Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting On the Task Force Draft Report November 14, 2012

, 8:00 A.M. Reston Association Summary: The group agreed to meet on Wednesday, November 28 at 7 PM at the Reston Association offices. There was general agreement that we would have a working meeting to discuss what is going to make Reston a great place in the 21st century. It would present the task force’s vision to the community and be the frontspiece of the task force report. We were tasked with thinking of five to 10 things that we would like to see enhance the future of Reston. Attendees: See Attached. Patty Nicoson, RMP SS TF Chairman, opened the meeting. It began with a brief discussion about the Task Force meeting the previous night (November 13) at which Heidi Merkel presented the new plan geography (new boundaries for districts), objectives underlying scenario G, and proposed densities and mix of uses for the Wiehle Avenue Station area south of the Dulles Toll Road as an example of how several properties might be developed. Staff is proposing a “bucket concept” of development consisting of 1.6 million sq. ft. of office space and 2,500 dwelling units that could be used for a large area that encompasses three sub‐units identified in the current Comprehensive Pan (H‐1, H‐2, I‐1). The range of FARs that would be considered would be 1.5 to 2.5. To receive an FAR at the higher end of the range, developers would have to meet performance criteria. Staff recognizes that some projects closest to the station might not be developed in the near term. This approach allows flexibility to use the density for other meritorious projects near the station whose owners would be prepared to move forward. Heidi Merkel said that there would be discussion of the vision statement and some of the elements in the subcommittee reports for the stations areas included in the plan text staff was developing. For instance it would mention the jobs/household balance and the ultimate vision of the task force and point out that the proposed plan amendments were viewed as an initial step to get to that vision. Staff wants to preserve opportunities for development nearest station. Greg Riegle said that the problem previously was that the scenarios seemed to be trying to pick winners and losers. This new approach puts the emphasis on the vision. He thought this worked very well and noted that staff was not talking about more density than previously put forward. Page 1 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

Matt Valentini said he thought the district concept was good and permitted flexibility. The challenge would be to understand the benefits that were desired and tying these to performance standards. He liked the idea of moving away from proscribing land‐uses for specific units. He was concerned by the assumed pace of development, that build out by 2030 would be about 80 percent. History has shown that is not likely. He thought a more realistic assumption would be 60 percent build out. Bill Penniman mentioned his concern for a race to the courthouse where are all the property owners would rush to file development applications as in Tysons Corner. Greg Riegle pointed out that Tysons Corner was different. There are a lot of low‐ density uses like car dealerships. Property owners want to redevelop. In Reston, there has been some substantial investment in buildings that are not likely to be torn down anytime soon. He noted that property owners make a seven‐figure investment when they begin to do work on their development plans. They would like some certainty that they will be able to achieve the development levels being sought. Kohann Williams suggested that the adopted Vision and Principles become the beginning of the task force report. She suggested that we go back to the station area subcommittees and have them work on their reports. Heidi Merkel noted that staff put the vision subcommittee’s framework on their maps. Bill Penniman mentioned that he had taken the Vision Subcommittee report and started to work on editing and adding to it. He volunteered to undertake developing a first cut draft for the task force to consider. Terry Maynard thought that flexibility could achieve transit‐oriented development, but maybe not. He had done calculations based on the current zoning and said that it provides for increased development, that the zoning in place permits more density. Why wouldn’t developers who want to build offices use the existing zoning? Heidi Merkel and others in the group did not think that was the case and staff was asked to clarify this issue. Bill Penniman asked could you have a proffer that would say that development had to provide needed infrastructure within three, five or 10 years? The law requires a rational nexus. Greg Riegle said he thought that you could do something like that, indicate where the next level of development be allowed to go by crafting intelligent performance standards. Bill Penniman cited the example of the grid of streets. Can we enforce property owners moving forward on developing the street grid? Greg Riegle responded absolutely. Tysons Corner has an onerous burden of catch‐up. Page 2 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

