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by Del. Ken Plum December 12, 2017 at 10:15 am 27 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

Earlier last week there was a groundbreaking ceremony on the grounds of the State Capitol in Richmond for a memorial “recognizing the contributions of women across four centuries.” The first phase of the monument named “Voices from the Garden” will be an oval-shaped plaza that will contain 12 bronze statues depicting significant women in Virginia’s history. A glass Wall of Honor containing the names of several hundred additional women of note will surround the plaza. Supporters of the new monument claim it to be “the first of its kind on the grounds of a state capitol.” Certainly it is a step forward in recognizing the important place of women after English colonization and the transport of the first English women to the colony in 1619.

The grounds of the Capitol have been dominated by white men since Richmond became the capital of the Commonwealth in 1780. From the grand equestrian statue of George Washington that dominates the grounds to a lonely statue of senator and former governor Harry F. Byrd, only the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial opened in 2008 offers evidence of others than white men who contributed to Virginia’s history. The addition of the women’s memorial at a critically important time will help to fill in the blanks of history as will the Virginia Indian Tribute Memorial that is currently under construction. 

Recognizing the historic contributions of women has become even more important at a time when the daily news brings information on the number of women having been sexually harassed by well-known political and entertainment figures. While those disclosures have brought attention to the situation, there needs to be recognition that we are only seeing the tip of a very great problem. Many women who are afraid, feel shame or powerlessness, or whose perpetrator is a relative, co-worker, or community member but who is not famous have had to suffer in silence. Now that the lid is sufficiently off, the issue will not be able to be swept away or ignored. The path forward is not entirely clear, but giving women the respect they have earned whether in history or as head of a family is an important step. A memorial on capitol grounds of a state that did not ratify until 1952 the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote in 1920 is an important step as well.

The greatest tribute to women in Virginia may have come with the outcome of the recent Virginia election. Pending final vote certification there will be 38 women in the Virginia General Assembly–27% versus the earlier 19%. The Democratic caucus in the House of Delegates will be nearly half women as it should be. Supporting these women candidates were thousands of women working to make a difference in numbers never before realized. Seeing these winning women candidates are thousands of young women who just witnessed a door opening for them. It is likely to be that Virginia will finally ratify the Equal Rights Amendment as I have supported my entire career.

by RestonNow.com December 8, 2017 at 4:00 pm 7 Comments

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days. The following articles were the five most-clicked links.

  1. Local Food Truck Opens New Restaurant in Reston
  2. Proposed Luxury Condominiums in Reston Raise Concerns About Affordable Housing
  3. Op-Ed: The Road from Nowhere
  4. New Residential Mid-rise Building Proposed for Reston Corner
  5. Proposed Assisted Living Facility on Sunrise Valley Drive Draws Opposition

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. As always, send story ideas and pitches to us at [email protected] or via Twitter. Have a great weekend!

by Del. Ken Plum December 5, 2017 at 10:15 am 72 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

If there are any impartial observers left listening to the debate in Washington, D.C. on tax reform, they must be left scratching their heads over what they are hearing. When the wealthy have never had as much money as they have today, leadership in Congress is considering a tax bill that will cut the taxes of the very richest.

When income of the lowest to the middle classes has been stagnant or falling for decades, the latest tax reform proposals would raise their taxes. Under the guise of simplifying taxes, we are about to simply raise the taxes of those least able to pay and to enrich those who already have more money than they can spend in a century. Aren’t there enough sensible members of Congress left who have not sold out to the monied interests to put a stop to this craziness?

Members of Congress may tell me to tend to my own knitting at the state level, but actions at the federal level do impact state budgets. Virginia has been particularly dependent on federal spending even though there has been an effort to reduce that dependency in recent years. While Congress can approve an unbalanced budget like the one being discussed that will add more than $1.5 trillion to the national debt, states cannot afford that irresponsible luxury.

Virginia must pass a balanced biennium budget in 2018; the task will not be easy. A recent report by The Commonwealth Institute found that “Virginia’s current revenue system isn’t keeping up with changes and growth in the overall economy, and that’s putting the future prosperity of families and businesses at risk.” (The Commonwealth Institute, “A Tax System for Yesterday: Slow Revenue Growth amid Economic Change, November 13, 2017).

