The planning document that will guide development around Reston’s future Metro stations is headed to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for final approval later this month. The Fairfax County Planning Commission signed off on the document last week.
Two major Reston stakeholder groups say they are not completely satisfied with the wording of the document the Planning Commission approved, but that it is headed in the right direction.
The master plan covers, in great detail, matters such as development levels, architectural styles, transportation and infrastructure, environmental protections, and affordable housing requirements for the station areas.
County staff and the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force have been developing the new master plan since 2009.
As made clear in the document’s vision statement, the most important factor for Restonians is maintaining the principles that have defined the planned community since its founding in the 1960s.
“As Reston evolves, it is important to respect the characteristics that have helped to define Reston from its inception,” the plan states.
These characteristics include being able to live close to where you work, getting around the community on foot or bike, and maintaining abundant open space.
What is lacking from the plan is a mechanism to implement the vision for Reston, according to Colin Mills, president of the Reston Citizens Association. The replanning of Tysons Corner included the creation of a new community-based entity to ensure that the plan is adhered to.
“We would like to see an implementation entity like they have in Tysons,” Mills said. “If implementation isn’t someone’s responsibility, it is no one’s responsibility.”
The chief concern for the Reston Association, the organization that acts as sort of a giant homeowner’s association for most of Reston, is ensuring that RA continues to have a seat at the table as redevelopment moves forward, said Ken Kneuven, RA board president.
While RA now has an active advisory role on planning and architectural design in Reston, it is unclear from the document what RA’s role will be in planning the newly developed areas.
Related to this, Kneuven said that the master plan does not require new development to join the Reston Association or the Reston Town Center Association. It does suggest that new development join one of those groups.
“Our feeling is that having additional membership associations would not make sense,” Kneuven said. “We don’t want to see a divided community in any shape or form.”
Both RCA and RA also have lingering concerns about the infrastructure needed to support the new residents and businesses growth will bring.
“Growth is a good thing, but it obviously has an impact on Reston Association’s assets and infrastructure,” Kneuven said. RA operates parks, community centers and recreation centers, among other services.
RCA is particularly concerned about the need for parks, Mills said. The plan calls for one new sports field in each of the three station areas, but it is estimated that 12 new fields will be needed, he said.
“There are nine additional fields that have to come from somewhere, and it’s not clear where they are going to come from and who is going to be paying for them,” Mills said.
RCA would also like the plan to have stronger language regarding linking new development to the new infrastructure, particularly new roads, that will support it.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Reston Master Plan Jan. 28 and 4:30 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.
Download the draft master plan at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/reston/.