Reston Planning and Zoning Committee Rejects Renaissance Centro Project

by Fatimah Waseem November 22, 2017 at 10:15 am 25 Comments

In a slim 6-5 vote, the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee denied a proposal to bring a 20-story high rise with up to 150 residential units to 1801 Old Reston Avenue this week.

Renaissance Centro 1801 LCC will reappear before the committee with revisions to the proposal, which attempts to rezone roughly 1.5 acres of space currently home to a three-story office. The proposal includes 126 market rate units and 24 workforce units.

Committee members who voted against the plan said it did not conform with the county’s comprehensive plan, especially because it is roughly 85 feet taller than Stratford Condominiums to the south of the property.

Other members indicated the applicant is still determining how the project will meet the county’s workforce housing requirements and information about the removal of a proposed right-in entrance along Reston Parkway remained unclear.

Members who supported the plan indicated that the overall proposal was appealing and lauded improvements to the building’s architecture.

Rob Walker, the committee’s chairman, noted that the body was applying additional scrutiny to future application because projects in Reston are becoming “much more complex.”

“Therefore, future applications will most likely fall under additional scrutiny by our Committee in order to ensure the values of the Reston community are being met and whether or not the communities concerns are being addressed,” Walker said.

Promotional material describes the project as luxury condominium units. The proposal is an example of infill development.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission is holding a public hearing on the proposal for Dec. 6.

Photo via handout

  • 40yearsinreston

    This monstrosity will double the traffic on Temporary road / Reston Avenue as well as worsening the already horrendous congestion caused by the Harrison blight and new Oracle towers

    No mention of Virginia Byway designation
    Another Hudgens /Plum fiasco, but what else can we expect from her and Kenny boy

    • Willie Reston

      I’ve come to accept that people are lazy and can’t be bothered to read articles any longer, but to not even bother to read the headline before launching into a misguided tirade is really taking it to the next level.

      • Title notwithstanding

        I can read and so can you, it clearly says “in a slim 6-5 vote” – this just confirms that 5 of the members are representing the developer interests. Also, it’s well understood that the local government has a vested interest in increasing density so dont act too nonchalant about what the title said. The fight is far from over, especially since density party member Plum and Hudgins are basically silent and arrogant on the issue, respectively.

        • Mike M

          Slim is right. And I would argue temporary and tactical. This will be back with some minor changes. Every now and then they throw charades at the public when they get restless.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Some of can see beyond the headline and today’s vote
        Its called planning
        Something that Hudgens and her ilk lack

      • Greg

        It’s a done deal in a matter of time. A few tweaks and twists here and there, but once the threat of reducing “workforce units” is mentioned, the aversions will summarily vanish.

        As if those of us who work for a living are not entitled to “workforce” housing. The hubris!

    • xtr657

      Double the traffic??? 150 residential units a day translates into approximately 150 additional trips per day. Let’s assume every unit has one car and empties over the course of 4 hours in the morning. That would never happen, but if it did, it would be slightly over 6 cars every 10 minutes. The impact on the roads? Practically nothing. There are high rises on both sides of this building and it’s across from the Town Center. I hope the developer does what a similar one did in East Falls Church when Arlington got difficult with them and puts in an ugly by-right development. In the case of Arlington, instead of a nice residential building next to East Falls Church Metro, they got a ugly storage facility. YAY!

  • cRAzy

    I like the seriousness of this review. RP&Z has been stepping up its game ever since it allowed the VY parking garage–which looks like it was built by people on meth–even with its retrofit beams along Reston Parkway.

    Keep it up. Aside from basic compliance with the Reston plan, our planning principles call for architectural excellence. This isn’t there–so keep up the pressure.

    • OneReally

      Those beams crack me up each time I drive by.

      Only thing worst in Reston are the bike lanes that cover 25% of the road and are used 1% of the time.

      • Greg

        The Lincoln Log bunker!

      • Snazzy

        Toothpick Forest!

    • Greg

      But who was responsible for the name “VY”? “BLVD” isn’t much better.

      • Mike M

        TXT culture.

  • Jon May

    Can’t wait to see this project break ground. Falls right in line with what has already been built to the North, West, and South. Any other type of project for this property would make absolutely no sense.

    • Mike M

      I appreciate your sarcasm.

      • Jon May

        No sarcasm intended. I actually do believe this project fits perfectly with what has already been developed and what Lerner plans to develop in the future at their Spectrum shopping plaza.

        • Mike M

          Surely. Just not what the current residents want.

  • Mike M

    Wasif, it’s OK to spell out Avenue. Really, it is more appropriate.

    • Why do you bother?

      Per AP: Abbreviate Ave., Blvd., and St. and directional cues

      • Mike M

        AP is for apes. Next question, please?

        • Willie Reston

          There was no question in there, Mike, and you’re the one who brought it up.

  • Guest

    The Die Has Been Cast…and it is fruitless to complain about high rises being built across from the town center. The street system will not be upgraded to accommodate these buildings for some time, however. That ship has already sailed as well, if one believes Hudgens and company. The Ballstonization of Reston continues…and don’t forget to put in those rent-a-bike racks right in front, I am sure they will contribute mightily towards reducing traffic congestion…

  • Freeway

    Reston needs taller structures to rival booming Tysons. 30 stories and above.

  • 703Millennial

    Is this committee’s recommendation binding?

    • Greg



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