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Reining in Park and Ride?

RA Board hears concerns over proposed housing development.

Residents who live near the South Reston Park and Ride voiced concern over proposed housing on that site to the Reston Association Board of Directors on Thursday night. The meeting with the RA Board comes eight days after the same group of residents voiced concern over the proposal to Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).

RA Director Rick Beyer said the Park and Ride issue is a "microcosm of what's to come in the Reston area." Beyer said the RA has little control over county's proposals, because Reston is not incorporated. "The park and ride example is an example where we have no authority," said Beyer.

John Bowman, speaking on behalf of some of the concerned residents, argued against the redevelopment proposal, and also against the process. The proposal, brought to the county under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA), would build an unspecified number of dwelling units and a multi-level garage on the site of the current park and ride lot. However, the PPEA protects the details of the proposal from being publicized until a contract for the development is awarded. "We cannot engage in reasonable dialogue with the county under the current process," said Bowman. He asked that the RA Board engage in dialogue with county and state governments to open the process to the general public before a contract is awarded. He added that the concerned residents would like to see the RA Board become actively engaged in the public debate about the redevelopment.

"We ask the RA to preserve Reston," said Abby Grissinger, another concerned resident who lives near the park and ride lot.

President of the RA Board, Jen Blackwell, said the RA was already in contact with county officials. "We have reached out to Supervisor Hudgins's office," said Blackwell.

Hudgins was scheduled to address the RA Board in regards to the density issue, but did not make Thursday night's meeting. Blackwell said Hudgins could not attend because of a sudden illness.