Dates Set for Fairfax County Hearings on Controversial Zoning Change

by Fatimah Waseem January 9, 2018 at 11:30 am 12 Comments

A plan to increase population density in Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) districts will head to the county’s Board of Supervisors in March.

County officials have set dates for upcoming hearings on the zoning ordinance amendment package, which drew fervent opposition during community meetings last year. The zoning change would increase the cap on the population per acre in the PRC from 13 to 16 people.

The amendment could also open up Reston’s village centers to increased major residential development. The proposal would allow the Board of Supervisors to approve developments above 50 residential units per acre within the district’s Transit Station Areas (TSAs) — so long as the projects comply with the area’s master plan that guides development.

The schedule for hearings is as follows:

  • Board of Supervisors Authorization Item on March 6: The board will officially introduce the zoning ordinance amendment to its agenda.
  • Planning Commission Public Hearing on April 5: The group will hear public testimony on the package. Verbal or written testimony will be taken. The applicant will be given the opportunity to respond to questions and issues raised by the commission and citizens. Registered associations have 10 minutes to speak, registered individuals have five minutes and unregistered individuals have three minutes.
  • Board of Supervisors Public Hearing on May 15: The board will hear testimony from the public. Individuals are given three minutes to speak while organizations have five minutes. The board suggests bringing 15 copies of any materials for distribution. Individuals may sign up online.

The hearings are expected to last for several hours. At a late October public meeting at Reston’s South Lakes High School, passionate residents spoke out for roughly two hours against the proposal. The auditorium’s 600+ seats were full, with a solid perimeter of standing audience members as well, plus an overflow room nearby was full of even more people, following along on video.

County officials have said the zoning change implements updates to Reston’s Comprehensive Plan in 2014 and 2015 that calls for targeted, increased growth in Reston Town Center, the village centers and TSAs around the three Metro Stations.

  • SuperCoop1280

    A growing city with lots of people makes it vibrant and diverse. However, roads that are clogged and schools that are overcrowded will deteriorate said vibrant city. Any plan that only has goals for residential but does not address how to better the roads and schools to accommodate the influx of new people is a bad plan.

    It is not NIMBY, Supervisor Hudgins, it is having a plan so we can continue to flourish.

    • JoeInReston

      I don’t want overcrowded roads and schools in my backyard. Perhaps we should embrace the term NIMBYism, it shouldn’t be a pejorative. For the vast majority of municipal governmental actions, the constituents that live in a particular area should have the ultimate say in how their area is governed.

      I am shocked at Hudgin’s condescending tone and attitude towards her constituents. She is supposed to represents us.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Hudgins represents herself – she is going to retire to a well padded sinecure

        • Conservative Senior

          What has she done to deserve $95,000 a year salary + a huge office staff.

      • Reston Realist

        Very well stated

    • 40yearsinreston

      Petition denied!
      Hudgins will not be moved

    • JohnThackr

      You’re getting plenty of new Metro stations, and Reston, like the rest of the county and the neighboring areas has plenty to accommodate new people. There are county plans for the roads and schools.

      All of you sound to me just like Trump. You just don’t want things to change, you have what’s yours and don’t care about new people.

  • Terry Maynard

    Reston community leaders at Reston Association and the Coalition for a Planned Reston (RCA, Reston 20/20, and Reclaim Reston) were shocked by Supervisor Hudgins’ unilateral action to proceed with scheduling generally rubber-stamp County proceedings on the proposed changes in the Reston PRC zoning ordinance.

    At the October 23, 2017, community meeting attended by more than 900 Reston residents, Hudgins said, “I want to listen and hear your views. I want to make sure I hear and understand your views with any kind of change that we make. . . . I’m willing to hear the concerns. I want to mitigate the concerns. And I want to work with you to do that.”

    Yet Supervisor Hudgins still hasn’t responded to two letters sent by the RA Board in October (opposing the zoning increase outright) and November (laying out areas for Reston plan changes to reduce the need for higher zoning density) nor has she agreed to meet with CPR, deferring to her newly appointed Planning Commissioner, Restonian John Carter, to discuss specific proposals that would alleviate the need for the steep proposed zoning density increase.

    • 40yearsinreston

      she dodged – again

  • NoOnetoBelieve

    Supervisor Hudgins appears to have double crossed the Reston community. In two community meetings I attended, she stated, as did Planning and Zoning Chief Fred Seldon, a willingness to compromise on a ceiling lower than the proposed 16.
    Instead she now appears intent on steamrolling Reston and using her new Planning Commissioner, John Carter, to be the tip of blade for slashing through consensus community opposition. Let’s see what he is made of!

    • Terry Maynard

      I am more optimistic about John Carter’s participation in the Planning Commission. We were both members of the Reston Task Force several years ago at which time he led the RTF sub-committee that wrote the current Reston Vision and Planning Principles in the Reston Master Plan. That vision and planning principles serve well the concept of Reston as a planned residential community. I believe John will seek to pursue that Reston vision and those principles to the best of his ability rather than facilitating the ongoing greedy developer destruction of Reston as a planned community, aided and abetted by the County’s proposed PRC zoning ordinance change.

  • Dale

    It is interesting to me that everyone is happy to just sit and watch the train wreck happen!


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