News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Area North of RTC Focus of Task Force; Macaroni Grill Doomsday Clock Inches Closer to Midnight

More TC alt design proposals.jpg
We have no idea what these three proposals for the fertile, unspoiled lands north of Reston's Fake Downtown actually mean, but the Un-Acronymable Reston Master Plan Task Force (UARMPTF) will meet tomorrow to get input on this pristine area.
On Saturday, May 22, the Reston Task Force will conduct another community meeting at 9 a.m. at Langston Hughes Middle School, to get input on the North part of the Reston Town Center, Cameron Glen area and the Police Station area development.
As these rocking illustrations suggest, creating a more urban grid of streets is obviously a focus, as it was during last weekend's community meeting about development in Arlington and Montgomery County. During that meeting, there was lots of talk about "connected street networks," including something called a "super block," which is a "large block filled with a number of through streets" that would be developed around the Wiehle Avenue Metro station to help accommodate traffic.

In the case of the pristine area north of RTC, Inova presented a straw man suggestion for redeveloping the area, which is the illustration in the center above, described as a "good-faith effort to balance the various interests that had been articulated in our first three meetings – police and other County needs; open space; creating a more vibrant use of this series of parcels; and optimizing chances for commercial success." Alrighty then!

There's also a talk of a village green and a new police station, but as we read this analysis of existing stakeholders, we keep thinking about the Macaroni Grill, already slated for demolition as part of a litigation-embroiled development that happens to sit in this exact same spot, and so it is with a heavy heart that we move the minute hand of the Macaroni Grill Doomsday Clock a minute closer to midnight:


Or, if urban redevelopment issues aren't your cup of tea for weekend fare, you could always go to Barnes & Noble on Sunday and see a paragon of conservative values talk about "stopping Obama's secular-socialist machine", or maybe that one hilarious time he gave his wife divorce papers while she was recovering from cancer surgery in the hospital, the end.


  1. " Macaroni Grill Doomsday Clock"

    Man!! I can't stop laughing. Restonian, you are a funny funny man

  2. To keep up with the changes coming to Reston (an increase in population of 100,000 people, enough additional commercial space to rival the planned Transformed Tysons, and redevelopment of our older neighborhoods) spend some time on the RCA 2020 blog hosted by Reston Citizens Association:

  3. Why are you always dumping on the Macaroni Grill? Aside from Target, Best Buy, and Barnes and Noble, that's the most useful thing in Reston.

  4. "If the marinara's worth licking,
    Why's the Doomsday Clock still ticking?"

  5. That a Reston Citizens Association surrogate would say Reston's population will increase by 100,000 (presumably to 160,000 plus) simply illustrates why one should not rely on what they say. This claim is completely inconsistent with the latest Master Plan!

  6. The latest master plan is in the process of being rewritten to accommodate additional density. Cathy Hudgins wants to turn Reston into a CITY. There are proposals filed with the county for new development in the Dulles corridor which will add 23,413 new residential units and, if approved, they will house 50,000 to 60,000 new residents. There are approved plans for 10,000 new residents in Town Center. All the village centers (South Lakes, North Point, Lake Anne, Hunters Woods and Tall Oaks) will be redeveloped with additional residential units. All the condominiums and apartment complexes are slated for redevelopment at much higher density. Fairway Apartments with 346 units are proposed to be replaced with 951 units. Reston's older clusters are slated for redevelopment at higher density (that was stated by County Planner Heidi Merkel at a public meeting October 2008 in Reston).

    The Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force is meeting right now and they will recommend changes to the current master plan to allow for additional residents and more commercial space. Current plans filed with the county call for four times the density of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in the Dulles corridor in Reston, 60 million square feet. To give you some perspective on how much that is, there are only 30 million square feet of commercial space in the entire city of Boston.

    Do some reading and get yourself informed.

  7. Reston will likely never reach a population of 160,000 plus, no matter how loud the RCA surrogate shouts, 'The Sky is Falling'.

  8. It's not "the sky is falling."

    It's "the city is rising."

  9. They will build it anyways because they want to sell out to investors. Whether they're all occupied or not is another matter. They're all convinced that the government will save them

  10. Exactly how much of this space to Cathy Hudgins want used for section 8?

  11. How exactly would they redevelop older clusters?

  12. Anon 4:16.

    They would start with a bulldozer.

