Dates Set for Fairfax County Hearings on Controversial Zoning Change

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.

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