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Restonians Line Up To Speak Out Against Density Cap Increase Proposal

by Dave Emke October 24, 2017 at 11:30 am 224 Comments

Several hundred Restonians packed South Lakes High School on Monday night to hear explanations from county staff about a proposal to increase the community’s density cap — and several dozen took the opportunity to make their voices heard.

Nearly two hours of sometimes fiery public comment was part of the meeting (video), where representatives of Fairfax County’s departments of planning and zoning, parks, transportation and more addressed questions about the proposal to increase the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to as much as 16.

John Mooney, of Reclaim Reston, estimated more than 900 people attended the meeting. The nearly 650 seats in the SLHS cafeteria were filled, and the room’s perimeter was lined with standing attendees. A few dozen residents watched the meeting from an “overflow room” in a nearby lecture hall. Many in attendance were wearing yellow shirts to show their unity, and some of those people purchased those shirts from a Reclaim Reston vendor table set up at the school’s front door ahead of the event.

A major point of contention brought up by several of the speakers is the appearance that the county is forgetting about those who currently live in Reston as they work to appease developers, Metro and others outside the community who would benefit from increased growth. Residents spoke of diminished quality of life and increased problems with issues such as increased traffic and lost green space if the community builds out to the 16 people-per-acre level at the high end of the proposal for the PRC district.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said hearing comments from some residents that they don’t want to see any more people move to Reston and that they want to halt development altogether “chills” her.

“I feel concerned to say that Bob Simon was a developer and Bob Simon developed the plan that [the county is] implementing,” said Hudgins, who was interrupted numerous times during her remarks by murmuring and shouts from the crowd. “I really, really want to think about what kind of Reston we are, and I’ve been here 48 years. It was a place that said, ‘Hello, you’re welcome, please come.'”

The PRC District does not include any of the fast-growing Transit Station Area property surrounding the Wiehle-Reston East and Herndon Metro stations, nor does it include most of the property in the Reston Town Center Metro station TSA south of the Dulles Toll Road.

The ordinance amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations. Citizen activists warn that the combined effect of these changes could see the population of Reston tripled by 2050.

An increase to the density cap would not guarantee any development; rather, staff said, it would ensure the opportunity that future development requested can be considered.

Referencing a speaker who said she had recently moved to Reston, Hudgins asked the crowd if people such as her should only be allowed to move in when someone else moves out.

“If it’s a yes to that, that means that no growth comes to Reston ever again,” Hudgins said, which was met with applause by many in attendance. “I can tell you, if that’s what you believe, it is not Bob Simon’s dream that you’re talking about.”

Both Hudgins and county staff said it is important to remember that there are viewpoints within the community that were not being represented by the attendees of the meeting. Fred Selden, director of the county’s Department of Planning & Zoning, referenced changes to Reston’s Master Plan that was updated by Fairfax County in 2014 and 2015 to guide redevelopment in Transit Station Areas, Town Center and village centers — the driving force for why the density cap limit is deemed necessary by the county. The process to make those changes happen included public hearings and Restonians were on the task force, Selden said.

One speaker asked Selden what would need to be done to open the Master Plan up to be re-evaluated and amended once again to limit density. Selden said is eligible for review in 2020, following a five-year implementation process. He said if residents hope to get anything changed prior to that, they would need to petition the Board of Supervisors.

A resident asked why there is a pressing need to increase the cap above 13 when the current density of Reston’s PRC is only about 11.9. William Mayland of the county’s DPZ said there are three applications already in process that, if approved, would increase the density in Reston’s PRC over the current cap of 13 people-per-acre. Those applications are:

Numerous residents who spoke said for this reason and others, they get the implication that the proposed cap increase is developer-driven. Selden said there are property owners — including not just homeowners, but business owners — are represented in the county’s planning process.

“People like to think that it’s only homeowners,” he said. “Reston was always viewed as a community that has people and business. Employment is important in Reston, and employers are important in Reston.”

Selden said he was upset by personal attacks lobbed toward him, other staff members and Hudgins during the public meeting.

“Somebody said that, somehow, our motives are being driven by bribes or some other type of endorsement,” he said, a statement which drew the crowd to catcall with the word greed. “That is different from what people might perceive as greedy — that was a personal attack on the staff, and quite frankly, I take exception to that.”

Hudgins said that comments made during the meeting will be taken into account as the process moves forward, including that there are major infrastructure challenges and concerns about affordable housing that must be addressed as the community grows.

Areas that would be marked for possible major residential development if the plan is approved include all of Reston’s village centers. Selden said it is important to note that the village centers have always been marked for high density, and that Bob Simon viewed them as places where people could live and gather — not just as shopping plazas.

“One of the things that we heard loud and clear when we were updating the plan … [is that] the village centers lacked a sense of cohesion,” he said. “[Simon] desperately wanted, going forward, to have the opportunity to look at these village centers differently, because most of them, quite frankly, are just shopping centers. He wanted and he thought that they could be something better.”

The collective opinion of the hundreds of yellow-clad Restonians in attendance was not swayed by the county’s presentation.

“This is vague — there is not nearly enough detail [about] funding, how planning would occur and the like,” said resident Steve Dodd. “It strikes me as a very crude tool if what you want to do is increase the density around the Metro stations.”

Cathy Belgin, of the county DPZ’s Zoning Administration Division, said staff hopes to present its proposal to the Board of Supervisors by early January, followed public hearings in front of the county planning commission and the BoS between late January and early March.

  • Ed Cacciapaglia

    I was at the meeting. With perhaps the exception one, everyone asking questions or commenting was opposed to the idea of increasing the density cap from 13 to 16 per acre. My wife and I were appalled when Supervisor Hudgins was trying to channel the late Bob Simon after she and most of those representing the county seemed to deflect many of the pointed questions being asked by the citizens of Reston.

    • SuperCoop1280

      Very well put Ed! I completely agree! We need to remember this during the primary elections.

      • JoAnne Norton

        Who are you SuperCoop?

        • SuperCoop1280

          A property owner is wants to make sure we can navigate on the roads and make sure my kids don’t have to attend an overcrowded school. Also live in a place with low crime. Lastly, a hard worker with a political background which qualifies me to be able to spot political games.

          • BooBots

            Bravo, SuperCoop!

    • TheRealMikeSapupello

      How dare Crooked Cathy take Dearest Leader Simon’s name in vain!!!

    • JoAnne Norton

      Cathy and Bob Simon had a long relationship. Bob wanted to build up with room for green space. He wanted community.

      • Ed Cacciapaglia

        And Supervisor Hudgins wants this so called community on her own terms. I’ve seen her exhibit similar behavior several times in the past: Ms. Hudgins claims to hear us. Then she claims we are prejudiced or against the lesser advantaged when we know that isn’t true. I serious doubt Bob Simon ever exhibited similar behavior.

        • JoAnne Norton

          Did you know Bob?

          • chuckhavill

            I did. And his views on Reston were flawed. The original village centers were hidden from the street. Hunters Woods had to be completely revised and the Lake Anne Center became the mish mosh it is today. He was forced out, left town, and came back to serve as the resident gadfly, venerated because of his age and the fact that was indeed the founder of Reston. Also, he played a mean piano.

          • Mike M

            OMG! Direct hit! The REAL story of Bob and Reston.

    • Ray Wedell

      Amen, Ed.

  • SuperCoop1280

    “Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said hearing comments from some residents that they don’t want to see any more people move to Reston and that they want to halt development altogether “chills” her.
    “I feel concerned to say that Bob Simon was a developer and Bob Simon developed the plan that [the county is] implementing,” said Hudgins, who was interrupted numerous times during her remarks by murmuring and shouts from the crowd. “I really, really want to think about what kind of Reston we are, and I’ve been here 48 years. It was a place that said, ‘Hello, you’re welcome, please come.’””

    That is telling right there! Hudgins is not listening to the people. The fact that she would even try and use the “Bob Simon dream” argument as a reason for the proposal says it all. Shame on Hudgins.

    We need new leadership. Vote her out in 2019.

    • Reston First

      Hudgins is as liberal and as useless as they get. Her priorities should be focused in on take care of the people that already live in Reston.

      • Ed Cacciapaglia

        Liberal has nothing to do with it. Supervisor Hudgins is tone deaf to her constituents, the vast majority whom are at least somewhat liberal.

        • Amy Sue

          Yes, what do “liberal” or “conservative” have to do with it? And what do these terms even mean? Just ways of placing people you disagree with into neat categories so you have something tangible at which to direct your anger. I don’t disagree with Hudgins because she is “liberal” or “conservative.” I disagree with her disdain and lack of respect for her constituents (i.e. employers). As an elected official, she should have no personal opinion on these issues at all. She should reflect the interests of her constituents. That’s her job.

          • JoAnne Norton

            She is. She basically wants affordable housing for policeman, fireman, teachers and auto mechanics etc that service her population. Last week, I heard about a woman who has worked for cleaners in Reston for years and only makes 10.10 dollars an hour. Those people are hidden from you. Cathy listened to citizens in 2000 or so who did not want the workforce housing in the Park n Ride. I heard one of those protesting sat to me: “We did not want those people on our paths.” Who were those people?