    But first they would have to get all the homeowners to agree to sell to a developer. Next RA would have to sign off on it (probably). RA retains rights over properties covered under the Deed of Reston.

    It's not clear to us yet how it would exactly be accomplished.

    Fairfax County wants to replace our older clusters with high-rise apartment buildings to achieve the urbanization of Reston.

    The RA Board of Directors should be encouraged to protect us.

  13. Unless, of course, they decide that the holdouts are acting capriciously and standing in the way of progress of the county, in which case they might decide to do a Connecticut and take your property by eminent domain.

  14. The Virginia legislature passed a law in 2007 that prohibits jurisdictions from the taking of private property by eminent domain for the purpose of increasing density or increasing tax revenue.

  15. "The sky is falling and the bulldozers are revving up!" says the RCA surrogate. "Cathy Hudgins is at the controls, trying to build section 8 housing," says the tea party wanna be. Convict hears the black helicopters coming to take everyone away by eminent domain. What a fun bunch!
    A couple of points to consider-
    the density of much of Reston is higher than what sits on the land now, Fairway Apartments and Reston Heights spring to mind. The land owners don't have to rezone to put higher density on the land, as long as it doesn't exceed the current density that was set when Reston was initially zoned over 45 years ago. I've yet to hear Reston 2020 mention that little nugget of info, but I also haven't read their manifesto.
    -Cathy Hudgins has lead the way in the adoption of the Affordable Dwelling Unit Program, which is not section 8. Depending on density of development, it peaks at 12.5% of units for the highest density. Go to part 8 if you want the gory details.
    -Fairway Apartments are market rate, not affordable housing, and I have heard members of RCA who think that ain't so.
    -Metro is coming and is going to change Reston. The point of the task force is to make the change work. Look at Vienna. Parking lots and ugliness around the metro. That is not what Reston should aspire to.
    -RCA2020 strikes me as largely "my way or the hiway" and have already prejudged anything coming out of the task force, from the county, and their hostility toward Cathy Hudgins is palpaple. Seems like a lot of anger and hate going on there, which is a bad place to make rational decisions from.

  16. And Anonymous @ 11:25 mutters "Please be gentle" as they roll over to accept the inevitable while secretly hoping that there aren't any glass chips in the Vaseline.

    You're right about a number of things. Maybe Fairway is already zoned for higher density. They still can't build there without permits or inspections.

    "Affordable Dwelling Units" is just a euphemism for selling or renting at below market. I've got nothing against the families of police persons and fire persons living in my neighborhood. However, I would like to maintain my property values without having them pulled down artificially by some misguided county attempt at egalitarianism. If the county really wants to do this, then give them a subsidy check and let them buy at market.

    Metro is coming and Reston is going to change. That change doesn't have to mean 50K more residents in Reston. But whether or not these people live here or elsewhere, our traffic is going to get worse because of Metro.

    To 8:10, laws and ordinances can always be rewritten. It might be illegal now, but that doesn't mean that it will always be. Politicians don't mind upsetting people, especially when those people are in somebody else's voting district and can yield more tax dollars for their constituents.

  17. "I've got nothing against the families of police persons and fire persons living in my neighborhood."

    I've got nothing against them, either - but I don't think they should get any kind of housing subsidy, since they have very generous pay, benefits, and retirement.

  18. "I've got nothing against the families of police persons and fire persons living in my neighborhood."

    I've actually got something against a neutered RA-type showing up at my house if it's on fire or there's a burglar trying to break in. Prefer the traditional policeman/fireman/even firefighter instead.

  19. Convict-
    There is a middle ground between taking it in the pooper (with glass chips in the Vaseline?? What a vibrant/pervy imagination you have! I mean, you are just imagining, right?) and running around screaming the sky is falling. How about rational, pragmatic decisions based off facts? I know, sounds wild and crazy, especially on this filthy blog........

  20. As a member of the RCA Board, let me try to set the record a little straighter for the various anonymouses (anonymi?) who have commented negatively about RCA in this discussion.

    First, and most importantly, we are not opposed to increased density or development in Reston. We have even passed a resolution to that effect, the essence of which is Reston should have higher, but appropriate, density in appropriate places.

