Reston’s Lake Anne Village Center could soon expand with a larger main street and more housing.
Reston Town Center is one of the most well-known suburban downtowns in the DC region, but it’s not the only town center in Reston. In addition to the big one, Reston has several smaller village centers spread around the surrounding neighborhoods.
The largest of those is Lake Anne Village Center, which has a pleasant waterfront and a 15-story apartment tower that was Reston’s tallest building for decades. Before the big town center came along, Lake Anne was the heart of Reston.
Now it’s set for a revival. Developers working with Fairfax County propose to expand the village center, with a larger main street, nearly 1,000 new residential units, and a second high rise.
While it makes great sense to add infill to Reston’s village centers, especially Lake Anne, it is too bad this plan is still so car oriented. The main street extension is nice, but the circle-shaped residential area to the north is unnecessarily suburban. If the purpose of dense mixed-use areas is to promote walkability, why not actually make them walkable?
In a location like Reston, it’s true that most residents will have cars. That’s fine. But why so many landscaped setbacks? Why are the parking lots between the buildings rather than behind them? And why is all the car traffic funneled onto a single street with only one connection to the arterial highway, instead of having a grid?
The topography of the site looks challenging, and there may be pedestrian paths that aren’t immediately obviously in the plan. Still, Fairfax should consider these questions as this development moves through the approval process.
Cross-posted at Greater Greater Washington.