New Rules on Village Centers Get OK From Planning Commission

Empty anchor store at Tall OaksReston’s Master Plan moved another step closer to new guidelines for future development as the Fairfax County Planning Commission has voted to recommend changes to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The vote came at the planning commission’s regular meeting on Wednesday. It held the public hearing portion of the changes — commonly called Reston Master Plan Phase 2 — in April.

Planning staff has been working on the Reston Master Plan Phase 2 since June 2014. Phase 2 changes deal with development in and near Reston’s village centers, as well as in neighborhoods, should they be redeveloped. Phase 1, approved by the Supervisors in early 2014, guides development in the areas close to Reston’s transit centers.

At the public hearing, the planning commission heard from citizens on concerns about a planned traffic interchange, changes at Tall Oaks Village Center and Reston’s future in general. It also heard from developers, who said guidelines in the plan text did not allow developers enough leeway.

Planning commission’s Hunter Mill representative Frank de le Fe said Wednesday that he supports the general draft, but made a few changes in recent weeks in response to public comments.

Among them:

Removal of the rule that Reston’s village centers would have to undergo a comprehensive plan amendment to promote redevelopment. This will help The Jefferson Apartment Group (JAG), which purchased the mostly-vacant Tall Oaks in December. JAG has preliminary plans for residential and small retail development on the site at Wiehle Avenue and North Shore Drive.

Addition of language that Tall Oaks may include a significant residential component and that any redevelopment will emphasize quality design.

Planned redevelopment at St. John’s Wood apartments will be considered.

De le Fe also suggested that a request for a special buffer at the long-lost cemetery at the Fairfax Hunt Club be treated as any other cemetery. De le Fe said adding specific language to the comprehensive plan, as citizens had suggested, “seemed like overkill.”

At the public hearing, many residents of the Polo Fields subdivision at Sunrise Valley Drive and the Fairfax County Parkway, expressed concern with a multi-lane interchange planned there.

“This suggested interchange will not significantly improve traffic issues and will cost as least as much as Fair Lakes interchange, which was $65 million,” resident John Eidson, said at the hearing. “If this interchange goes in, some of us may lose our homes. Where are our rights? and what gives you the right [to build this] without giving us a say in the matter?”

De le Fe said the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will re-examine and re-evaluate the interchange.

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.

The Board of Supervisors will discuss the comprehensive plan changes on June 2.

Recent Stories

Morning Notes

A man walks a dog into McLean Central Park (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Special Education Disparities Persist in FCPS — “Students with disabilities in Fairfax County Public Schools perform…

The Herndon Metro station (staff photo by Jay Westcott) With the Silver Line Phase II opening still in flux, Fairfax County is being asked to pay another $40 million. At…

Route 7 has a new eastbound lane between Reston Avenue and Riva Ridge Drive (via VDOT) Drivers headed east on Route 7 in Reston can now get a small taste…

Morning Notes

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue responded to a burned-up elevator motor at 226 Maple Avenue in Vienna on Saturday (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Metro Extends Blue Line Shutdown —…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.


Subscribe to our mailing list