On January 14, 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized a new study of the Reston Comprehensive Plan. Since the Board’s adoption of the Reston Transit Station Areas (“TSA”) amendment in 2014, and the subsequent adoption of the Reston Village Centers & Residential Areas amendment in 2015, there have been approximately 30 rezonings for new developments approved in the Reston TSAs. A task force was assembled in order to alleviate some concern that resonated in the surrounding community regarding the direction of Reston’s future development. The task force, made up of Reston area residents and business members, meets every two weeks to discuss nine areas of focus. These topics are:
- Projected population thresholds for Reston, and how to ensure that population, infrastructure and the environment are all in balance
- Land use in the Hunters Woods, South Lakes, and North Point Village Centers – including clarification of what type of future redevelopment proposals might require an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan
- The adequacy of existing plan language to generate additional affordable housing, and improvements to plan language to encourage preservation and enhancement of existing communities that now provide affordable housing
- The adequacy of existing and planned pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure for accessing Silver Line stations
- The adequacy of existing Comprehensive Plan guidance to facilitate urban-scale mobility and development design in the TSAs while protecting the stability of nearby neighborhoods
- Existing Comprehensive Plan transportation improvements to ensure that they are aligned with planned development
- How the Comprehensive Plan could better facilitate enhancement of Reston’s natural environment, encourage energy efficiency, and support sustainable green neighborhoods
- How the Comprehensive Plan could address concerns about monopolization of ownership in Reston, and ways to encourage diverse ownership and/or management over the long term
- Whether the historic practice of promoting privately owned and managed open space sufficiently addresses public needs during the next 50 years of Reston.
The task force is set to meet over the course of the next 12 to 18 months to conduct a plan review as well as engage with the community on these wide-ranging topics. They will produce a report of their recommendations to be provided to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors by the end of 2021. Bernard Suchicital, a land use planner with the firm, will continue to monitor the task force proceedings and analyze their potential impacts to the development potential of the involved properties in the subject area.