As 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.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:
Nothing majorly new was presented by JBG except contemporary façades 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.
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.