The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors soon will decide the fate of a proposed 23-story tower in Reston Town Center that many residents fear is too tall and too far from the nearest Metro station to be successful.
The 418,000-square-foot tower, which would replace an existing five-story building at 1760 Reston Parkway, worries Reston Association President Ken Knueven, who opposes its construction.
"It's a beautiful tower, and it's architecturally sound, but this is the wrong place for it," he said.
Colin Mills, president of the Reston Citizens Association, said he is concerned that the more than 1,100 parking spaces that developers say the mixed-use tower's inhabitants would need would worsen traffic in an area already suffering from congestion.
What's more worrisome
for Mills, however, is that the tower would be more than half a mile from Reston Town Center's stop on Metro's under-construction Silver Line, which he said would deter people from riding it.
"You just can't ask people to walk more than a half-mile from the Metro," Mills said. "It's too far."
The Alliance of Reston Clusters and Homeowners also warned officials of the tower's downsides before a June vote by the county's Planning Commission.
Because 18 of the building's 23 stories are designed for office space, the organization told the commission it feared the building would siphon office demand away from the area closest to the Metro, which would cripple Reston's push to become more transit-oriented.
Even after hearing concerns from residents and receiving a county staff report that advised a reduction in building height, the Planning Commission recommended the proposal to the Board of Supervisors.
"Its height doesn't particularly concern me," said Frank de la Fe, who represents Hunter Mill on the Planning Commission and voted for the tower. "And I don't agree with those who say it's too far away [from the Metro]."
Representatives from Reston's Polleo Group, which designed the building, and RTC Partnership LLC, which submitted the building application, were unable to be reached.
After postponing a public hearing on the tower in July, the supervisors plan to reopen discussions about it Sept. 11.