Reston needs your help!
This summer, Reston Planning & Zoning Committee (RP&Z) rejected a proposal for a massive redevelopment of the Campus Commons site at the corner of Wiehle Avenue and Sunrise Valley Drive. However, the developer is pushing ahead to fast-track the addition of 1.1 million square feet of multi-family residential and office space. The proposed project is directly across Sunrise Valley Drive from neighborhoods of single-family homes and two-story townhouses.
The proposal is currently slated to come before the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing on Wednesday, September 25, and proceed to the Fairfax Board of Supervisors in October.
The proposed plan includes:
- Two 29-story and 8-story residential buildings with over 600 units for an estimated 1,300 new residents;
- A 14-story office building capable of housing at least 1,240 employees; and
- No reasonable approach for the traffic that will be generated on Wiehle Avenue and all along Sunrise Valley Drive, an area already heavily congested at peak travel times. Their only solution? Re-stripe one block of Sunrise Valley Drive and two blocks of Wiehle, then re-time the traffic lights to ease congestion.
A significant negative impact to established neighborhoods, cross-Reston traffic/safety, and tree canopy will be the result.
- The developer rejected proposals from RP&Z and Reston Association to build a tunnel under Wiehle Avenue so people could move quickly and safely to and from the Metro station. Instead, they have proffered a new crosswalk across Wiehle at the Dulles Toll Road that will be accessible from Campus Commons up a steep embankment, impeding access to those with disabilities. This also requires that the signal lights be slowed significantly to allow pedestrians time to cross, further backing up traffic in all directions.
- The developer’s proposal offers only the absolute minimum amount of parking legally required for the more than 2,500 people who will live and work there. This will lead to overflow into the neighboring residential areas.
- All the mature trees on the site will be removed, violating Reston’s Planning Principles which state, “Natural resources and ecosystems, including natural areas, will be protected . . . canopy will continue to be an important component of the Reston visual experience.”
What can you do? Three things:
- Attend the community meeting on Thursday, 5 September, at 7:00 pm at the North County Government Center. Ask the developer questions. Challenge their assumptions and statements. Stand up for Reston’s values of green space, tree cover, and quality of life. Wear yellow!
- Write to the Fairfax County Planning Commission (Plancom@fairfaxcounty.gov) to express your opposition to this project that will add thousands more vehicles to roads already badly stressed and congested.
- Attend the Planning Commission meeting on 25 September as a show of support to the many South Reston residents whose quality of life will be adversely affected by this over-development.
For more background information, please go to Rescue Sunrise Valley’s website. This is a group started by nearby residents. Their website provides explanations about the many issues raised by this proposal and the developers’ reluctance to engage in a meaningful dialogue with the community. This deeply flawed development proposal may be in the Transit Station Area, but its failings will affect the lives of everyone who lives, works, or travels through Reston!