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Letter: ‘Restonyzing’ Village Centers

To the Editor:

Hard to understand the following quote from Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Planner II Richard Lambert in the June 11-17, 2014 issue of your paper [“Reston’s Phase II Introduced”]:

“The plans assume the village centers will remain the same. We are creating a process where, if the village center owners want to change the centers, there is a Reston specific hierarchy to value their amendment process.”

With the exception of Lake Anne Village Center, none of the four other village centers should remain the same. They basically are shopping centers. Long range plans must provide for reconstituting them as plazas ringed by high density residential buildings as was envisaged in the original master plan for Reston.

Plazas are the vital community gathering places, the glue that holds communities together. Reston's Town Center Plaza (misnamed Fountain Square) is a perfect example of how effective a plaza can be in fostering community. On a much smaller scale, the plaza at Lake Anne performs the same service.

It is much too important to leave the future of the village centers in the hands of the owners. Over the years, probably one by one, the village centers will, one way or another, be Restonyized, and Reston will gradually regain its national (and even international) standing.

Bob Simon

Reston Founder