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Updated Op-Ed: CPR Calls for Major Reston Master Plan Amendments to Manage Growth

by RestonNow.com February 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm 61 Comments

This is an op/ed submitted by Terry Maynard, co-chair of the Reston 20/20 committee. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. It was updated on Sept. 27 with an editorial comment about the validity of the claims therein: 

UPDATE:  Mr. Maynard has acknowledged making a serious error in comparing the planned density of Reston’s TSAs to the density of Manhattan.  Specifically, Manhattan’s density is not 26,000 people per square mile, it’s 72,000 people per square mile. Thus, Reston’s TSAs are not planned to become as dense as Manhattan, but could be as dense or denser than all the other New York boroughs.  For more information, see Mr. Maynard’s detailed correction and apology in the comments section of this op-ed.

In a February 5, 2018 letter to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR)–a partnership of the Reston Citizens Association, Reclaim Reston, and Reston 20/20–called on the Supervisor to consider a variety of amendments to the Reston plan and to defer the Board of Supervisors’ plan to officially authorize advertisement of the proposed zoning amendment on March 6.

Given county claims that it needs to move forward with the increased density proposed in the Reston PRC zoning ordinance from 13 to 16 persons per acre because the Reston plan calls for it, the CPR letter and its recommendations focus on managing Reston’s growth in a way that would eliminate the need to increase zoning density.

Among other features, CPR’s recommendations for managing growth call for:

  • A maximum population cap in all of Reston of 120,000 four decades from now at a time when its current population is about 62,000. This contrasts with the current plan’s language that would allow 160,000-180,000 people to live in Reston.
  • Limiting density throughout Reston–including the Metro station areas–to 60 dwelling units per acre (DU/A) and limiting redevelopment in the Village Centers to the mixed-use areas only at a “neighborhood-serving” 30 DU/A.
  • The elimination of special interest language permitting the massive–and inappropriate–redevelopment of the Saint Johns Wood apartment complex.
  • The removal of the road that appears on two Reston plan maps across the Hidden Creek Country Club, opening it to development and endangering its future as a major Reston open space.

A second key theme in CPR’s recommendations is to build in assurances that the supporting infrastructure–road and parks especially–keeps pace with development. This is particularly true of the county’s need to acquire space for parks, schools, and other key infrastructure elements. The failure of Reston’s infrastructure to keep pace with recent development so far, including the extremely long lead times for major capital projects, has been a great concern of many Restonians. Part of this includes assurances that proffers generated by development are used in Reston.

The CPR recommendations also focus on assuring that new development is accompanied by a strong commitment to affordable housing, generally calling for developers to provide an onsite allocation of 20 percent affordable housing for each new project.

As these proposals suggest, CPR is anxious to see Reston grow, but to do so in a manner consistent with its creation as a planned community with a grand vision and vibrant planning principles. We believe that Reston’s future ought to continue to be planned and managed, not merely left open to effectively unconstrained commercial development as the current plan allows.

We hope Supervisor Hudgins sees that our proposals are consistent with that legacy and, following up on a meeting of RA and CPR leaders this week, will defer official county action on the PRC zoning amendment proposal. Then we can work with her and county staff to enable Reston to remain one of the world’s great planned communities.

Terry Maynard
Co-Chair Reston 20/20 Committee Member
Coalition for a Planned Reston

  • Donald

    Another letter. As Hidden Creek goes by the wayside.

    Donald

    • Mike M

      Perhaps we know where Ms Hudgins stands by now?

      • Donald

        Letters are a great way to lay out the issue. But I don’t see any actions, except the “hope” to meet.

        Do what Rescue Reston did so well. Sure, write up your feelings, but hit the streets with people, yard signs, shirts, protests, special events, etc.

        Donald

        • Tammi Petrine

          If YOU, Donald know so well what exactly the sure-fire solutions are, go crazy! You are a master at telling people what to do. How about YOU get out there and pitch in and STOP criticizing the folks who ARE pro-active and want the same results as you. We need to work together; not beat one another up.

          PS: Hidden Creek IS a HUGE issue. Read CPR’s docs. Changes to the Reston Master Plan can stop the wholesale assault on our entire community including HCCC and more.

          PS #2: Everyone, if you haven’t signed up to be on CPR’s mailing list, please do so NOW. We are aiming for 5K next. We are a town of 22K homes. If 1/4 of us band together, we can swing any future BOS election. Sound good? Sign up to keep informed on development in Reston and what you can do to protect our planned community! https://plannedreston.wordpress.com/

          • Donald

            I’m ready.

