Reston, VA

Proposed redevelopment of the St. Johns Wood apartments, opposed vehemently by residents and the Reston Association Board of Directors, won’t go before the county Planning Commission for at least a few more months.

The hearing on the topic was first scheduled for 2015, but has had numerous postponements. The most recent scheduled date for the hearing was Jan. 26. However, according to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office, property owner Bozzuto is still revising its plan, pushing the date of the hearing back once more.

The proposal originally called for redeveloping the 250-unit garden apartment complex (11500 Olde Tiverton Circle) near North Point Village Center into 625 multi-family units and 34 townhomes. The concept has already been altered multiple times, with the most recent plan calling for 467 units and 44 townhomes.

The Design Review Board deferred action on the project after a November meeting with Bozzuto.

Reston residents have organized a petition opposing the plan, and many attended a community meeting in August 2016 to share with Hudgins and other officials their myriad concerns about the proposed development. Opposition to the project’s aesthetics, increased traffic and impact on the environment was voiced. Bozzuto says the area has always been slated for high-density development.

At an October meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors, RA’s land-use attorney John McBride explained that while the board and residents can take a stand, they do not have much power in stopping development. According to the Reston Comprehensive Plan, which was modified in 2014 and 2015, McBride said, Bozzuto is within its rights to propose the redevelopment plan.

The Fairfax County website says the date of the public hearing “will be changing to a future date to be determined.” Hudgins’ office says it won’t occur until at least May 25.

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st-johns-wood-bozzuto-nov2016 A developer is set to present its latest revision of a design to redevelop homes at St. Johns Wood to a Reston Association panel tomorrow.

The Reston Association Design Board is scheduled to hear Bozzuto Development Company’s new plan for the site at 11500 Olde Tiverton Circle at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting is at RA Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Dr.)

The design proposal has changed several times since the redevelopment was first proposed in 2014, when it started as a plan for 625 apartments. Earlier this year, Bozzuto amended the plan to feature 511 apartments and 51 townhomes.

Still, the plan is looked upon unfavorably by some residents, particularly locals who live in the nearby North Point Village Center. Many of those locals turned out at an August town hall meeting to voice their displeasure over the proposal.

Some residents said the design was too sterile, comparing the look to that of a hospital or a college dorm. Others said it would be too many homes too far from the Metro, increasing traffic, particularly at Center Harbor and North Village Drive.

Bozzuto representatives have countered the negative feedback, noting the proposal fits in with the vision for Reston going back to the 1960s. That area of Reston always has been slated for high-density development, and is currently underdeveloped, they have said.

However, many locals pointed out that the Reston Master Plan was updated in 2014, lessening density allowances. Bozzuto then agreed to revise its design further.

The developer was originally scheduled to present their latest design to the Design Review Board last month. But the developers decided to take more time to tweak the design further after receiving more negative feedback from Reston residents, some of whom started a petition.

The most recent version of the proposal is to transform the property’s 250 residential units in nine garden-style buildings into 467 new apartments and 44 townhomes.

If the Design Review Board approves the proposal, the plan then will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on Dec. 19 and the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Jan. 26.

Image via Bozzuto

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Revised footprint for St. Johns Wood/Credit: BozzutoThe plan to re-develop St. Johns Wood Apartments will get at least an additional month before its Fairfax County Planning Commission public hearing.

Developer Bozzuto is now on the planning commission’s schedule for Oct. 26.. Most recently it had been scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 29.

The plan to more than double the size of the garden-style development at Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Drive has been on and off the county agenda for more than two years. It has also been reworked several times.

The postponement gives Bozzuto more time to make changes, since the current tweaks are not well-received by area residents, who have spoken up at two recent community meetings.

Bozzuto’s latest plan for the 14-acre space is to turn the 250 units in nine garden-style buildings into 467 units and 46 townhouses. They will be rental units.

That’s scaled down from the starting point for 625 units in 2014 and then 511 units and 51 townhouses in an amended plan earlier this year.

The latest plan was called many things — none of them very affirmative — at the Aug. 4 meeting organized by Bozzuto and the Hunter Mill Supervisors’ office. They said the plan looked like “Inova Fairfax Hospital,” or a “VCU college dorm with a facade like the Mosaic District.”

“This is way too large,” said area resident Gary Fogel. “It is twice what is there now. If you told me 100 more units, that makes sense. But doubling it? That’s insane.” Read More

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Revised footprint for St. Johns Wood/Credit: Bozzuto

North Point-area residents packed a Reston Association meeting room Thursday to point out a long list of issues they have with plans to redevelop St. Johns Wood apartments.

Project developer Bozzuto has made several changes to its redevelopment plan for the 14-acre garden apartment complex over the last two years. The newest one calls for turning 250 units in nine garden-style buildings into 467 units and 46 townhouses.

That’s scaled down from the starting point for 625 units in 2014 and then 511 units and 51 townhouses in an amended plan earlier this year.

It’s still too much for a quiet, suburban-style residential neighborhood, residents said Thursday. They said the plan looked like “Inova Fairfax Hospital,” or a “VCU college dorm with a facade like the Mosaic District.”

“This is way too large,” said area resident Gary Fogel. “It is twice what is there now. If you told me 100 more units, that makes sense. But doubling it? That’s insane.”

Bozzuto reps say the complex at Reston Parkway, North Village Road and Center Harbor Road was identified for high density as far back as when Reston was first planned in 1964. The idea was to have critical mass around Reston’s village centers, said Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins.

“Basically, it has been underdeveloped,” Hudgins told the crowd. “The only place you will see density [growth] is near the village centers.”

However, the Reston Master Plan update in 2014 brought down the density allowances farther from the Metro. That’s why Bozzuto reworked St. Johns Wood, which is more than a mile from the future Reston Town Center station, from 46 dwelling units  per acre to 39 units per acre and now 36 units per acre.

The developer also has changed the facades of the townhouse to have cleaner lines and has scaled the buildings from six stories to five to rise no higher than the current tree line.

That’s still to much change for the character of the neighborhood, says Susanne Andersson-Tosado, who has organized a petition protesting the plan. Read More

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Aperture/Credit: Bozzuto

The under-construction residential property by Reston developer Chuck Veatch and Bozzuto has a name: The Aperture.

The Aperture is the project at Sunset Hills Road and Metro Center Drive, across the street from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro and Comstock’s Reston Station.

The Aperture will feature 421 apartments in a seven-story building, and has been approved for 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. The five-acre site was previously home to a mini-storage facility and retail strip center.

The site was also previously zoned industrial. Now that it is residential, residents will be Reston Association members.

Aperture under construction Dec. 2015Planned amenities include a pool, pet play area, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, outdoor yoga space, and amphitheater, according to the Bozzuto website. The building will have 15,000 square feet of amenities, including an expansive resident clubroom.

Among the other amenities: a 24-hour concierge, a movie screening area, library/work space, three adjacent fitness spaces, underground parking and a Wi-fi lounge with computer games.

Photos: Top, rendering of finished product/Courtesy Bozzuto; Bottom, building under construction last week.

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