    We encourage high-density, mixed used development in the vicinity of the several Metrorail stations (AKA "transit-oriented development").

    We believe Reston Town Center should be filled out.

    Redevelopment of Village Centers (with high-rise housing, office space, etc.) as has been approved for the Lake Anne area requires a more detailed understanding of the center and the support of the surrounding neighborhood.

    In general, we oppose the redevelopment of stable residential neighborhoods, including apartment complexes. The Fairway Apartments project is one such redevelopment we are examining this evening at our Board meeting.

    As for how many people will be living in Reston decades for now, none of us know. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG)forecasters say the current population in Reston puts Reston area population at 68,000 now and projects it will reach 92,000 in 2040. It also shows local employment growing from 71,000 to 86,000 in the same timeframe.

    Unfortunately, MWCOG has consistently underestimated growth in Reston and elsewhere in the MWCOG domain (due largely to its forecasting methodologies). An estimate I'm working on right now indicates our population could reach between 101,000-118,000 by 2040--which is a 33,000-50,000 person increase, not 100,000. The Reston workforce could grow to between 103,000-126,000 people.

    Still, those are large increases and we need to be careful in planning for them, including transportation, schools, libraries, emergency services, cultural facilities, parks, recreation, and on and on.

    RCA is trying to help the Reston Task Force do that by identifying supportable needs for current and future Restonians--residents, businesses, property owners, visitors, and anyone else with a stake in our future. We're not opposing growth, but we do want it to be done in a way that sustains our high quality of life so we and our kids--and grand kids in some cases--can continue to call Reston a great place to live, work, and play.

    And, for the record, aside from my description of RCA's resolution on density, the rest of this comment is purely my own--for better or worse.

  21. This is just so much sophistry. Tell me, again, how are an additional 30k-60k additional people within the boundaries of Reston going to improve the quality of life here? Yeah, I didn't think so.

    If you build it, they will come; if you don't build it, they can't come. It's as simple as that.

  22. Actually 100,000 new residents is the low figure. 35% of the land parcels in the Dulles Toll Road do not have development plans submitted for them. Yet.

  23. Do try to keep up Convict. Metro is coming. A big chunk of it is getting paid for by the land owners along the toll road, who agreed to tax themselves as long as they could make money, or more likely, a big pile of money, redeveloping what is already along the toll road to a higher density. Something is going to get built in the next 5 to 10 or 20 years. Not building is not an option at this point. What the task force, and yes, even RCA 2020, are working towards is that something being sustainable and liveable for both new and existing residents. For good measure, since the area around the toll road is getting rezoned, the task force is also going to look at all of Reston with an eye toward the future. The way I read it is that the area around the village centers are going to be considered for some zoning changes to higher density, but the neighborhoods away from the village centers and away from Metro are going to be left alone. Not everyone agrees with that assesment, and think all of Reston is going to be bulldozed and stream valleys filled in and..... Oh wait, I am thinking of West Virginia under the Bush administration. Anywho, you get the idea.
    Terry Maynard, I'd like you to comment on how RCA2020 is going to propose height restrictions as a tool in keeping density down while claiming that is not your intent, if that is what you intend to do. The proposal for Fairway Apartment has a fair amount of open space, but with high rises. Don't you think JBG will counter propose height restrictions with high density, no open space town houses or similar? A good case study is right next door to Fairway Apartments. Waterford Square, 48 units, 5 to 8 stories tall, much of the parking is under the building, built in 1982, some open space, although much of it is eaten up for a driveway to its next door neighbor, Waterhaven townhouses. Waterhaven Towns, built in 1998, 43 units, it is all buildings, parking spaces and roads, with no open space. I'm sure Waterhaven towns are nice, but they look like pretty much any suburban development that is trying to get the most building on the land w/ no open space if it can be helped. Something worth considering in the conversation as Reston moves forward.

  24. Why how absolutely anonymousy of you. Of course, Metro is coming. I rode my bike across Wiehle this morning and was awed by the pilings for the station.

    But you failed to address the central question, how are 30k-50k more people in our neighborhoods going to improve our quality of life? Does it mean that I'll have more opportunities to socialize as I stand in longer lines at the grocery store? Or will I get more reading time as I wait in an extra long line for a safety inspection for my car? Or maybe I'll be protected from sunburn by all of these massively tall buildings blocking out the sun? And, yes, with 30k-50k new neighbors all walking and riding their bikes to and from the other parts of Reston, well, there's just going to be so much more clean air for us.

