Beyond the DRB: Renovating in Reston

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This is a sponsored column by Eve Thompson of Reston Real Estate. She writes twice weekly on Reston Now.

If you are doing an exterior home improvement project and are a member of Reston Association, you know you need to work the RA Design Review Board. But they aren’t the only people who need to be involved. When you’re doing an exterior home improvement in Reston, you also need to work with Fairfax County for your permits and be aware of any easements on your property.

Fairfax County Permits

Fairfax County administers structural codes, zoning, types of property use and regulations related to health and safety issues. The County also issues permits, inspects construction and holds bonds. Contact the county before you begin any work to verify what permits are required.

Easements

Any exterior change to your property needs to accommodate any easements. For example, utility companies have the right of easement for the underground installation, replacement and maintenance of their equipment, supply and transmission lines and drainage facilities, including ingress and egress for such purposes. Your property deed and site plan should indicate any easements that might affect a planned addition or alteration.

Utilities: Virginia makes is easy for you to work with the utilities–just call “Miss Utility” at 811. They’ll come out and mark the underground lines.

County Parks: If you have a property adjacent to Fairfax County Park Authority land (and there is quite a bit in Reston), contact their Planning and Development Division early in the planning phases to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Involving everyone who has a say in your exterior renovation early in the process is the best way to make sure the process goes smoothly. Now that summer is almost here, it’s a great time to start making those calls!

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