News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reston Master Planners Consider Indoor Tennis, Swimming, Concert Hall, and a Bunch of Other Stuff That May Never Get Built

simpsons-movie-dome-1.pngSo what's been doing with the fabulous Reston Master Plan Task Force With an Unpronounceable Acronym (§)? They've just been stone cold considering a bunch of new parks and indoor facilities, is all.

Members of the Fairfax County Parks Authority, the RA and RCC made a joint presentation on parks, recreation, and culture needs in Reston. (Their fancy Powerpoint is here). It calls for an added 54 acres of open space, parks, another 60 acres of play fields, as well as an indoor aquatics facility, an indoor tennis facility, the memorial garden, and an indoor performance center. Of course, there was no discussion of who would actually foot the bill for these fancy projects, the RA's recent push to receive development proffers instead of the county to build such facilities notwithstanding.

Our BFFs at Reston2020 shared a little of what that conversation sounded like:

One TF member called for a major recreation facility that might incorporate some of the above, perhaps at a Village Center. John Carter also raised the issue of a how a major university center might fit into the picture.

Peter Otteni of Boston Properties (BP) said that the 20 acre BP site adjacent to TC station might be considered for a major performance center, but pointedly commented that BP could not be expected to carry this load by itself. John Carter noted the Strathmore facility in MD cost $90 million. Leila Gordon said she was thinking of $50 million.
$50 million or $90 million -- it's just a rounding error, right?

What was funnier was what R2020 called "cryptic comments" by the presenters:
Anna noted that Reston Town Center North offers a “particular opportunity” because so much of it is county land.

Larry Butler commented that future developments might depend on “where they draw the stable neighborhood lines” in Phase II.
(Cue the eerie X-Files theme whistle.)

We have no doubt that all of these facilities are needed and would help Reston make the transition to a larger, denser community with its most attractive features intact. What's missing, at least as of now, is a plan to actually pay for these facilities and consider them as part of discrete development proposals, which is where the rubber meets the road. Otherwise, we might only get some surplus tetherball poles to go along with our surplus art.


  1. How passe. Any community can -- and a great many communities have, I'm sure -- add(ed) 54 acres of open space, parks, another 60 acres of play fields, as well as an indoor aquatics facility, an indoor tennis facility, the memorial garden, and an indoor performance center. However, how many communities have a venue suitable for Flat Track Roller Derby? If you want something to set Reston apart from those other planned communities...

    Bring Roller Derby to Reston!

  2. I have to get out before it's too late. Unfortunately, it may already be too late.

  3. 1. What about all the traffic this development will generate? Can the roads handle all the additional traffic this will bring?
    2. What is this fixation with indoor tennis?
    3. Buffalo has a point - it may be time to get out.

  4. For Diva & Buffalo, the Eagles said it best in "Hotel California":

    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back
    To the place I was before
    "Relax, " said the night man,
    "We are programmed to receive.
    You can check-out any time you like,
    But you can never leave! "

  5. Terry,

    So I called up the Macaroni Grill,
    "Please bring me my wine"
    He said, "We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine"
    And still the DRB is calling from far away,
    Wake you up in the middle of the night
    Just to hear them say...
    (insert something about Burnt Umber trim)

  6. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonApril 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    I see that slide #18 of the fancy Powerpoint presentation identifies a need for an indoor venue that "can support large footprint music and dance organizations." I am praying it means that at some point in the not too distant future Reston will welcome the Dancing Sasquatch Troupe from the Pacific Northwest:

    "You put your Bigfoot in
    You put your Bigfoot out..."

  7. Wait.....John Carter, the dude from Mars?

  8. No, John Carter, the ER doc from Chicago.

  9. Traffic problems will loom soon and all we get are road diets. Very forward thinking mentality around public officials and the idiots who drink the Kool-Aid.


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