Reston Association to Receive Update on Comprehensive Plan Study

An update on Fairfax County’s Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force is planned for tonight’s Reston Association Board of Directors meeting.

Established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 14, the Reston Comprehensive Plan task force has been tasked with reviewing the county’s Reston Master Plan, which guides land use, development, infrastructure, and the general vision and environment for the Reston community.

As a homeowners’ association that represents 21,346 residential units in the Reston community, Reston Association is represented on the task force by Secretary and North Point District director John Mooney with Chief Operating Officer Larry Butler serving as an alternate.

“There have been no decision points yet with the Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force so the RA Board has not weighed in,” Mike Leone, Reston Association’s spokesperson said. “RA’s primary interest in participating on the task force is to ensure our members’ interests are heard during the task force process.”

Fairfax County originally amended Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan with a section specific to Reston in February 2014 to establish a vision for transit station areas created in anticipation of the arrival of Metro’s Silver Line.

The Board of Supervisors adopted a second phase of the Reston plan amendment in June 2015 to address the area’s village centers and residential areas, aligning the Comprehensive Plan’s recommendations with existing development.

While the Reston Comprehensive Plan was amended in 2018, the need to reexamine the plan more extensively emerged last year after county officials and residents clashed over a proposed zoning ordinance amendment that would have increased the density limits for Reston’s planned residential community district.

The proposed zoning amendment was intended to ensure Reston will be able to accommodate anticipated future growth, but many residential groups, including Reston Association, Reston 20/20, and the Reston Citizens Association, argued that it would be more effective to modify the comprehensive plan before considering changes to the PRC district density limits.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission ultimately agreed with opponents of the proposal, voting unanimously in February 2019 to recommend that the county supervisors do not amend the zoning ordinance until an amendment to the Reston Comprehensive Plan is in place.

The Board of Supervisors voted that March to indefinitely defer the proposed zoning ordinance change.

After taking office in January, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn moved to establish the Reston Comprehensive Plan task force, which consists of 24 members with seven alternates and held its first meeting on May 11.

At its last meeting on Sept. 14, the task force tentatively approved topic areas, reviewed the comprehensive plan’s planning principles, and got an overview of transportation issues in Reston from Fairfax County staff, according to meeting materials.

Alcorn, who is facilitating the task force, says the group has also discussed Reston’s projected population and planned transportation improvements.

“After five meetings and 10 hours of engaged discussion, I am very excited about the work being done by the task force,” Alcorn said. “The task force is really just getting started and participation from interested members of the community is encouraged. The output of this work will guide Reston’s built and natural environment for decades to come.”

With the comprehensive plan review and community engagement process expected to take between 12 and 18 months, the task force has scheduled meetings through December, with the next one set for Sept. 30.

Other notable items on tonight’s agenda for the RA Board of Directors include:

  • Approval of the proposed work plan for the multimodal transportation committee, which gives advice and policy recommendations on transportation infrastructure related to Reston
  • A third-quarter information technology update, including information about the association’s new website
  • A status update on completed, ongoing, and upcoming RA capital projects, including an overview of funding for its Lake Thoreau project
  • A progress update on the recreation facilities working group, which is evaluating the condition, usage, and costs of the association’s recreational facilities

According to a summary in tonight’s agenda, the cancelation of camps, programs, and events, along with a shortened pool season, have had the most significant financial impact on Reston Association, lowering operating expenses by $2 million to offset a $1.5 million drop in revenue as of August.

Staff Photo by Jay Westcott

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