News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reston Redevelopment: More 'Nooks and Crannies' Than an English Muffin?

337388_res2_englishmuffin.jpgWhat do Reston and a Thomas English Muffin have in common? Besides both being earth-toned, that is. According to a conversation shared by a vigilant observer during a Reston Association budget meeting this weekend, both have awesome "nooks and crannies" ripe for redevelopment:

I attended the RA budget working session Saturday morning. Near the end of the meeting Robin Smyers was talking about how much more assessment revenue RA would get from redevelopment projects in the Dulles corridor and Lake Anne. Kathleen Driscoll-McKee added that there would be more revenue coming from other redevelopment projects in "nooks and crannies" throughout Reston. Since RA won't be getting any assessment from the commercial parts of the new mixed-use buildings, it will all come from new residential units.
Mmm... hot melted butter. Sorry -- got distracted for a moment.

The same anonymous poster took exception to our description of the "Blade Runner schools" we could see after Reston becomes "another Manhattan."
I see you are skeptical about "Blade-Runner" schools and busing kids to playgrounds... This is from a document generated by Reston Assn Transportation Advisory Committee at the time vote on the Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
Clearly adjacent schools that will serve this enhanced village center area will need to be expanded to the extent possible. Some school boundary shifts will be required. More urban standards should be developed by Fairfax County Schools for some Reston schools allowing for multi-story buildings with greater reliance on interior recreation space when exterior space is limited or unavailable. Where possible, joint recreation facilities should be developed that serve school uses during school hours and broader community uses after school hours. Obviously, broader school and other public facility planning that includes areas as far away as the Reston Town Center area must be part of the planning process. Planning for the potential impact that all of the new development expected to take place in Reston will have on schools must begin now.
This is from the Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment (see p. 25):
A future boundary shift may be needed to ensure that the new residents in the Lake Anne Village Center area would be assigned to the same schools. Also, location of school facilities within the new mid and high-rise buildings might be considered as a means to mitigate impacts on existing schools which are likely to be at or over capacity in the future.
Sounds more like Brazil than Blade Runner.

For the record, we're in favor of some sort of redevelopment around the Lake Anne Village Center, which needs it desperately, and around the future Metro stations, which strikes us as where you actually would want high-density development in the first place. We're still uncertain that given the state of the economy and the backpedaling from high density we're already seeing in Tysons Corner, the faux-urban hellhole poster child for high-density redevelopment in Fairfax County, we're going to see anything quite this dramatic in Reston. But the fact that things like this have worked their way into county documents is a good reminder that we all need to pay close attention to what's being planned for our fair community.


  1. From the Uplands of RestonSeptember 22, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    Reston's smart residents: Paying more for less services, paying more for more environmental damage, and paying more for a smaller quality of life. Remember this when you're stuck in traffic trying to get anywhere near the Toll Road or Route 7.
    The good news is Ken Plum and Cathy Hudgins are sure to be re-elected. Good times.

  2. Wow Uplands, why would you want to live in such a despicable place? You should move. :)

  3. From the Uplands of RestonSeptember 22, 2009 at 5:24 PM

    Anonymous September 22, 2009 2:09 PM

    It was fine when I moved here. Not now.

    Your emoticon indicates that problem analysis is not identical to surrender. If we do not talk back, we are supine in our own misery. There is strength in a community speaking out -- just ask the backers of the Rec. Center in Brown's Chapel.

  4. Ken Plum has a challenger. Hugh "Mac" Canon is running on the Republican ticket. I would love to see a debate covering such issues as the inequitable funding of the Dulles rail by Toll Rd users and the redevelopment of Reston.


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