The Honorable Walter Alcorn
Supervisor, Hunter Mill District
1801 Cameron Glen Drive
Reston, VA 20190
Dear Supervisor Alcorn,
On behalf of the Board of Reston Citizens Association (RCA), I am writing to you in reference to the “Parking Reimagined” Zoning Amendment scheduled to be discussed at the Board of Supervisors Meeting on March 21. RCA believes this proposal is not well conceived nor developed and has too many unanswered questions and obvious shortcomings to be advanced at this time. We strongly urge the proposal be returned to staff for further analysis, integration with other County related work and above all outreach to the County’s citizens most directly affected by any revision of parking regulations.
Gary Maupin, Hunter Mill District representative on the Parking Reimagined Work Group, briefed you regarding this last Friday. Mr. Maupin gave you an issue paper of concerns. An updated version of that issue paper is attached so that you have a list of the major concerns. You will see from your Board Package that this proposal is very complicated. Planning Commissioner, John Carter and Mr. Maupin have asked for a simple chart of the differences between the current and future ordinance of Zoning Areas such as TOD, TSA, Revitalization Areas etc., and have not received a response to that request. Further, we believe this proposal should not have been organized by zoning areas. There are numerous unique places and situations across the County that are not addressed by this simplistic, broad-brushed approach used by the County staff.
Of interest is a lengthy defense of this change regarding the One Fairfax Policy in your Board Package for Tuesday. We believe that this proposal laid out by the County staff is actually in opposition to One Fairfax. Low-income and minority residents need and want cars due to their unique work situations requiring the resident to BE on the job and do it at odd hours and in odd places. Additionally, this proposal adversely affects the elderly. Granted, the number of designated parking spaces for persons with disabilities would not be reduced; however, history has shown that reductions in standard spaces lead to abled persons AND delivery vehicles parking in those designated spaces. These are several examples of issues raised with County staff several times without a response.
Now, our main concern is with the Board of Supervisors getting the updated Reston Comprehensive Plan (RCP) approved by the Board of Supervisors. RCA knows this is on the top of your list so it is very difficult for you to wade into the middle of this issue. We know your focus on approval of the RCP must be paramount. Also, from what we understand, there is very little supervisory support for stopping or slowing this proposal down despite what we see as a substantial County-wide citizen concern. This timing makes this proposal extremely difficult to challenge at this early stage . . . forcing it to be challenged in the Public Hearing Stage. A probable reality but that will create increased animosity with County staff with whom we respect and with whom we have a good working relationship. It also has a negative effect on the Board of Supervisors when County staff indicates the residents’ inputs are the outliers which they are not. Also, importantly, a delay would not make a significant difference. A delay means that additional work would need to be done by developers, County staff, the Planning Commission and the Board along with citizens to address how requests below the minimum would be handled separately as is done today.
With all due respect, this proposal is ‘not ready for prime time’ and a delay would, we believe, help to address the numerous concerns and craft a proposal in collaboration with citizen groups that addresses the outstanding issues.
Thank you for the time we know you spend on so many important issues and we thank you for considering this one.
President, Reston Citizens Association