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Two Dozen Sites for Potential Added Residential Development Listed in Zoning Ordinance Amendment Plan

by Dave Emke — September 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm 40 Comments

In a letter recently provided to Reston Association, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning gives more information about what areas could see “additional residential development” if a proposed zoning ordinance amendment is approved.

A map attached to the letter (pictured at left and available in more detail within the document) shows two dozen locations outside the Reston Transit Station Area where planned residential growth is envisioned by the County. These areas are mostly within or proximate to Reston’s village centers.

The proposal from the county is to increase the limit on people per acre in Reston’s PRC District from 13 to 16. This would allow for 18,737 more people beyond the current cap in Reston over time, DPZ officials say. Reston’s PRC District is currently at about 11.9 persons per acre.

The amendment would also allow for the Board of Supervisors to be able to approve individual developments in excess of 50 dwelling units per acre in Transit Station Areas within the PRC and when in accordance with Comprehensive Plan recommendations — the details of which are broken down in the letter to Reston Association.

Included among the figures provided by the County for these growth areas are an additional 3,097 units at Reston Gateway, 2,143 units at Reston Town Center’s urban core and 2,370 units at Reston Town Center North. These numbers are determined by “the estimated number of dwelling units recommended by the Comprehensive Plan within Reston’s PRC zoned land, for those areas where growth is recommended to occur,” according to the document.

Also included on the list of potential future residential units are 1,212 at North Point Village Center, 1,209 at Hunters Woods Village Center, 724 at South Lakes Village Center and 220 at Lake Anne Village Center. The provided figures also include 465 units at St. Johns Wood, 360 at Charter Oaks and more.

A total of 14,103 “planned units” are plotted, along with 8,189 that already exist or have been approved.

After three public meetings on the subject in May, the County will hold a fourth Monday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria at Lake Anne Elementary School (11510 North Shore Drive).

Prior to that, however, a trio of community advocacy groups — Reston 20/20, Reclaim Reston and the Reston Citizens Association — have scheduled an information session about the proposal. That event, open to all Reston residents, is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at Reston Association headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive).

The DPZ had originally hoped to bring the proposed amendment before the Board of Supervisors in July, followed by a Planning Commission public hearing in September and the Board public hearing in October. It now has those projected dates pushed back to November, January and February, respectively.

  • jak3409588

    What is weird is the 11-unit Four Seasons item listed as Y. That’s the location of the old Bowman Distillery that has fallen into a pretty bad state.

    • Greg

      Small units there unless the building is expanded. In any case, it’s long past time to do something with that eyesore. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f196942204a3e57349cff359b67457fb663581f03c9fc932a1264fa5e8214c0b.jpg

      • 40yearsinreston

        But its an architectural treasure
        The Distillery couldn’t find anyone who would take it for free due to the restrictions on it

        Its like the Lake White Elephant

        • Mike M

          Who owns it now?

          • Conservative Senior

            Greater Reston Arts sold to Four Seasons & Development for $80,000 12/28/1998
            Purchased by O & D Builders, LLC 7/26/2010 for $540,000
            Transferred to O & D Construction, LLC 8/9/2010
            mailing address Hempland Dr., Ashburn

          • Mike M

            Thank you.

  • Greg

    So long Silver Diner, Home Depot, and the bird-food store where Mrs. Mars buys $1000 of bird food a week.

  • TheKingJAK

    The proposal would completely destroy North Point Village Center and the surrounding area. They’re insane.

    • Ray Wedell

      They don’t care.

  • Big Drop

    959 units at South Lakes Village center: where?

    Do they want to build over water?

    • IllegallyLivingInReston

      They’re going to build one giant tower right over the Safeway because making that parking lot an actual representation of Hell is the goal

    • John Farrell

      No, they want to knock down the shopping center.