            When I see less writing, less “analysis” and

            — fewer meetings to review the chosen writing and the chosen “analysis”.

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            Straight arrow, wrong target (this time.) Terry listed the organizations that are part of the coalition and RA is not among them. While true that Ms. Petrine seeks a future voice on the RA board, for now her focus is Reston 20/20 and the CPR.

          • Donald

            I guess the point I was trying to make — the Reston Association has the best potential for a real voice. The board could be so much more proactive here.

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            And your point is well taken. I’m wondering why RA is not part of the coalition.

          • 40yearsinreston

            Ask the CEO

          • Todd

            I think the point she was trying to make is you criticize people for not doing enough when you could get out there do something.

          • Donald

            Well, I have gotten out there quite a bit. I’ve lived in Reston since the late 70s. I try not to criticize people. I guess I overreact when I see so much — getting so little.

            And if you see my continual ask, it’s simple: where in the heck is the RA board? Curiously, a small group of people here continue to speak for them.

            Donald

          • Guest

            Run for the RA board. Right now. Get in there and make things happen. Alternatively, form your own group if the community groups here are not as involved in issues you care about. Stop talking about how people aren’t taking the lead. You lead.

          • Donald

            I believe the call for candidates is closed.

            Donald

          • Guest

            How convenient. Be a write-in candidate. If you have what it takes you will find a way around the obstacles. That would show drive and our community you have what it takes to get things done. At the moment I am thinking we will see nothing more than post after post from you –all talk and no action.

          • Donald

            It’s not a convenience thing, I believe the governing documents would never allow a write-in. This board in particular would never make the changes to allow it — my opinion. I also believe members of this board have their choices running already, so I feel sorry for those running — that have not been blessed. The best the rest of us can do — is shine light on it.

            Donald

          • Todd

            I don’t know where the RA board is on this, I’m not on the board, maybe you can ask them?

          • Tammi Petrine

            Yikes, Donald; maybe YOU re-read? Terry is a CPR voice; not RA. I sign my real name so calling me Hope is unnecessary and small; were you intending to be insulting?

            If so, YES, ‘Donald’, this “Hope Hicks’ helped get 900+ folks to SLHS on 10/23 for the PRC Cap hearing WITH help from other CPR orgs. WE work in tandem and welcome all to help, yourself included. If YOU can stop any development in Reston that is coming in without supporting infrastructure, we will have a giant “thank you” ceremony with cake. How’s that?

            And while I attend tons of meetings including RA, I wasn’t aware I merited special stature just yet. Reston is and always has been a COMMUNITY of wonderful people working together for its betterment and a functioning future. I am thrilled with the current or new RA board’s progress and hope it continues.

            Bravo to those folks who volunteer their time for RA and for all Reston orgs. That’s what makes Reston so special and worth preserving.

          • Donald

            I must be writing in Slavic. It’s great you believe CPR is doing no wrong including solving world hunger.

            From my comment above:
            “The RA board could show leadership and so easily mobilize the entire community with the clout of over 20,000 households as well as provide communication resources and partnerships/alliances.”

            I’m just asking/stating — where is the RA board on all this? Why aren’t they organizing, why aren’t they forming alliances? Why have they been so timid on some very important matters that have a huge impact on Reston’s future?

            But, Ms. Petrine, If you don’t know — all you have to say is “I don’t know”.

            Donald

          • Tammi Petrine

            We are unable to constructively engage, Donald. Your thought processes do not rule my life, thank heaven. But please continue to help in anyway you wish. We are on the same side re: protecting HCCC.

          • 40yearsinreston

            I’m never voting for Hudgins or Plum

        • guest

          This group did meet with Hudgins and continues to engage in conversation with her and county staff as far as I can tell.

          How about you become active instead of posting on Reston Now? What have you done or are you willing to do to help this community??

          See: https://www.reclaimreston.com/single-post/2018/01/30/COMMUNITY-ACTION-URGED-CPR-MEETS-WITH-SUPERVISOR-HUDGINS-AND-COUNTY-OFFICIALS-PROPOSES-MODIFICATIONS-TO-RESTON-MASTER-PLAN-ASKS-FOR-A-DELAY-IN-ZONING-DENSITY-INCREASE-AMENDMENT

          • Donald

            The last efforts that had the most action and impact — that created a real outcomes, were the “Save Browns Chapel” and “Rescue Reston” initiatives. I got very involved, because I recognized action oriented leadership and dedicated community participants. They had a mission with a specific objective. They didn’t do a lot of writing and I don’t think I saw one PowerPoint presentation. Go figure.