Terry Maynard asked about the threshold for building the Soapstone connector. What would give this legal standing? It was noted that the Reston Town Center had triggers it had to meet in terms of trip reduction before various stages of development could proceed. Heidi Merkel said that these could be identified in the plan. Staff thinks the need for Soapstone will occur sooner. Once the desired alignment is identified, staff will work on finding a way to have it implemented. Staff is looking now at 2 to 3 alignments and their cost/benefit implications. The Board of Supervisors would have to make a decision regarding the selected alignment. Staff has been talking to the affected property owners. Kohann Williams asked about prioritizing standards. She found the concept frightening. Are there threshold levels for criteria? Heidi Merkel said that she meant that the highest densities would be reserved for the areas closest to the station areas. There are a lot of objectives to achieve at these locations. For example, can you provide direct access to the station? How do other criteria interface with that approach? Kohann Williiams asked if staff was prioritizing within the corridor? Heidi Merkel answered that they would identify their most preferred criteria but that they would also require developers to meet others. Dick Kennedy commented on the board approving the Soapstone crossing. Heidi Merkel said it was not an on/off trigger. In the Tysons example, after the planning work was approved, they came up with recommendations on how infrastructure was going to be paid for mostly by using public private partnerships. How will they be arrived at? The plan will set in place a framework and funding mechanism. Terry Maynard asked about the reference to negotiations with a few property owners in Town Center North. Heidi Merkel responded that they had had one staff workshop on the area with staffs from the various agencies involving design, public works, planning, and transportation. They are waiting now for the architectural team to bring back concepts. She didn’t know the time frame but will find out. Staff had talked about the park and open space objectives for the Town Center North, active recreation, passive recreation, the area set aside for county uses and the challenges presented by putting a large park on the flattest part of the site. John Carter was concerned that the group was fixated on development levels. The committees did what they did. Let’s get into the vision for the 21st century. What are the five or so points that would make Reston a really good place in the 21st century? Let’s determine them and provide input into the staff efforts. Development levels are not going to be the bottom line of our effort. No one will remember whether we approved a 2.5 or 2.7 FAR. Will we be able to get anywhere? How is the path system? Can we enhance it? And the bicycle system? What about the university and the performing arts center? How about getting more open space? Kohann Williams added the memorial garden. Bill Penniman asked John Carter to list some of the elements he would like to see in the report. Page 3 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

John Carter responded design elements, public safety, walkability and open space. What are we really trying to create? The offices of the future will be quite different. Do we want a great school system? Let’s be futurists. Let’s glean out of the reports ideas for the future. Let’s create a plan that will be good for the 21st century. Then the subcommittee reports could follow. Joe Stowers recommended that the group develop a list of the recommendations, endorse the list, send it to the task force for approval, and get it to Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. Several projects have been approved without the benefit of the task force’s positions on some of these issues, including the Whelan property. John Carter suggested that we come to the next meeting with our ideas and make it a working meeting to hammer out elements to include in our vision. Greg Riegle said that it seemed to him all roads lead to sharpening the vision. This would put the group in the forefront. The sooner we could get out in front and build an adopted vision the better. Staff could use it in coming up with its performance standards. Terry Maynard asked how precise one should be in locating facilities/amenities, for example identifying the performing arts center location? Should it be at Reston Town Center? And the university located at the Wiehle Avenue station? Greg Riegle said that once we had a vision and what developers need to do to get the maximum density, developers would figure out creative ways to implement it. Kohann Williams thought that this was a really good approach, to provide in a report what the community wants. She asked Heidi Merkel what was the county’s expectation of what should be included in the task force report, how much detail? Heidi Merkel said that the county had no consistent expectation of what should be included in committee reports. The scale of the groups differs widely as does their mission. John Carter said he thought it was good that the group was really focusing on elements that the community can relate to. These would be reasons to provide additional density. It would be helpful in speaking to staff. The staff plan will be fairly dry. They have a high regard for that report that was done by the previous task force in 2001. It helped explain the task force’s objectives. Patty Nicoson noted that the 2001 report did include charts that showed levels of density at the Dulles corridor stations. Dick Kennedy said that when the task force sees the staff report, we could quickly respond to it. He noted that staff had picked up quite a bit from the levels of discussion occurring in task force and subcommittee meetings. Page 4 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