The Institute found that “the way the current revenue system works was designed decades ago, with provisions that no longer work for today’s economy…” For example, the shifts in consumer spending and growth in e-commerce nearly doubling in the last decade have contributed to a decline in state sales tax revenue relative to the total economy as internet sales mostly are not taxed. Likewise the shift of consumer spending from goods to services that are not taxed in Virginia added to the decline. There are opportunities in the tax code to update its corporate tax system to reduce opportunities for tax avoidance, according to The Institute.

The usual method of balancing the budget by simply dividing revenue among programs will no longer work in Virginia as the pace of growth of needs has out-stripped the growth in revenue. Some programs and services will once again be left under-funded. Shifting costs to local governments for things like public education has been resorted to in recent years, but that is a well that has largely dried up.

Virginia is going to need to do a serious accounting of its unmet needs with the public and the legislature deciding what we are going to seriously fund and what needs will go unmet. As the federal government plays with reforming the national tax structure, it is past time for Virginia to get serious about our own tax reform.

by RestonNow.com December 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm 37 Comments

This is an op/ed submitted by Dennis Hays, president of the Reston Citizens Association. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now.

Good governance requires a bond of trust between citizens and their elected and appointed officials.  This trust can best – in fact only – be achieved and maintained when citizens are confident officials have the community’s best interests at heart and all proposals and plans affecting the community are fully presented and discussed.

County officials are currently proposing to amend zoning ordinances to allow significantly more population density in Reston.  They make their case by stating such amendments are required to fulfill the vision of the Reston Master Plan.   More specifically, the Plan is the only justification given for proposals to add tens of thousands of new housing units without providing the basic infrastructure needed to support such growth. 

So, is the Plan by itself enough to satisfy the need for transparency and to engender trust?

County officials will tell you the Plan was developed by the “community” through an exhaustive series of meetings held over six years.  Sounds good, but the reality is something very different.  First, membership in the working group was heavily weighted toward developers and their attorneys.  Second, and equally troubling, the Plan has been amended after it was theoretically finalized, without community input.  The following is one example why this should be of concern to everyone who lives, works or plays in Reston.

In mid-2015, after community involvement had concluded, an unmarked line representing a new road mysteriously appeared on revised maps associated with the Master Plan (Staff Report, Appendix B page 60).  This new road would connect Isaac Newton Square and American Dream Way.  The stated purpose is to “construct or improve {a} local or collector street.”  What it actually does is cut through the full length of the fourth fairway and across the approach to the third green of the Hidden Creek Golf Course, thus destroying the integrity of Hidden Creek.   As several observers have pointed out – there is no such thing as a 16 hole golf course.

The placement of this road directly violates the letter and spirit of sections of the Comprehensive Plan rarely mentioned by County officials – the sections  which call for this area to perpetually be “open space, designated as a golf course.”   And open space and recreational areas – along with roads, bridges, schools and public safety – are among the issues ignored or shortchanged in the density proposals. 

So, where did this road come from?  No one knows–or will admit to knowing.  The Reston Association wrote to the County last January opposing this road and asking for an explanation of how it appeared.  Eleven months later they continue to wait for a response.

Perhaps this was a mistake, quickly corrected?  No, the road remains in the current edition of the Comprehensive Plan –  no longer in an appendix, but now promoted to the main body of the report (page 137).

Does the addition of this road have anything to do with the recent sale of Hidden Creek to a development company? One can only speculate. 

The County/citizen relationship is important enough to give the benefit of doubt as to how we got to this point.  But this can’t be ignored any longer.  County officials need to explain why this road appeared out of nowhere and why the County has refused to provide information on it, despite repeated requests.  Although it is late, it isn’t too late for the County to respond.  But there are only two possible explanations and courses of action:

First, the County acknowledges this was a mistake, perhaps just an overeager subordinate acting without proper review or authorization.  If so, the road needs to be immediately removed from the Plan.  Second, this was not a mistake and the County does want this road built and open space bulldozed.  In that case, the County needs to take ownership of the proposal and try to justify the multiple violations of its own rules and planning guidelines.

It’s a matter of trust.

by Del. Ken Plum November 28, 2017 at 11:30 am 53 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

What happens if a dog that chases vehicles catches one? What happens if a political party that struggles for nearly a decade to regain the majority in a political body realizes its goal? The question is not theoretical. Democrats in the House of Delegates have been working at a 34 to 66 seat disadvantage for the last several years.

