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So Long, Old North County Government Center

Demolition crews were hard at work Friday collapsing the former North County Government Center and Fairfax County Police Station into a pile of rubble.

Police and county personnel moved next door into a new, $18 million building in February. The demolition of the old building, constructed in 1985, had been long planned. The space will become a parking lot for the new headquarters at 1801 Cameron Glen Dr.

The new, 35,000-square-foot building is the first for the Town Center North area. Longterm plans nearby including housing, hotels, a town green, a recreation center, along with a new public library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

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RA Board Wants Better Tall Oaks Open Spaces, More Members at RTC North

 The Reston Association Board of Directors passed two motions on Wednesday relating to its role in future development at Tall Oaks Village Center and Reston Town Center North.

The first motion authorized RA President Ellen Graves to send a letter to Fairfax County authorities requesting that the developer, The Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), include the Urban Land Institute’s defined standards for public plazas and meeting areas.

JAG, which purchased the ailing village center last year for $14 million, plans to redevelop it into a neighborhood of more than 140 residences, including two garden-style condo buildings, 2-over-2 townhouses and 100 traditional townhomes.

The developer said it listened to public input after the community meetings in April, when residents said there was not enough public or retail space. At a June meeting, JAG showed concept plans for double the initial retail space, a decrease in the original number of townhouses, and expanded park areas.

The Urban Land Institute has documented the importance of public-outdoor plazas and meeting areas as follows:

“A successful public realm is one in which commerce, social interaction, and leisure time activities may mix easily in an attractive, pedestrian-friendly, outdoor setting. People are drawn by the simple enjoyment of being there. If that enjoyment is to be felt, the public realm and public spaces must be well designed and programmed.

The public realm is open to programs that are significant to the community such as charity events, holiday events, and civic events. It becomes a true public place, taking on a life of its own. As part of the community that goes beyond simple commerce or public relations, it ultimately becomes a place with a history. The public realm should allow for the integration of the people, the place, and the larger community.”

Graves will send a letter to Fairfax County Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Planning Commissioner Frank de la Fe with that request.

The board also approved a motion to allow RA counsel inform Fairfax County/INOVA that a parcel of land located in the area known as Reston Town Center North is RA-covenanted property.

RA says its wants to make clear any future development there is subject to RA Design Review Board standards and that new residents will be members of the association.

Fairfax County and Inova recently completed a land swap to organize the 49-acre space from New Dominion Parkway to Baron Cameron Avenue. The county also recently issued a Request for Proposals for the first two blocks of Town Center North.

Town Center North will be a mixed-use district, with renovated or relocated space for the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter, as well as offices, hotels, a performing arts center, an indoor recreation center, a town green and at least 1,000 new residences.

Graves noted that deeds for the space recorded in 1974 and 1986 “subjected all but 16,500 sq. ft. (parcel 5A) of the land that is included within the Fairfax County/INOVA Reston Town Center North Redevelopment Project (RFP #20000001682) to the Reston Deed declaration of covenants.”

“As this Board has found no action taken by its predecessor Boards or the RA members to remove this land from the Reston Deed, it is the position of the Reston Association that the referenced land remains  subject to the Reston Deed covenants. This means this land is subject to RA Design Review Board review and new residents shall be Reston Association members.”

Graves also said the board has been made aware of a recorded Restrictive Covenant on a 10-acre portion of the land that is within the Town Center North Redevelopment Project RFP.

“While this restrictive covenant limits the use and development of this 10-acre portion of land to natural open space, none of this land was ever deeded to Reston Association or designated as Common Area of  the Reston Association,” she said in her motion. “This restrictive covenant presents a title defect which may impede or hinder the
redevelopment anticipated.”

Graves moved that RA counsel be directed to assist Fairfax County and INOVA in
working around this restrictive covenant but only in a manner which preserves and/or enhances natural open space within Reston.

Photo: Plans for Tall Oaks/Courtesy JAG

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Fairfax County Open for Proposals on Town Center North

Map of Town Center North/Credit: Fairfax County

Fairfax County is now taking developer ideas to redevelop the area known as Town Center North.

The county has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP), which will run through Aug. 20. The county says in the RFP it is seeking to develop a public-private partnership as it seeks to redevelop the first phase of the project.

Those two parcels are about seven acres of the 49-acre space, which is currently owned by Inova and the county. The area runs from New Dominion Parkway to Bowman Town Drive and Town Center Parkway to Fountain Drive.

Eventually, redevelopment will stretch from New Dominion Parkway to Baron Cameron Avenue and will encompass a town green.

The county envisions a mixed-use district, with renovated or relocated space for the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter, as well as offices, hotels, a performing arts center and at least 1,000 new residences.

