The move came after county staff recommended denial of the project, saying, among many other things in a PDF long enough to clog the fancy 2400-baud modem at Restonian World Headquarters, that "the proposed development will dwarf and overwhelm the surrounding neighborhood" and reduce the overall amount of affordable housing -- which developer JBG had sneakily -- and shamefully -- tried to eliminate altogether earlier in the process. County staff added:
The applicant proposes a new "development node" which seeks to concentrate the maximum possible allowable density on the subject site without regard for resulting impacts upon the surrounding neighborhood and the natural and manmade environments."A "development node" sounds like something you'd go see a surgeon about, but instead, county staff urged the developer to "propose a density at the low to mid end of the designated high-density residential range...and propose a site design which is compatible with the character of the surrounding neighborhood. It should not seek to create its own high density enclave absent a comprehensive review of the Plan." Oh, snap! But on the plus side, the JBG proposal included the most unintentionally hilarious architectural drawring since the "fanciful concrete bollards" associated with another Reston development:
Despite this cutting edge commitment to ecology, the Reston Citizens Association also recommended the commission reject the proposal, saying in an awesomely short two-sentence letter that it "cannot support the Fairways re-development plans in any way." The RA Board also sent Supervisor Catherine Hudgins a letter saying that if the project does wind up being approved, traffic improvements along North Shore will be needed. In a slightly more verbose written statement, Reston resident David Edwards made this point:
The Fairways garden apartments, and a dozen other stable medium density residential neighborhoods that the old Reston Plan arbitrarily designated as “high density” forty years ago, must be re-evaluated in the context of 21st century situations and attitudes. The Reston community is currently undergoing a deep, soul searching process to modify the old Plan. High density, transit-oriented, mixed use urban core development will be permitted by the Reston community in proper locations that were never anticipated in 1964. However, stable, well maintained existing residential neighborhoods will be preserved as they were originally built.The Planning Commission will vote on the Fairway proposal on September 22.