News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, May 28, 2010

With 'Wherases' and 'Heretos', RCA Makes Statement on Density

marseymcfly.jpgThe Reston Citizens Association has made an official statement on the density destiny density of future development in Reston. There's lots of "whereases" and "be it further resolveds" and whatnot, but the upshot seems to be: Higher density near Metro stations: good. Higher density just about everywhere else, except the Fake Downtown and "possibly" in the more desolate village centers: bad.

For those future Toastmasters in the audience, here's the full statement:

WHEREAS, the coming of the Metro Silver Line to the Dulles Corridor will bring increased density and population to Reston; and WHEREAS, RCA recognizes that increased density in appropriate places is central to the future of Reston and
WHEREAS, RCA supports the principles of Transit Oriented Development call for higher densities in the vicinity of transportation facilities, particularly transit stations; and
WHEREAS, the existing zoning for the properties along the Reston portion of the Dulles Toll Road would allow for a significant increase in population and density over that which exists currently; and
WHEREAS the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force has adopted the Planning Principles produced by RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee and endorsed by the RCA Board as the basis for its own planning principles; therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED, that RCA supports increased density to be placed appropriately within Reston, specifically within the Dulles Corridor, in the immediate vicinity of the transit stations, at Town Center, and possibly in the village centers, if the nearby neighborhoods support it; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA cannot support the placement of increased density in areas of Reston not specified above; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA supports protection and maintenance of stable residential neighborhoods and areas; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA also supports protection of green space, open space, and parkland; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA calls for the addition of such amenities, as well as cultural and recreational facilities, within the newly urbanized areas; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA demands that adequate transportation, educational, police, fire, emergency, library, cultural and other essential public infrastructures to support any additional density be planned and funded in concert with any new development, and constructed
concurrently with that new development; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that RCA calls on the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force to make its recommendations in accordance with the principles outlined above in this resolution, as well as the Planning Principles produced by RCA’s Reston 2020 Committee.
There. Problem solved.

We couldn't find the appropriate Back to the Future clip on the YouTubes, so please to be enjoying this futuristic scene shot on a set with an uncanny resemblance to the Comstock Wiehle 'Civic Plaza,' only with more hoverboards, flying jeeps and natural light:


  1. Wow, the RCA resolution reads just like every other NIMBY resolution in every other land use dispute in every other location in the country.

    That's what makes Reston just so very special.

  2. WHEREAS Metro is coming,
    WHEREAS the developers are slobbering to get a piece of the action but won't live here at any price,
    WHEREAS the BoS are looking for more constituents to rule over and to tax,
    WHEREAS there are lots of Restonians and wannabe Restonians out there waiting to be fleeced of their money,
    BE IT RESOLVED that greed is good,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that smog really ain't so bad,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that 35 mph on any road at any time is too fast,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that higher taxes are okay as long as its the residents that are mostly paying them,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that our current quality of life is greatly overrated,
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that everybody on RCA should apply for a name change to Vidkun Quisling.

  3. anon 1:16
    at what point do you stop crying NIMBY? Does it matter to you that the people who are voicing concerns, attending meetings and involved in the community are from all over Reston? Where do you live in Reston that you feel so comfortable and unaffected by metro and master plans revisions? I will move to your neighborhood so I too can sit back and call "NIMBY" on any person or group who is involved and motivated to protect their investment and quality of life.


  5. I like that paragraph about the having the infrastructure in placeconcurrently with development. . . . with the Commonwealth and County budget the way it is . . . nothing is going to be built anytime soon.

    Could be worse . . . Thanks RCA for the effort and time being put in. Would like to see measurable controls as to green space, open space and infrastructure great than Fairfax County standards.

  6. meant to say greater than the existing Fairfax County standards, sorry next time I'll edit for typing errors before I hit "POST COMMENT"

  7. Pardon my naivete, but what is the difference between RA; RCA; ARCH; Reston 2020; the various task forces, the Cluster Associations, RCC, etc.. (did I miss anyone ??) We then have the County, Dulles Metrorail, etc...

    All I see are public service me-toos, and wannabes with egos bigger than the planet and brains the size of a peanut...

    No wonder nothing gets done, and everyone is frustrated... reminds me of living in Italy...

  8. Anon 3:28

    You and the authors of the RCA resolution chose to move to a place that has had a build-out projection of 85-100,000 since 1965. How did anyone think that would happens? Cloud cities from the Empire Strikes Back or the subterranean enclaves of Planet of the Apes?