      • Guest

        Former city planner here. Funny (but not really) because South Lakes Shopping Center is a very successful shopping area (its congestion during daytime hours proves that) more so than Tall Oaks ever was, and much better than Hunters Wood Village Center. Successful even in the depths of the last 2 recessions. Looking at the map, I think the “planners”, who seem to be little more than sycophants for the development interests, have gone completely daft. So has Ms. Hudgins.

    • 40yearsinreston

      They will ‘redevelop’ aka tear down and build towers

  • Big Drop

    Before any of this is built I would like to believe that someone will lease some office space here. There is an awful lot that is vacant.

  • Mike M

    I’ll be at the white European male booth. See you there!

    😉

    • IllegallyLivingInReston

      I can only hope that you’re a documented European. I don’t care for illegals in MY Reston.

    • John Farrell

      Those folks are the principal market for high-rise housing.

      Those kind of units list for $4,000/month!

      • Mike M

        Thanks for making me look like I wasn’t commenting in the wrong story.

    • Thomas Day

      In Herndon, where you belong?

  • John Farrell

    15,000 high residential units have already been zoned in Tysons and Reston.

    Who thinks we need another 14,000 luxury housing units instead of 3 shopping centers.

    Is Fred Selden trying to create a food desert in Reston?

    • 40yearsinreston

      Hudgins

    • Ray Wedell

      John, you speak truth. Let’s go one better: These “build it and they will come” investors will be happy in the end if we can stop this, and they are not left holding the bag. I is obvious that planned development that enriches the community brings value; reckless building of the same “luxury high rise” units on every available square inch of land will lead to endless vacancies and financial armageddon for many. Foresight and taking a bigger view are not attributes I think of when looking at the County development schemes.

  • meyerweb

    As long as developers are allowed to legally bribe politicians via “campaign contributions ” this is what we get. Unbridled development, and ever worse gridlock. We need to vote the crooks out of office.

    • Greg

      To be replaced by new crooks?

      • meyerweb

        Maybe we should look for some honest people for a change? Or, you could just throw you hands up and do nothing, which got us into this mess.

        • Greg

          I am all for that, but the issue goes back decades. VA’s districts are among the most rigged (gerrymandered) in the nation and therein lies the problem.

          Developers get what they want, and the pols get what they want — mainly more low-income housing, more taxes to spend on dubious things, and related straight-ticket voters (including illegal aliens being allowed to vote in certain elections).

          We, the taxpayers, get the bills, higher tolls, and the crime.

          But, for the record, let’s find a restrained moderate to take their seats, and I will donate time and money to their campaigns.

        • Ray Wedell

          When honest and intelligent people do take an office to try to help the people, they often get lambasted after all the hundreds of hours they put in. So the pool of those willing to help in this manner dwindles to next to nothing.
          So will you ever get a legitimate advocate for the people run for one of these offices? Not likely.

    • Mike M

      First someone has to be able to run against them.

    • avejoe1

      There are thousands of qualified people around here capable of doing a far better job than those currently in office. %99.99 of them would prefer to not have their entire life plastered on the front page of the local paper.

  • Terry Maynard

    What the County hasn’t addressed regarding Reston zoning is that it passed an amendment to the PDC and PRM zoning ordinances last year allowing density up to FAR 5.0 in all County transit station areas (TSAs) “consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.” Reston’s plan calls for 44,000 dwelling units, space for more than 90,000 people, in Reston TSAs. While there is overlap between the PRC and PRM/PDC in Reston Town Center, huge additions have already been allowed to the number dwellings and people in Reston. Reston 20/20’s estimate says together these changes would allow a more than tripling of Reston’s population.

    Please come to the Reston 20/20, RCA, and Reclaim Reston community meeting on this topic at RA HQ, September 20, 7PM, to get much more information.

    • Donald

      Mr. Maynard. Do you share these thoughts or meet with the zoning attorney and team at RA? Will RA’s zoning team be at this meeting? Will they be participating with you? Or are they just providing the facility for you?

      Wouldn’t it make sense to collaborate with them, come to an agreement on items, and let them present the case to the County? Obviously you, and everyone, should leverage the podium, but RA needs to make the point too. And they have some power, like it ort not.

