Land Deal to Make Way for Rec Center Faces Vote

Would open land by Cameron Glen make a good park?The Fairfax County Park Authority is expected to vote on Wednesday in favor of the land deal that will clear the way for an indoor recreation center and other community space at the area known as Town Center North.

The park authority will hold a public hearing on the subject at 7:30 p.m. at the Herrity Building, at 12055 Government Center Parkway.

The 47-acre Reston Town Center North area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The park authority deal involves a land swap between the county, the park authority and Inova.

The deal seeks “Conveyance of the Reston Towne Green property to the Board of Supervisors in consideration for a potential 2.6-acre urban Central Green; commitment to provide approximately 90,000 square feet of density for the indoor facility within one of the new urban blocks; and other items for consideration that may be advantageous to the Park Authority mission.”

The park authority’s plans call for a 90,000-square-foot recreation facility to be built on the same block as the new North County Government Center, which recently opened on Cameron Glen Drive.

The recreation center would be owned and operated by the park authority, however, officials still do not know who would pay to construct the building or how much the facility will cost.

Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie says the rec center would primarily be funded with bonds. There are two upcoming bonds to be voted on — an $87.7 million bond to be put to voters in 2016 and an $88 million bond on the ballot in 2020, said Bouie. He added the park authority would seek developer proffers to help pay for the facility. Typical proffers are around $800 per residential unit, he said. 

The Town Center North plan means the idea to build a new Reston Community Center at Baron Cameron Park, which had been discussed for more than two years, is pretty much dead. Bouie, who also serves on RCC’s Board of Governors, said he hopes RCC will be involved in the planning in order for Restonians to get top priority for facility use.

RCC officials said last year that Town Center North would be the only other good spot for such a facility because it is located close to other public facilities, is in the center of Reston growth and is easily accessible.

The Town Center North area is still about a mile from the future Reston Town Center Silver Line Metro station, which will open in late 2018.

Bouie said RCC will not be involved in the Town Center North plan “unless the RCC Board decides to partner with the park authority on programs that are needed to supplement offerings, especially swimming.”

If you wish to speak at the hearing you may sign up in advance by calling the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via email at [email protected]. You may also sign up at the hearing. Organizations may have one official speaker for five minutes; individuals may testify for three minutes.

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