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RA Board Calls for Another Community Meeting on PRC Zoning Amendment

by Dave Emke May 30, 2017 at 11:30 am 26 Comments

The Reston Association Board of Directors is asking Fairfax County for another opportunity for residents to learn more about a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would increase Reston’s population density cap.

At its meeting Thursday, the Board adopted a resolution calling for the public meeting, which would be the fourth on the topic. A meeting last week was scheduled to be the last hosted by the County and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins on the subject; however, numerous residents in attendance expressed their displeasure with the meeting’s open-house format, which they claimed was designed to limit public input.

The first two meetings were held May 3 and May 15, a time frame that has led residents to ask why the County is rushing the issue. The County seeks to bring the plan before the Board of Supervisors in July, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October.

The proposal from the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning would bump the overall limit on people per acre in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) District from 13 to 16. It would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in TSAs within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations.

Staff from the DPZ say these changes are necessary in order to ensure the community can grow in accordance with changes made to the Comprehensive Plan in 2014 and 2015. Residents, however, question the motives of making such a swift change to the density cap and have concerns about its effect on Reston’s infrastructure, open space and more.

During the board’s meeting, land-use attorney John McBride addressed directors on the county’s proposal. McBride said the “virtually unprecedented pace” of zoning applications in Reston is a “tribute to what a great community this is.” However, he added, public scrutiny and input is important on each application as growth booms.

“Although these changes to the current regulations are very limited — two little areas, two sentences — they are also very important,” McBride said. “More residents of Reston should become aware of these changes and should become engaged in the County’s zoning text amendment process.”

At the May 24 meeting on the amendment proposal, Cathy Belgin of the county DPZ’s Zoning Administration Division said staff would consider holding a fourth public meeting, potentially at some point in June. Residents have also been encouraged to submit their feedback through a form on the DPZ website.

In its resolution, the RA Board goes on record saying it does not currently support the proposed changes to the ordinance. In addition, the resolution states that the Board “does not condone Fairfax County staff withholding any information and not fully answering questions from the Reston community.”

Map courtesy Fairfax County

  • GreenVillage

    RA…PLEASE stay in your lane.

    • cRAzy

      NO, RA. Do something for the community, not just RA.

    • John Farrell

      Land use is in RA’s lane read the founding documents.

      • Greg

        Share them with us, at least a link…

        • John Farrell

          Look it up for yourself on the RA website.

          • Greg

            You lost. Can’t imagine why!

          • John Farrell

            Neither can I. BTW, you’re repeating yourself from 2 minutes ago.

          • Greg

            Maybe the message will sink in this time. You lost.

          • John Farrell

            And, for all of your kvethcing here, you never tried.

          • Greg

            You have no idea of what I’ve tried. For shame, counselor.

          • John Farrell

            Writes the person who posts using a pseudonym.

          • Greg

            Not a pseudonym. Pack it up old man and focus.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Time to withdraw support for Commissar Hudgins

    • Reston Resident

      Well past time. Bedford Falls is fast becoming Pottersville.

      • Joyce W

        And Reston has become Hudginville.

  • Malcol6

    What becomes plainly obvious with the multiple development projects approved and in planning are several main issues:
    1. Fairfax Co is transforming Reston from a suburban community to one with a significant urban core that is much, much greater than the RTC, encompassing large redevelopment of the office parks along both Sunset Hills Rd and Sunrise Valley Dr. RA has been ineffective in communicating with its membership and with Ffx Co with respect to the implementation of the Co’s Comprehensive Plan and its shortcomings.
    2. That urban core is being developed with less green and open space than Manhattan, NYC on a comparable basis. Ffx Co has been negligent to address, and continues to trade off green/open space for high density development.
    3. Development of road transit to keep “One Reston” will lag behind massive urbanization development, even with the $2.27B Reston Transportation Funding Plan approved by the Ffx Co BoS on 28 February, and the Reston Transportation Service District on 4 April. Ffx Co expects 53% of the total to be its cost share of the roads.
    4. Over time more than 4000 additional dwelling units will be in the “core”. Meaningful discussion of related public services infrastructure has been missing from current discussions to increase the PRC density. The public hearing on proposed modifications to the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Process was deferred from 16 May to 20 June.

