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Meetings Scheduled to Discuss Possible Upping of Reston Population Density Limit

by Dave Emke April 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm 43 Comments

The Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning will host a community meeting next week to discuss proposed zoning ordinance changes that could increase the residential density limit in Reston.

The current zoning ordinance limits residential density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community District, which encompasses most of the community, to an average of 13 people per acre. The Comprehensive Plan for Reston was updated by Fairfax County in 2014 and 2015, guiding redevelopment in Reston’s Transit Station Areas, Town Center and village centers.

The community meeting will be held Wednesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center (1801 Cameron Glen Drive).

A representative for Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ office said the county DPZ is reviewing data to determine what changes to the ordinance may be necessary to accommodate for the growth approved by the changes to the plan. The meeting May 3, as well as a Reston Planning & Zoning Committee meeting May 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the same location, are opportunities for the community to share their thoughts, she said.

Map courtesy Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning

  • Scott

    I will accept this as long as Hudgins and Bulova and all the BoS agree to rezone their neighborhoods to match. #fair #NIMBY

  • LeftPolitico

    Note that Hudgins’ representative jumps straight to how to go
    about changing the ordinance, rather than even considering the option of keeping
    the limit exactly as it currently is. As always, all Hudgins cares about is increasing revenue without regard for the best interests of Reston.

    • Mike M

      And the key is . . . “Hudgins’ representative.”

  • Mike M

    Here it comes. The monster is creeping up out of the 267 canyon into our neighborhoods. We never saw this coming? Here’s the thing: If you think the increased demand for your single family property will result in significant value increases, you are wrong. The development community is way ahead of you and they will do everything they can to suppress property values in the PRC so they can start buying blocks and building apartment complexes. Once they get traction, that action unto itself will suppress property values. I have been getting industrial offers in the mail for six months now. If you think there is ANYTHING in ANY of this for the current residents you are wrong. The County Board is serving one set of constituents.

    • Jenny Gibbers

      Pools are closing.

      We should ve opted for township long time back. RA just wasted our money and double taxed us. Fact.

    • Scout

      Mike M – never thought I would agree with you on anything – but agree 100 percent – if you check your assessments some of you will find that the assessed value for land has gone down in certain recent years – gee I wonder why – Just know government does not work for you – out works against you –

      • The Constitutionalist

        If you know that government doesn’t work for you, then you agree with Mike on a whole lot more than you think you do.

        • Scout

          Could be – it works well for the very elite – I’m actually a liberal – and consider Trump a danger – and having said that – a lot of people are left out of what’s good in this country – the poor, the elderly, the mentally ill, you know the list it goes on

          • The Constitutionalist

            I know what you are. I was pointing out, at the very least, you have two things in common.

            The question is, why is that the government’s job? To provide for the poor, the elderly, the mentally ill, you know the list goes on.

            “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

            -Ben Franklin.

            It’s almost as if our founding fathers could see into the future.

          • Scout

            Teach a man to fish – right? not arguing with you. Yes, perhaps Ben Franklin was peering into the future – in his time people ate though – right – we were an agrarian economy – My point was that I think the institutions that were created to help care for the citizenry are failing us: this started as a discussion about FFX county increasing the density – who is that serving – not the residents of Reston for sure – Are our children being educated – we certainly don’t need to throw more money at the schools – but something is wrong – Our kids are so far behind the rest of the free world. And the list goes on –

          • The Constitutionalist

            It’s not possible for government institutions to do anything but fail at least some portion of the people. That’s how it works. The only thing that the government can possibly offer you is something it had to take from someone else.

            We’re all in agreement here that we don’t want to increase the population density limit. We like our space. But at the same time we need to recognize that there are people who aren’t going to be served because they can’t live here unless the liberal government that you support (through any means) takes your space from you.

            Thus, we have the haves and have-nots — and right now, we’re the haves.

    • Bobby Love

      Please cite theories on how FFX (or anybody) as suppressing property values. I’ve wondered about stagnating prices

      • Greg

        The artificial requirement that a growing percentage of new residential units be co-located and dedicated to section 8, workforce and low-income housing is one very real way.

        Another is the foolish direction that Fairfax County has gone to, itself, become the landlord owning more rental units than anyone or any company. Not only are these many thousands of units not on the tax rolls, the rest of us who pay taxes pay more to support the many thousands of county-owned rental units. In Reston, these units pay 1/2 or less of the RA assessment leaving the rest of us paying more.

        Another: these aging county-owned units are never set aside for redevelopment (or costly “charrettes” and planning sessions lead to failed redevelopments) and, as such, hold down nearby property values (Lake Anne is a very good example).

        Another is the terrible, but costly, management at the county’s housing departments. Read the following articles for incompetent management and subsidized luxury.



  • Joyce W

    Someone PLEASE run against Hudgins. Please.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Are you volunteering?

  • BBK

    How about hosting a meeting to change to rules so that Board of Supervisors can be recalled?

  • 40yearsinreston

    Hudgins and the staff are going through the motions
    Even the dogs on the street know its a done deal

    • Mike M


  • Guest

    Hey cheer up, folks! Don’t cha’ know it’s called the “new (sub)urbanism” and “smart growth”? Isn’t that what we all said we wanted? (Well, I didn’t– that’s for sure.)
    Now we are going to get it, in spades…

    • Scout

      ha ha

    • Jenny Gibbers

      As long as we have a community garden the size of a parking spot we should be ok and self sustainable.

