News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Save Browns Chapel Group Joins Master Plan Push; No Awesome YouTube Video (Yet)

more air rights.jpg

Hey, remember that time a group of Reston residents banded together to successfully stop a juicery with an attached indoor rec center from being built at Brown's Chapel Park in North Reston, largely due to an awesome YouTube video? Yeah, that was awesome. Now the group is getting involved in the just-begun process of revising Reston's Master Plan, arguing that the task force convened for this purpose doesn't have sufficient community representation.
The issues surrounding the revision of Reston's Master Plan are enormous and complex. The outcomes will directly impact the quality of life and home values for Reston residents. The newly appointed task force will be providing recommendations for Reston's Master Plan to Fairfax County by June 2010. The pace is fast and furious driven by the deadlines associated with the Dulles Corridor Rail Project.

Please attend tomorrow night's meeting (Tuesday, December 8th) and ask the task force and Fairfax County to include citizen participation in this process. The individuals who, in good faith, attended the Land Use College were led to believe that they would be using that knowledge base in citizen advisory roles for the revision of Reston's Master Plan but this did not happen. There is too much at stake to limit citizen input to after-the-fact public hearings.

Yes, growth is coming to Reston, but we want to make sure Reston retains its unique features, namely our open/green spaces and ease of traffic. We urge you to attend this community meeting.

No community representation? Let's take a look at the task force's membership:
Gerald Volloy, ARCH
Michael Cooper, Brandywine Realty Trust
Peter Ottenti, Boston Properties
Patricia Nicoson (Chairperson), Dulles Corridor Rail Association
Mark Looney, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
John Schlichtling, JBG Companies
Paul Thomas, Reston Association
Mike Corrigan, Reston Citizens Association
William Keefe, Reston Community Center
Van Foster, Reston Community Reinvestment Corp.
Arthur Hill, Reston Planning & Zoning (P&Z)
Arthur Murphy, Reston Planning & Zoning (P&Z)
Robert Walker, Reston Planning & Zoning (P&Z)
J Seidenstricker, Reston Town Center (Commercial)
Robert Goudie, Reston Town Center (Residential)
Greg Riegle, Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles (WARD) - Counsel
Phil Tobey, Western Alliance for Rail to Dulles (WARD) - Counsel
John Anderson Carter, At-Large
Frederick Costello, At-Large
Nicholas Bauer, At-Large
Robert Simon, At-Large
Kohann Williams, At-Large
Frank de la Fe, Planning Commission Member - Ex-Officio
Well, there's Gerry Volloy, and Dear Leader, and... a bunch of real estate developers. That's balance!

All we know is they better get this master plan thing straightened out before we run out of conceptual illustrations of Toll Road air rights development, the end.


  1. So where is the meeting at and what time?

  2. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    If I remember correctly from last week's session at South Lakes High School the meeting is tonight at 7 PM at Lake Anne.

    I also just wanted to add that I don't think this is a case of the community being underrepresented. This is case of ONE SIDE of the community---the anti-Arlingtonization/Bethesdafication side---being underrepresented. I really wish the anti-growth folks would cease acting as if they speak for ALL Restonians when not all of us agree with their perspectives. Granted I realize I'm in a tiny minority with my belief that encouraging more density near the town center will house more people on less space and lead to greater preservation of open space and existing neighborhoods in the long-run, but I still shouldn't be portrayed as the community's black sheep for feeling this way. I'm very willing to hear the other side out fully and am open to swaying and interpretation. Sadly, though, as we learned from the Brown's Chapel brou-ha-ha if you're not with the majority, then you're obviously "against Reston." How mature.

    Am I right? Who knows? Is this group of self-appointed rabble-rousers who "speak on behalf of the community at-large" right? Who knows? We're ALL stakeholders here, and I'd appreciate for future reference if the "save Reston from the inevitable apocalypse" crowd would clarify that they don't speak for ALL Restonians.

  3. Brooklyn Bridge SalesmanDecember 8, 2009 at 10:56 AM

    According to the E-mail I got from Save Brown's Chapel, tonight at 8:00 at the Lake Anne Village Gallery Room.

