As the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors prepares for a Tuesday public hearing on the 23-story mauvescraper proposed for the current site of the Reston Times building on Reston Parkway, the three major groups representing Reston plan to present a united front in opposition. Reston Citizens Association President Colin Mills writes in a "web log" post:
We reached out to other community groups that had expressed opposition to the tower, specifically the Reston Association and the Association of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH). Last weekend, leaders from our three organizations met and agreed on a common position.As with the proposed redevelopment of the Reston National Golf Course, it's encouraging to see all three groups working together. Just as importantly, all three organizations were planning to meet jointly with Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins for the first time.
When RCA, RA, and ARCH meet with Supervisor Hudgins to dicuss the tower, we will ask her to stand up for her staff. We will ask her to stand up for the vision of the Task Force she created. And we will ask her to stand with our organizations, which represent the opinions of a broad swath of Restonians. The tower makes for a pretty-looking rendering, but in order to do right by Reston, it needs to go back to the drawing board.Hudgins gets a lot of criticism from commenters on this "web log" and elsewhere for being unresponsive to local concerns about development. She'll no longer be able to say she isn't hearing a clear message from her constituents.
The RA, RCA and ARCH had all previously -- and separately -- voiced opposition to the mauvescraper, criticizing its size and distance from the future Metro station, as well as the lack of a residential component. In June, the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted against county staff recommendations to recommend approval of the project (a lengthy analysis of the decision from our BFFs at Reston2020 is here), setting the stage for Tuesday's vote by the county supervisors. (One supporter of the proposal is none other than Bob Simon, who wrote a letter praising its "world-class appearance." Which, to be fair, it does have. Just check out that dramatic CGI sunset!)
We're still pleasantly surprised that all three groups, and especially the RA, are actually working together. So, it seems, are they:
This is a huge step forward for Reston: rather than fighting over turf, our organizations are joining together to support our shared vision of Reston's future. As ARCH President Jerry Volloy joked at our weekend gathering, "We've got to stop meeting like this. People will think we're a community."Ha ha ha ha! Actually, given that the pace of development proposals -- some potentially good, some almost certainly terrible -- will only increase in the coming years, that might sort of be a good thing.