Implicit in the preceding is my rejection of “a residential collar around the urbancore.” That segregation of purposes would undo the mixed-use community we arestriving to attain within the TOD area. Its effect, like the 1:1 space ratio, would be toforce residents into their vehicles to go to work, shop, and play—exactly what we aretrying to avoid in this planning process. Moreover, it would mean more people driving toReston to work than an integrated res-off neighborhood.Like the “residential collar” concept, you have slipped some other new “features”(not unlike many of Microsoft’s “undocumented features” in its software that are almostalways flaws) that are unsupportable, but consistent with developer interests.
For the first time, the notional future TC household size has swollen from 2.0 to2.6 people per DU (see p. 7)—a 30% increase that is not explained, and not justifiable. In the latter regard, I would note that the latest MWCOGtransportation forecast shows TC area households now at 1.94 people per DU and“swelling” to 1.99 people per DU in 2040.
How can you justify 2.6 people per DU?
The obvious impact from this is that developers/landowners can show a prospective 30% larger residential HH size, which simply will not occur, to justify building relative more office space. In the meantime, they can argue that theres:off ratio shouldn’t be increased because so much more population isanticipated.
Somewhere along the line, the committee moved the assumptions about DU andworkspace space allocation to a 1,200 GSF number (…per DU, …per 4 workers)vs. 1,000 GSF. I have read the elaborate footnote on this, but fail to see anadequate justification for the shift in GSF base. The fact of the matter is that,
onthe DU side, every APR that has been submitted in the latest round bases its DU estimate on 1,000GSF per DU. Are they all wrong? What basis do you have for changing this assumption?
If accepted, this assumption would allowdevelopers/landowners to build 20% more office space in a parcel whilesustaining their res:off GFA balance. (And lessees can always squeeze 4 workersinto 1,000GSF—or less—as most planners anticipate.)
As in the past, you appear to have accepted uncritically the most developer-friendlyassumptions available in your draft report, starting with the 1:1 space ratio. If accepted, just these two changes alone would allow increase the imbalance betweenworker and residential population by more than 50% at the 1:1 space ratio proposed.
There are other such examples sprinkled throughout this developer-driven draft, but I willleave it to committee members and, if they remain, the Task Force to sort those out in theinterest of time and space now. And I’ll be back.Open Space: This draft paper argues almost violently against being subjected to theCounty’s urban open space standards. I strongly endorse the Reston 2020 position thatthe TOD areas should have 25% functional open space and see absolutely no reason whythe County should relax its urban parks standard (I would increase it, given the option.) tomeet the demands of a few property owners. This can be accomplished in a number of ways: