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Longterm Planning in Reston Comes Under Focus in Last PRC Workgroup Meeting

by Fatimah Waseem July 31, 2018 at 12:00 pm 10 Comments

At the last workgroup meeting on a controversial zoning amendment, county officials stressed that population density increases proposed in Reston’s comprehensive plan are broad targets that will be gradually implemented over the next 30 years.

The meeting, held Tuesday night, was the last in a series of discussions on the county’s proposal to increase Reston’s population density from 13 to 16 people per acre in the community’s Planned Residential Community district.

Representatives from the Coalition for a Planned Reston and Reston Association said that while they were not opposed to development, the cumulative impact of increased development without the infrastructure to manage it was a major concern.

Tammi Petrine, co-chair of Reston 2020, said increasing the density cap only invites more developers to push harder for development — a trend that she said is already clearly evident in the streak of major mixed-use projects approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Fred Selden, director of the Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning, said the community has multiple opportunities between when a development plan is proposed and passed to voice their concerns, suggest alternatives and raise critical issues.

“The community, quite frankly, has to give its judgment,” Selden said.

But others felt that concerns raised by community members have little sway in the overall planning process.

Selden said his office would be open to discussing possible changes to Reston’s comprehensive plan if pressing needs arose. In Tysons, the plan was updated seven years after its passage when the planned grid of streets did not align with what was actually being built.

But Selden also noted that major changes to planned land use intensities are rarely incorporated within five years of a plan’s passage. Late last year, CPR and RA suggested altering Reston’s master plan to make specific changes. He repeatedly stressed that Reston’s plan envisions possible future growth, which may or may not be realized given economic and market constraints.

Redevelopment of Reston’s village centers was also a hot topic during Tuesday’s discussion. Selden stressed that the plan already leaves the door open for high-density redevelopment potential — an element of the plan that was supported by some residents during earlier planning discussions.

“We could have said that there’s no redevelopment potential in the village centers,” Selden said. “But that’s not what we heard from the community.”

Others like John Mooney, a member on RA’s Board of Directors,  said planning processes focus on the impacts of development in Transit Station Areas without considering the impact on development in all of Reston.

He said traffic studies have not considered the impact of traffic in Transit Station Areas on the rest of Reston.

“I see no evidence, although I’m awaiting further information,” Mooney said.

Photo via YouTube

(This story was updated on Wednesday at 6:27 a.m. to clarify a quote by John Mooney.)

  • 30yearsinreston

    So Seldens response is that there will be plenty of opportunities for the county to deny any inconvenient objections

    What a shocker!
    Who could have known
    Time to drain the swamp

    Mooney sees ‘no evidence’ of development impact?
    I suggest he takes a drive around RTC at peak times

    • Tammi Petrine

      The quote in the article is taken out of context. What John Mooney DID say was that FCDOT had NOT considered any of the TSA traffic impact on the rest of Reston’s streets when they did their traffic studies. In a previous meeting on Tuesday, 7/17 re: transportation (Reston’s biggest and most immediate sign that too much density is a huge problem even now!) Mr. Mooney had not seen any evidence or indication that FCDOT had done a thorough job in analyzing TSA increased traffic impact around the non-TSA Reston intersections. We know the TSA intersections are gridlocked but we also know the traffic is awful on our other roads as well. He is still waiting waiting for info requested last week.

      Please don’t expend energy attacking someone working to keep cap at 13! CPR has analyzed the numbers and no way can we tolerate a PRC cap increase in ‘old Reston’ (where the neighborhoods and V/C’s are) when the current zoning LAWS in effect in the TSA areas allow so much density! If the PRC Cap is elevated, we WILL lose our planned community for sure.

      How the County or our supervisor could ever imagine that thriving, evolving businesses would tolerate horrible congestion and unhappy, fleeing residents due to crowded schools, lack of rec and parks, stressed fire and safety and ungodly stress is beyond comprehension. Businesses are attracted now by our sterling planned reputation. Every area is competing for these companies. They will make other location choices when reality tarnishes our reputation and then you have sacrificed a very healthy tax revenue producing gem for a sub par clogged mess.

      We are currently working with our Supervisor and requesting additional info.
      We are hopeful that our meetings have communicated mutual changes possible to meld the TSA corridor into the rest of a functioning existing community. We have learned much. We hope the County better understands our resolve to Save our Planned Reston! The County needs to concentrate on the TSA areas densities as they stand now and add a cap to “One Reston” – TSA and PRC combined; try to figure out how to serve those new arrivals and leave our PRC community density as is and even lower it in some areas.

      Please support CPR and be ready to join our mass protests if our PRC Cap of 13 is threatened.

      • Reston Now

        The post had been updated to reflect this.

      • 30yearsinreston

        Glad to the post was updated
        Also glad to see that more people are dismayed with, and waking up to , Hudgins dismal performance and myopia
        Hopefully the people will soon fire her and her cohorts

  • Bye

    Sad and pathetic. These fairfax “representatives” are simply lining their pockets with cash. I really don’t get it. I came to Reston to escape the DC shenanigans, but now they are inviting it out here and I’m off again. Like someone wrote on a previous article Reston will soon be a congested/gridlocked high rise dump. So long fairfax!

    • Hunchkins

      Thanks for all the fish.

  • Conservative Senior

    No matter what the taxpaying homeowners think, the county & RA doesn’t care. We don’t want our village centers to have high rise buildings!. Hudgins where are you???

    • Why do you bother?

      In bed with the developers.

      • 30yearsinreston

        Asleep as usual

  • Greg

    How many of these peeps were in favor of Metro coming to Reston?

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