    I see that you've already resigned yourself to the inevitable. I have not. But, you know, if you don't mind breathing a little more CO while sipping your morning coffee on your balcony overlooking the asphalted expanses that you're proposing Reston should become, well, I suppose that's your business. I just wish that all of that urban development would be kept in already urban areas instead of in our suburban and rural areas.

    But, then, change is inevitable.

    BTW, anon, did you drive to work or use your car for any part of your commute, or do you work from home?

  25. Convict,
    You forgot to mention all the extra noise and light pollution that somehow is going to improve our quality of life. Afterall, who needs to hear the birds chirping or see the stars shining when we can listen to car horns and squealing tires while we enjoy the glow of artificial light.

  26. "Terry Maynard, I'd like you to comment on how RCA2020 is going to propose height restrictions as a tool in keeping density down while claiming that is not your intent, if that is what you intend to do."

    I'm not sure I know what you're asking me to comment on here, Anonymous, but I'm unaware of any time when RCA or Reston 2020 has proposed height limits in the ongoing Reston planning effort. Quite the contrary in one particular case: Comstock's Wiehle Avenue proposal (seen elsewhere on Restonian). We urged raising height limits so that Comstock could create more open space via thinner, but taller buildings with the same overall square footage. The height limit was raised from 140' to 200' for that project.

    The redevelopment of Fairway Apts. is not a project RCA or Reston 2020 embraces, nor has RA's DRB so far--and its "the decider" on this one because the proposal is subject to RA design review. At the same time, zoning there authorizes pretty high density (I don't recall the numbers). Again, assuming JBG can come up with a design that is consistent with the character of the neighborhood and yet achieves something that approaches its allowable density (highly conflicting standards), I personally wouldn't care how tall it is. Like Comstock, greater height would enable more open space, greenery, etc. That said, being very tall makes it pretty hard to conform to the character of the neighborhood.

    I know that the DRB has worked very hard with JBG to try to bridge that gap, but not much progress is being made, nor has DRB approval been forthcoming. I appreciate their great and continuing efforts in trying to make this redevelopment proposal consistent with Reston standards.

    And let me plug Reston 2020's own blog while I'm at it, especially since I'm the blogmeister. (I really need to get a life!) It's It includes more than 200 posts over the last five months covering virtually every aspect of the ongoing Reston planning effort. It also includes some items on current proposals, such as Comstock' Wiehle proposal and JBG's Fairway Apartments, but mostly its about Transit Oriented Development (TOD) around Metro stations and the Reston Town Center, which have been the focal points of Reston Task Force attention. Check it out!

  27. Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin WoodsMay 26, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    A few questions.

    1.) Why isn't Terry Maynard running RA? He's inarguably the most brilliant contributor this "filthy web log" has attracted in the year since I've moved to Reston.

    2.) If what Mr. Maynard says is true, then I concur with him nearly 100%. I, too, would like to see Reston Town Center's (RTC) density increased in order to preserve existing residential neighborhoods. Right now RTC is a disorganized mess that looks to me as if it was just thrown up in a hurry. It is an "island" surrounded by very wide and very high-speed roadways (267, 7100, Reston Pkwy., New Dominion Pkwy.), which makes it rather unpleasant to walk to from nearby neighborhoods. Even when I lived in Archstone Charter Oak I HATED crossing Reston Parkway and HATED crossing the damn entryway into the Spectrum Center. The entire Spectrum Center is disgusting; why something like that was permitted to be built when big-box stores CAN successfully integrate themselves into urban environments (i.e. Columbia Heights in The District) is beyond my realm of comprehension. I can't tell you how many times I've been walking along the northerly sidewalk of New Dominion and have almost been run down by SUVs bailing to get into Macaroni Grill or Best Buy. 2-story and 3-story townhomes right across the street from RTC? WHY?! Everything between Town Center Pkwy. and Fairfax Cty. Pkwy. (what's with all of the "parkways" here?) and between 606 and 267 should have been a high-density grid. In this sense Reston could have a REAL downtown, we could accommodate thousands of more residents, retail venues, and employment opportunities, and we could leave existing neighborhoods unscathed.