          • JoeInReston

            You can not extrapolate an ugly racist comment from one protestor onto the other protestors.

          • chuckhavill

            It’s called anecdotal evidence.

          • JoeInReston

            And if other poster’s saw different anecdotes, how do you resolve the conflicting anecdotal evidence?

          • chuckhavill

            You don’t. Everyone has an opinion but it isn’t empirical.

          • JoAnne Norton

            Add more comments. Add the focus group at RA that condemned Hunters Woods Shopping Center at that time because “we don’t go there” over stressing the crime. Magnifying that someone was shot there once. We spent years making that shopping center new again. What about the comment about coming down Reston Parkway and turn right to go onto the good side of Hunters Woods. Meaning that the other side where low income housing was is bad. Recently a woman mentioned she was afraid to go to the Community Center to signup for swimming lessons because of fear.
            Most times the crime is higher at Town Center than Hunters Woods. I think the issue about the Housing coming to the Park n Ride was one of lowering property values and fear about who would live there.

          • JoeInReston

            You asking people to whole heartedly accept changes

          • Amy Sue

            haaaaa. Wow, generalizing about an entire population based on the comments of one person at the Park n Ride. How provincial! ! Sorry, but there’s not a clear link between massive development and affordable housing. You can have affordable housing without building huge, luxury high rises on every street corner. Also, it should not fall on the shoulders of working people in Reston WHO ARE PAYING THEIR OWN WAY to compensate for a pitifully low minimum wage or low wages for public servants (although I think teachers–who work 7 months a year–and police officers make a decent amount of money) Those folks who are making $10 an hour can get free health care, free educations at NOVA, rent subsidies, gym subsidies, child care subsidies, and free lots of other stuff. There are a lot of families in Reston who are making a lot more than $10 an hour but still struggle to pay for health care, food, gas, etc. because they fall just above the “hand out” line.

          • JoAnne Norton

            That person would not get free health care. Medicaid in Virginia starts at an income of ten grand. Section 8 housing basically closes after being opened for a while and under Trump it probably will never be opened. Subsidized housing has long waiting lists. That person has to pay for their own health care and prescriptions. Probably does not get food stamps either.

          • Matthew J Reider

            Luckily, building 800,000 condos over the South Lakes Safeway will help a lot.

    • JoAnne Norton

      We knew Bob. Believe me, we knew Bob.

  • Drip

    Hudgins was so condescending! She has done this before, i.e. during the RTC parking uproar, she basically defended Boston Properties and made no effort to use her position to hold it over their head to extract any type of concession. But yesterdays flawed ode to Bob Simon was a spectacle in itself. Simon understood that traffic and infrastructure correlate with quality of life as the community develops. Hudgins, meanwhile, takes a myopic view while gazing down at the little people. Absent a recall petition (if such process exists), hopefully people in Reston remember this when its time to nominate a supervisor.

    • Reston First

      Pandering to the developer with no respect for her

      constituents..

    • Reston Resident

      How can you not be condescending when faced with a mob of slightly-racist, old people that believe the world revolves around them?

      • EEBBMM

        I was there and it wasn’t a “mob”; I heard NO racist comments or undertones; and we weren’t all old. Parents of kids in Reston schools are very concerned about this plan.

      • Lib_hunter

        Found the Liberal

      • Amy Sue

        Are you serious?

        • Reston Resident

          Absolutely serious. Most of the opposition comes from people who are old and afraid of change and afraid of different people entering the community. You’ll note that attendance at the meeting was well over 90% white, but Reston certainly isn’t that white. The median age was vastly older than Reston’s median age as well.

          • Lib_hunter

            TIL – Being white is racist.

          • Drip

            I’m afraid of perpetual traffic gridlock; not sure how race or age plays any part of that. Your other primary argument re fear of “different people” equally fails because the reality is that while developers will be required to include a cursory amount of “workforce housing” (that you righteously imply would be non-white), the vast majority of new residents will be relatively affluent as “workforce housing” people will still be priced out of Reston. This, of course, means more cars on the road without adequate infrastructure to handle it.
            So tell me again how I am some old, white guy afraid of different people? The reality is it will be the same people, just lots and lots more, coupled with the same infrastructure paradigm.

          • Reston Resident

            If you’re afraid of traffic, then you shouldn’t live in a suburb of a major metropolitan area. Big cities (and their suburbs) have traffic, this is nothing new. Or, you should simply use mass transit/biking/etc and avoid most of the traffic.

            No, it won’t be the same people. It will be a younger and more diverse group as the younger generations are far more ethnically diverse.

          • Mike M

            Yes, we should all go troglodyte and bike everywhere all the time. Great. Thanks for this.

            PS: There is traffic, and there is sitting through a light through two cycles. There is traffic ans then there are kill zones for pedestrians trying to get to and from public transportation.

            You work for a developer? I’ll bet you do!

          • GenXer

            We accept traffic, but not when it’s the result of poor planning, overdevelopment, and complete disregard for the citizens.

            You moralize about “community.” Please tell us, oh wise one, how $900,000 luxury condos build “community.”

            Go take your snark back to the District of Corruption or whatever hellhole you came from.

          • Peggy Suntum

            Reston Resident, you say that the majority at the meeting we’re mostly older and white. What does that prove, other than the people there were passionate enough about the issue to come listen and speak their mind? It does not prove at all that younger residents, and residents of color disagree with the positions taken by those who were at the meeting. The zoning folks seem to be fighting for the developers, not for the quality of life of the Reston community. I think Bob Simon’s name was used in vain when saying he was for unfettered development. He wanted diversity and community to be the pillars of a thriving Reston. I would bet the majority of people who live in Reston agree with him, and will do whatever they can to protect that legacy.

          • Donald

            He was for much more density, than we have now. Quit creating false facts. Google any interview he ever gave.

            He considered the existing Village (Strip) Centers failures – except Lake Anne which he pushed to have much more density than it has presently.

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            There is a head-shaker and classic example of fallacious reasoning. I suppose next we will hear that the absence of certain demographics from the meeting is proof that they fear the status quo and don’t care about the future of their community.

          • JoAnne Norton

            I don’t understand this. There is a head shaker. What is the head-shaker? “they fear the status-quo” Who fears the status-quo? I do not understand this.

          • Ray Wedell

            Beautiful, John. Touche.

          • cRAzy

            That was EXACTLY Hudgins’ argument–about the people who are not in the Reston community.

          • Chuck Morningwood

            the meeting was open to all. If these other peoples had chose to participate, their input would have been welcome.

          • JoAnne Norton

            I would have spoken. The audience was primed when they heard certain words to boo and his and thus drown out any person who objected to the Reston 20/20, RCA proposal. If you truly wanted to hear diverse opinions, you all would not have employed those tactics.

          • Ray Wedell

            The County folks, particularly our Supervisor ,were the ones very well primed. They must have spent weeks preparing the lines to use at a gathering they hoped would be reduced to another of their dog-and-pony shows. Congrats to the people for being far more strategic, far more intelligent, and far more passionate than the bureaucrats trying to stifle them.

          • Reston Resident

            The crowd was very hostile and openly booed and grumbled (like children) when they didn’t hear what they wanted.

          • chuckhavill

            That’s their privilege.

          • Amy Sue

            Let’s have a referendum. Unless you do a scientific poll or give all Restonians the opportunity to state their views, you have no idea where “most” of the opposition comes from. Maybe most of the people there were of a certain demographic but that doesn’t mean other demographic groups do not oppose more development. Have a referendum on the issue, or at least poll the community. Now that I think of it, why wouldn’t the county take the very simple step of polling people? Then we would avoid all of these heated meetings. Most people respect the view of the majority (as long as that view has been scientifically proven).

          • JoAnne Norton

            You might win the referendum with the tenor of the community. We did have 2 other times that a vote for Reston to be a town was voted on. Both times they were defeated. I believe. With a town you would have control over zone. I do not know about density.

          • cRAzy

            Actually, we’ve never had a vote. We had a petition with something like 10K signatures a decade ago that our state assembly persons, Janet Howell and Ken Plum, rejected. Yes, your elected representatives. Without general assembly approval, can’t get a town.

          • Amy Sue

            BTW, you’re comment is clearly racist. And I’m offended.

          • JoAnne Norton

            The crowd booing is racist? I do not understand. I thought the booing was rude. Not racist.

          • Mike M

            Get with the program Joanne. If someone disagrees with you, they are racist! Get it? It’s DNC standard operating procedure. How could you argue against it?

          • chuckhavill

            Did you ask for driver’s licenses or did you used to guess people’s weights at a carnival.

          • John Farrell

            Since I know most of the people at that meeting I can safely say that you’re assertions are total bunk.

            Most of the people in attendance cherish Reston’s diversity and see the PRC amendments as an attack on that diversity.

