by RCA Board Member – Hank Schonzeit

About 10 days ago, 100+ Reston residents met with
Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning representatives to review the
“strawman” draft text of Reston’s Master Plan Phase II. The strawman was proposed
as an initial draft designed to start the public dialogue.  The plan can be accessed at
This plan is crafted to set the goals and criteria
for development outside of the Reston Transit Station Area. Among others, Reston
Citizens Association (RCA) also wrote to the Hunter Mill District Supervisor,
Ms. Cathy Hudgins, expressing concerns about opportunities for adequate public review.
Thankfully, Cathy Hudgins responded, and additional community meetings have
been added to the plan development schedule.
At the September 13 community meeting, after Fairfax
representatives presented an overview of the study area, schedule, vision and
planning principles and an overview of the working draft, participants were
invited into focus groups. Eight representatives from RCA participated in these
The focus of this meeting was the text on
Neighborhoods, the Convenience Centers and the commercial area north of Baron
Cameron Avenue and west of Reston Parkway. 
The following comments and suggestions were brought
up and discussed.
Some participants felt that most of the relevant
issues were covered in the plan. However, the text contained considerable
duplication often with slight variations, i.e. in describing new development,
some passages mention a traffic study and some do not, in describing road
improvements, some passages mentioned bike lanes and walkways and others do
not, some passages mention achieving Silver LEED Certification green goals and
other describe “Gold.” Which is it? These inconsistencies made the strawman
Master Plan difficult to evaluate and would make it even harder for the plan to
serve as a guide. The duplication should be eliminated and where duplication or
summarization is needed, the text should be consistent.
Missing were any mention of specific guidance on
street crossing safety, traffic monitoring, how and where additional parks and
recreation centers would be created to accommodate the expanded population and
how our existing library will be maintained and enhanced.
There are no metrics mentioned for: traffic, green
space verses development, park acreage/resident, library space/resident… The
only metric included was for affordable housing. That metric however, does not
differentiate between the two components of affordable housing, workforce and
Someone noted that there was no text describing
accommodations for pedestrians and bicycles when the new proposed bridges and
underpasses are built, safe crossing of North Shore Drive when the
revitalization of the Lake Anne area is implemented and noted that there is no
guidance on the maintenance of existing facilities and paths, accommodation for
electric charging stations, soliciting a book store, a mechanism to monitor
traffic, and the process of how Reston will encourage developers to adhere to
Phase II guidelines. A representative told RCA that the Plan sets the framework for evaluating proposals that
are brought forward to the Planning and Zoning Department.
One of the main goals of Phase II was to create a
land use map – one that reflects all parks, recreation and open
spaces in Reston, both public and private. New site-specific recommendations
were added for Reston’s two golf courses – saying they are explicitly planned
to remain as golf courses.
There were no goals set for the Baron Cameron
Community Retail Center.  Should there be
a goal, for instance, to eventually bring that center in line with the
architecture of the Town center complexes as was the intention of the original
Master Plan? Comments on the draft text are invited at

next community meeting to present and discuss “Strawman” text for
Phase II will be Saturday, October 18, time and place to be announced.  The focus will be on the draft Village
Center text. There are no goals or plans for the four village centers in
the draft text. Apparently the owners are satisfied with the current state of
these locations. Someone questioned, “Shouldn’t we have a goal for how these
centers will look like in 10-20 years?” If you have an opinion, please mark
your calendar for October 18. 


RCA Reston 2020 comments on the “strawman” draft Phase 2 Reston Master Plan, September 25, 2014