    3.) Anyone who arbitrarily throws a height restriction out of their ass thinking they are doing this community a favor is an idiot. If you want to maximize the amount of open space available on a parcel, then the only way to do that is to build UPWARDS---not OUTWARDS! What's so difficult about that? Hell, if the county wants us to house another 50,000 residents, then why not put up ONE BUILDING the size of the Sears Tower (which I guess is now called the Willis Tower) right on top of present-day Macaroni Grill?

  28. Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin WoodsMay 26, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    4.) Our village centers NEED to be revamped. I walked the other day from Colvin Woods to the Tall Oaks Village Center. GOOD GOD WHAT A DUMP! I'm irked I'll have to walk all the way to Giant from here to do my shopping. It seems that in a quest to give Restonians RTC as a central gathering spot and focal point we damned our once-thriving village centers. Lake Anne always gives me a creepy "nursing home" vibe. Yes, you old farts on this "filthy web log", increasing DENSITY is the ONLY WAY to successfully save places like Tall Oaks or Lake Anne. With more people living within walking distance to these village centers, businesses will thrive.

    5.) I'm not diametrically opposed to the efforts of Reston 2020, Guy Rando, Kathy Kaplan, Terry Maynard, RCA, ARCH, Oprah, or anyone else who is rabble-rousing on our behalf. However, I'd kindly ask that it be done with more CLASS in the future. I was embarrassed on behalf of our community when two of the aforementioned submitted a newspaper editorial that made references to a proposed development being a likely haven for mushrooms and rats (amongst other things). As a newcomer all I can do is sit and laugh at so many of you who think Reston is about to die when really it is just about to be given new life. Do you people honestly realize how many people inside the Beltway LAUGH at Reston? Don't you want that to change? Our own dear leader Bob Simon wants most of this change to occur. It's you NIMBYs content to settle for mediocrity who want to put up the "Great Wall of Reston" to separate us from the outside world who are destroying Reston. We need balanced people like Terry Maynard, Bob Simon, and myself to advocate on behalf of building a better Reston. Those of you fear-mongering are just doing this place a huge disservice, and that is one reason why I'm moving away next year, in the wake of several friends who are moving out THIS year.

  29. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMay 26, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    BiCO (a.k.a. Hoodsie Woodsie?)

    Welcome back! This filthy Weblog missed you. Hope you're doing better.

    Your line -- "so many of you who think Reston is about to die when really it is just about to be given new life" -- got me to thinking, because it is almost precisely the surprise twist ending of "Lost". So, I started thinking:

    How about a sequel to that program set right here? Call it "Lost In Reston", where the Dharma Initiative investigates urban planning, BUT our earth-toned utopia is in reality the waiting room for the after-life. Instead of gathering at a quaint church before we move on to the hereafter in Loudoun County, however, we're stuck inside the 110-story high Macaroni Grill Tower.

    Cast of characters:

    The Others -- the RA
    Mother -- Robin Smyers
    Jacob -- Bob Simon
    Man in Black -- NIMBY Baby Boomer
    Jack Shephard -- Restonian
    Sawyer -- Convict in the Gulag
    Ben Linus -- Hickory Cluster Knuckle Duster
    Locke -- Rod Koozmin (both good with knives)
    Smoke Monster - WSSI (both flatten trees)

    And yes, the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42 must be entered into the Macaroni Grill Doomsday Clock every 108 minutes or we all cease to exist.

    Hope you make it off the island, BiCO! Just remember your compass bearing has to be 325 degrees, which (cue spooky music) heading away from Reston would actually put you in...Ashburn!

  30. You can't be gone fast enough BiCO.

  31. So Convict, how do you propose that the rezoning around the toll road that will bring all those new people to Reston be stopped? You are saying don't build it but offer no solutions to the facts of the situation, which is why I suggested you try to keep up.
    You say that 30k to 50k more people will not improve the quality of life. Have you looked at the strip mall, low rise office buildings, and parking lots that are being rezoned around the toll road? Seems like rezoning that ugliness is an improvement to me, and if done correctly, will reduce, not increase traffic. See the Arlington example. It is going to have to be done correctly, or it will be a hit to quality of life.
    Terry-glad to hear you are not using height restrictions as a tool to keep density down. I was clearly misinformed about that. I don't know about anybody else, but the Fairway apartments are pretty damn ugly IMO. Is Fairway itself consistent w/ the character of the neighborhood? Golf course surrounds much of it, town houses, a few single family houses, and Lake Anne Elementary. Is there a consistent character? What are your, RCA, Reston 2020 objections (you don't embrace it) to the redevelopment of Fairway Apartments?