      I’m curious as to you =r answers to the first four questions above.

      Donald

      • Terry Maynard

        You’ll have to speak to RA about its collaboration with the rest of Reston’s community groups.

    • Ray Wedell

      Terry, allow me to chime in on your behalf……. The meeting you and the Reclaim Reston people and RCA people are preparing is an incredible effort to educate the people. We need to realize how important this is, and how the County effort to pose their changes as mere esoteric and arcane, boring numerical statistics is not something we should ignore or snooze on, as they hope will be the case.
      People, please accept this as fact: Mr. Maynard and the others are working as an incredible team here. They know the facts. They will give you a perspective you need to have and need to understand. If we do not pay attention and rally behind this consortium, the September 25th County meeting will simply be one final rubber-stamping dog-and-pony show. The future of development in Reston is TRULY at stake here. Please show up. Please support Mr. Maynard, et al. Thank you!

      • Terry Maynard

        Thanks for the vote of confidence, Ray. As you know and RestonNow has written about, the County has already had 3 community meetings on the Reston PRC, but “stuck to its book” in each case–just laying out the proposal–and did not address the implications of the proposed PRC change (plus last year’s PDC/PRM zoning change) for the future of Reston.

        We are trying to fill the void left by the County with a look at the resulting development potential and its implications for ADU/WDU development, parks, education, and transportation. At least from my perspective, we are using pretty conservative factors to look at these impacts and they are, nonetheless, devastating for Reston’s quality of life.

        I again strongly encourage all Restonians to attend the “Reston for Restonians” meeting on 9/20, 7PM, at RA HQ.

  • JoeInReston

    I understand the logic to build out around the Metron stations near Wiehle, Reston Town Center, and Herndon Monroe (ok so thats Herndon), etc. That is part of the commitment to have a Metro run through your community.

    But I don’t understand the desire to increase the density around the village centers, save perhaps Tall Oaks.

    Lets keep it dense near the metro and lets keep the status quo away from the Metro.

  • Craig

    Usually I’m in favor of high-density mixed-use development when it’s done right, but this plan looks like high-density residential development that destroys the residents’ actual needs. Goodbye Harris Teeter, Trader Joes, Giant, two Safeways, and the Lake Anne Farmers Market. Do they expect 100,000 Restonians to all shop at Whole Foods?

    • Donald

      I believe the redevelopment of the Village Centers would likely be mixed use, with retail on the ground floor, residential above. I would anticipate anchor grocery stores, etc.

      Donald

    • Greg

      Mostly mixed use is planned, so it will hopefully clean up the haphazard, awkward, poorly planned developments at the TJ’s and Home Depot centers.

      The North Point Giant is one of the chain’s most profitable; the Safeways can’t go soon enough. Even though North Point shopping center has been an economic success, it’s certainly no village center and is lifeless once the business day ends.

      Reston’s quaint, idealistic village-center concept has proven to be a failure. Without tens of millions in public and private subsidies, and historic preservation status, Lake Anne village center would have failed decades ago. Even so, its redevelopment failed. Tall Oaks failed, as did Hunters Woods. South Lakes is OK, but it’s cramped and hides the best asset — the lake views.

      Harris-Teeter owns its Reston building. Like the Giant, it’s one of the chain’s most profitable stores. It will probably stay where it is with a mixed-use development atop a newer and bigger store. See the H-T in Tysons, Dunn Loring,Herndon, and in DC for inspiration.

      No one can complain about the Spectrum center’s dense redevelopment — that’s always been planned as part of RTC, even before it was developed as it was.

  • avejoe1

    The road system here can’t handle the development already, including what’s not finished being built. Wiehle is now gridlock between Sunrise Valley and Baron Cameron. Reston Pky is damn near the same. What genius thinks Reston can handle more density? The quality of life here has DECREASED in the last 10 years here, because of the traffic. Adding metro made sense when it was first proposed THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO. Adding density just because of metro is here now is just plain stupid.

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