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Environmental Considerations for Future Development and Redevelopment within Reston

In order to preserve Reston’s environment and encourage sustainable practices within our community, the Environmental Advisory Committee, having duly notified all of its members of the special meeting to be held on September 15, 2011 commencing at 7 PM, and the meeting having been called to order by its chairman and a quorum being present at said meeting, by a unanimous vote of the members present, strongly urges the RA Board of Directors to ensure that the following environmental considerations be applied to all future development and/or redevelopment within Reston. Furthermore, we ask the Board of Directors to make the Design Review Board and the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee aware of these environmental considerations as it reviews development and redevelopment plans.

Community and Regional Infrastructure Approvals for future development or redevelopment should consider the existing and required public and private infrastructure to support the development now and for future generations. The local and regional existing and proposed infrastructure required to support the development or redevelopment will be reviewed in accordance with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Envision rating system.

Open Space, Natural Areas, Tree Canopy Approvals for future development or redevelopment should be granted only after environmental reviews by appropriate County staff demonstrate that there will be no significant negative impacts on surrounding open space and natural areas. Open space and natural areas: All new or redeveloped neighborhoods should include at least 33% open space. This will ensure that open space and natural areas in clusters and neighborhoods are consistent with open space/natural areas on RA property and will allow space for an increased tree canopy.

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As a Tree City, USA, Reston places a high value on its trees. As of 2002, the Reston tree canopy was at 38%. If we are to attain the County-wide goal of achieving a 45% tree canopy by 2030, we must make a concerted effort to preserve trees in the development and redevelopment process. If mature trees are lost in the course of development or redevelopment, that loss must be offset by plantings of trees elsewhere on the site under conditions that will allow the replacement trees eventually to provide the same environmental services as the lost trees as calculated using the National Tree Benefits calculator. Native trees are preferred as replacement and non-invasive trees are required. The selection of trees should be diversified.

Green Building Technology, Site Considerations and Neighborhood Design In order to protect, maintain, and promote the sustainability of Reston’s environment and that of our region, all new commercial buildings should be built to LEED Gold Standards. Residential multifamily buildings should be built to LEED Silver Standards. Neighborhoods, either newly developed or redeveloped, should be constructed using LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) standards, and should be required to achieve LEED Gold certification under the LEED-ND program. Where feasible, onsite energy generation should be considered. Appropriate energy systems for use in Reston might include solar photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems, or water or ground source heat pump systems. RA should consider the sustainability value of such energy systems equally to the aesthetic and architectural criteria they already consider. Landscaping and site development for new developments and redeveloped areas should follow the guidelines found in The Sustainable Sites Initiative: Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009 In order to preserve and enhance our local ecosystem, invasive exotics as defined by the Virginia Department of Natural Resources should not be planted in Reston. Landscaping should include native trees and shrubs and a high percentage of native perennial and annual plants as defined by the Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Drought tolerance should also be an important consideration when installing new landscaping.

Stormwater and Water Quality Stormwater management should be evaluated for Reston as a whole, not only for individual developments by individual developers. Future development should follow stormwater best management practices and ensure that no additional stormwater runoff is generated as a result of new development. The County should not grant stormwater waivers when approving individual developments. When redevelopment occurs, such as is currently being proposed for the Fairway Apartments, the new development should be required to generate less stormwater runoff than the previous development. All new construction in Reston, whether redevelopment (e.g., Fairway Apartments) or new development (e.g., Comstock at Wiehle), must employ stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and follow low impact development (LID) guidelines. Buildings should include green roof technology, rainwater catchment systems that allow rainwater to be used in toilets where allowed by code, and site features such as rain gardens, cisterns, infiltration galleries, permeable pavers, swales and other features that contain stormwater on site and allow for gradual infiltration into the subsurface (where warranted by the site geology). These guidelines should be applied regardless of the size of the development or structure.

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