Bill Penniman assumed that we would provide a well‐thought‐out task force report that would be used in considering approval of future developments. He thought the report would be most useful to the community. Van Foster thought the task force should respond to staff’s recommendations, but the task force report should stand alone and not be a response to draft Plan text. Terry Maynard thought that the report could be both an affirmation of staff’s recommendation and provide critical comments. This vision of the 21st century would be in front of the report, kind of like an executive summary of it. Patty Nicoson said she thought we/staff ought to respond to the number of people who raised concerns about the assumption of an 83 percent build out by 2030. That is being used in the transportation analysis. Matt Valentini had mentioned his concern at this meeting. Bill Penniman thought one approach could be if a developer could show that he could reduce the number of vehicle or trips, could he get more density? Heidi Merkel responded that the transportation staff had developed tables that would require a transit mode split of 30 percent. They are using COG’s model mode split in the computer analysis but can use the higher mode split in a subsequent sensitivity analysis. Heidi Merkel noted that in Tysons staff is using a type of “sliding scale.” A project may commit to a lower transit mode split for the first phase (e.g. 500,000 sq. ft. of office) but the percentage of transit trip rises for subsequent phases, so a greater mode split is realized as the project is built out. That percentage is factored into the transportation analysis. She did not see how staff could assume for the model the increased mode share and be certain that vehicle trip reductions would occur. We will have a much better idea of what is actually happening when the rail extension opens. Bill Penniman asked, “If we could achieve better trip reductions/more transit use, would it be feasible to allow you evaluate the situation and adjust the permitted levels of development?” Greg Riegle noted that in the future, the plan could permit higher densities. Joe Stowers said one way to do it would be to say you couldn’t achieve a certain level of development unless you have a 30 percent transit mode split and indicate the ways you can achieve this. Terry Maynard asked if the transportation staff used the COG model. Heidi Merkel responded that the Fairfax County Department of Transportation did a Transportation Demand Management study and looked specifically at examples in Fairfax County. They found a number of examples in Fairfax County with only partial filled parking lots based on using the current parking standards. They thought this meant that transit is being used more. Page 5 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

The next meeting of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force will take place on Tuesday, November 27. County staff will make a presentation on the analysis for the Soapstone connector. Staff would like to get final approval to move forward on Scenario G. Bill Penniman asked if the proposed densities were viable? Matt Valentini said he thought the feasibility was there. But developers needed to understand the proffers. They do what they can to minimize mitigate risk. In addition to getting through the planning process, developers have other concerns. They have financial partners. They want to eliminate the financial and feasibility risks. The more bold you want to make the Reston vision, the more density may be needed. In general, Matt Valentini said he was confident that this would work if the bonuses were there to achieve the desired special elements. His fear was that in 20 to 30 years, the plan might have constrained projects on the front end. We have only one time to get this development right. If we take full advantage of the opportunity of Metrorail coming, we may unearth other benefits. If we are narrow in our thinking, we could foreclose future development opportunities for a vibrant area, an area people find viable, walkable. John Carter expressed concern that the numbers presented Tuesday made it look like scenario G was going to be a downzoning. He wanted to see staff get to the bottom of this so the task force could understand what the numbers really mean. Heidi Merkel responded that the numbers included already approved zonings such as the Spectrum, JBG’s Reston Heights and Boston Properties approved zoning for property east of the post office along Sunset Hills Road. There are a lot of lots where existing development is not to the full amount allowed by the current zoning. Matt Valentini said when you look at those numbers, you are not really getting likely redevelopment. Heidi Merkel agreed that the increments in allowable FAR were not high enough to make it likely that a number of buildings would be torn down under the current plan FAR limits. John Carter said he was concerned that we didn’t have the leverage (density) to get the things from developers that we want. Terry Maynard noted that Pete Otteni pointed out that scenario G would reduce the job potential in the corridor by significant amount. Are we going to get where we want to be? After the meeting, John Carter pointed out to Patty Nicoson that we need to remember that once you take out the streets and sidewalks, the seemingly relatively low FARs increased on a developable block basis substantially. That is the case in Reston Town Page 6 of 7

Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force Meeting 11/14/2012

Center where a 1.0 FAR produces a core of very urban looking buildings because it is applied on a much larger area. John cited a building called White Flint Crossing, which had a 2.0 FAR but was the tallest building in Montgomery County (25 stories on Rockville Pike). NOTE added by H. Merkel – In addition to the attendees shown on the attached page, David Lasso, Venable LLC was in attendance at the meeting.

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