In an election that produced results seemingly impossible, before recounts Democrats are down by one vote from being tied for control of the House. An even 50-50 or a one vote advantage are possible as soon as the official vote tallies in three elections are determined.

Regardless of the final number, the House of Delegates will have to operate more on consensus than on an absolute dominance of one party over the other. That is a good thing. Rather than either party having to play defense all the time, both parties will be responsible for the ultimate outcome of a legislative session. The new shift in the balance of power should be good for the Commonwealth.

There should be less bottling up tough bills in a committee or subcommittee without a hearing or vote. Legislators will be put on the spot to cast tough votes, but that is the way the legislative process should work. Some issues that have been side-stepped in recent years should reach the floor for a public vote.

For years members of the majority party of the House of Delegates have refused to allow a vote on health insurance for 400,000 of our most vulnerable citizens leaving more than 10 billion federal dollars on the table. I think the vote in the recent election reflected in part a disgust on the part of citizens for the legislators who refused to deal with a real public health issue. An early vote on agreeing to Medicaid expansion would send a signal to voters that their message has been received. 

Election results also demonstrated the impact of gerry-rigging election district lines that has been going on for many years. Establishing a non-partisan redistricting commission as I have advocated for many years and as proposed by the OneVirginia2021 organization will reduce the politics in the redistricting process that will come again after the 2020 federal census. Voters will choose their representatives rather than having legislators choose their voters.

I believe that a newly constituted House of Delegates made up of members elected by the highest level of voter participation in decades will also be less prone to involve themselves in the personal lives and social issues of the times. Too much time has been expended in the recent past debating who someone should be able to love or marry or who should make health decisions for women.

Some incumbents may find difficulty adjusting to a wonderfully more diverse House membership or feel uncomfortable in a new power-sharing agreement with another party, but the outcome should be good for Virginia. What now? Great opportunities for moving Virginia forward!

by Del. Ken Plum November 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 13 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The recent election in Virginia brought about significant changes in the partisan composition of the House of Delegates. While the election of Dr. Ralph Northam as governor and attorney Justin Fairfax as lieutenant governor along with the re-election of Attorney General Mark Herring kept the executive branch of government in Democratic hands, election results in the 100 House of Delegates districts were dramatically different.

Republicans went into the election with a strong advantage controlling 66 of the 100 seats. It appears with some recounts to take place that they will end up with 51 seats or maybe even tied with Democrats at 50 seats each.

No one that I know predicted such a major shift; some refer to the outcome of the election as a political tsunami. It was not simply that Republicans lost 17 seats when the most optimistic prediction was that Democrats would gain maybe ten or so seats. The majority party went into the election with a 66 to 34 advantage; they ended the election with the possibility of only a one member advantage or depending on the recount of votes a tie with Democrats.

Beyond the number of seats lost, the majority party lost their caucus whip, chairs of three major committees and two members of the Appropriations Committee including one of its conferees. Their caucus chairman seemed to have lost until a transposition of numbers was discovered that allowed him to hang on by a thread.

I served during the term beginning in the year 2000 when a power sharing agreement was reached allowing an evenly split body to go forward with its business. I thought the system worked effectively as there was a process for working together. In such an arrangement there can be an emphasis on solving problems rather than simply getting credit.

Most encouraging during this election cycle was the gain in the number of people voting in the election. The experience over many decades was that about 75% of voters go to the polls in presidential election years and less than 50% in years when the governor is elected. That number increased to about 60% this year.Those people who decided to go to the polls made the difference especially in the House of Delegates races.

A further exciting outcome of this election was the dramatic diversification of the membership of the House that had been dominated by white men throughout its history. Most of the losses of incumbents came about by women candidates defeating them. Not only are there more women, there are two Latino and two Asian women, the first transgender woman, and a lesbian. There will be more diversity in the General Assembly than ever before in its history. The Commonwealth will be better for it.

The challenge will be to bring the new members quickly into the process and embrace the strengths that diversity brings. The institution can accommodate the changes that the bloodless revolution of 2017 brought about to the degree that the leadership will permit it.

by Del. Ken Plum November 9, 2017 at 11:30 am 18 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

I am sure I will have some commentary on the outcome of the November 7 election in future columns, but as I write this column results are not yet known. No matter the outcome, I share the frustration experienced by many with the negativity that seems to inevitably overtake campaigns with high stakes. Political operatives who provide the advice upon which campaigns are planned continue to insist that negative advertising wins elections as it gets people’s attention and creates a fear or anger that moves voters to take part. I am not sure if anyone has measured how many people get turned off and decide not to vote because of the vicious ads.

