The Reston Design Review Board has voted to allow the awesome stream restoration project to continue, so long as the earth-movers and other heavy tree-shreddin' equipment are all painted one of five approved shades of bright yellow. Well, maybe not, but what was striking is that unlike the last awesome hearing about the project back in December, more of the 40 people who showed up to Tuesday's meeting supported the project than opposed it.
Reston Association's Design Review Board approved the application submitted by RA and Wetland Studies and Solutions Inc. for first three reaches of the Glade stream valley on Tuesday night. About 100 people attended the meeting, which lasted late into the night.See? Our joke about approved color swatches wasn't too far from the mark. But also, hey! Free firewood!
DRB Chairman Richard Newlon said he said he wanted the crowd to keep in mind that "we're all Restonians" and they should get through the meeting as quickly as they can in a civil manner. Newlon also reminded everyone that the DRB was there to look at the design of the project and not other aspects of the project. "What we're going to be looking for is the visual impact," he said.
Mike Rolband, WSSI owner presented information on the changes that have been made to the project, including changing the bridge style, using paved pathways to save trees and refining their limits of clearing to avoid high-value trees. Rolband said moving forward they will ensure they have community dialogue meetings before the project comes before the DRB. He said they will also make firewood available to Reston residents for free from the trees they cut down.Others likened the project to gruesomely disfiguring plastic surgery -- and they were among its supporters:
Stella Koch of the Audubon Naturalist Society said she has worked with stream restoration projects in the past and supports the project. "The saddest thing to watch in this county is the streams," she said. She said for a stream valley to heal the water must be treated first and compared the project to facial reconstruction surgery. "The surgery part of fixing your face is disgusting," she said. "But the end result is better."Hmmm. Have you seen Joan Rivers lately? Anyway, the Save the Glade folks say they will continue to fight, if only so woodland creatures still have a place to procreate.
Diana Carter, representing Save the Glade, also gave a short presentation in opposition to the project. She said they wanted to thank WSSI for being able to work well with them and also thanked community members for getting involved. She said the first three reaches of the Glade project do not show the amount of destruction that residents will see when WSSI moves further down in the project.Maybe WSSI can just play old Barry White albums over loudspeakers strategically located throughout Glade.
The Save the Glade group is also concerned that the wildlife study is not adequate enough, Carter said. The study should include animals' habitats throughout the year and breeding seasons among other things.