The Fairfax County Park Authority also plans to build an indoor pool and recreation center at Town Center North. Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie said earlier this year the rec center would primarily be funded with bonds, including an $87.7 million bond in 2016 and an $88 million bond on the ballot in 2020. He said the park authority would seek developer proffers to help pay for the facility. Typical proffers are around $800 per residential unit, he said. 

Homes and apartments in Town Center North will be part of Reston Association, RA officials said in a news release.

Hunter Mill Supervisors Cathy Hudgins will hold a community dialogue on the future of Reston Center North July 29, 7 p.m. at the North County Government Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr.

“The timing of the community dialogue is important to inform the process for the long-term future,” Hudgins said in a statement.

“Fairfax County staff will outline the immediate work, answer community questions about the process and timing of the redevelopment effort. Participants have the opportunity to identify critical needs that should be addressed in the redevelopment of the County owned property, as well as the larger site. It is important to continue the conversation on how best to maintain a vibrant and livable community for all.”

There will be an additional community meeting on Sept. 19 at Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

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Land Deal to Make Way for Rec Center Faces Vote

Would open land by Cameron Glen make a good park?The Fairfax County Park Authority is expected to vote on Wednesday in favor of the land deal that will clear the way for an indoor recreation center and other community space at the area known as Town Center North.

The park authority will hold a public hearing on the subject at 7:30 p.m. at the Herrity Building, at 12055 Government Center Parkway.

The 47-acre Reston Town Center North area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.

The park authority deal involves a land swap between the county, the park authority and Inova.

The deal seeks “Conveyance of the Reston Towne Green property to the Board of Supervisors in consideration for a potential 2.6-acre urban Central Green; commitment to provide approximately 90,000 square feet of density for the indoor facility within one of the new urban blocks; and other items for consideration that may be advantageous to the Park Authority mission.”

The park authority’s plans call for a 90,000-square-foot recreation facility to be built on the same block as the new North County Government Center, which recently opened on Cameron Glen Drive.

The recreation center would be owned and operated by the park authority, however, officials still do not know who would pay to construct the building or how much the facility will cost.

Park Authority Board Chair Bill Bouie says the rec center would primarily be funded with bonds. There are two upcoming bonds to be voted on — an $87.7 million bond to be put to voters in 2016 and an $88 million bond on the ballot in 2020, said Bouie. He added the park authority would seek developer proffers to help pay for the facility. Typical proffers are around $800 per residential unit, he said. 

The Town Center North plan means the idea to build a new Reston Community Center at Baron Cameron Park, which had been discussed for more than two years, is pretty much dead. Bouie, who also serves on RCC’s Board of Governors, said he hopes RCC will be involved in the planning in order for Restonians to get top priority for facility use.

RCC officials said last year that Town Center North would be the only other good spot for such a facility because it is located close to other public facilities, is in the center of Reston growth and is easily accessible.

The Town Center North area is still about a mile from the future Reston Town Center Silver Line Metro station, which will open in late 2018.

Bouie said RCC will not be involved in the Town Center North plan “unless the RCC Board decides to partner with the park authority on programs that are needed to supplement offerings, especially swimming.”

If you wish to speak at the hearing you may sign up in advance by calling the Public Information Office at 703-324-8662 or via email at [email protected] You may also sign up at the hearing. Organizations may have one official speaker for five minutes; individuals may testify for three minutes.

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Fill This Space: Cameron Glen Care Center

Former Cameron Glen Care Center

Cameron Glen Care Center officially shut its doors in Reston on July 1.

The future of the facility, a 150-bed nursing and rehabilitation unit, had been known for some time. Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, the parent company of Cameron Glen, built a $22 million new facility, Potomac Falls Rehab in Sterling. Potomac Falls says 120 patients made the move from Reston to Sterling.

The facility even took its orange sign with them when they moved, leaving a tattered Cameron Glen sign in its place.

The move leaves a hole in Reston’s amenities as there is now no nursing home in Reston. Could the building be used for another residential facility such as a school or treatment center?

There is discussion that the land may be part of the plans for Reston’s Town Center North area. The 47-acre area, of which Cameron Glen is just a part, is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, and Town Center Parkway and Reston Parkway. The land is owned by two parties: Fairfax County and Inova.

Some possible uses that have been discussed for Town Center North include the location of a proposed new Reston Community Center indoor pool and recreation center; a hotel; residential development and parks.

Whether Town Center North includes the Cameron Glen parcel or not, it would still have to go through a master plan process, as well as county and Reston planning requirements.

What do you think should be developed in Cameron Glen’s place? Tell us in the comments.

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