    • John Farrell

      1. Agreed. RA has been lax in mobilizing its membership.

      2. Can we please stop with the Manhattan analogies. Manhattan has a noontime population density of 250,000 per square mile. Reston at 5600 per square mile is 45 times less dense than Manhattan. On any measurable basis, Reston has geometrically more open space than Manhattan.

      3. Probably but that’s really the General Assembly failure to fund road that is responsible.

      4. What does the Comp Plan Amendment Process have to do with Reston. We just finished revising Reston’s Comp Plan and are not likely to revisit it again anytime soon.

      • 40yearsinreston

        “3. Probably but that’s really the General Assembly failure to fund roads that is responsible.”

        Wheres Plum ?
        On vacation again ?
        Or complaining that everything is too hard ?

  • anonymous

    I see comments pop up with increasing frequency, here and elsewhere, suggesting that the Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins be voted out of office. Serious question – who is the viable alternate candidate?

    • Greg

      The only certain way to get rid of her is to incorporate Reston and get out of the grips of Fairfax County. This has come up and failed several times over the past 40 years, but there’s never been this much opposition to her and the redevelopment underway and planned. Town status would be good, but city status would be best since the city of Reston would be completely independent of Fairfax County’s control and governance.

      Some had said she’s a terrible fundraiser (and she is) but it’s the well-oiled Democratic machine that does the fundraising and work. At every election, you will find its army out soliciting votes, providing transportation to the polls, absentee ballots, registration and more. No one, let alone a conservative, can compete let alone beat her.

      All of that being so, town or city status would cost more (higher taxes) and, of course, things could get worse depending on who gets elected to the town or city government.

      • John Farrell

        Town status was explored once in the last 40 years. That would be a mistake as Restonians would still have to pay County taxes and Town taxes. RA could deed its holdings to a city government but wouldn’t be required to.

        As for the “well-oiled Democratic machine,” roflmao!

        FCDC doesn’t give money to candidates and it efforts are overwhelming volunteer actions meaning: there are just scores more politically active Democratic volunteers in Reston but they are not highly organized or bear any resemblance to an “army.”

        • Greg

          Changing to city or town status is “explored” regularly in Reston — including on Reston Now. That’s far more than once.

          Virginia cities do not pay county taxes. They may choose to contract for some county services. Educate yourself.

          And, nowhere did I say that the FCPD or anyone else gives money to candidates. “Fundraising” is not giving money. Call the “volunteers” what you will, but they effectively get votes in ways that could be argued as dubious at times.

          And, focus. The topic at hand is getting rid of Hudgins. What suggestions do you have thereto?

          Remember, the Democrats say voter fraud doesn’t exist; it never happened or happens. Not even once. There is no need for voter ID. Facts be damned.


          • John Farrell

            I wrote FCDC which is the Fairfax Democrats not FCPD which is the County police.

            I wrote that towns pay both County and town taxes which is why I support Reston becoming a city.

            Sheesh, cut back on the caffeine.

            Hudgins was re-elected in 2015 for a term ending on 12/31/ 2019. Many expect her not to run for re-election in 2019. The jockeying for position among Hunter Mill Ds has already started.

            I am aware of no efforts by anyone connected with the Fairfax Democrats to engage in “dubious” activities, we leave that for the other guys. As a past General Counsel for FCDC, I think I’d would have heard rumors about such activities, at least.

            PIF’s methodolgy cited by the Moonie rag is garbage. The list of supposed “non-citizens” is full of errors.

            I once had a 3 star come to vote only to be told he wasn’t a citizen. Upon investigation, it was found that he hadn’t checked the box affirming citizenship on the DMV change of address form.

          • Greg

            No wonder you lost your election.

          • Guest

            You don’t have to be defeatist and bitter. Learn from his posts, move past, and heal.

    • 40yearsinreston



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