  32. Well, Anon, first, just because your property has been zoned one way doesn't mean that it has to stay zoned that way. Second, you can't build without permits. No permits, no construction. Zoning is not the same as permits.

    In your mind those places are ugly. Let's assume for a second that they are ugly. Have you ever heard the expression "Better the devil you already know"? What guarantee do you have that the replacements won't be just as ugly but on a larger scale? Is there any guarantee that this will be done "right"? And who get's to determine what's right.

    And while were talking about aesthetics, you bemoan low-rise buildings, strip malls and parking lots. I'll admit that many of these places aren't the prettiest in the world, but I've seen significantly worse. Still, what are you going to replace them with? Parks and woods? Nope. You're going to replace them with high-rise buildings, shopping arcades and parking garages, which will look just as dated in 10 years. And in 20 years people will be asking why in the heck we built all of these Soviet style apartment complexes when we used to have these wonderful old garden apartments. Fads come and go. Unfortunately, concrete and asphalt is pretty much forever.

    Still, you have avoided answering the most salient question once again. How does adding 50,000 more people into our boundaries improve the quality of life? Okay, let's assume that this progress (and I use that term lightly) brings more aesthetically pleasing structures. Is it going to remove more cars from the road
    than not building it? No. Is it going to produce more fresher air? No. Is it going to create more green space? No. Will it reduce crowding in our schools? No. Will there be less noise, light, air, trash pollution? No. Will there be fewer crimes per square mile? No. Will it lower your property taxes? No. Will it make your trips to the gas station/grocery store/dry cleaners/dentist/doctor/restaurants/library/other side of the toll road faster? No.

    Frankly, if I have to choose between between new prettier concrete and existing trees, I'll take the existing trees. If I have to choose between more Carbon Monoxide or fresh air, I'll choose the fresh air. If I have to choose between crowded classrooms in older school buildings or crowded classrooms in older school buildings and newer trailers, I'll choose the older buildings. If I have to choose between more cars or fewer cars, I'll choose fewer cars. That's why I walk and ride my bike and carpool and take the bus and take train to get to and from work.

    From my own point of view -- and I think if you get over your fascination with eye candy architecture -- you'll find that more people equates to a better quality of life for only two kinds of people: the developers and the politicians. Anybody who already lives in Reston will wind up bemoaning the fact that they now live in Falls Church.

    And while were talking about aesthetics, you bemoan low-rise buildings, strip malls and parking lots. What are you going to replace them with? Parks and woods? Nope. You're going to replace them with high-rise buildings, shopping arcades and parking garages.

    The thing is, Anon, you've taken the developer's bait, hook, line and sinker.

    (An interesting observation about your supposed walkable neighborhoods. I noticed that when I locked up my bike at Wiehle, there were only about 10 bikes but literally hundreds of cars. Just when do you expect these people to ditch their cars and start walking/biking/carpooling/bus riding in order to get to the new Wiehle Metro station? After all, isn't that why we're so hot to build these TOD monstrositities?)

  33. Convict-
    Arlington is being held up as an example of good planning making for a better place to live. Are there fewer cars on the road in Arlington now than there were 20 years ago? YES! Are there more people in Arlington than there were 20 years ago? YES! What schools are you talking about that are overcrowded? Hunters Woods? Lake Anne? Terraset? You ask if new development is going to bring more green space? What green space are you talking about that is near the toll road now? The islands in the parking lots? I will grant you that there is the nature preserve. I've never been there, and from what I've read, no one else has either, and it's not green, more like a swamp. Will there be less noise, light, air, trash? If it is done correctly, YES! What existing trees are you talking about near the toll road? The only trees that are there were planted after the buildings and parking lots went in. Are there any guarentees? Nope, none at all, just like the rest of life.
    I've taken the developers bait? Nope, I've taken the idea of a better community (with Arlington as a real world example), and me retiring on the proceeds of my house whose value will skyrocket when Metro opens and will continue to rise as one of those cherished "stable neighborhoods". Either that or the whole neighborhood will sell out to a developer. ;)

