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Time to Pay Attention to the Master Plan

To the Editor:

The 4-year planning process for a new Reston is reaching its conclusion and the news is not good for those who value Reston traditions and values. Now is the time to pay attention to this slow-moving effort.

Although there are positive elements in the new plan, particularly its stress on mixed residential and commercial redevelopment, it promises to bring in 40,000 new residents and 60,000 new office employees to the already congested areas around the new Metro stations.

Reston Association and the Reston Community Association have each made pleas to Fairfax County that the plan provide for sensible re-development. Unfortunately, some of their points made have been dismissed and most ignored by a county apparently bent on getting more tax money from the property owners.

The proposed plan and its flexible density have given headaches to transportation planners. VDOT has said that if adopted, it could be a recipe for “failing levels of (roadway) service many hours of the day with constrained mobility for goods and people.”

The plans for parks and recreation are inadequate for the population proposed. No specific park areas are laid out and the assumption seems to be that many of the recreation needs will be met by RA using facilities we have already paid for.

Some elements of the plan just do not make good sense. A new elementary school is penciled in for North Town Center, but then another one is proposed for the US Geological Service area just to the south. But much of the new residential development is going to be around Wiehle station.

To add insult to injury, the plan leaves unclear who is going to pay for all the promised infrastructure. In the similar case of Tysons Corner re-development, a 4 cent tax per $100 assessed value was levied on all residents—and this will go to 8 cents in the future. Is that the future of Reston when the development community stands to make a windfall?

Find out for yourself what this means to you. RA and RCA co-hosted a review of the plan at the RA building Oct. 17; if you missed it, see a recording at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v65WvwIUbvE.

Dick Rogers

RCA Alternate

Reston Master Planning Task Force