RCA’s representatives to the Reston Task Force (RTF), Terry Maynard (primary) and Dick Rogers (alternative), have been working hard to represent Restonians’ views as the County’s planning staff presents proposed language to the task force. After each presentation of a new or revised section, they have been providing extensive feedback to County staff on the strengths, weaknesses, and other issues in the proposed language. Their comments are noted (along with those by others) at the ensuing RTF presentation in the next edition of the Comprehensive Plan language.

In the last few weeks, with the help of the Reston 2020 Coordinating Committee, they provided RCA’s extensive commentary on Version 4 (V.4) of the draft language, the focus of which was on a new section on transportation planning for Reston—an issue critical to all Restonians. We criticized heavily the portion on Reston’s roadways for its ambiguity and use of jargon, noting that the Plan should be understandable by Restonians. We also decried the lack of particulars on transit, walking, and biking in the TOD areas, as well as the need for timely construction of key Dulles Corridor crossings.

In addition, RCA took the opportunity to re-examine changes made and not made since the preceding version of the draft Plan. In this process, RCA wins some and loses some. A notable win was the recognition that the jobs:housing ratio for Reston should remain at about 2.5:1 rather than ballooning to 3:1 as had been originally proposed. So far, RCA has not persuaded the County that it should pursue air rights over the Dulles Corridor, but—as this letter shows—we continue to press the case.

RCA will continue to respond to each new version of the draft Plan language as they are presented to the RTF. At the next meeting on July 30 (RCC—Lake Anne, 7 PM), we expect the critical section on urban design—covering density, mix of uses, share devoted to open space, etc.—to be presented to the task force. The new version may also include an updated section on parks and recreation which RCA harshly criticized for its vagueness and inadequacy in V.3 of this ongoing process.

For those who are interested, RCA’s response to earlier draft Plan language can be found on the Reston 2020 blog. Here are some links:

Letter of June 2 commenting on V.2 and V.3 focuses on the inadequacies of the parks and recreation section (including the potential effects on park accessibility against a national performance) and general concerns about locating new infrastructure outside the TOD areas and building a consolidated County government complex to save space.

Letter of March 8 commenting on V.1 covering the introduction and areawide framework. Our comments focused on general issues of jobs:housing balance, air rights, office space per worker, and more.

Keep up with the Reston 2020 blog for more RCA contributions on the proposed draft Plan language.