  34. Jeezus, If you're so in love with Arlington, then what the frack are you doing in Reston? People moved here -- raised their families here -- not because they couldn't afford Arlington but because they didn't want to live in a concrete jungle. Heck, if I had wanted Arlington or Alexandria, I would have moved there. Instead, I choose Reston precisely because I was raised around here and because I don't want to live in an inner suburb, which is what the BoS and the developer's want to turn Reston into. They want to trash my investment just so that you can go to a bar after work. And pay higher taxes. And breathe more CO. And wish that you actually had grass on your front lawn. And send your kids to trailers instead of proper schools.

    If you really don't think that there's any green space in Reston, then you haven't looked at the Oaks along South Lakes Drive between Colts Neck and Soapstone. Heck, I've got a rather large, flat wooded area right by my house that, with the flick of a pen, could be rezoned into more housing.

    You may be able to Arlingtonize Reston, but you can't Restonize Arlington. Development is a one-way street. It only becomes denser, less manageable and more ugly. I'll take Reston in its current configuration any day over Arlington. But once Reston has been converted into Arlington West, it can't ever go back to being Reston. Something special will have been lost. And it will be sad.

    Green is fleeting and fragile; concrete is forever.

  35. Convict-
    Losing the parking lots and office buildings along the toll road and having them replaced with mixed use development that actually has a community in them isn't going to be sad at all. You keep referring to this area around the toll road as green, and the only green that is there was planted after the buildings and parking lots went in. Target is green? The self storage places are green? Sprint is green? Reston Westin is green? Plaza America, McTacoHut, the string of office buildings on the south side of the toll road are green? I've already acknowledged the nature preserve, so what else are you talking about?

    I would not call the area along South Lakes Dr. between Colts Neck and Soapstone near the toll road, nor would I call it particularly green. Dense housing along most of the road, Shadowood swimming pool & tennis courts, South Lakes Drive Park (ball field and soccer field over the pipe line), and part of the golf course, the 8th hole I think. It does have very nice screening. But those oaks? Planted after the road went in. Not that I am denigrating that area, I have friends that live there and it seems like a nice neighborhood as I drive by, but is it an example of a green area of Reston because it has some trees along the road to screen the houses? However, if you really dig that kind of thing, which is all over Reston, and I agree, it is one of the features of Reston that makes it so nice to live in, what makes you think that the new development can't be done the same way? It's 20-30 feet between the road and the building, and you plant some trees.

    Arlington is an example, as is Bethesda, in how an area can increase density and actually improve on what is there. Arlington decreased the amount of traffic while increasing density. How? Metro. Decreasing traffic decreases CO. Is Reston going to be exactly like Arlington? I hope not, I hope it is going to be much better. Partly it will be better because of the green space Reston has that is never going to be touched, the pathways, the pools, tennis courts, and the strong sense of community that exists in many of the neighborhoods (stable neighborhoods?).
    But right now, around the toll road, Reston is worse, a lot worse than Arlington. You want that area to stay the way it is. Not me. We will just have to agree to disagree on that.

    But I am interested in how you are going to work to stop the changes that I think are inevitable and needed in Reston. You've made it very clear you don't think it is inevitable at this point and that I shall be mocked for thinking that it is. I've given you a real world example in Arlington on how change can be positive, which you have rejected. How about a real world example from you where land was rezoned to lower density in the state of Virginia over the objection of the landowner? Or where permits weren't granted because of density even though the submitted plan was within the allowable density, and it held up in a court in Virginia? Otherwise, your contention that change to Reston isn't inevitable is weak, and I may have to mock you back. (there's no place like Reston circa 2005, click your sparkly red high heels together 3 times and Metro disappears....)

  36. Dude, compare Arlington's green with Reston's green. Reston's, while not open woodlands necessarily, is far better than what you find in Arlington. Route 50 around Seven Corners is not a nice neighborhood. Columbia Pike, especially as you get close to Bailey's Crossroads leaves much to be desired. The Shirlington area right around 395 isn't so bad but when you move up Glebe Rd from there, it's kind of rough looking. And I'm also thinking about a stretch of Wilson Blvd between Clarendon and Rosslyn that is just plain butt ugly. And Arlington schools leaves much to be desired. You don't find people leaving Fairfax County because they want their kids to attend those better quality Arlington Public Schools.

