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RA Board Hears Land Use Update; More Than 40 Projects In The Works

by Dave Emke May 30, 2017 at 2:45 pm 21 Comments

Nearly four dozen major redevelopment projects have been proposed in Reston in the past two years, and residents need to be aware of how much change that means for the community.

That was the message of Larry Butler, Reston Association’s senior director of parks, as he addressed directors during their meeting Thursday. Butler shared information about some of the largest potential redevelopments that remain on the horizon. Butler’s information came from a map that was provided to him recently by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.

“When I received it, I was fascinated,” Butler said. “Some of these, most people have not seen.”

Butler specifically shined the spotlight on five projects outlined on the DPZ map.

  • Reston Gateway Commons, to be bordered by Town Center Parkway, Sunset Hills Road and the W&OD Trail. The 23-acre plot, proposed for development by Boston Properties, is between the future Reston Town Center Metro station and RTC itself. In the pre-application process, Boston Properties is proposing 3.94 million square feet of residential and retail, along with a 1/3-acre park. It could have as many as 1,688 dwelling units.
  • Campus Commons, located on the south side of the Dulles Toll Road near the southeast intersection of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive. The rezoning application, which is in process, would add four new residential buildings and four parks. This could add up to 1,100 dwelling units on the 11.6-acre property.
  • A major property assemblage on Association Drive, near the intersection of Sunrise Valley Drive and Soapstone Drive. This 23-acre plot, which is in the pre-application phase, is rumored to be sought after by grocery chain Wegmans. The design shared by Butler with the board shows a grocery store on the south side of the property, bordering Sunrise Valley Drive, among its numerous retail and residential buildings. Butler said nothing has formally been submitted to the County on the project, but “there are clearly discussions going on that there’s a general concept plan that has been drawn up for this.”
  • The redevelopment of Isaac Newton Square. Butler said the proposal remains in the pre-application phase and there is no preliminary information available yet.
  • Reston Crescent, located in the northwest corner of the intersection of Reston Parkway and Sunrise Valley Drive. Currently going through the County approval process, the 36-acre property — which Butler called a “monster development” — would be redeveloped to add up to 2,260 dwelling units, 1.18 million square feet of office space, up to 125,000 square feet of retail, and potentially a 160-room hotel. Six parks are also included in the plan from developer Brookfield Properties.

A total of 44 redevelopment proposals appear on the map provided by DPZ.

“The main point to highlight is there is a lot of activity going on,” Butler said.  “This gives you an idea of the volume of activity that is happening here in Reston.”

As director of parks, Butler noted that the revised Comprehensive Plan calls for three fully lighted athletic fields near the TSAs — something absent from the redevelopment proposals.

“In none of these have we seen a ballfield,” Butler said. “I think we need to drum up a little interest in this … to define locations on some of these major assemblages where these things can occur.”

John McBride, RA’s land-use attorney, said it is impressive to see so many developers willing to invest in the community; however, he added, Restonians need to make sure they remain informed on each application and remain engaged with Fairfax County throughout the approval process.

“It’s a lot of work to get up on these applications, [but] public input is so important,” McBride said. “You are listened to by senior County staff and all of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors members and planning commissioners only when you do your homework [and] you’re reasonable.”

None of the properties highlighted by Butler in the proposal lie within the purview of Reston Association, meaning any meeting with the Design Review Board by a developer would be as a courtesy only.

Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning via Reston Association

  • Mike M

    “You are listened to by senior County staff and all of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors members and planning commissioners only when you do your homework [and] you’re reasonable.”

    Thanks for that nugget, Mr. McBride. But isn’t it their job to do the homework and to be reasonable? They get paid, right? On the face of things it is not reasonable to permit such a blowout of a community if you haven’t made provisions for infrastructure. How about this. I’ll listen to the BoS and “planners” when they do their homework and get reasonable.

    • Scott

      ^^^^^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^^^^

  • 40yearsinreston

    Another Hudgins/Plum fiasco
    Where are the roads ?
    Repaving a few Lanes won’t cut the congestion

    • LeftPolitico

      Hudgins definitely. But please let us know more about why you think Plum is complicit.

    • The Constitutionalist

      You know what will cut the congestion? Bike lanes and road diets!

      • meyerweb

        Hogwash. You’ll never get more than a tiny fraction of the population riding bikes to work or shop

        • bob

          i guess sarcasm doesn’t come easy to you

        • The Constitutionalist

          Nuh uh! LOADS of people were on bikes today, I saw at least zero.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Senior Director of Parks ?
    Another grossly overpaid glorified groundskeeper

    • Greg

      Larry Butler: at least $163,335 in 2015. Outrageous, since: “None of the properties highlighted by Butler in the proposal lie within the purview of Reston Association, meaning any meeting with the Design Review Board by a developer would be as a courtesy only.”

      Pages 8 and 29: https://www.reston.org/Portals/3/2016%20Governance/Reston%20Association%202015%20990%20Public%20Inspection%20Copy.pdf

      • restonresident

        Butler and Fulkerson are the two that need to be fired first. Overpaid and ineffective bureaucrats

        • 40yearsinreston

          and the ‘Project Director” can join them at the VEC line

  • Jenny Gibbers

    I think it would be cool if we had an option to put houseboats on the lakes

    1. Affordable housing
    2. Little to no traffic on the waterways
    3. Airbnb options

    Approved and thank you. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/de193a9de2904896746b52e59484f1bed9d29a50754ea2f3f6c3183184ada961.jpg

  • meyerweb

    All of which add up to tens of thousands of additional cars, and unending gridlock. But also more developer money in the supervisors campaign coffers. America’s system of government is corrupt.

  • Mangi

    Is there a link to the map that might provide better quality review? aka, I cannot read anything on the map…help!

  • Scott

    So on the stretch of sunrise valley between soapstone and Wiehle, we’re talking about a wegmans and 1100 residences….Any approval for this better include the developer funding the majority of the Soapstone Toll Road overpass and probably an extra lane on this stretch of Sunrise Valley

    The “Mega Development” at Reston Cescent better include the developer funding the Toll road underpass of Town Center Blvd that was prepped for as part of the Silver Line work.

    Metro was obviously going to bring change and growth to Reston, but the way in which the BoS has approved projects unfettered without any significant infrastructure investment by those profiting is a dereliction of duty. Reston literally has 4 roads crossing the toll road, and for most, only 2-3 are functional. This has to change without bilking the residents that have been here for decades.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Hudgins and the BOS will stick us with the bill – again

  • 40yearsinreston

    “John McBride, RA’s land-use attorney”
    Another useless bystander

    • Greg

      Very highly paid bystander, no doubt.

    • restonresident

      Everyone in RA management is under qualified and overpaid. They think they are running a country club with deep pocket members!!

  • cRAzy

    So there are 40 developments in progress.

    How many road, school, park, etc., improvements are in progress to support the residents and workers they will generate?

    I think the answer is ZERO.

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