Even more concerning to me than the half-truths and falsehoods that have slipped into campaigning is the cruelty that has moved into the operation of government. After years of complaining about the Affordable Care Act while in complete control of the Congress and now also the presidency, the Republicans have not been able to repeal and replace what they came to call Obamacare. The reason might simply be that provision of health care to all with coverage for pre-existing conditions in a developed nation is the right thing to do. Failing to achieve legislative success, the administration has set about trying to kill the program through administrative actions and neglect. That is where the cruelty sets in.

The first effort at killing the program came with an executive order to withhold subsidies which allowed insurance companies to keep premium increases to a minimum. With the loss of the subsidies, Anthem pulled out of Virginia in August leaving 60 jurisdictions with no insurer offering coverage; they reversed their action after intense efforts by Governor McAuliffe. The loss of federal support will be devastating in Virginia where 240,000 Virginians rely on subsidies to be able to afford insurance. There clearly must not be a lack of money in Washington with the huge tax cuts now being proposed for the very wealthy.

The cruelty does not end there. To reduce the program further the advertising budget to remind persons about open enrollment was slashed by 90 percent, and the time to enroll was reduced from 12 weeks to 6 weeks. The open enrollment started November 1 and will close on December 15. Tell anyone you know who might be eligible and spread the information through social media programs in which you participate that open enrollment ends on December 15.

A final crippling blow could be the administration announcement that it will not enforce the individual mandate that has been critical to keeping costs down by spreading the risk across a wide pool of participants. As though this is not enough, the Republican Congress and administration failed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that provided care to 65,000 children and 1,100 pregnant mothers in Virginia. We have a new insurance program in place in this country; it is called Trumpcare. It is a very cruel system!

by RestonNow.com November 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

It’s the end of another week, but before we head out for the weekend, these were our most read stories this week:

  1. Man Pronounced Dead After Falling From Reston Town Center Parking Garage
  2. Driver Charged in Fatal Reston Crash on Sunday
  3. Man Beaten, Robbed at Reston Laundromat
  4. Man Arrested in 22-Year-Old Reston Sexual Assault Cold Case
  5. Le Pain Quotidien to Open at Reston Town Center This Week

Feel free to discuss anything of local interest below. Have a great weekend!

by Del. Ken Plum November 2, 2017 at 10:15 am 32 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The fall season brings beautifully colored leaves, wonderfully cool evenings and the ghosts and goblins of Halloween, but for me it also brings the jitters of the elections that occur the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every year in Virginia.

As one who has won many elections but has lost elections as well, the days and weeks leading up to Election Day can be nerve-racking. As well-planned as an election campaign might be, and as hard as the candidate and volunteers may have worked, outcomes are seldom certain. Last-minute attack ads or unrelated weather or news events can affect the outcome of elections.

An understandable question I often get is–why, without an opponent in this election, I would be nervous about it and would be campaigning so hard during the days and evenings leading up to it? There are several reasons.

The election season is the point in the year when the most people are paying attention to some of the issues on which I work throughout the year. It may be an old-fashioned idea, but I think campaigns are times when office-holders and office-seekers can have a dialogue about issues confronting the community and what should be done about them. Such discussions often get drowned out by all the trappings of campaigns like slogans, misleading brochures and commercials, and other distractions. My not having an opponent is not a choice of mine but should not keep me from having interaction with voters that I trust will leave all of us better informed. Not voting in the delegate race certainly is a choice voters have, but I seek votes as an affirmation of support for the work that I do.

I am also very active in political campaigns every year, whether I am on the ballot or not, because the outcomes of other campaigns are important to me. For example, this year it is critically important to me that Dr. Ralph Northam is elected Governor, Justin Fairfax is elected Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring is re-elected Attorney General. They share my values of supporting education, access to health care for all, common-sense gun safety laws to keep our neighbors safe, and ending discrimination in society. My efforts in the legislature can be enhanced or thwarted by those who occupy the executive branch positions.

The reality is that the outcomes of elections are determined by those who bother to vote. Presidential elections can get up to three-quarters of the voters to the polls, but state elections attract fewer than half of all voters. With the density of population in Northern Virginia, the large number of voters here can determine the statewide outcome. That is why I am working hard to help the get-out-the-vote campaigns that are now underway.