    You're saying that you can improve it while adding more people. Maybe it can turn out Arlington if it's done right. But, also, it could turn out Anacostia if it's done wrong, and that's a real possibility. And where will you be when that happens?

  37. Click your heels together 3 times and metro and the task force will all go away......while muttering about Arlington.

    It's not that anyone, including me, wants Reston to be like Arlington or like Bethesda. Those are real world examples being used as case studies by the task force of increased density and lower traffic due to metro and careful planning.

    Keep clicking those heels together, cuz apparently that's all you've got to stop this change that you hate so much.

  38. Is that the best you've got, Chuckles: "click your heels three times"? I'll admit that change is coming, but it doesn't have to be in the form of Arlingtonizing Reston. This is what the developer's want and what most people around here have resigned themselves too, in spite of the fact that it's not what most people want, including you.

    Still, Chuckles, you haven't explained how adding all of these people is going to improve the quality of our lives other than potentially prettifying our existing concrete. Or how you're going to get people to avail themselves of mass transit, bikes and their feet in your TOD Mecca.

  39. Good lord, Convict, I've explained it three times. Go back and reread. Reader's Digest version-near the toll road, no community now because it is mostly office buildings and parking lots. When it is all said and done in a decade or two, if done right, mixed use of business and residents which equals a community. That makes it better than now. Also, mass transit, bikes, and pedestrians-again, I've laid it out time and time again, with the examples given at the task force meetings-Arlington and Bethesda. Real world examples of how proper planning can reduce traffic while increasing density. Which you continually misinterpret as saying that Reston is going to become Arlington.

    So it's not click click click anymore, it's you haven't resigned yourself to Reston changing to Arlington, which no one wants, but everyone (except you) have resigned themselves to, but you have resigned yourself to change.

  40. I would hardly call Arlingtonizing Reston as an improvement in our quality of life. Maybe for you it is, but most people wouldn't. And as I've pointed out, it doesn't have to be that way.

    The thing is, everybody got up in arms and was able to stop the rape of Brown's Chapel. That seemed almost like it was inevitable as well. RA had already formulated a plan, paid for studies, etc. Yet, the disaffected were able to stop it.

    You realize, of course, that with a bunch of people coming to town, the pressure to put in new recreational facilities is going to expand. And that's going to put Brown's Chapel back in play. I would wager money on that one. I would almost call that inevitable as well.

    So, Chuckles, when it's all stop and go traffic around between Baron Cameron and Lawyers Road, just tell yourself that the extra 50K people are an improvement. When that line at the grocery store is twice as long as it is today, just conjure images of all of that pretty concrete along the Toll Road. When it comes time to pay your higher (but new and improved) tax bills, just tell yourself that your helping those tens of thousands of souls trapped in the concrete jungle along the toll road. When you're stuck in the rain waiting for the bus so that you can get to the bar at RTC, just tell yourself that TOD is a good thing.

    Like I said in an earlier post, let's just hope that the Vaseline is glass chip free.

  41. Convict-
    You're no fun to have this discussion with. You're anally obsessed (not in a funny way but in a really creepy way) and keep making the same arguments over and over without responding to rebuttals in a meaningful way. You are sure you are right, see things as very black and white with no middle ground, and can't discuss any other possibilities other than the ones you have decided upon with your superior intellect.
    Go ahead and make the last post and declare victory. Meanwhile, construction and the planning continues and I am guessing you will do nothing to make a meaningful contribution to your changing community nor consider anything but the worst possible outcome.

  42. You know, Chuckles, you accuse me of being close-minded but, you know, you keep singing the same tired song as well. And if you think I'm no fun at this whole conversation thing, then why have you kept it up? Must be just a glutton for punishment.

    You and I don't see eye-to-eye, that much is obvious. You accuse me of being anal retentive and yet you won't move off of your position either. For your, it's either pretty concrete or else it's not worth having a conversation with you. That's your choice, I suppose.

    And, I have offered rebuttals and alternatives. Your just so blinded by your own position that you won't see them or acknowledge them. Again, that's your choice.


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