  4. The Convict in the GulagDecember 8, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    BiCO, you are racist because you used the term "black sheep". You ought to be ashamed of yourself for besmirching those sheep based on the color of their wool. Shame on you.

    Arlington and Bethesda may not be good comparisons for Reston. I prefer something a little bit closer to home. I'm thinking something more along the lines of Falls Church. Heck, the Gulag is already starting to feel an awful lot like Bailey's Crossroads (except without all of the cool shopping and dining choices).

  5. Brooklyn Bridge SalesmanDecember 8, 2009 at 1:17 PM

    I stand corrected: 7:00 p.m. it is.

  6. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO)December 8, 2009 at 1:35 PM this worth skipping Wheel of Fortune for? Decisions, decisions!

    UPDATE: It looks as if in mid-2010 I'm likely to be moving out of Reston, so should I even care anymore? LOL! :-)

  7. Bico, I have to disagree with you on your characterization of the "Save Brown's Chapel" group as anti-growth and “self-appointed rabble-rousers” attempting to speak for the community at large.

    The “brou ha ha” surrounding the recreation center occurred because many residents were surprised to learn of the plan for Reston Association to donate/convey land (Brown’s Chapel Park) to the county for development of a county sized recreation center paid for by funds from Reston’s Small Tax District 5. The ensuing District Meetings showed how the community-at-large felt – the majority of the community wanted Reston Association to protect its natural resources. Reston Association responded by taking the park off the table.

    Save Brown’s Chapel is neither anti-growth nor anti-development. We realize that in order to sustain a strong vibrant community we need to have strong economic drivers in place. But our hope is that the development that is coming with the revision of the Reston Master Plan respects Reston's natural environment. The original concept of Reston’s integrated parks, trails and open spaces needs to be prioritized in the place that we live, work and play. The task force is comprised of many highly respected individuals which is great. But it seems prudent for all of us, as stakeholdersin Reston, to be involved and stay vigilant in this process that is being crafted by Fairfax County.

  8. I knew when they formed Save Brown's Chapel they wouldn't disband once it was saved. My complaint at the time they formed was that they were so focussed on "NIMBY" that I wondered whether they'd be as concerned when it wasn't their neighborhood. I'm glad to discover the answer is "yes".

    If the folks that formed SBC want to rabble rouse on behalf of those of us who like Reston pretty much the way it is (except for the crime and the traffic), I'm all for their passion going down that road! (so to speak)

    I agree that the problem with the commission is that it is very one-sided. Where are the people who want to preserve what is best about Reston currently? I'm for good growth, but it seems that the only places these folks see growth being good is in eliminating our open spaces and trails. I think we know we can't count on Milt or Robin to go to bat for our common areas...

    Looking at that list I also note there is only one clearly female name...maybe the real agenda is to get more sports bars into Reston. That will bring the people!

  9. The trouble is is -- for many years the people represented on the Task Force have been going out to meetings and volunteering many many times. They probably have never had the chance to watch Wheel of Fortune. Then all of a sudden something is done and everyone is complaining -- but have these people really been volunteering themselves for elections to the Community Center Board and Reston Association plus volunteering for Interfaith and all the other events we have in Reston --
    Many of the people I saw at the meetings and were against everything were people I saw enjoying the fruits of what we have in Reston but never working for getting things built.

  10. To my count there are only 5 or 6 of 22 members of the task force who are not developers, their attorneys, or people whose businesses provide services to the developers.

    And what is Hudgins thinking, setting up a panel with only two women on it? Looks like she is perpetuating the pre-1920 Virginia old boys' club.

  11. This is a very easy walk to follow as it makes few turns and follows major traffic arteries. It is an especially good walk to take in October, as the foliage is very colorful along this route. Some of the areas of interest on this walk are the Lake Newport Recreation Area, Buzz Aldrin Elementary School, Baron Cameron Park, the Reston Dog Park, and Browns Chapel.


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