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Reston Association appeals county decision on Barton Hill Tennis court upgrades

The Barton Hill Recreation Area in Reston (via Google Maps)

Reston Association is appealing a Fairfax County decision requiring additional planning approvals for proposed upgrades at the Barton Hill tennis courts.

The county contends that, in addition to a site plan approval, RA needs to get an amendment to the existing Planned Residential Community (PRC) Plan approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors before installing lights at the tennis court facility.

RA argues that those additional steps are unnecessary.

“If upheld, the determination would unnecessarily improve additional costs on RA and extend the time required to implement the RA Board’s approved objectives,” acting CEO Larry Butler wrote in an April 6 appeal to the county.

RA says it only needs a sports illumination plan to move forward with 23 LED light poles, which would stand 26 feet tall. RA also says that the approved development plan for the area describes the courts as a recreational area and, as a result, allows for greater flexibility in planning.

The addition of lights would expand the facility’s hours.

“RA asserts that the zoning administrator erred in concluding that the proposed changes require approval of a PRC plan and an associated site plan,” Butler wrote.

But the county says that while repaving the courts and striping for pickleball is consistent with previous approvals, the addition of lights “expands the use of the recreation facility beyond that which was contemplated with the previous approvals,” according to a March 10 statement from Bill Maryland, the Department of Planning and Zoning’s deputy zoning administrator.

The proposal includes renovation of four courts, striping for tennis and pickleball, and the addition of lights. RA previously anticipated the project would be ready by the end of the year, but it’s unclear how the timeline will be impacted by the appeal.

The matter is expected to go before the county’s Board of Zoning Appeals, but a date has not yet been formalized.

Photo via Google Maps

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