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Master Plan Draft Updates Open Space, Future Planning

by Karen Goff — January 13, 2015 at 9:30 am 10 Comments

Plantings are now lower to discourage criminal activity at Hunters WoodsFairfax County is getting closer to its final plan for Reston’s neighborhoods and village centers.

Fairfax County officials say the the current comprehensive plan, last updated in 1989, requires revision because Reston no longer has a master developer to update the plan for Reston; the plan for Reston has outdated elements; and with population expected to grow with the arrival of Metro, Reston is evolving as a community.

After nearly four years of committee work and revisions, the county Board of Supervisors in early 2014 approved Phase I of the Master Plan, which provides a framework for development in the areas surrounding Reston’s transit stations.

The county has been working on Phase 2 since last summer, holding several community meetings to obtain feedback. It is expected to get to the approval process in the next few months.

Key points of the latest draft:

Reston’s two golf courses are to remain as golf courses. This is good news for proponents of open space as the owners of Reston National Golf Course, the 166-acre public course in South Reston, head to a Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on Jan. 21. Owners RN Golf have inquired as to whether their zoning can be considered residential rather than recreational open space. Reston’s other course is the private Hidden Creek Country Club near Lake Anne.

The updated land use map includes areas clearly marked as open space and recreational space.

Residential land use categories have been expanded from their current three broad categories (low, medium, and high density) to five categories to more closely reflect what has been built in the community, with the desired result of maintaining established neighborhoods.

The Reston neighborhoods section provides guidance to maintain the established residential neighborhoods. In the event of residential neighborhood redevelopment requests, more stringent redevelopment criteria have been established that go beyond the County criteria.

The village centers shall remain village centers. However, should a village center want to rezone and rebuild as something else, there is also specific criteria for that. That is good news for the ailing Tall Oaks Village Center, which was purchased by an apartment developer last month.

Environmental stewardship shall remain a key focus in Reston planning.

To see the entire draft, visit the Fairfax County website.

The county will have a public meeting/presentation on the draft on 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 at Reston Community Center Lake Anne.

Photo: Hunters Woods Village Center/file photo

  • Dexter Scott

    Reston no longer has a master developer to update the plan for Reston; the plan for Reston has outdated elements; and with population expected to grow with the arrival of Metro later this year, Reston is evolving as a community.

    A rationale that could be used to justify anything, including building highrises on the golf course.

    • Yikes!

      On the golf course?!
      How about next door to your abode so you’ll never see sunlight again or get a quiet moment?

      • Dexter Scott

        You’re missing the point. The anti-development-of-the-golf-course crowd says that the “master plan” does not permit changes like developing the golf course. Yet apparently Fairfax County officials think that the “master plan” can be revised (because Reston no longer has a master developer to update the plan, because Reston has outdated elements, and because “Reston is evolving as a community”). So it appears the plan is not as sacred as some people think it is. Sure, “Reston’s two golf courses are to remain as golf courses” — for now. But don’t count on that remaining true forever. Because they have already said they can revise the master plan if they want.

        • Yikes!

          Reston does not have a master developer as it is a “mature” community. It has an association in its place. What new right does the county have now to come and ef it up that it didn’t have before?

          • Dexter Scott

            It does not need a new right. It has always had the right to regulate zoning in the county, including Reston, and to develop, review, and update the comprehensive plan for the county, including Reston.

          • Yikes!

            Exactly, so I am agreeing with you, the rationalization is a complete nonsense and is an indicator of the ulterior motives on behalf of the county.

  • Constance (Connie) Hartke

    The County Comprehensive Plan is a guideline. One that developers who care about the community they want to coexist in look to for guidance. Any landowner can go through the County process to request a change which requires
    (1) an amendment to the adopted Comprehensive Master Plan, (2) a
    Development Plan Amendment and (3) PRC Plan approval from the Board of
    Supervisors. Of course, a glance at the Comprehensive Plan should give that landowner guidance on how the Board of Supervisors might vote on that request.

  • Wondering

    I for one wish we could at least hear what the owners of the golf course are thinking. How do we know it’s the end of Reston as we know it? What if they want to do something good in exchange for being able to do some development, would that be the end of the world? It doesn’t seem smart to make this a “my way or NO way” situation. They do after all own the land.

  • Greg

    “…and with population expected to grow with the arrival of Metro later this year, Reston is evolving as a community.”

    Isn’t metro already in Reston?

    • Karen Goff

      Oops. Forgot to update that paragraph from an older story about the subject. Good catch. Fixing now.

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