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by Karen Goff October 20, 2014 at 9:28 am 17 Comments

Notes and thoughts on Tall Oaks Village Center at Master Plan meetingIn the early 1960s, Reston founder Bob Simon and other planners got to work on what the community should look like — including village centers that would serve as the commercial and social hub of each of Reston’s villages.

Fifty years later, village centers at Hunters Woods, South Lakes, Tall Oaks and North Point generally don’t look like what was planned. Lake Anne Plaza does fit the mold better, but is also undergoing a separate revitalization process.

What ended up serving Reston were essentially suburban shopping centers, heavy on parking spots and light on common areas.

With the second phase of Reston Master Plan up for review, might it be time to revisit the original ideals and work into the comprehensive plan the ability, should a developer want to do so, to revamp the village centers?

That was the main question posed by Fairfax County planners and Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins to participants who came to South Lakes High School Saturday to talk about the future of Reston’s Village Centers.

The village centers served as the model of Simon’s planning, said Hudgins.

“Some have survived over the years, some have not,” she said. “So this text is important — how do you trigger change? It may not happen in short time frame, but we want to be able to get this input on how the community thinks it should move forward.”

Fairfax County planning staff said Saturday they hope to have the final document drafted by mid-2015. But changes could be decades away, if ever.

Whatever changes are incorporated into the plan will not be a regulatory document and any structural changes will have to eventually go through the Reston Association’s Design Review Board, as well as county planning and zoning and the Board of Supervisors. (more…)

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