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Reston balks at Metro station development

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Local,Virginia,Taylor Holland

Reston residents are objecting to a massive redevelopment along Metro's new Silver Line, saying the new construction will only increase the area's traffic problems when the new buildings open in 2014.

Reston is one of the nation's first posWorld War II planned communities, and development there is tightly controlled. And residents said they're now concerned that the evolving plans for development around the Wiehle Avenue station would be incompatible with the existing community.

The Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force, the group overseeing the project's preliminary design, proposed last month that traffic around the station could be reduced if the amount of office space being allowed there were reduced.

Colin Mills, president of the Reston Citizens Association, called the recommendation to limit the scope of the redevelopment "a big step in the right direction."

"No development project, no matter how innovative or attractive, can be great if it comes at the cost of Restonians' quality of life," Mills wrote to the task force. "We are a community already overwhelmed by peak period traffic. ... To add unnecessarily to that community burden is wrong."

Opposition to the redevelopment has irked developers, who said such restrictions would prevent the area from becoming the mix of business and residential uses that Fairfax County envisioned when the redevelopment plan was first drafted in 2007.

Andrew Painter, a lawyer representing two property owners near the Wiehle Avenue station, said the developers and county have already spent years devising a plan for the area's redevelopment and that changing that commitment now is unfair to property owners.

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

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