The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day Saints has filed paperwork with the Fairfax County Planning Commission to get approval to add nearly 40 spots to its parking lot at 115 Poplar Grove Dr. in North Reston.
The church wants to expand the southern end on its existing parking lot from 121 to 160 spaces and replace an existing shed. The inquiry has not yet been given a date on the planning commission calendar.
The proposal is really a continuation of a quest that began two years ago.
In 2013, the church inquired with Reston Association about buying three parcels of land on Fox Mill Road. RA did not formally consider selling the land.
RA’s Design Review Board (DRB) did, however, give the church permission in February of 2014 to expand the lot.
That decision did not sit well with neighbors in the Birchfield Woods Cluster.
Birchfield Woods residents appealed the decision, saying it will result “in a net loss of over 80 trees which serve as a buffer between the church and the Birchfield Woods Cluster.”
The DRB initially voted down the church’s proposal in November 2013, with specifics on how the church could revise their plan: reduce the number of proposed parking spaces, reduce the number of impacted trees, and produce a traffic study.
The original proposal offered adding 51 spaces new light poles and removing 117 trees.
The new plan calls for planting of replacement trees and shrubs to provide a 25-foot buffer, as well as a relocated storage shed. The church also reduced the number of additional parking spots to 39, for a total of 160 spaces in the new lot.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will decide Thursday whether to recommend the proposed changes to the Reston Master Plan to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The Planning Commission heard from many residents, developers and members of the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force and other interested parties in a lengthy public hearing two weeks ago.
After four years of work, the Reston Master Plan Special Study Task Force recently completed the comprehensive plan amendment — a massive document outlining everything from density around three Metro Silver Line station’s to street patterns to recreational facilities — and there was no shortage of opinions,
The Planning Commission will either make recommendation to move it on to the county Board of Supervisors or tell the task force to make more changes. Task Force Chair Patty Nicoson says the group will also create its own staff report.
One of the main points of the plan: where to put the people. The plan calls for ratios of 50 percent commercial/residential within one-quarter mile of the Metro stations at Wiehle-Reston East, Reston Parkway and Herndon-Monroe. In the half-mile range, the ratio should be 75 percent residential, 25 commercial.
“We focused on total amounts of residential/commercial that can be within a district,” Nicoson told the planning commission at the public hearing. “We want to see new recreation center, a performing arts center. We are committed to the environment. We want to see the principles of Reston maintained as we look to the future. This will help us build on Reston as a planned community that was built with nature in mind. (more…)