As the awesome Reston master plan governing Metro-oriented development approved late last year by the Reston Task Force With an Interminable Name (¶) prepares to be put to a vote by the Fairfax County Planning Commission later this week, our BFFs at Reston2020 point out that further revisions have actually made the plan, already given a "D" letter grade by the Reston Citizens Association, even worse:
The Fairfax County Planning Commission (FCPC) posted its edited version of the draft Reston Master Plan on its website yesterday. The draft makes about a dozen "substantive" changes and a roughly equal number of what it calls "clarifications" and "editorial" changes. None of the changes incorporate any of the proposals offered in the joint RA-RCA-ARCH statement sent to the Department of Planning and Zoning on October 28, 2013 and representing the view of Reston's elected officials and 60,000 residents.What could possibly go wrong? A few thousand bucks from a developer would surely be enough to buy a whole truckload of bollards.
On the other hand, the revised draft proposes the adoption of no fewer than six “substantive” changes offered by individual landowners and developers or their attorneys. These include changes that:
• Allow additional “bonus” density for contributions to Corridor crossings above the already generous proposed development standards and "bonus" density;
• Add monetary contributions in addition to "in kind" contributions for vitally needed infrastructure improvements, money that rarely is adequate compensation and will almost certainly not be applied to Reston infrastructure needs.
But here's where it gets "fun." Our BFFs at Reston 2020 claim that along with ignoring the input of the RA, ARCH and RCA, the planning commission's Hunter Mill representative "has proposed to eliminate the requirement for RA Design Review Board of new construction, thereby limiting the community’s ability to assure architectural excellence that is a key planning principle."
Dissing the DRB? OH NO HE DIDNT
And there's more!
So what community needs doesn't this revised draft address as outlined in the letter signed by the President's of Reston's three leading civic groups (RA, RCA, ARCH) and other actions?Wow. Four years of "community input" for this?
• It fails to constrain "bonus" development to the first quarter-mile around the stations. Per the above, the new language includes the opportunity for additional "bonus" density above the standards, and includes the entirety of the 1/2-mile transit-oriented development (TOD) area.
• There are no limitations on building height, even beyond the TOD areas (i.e.--Town Center North).
• Limits the requirement to develop athletic fields to one per station area (a total of three) when the County's "adjust urban standard" calls for 12 and the County's planning guidance calls for 25.
• Does not call for a traffic "level of service (LOS) "E" (the lowest "passing" grade, which permits intersection delays ups to 80 seconds) at the gateway intersections near the Dulles Toll Road, assuring massive traffic gridlock during peak periods.
• Does not call for the use of grade-separated crossings at the gateway intersections, adding to traffic delays, reducing pedestrian and bicyclist access, and creating pedestrian-bicylist safety threat.
• Continues the generic problem of not addressing implementation issues, especially how to raise and apply the more than one billion dollars that will be required for Corridor transportation improvements.
• Fails to correct the Task Force's vote to change the open space requirement from a 20% "minimum" to a "target" undermining Reston's longstanding planning principle of providing abundant and diverse open space for all.
You can read the revised plan here.
Update: The county planning commission unanimously approved the master plan, with a few caveats to the new changes. It now goes to the county Board of Supervisors for final approval.