News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Reston Land Use College: Like Animal House, Minus the Keggers and Hilarity

6a00d8345157d269e200e54f2a03388833-640wi.jpgMiss those crazy days of tapping the keg with your fellow Dekes before the party with the Delts, or whatever? Well, you can relive all the "fun" of college, only instead of taking classes like "Intro to Geology" and "Physics for English Majors," you'll be cramming for the "Understanding PRC Zoning" final at the ongoing sessions of the Reston Land Use College, which had its first "mixer" a week or so back at Lake Anne Elementary.

Around 80 Reston citizens gathered in the Lake Anne Elementary School cafeteria for the first session of the Reston Land Use College to learn about the process of rezoning and new development. The June 16 meeting offered "an opportunity for community members who want to know what is happening to be grounded in what happens," said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).
The final project? Something called the Reston Master Plan, which is what allowed all our wonderful earth-toned housing stock to be built and is in the process of being revised for such 21st century concepts as "mass transit" and "fake downtowns."
THE RESTON MASTER PLAN, a set of three maps for communities, transportation and land use, guides the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in its zoning regulations, said Heidi Merkel, a senior planner with the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning and event speaker. However, she added that this plan does not have the force of regulation.

County planner Loren Bruce said that the re-evaluation would include the Dulles Corridor Metrorail’s impact on the Town Center, the possible addition of hotels to Reston, the size of Reston and the development of the centers.

IN 2008, local focus groups and an October public meeting outlined the four phases for reviewing and modifying the Master Plan, Merkel said. The Land Use College and an examination of existing conditions mark the first step of a four-part process. The second step includes a reexamination of the Dulles Corridor and Town Center as well as an overview of Robert Simon’s original seven principles for Reston. The last two steps include a reexamination of the residential neighborhoods and the village centers.
Sweet! Anyway, if you missed out on all the fun earlier this month, the Reston Land Use College will hold a repeat of its kick-off session at 7pm July 28 at Hunters Woods Community Center, followed by more meetings in September:
There will be 3 sessions in September. The dates and location for these sessions are not confirmed yet but we will notify everyone who registered for the future sessions as soon as the dates are set.

The first September session will cover General Land Use Concepts and Terminology and examples in Fairfax County. The next one will focus on Understanding the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, the Reston Master Plan, how these two documents relate to each other and what issues we will be looking to address in the Reston Master Plan update. The final session will focus on Understanding PRC Zoning, which is different from the conventional zoning used in much of the rest of Fairfax County, and how the PRC zoning impacts the development of land in Reston. The September sessions will also include group activities and other interactive elements to make some of the information more accessible.
Translation: KEGGER!

To sign up, contact Heidi Merkel at the county's department of planning and zoning.


  1. Summer reading to get ready for Land Use College:

    (a great read, believe it or not)

    LAND USE IN A NUTSHELL by John Nolon and Patricia Salkin. (Suggested by DPZ Planner Loren Bruce)

  2. I've been told that Loren Bruce, a great guy, is one of the layoffs announced in today's Fairfax Times...


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