The Fairfax County Planning Commission struck down a plan to bring a 13-story building with 58 residential units near Reston Regional Library.
During a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) night, Commissioners noted that the plan by NS Reston would exceed the density and guidelines allowed for the area, which is known in planning jargon as “Part 5.”
In a report, county staff noted the property has been “marketed as a park for over 20 years.” Staff also stated that the plan was not in conformance with Reston’s comprehensive plan.
Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter said that the commission cannot simply approve plans that do not conform with land use and density requirements. If the parcel is to be developed, it should be consolidated with the Reston Regional Library parcel to the north.
“I can’t imagine that we just disregard the comprehensive plan,” Carter said.
NS Reston is seeking to build a 180-foot residential structure on the site with a partially underground parking garage. An urban park will include public art, a wall bench and a recreational lawn.
John Hart, the commission’s vice chairman, stressed that it is within the purview of the commission to assert that a development area is too small and that maintaining the location as open space is too important to allow development at the intensity proposed.
John McGranahan Jr., the applicant’s representative, said that the development history on the site was complicated.
Despite this, McGranahan said changes between recent approvals of the comprehensive plan indicate that the proposal could be allowed.
He also disputed the way the county calculated whether or not Part 5 would be pushed beyond its development capacity if NS Reston’s plan was approved.
The project is located on the north side of New Dominion Parkway roughly 300 feet west off of Fountain Drive.
The developer did not indicate if they will appeal the decision.
Renderings via NS Reston/Fairfax County Government