          • jmsullivan

            Across the country, it’s older people who are more likely to vote, and who are more likely to have the time to participate in the political process. My wife and I would have dearly loved to be at that meeting, but we have a one-year-old, and the hours from about 5:30 to 7:30 are…well, not going to work for anything, anything at all, for the next few years.

            We, along with all the younger and non-white people who live in Reston are going to be just as impacted by the traffic, the loss of green space, the general diminished quality of life as the rest of you.

            And finally, just who do you think’s going to be coming to the community as a result of all this development? “Different people?” Of course not. The “different people” are already here. Reston is a very diverse community both economically and culturally. That’s one of the good things about it. They’re not exactly building affordable housing in all those gleaming new towers. The people entering the community are going to be more of those rich douchebags parking their Dodge Vipers in front of Jacksons at happy hour.

        • Ray Wedell

          Amy Sue… you stole my simple comment! The anonymous person making that comment must be some stooge for the County trying to rile people up. I challenge “Reston Resident”: Provide your name, please.

        • GenXer
      • Mike M

        Indeed! Anyone who has a diferent point of view is a “racist!” You have brainwashed well, grasshopper!

  • Reston First

    “Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said hearing comments from
    some residents that they don’t want to see any more people move to
    Reston and that they want to halt development altogether “chills” her.”

    Her condescending tone while she ignored her base gave me “chills” too.

    • JoAnne Norton

      The message from Bob Simon that I read in a Woman’s Day magazine in New Jersey in 1975 was that Reston was definitely a community that was purposely open to all. Cathy and her family went to realtors a few years before that and was shown shacks in Fairfax County. Reston was then opened to be the only place accepting black families to by then. Simon, I think, had a hard time getting the supervisors to approve it. Equal Opportunity Housing was not in force then. And school integration was a real problem

      • JoeInReston

        You are taking them same reductive view of the audience that Hudgins took.

        • JoAnne Norton

          I am. So did others. Not just me. If you had let me get up and speak about reducing congestion by better use of buses, by having more low income senior housing, by stating that Bob S told he wanted us to build up to save the green space, to reduce cars driving to reduce the carbon footprint, to continue to have Reston open to diverse backgraounds, income levelas as was originally planned, to keep us as an open, welcoming community, you would have booed me. In fact I mentioned one thing to a speaker afterwards and he came over to me angry,angry,angry. If we reduced the population of Reston by one half, do you still think we could drive to Metro easily in AM?

          • Peggy Suntum

            I don’t think you would have been booed. You are stating putting the community of Reston, the “idea” of Reston, first. Yes, change the village centers from strip malls to true village centers. Build up our public transportation instead of just focusing on getting it to a Metro stop at rush hour. Build up the schools so that kids aren’t in “temporary” trailers for class. We have multiple luxury high-rises going up now or recently built that are changing the look and the heart of Reston. Let’s stop and take a breath and rethink this.

      • History_guy

        Research the town of Wiehle, take a xanax and a deep breath, and them come back and re-read what you just wrote.

      • John Farrell

        Sorry, JoAnne not wanting 4,000 units of luxury high rise housing to replace our 3 groceries stores is not opposition to Fair Housing.

        Cathy crass attempt to shame the attendees into submission was counterproductive, offensive and embarrassing.

        If the other Reston high-rise housing is any guide, those units will go for $4,000 per month; meaning only families with at least $160,000 a year in income will qualify. Hardly, equal opportunity housing.

        • Ray Wedell

          “Cathy’s crass attempt to shame the attendees into submission was counterproductive, offensive and embarrassing.”

          And it failed miserably, I might add.

    • Mike M

      It’s all about her feelings.

  • Jon May

    If the citizens really want to take control of their own community I don’t understand why they aren’t pushing for a referendum to become a city. If approved Fairfax County would lose all control of how Reston is developed.

    • TheKingJAK

      Reston could become a town and possess the same independence, but it all comes down to the will of the people to push the county and commonwealth for it.

      • JoAnne Norton

        You absolutely do not know anything about the history. Before commenting and opining, pls find out.

      • John Farrell

        City not town.

    • Donald

      Good luck with that:

      “…In fact, converting to a property tax system from the flat RA assessment would actually equalize the contributions made from residents of different income levels, Knapp said. Property taxes are tied to the value of the home, while RA dues are the same for almost everyone…”

      http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2004/mar/25/become-town-gain-clout/

      Donald

  • cRAzy

    Regrettably, Supervisor Hudgins’ remarks were both totally predictable and completely disconnected from the two-hour dialogue that preceded it. She used the same angst she tried to put on Restonians at the last community meeting about not being welcoming and that is just bullshit. We just don’t need to welcome Manhattan in Reston.

    Moreover, she apparently didn’t hear (and certainly didn’t listen) to the dozens of speakers who spoke about our decaying quality of life, the lack of current and future infrastructure to support the proposed allowable development, and all the other impacts on the 60K of us who live here (vs. the billions who don’t).

    The other point here is that the County staff had, at best, a half-baked idea about how all this development would affect Reston and the people that live here. Moreover, they had even less of an idea how (as in a “plan”) to deal with it. The Parks Authority was absolutely clueless, in particular. Finally, not one red cent has been committed to building the needed infrastructure.

    We don’t have a plan; we have a pipe dream for developers and County tax revenues.

  • Cubsfan6116

    “If it’s a yes to that, that means that no growth comes to Reston ever again,” Hudgins said, which was met with applause by many in attendance. “I can tell you, if that’s what you believe, it is not Bob Simon’s dream that you’re talking about.”

    Well this basically proves the point that those of us aren’t against all development have been making all along – that those who were “concerned” about growth or infrastructure really want to ban all development in Reston.

    “interrupted numerous times during her remarks by murmuring and shouts from the crowd.” So this wasn’t a place where everyone had the ability to state his or her mind. It was a mob of equally-minded people shutting down those with whom they disagree. No wonder those of us who feel differently didn’t get up and speak. Democracy only work when everyone’s voices are heard. Not just the hyper-NIMBYs who clearly haven’t even read Bob Simon’s original plan for Reston.

    • TheKingJAK

      I’ve lived here since the original “Master Plan” was in place, and you clearly don’t understand the concept.

      • JoAnne Norton

        The original that was all races and income levels would be accepted. There would be housing for all income levels and people could move up as their income improved. There would be open space. There would be village centers. Village centers did not survive well because women went back to work. People would have easy access to village centers.
        We used to share churches, we had Common Ground. All races were in our Fellowship House. We got our babysitters from there. We were not concerned about property values. We were busy swimming in our pools, getting our schools built.

        Hudgins early on fought as a Democrat to open up Voting in the state. When she came here you could only register at a house in Sterling by calling ahead for an appointment. When I came you could register during two hours at the library on Saturday at Hunters Woods. Without voting opening up, I doubt that we would have some of the school bonds that gave us schools, and other infrastructure.

      • Cubsfan6116

        Would you care to respond with a substantive list of reasons that I “clearly don’t understand the concept.” “I’ve lived here” a long time does not mean that you can read any better than I can.

        The original plan called for many things that these groups are rallying against, including: substantially-high density as compared to the existing conditions, walkable communities, mixed-use and dense village centers (like at Lake Anne), inclusivity through both non-discrimination and through provision of plentiful and diverse housing to serve the needs of all ages and classes, common spaces, alternatives to driving and sprawl (see RIBS buses and trails between communities, village centers, and schools), and a continuously evolving community that would never be “complete”.

        Regardless of whether 13 DU/acre or 16 DU/acre is appropriate, the fact is that these groups are against ANY change, ANY growth, ANY modernization, and ANY consideration of how change could HELP Reston while still falling within the set of principles that Bob Simon set out for the community. I agree that not all new development has aligned with his vision, and I would love to see the golf courses, if they at some point no longer serve as golf courses, be converted into public parks with trails and amphitheaters and ball fields, rather than housing. But this doesn’t mean that all change is bad or that Bob Simon’s vision has been fulfilled. In fact, if you look at Hunters Woods and South Lakes and North Point and Tall Oaks, I can tell you unequivocally that it is no where near complete.

        • Gregg Rosenberg

          Lake Anne failed, because Bob Simon’s vision was European and didn’t appeal to Americans. Bob was run out of town.
          Reston was saved by abandoning the Lake Anne vision and creating what we have in South Lakes and North Pointe, which is wonderful. It’s what people who live here actually want.

          • Donald

            Really. We want strip centers? Who said you could speak for me?

            Donald

          • Gregg Rosenberg

            I’m just repeating the true history.

    • JoAnne Norton

      Thank you.

    • BooBots

      If you chose not to speak, that is on you.

      • Cubsfan6116

        Slight correction: “If you chose not to speak [in any sort of opposition to a mob of screaming people that have no interest in letting everyone be heard], that is on you.”

        So, yeah, that’s on me.

        • BooBots

          Folks were certainly demonstrative, but ‘mob of screaming people’ is hyperbole. Have some courage, speak your piece and make your case..

