The Reston of the future may or may not change that much, but Fairfax County planners want to make sure language is in place to guide redevelopment around the community’s village centers and in residential neighborhoods.
The county has posted the first strawman draft for Phase II of the Reston Master Plan. Phase I, approved by the Board of Supervisors last winter, guides development around the Metro stations.
Fairfax County officials say the the current comprehensive plan, last updated in 1989, requires revision because Reston no longer has a master developer to update the plan for Reston; the plan for Reston has outdated elements; and with population expected to grow with the arrival of Metro later this year, Reston is evolving as a community.
The community is invited to weigh in on the draft at a meeting on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Reston Association headquarters, 12011 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Some of the draft highlights:
Village Centers must meet criteria. Redevelopment in the Village Centers may occur in the commercial core area but the residential areas within the Village Centers are planned to remain as they currently exist. In order to establish clear expectations for all residents, landowners and businesses, any proposal for redevelopment of the commercial core areas of Reston’s Village Centers should meet the following guidelines:
- Demonstrate how the proposal achieves the general vision established for Reston’s Village Centers.
- Involve residents and businesses of the Village Center, the residents surrounding the Village Center, as well as the larger Reston community in determining the views and desires of all stakeholders.
- Design charrettes or other intensive activities designed to gather stakeholder input and build support for the redevelopment proposal are.
- Conduct a market analysis to provide information on the existing and proposed development and the viability of the mix of uses proposed. .
- Conduct transportation analysis on existing and proposed development.
Convenience centers should remain. The Sunrise Valley, Lake Newport, Soapstone, and Fairways Convenience Centers should continue to serve as small commercial centers providing goods and services for their surrounding neighborhoods. Connectivity to the surrounding neighborhoods should be preserved, particularly for pedestrians and bicycles.
Clusters and neighborhoods should be protected from pressure to redevelop. However, from time to time, circumstances may arise that merit consideration of the redevelopment of an existing cluster or neighborhood, such as if a cluster should become blighted. Under such circumstances, the Board of Supervisors may consider proposals to amend the Comprehensive Plan to allow for the consolidation and redevelopment of such clusters or neighborhoods. Such proposals should be in accordance with the Policy Plan’s Guidelines for Neighborhood Redevelopment and the following criteria:
- The cluster or neighborhood wishing to pursue consolidation must submit a proposal which includes a petition bearing the signatures of a minimum of 85 percent or more of the owners and must at a minimum account for 85 percent of the land area being proposed for replanning. For clusters or neighborhoods with fewer than 15 residences, the petition should include the signatures of 100 percent of the owners, accounting for 100 percent of the land area being proposed for replanning.
- Proposals for the redevelopment of clusters or neighborhoods may propose residential uses only.
- The proposal should be characterized by high quality site design and maintain, at a minimum, the existing amount of natural areas, except for minor encroachments; maintain the existing mature tree canopy to the maximum extent possible.
Golf Courses should remain golf courses. “The Reston National and Hidden Creek Country Club golf courses are planned for private recreation use, more specifically to remain as golf courses. For further guidance, see the Parks and Recreation section.” Additionally, the Fairfax Hunt Club at lake Fairfax Park, which had filed an inquiry about a zoning change, should remain for private recreational use.
Home Depot Center can be improved, but commercial use only. The 22-acre commercial area at the intersection of Baron Cameron Avenue and Reston Parkway, north of Reston Town Center, is comprised of a variety of community serving retailers of services and consumer goods. This area was originally planned to be a part of the Town Center but did not develop to the same scale or urban design as Town Center. The current site layout is suburban in design with one story pad sites, big box retailers and convenience retail uses surrounded by surface parking.
Opportunities should be sought to improve pedestrian connectivity within the retail center and improve connectivity more broadly to the surrounding neighborhoods and neighboring commercial areas for all modes of transport including pedestrian, bicycle, transit and vehicles. In addition, if existing buildings are redeveloped with new retail buildings, the planning and design of the redeveloped sites should provide for environmental sustainability, green technology, and
an appropriate transition to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Photo: Citizens check out plans for Reston Master Plan Phase II at June Open House/File photo