            Donald

          • J Gallagher

            I think Save Browns Chapel did a great job raising awareness – their video was awesome! but in the end it wasn’t the t-shirts that stopped the development, it was $2.65M in RA money that ended any future development there for them.

          • Donald

            I’m not sure what you’re saying.

            Donald

          • Greg

            Let’s not make that expensive mistake ever again.

          • J Gallagher

            Agree for sure!!!!

          • Umust B Kidding

            RA’s and CPR’s “specific objective” is to eliminate the need to raise the PRC zoning ordinance density from 13 to 16 people per acre. If you haven’t understood this, then you’re not really trying. And, yes, the two efforts you mentioned involved a helluva lot of writing.

          • Donald

            You’re sure that’s RA’s objective? From their own website.

            “Reston Association has sent two letters to Supervisor Hudgins since the October 23, 2017 community meeting. Both letters can be found on the right hand side of this page. In the first letter dated October 27, 2017, the Association expressed its opposition to the amendment as currently proposed. The second letter, dated November 17, 2017, included a list of actions that should be undertaken before the amendment is considered any further by the County.”

            Wow

            Guess they had to get back to that COI taking two years now.

            Donald

          • cRAzy

            The first letter explicitly expressed RA’s opposition to the proposed population density increase.

            The second letter called for a series of changes in specific areas of the Reston plan (much like CPR) that would eliminate the need to increase the density.

            That is the “specific objective”.

          • Donald

            So, the RA board expects the letters will make things happen. Good to know.

            Donald

          • Stanley Hudson

            So what do you suggest? You seem to think what other people are doing isn’t good enough but haven’t given any suggestions.

          • Mike M

            Keep on all that “engagement.” Meanwhile, the barn is long missing it’s horse. And Hudge is humoring you. I wonder where she will retire.

        • mcallaghan

          Donald,

          Please contact me and we can knock on some doors
          together. There are many ways you can actively participate in matters
          of importance to this community. My email is below. I look forward to
          hearing from you.

          Moira Callaghan
          [email protected]

          • Donald

            First, would you please share your full report which you presented to the RA board on the 25th of January. The board still has not offered to share it with the RA members.
            Still not here:
            https://www.reston.org/CapitalProjects/TheLakeHouseSponsoredbyComstock/tabid/978/Default.aspx

            Also, as I continue to ask — where is the RA board, on matters like this? Several members seem very eager and inclined to speak on their behalf, but again, I ask where are they on the matter above, or Hidden Creek, or the Kensington?

            Donald

          • mcallaghan

            It is not a report. It was a presentation. The PowerPoint was sent to the board and it is my understanding they will share it with the community.

            I’m not sure where Reston Association stands on Kensington. If there is an issue you wish Reston Association would be more involved in, address it with the board or your representative. Have you done this?

            I’m waiting for your email. . .

          • Donald

            So all you have is a presentation? No analysis?

            Donald

          • Fact Finder

            Post this question on Nextdoor. You will be rewarded.

          • J Gallagher

            Well we have 70 slides – most of which contain snapshots of our sources (which Terry saved and posted on his 20/20 site) and a video presentation narrating the 70 slides (which is online). We literally laid out all the public documents in chronological order and walked through what we saw. For most people, we connected the dots – but all you want to do is shred our work – without providing one valid counter argument to anything we said – basically you’re going after our method of distribution instead of the substance of the report. You’ve had almost two weeks to scrutinize that video and everything we said and yet you haven’t. Instead you’re trying to get people riled up about how we chose to distribute –

            I’ll say it again – I predict that Donald will have a negative review of our work with no real substantive comments.

          • Donald

            I’m not trying to shred anyone’s work. I don’t know why you are so defensive. I just want to see the data and the analysis.

            But, if you don’t want to share it, I’d love to know the reason.

            Donald

          • J Gallagher

            We shared our data also. And We provided a slide by slide breakdown of our key sources. We provided multiple sources to back up each line in the PowerPoint. So we gave our analysis in the PowerPoint, out Key sources, and a verbal presentation that cites most of these resources. I think it’s up to you now to scrutinize and analyze using your own time and wherewithal like we did.