        • BooBots

          While certainly demonstrative, it was not a ‘mob of screaming people’. You could have, should have spoken.

  • TheKingJAK

    Supervisor Hudgins and others are blatantly on the side of the developers despite constant opposition, yet, they wonder why people accuse them of taking bribes? Our public representatives are supposed to represent a form of checks and balances against private corporate interests run amok, and when they fail to do so we have every right to question their integrity. Supervisor Hudgins is destroying the very community in which she lives, and you have to ask yourself what she gains from doing so. Obviously, the answers to such a question aren’t concrete, or are they?

    • Terry Maynard

      This is not correct. While Hudgins and others seemingly are on the side of developers, their motive for this is that the county is increasingly desperate for tax revenues, especially for its pension funds which are badly underfunded (on the order of 20%-30%). More developed property = more property tax revenues. Nothing more than that.

      Supervisor Hudgins is also committed to affordable and diverse housing and has been for years, even decades. For reasons that are unclear, but absolutely wrong, she believes that limiting development here would prevent the expansion of affordable housing in Reston. Actually, county policy directs that a percentage of new housing should be ADU or WFH, a percentage that goes as high as 20%. On top of this, the developers gets a 1:1 matching “bonus” market rate housing add on–for doing nothing more than the right thing. There will be no shortage of opportunities, consistent with Simon’s vision and the Reston Planning Principles, for a less fortunate, more diverse expansion of our population with a much lower Reston PRC density cap than the County proposes.

      Yet that didn’t stop Supervisor Hudgins from trying to lay a NIMBYism guilt trip on the hundreds of people at last night’s meeting. It is a tired and hypocritical argument that undercuts her credibility as our supervisor. Like the woman who spoke near the end of the meeting, I am disappointed in her and the county. We must do better.

      • JoAnne Norton

        Terry, at least back Cathy up as not being a bribe taker. There is no senior housing here for me. I know that. And the comment made to me about the proposed workforce and senior housing years ago from one of your protestors then was hurtful. “I do not want those people walking the paths.” of Hunters Woods. The people also protesting that project sold their houses a few years later and went to Ashby Ponds. They were afraid there values would fall if Workforce Housing was built at the Park n Ride. Where is the affordable housing?

        • Terry Maynard

          JoAnne–My first sentence says Cathy’s accuser was wrong. What more can I do?

          I appreciate you are committed to Supervisor Hudgins well beyond reason, but I think that she is grossly mis-stating the impact of lesser (not “no”) development on affordable housing (ADU or WFH). I think most Restonians accept Simon’s goal of a diverse population of varying incomes, although there are always a few who think differently.

          Since Reston’s housing values have, on average, kept pace with overall county values through the years, I don’t think a reasonable argument can be made by anyone that having affordable housing (and Reston has more than most areas of the county consistent with it planning principles) adversely affects home values–now or in the future. So, I can’t account for your personal experience in dealing with uninformed people.

          What will adversely affect Reston home values is high-density without commensurate infrastructure and amenities. To date, I have seen little to no evidence that the county intends (much less is doing anything) to sustain our quality of life by providing these necessities–roads, schools, parks, rec facilities, etc.–concurrent with development at any level. And nothing Supervisor Hudgins or county staff said Monday night changed my view on that. In fact, they said nothing new.

      • Ray Wedell

        Terry, there you go again: Confusing us all with the facts!

      • Cubsfan6116

        Terry, I was with you until “For reasons that are unclear, but absolutely wrong, she believes that limiting development here would prevent the expansion of affordable housing in Reston”

        If we don’t build new housing, how can we expand our stock of affordable housing?

        And call it whatever you want, but NIMBY (Not in my backyard) generally means you don’t care where it goes, but not here. I didn’t hear anyone concerned about the development that would expand in Loudoun County or Centreville if it doesn’t happen in Reston. The people in yellow just didn’t want it to be here. That’s what NIMBY means.

        • Terry Maynard

          “Limiting” development does NOT mean stopping development as you suggest I said. Right now, “unlimited” and “minimum number of DUs” is used in several places in the Reston plan. It can’t ALL go here–nor is there any valid reason it should.

          This is not planning nor is it zoning. It is an abrogation of responsibility.

          And, yes, I was wearing yellow.

      • John Farrell

        This is a legitimate hypothesis but I haven’t seen any incriminating evidence yet.

    • Ray Wedell

      Per her motives, The answer is: we don’t know what we don’t know. Anything is possible.

      Without questioning her motives, we certainly should question her actions and words.

  • Reston First

    “Several hundred Restonians packed South Lakes High School on Monday night to hear explanations from county staff about a proposal to increase the community’s density cap”

    Pretty sure they scheduled this meeting during a Skins game and kill the A/C in the cafeteria on purpose.

  • TheRealMikeSapupello

    Cathy Hudgins is the Frederica Wilson of Fairfax County.

    • Ed Cacciapaglia

      More like the draft dodging bone spurred Donald Trump of Fairfax County.

    • JoeInReston

      We can all come together to fight against the over development of Reston or we throw metaphorical dung at each other by making ideological insults.

      I know where you stand…

      • TheRealMikeSapupello

        Cathy Hudgins: Middle-aged, African-American, Female, Democrat, otherwise unremarkable elected official. Hat preference unknown.

        Frederica Wilson: Middle-aged, African-American, Female, Democrat, otherwise unremarkable elected official. Cowboy hats.

    • JoAnne Norton

      Wow, you are really hit below the belt.

  • Winner

    We need to get rid of Hudgins and elect someone with integrity that will fight to Make Reston Great Again

    • Ray Wedell

      Finally, a short, on point comment summarizing what we really need to know.

  • JoAnne Norton

    This is the conversation I had with a speaker right after he talked: The gyst of his complaint was “The traffic to the Metro is so bad, it takes forever to get there in the morning.”
    Take the bus.- I suggested.
    The bus stop is too far away (0.5 miles).
    If you walk there, you won’t have to go to the gym. (And think about the FitBit) I suggested.
    Lady, don’t you dare tell me how to get to work.

    Were there actually shuttles from South Lakes Shopping Center to SLHS? Who paid for them? Was it out of the funds to save the Golf Course.

    • Bruce Wright

      I would guess that 99% of the people who attended the meeting drove. In our walkable, bike able community few people walk and bike.

      • JoAnne Norton

        See my comment above.

      • Guest

        Bikes are overrated as regular transportation, especially at nighttime hours and in difficult weather. I’m a cyclist myself, and I know their limitations, which are substantial. Ppl should not be criticized for not taking two wheeled transportation around Reston, for any reason.

        • Bruce Wright

          Tell that to the Dutch, the Danish, the Germans, and others, places where it gets dark at night and it rains and snows and yet people bike all the time for all types of trips. We have a car culture and most people don’t think about using any other form of transportation than to get in a car and drive.

          • John Farrell

            For good reason, Bruce.

            Those other counties are much smaller, much more densely developed and were devastated by WWII. Their adoption of single family detached dwellings and cars is about equal to the US pattern of 30 years ago.

            The occupants of the luxury high-rises contemplated by the PRC amendment will be making $160,000 a year at least.

            They’ll be going to the grocery store in Herndon in their Land Rover not on their mountain bike.

          • I’d Rather Post As A Guest #2

            I do not live in Denmark or the Netherlands, Bruce. I do not live in a small European village. I live in a busy, modern suburban community in NoVa. And the last time I was in Berlin or Paris, I saw lots of cars, mopeds and street cars (traffic jams in fact) but few bicycles on the streets in the dead of February. Stop beating this dead horse, you know better than to make statements like that.

          • Bruce Wright

            I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that our transportation system could function much better if more people got out of their cars when making short trips.

      • Ray Wedell

        Most car pooled.

      • Mike M

        Well done, Bruce. You are starting to wake up to our reality. By the way, Reston is not walk-able and bike-able from one side to the other and it is becoming less so.

      • Amy Sue

        Reston may be walkable, yes, but bikeable, no way! Try biking down Wiehle avenue at any time of day or night. The road is way too narrow and treacherous and the sidewalks–at least those “maintained” by FFX County–are broken up, strewn with trees and rocks and downright dangerous. The part of the Wiehle avenue path maintained by Reston is in good shape. But the FFX County-maintained portion is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

        • Bruce Wright

          Amy Sue I agree completely about Wiehle Ave. Fixing the parallel trail should be high on the list of needed infrastructure improvements.

    • Ed Cacciapaglia

      There are some elderly people and lesser abled people that can’t walk the half mile from their homes. And some of them showed up last night because they care about our community. If there were shuttles from the shopping center to help those people that shows a caring community.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        If the able-bodied were to make better use of mass transit, maybe there would be enough capacity for the disabled to use their vehicles.

