News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kicking the Can: Fairfax Supervisors Defer Decisions on Fairway Apartments, Silver Line Phase 2

can.jpegThe Fairfax County Board of Supervisors have deferred action on two major projects affecting Reston, the Fairway Apartments redevelopment proposal and Phase 2 of Metro's Silver Line.

The Fairway Apartments proposal, which finally won DRB approval last month after developer JBG agreed to more significant changes to its plans for the 804-unit development, was put on ice after Supervisor Cathy Hudgins asked for more time to get information on workforce housing provisions from the developer.

After a public hearing Tuesday on the proposal to redevelop Fairway Apartments, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins asked the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to defer decision pending further review of the developer's plan for workforce housing.

The issue will come before the Board of Supervisors again on April 10, after Hudgins can speak with developer JBG. JBG's current plan includes that 12 percent of the proposed 804 units be devoted to affordable and workforce housing.

Because the redevelopment is not a rezoning, JBG is not required to provide a certain level of workforce housing.
And, as you may recall, they initially didn't, so some added scrutiny is probably not the worst idea in the world. Hudgins said that ensuring workforce housing is important to ensure that "people will be able to continue to live in Lake Anne with the same commitment that was made in the beginning of Reston."

As for Phase 2 of the Silver Line, the county board decided to defer a vote after two hours of public speakers spoke to both the need for the second phase of the project and the likelihood of onerous Toll Road rate hikes to fund it.
"Rail is necessary for the long-term economic health and development of Fairfax County," said Mark Ingrao of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. "It is our responsibility as a community to finish what we started."

Hanley also supported Fairfax County's involvement. "Historically, this has been the most popular transportation project in the region," she said. "This board and previous boards have voted a number of times to keep the train on track to Dulles, and I hope tonight you will do it again ... All of Fairfax County will benefit."

But many residents who live in the Dulles corridor are concerned about drastic toll increases to the Dulles Toll Road, disagreeing with current plans to have vehicle tolls shoulder more than 50 percent of the Phase II cost. According to a Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) report, a one-way trip could increase from $2.25 to $4.50 in a year, and to $6.75 by 2018.

Terry Maynard of the Reston 2020 committee called the current funding format "grossly unfair," urging the board to put any decisions on hold until a better funding scheme can be found.

"To do otherwise is imprudent, impractical and unjust,” he said.

Tammi Petrine, also with Reston 2020, agreed.

"The use of wildly excessive Toll Road revenues to fund Metrorail construction is unjustified and risky," she said.
Both projects will come back to the Board on April 10.

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