  • Adds monetary contributions in addition to in kind contributions for vitally needed infrastructure improvements.
  • Eliminates the approval of Reston Association Design Review Board for new construction.
  • Says new institutional and government development uses should not be counted toward the development of workforce housing requirements to contribute $3 per square foot for new non-residential development.
  • Deletes plans for a parking study as needed to justify expansion of parking beyond parking space maximums laid out in the draft plan, relying instead on the phrase “suitable justification.”  The result will be excessive parking and greater traffic congestion, says Reston 2020.

However, at Thursday’s meeting, de le Fe verbally added these conditions, which were also unanimously passed:

  • A recommendation to direct planning staff to review with Reston stakeholders how to incorporate Reston design specifics into future planning. “Special attention to design has been a hallmark of Reston from beginning,” said de le Fe.
  • A recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to develop an inclusive process to prepare a funding plan for transportation improvements. “The planning commission strongly believes public and private investment in Reston is crucial,” he said.
  • A recommendation to conduct a detailed valuation and analysis of an enhanced street network, prioritize improvements and develop an implementation strategy for it.
The Board of Supervisors is slated to discuss the plan on Jan. 28.

  • Terry Maynard

    On the Reston 2020 blog, we have posted the following comments regarding Mr. de le Fe’s amendments last night to the draft Reston master Plan:

    The recommendation to look closely at design issues appears to be
    intended to mitigate de le Fe’s amendment not to require review by RA’s
    Design Review Board. It is a weak improvement.

    Funding transportation improvements is a major and critical issue
    for redevelopment around Reston’s stations. If Tysons is any indicator,
    we could see a special tax district incorporating the area covered by
    this revision created to address the $1-2 billion in transportation
    needs (current dollars; double that over 40 years–not including
    interest on bonds). Worse, the Board could decide all of Reston should
    pay the price even though the development will provide no advantage–and
    huge traffic delays–to most current Reston properties.

    Implementation is the most massive missing ingredient in this plan. As Reston 2020 has said for years, “Planning without Implementation is Empty.” And that’s what this plan is.

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