        Just a thought…

        • JoAnne Norton

          Able bodied using mass transit is an integral part of reducing the carbon footprint. Mind you, in the next 40 years where they thought of the increased density, we probably have self driving cars. No one thought of that or the fact that Amazon might come here. The Fairfax Board of Supervisors have done a very good job of getting businesses to move here. That is what pays for our libraries, infrastructure. etc.

          • Guest

            Permanently reducing the nation’s carbon footprint is ,radical environmental fantasy. Substantive and substantial changes must be made to local and regional economies for true carbon reduction to take place and no one will support such a radical ,anticapitalistic agenda. Except of course, someone who worked at Obama’s EPA…

      • JoAnne Norton

        This has been suggested. RA could easily do this and forget about the composting for a while. RA has been nudged to do more for seniors but they do not. Other planned communities band together to have more things done for seniors. That did not take off here.

        Buses could easily be rerouted to be closer to people so they would not have to walk. That would be Fairfax Connector. You cannot squeeze x amount of cars onto Wiehle Avenue in the morning. Buses are one of the alternatives. People in Portland bike.

        • One LibIknow

          Move to Portland.

        • Ray Wedell

          Don’t give RA any ideas…..next thing you know, someone will propose a Reston-wide monorail.

    • SuperCoop1280

      Why should I take a bus? I will not ever use public transportation. I like to dictate my schedule thank you very much. People should have the right to use whatever method of transportation they want. More housing with less or equal roads is a bad formula. For good growth, you have to do more than just have a plan to add houses. The roads and the schools need to be in that growth plan.

      • Constitutional Conservative

        “People should have the right to use whatever method of transportation they want.”

        And if there’s perfectly capable public transportation available why should anyone listen to those who believe the road exists only to serve them?

  • Kristen

    As far as I recall, Hudgins has run unopposed the last couple (few) election cycles….maybe it’s time for a new candidate to run against her? And for her to imply that opposing the density cap equals not wanting anyone or anything new in Reston is pure BS. The issue we have is not new people coming in, it’s unchecked development with no thought as to traffic and infrastructure to support this development. Not to mention, all this discussion when the mortar isn’t even dry on thousands of new apartment and condo units around Metro, Town Center and Sunrise Valley. Saw an article yesterday that developers are concerned with being able to fill all these new buildings. What of that? At the very least, a lot more consideration and planning is needed before this is approved. And stop with the “old and racist” comments. I am a young, liberal, mother who loves living in Reston and wants to balance development with maintaining the natural beauty of Reston, which is what drew my family and I here in the first place. I think we can do both, if it’s done smartly.

    • thebratwurstking

      Well, she’s retiring. So there’s that

      • 40yearsinreston

        If trur, cant she leave earlier ?
        Tomorrow won’t be too soon

    • Ray Wedell

      Kristen….your quote “And for her to imply that opposing the density cap equals not wanting anyone or anything new in Reston is pure BS.”

      Of course it is, and she knew it before playing this “either/or” shell game politicians love to play. Her political advisers probably spent months telling her to use this one: Tell them they either go along with everything your County and developer superiors tell you to do, or else they are an “anti-growth” xenophobes. Brand them as old, crusty, wall-building opponents of openness. Then sprinkle in the usual fare of, “Bob Simon would like this…..” stuff. Find ways to align the County proposals with Bob Simon’s vision. Extremely cheap politics.

      Her comments and attitude were a total disgrace. Just calling it like it is.

      • Chkitout1

        The Democrats sold Reston out to the developers. Very sad for Reston community.

        • John Farrell

          Hardly, several members of the HMDDC are not happy about the substance or the timing of this meeting.

          • Chkitout1

            8 Democrats and 2 Republicans on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. We in Reston were sold out by the Democrats to the developers.

    • TheKingJAK

      I’ve honestly witnessed no pattern regarding political affiliations when it comes to Restonians being sick and tired of seeing the community losing its bearings. It’s great when people from a wide variety of backgrounds can find a reason to unite and support one another under a common banner.

  • Tolerant Restonian

    This isn’t the encompassing and tolerant community I want. My dream is for Reston to truly be a place where hate has no home, where we welcome everyone and have a place for them to live. If that means increasing density to 16 persons per acre, so that we can accommodate the downtrodden masses from Syria, Venezuela, or Iraq I’m all for it. I want Reston to be a community for everyone. We must not oppose this otherwise we look like republicans!!! Yes in my backyard!!!

    • 40yearsinreston

      The so called down trodden elected their ‘Leaders’

    • John Farrell

      Sarcasm much?

      • Mike M

        I hope so! LOL! Lawdy!

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I’m seriously thinking about mounting a run against Hudgins the next time around. I may not have the bonafides and the same grasp of all of the nuances of county government, but I at least have a job (other than being a Supervisor) and have been on BoD of my HoA.

    The question is, would you folks vote for me,warts in all in order to check development in Northern Fairfax County?

    • JoAnne Norton

      What party would you represent? The supervisor before Hudgins had a business. He could not keep up with the meetings and responsibilities. You have to be a really good detail person, a person who is into conflict resolution, knowledgeable about the history of Reston and the county. Tuesday supervisor meeting days run from 8 am to sometimes 10 pm. You have to go to openings, break ribbons. etc. You constantly must listen to messages and respond no matter how good your staff is. You serve on Boards and they have meetings,etc.
      You have to go out and investigate situations. You have emergencies like schools burning in the middle of the night, the derecho that left the town hopeless and no food at Fellowship Homes and no air conditioning. You have to be prepared for constant, constant criticism. If you could do all that, I would consider voting for you. But also I would want to know which administration you were supportive in Washington.

      • Walter Hadlock

        Not sure “…which administration your were supportive in Washington”. has to do with whether or not you would vote for the person.

      • One LibIknow

        Your vision of events is foggy. The derecho left the town “hopeless”. Not true. What situations does Hudgins investigate? You have no idea what you are talking about.

      • Richard

        Don’t forget, you need to hold long-time leadership positions on regional boards, like the highly-respected and efficient DC Metro system.

      • cRAzy

        the parties are the problem. How about an independent?

    • 40yearsinreston

      Yes

      • One LibIknow

        Yes, if I don’t run myself.

  • Kelly Bembry Midura

    I was at the meeting. I don’t think the article makes very clear that many residents are concerned that infrastructure won’t keep up with the population. Good points were made about crowding in the schools, roads that are already clogged (in part because planned overpasses etc. haven’t even been started yet) and public transportation being inadequate to shuttle people from the village centers to the Metro.

    I have been a resident or property owner in Reston since 2004 and am personally fine with more people moving here as long as development is smart, equitable (not just high-priced condos, as one speaker pointed out) and infrastructure keeps up. I don’t think we have sufficient evidence that will be the case at this point, and I agree with several speakers who proposed that the density increase be delayed until more planning can be done.

    Also, some people were pretty rude, but once Hudgins started talking in that condescending manner, I could certainly see why they are frustrated by now if they’ve been involved in the process for very long. Legitimate concerns and facts were presented, and were addressed with a schoolmarmish lecture on what Bob Simon would have wanted–which was only semi-relevant at best.

    • JoAnne Norton

      After hearing the boos and ahs raised at every mention of land use, developer etc. I was pretty upset. I left crying. We never had this in Reston before on such a large scale. We had discussions. Cathy clearly presented what Bob Simon wanted. And it was in Womans Day magazine in 1975.

      • 40yearsinreston

        This is 2015
        Hudgins wasn’t around then

        • Donald

          Uhhhhh … it’s 2017

      • GenXer

        “We never had this in Reston before on such a large scale”

        We never had this kind of arrogant overdevelopment before, either.

    • LaureenMT

      I agree, Kelly. I understand the need for increased density around the Metro stations and for some growth. But approving nearly triple the current populations without a plan for infrastructure improvements will destroy our quality of life. Ms. Hudgins implied that approving this increase is the only way to get affordable housing in Reston, and I strongly disagree. The increase would help the developers, not those with low income.

    • Mike M

      Last time I checked Simon was still dead.

  • EliteinReston
  • Conservative Senior

    Before increasing density transportation needs to be addressed. The gridlock is insane.
    https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fcdot/pdf/tpp_2017/project_list_final.pdf
    Prior to metro coming to Reston, Ms. Hudgins had transportation impact studies done costing over $100K with no implementation. This was for the Wiehle/Sunset Hills intersection.

  • Reporter

    This article paints a more accurate picture of what the climate was like last night:

    https://patch.com/virginia/reston/anger-boils-over-reston-zoning-meeting

  • 40yearsinreston

    It didnt take long for Hudgins to show her true feelings towards those who dare to question here designs and objectives

    Resorting to baiting and disparaging the motives of those who disagree with her while purporting to speak for a dead man are the hallmarks of a loser
    Those who have followed her tenure are not surprised

    Please contact the local Democratic Party and express your disatisfaction with her actions. If enough do this, she may not be re-nominated for the next election
    She is a disgrace to her office

    • JoAnne Norton

      Wow. That is quite a statement.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Hudgins does not speak for dead people
        That is arrogance

        • MaggieSays

          It seems people do it all the time here where Bob Simon is concerned. But that’s just my anecdotal evidence.

