Thursday, September 10, 2015
RCA White Paper on Future Redevelopment of Reston Regional Library
Executive Summary from Reston Citizens Association's White Paper on the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North which includes Reston Regional Library:
The entire RCA White Paper may be read here:
At a community meeting on July 29th,Fairfax County presented the idea of a proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTC North), focusing on Blocks 7 and 8.The redevelopment was framed as a public-private partnership, and was expected to include new housing and commercial space. The Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter “may” be rebuilt on the site. Residents were allowed brief comments and questions. A follow-up meeting was announced for September 19th.
Attendees were told that the county would defer redevelopment of the remainder of the County-owned area (Blocks 1, 3, and 5) until an unspecified future date because “it was too much to work on at the same time.” Many attendees were disappointed to hear of this delay in planning the much-anticipated County-funded Recreation Center and Performing Arts Center. People who live and work in Reston are passionate about their community. They are especially passionate about our library and Reston’s commitment to social action.
Many of the attendees expressed concerns about the future of the library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, and the possibility that services would be compromised if these facilities were moved to temporary locations or their redevelopment was delayed until the development of further blocks. Other concerns included the lack of any community oversight and uncertainty regarding the developers’ adherence to Reston’s Master Plan guidelines. Reston Citizens Association (RCA) reviewed the presentation and met with representatives of the Fairfax County Public Library and Cornerstones (the organization managing the Embry Rucker Community Shelter) as well as some members of the community to understand their perspectives on the proposed redevelopment and what outcomes they would each respectively like to see at the end of it.
Following that and our own analysis, we have developed an initial list of goals, concerns and questions along with a proposed approach to the redevelopment of Blocks 7 and 8. We recognize the perceived challenges in placing a homeless shelter in the midst of market priced housing. We are proposing an approach that may serve to address this challenge as well as many of the community’s concerns. We suggest that the county renovate the vacant Cameron Glen facility and move the Embry Rucker Community Shelter into this space. We recommend that the County build a new and larger library on the former Embry Rucker Community Shelter site using the approved $10 million bond as a starting point. This approach not only addresses the stated concerns, but provides other advantages as well, as outlined in the discussion below.