Noise Control Guidance ‘Inadvertently Deleted’ from Reston Plan

A section giving guidance on how to control the impact of traffic-related noise in Reston’s Transit Station Areas was accidentally deleted from Reston’s Comprehensive Plan. At a meeting tomorrow, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider a plan to reinstate the language.

The county’s Planning Commission unanimously approved adding the language back in November. The update is merely editorial, as the language previously passed through the public hearing process and was adopted by the board.

“We couldn’t just say ‘oops’ and put it back… into the plan without going through the whole process again,” said Planning Commissioner Frank de la Fe.

Generally, the plan discourages new residential development in areas with projected highway noise exposure above 75 decibels.

But in Reston Station Areas near highways and Metrorail, new residential development could be appropriate if noise impacts go beyond 75 decibels, so long as specific noise mitigation methods are in effect.

The language requires a noise study during the development review process, as well as after the development is completed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of noise mitigation procedures. If noise impacts are above 75 DBA, disclosure statements detailing potential noise impacts are necessary.

Graphic via handout

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