Traffic and spare fears dominate Reston Taco Bell demolition proposal | FFXnow

Taco Bell in Reston could see a face-lift as part of a demolition proposal (via Fairfax County)

A plan to rebuild Taco Bell on Roger Beacon Drive in Reston has raised some concerns about increased traffic and back-up in driveways.

Reston Commerce, owned by the family-owned Summerwood, plans to demolish the fast food restaurant at 11257 Roger Bacon Drive and replace it with a modern restaurant and additional driveway.

At a recent Reston Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, members expressed concerns about increased traffic with the jump from one lane to two lanes. But commission chairman Rob Walker acknowledged that most of the backup is from traffic from nearby McDonald’s restaurants.

Walker suggested converting a second access point into a two-way option to immediately force McDonald’s traffic onto the property through two sharp right turns. He said the access point was initially set up in this way before it was converted to a one-way option.

Committee members also encouraged Taco Bell to consider creating an eco-roof as a commitment to the environment.

Matt Roberts, a representative for Reston Commerce, said the new location will be about 2,300 square feet in size and embrace a more modern look.

“This is a design you’ve probably seen once or twice before,” Roberts said.

According to Roberts, the decision to add another auto lane was prompted by demand.

“It is perhaps not surprising that that was trending upwards and eventually increased significantly during the pandemic,” he said.

While Reston Commerce provided traffic data based on national standards and studied some on-site data for parking need calculations, the application submitted to Fairfax County lacked an official traffic study. The applicant chose a waiver request.

“I have a problem providing another path, another pass in an area that already has problems,” said committee member Mike Jennings.

Some panelists encouraged Reston Commerce to consider a more in-depth study to determine the best path forward. Others like William Penneman said they are concerned about ramping up car use in a transit station area as the county is trying to effectively limit car use.

Board member Tammy Petrine encouraged the applicant to consider including a public art component on the site, contribute some funds to the Reston Field Athletic Fund, and incorporate native evergreen plants into the design.

The project is moving to other county land use councils afterwards. It’s currently under review and has a planning committee public hearing scheduled for September 21.

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