News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fairway to Heaven: Developer Meets with DRB, But Offers Few Changes

sideways fairway.jpegAs a rescheduled public hearing before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors looms, JBG recently attended a Reston Design Review Board workshop about its Fairway Apartments redevelopment proposal. Reston2020's Tammi Petrine sums up the dynamic in a few short sentences:

JBG stated that they can’t afford to keep going back to the drawing board and wanted some direction from DRB as to what would be approved.

Nothing majorly new was presented by JBG except contemporary fa├žades on the buildings. DRB member Richard Newlon wasted no time in pointing this out. He is not subtle and put JBG on notice early on that he was disappointed. Other board members followed suit.
What exactly does a "contemporary facade" look like? Below is one of the first things that came up when we did a fancy Google Image Search on "contemporary facade," though we seriously doubt this is what they're going for:

contemporary facade.jpeg
Welcome to Hannibal Lecter Condominiums! Somehow, we don't see this as being the likely facade treatment that JBG's shopping around.

The good news? Apparently with the help of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, it sounds lkike JBG is backing away from its earlier threats of legal action if its proposal is denied by the Reston board, and is at least making a good-faith effort to talk about what it needs to do to win approval from the DRB -- which, as we know, has the final word on what gets built in Reston, even after county approval. The bad news? Aside from the "contemporary facades," they appear to still be pushing for the delicious Texas donut design:
During a two hour discussion and back/forth, some on the DRB board gave passing thought to approving Texas Donut construction. Comments were made that those cheaply constructed buildings do not age well and are miserable mass housing options not suitable for the community-focused Reston landscape. Ed Abbott was particularly opposed to the Texas Donut and pointed out that when the DRB first met with JBG many months ago, it stated categorically that Texas Donuts were unacceptable structures for Reston.
JBG also didn't sound that excited about earlier suggestions about marketing Fairway to senior citizens, as Petrine had previously suggested as a way of alleviating the traffic impact of the project.

The next official step for the Fairway proposal is the county board of supervisors public hearing -- a process which has been postponed several times, but most recently was slated for late February. In the meantime, we're glad that JBG is still talking to the DRB. Here's hoping that something constructive comes out of these talks in the end.


  1. "...(JBG) wanted some direction from DRB as to what would be approved."

    Tell you what we are looking for? Now, how much fun would that be. This way we can keep everything up in the air and spinning forever -- it's the Reston way.

  2. We're tired of the aging hippies holding back progress in the area. We need more high income folks in the area to keep tired Lake Anne plaza going. There have been numerous meetings and studies on how to improve Lake Anne over the past 10 years with the same anti growth crowd holding back progress.

    1. Soulless, Humorless, AntFebruary 2, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      Northshore can't take the traffic.

      BTW, when you say "we" are you in fact representing more than one person, a megalomaniac, or insane?

  3. For Anon 4:39PM:
    The county HAS a redevelopment program in place for the Lake Anne area that permits development far above what the locals there wanted from their various charrettes, etc. In today's economic climate (including 17% office space vacancy rate in Reston), no developer is ready to make the investment.

    Moreover, Lake Anne is ill-suited for high intensity development because it is no where near Metro for walking access and otherwise has very poor road access for workers, residents, and shoppers, among others.

    So blame the county Board, the county planners and developers, not the "hippies," er, residents!

  4. The idea that the anti growth crowd has had any success in holding back progress in Reston is crazy. Just look at all the new development coming to Reston. If that is stifling progress, I'd hate to see real progress.


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