Proposed Reston land use changes get bump up in priority for review

The Reston Town Center expansion (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Several deferred proposals to change land uses in Reston are coming to light once again.

At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday (July 25), Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn proposed that the county begin considering a set of 10 Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) proposals that were deferred earlier this year due to ongoing work to update Reston’s Comprehensive Plan.

Alcorn asked the county to begin work on the applications, which are part of a countywide set of nominations submitted through its Site-Specific Plan Amendment process.

The move formally seeks to move the applications from tier three of the work program — the lowest priority — to tier one of the program. The work program includes authorized current and future planned studies and amendments to the county’s comprehensive plan.

Tier one applications are focused on areas of development or support a priority explicitly identified by the county, such as affordable housing. Those applications receive the highest priority for staff resources and timing, according to the county’s website.

“While the ultimate outcome of each of these SSPA nominations is still to be determined, there are common themes across the nominations in Reston that would greatly benefit from staff research and analysis that has not yet started,” the board matter states.

The timeline for the approval of the overhaul of the Reston Comprehensive Plan was delayed to Sept. 12 due to recent changes in state codes affecting public hearings. If the change had not been instituted, the plan would’ve been up for consideration at the board’s meeting on Tuesday.

Generally, Reston’s SSPAs favor more housing opportunities and less office development. Areas targeted by the developer proposals include Reston Town Center North, Michael Faraday Court, Commerce Metro Center, Lake Fairfax Business Park and more.

All of those applications will now be moved up and combined into a broad study of Reston’s Transit Station Areas.

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