Above all, I get anxious this time of the year because I believe in democracy. Voting is one of the most critical ways we can respond to signs that some of our basic beliefs may be fraying. Let’s all participate in our democracy by voting this coming Tuesday, Nov. 7! Usual polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thank you.

by Chris Teale October 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

It’s the end of another week, but before we head out for the weekend, these were our most read stories this week:

  1. Restonians Line Up To Speak Out Against Density Cap Increase Proposal
  2. Hidden Creek Country Club Sold; ‘New Housing Choices’ Listed as Possible for Future
  3. Report: Developers ‘Concerned’ About Number of New Reston Rental Units
  4. Herndon Council Strikes Deal with Comstock for Downtown Development Project
  5. Crime Roundup: Car Chase in Herndon Leads to Crash, Injures Police Officer

Feel free to discuss anything of local interest below. Have a great weekend!

by RestonNow.com October 27, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our advertisers and sponsors:

AKG Design Studio, boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

Reston Community Center, serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

MakeOffices, shared work spaces with five area locations, including Reston.

Boofie O’Gorman, Top Producer Realtor at Long & Foster Reston.

Goldfish Swim School, specializing in children’s swim lessons year-round.

Small Change Consignment, serving Reston’s kids for more than 30 years.

A Cleaning Service, professional residential and commercial cleaning.

Reston Montessori, private co-educational school for children ages 3 months to sixth grade.

Lofts at Village Walk, urban townhome condominium designs at The Village at Leesburg.

Tall Oaks Assisted Living, assisted living, memory care and more senior care services.

Edlin School, a K-8 private school that provides a unique learning environment for gifted children.

Lennar Homes, Westbury Glen is the newest single-family community in Aldie, Virginia.

Knutson Brambleton, Loudoun County urban townhomes with yards in the sky.

by Del. Ken Plum October 26, 2017 at 10:15 am 17 Comments

This is a commentary from Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

The strong positive response to my recent Staycation column caused me to think that I should write another one with travel suggestions for a different part of the Commonwealth. With the first column we went south through the beautiful Piedmont of Virginia.

For this trip I suggest that we go further west on I-66 to the Shenandoah Valley. Before turning south you might want to consider going north to Winchester on I-81 particularly during apple picking season. Also north is the wonderful Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (www.themsv.org) with its permanent exhibits as well as special shows.

Next door to the Museum is Historic Rosemont Manor, for many years the home of former governor and senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. whose machine ran Virginia politics for decades. It has limited lodging available to the public but can be rented for special events. Also in Winchester is the home of Patsy Cline, the queen of country music, which is open to the public.

There are many civil war sites in the Valley. A Civil War Trails map is available at www.civilwartraveler.com. You can also head south at Front Royal until you come to the entrance to the Skyline Drive. The views are beautiful; in the first segment you can see seven bends of the Shenandoah River. The Drive gets crowded during the fall foliage season, but the beauty of the drive makes it all worthwhile.

If you have not been to a natural cavern, get off the Skyline Drive at Route 11 heading west to Luray. Most people agree that the natural beauty of the Luray Caverns cannot be beaten. Luray is in Page County where I grew up as a youngster. Head further west on Route 211 until you get to I-81 that runs down the center of the Valley. For a more scenic drive consider going south on Route 11. It is a little narrower with slower speed limits, but remember–on a staycation we take our time to enjoy the sights.

The campus of James Madison University in Harrisonburg is beautiful, especially the early limestone buildings. Stop on Court Square in town and have lunch at Capitol Ale House. Further south to Staunton a recommended stop is the American Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor museum with homes from the seventeenth century relocated from England, Ireland, Germany and other countries to show the kind of housing the early settlers had. If you need a meal, stop at Mrs. Rowe’s (Mrs. Rowes Family Restaurant). You will think you are back in the 1960s. A slice of pie is a must, and you can buy Mrs. Rowe’s pie cookbook.

We have about reached our limits for a one-day trip, so we can head home. It will add to the time of your trip, but if you go east on Route 64 you can pick up the Skyline Drive at Afton Mountain. Heading north you can eat at Big Meadows Lodge or spend the night at Skyland Lodge where I worked in the summers during high school.

