News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Earth-Toned Autobots Unite! RA, RCA, ARCH Team Up Again on Reston Master Plan (Updated)

forum info.jpg

You know when a postcard-sized mailer gets sent out, stuff's about to get real, as the kids might have said as recently as two years ago, maybe? Well, continuing a partnership that started with other existential threats to our beloved earth-toned community, the Reston Association, Reston Citizens Association and the the Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners (ARCH) are again joining forces to address concerns with the draft master plan that will guide development in Reston, a product of several years' work by the Reston Master Plan Committee Task Force With an Unprononcable Acronym (¶).

Our BFFs at RCA recently issued an epic smackdown of the master plan draft, calling it "amorphous, incomplete, and ultimately dysfunctional" and arguing that it doesn't protect Reston residents while requiring them to foot too much of the bill for the improvements required by all that sweeeet midrise bollardy goodness. They've also pointed out that the state transportation department has called B.S. on the traffic assumptions guiding the plan, which aren't particularly optimistic even in their current, rose-colored form.

And that's all before we even get to the fun part, when ¶ turns its eye to the existing village centers in Phase 2 of the master plan.

In recent weeks, RCA, the RA and ARCH have decided to join forces in working with the task force, with RA and RCC agreeing on six principles that should guide the master plan, including sustainability, open space, mobility (meaning no endless gridlock and one blinking light at a crosswalk in front of the future Metro station), and having developers pay a fair share of infrastructure improvements. The three groups are also planning a community forum on Thursday night to explain why the master plan is of concern to folks other than SimCity obsessives and filthy web loggers.

In his own "web log" post, RCA President Colin Mills explains why the partnership with RA and ARCH is so important:
RCA has been working very hard on the Task Force, but it has been a long and lonely struggle at times. As you know if you have followed our comments, we believe the draft Comprehensive Plan less than ideal for Restonians in a lot of ways. But we’re only one voice on the Task Force; there’s only so much we can accomplish on our own.

Happily, we’ve discovered that we aren’t alone. In conversations with leaders from RA and ARCH, we’ve found that we have a lot of views in common. And we agreed that our voices would be amplified if we spoke up together. So we decided to stand up together on behalf of the citizens of Reston.

Like a good marriage, our collaboration allows us to benefit from each organization’s strength. We at RCA bring our analytical skills and deep involvement throughout the process to the table. RA brings its formidable resources to the table. For instance, they’ve been able to hire a land use attorney as an advisor (something we could never afford), and they have a much larger megaphone to communicate with our citizens. ARCH contributes its community connections and experience in complex community issues. When we unite those strengths, it’s a very powerful combination.
The community forum will be from 7-9pm Thursday at RA headquarters. Why is it important, in good blockquote form, Mssr. Mills?
The developer representatives, while they don’t agree on everything, have shown themselves as a fairly united force throughout the process. They know how the game is played, they know what they want, and they know how to get it.
Sounds about right to us.

Update: Pop the popcorn and break out the Snugglie -- video of the two-plus hour forum is now online:


  1. Q: What do you call it when three of Reston's most prestigious organizations gather around a common cause and masturbate feverishly?

    A: A Circle Jerk.

    Get a hint, folks. The "Powers That Be" only care about your ideas and plans as long as they provide utility to the "Powers That Be". And they're even willing to allow you to disagree as long as you don't cause trouble. However, if your plans differ from those of the desires of the "Powers That Be", well, "Tough noogies, Boo."

    Even though I disagree with this whole notion of "Transit Oriented Development" that these folks are pushing, your efforts would probably be better served by pushing to become a town or a city. At least, Herndon has that. Until Reston becomes a city or a town, somebody else whose interests aren't necessarily the same as the majority of the residents, will be deciding our future.

    No Growth is Smart Growth

    1. Just want to clarify that RCC is not sponsoring this; not sure where your headline came from. The sponsors are RA, RCA and ARCH. Our representatives to the Task Force have contributed to that process and we worked with RA and the County staff on the staff reports on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Facilities. I am posting as "Anonymous" because I don't need another email address, but am signing this to be sure people know who I am. Leila Gordon

    2. Oops, that was a typo on our part (RCA not RCC). It's now fixed.


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