The Reston Association has joined the growing ranks of critics of the 23-story mauvescraper proposed for the site of the Reston Times building on Reston Parkway, arguing in a letter to the Fairfax County Planning Commission that although "redevelopment of the property in question is inevitable, RA also believes that the project as currently proposed does not conform to and is incompatible with the existing and planned development in the vicinity of the site." Specifically, the RA says the building is too tall and should include a residential component.
RA joins the ranks of Fairfax County's planning staff, which last month recommended denial of the project in its own report (PDF), which is 85 pages chock full of hilarious cross-sections like this one:
County planning staff argue the building is too tall and too far from public transit. As proof, they shared this elevation drawing, with the proposed building in a shockingly DRB-unapproved shade of violet:
Actually, that doesn't look so bad. But then look at it from the north:
Okay, so maybe it's a bit on the tall side, especially with the Macaroni Grill-razing Spectrum redevelopment, itself not exactly designed in the spirit of a 1960s rancher, wrapping around it like a hot dog bun. Although for us the biggest takeaway is just how ridiculous the Harris Teeter/Office Depot building, which is not included in the Spectrum redevelopment, is going to look with all the other non big box stuff around it. Also, where will people park?
Reston2020 and ARCH have also both gone on record opposing the proposal, with R2020 going so far as to call it "the wrong building in the wrong place." The county planning commission is supposed to consider the project tonight, so we'll see what happens -- though we were under impression that the development plan was actually approved back in 1978, with no height or intensity restrictions.
While the RA has now gone on record opposing the project, it also devoted three pages to it in the summer issue of Reston: The Magazine. Here it is, front and center in the magazine's table of "content," which called it "a model project for partnering with Reston Association's Design Review Board." (Which, to be fair, has already approved the proposal, as has the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee.)
Apparently the RA Board has a shorter lead time than its magazine. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Update: The Fairfax County Planning Commission has deferred the project until May 17.