      O-r-g-a-n-i-c .

  • Crystalballing

    Wasn’t this set in motion by the approval of the new Master Plan? I.e., as the development allowable under the new Plan is built, Reston will approach the zoning ordinance overall average limit of 13 people per acre. At that point presumably all new development would have to STOP. Until the limit is increased by the BOS.

    Wonder what our population will be when we actually hit exactly 13 per acre? How would one project the logical desirable maximum? Do Supervisor Hudgins and the County planners have a number in mind? Well into six figures perhaps?

    • TheKingJAK

      It’s funny how often a so-called “Master Plan” can be ignored and changed.

      • The Constitutionalist

        Yep. Once made, plans never change.

  • meyerweb

    Oh boy! More people, more cars, more gridlock! And more money in the supervisors’ pockets.

  • Greg

    “possible upping.” Oh, please. It’s going up, sky high up.

  • Bernie Supporter

    24 comments and not one recommendation that Reclaim Reston turn out in force at this meeting, wearing yellow shirts, inviting others to join them, bring in media to make the issue pop, and fight, fight, fight back … instead of sitting back and complaining about it. Shame on all of you. You get what you deserve.

    • Greg

      Some of us are not against. After all, there’s plenty of ugliness and, especially, Brutalist ugliness, to be redeveloped.

    • The Constitutionalist

      Where have you been this whole time?

      • Bernie Supporter

        Listening to people complain.

        • The Constitutionalist


          So also not a damn thing then. Just like the rest of us.

          • Bernie Supporter

            I thought you were talking about these threads. If we’re talking RL, I’ve been going to Reston P&Z meetings, RA board meetings and Design Review Board meetings to fight redevelopment. If you’ve done the same, then you have the right to complain. Continue to show up for meetings an complain in person. If you haven’t done the same, then that’s all you are — a complainer. I sincerely hope that you are the former and not the latter.

          • The Constitutionalist

            You’ve bamboozled me.

            Here we all are, complaining on this forum.

            There you were complaining in person.

            You call us complainers unless we complain in person.

            You are somehow not a complainer because you are complaining in person which is more effective somehow and unless we also do that, we’re not allowed to complain.

            You hope that I am an in person complainer and not an online complainer.

            Do I have this right?

          • Bernie Supporter

            Yes. You have this right. Complain online and it amounts to nothing … unless you have organized an online petition to demonstrate the outrage of a community rather than an individual. Show up in person and your very presence makes your outrage clear. This is how we stopped the Saint John’s Wood Redevelopment Plan… at the LOCAL level. Now we have to do the same at the COUNTY level. So get in touch with Reclaim Reston, grab a yellow shirt, and SHOW UP and MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Otherwise, complain into your pillow.

          • The Constitutionalist

            When you’ve, during your day-job (unlikely that you understand the day-job concept as a Bernie supporter), raised over 1.2 billion (with a B) for various 501c companies (online and through the mail), you stop wondering weather or not you’re making a difference.

            There are many more ways to make a difference than by protesting (complaining) in person, my friend.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Is that a high horse you’re trying to ride? Doesn’t work for me since I’ve run the same race on the same track, and I have raised a similar amount of money (with a B) using the same media for Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, American Red Cross, CARE, the Environmental Defense Fund and others. If anything, those with greater skills to help, have a greater responsibility to help. (Or as Spider-Man might say, “With great power comes great responsibility.”) These are skills, Connie. Not excuses.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Not a single excuse was made. Offense was taken however to the insinuation that people who complain online are not doing anything, especially when you have no background information on the individual to whom you speak.

            With that being said, you must be a much better fundraiser than I am to be able to cumulatively raise for your clients the same amount of money as me, while finding time to protest in person – which is possible.

    • TheKingJAK

      There’s more than one way to fight against something, and if all the picketing and shouting doesn’t turn into election results then it won’t make much of a difference itself.

      • Bernie Supporter

        Picketing and shouting can make a difference. Especially when you get the media involved. Politicians and Developers are like roaches. They like to do their work in the dark. People forget that SJW was a done deal until people showed up at board meetings and brought the media with them. At one of the first meetings I went to, protesters were threatened with removed by security. And you’re right — there IS more than one way to fight against something. But the great thing is you don’t have to choose between them because you can do them ALL.

  • Greg
  • SofaGuy

    I don’t like the sound of any of this. I live on the Golf Course off Sunrise Valley, I bought my townhouse at the peak of the Market in 2006 and it MIGHT only now be worth what I paid for it 11 years ago. I’ve always wondered why it hasn’t gone up more. The new townhouses across the street are starting at $800k supposedly?

    Does anyone have an idea of what needs/can to be done to prevent these developments? It seems to me that almost all normal Reston residents are better off with a lower population? Isn’t it a basic supply and demand thing? Reston can not stay “Reston” with twice the population.

  • Elisabeth Springer

    I approve the initiative to increase the population density within the boundaries of Reston. When Reston was conceived in the 1960s, 50 years ago, demographics in Fairfax County were completely different. To keep the status quo is not realistic. Rather than waiting until developers challenge the rule, thereby obtaining zoning variances and opening the door to others to do the same, it is much better to update the standard by a reasonable number, as has been proposed. Open space would remain the same, thereby eliminating, or further obstructing any plans for development of the Reston Golf Course, for example.


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