          • Donald

            Alright, I’ll take another look. Thank you.

            But, I’m still curious why the RA board is so hesitant.

            Donald

          • Guest

            Donald, If you want analysis of the presentation, send an email to [email protected].

          • Umust B Kidding

            Hey, Donald, READ the presentation! There’s more data and analysis in it than you know what to do with.

          • J Gallagher

            Thanks Umust! We felt the same way – it’s packed with info and analysis!!! All you gotta do is read the flippin document!

          • J Gallagher

            Donald – feel free to ask the Board for the materials. There is a formal request
            for information process online that you can use. It’s very easy. You’ve written here 4-5 times and yet won’t file the request to the Board, which makes no sense. Meanwhile, Terry Maynard (a “letter writer”) saved the presentation from the video and posted to his blog within a couple days of the meeting, then posted again to Reston Now and helped to educate others. If it weren’t for some of Terry’s and other community members’ “letter-writing” – we would not have had such a deep historical accounting of the myriad issues affecting Reston, including Tetra. So the letter writing has been effective, as documentation and historical accounts of events and as educational materials for others – Terry has thousands of hits on his blog – educating others and raising awareness is useful – it’s literally the first step in activism. So jump online, file the request for the materials, and take action. Because otherwise, all you’re doing here is “letter writing,” instead of actually doing something about your request – like literally hitting a button on the RA website to ask for it.

          • Donald

            I did make a request, and I have reviewed your presentation. I’m looking for your report, your analysis. What I viewed are interpretations/opinions. I’d like to see HOW you interpreted whatever you say you interpreted.

            If you don’t have it, just say so.

            Donald

        • Terry Maynard

          Donald–RA & CPR will be meeting with CH (& probably others) later today. We’ll see what happens.

          And, yes, you can buy a yellow shirt of support if you want via CPR! CPR did orchestrate the attendance of 900+ community members at last October’s community meeting on the PRC zoning issue. And CPR has now offered specific proposals for Reston plan amendments that will help manage our growth if adopted.

          You can attend next week’s BOS meeting and, during the public comment session, support those who are speaking on behalf of the Reston community. Other actions may be forthcoming–but let’s at least meet with the county to discuss the specifics above before waging war.

          Beyond that, most of your comments here are pretty insulting to others and fail to address the issues of shaping Reston’s future. Just so you know, I won’t be replying to any reply you might post to this. Not worth my time or energy.

      • 40yearsinreston

        We know where she stands:
        Infrastructure? We don’t need no stinking infrastructure

  • Greg

    …”calling for developers to provide an onsite allocation of 20 percent affordable housing for each new project.”

    #doomed.

    • Umust B Kidding

      #dumb.

      • Greg

        No, it’s #doomed.

        Recall the tens of millions of dollars and decades the county wasted trying to get the same thing at Lake Anne? Now, that’s #dumb.

        • 40yearsinreston

          Re-electing Hudgins is dumber

    • OneReally

      #needtownstatus

    • 40yearsinreston

      Another Hudgins initiative

  • CaptainObvious

    Well said, Terry.
    Ignore the trolls and RA haters.
    RA is a homeowners association. Sorry, but land use planning and zoning are neither their strength nor mandate. Their new Board is doing a good job cleaning up the financial mess created in part by the disastrous Tetra acquisition and re-establishing collapsed internal management and financial controls. Support them in doing so.

    CPR, Reston20/20 and RCA are the points for monitoring master planning and zoning actions by Fairfax County and for being the voices for safeguarding Reston principles.
    Hope to hear some positive news from your meeting with Supervisor Hudgins. If we don’t, then we need a call to action.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Waiting for Hudgins ?
      Dont hold your breath
      She is a huge enabler of the problem

      As for cleaning up the Tetra debacle, why is the CEO still here
      They have the power to fire her, but if they don’t have the will, they need to curtail her bonus

      • Ann S

        Bonus? Are you kidding me?

  • Why do you bother?

    BRAVO!

  • Donald

    “… following up on a meeting of RA and CPR leaders this week,..”

    Is this group meeting with Supervisor Hudgins this week?

    Donald

  • Reston Resident

    Please, someone run against Cathy Hudgins! Seriously, is anyone running against her? Is someone organizing this?

  • Reston Now

    This article has been updated with an editorial note.

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