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County Responds to Requests by RA Board, Community Coalition to Change Reston Master Plan

by Fatimah Waseem March 29, 2018 at 2:00 pm 15 Comments

County staff rejected any changes that affect land use, density or intensity recommendations in Reston Master Plan until after 2019, responding to requests by Reston Association’s Board of Directors and the Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) to the planning document.

The county’s written response comes as officials prepare to push forward plans to increase Reston’s population density from 13 persons per acre to 16 in Reston’s Planned Residential Community.

Plans were staunchly opposed by residents in community meetings, while supporters contend the increase is necessary to implement Reston’s Master Plan, which posits major growth potential for the planned community.

Fred Selden, the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning director, wrote that the county is only open to considering clarifications, correcting oversights or editorial tweaks — emphasizing that the plan was the result of a six-year study, recommendations from a 50-member task force, and a significant public engagement period.

“Recognizing the time, energy and community commitment that go into our multi-year land use studies, it has long been the county’s practice not to amend these new plans within the first five years of their adoption,” Selden wrote.

In a point-by-point outline responding to RA’s November 2017 letter and CPR’s February letter, Selden said the county is monitoring plan implementation, including the pace of development and public facilities, schools, parks and road.

The growth of development and resulting infrastructure needs and strains has been cited as a central concern for CPR and RA’s board. County staff reiterated their willingness to work with community groups and stakeholders to address concerns.

Noting that the plan already contains controls to manage development, staff said they will work to develop a phasing plan that will tie future development with specific infrastructure and public facility needs.

The letter also noted the county’s willingness to amend a portion of the plan that allows 50 or more dwelling units per acre, resulting in “unlimited development.” The county is also willing to more explicitly state that redevelopment is recommended in non-residential, mixed-use areas in village centers, not stable residential neighborhoods.

Staff also committed to monitoring the implementation of the Reston Plan and providing a progress report for Reston similar to one performed for Tyson. Staff noted they were open to seeing an overall maximum population, but did not indicate if they agreed with CPR’s recommendation of 120,000.

Other recommendations were flatly rejected, including CPR’s request to require 20 percent of all future dwelling units to be affordable, other requests to reduce the density of dwelling units, and a request to delete language that allows redevelopment of St. Johns Woods.

An attempt to remove the road connection between American Dream Way and Isaac Newton Square — a mapped road across Hidden Creek County Club — was also not favored by staff. The option for the road is necessary to reduce congestion at the intersection of Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, county staff said.

The complete letter is below:

Department of Planning and Zoning Response to CPR, RA, Hudgins by Fatimah Waseem on Scribd

  • 30yearsinreston

    In a nutshell
    NO

    • Donald

      Pretty much.

      Donald

  • Donald

    Appears to be a mixed bag response.

    Most of RA’s and CPR’s concerns and recommendations were either kicked down the road to next year, or flat out rejected. In particular, redevelopment of residential around Village Centers, the Hidden Creek road remains, and no changes to St. Johns Woods.

    Still no real commitments, just reiteration of existing guidelines.

    Donald

  • Restonlover

    Does that Hidden Creek Road make it easier to get Hidden Creek redeveloped? The owner of Hidden Creek also bought Charter Oak Apartments

    • Donald

      It is definitely something to be very concerned about. Looks like the road is staying.

      This just to coincidental — that Hidden Creek and Charter Oak are now in the hands of a new owner/developer.

      Donald

      • Restonlover

        This developer has previous associations w.Pulte. Look at map and see what properties Pulte owns. I think they are far smarter than Northwest!

        • Donald

          If RA hadn’t already, they should be checking to see if Hidden Creek falls under RA’s covenants. What does the original county documents and language look like? What proffers exist (like the water rights to Lake Anne)?

          Time to get very proactive. Hope their new, in house, counsel is ready to go.

          Donald

      • 30yearsinreston

        Hidden Creek is toast

        • Donald

          I agree. This one is a fight.

          Donald

  • Greg

    We told you: “Staff … cannot support changes to land use, density or intensity recommendations in the Reston Master Plan for the Transit Station Areas until after 2019 and for Reston’s neighborhoods and village centers until after 2020.”

    This, and Bulova’s stated support for Reston density and population increases we’ve pointed out in other posts, confirm that it’s all a done deal.

    • 30yearsinreston

      The fix has always been in

  • Donald
    • More Curious

      Yes, an interesting summary. The commentary also makes a good point or two.

      On a brighter note, we can now look forward to Reston Now articles that do not have the four-photo banner ad for the Gang of Four. How long have we been seeing that, four weeks or so? Which raises another interesting point. Those ads are priced at $299 per day. That’s $1,500 per week; $6,000 for the month. Assume they took the 10% discount for credit card payment (which itself is odd, but that’s another story.) That cost, plus the glossy handouts, amounts to a remarkable upping of the ante for anyone looking to volunteer in service to their community. Sure sounds like there is a lot more to this story.

      • Donald

        I agree. When you look at the cabal they belong to, it’s the equivalent of a well organized PAC.

        And they are counting on the other candidates to split the remaining votes, allowing an easy victory.

        Donald

  • Dale

    Fairfax County, there great!

    Virginia Code § 24.2-233 states that “Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court.”[2]

    Recall reasons
    Code § 24.2-233 states acceptable reasons for recall when it has “material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office” include:[2]

    Neglect of duty
    Misuse of office
    Incompetence in the performance

    Petition requirements
    The petition for recall must be signed by at least 10% of the number of people who voted in the last election for the office being recalled.[2] The petition must also detail the reasons for removal.[4]

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