If you want, we can plan a longer trip where we go to beautiful Abingdon, home of the Barter Theater or further west on the Crooked Road of Country Music (Crooked Road). I have traveled around Virginia all my life and never get bored with it. Glad to have you along.

by RestonNow.com October 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

The following articles were the five most-clicked links on Reston Now this past week.

  1. Shouts, Shoe Hurled at Suspect in Killing of Nabra Hasssanen During Preliminary Hearing
  2. Dulles Toll Road Fee Projected to Increase to $4.75 in 2019, $6 in 2023
  3. Herndon Man Indicted on Charge of Using Twitter to Threaten Murder of Government Officials
  4. Police Say Job-Seeking Woman Was Sexually Assaulted in Reston, There May Be More Victims
  5. Letter: Decision to Cut Lake House Afterschool Program Unfair to Affected Families

In case you missed the update to our top story, the man accused of killing Hassanen — 22-year-old Darwin Martinez-Torres — was indicted on a capital murder charge and may face the death penalty if found guilty.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. Have a great weekend!

by RestonNow.com October 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm 50 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.

The County, via its proposed zoning density increases, and developers are already planning for Reston’s Village Centers to become nearly two to three times as densely populated as Arlington County’s major Ballston Transit Station Area (TSA).

The result is astounding given that Ballston is rightly a high-density mixed-use transit-oriented development area served by two Metro lines while Reston’s Village Centers are nowhere near Metro.  Moreover, the recent year-long Reston transportation development effort (RNAG) revealed that Fairfax County explicitly doesn’t plan to enhance local bus transit to serve the Village Centers or our TSAs.

Fairfax County data and US Census 2010 data for Ballston show that, with the exception of Lake Anne Village Center, where a redevelopment plan is already in place, the number of dwelling units (homes) per acre will potentially be at least twice as dense as in Ballston. Moreover, because Fairfax County anticipates a fraction more people in each household, the potential number of residents per acre runs better than two and one-half times that experienced in Ballston.   

At the risk of repeating ourselves, Reston’s Village Centers are intended to be neighborhood-serving gathering places. They are not meant to be transit station areas without the “transit.” According to US Census data, Ballston is the most populous area in Arlington County and the fourth most densely populated (people per acre). The notion that TSA residential densities should be applied in Reston’s Village Centers is preposterous and contradicts everything that the Reston Master Plan says about their development.

The current Reston Master Plan calls for the following in any Village Center redevelopment: “Enhance Village Centers as vibrant neighborhood gathering places; advance excellence in site design and architecture; strengthen connectivity and mobility; [and] protect and respect the surrounding residential neighborhoods.”

Any notion that residential density in excess of 100 people per acre is consistent with these objectives is ludicrous.  

If you don’t want your neighborhood Village Center to be blown up and replaced with one or more 12- to 14-story high-rise apartments or condos, please come to the community meeting on the Reston PRC zoning ordinance on Monday at South Lakes High School. Bring your friends and your children for a major civics lesson on local government. Learn, question, and challenge what you hear. It is our Reston and we must act to protect it by showing our revulsion with this absurd zoning ordinance proposal.  

Terry Maynard, Co-Chair

Reston 20/20 Committee

by RestonNow.com October 20, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

On Fridays, we take a moment to thank our advertisers and sponsors:

AKG Design Studio, boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales.

Berry & Berry, PLLC, Reston law firm specializing in federal employment, retirement, labor union, and security clearance matters.

Reston Real Estate, Eve Thompson of Long & Foster Real Estate specializes in Reston homes.

Becky’s Pet Care, offering friendly pet services in Northern Virginia.

Reston Community Center, serving Reston’s recreational and cultural needs.

MakeOffices, shared work spaces with five area locations, including Reston.

Boofie O’Gorman, Top Producer Realtor at Long & Foster Reston.

Goldfish Swim School, specializing in children’s swim lessons year-round.

Small Change Consignment, serving Reston’s kids for more than 30 years.

A Cleaning Service, professional residential and commercial cleaning.

Reston Montessori, private co-educational school for children ages 3 months to sixth grade.

Lofts at Village Walk, urban townhome condominium designs at The Village at Leesburg.

Tall Oaks Assisted Living, assisted living, memory care and more senior care services.

Edlin School, a K-8 private school that provides a unique learning environment for gifted children.

Lennar Homes, Westbury Glen is the newest single-family community in Aldie, Virginia.

Knutson Brambleton, Loudoun County urban townhomes with yards in the sky.

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