    • Ray Wedell

      Salute!!!!!!

    • John Farrell

      While I vehemently disagree with her fanatical support for the PRC amendment, suicide lanes and other issues. Cathy is not a disgrace to anything and such hyperbole undermines legitimate critiques of her positions.

  • JoAnne Norton

    23,811 voted for the Meals tax in Hunter Mill District last November. Part of those voters live in Vienna. 28,113 voted against. Meal Tax revenues would go to schools. I wonder how many of those people in the meeting did not want to pay a few cents more every time they ate out but would buy a yellow shirt last night.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Off Topic – another red herring

      • Ray Wedell

        Seems to be her habit. A waaaay off point comment. Now, back to what “Winner” said, above.

    • Mike M

      Yea! Cuz we all have more money to give away!

  • Hidden Creek

    Just also wanted to add that Hidden Creek has been sold on 10/23/2017 to Weelock. The email sent out to members included: “Weelock will be working in partnership with the club members and the Reston Community to explore potential changes to the property that could provide the Reston Community with additional public amenities, environmental benefits, and new housing choices”.
    Sounds like they are going to try and redevelop.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Thats a given

    • John Farrell

      They’ll have to amend the Comp Plan first. Good luck with that.

      • Donald

        I smell the RA board knowing of this, and doing some fenagling.

        Donald

        • John Farrell

          WTF?

          • Donald

            Parts of its property is inside a TSA. Don’t discount the possibilities of the new owner, the County, and RA carving it up.

            Donald

          • restonista

            I can’t find the link to the article but didn’t Reston Now post an article in which somebody suggested a new road right through Hidden Creek, closer to Sunrise? How could someone propose a new road through existing private property unless they had an idea of the future purchase/negotiation of land? Maybe it’s far fetched but this is the first thing I thought of when I saw your comment.

          • Donald

            The connection being challenged in the plan is a new road that would bridge American Dream Way and Isaac Newton Square just north of the Wiehle-Reston East station. However, portions of the Hidden Creek Country Club’s 18-hole golf course sit in between the two roads— American Dream Way to its west and Isaac Newton Square to its east.

  • Rational Reston

    I rarely agree with Supervisor Hudgins, but calling out people for hiding behind phrase “Bob Simon’s vision” is a breath of fresh air.

  • Bruce Wright

    I was embarrassed to call myself a Restonian after attending the public meeting last night. People can disagree with their political leaders and county staff without being disrespectful. Those who shouted down staff and Supervisor Hudgins should be ashamed, as should those who impugned the reputations of the Supervisors and staff.

    Northern Virginia is going to grow over the next 20, 30, and 40 years. Unless we have zero population growth and don’t allow any new residents to come to this area, those new people will need places to live, work, and play. It makes a great deal of sense to concentrate that growth around the new transit stations and the village centers instead of building more sprawling suburbs and paving over more of our countryside. We need much better transit and bike/ped facilities to accommodate that growth. I for one don’t want to see our roads get any bigger.

    There was a multi year process when these planning decisions were made by the community, which was the time for people who are concerned about how we grow to have been involved.

    I, like most of the people at the meeting, will soon be looking for someplace to spend my last years. I’ll want a place requiring less maintenance, close to shops, restaurants, and transit with good bike and pedestrian access. Most younger professions are looking for the same kinds of places. The plan for Reston has a vision for those kinds of places.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Hudgins disrespected Restonions with her disgraceful condescending attitude and recource to channeling a dead man who cant speak for himself

      • Bruce Wright

        Here’s a quote from Mr. Simon from a Post article in 2012: “He said density was not a bad thing. “Density is good,” Simon said. ”It makes open space possible,” when you use apartments or high-rises to create density vertically. “High-rises are not anti-community,” he said, and he noted that the Stratford apartment complex near Reston Town Center has a community of engaged residents that is “really fabulous.””

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-state-of-nova/post/robert-simon-98-is-still-the-face-of-reston/2012/04/09/gIQAb9bE7S_blog.html?utm_term=.94640a04fae1

        • davidfromlakewinds

          I think you are confusing his use of ‘density’ when it describes the concentration of a portion of the households to allow for more green space, and the use of ‘density’ in the context of the proposed zoning change, where it refers to an overall increase in the number of households.

          • BooBots

            Perfectly discerned and stated, davidfromlakewinds.

        • Tammi Petrine

          Bruce, too bad you weren’t at the last Reston P & Z meeting on 10/16 when a large contingent from Stratford House were protesting a new proposal for 1801 next door as being too dense, too high, not in keeping with Reston values of enough green space and exacerbating an already disastrous traffic problem.

          • Bruce Wright

            I would bet many of those people were opposed to development of the Town Center as well. I can remember a couple of crowded, contentious meetings that Bob Dix held in which the same arguments used during this weeks meeting were used to oppose the Town Center.

            Growth is a fact of life. No one here that I know of has offered a counter proposal to accommodating growth in the future. Where are new residents supposed to go?

          • cRAzy

            Sometimes “growth” is cancerous. Certainly too much growth is.

          • Mike M

            Springfield
            Arlington
            Montgomery County
            Falls Church
            Chantilly
            Centreville

            The question is why must they all come here in such high density?

          • Donald

            Help me understand this. The residents of a 14-story condo tower as well as four midsize condo complexes complained about too much density. Talk about the pot and the kettle. If they were concerned about infrastructure, traffic, etc. – different story.

            Donald

    • SuperCoop1280

      I agree that we should allow for new population and businesses but you can’t just change the percentage and make room for new developments without also having a plan for the roads and the schools.

    • John Farrell

      Little of the foregoing is true but keep on pushing that bike lane agenda, Bruce, your persistent is admirable.

    • Mike M

      So, it’s all about Bruce and what he wants next? Turn Reston on it’s ear for Bruce’s personal preferences. Sounds like bike lanes to me.
      I am embarrassed for you Bruce, again.

    • Tami Percle

      Hear, hear! While I did not attend the meeting (as I suspect many who feel the same way I do did not), I support the open (and respectful) expression of those who are opposed to the density change. I hear a lot of fear and anger which if expressed in an aggressive way may not help us to arrive at a community consensus. I have lived in Reston for almost 20 years, smack dab in the middle of where the highest density will be. I knew this when I made the decision to buy here and look forward to seeing the urban center evolve. Expressing concerns about the infrastructure keeping pace with population is a valid concern. Being nasty to other people in meetings or on this forum is not helpful. If you really want things to change, then please act in a manner and with an attitude that will help that happen. We have the power to bring change in a positive way if we welcome all voices.

  • Bruce Wright

    Supervisor Hudgins lives in Reston and as far as I know has not announced whether she will run for re-election. I assume she will.

    • John Farrell

      Given that she’s raise a grand total of $135 and has anointed her successor, I’ll take the under.

      • Restonlover

        Who is the annointed

    • thebratwurstking

      I stand corrected on the address, thank you.

  • davidfromlakewinds

    I attended the meeting last night. The voices of property owners (developers) was not heard, as pointed out. But there was nothing that prevented the developers who support the density increase from attending and standing in line with the rest of us to explain how, in their view, Reston would be better off with double or triple the population. Apparently, we have to attend public meetings for our concerns to be ‘considered’, but developers don’t need to bother with any of that.

    Yes, Simon’s original plan contemplated higher density development in the neighborhood centers than occurred. And I don’t doubt that he may have said at some point that he would like to re-configure the neighborhood centers. My question is whether Simon would support reconfiguration with density increases in conjunction with the development that is presently occurring in the transit areas. In other words, would a person who highly valued quality of life, open space, appropriate infrastructure and schools that are not overcrowded, support additional high density development in the neighborhood centers that further diminishes those values. I do not think so.

    Opponents of the zoning change are not opposed to development. We are not turning our backs on lower-income families. We are not saying go away. We are simply saying that the current cap allows for further development that includes low-mod income housing units, and that the zoning proposal is an extreme response to Metro by the county and our Supervisor. We are presently living with unresolved issues related to the development that has already occurred. The quality of life here is suffering as a result. It is so disappointing to hear our Supervisor respond by saying that somehow we’ll work those problems out – instead of first demanding concrete plans from the county to do so. That is not good planning – that is no planning at all. Instead of settling up a false choice between rampant development and zero new development, our Supervisor should consider her legacy. Will it be one of intelligent development that respects the heart of Reston through sensible, vibrant change, or will it be a legacy of concrete and glass, viewed from the car windows of gridlocked drivers while honking at each other in frustration?

    • Mike M

      I don’t care what Simon wanted. Most of his “vision” failed. I live here now. He doesn’t. Let Saint Robert rest in peace.

