The Reston Citizens Association has put pen to paper and written Fairfax County Supervisor Catherine Hudgins a fancy letter, complete with block salutations and closing signatures, asking her not to support the awesome Fairway Apartments redevelopment, which would replace the current garden apartments off North Shore Drive with 941 "high-end condominiums" in a 20-story mauvescraper and assorted low-rise units. Here's what they had to say about the project:
While the proposal has undergone some design modifications thanks to the persistent efforts of the Reston Design Review Board, the result can be compared to rearranging deck chairs on the proverbial Titanic. Moving the pieces around a bit, adding some taller buildings and a few trees and bushes does not alter the substance of a large, overly intense development in a medium-density location where it is obviously out of place. After a struggle with the developer, the DRB finally moved them from a position of refusing to include any affordable units to agreeing to the current County minimum standard of 12%, a net loss of about 225 affordable dwelling units for Reston.Based on the last-minute maneuvering to change the definition of workforce housing in the massive Tysons redevelopment, this issue seems to be on the backburner for county officials of late. But affordable housing has been one of Hudgins' stated priorities for some time -- to the point of drawing fire from some of her constituents. And it's encouraging that the DRB was sufficiently
This project, as designed, would deliver a shock to a stable residential neighborhood that is vital to the diversity of this area. This stable neighborhood is consistent with Robert Simon’s founding principle of assuring a variety of housing to serve all income levels to provide “the heterogeneity that spells a lively and varied community.” Regrettably, this project would augment the trend of the last decade of wiping out affordable housing in Reston. This trend should be halted and indeed reversed if we are to remain true to our founding principles.
Furthermore, if this project is adopted, we can only assume that affordable apartments and townhouses throughout Reston will similarly be marked for destruction in the not-too-distant future. Thus, the residents of The Sycamores, Chestnut Grove Square, Parkcrest Apartments, Southgate Apartments, Hunters Square, and Winterthur Apartments, for example, will suffer similar fates, unless you act now to avoid setting this bad precedent.
Actually, we're somewhat shocked that the initial plan included no affordable housing at all, given the scope of the project, the current buildings on the site, and the familiarity of JBG with development issues in the county. Shame on them.
The Fairway proposal goes before the county planning commission on July 15.