Though the work to update Reston’s comprehensive plan was slowed by COVID-19, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said that a new committee created to find solutions to issues and demands is still making progress.
The roughly 28-person task force started meeting in early April, a month after originally planned, and has spent over eight hours in meetings, according to Alcorn.
So far, the committee has touched on topics such as:
- ways to promote public art
- how to encourage diversity and inclusion
- long term population accommodations
- community space and land use
Since Alcorn’s election, he said that the revision of the comprehensive plan was his top priority. “There were a lot of things that were left out and need additional attention.”
As phase two of the Silver Line makes the area more accessible to the greater D.C. region, it has “coincided with some really strong economic activity,” Alcorn said at a press conference on June 25. He added that the number of technology companies and government contractors has increased, meaning that the original community plan put forward by Bob Simon is in need of revision to accommodate changes.
Though some see economic growth as a positive opportunity others disagree since they don’t like the “cookie-cutter, industrialized subdivisions that we have seen around many metropolitan areas in the country,” Alcorn said, noting that Simon’s idea focused around a tight-knit community feel.
“We’ve been through a time where different parties have staked out their territory and if anything this is like a truth and reconciliation process,” Alcorn said, adding that it has been a type of “growth war.”
Despite concerns of community members, Alcorn said he sees an opportunity to build other hubs around transit centers in the area that are responsibly designed, sustainable and attractive so they don’t negatively affect the preexisting Reston community.
In the comprehensive plan, there is currently no population plan for Reston’s build-out and though there has been an attempt to take that into consideration in zoning ordinances, this isn’t enough, according to Alcorn — since it doesn’t cover the entirety of the community.
Though Alcorn didn’t get into the weeds about public art at the committee meeting, he said this will help to promote the original ideals and morals of the area, noting that he wants to stay away from the “industrialized” feel.
Going forward, Alcorn said he sees finalized changes being made to the comprehensive plan around the middle of 2021. “That’s the target, to have this wrapped up next year.”
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