      • davidfromlakewinds

        You are living in what Simon created. Your neighbors moved to Reston rather than to other communities because of what he created. If you read his entire plan, you will see that most of his vision succeeded, and wonderfully. “Saint Robert” is surely resting in peace.
        To quote from “A brief history of Reston, Virginia”, published by Gulf Reston, his planning goals included: “That the importance and dignity of each individual be the focal point for all planning, and take precedence over large scale concepts”; “That beauty – structural and natural-is a necessity of the good life and should be fostered”.
        I wish for you a good, important, and dignified life.

        • Mike M

          Thanks for your good wishes. But actually, your facts are off. I live in one of the many parts of Reston that Simon didn’t want built. He left the Reston project in a huff because of the building of many neighborhoods just like mine. He didn’t come back for decades. Whereupon he was canonized, probably much to his surprise. But he sure got comfortable with it fast.

          • davidfromlakewinds

            I stand corrected.

  • Hieronymus Bosch

    I was there last night as well as the prior meeting (which was cancelled/rescheduled). I am not certain as to why some people are focusing on age or the presence of an “older” demographic group in attendance. Fair to assume those who attended are either retired or working less than those younger with young children, sports or academic-related commitments, or jobs requiring travel or later work hours. Let’s not forget the commuting time that has many concerned which will also impact schedules and being able to make a 7 PM meeting. It is possible the “older” people have lived here longer or possibly retired here in anticipation of a certain quality of life or lifestyle. Calling out younger people for not attending is unfortunate. Perhaps we could have all brought our kids and let them see firsthand how adults conduct themselves in an open forum. I think not. I do not want my kids to witness the disrespect or name-calling or argumentative attitudes I observed.

    When it all comes down to it – those in power will make their decisions supporting the density cap increase without the necessary infrastructure or school upgrades preceding the development. I am certain I will be corrected, but wasn’t the Silver line Metro expansion fought for under the premise it would help traffic and offer commuters options rather than sitting in their cars for hours on the Toll Road and points West? Now the Silver line is here (with less-than-expected ridership), and being expanded, we are being told we need the commercial and residential development in the transit hubs to help support Metro and businesses relocating or expanding in the Reston area.

  • John Farrell

    Cathy’s reaction to the attendees’ calls for a moratorium was ironic given that there is a moratorium in place now in Mount Vernon, Lee, Mason, Braddock, Sully, Springfield and other parts of the County impacted by the Proffer reform bill.

    So its ok to impose a moratorium on some parts of Fairfax County but not Reston.

    • Ray Wedell

      John, this is a good point and most of us did not know that, yet should be informed of that. Thank you.

    • Mike M

      We are a “free fire zone.”

  • Mike M

    “An increase to the density cap would not guarantee any development;
    rather, staff said, it would ensure the opportunity that future
    development requested can be considered.”

    Snake speak.

    • Ed Cacciapaglia

      Is that code speak for backroom deals?

  • Raised in Reston

    “An increase to the density cap would not guarantee any development; rather, staff said, it would ensure the opportunity that future development requested can be considered.”

    Don’t invite a vampire into your house.

    If Supervisor Hudgins can raise the density cap she knows it will be impossible for Reston Residents to fight each of the more than two dozen potential residential developments planned for the village and transit centers. Look at the resources used to fight Reston National zoning, or Tall Oaks Village center development.

    The citizens expressing concern last night have this right, this fight cannot go beyond the first round.

  • Raised in Reston

    Supervisor Hudgins does not accept bribes. She accepts campaign contributions.

    Less the $24K donated by Firefighters Local 2068, Real Estate Developers and Construction Companies are her largest donor base.

    Grab a developer off the list and search them in Google.

    Example: $400 Ulfelder, John C

    “Gerald T. Halpin and John C. Ulfelder of McLean-based real estate development firm West Group have donated $85,000 and $31,000 to Kaine.” “West Group owns about 140 office and apartment buildings in Tysons, including several that it has held vacant in anticipation of a new Fairfax County land use plan that would allow far greater densities around the four Silver Line Metro stations now under construction in the traffic-clogged area.”

    For $400 Mr. Ulfelder was gifted increased densities in Tysons.

    • John Farrell

      Wow, had to go all the way to page 6 of the VPAP report to find those two contributions which were from 1999 and 2003 from people whose land is in Dranesville District, not Reston.

      This whole line of thinking is a distraction from real analysis and wastes too much time. Spare us.

  • Jen Counter

    So we just moved here last year, and love the community, but can’t believe the price of the high rises in the town. How can someone afford to pay $3000/month for a one bedroom the size of a closet? And the worst part is that they’re building more! Location, location, location.

  • Donald

    I was at the meeting. Unfortunately I did not see any cohesion or leadership drive to an outcome with the County Staff and Supervisor.

    Donald

  • jpkpk

    These yellow shirt NIMBYs are impossibly selfish and should be ashamed of themselves. Nice community for me but not for thee… younger, browner, potential resident who now has to go ever further into the exurbs and away from metro to find housing. Of course they are concerned about “homeowners”. Ever think that renters exist too, in particular future ones who need access to public transit. Sure, call it “opposing developers”, but who the heck else is supposed to build new housing. That the yellow shirts are mostly older and owners is telling. It’s not just your community, it’s a part of a metro area with many future residents on the way. Such a static, egotistical, backward looking view is something you should be ashamed of. The skyrocketing housing costs for the young and writing class of the last few decades are precisely your fault.

    • Terry Maynard

      Sorry, whomever, but you missed the point and are saying something that is not true. Reston welcomes all incomes, ages, and broad diversity. It’s in the Comprehensive Plan. The county also requires that lower income households be served by affordable housing–up to 20%. At this time, Reston has more than its share of affordable housing–and that’s OK.

      The real issue is just how dense does Reston have to become and can (much less “will”) the county provide the infrastructure–roads, transit, schools, parks & rec, etc.–needed to support that density. There is absolutely no sense that the county has any intention to step up to the latter, undermining our (and future residents’) quality of life.

      Hope that helps.

      • Glen Corso

        Absolutely agree with this comment. Reston’s residents should have very little to no confidence that Fairfax County will provide the infrastructure to match with the increased density. I suggest those of you that doubt this simply drive on Hunter Mill Road, the section that runs under Route 267 during the morning rush or afternoon rush. This intersection has not been improved in 30+ years and is a huge bottleneck. But that did not stop the County from approving massive residential and office developments during that time period. That is what will happen throughout our community if we allow Fairfax County and their developer friends to run this process unchecked.

    • John Higgins

      Friend, calm down. You have made judgments about hundreds of people you don’t know, have not talked to, and clearly misunderstood. Indeed, I suspect that many people wish to preserve the community they call home, and that’s not shameful. This is not about race or demographic slices. It’s deep concern that our county government is facilitating growth without so much as a rough plan for supporting a larger population in ways it must (roads, parks, schools, libraries, ball fields, public safety personnel, and more.) Developers are not to blame, this would be a self-inflicted wound.

      • Reston Resident

        The county has plans to expand the roads, though maybe not as fast as some would like. They have expanded the bus system and the Silver Line is here and/or coming. They have plans to build another elementary school and are presently expanding existing schools (e.g. SLHS).

        The libraries are underutilized and will be used even less in the future. The area is already well served by ambulance/fire/police. The fire station on Wiehle is already being modernized and expanded. About the only real weakness in the County’s plan is probably park space, however Reston has NEVER been strong in terms of having traditional ball fields, though we have miles and miles of trails which are greatly underutilized.

        Trying to “preserve the community” in some static 1970’s state isn’t realistic. The fact that people lie saying the county isn’t doing anything for infrastructure (when literally a metro line is being built right in front of your faces) speaks to their true intents.

        • John Higgins

          What you say is true, in the context of catching up with today’s population. The discussion here talks about a doubling or tripling our population. That calls for a strategy far beyond tweaking and I have not seen evidence of any such planning.

          I would agree that a desire to see Reston preserved in “some static 1970’s state” is foolish. But that’s a strawman argument. That state disappeared thirty years ago. What’s done is done. Clearly, the “feel” of Reston that attracted many of us can never again be realized, but one should question the wisdom of making it exponentially worse.

          I haven’t seen the “lie” you reference that the county is not doing anything. What is said is that we have not seen the plan for infrastructure appropriate to the potential population. You would serve us well by sharing what you have seen. (You can skip the Silver Line part, we all recognize how much that has contributed to improving movement in and around Reston.)

        • JoeInReston

          Checked out 44:21 in the meeting video (https://twitter.com/FallonWForbush/status/922599297278971905 ):

          Questioner: (Speaking about transportation infrastructure) Why this why now when we thats the answer on transportation?

          Answer:
          As a general rule, its very difficult and in fact the way land use and transportation ownership in terms of vdot owning the roads, development isn’t typically able to anticipate well. Ok, so you typically can not (crowd boos) give me a chance give me a chance

          Development is paid for in large part, by new development, and is justified by new development, so that the way processes works is that to have the road projects get on the books it is because they are needed because of development.

          So the counties plans to expand the roads for the higher density projects is only in the abstract sense. Yea, when we expand, we’ll have to look into the traffic issue.

