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Fairfax Park Authority OKs Reston Land Deal

by Karen Goff April 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm 1,885 9 Comments

Map of Reston Town Green area/Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

The Fairfax County Park Authority unanimously voted on Wednesday in favor of a 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 deal involves a land swap between the county, the park authority and Inova. The park authority is giving a plot of land back to the Board of Supervisors in consideration for a 2.6-acre urban Central Green. It also provides the park authority’s commitment to the plan for a 90,000-square-foot indoor recreation center, as well as “other items for consideration that may be advantageous to the Park Authority mission.”

The recreation center will be just one feature in the the 47-acre Reston Town Center North area bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

Speaking in favor of the plan at Wednesday’s park authority board meeting were Reston Community Center Executive Director Leila Gordon and Reston Association Senior Director of Parks and Recreation Larry Butler.

Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie says a first proposal for the space should be assessed by the park authority by the end of the year.

“From that point, we will have a better idea of timing and what is contained in that first proposal,” he said in an email. “In the meantime, we will have discussions on the board next Spring about what is contained in the Bond package in 2016 relating to all capital programs. ”

The exact cost of building the rec center, which would likely contain a 50-meter indoor pool, is not yet known. However, studies done in the last two years by Reston Community Center, which looked into building a smaller facility at Baron Cameron Park, estimated the cost of that building at $35 million. The Town Center North facility is likely to cost much more.

Bouie has said 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.

Photo: Map of Reston Town Green area/Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Bonds = STD 5

    • Leila Gordon

      Chuck–so not true. The bonds referred to would be Park Authority bonds, not Small District 5 bonds. This is the solution that the community wanted.

      • Greg

        It’s a “bleeding-heart liberal” dream, isn’t it. Yet more of others’ money taken by government to do what is already being done by tax-paying private entities. It’s WAY past time to abolish STD 5.

    • Terry Maynard

      Yes, Chuck, Leila has it right: The bonds will be county-wide (just as you are now paying for rec centers in all the other supervisor districts), not just Reston residents and businesses. Aside from its central location, the biggest “plus” in this move is to take the burden off Restonians exclusively.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      Are you folks really this clueless? In the end, Fairfax County isn’t going to want to float that much in bonds. Instead of ruining their standing with the entire county, they’ll foist the burden off on an already established, limited taxpayer pool: STD5.

      You folks were gullible about the BoS intent to reign in the developers, and you’re gullible about this. This is one of those sweet, little lies that politicans tell to get the ball rolling, and that can’t be refuted until it’s too late.

      Basically, folks, these people are blowing smoke up your skirts.

  • Steve

    Question. So how does this affect the plan to build an indoor rec center at Baron Cameron Park? Does this mean that plan is moot now? But the county still is planning to redevelop Baron Cameron Park, right? Just redevelop without the indoor rec center?

    • Karen Goff

      The deal to put a rec center at BC Park is dead. I have mentioned that in several other stories; thought it was old news by now and left it out of this one. There are not planning that much at BC park. Search Reston Now for “Baron Cameron Park Master Plan” to see what was voted on about a year ago.

      • Steve

        Thank you. Hard to keep up with everything sometimes.

  • east297

    Really…nobody asked me Leila!

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