    Even at build out, Restonians will have a density comparable to Arlington, an extremely desirable (and far more expensive) place to live. To get to build out will require some redevelopment of some neighborhoods but that will only happen with the consent of the landowners of that neighborhood and lots of scrutiny by BOS, RA P&Z, DRB, etc.

    Enshrining "stable neighborhoods" as a high principal for master planning Reston is just dog whistle for "keep them the hell out" whoever "them" is at the moment.

    Reston has been a dynamic place since 1965 and will continue to be a dynamic place for the next 20-30 years. Glorifying "neighborhood stability" is at crossed purposes with that dynamism.

  9. Anon 6:01 . . . what?

  10. It is good to have dedicated Reston activists watching out for the interests of fellow residents, providing they do so without hidden intent for political power, either for themselves or for the RCA. Therefore one more paragraph should be added to their manifesto,

    "BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that after it’s best efforts at the negotiating table, RCA will accept the compromise decisions made with grace, without bitching and moaning in the media, on the net, and in the public square."

  11. Anon 5:30 The problem here is not that things are not getting done but that the changes are moving faster than anyone can track.

    The average resident in Reston has no idea that the future of Reston is being laid out as I type without their input and without review except for the private citizen groups like RCA and its special committee Reston 2020 who are attending meetings, studying the plans, and attempting to be a voice in the process for the citizens of Reston and act as outside auditors.

    The RA is involved, sort of, but since the Reston Town Center and the Dulles corridor areas are not part of the RA, they don't really have any official say about that area with will affect the rest.

    The RA wrote their letters about Comstock Wiehle and with the pressures from all of the organizations and individuals involved, managed to get the Reston Station residents to be members of the RA, not much else was won.

    The Reston Master Plan Task Force does have some private citizens as members but as I see it, most are the other stake holders: the land owners and developers in the area. They held their community meetings, issued a draft principle, but now they are reviewing street layouts and specific density standards of RTC without general public oversight. I know they are working hard to plan the future of Reston and I commend them for their work. Will we get have a final say before they issue their plan which the county will follow?

    The Task Force had to start with the 2002 study done by outside consultants and while I was a resident at that time, I know I didn't give any input into in it. I wasn't even aware of the study. Did anyone living in Reston assist?

    THANK YOU RCA and the committee members of Reston 2020 as well as all of the others that are carefully following all that is taking place and keeping us all informed if informally through the Restonian and private emails. I hope that you will have the stamina and fortitude to see this through and take stands on the most important points.

  12. RCC should have no say in any of these matters. I'm surprised that they are serving on the Reston Master Plan. They run our local tax district 5 recreational centers. They plan some wonderful civic activities but their allegiance lie with who appointed them, not the citizens of Reston. They are elected but very few of us besides RCC employees know enough about them or feel strongly enough about the organization to vote.

  13. Essentially RCIG, RTC, and elsewhere will compete to see how much density they can get through. The density in one area won't be a limiting factor on the others. What a mess. This is very unlike Arlington.

  14. Where can I find the internet file containing the latest approved Reston Master Plan? And the Reston Town Center plan and Lake Anne redevelopment plan, if they are separate docs?

  15. What I've seen of the RTC and Wiehle are all over the place but most you can find at the Reston Master Plan website . . . in the minutes of each of their meetings are initial views of what they working through. After all what is Memorial Weekend for?

    Main website:

    Reston 2020 has tried to cumulate all of the information in one spot including letters to the public with some success.

    RMPTF Draft Principals: Big ideas but nothing concrete

    Presesentation from RTC Community Meeting May 22nd: (Includes initial concept drawings)

    More RTC Strawman ideas from May 11th Meeting has a pedestrian park from the Metro to Baron Cameron (I hear that Guy Rando has a few concept drawing proposals with water features but I haven't seen them):

    INOVA's Idea of what the street grid should look like:

    Wiehle Ave Ideas from May 5th Mtg: (Not sure where it will go . . . has good pedestrian pathways proposed. Bill Penniman who put this together is on the RCC Board- not sure if it will be included in final plan)

    Wiehle RMAG Improvements (not sure if this is a done deal or if there is money to do it- doesn't show same pedestrian paths as above)

    VDOT Presentation showing failures in existing intersections:

    For more detailed data on intersections including projected traffic patterns and failures even with improvements Landtrx dated 11.9.09:

    Anyone have anything else?

  16. I think Reston is fortunate to have the RCA; I only wish they were more successful in pursuing their various projects to benifit us.


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