        • Mike M

          So much wrong with your argument. To keep it simple, . . . Putting Metro here created the need for even more infrastructure. They did not match the need. It’s really that simple. The traffic is an abomination. And yes, people who are current residents have every right to challenge the County and it’s plans.

    • JoeInReston

      Disturbing trend in this comments section of not just disagreeing with the people against the density cap increase, but also ascribing evil motives to them and denoting them as evil. Ironically doing the very thing they accuse others of – prejudging.

  • EliteinReston
  • Gregg Rosenberg

    I was at the meeting. Supervisor Cathie Hudgins and several Fairfax County board members attended. Nearly one thousand citizens showed up, seemingly unanimously against the ammendment to the zoning. Questions to the officials lasted two hours and could have gone on for many more but were cut short as the hour grew late. Supervisor Hudgins herself would not answer questions and used the Fairfax County officials as a kind of shield from her constituents.

    The questions were largely educated and intelligent and the crowd behaved perfectly appropriately. After two hours of educated dissent, focusing on traffic, schools, green spaces, and the bad math behind the proposed density increase, at the end Supervisor Hudgins stood to speak. Ignoring every single substantive point and question raised, and out of absolutely nowhere, she pivoted to what seemed to be a pre-arranged talking point which accused the room of being racist, unrepresentative of Reston and against working people, as if the only reason to be against overcrowding due to thousands of new high-rise luxury apartments and million dollar townhouses was dislike of the working class.

    Several people afterwards remarked to me they felt like taking a shower after hearing her speak, she had slimed us all so badly. The video of the meeting is online and can be watched by anyone doubting this account: https://twitter.com/FallonWForbush/status/922599297278971905

    The script seems to be that Supervisor Hudgins is going to pretend she is the voice of some vast silent working class majority in Reston, who she portrays as wanting to crowd up to 81,000 people between Wiehle and Reston Pkwy, before moving on to razing the village centers and erecting similar high rises for high income people.

    Supervisor Hudgins seems to have somewhere between six and twelve mouthpieces who have been told to fan out to social media and repeat the cover story as often as they can, hoping to create an illusion of a fight between a progressive Reston majority and a minority of regressive home owners. The truth is, of course, there is no fight among the people of Reston. We are overwhelmingly against the urbanization of our community, especially without proper infrastructure being build to accommodate it.

    Clear indication this is what is happening could be seen from reasonable requests the Supervisor is ignoring. One request was to have a referendum or survey of Reston residents to get an uncontroversial opinion from the community. She ignored this suggestion. The other was to reopen the master plan for change, since under-the-radar changes made to it in 2015 are being used as cover for this initiative, and an update to the master plan through a process with proper community oversight would allow the citizens of Reston to protect themselves. Supervisor Hudgins refused to even consider this.

    What came out at the meeting, from the mouths of the county officials themselves, are that the real driver of this is the existence of three developer proposals in front of the county which would require them to raise the density limit, and a desire to raze the village centers in the future to replace them with high density high rises. The actual justification from one county official is that, “Reston is more than just home owners. It is property owners as well.”, which is accurately interpreted as, “We are going to ignore the desires of the 58,000 people who live in Reston to serve a dozen property developers who don’t live here but want to cash in on the metro.”

    I regret to conclude this process has become undemocratic and Supervisor Hudgins should be recalled.

  • Gregg Rosenberg

    I was at the meeting. Supervisor Cathie Hudgins and several Fairfax County board members attended. Nearly one thousand citizens showed up, seemingly unanimously against the ammendment to the zoning. Questions to the officials lasted two hours and could have gone on for many more but were cut short as the hour grew late. Supervisor Hudgins herself would not answer questions and used the Fairfax County officials as a kind of shield from her constituents.

    The questions were largely educated and intelligent and the crowd behaved perfectly appropriately. After two hours of educated dissent, focusing on traffic, schools, green spaces, and the bad math behind the proposed density increase, at the end Supervisor Hudgins stood to speak. Ignoring every single substantive point and question raised, and out of absolutely nowhere, she pivoted to what seemed to be a pre-arranged talking point which accused the room of being racist, unrepresentative of Reston and against working people, as if the only reason to be against overcrowding due to thousands of new high-rise luxury apartments and million dollar townhouses was dislike of the working class.

    Several people afterwards remarked to me they felt like taking a shower after hearing her speak, she had slimed us all so badly. The video of the meeting is online and can be watched by anyone doubting this account: https://twitter.com/FallonWForbush/status/922599297278971905

    The script seems to be that Supervisor Hudgins is going to pretend she is the voice of some vast silent working class majority in Reston, who she portrays as wanting to crowd up to 81,000 people between Wiehle and Reston Pkwy, before moving on to razing the village centers and erecting similar high rises for high income people.

    Supervisor Hudgins seems to have somewhere between six and twelve mouthpieces who have been told to fan out to social media and repeat the cover story as often as they can, hoping to create an illusion of a fight between a progressive Reston majority and a minority of regressive home owners. The truth is, of course, there is no fight among the people of Reston. We are overwhelmingly against the urbanization of our community, especially without proper infrastructure being build to accommodate it.

    Clear indication this is what is happening could be seen from reasonable requests the Supervisor is ignoring. One request was to have a referendum or survey of Reston residents to get an uncontroversial opinion from the community. She ignored this suggestion. The other was to reopen the master plan for change, since under-the-radar changes made to it in 2015 are being used as cover for this initiative, and an update to the master plan through a process with proper community oversight would allow the citizens of Reston to protect themselves. Supervisor Hudgins refused to even consider this.

    What came out at the meeting, from the mouths of the county officials themselves, are that the real driver of this is the existence of three developer proposals in front of the county which would require them to raise the density limit, and a desire to raze the village centers in the future to replace them with high density high rises. The actual justification from one county official is that, “Reston is more than just home owners. It is property owners as well.”, which is accurately interpreted as, “We are going to ignore the desires of the 58,000 people who live in Reston to serve a dozen property developers who don’t live here but want to cash in on the metro.”

    I regret to conclude this process has become undemocratic and Supervisor Hudgins should be recalled.

  • Gregg Rosenberg

    Choose File
    Gregg Rosenberg
    Gregg Rosenberg I was at the meeting. Supervisor Cathie Hudgins and several Fairfax County board members attended. Nearly one thousand citizens showed up, seemingly unanimously against the ammendment to the zoning. Questions to the officials lasted two hours and could have gone on for many more but were cut short as the hour grew late. Supervisor Hudgins herself would not answer questions and used the Fairfax County officials as a kind of shield from her constituents.

    The questions were largely educated and intelligent and the crowd behaved perfectly appropriately. After two hours of educated dissent, focusing on traffic, schools, green spaces, and the bad math behind the proposed density increase, at the end Supervisor Hudgins stood to speak. Ignoring every single substantive point and question raised, and out of absolutely nowhere, she pivoted to what seemed to be a pre-arranged talking point which accused the room of being racist, unrepresentative of Reston and against working people, as if the only reason to be against overcrowding due to thousands of new high-rise luxury apartments and million dollar townhouses was dislike of the working class.

    Several people afterwards remarked to me they felt like taking a shower after hearing her speak, she had slimed us all so badly. The video of the meeting is online and can be watched by anyone doubting this account: https://twitter.com/FallonWForbush/status/922599297278971905

    The script seems to be that Supervisor Hudgins is going to pretend she is the voice of some vast silent working class majority in Reston, who she portrays as wanting to crowd up to 81,000 people between Wiehle and Reston Pkwy, before moving on to razing the village centers and erecting similar high rises for high income people.

    Supervisor Hudgins seems to have somewhere between six and twelve mouthpieces who have been told to fan out to social media and repeat the cover story as often as they can, hoping to create an illusion of a fight between a progressive Reston majority and a minority of regressive home owners. The truth is, of course, there is no fight among the people of Reston. We are overwhelmingly against the urbanization of our community, especially without proper infrastructure being build to accommodate it.

    Clear indication this is what is happening could be seen from reasonable requests the Supervisor is ignoring. One request was to have a referendum or survey of Reston residents to get an uncontroversial opinion from the community. She ignored this suggestion. The other was to reopen the master plan for change, since under-the-radar changes made to it in 2015 are being used as cover for this initiative, and an update to the master plan through a process with proper community oversight would allow the citizens of Reston to protect themselves. This could happen if Supervisor Hudgins petitioned the Board of Supervisors on our behalf, but Supervisor Hudgins refused to even consider this.

    What came out at the meeting, from the mouths of the county officials themselves, are that the real driver of this is the existence of three developer proposals in front of the county which would require them to raise the density limit, and a desire to raze the village centers in the future to replace them with high density high rises. The actual justification from one county official is that, “Reston is more than just home owners. It is property owners as well.”, which is accurately interpreted as, “We are going to ignore the desires of the 58,000 people who live in Reston to serve a dozen property developers who don’t live here but want to cash in on the metro.”

    I regret to conclude this process has become undemocratic and Supervisor Hudgins should be recalled.

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