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Proposed Reston Comprehensive Plan scope expands to address equity, village center uses

Reston Town Center Station (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Reston’s Comprehensive Plan — which is currently undergoing a major overhaul — could see an expanded framework.

At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn introduced a motion formally expanding the review’s scope to incorporate elements like equity, community health, and land use issues related to Reston’s village centers.

The review comes after Alcorn’s 31-member task force created a draft of the amended plan. The draft plan was the product of 58 full task force meetings from May 2020 through August 2022. County staff are preparing recommendations for updating the comprehensive plan.

“In order for the range of recommendations to be considered, the goal s to now formally expand the scope fo the plan amendment to include these topic areas for consideration as part of the proposed comprehensive plan amendment,” the board matter said.

Alcorn’s fellow supervisors voiced some concerns about the plan, similar to issues expressed last year about its scope.

“I know this is a pretty Herculean lift,” Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said.

Sully Supervisor Kathy Smith said she was very concerned about the incorporation of equity and community health into the policy plan — which could conflict with the county’s future policy plans.

“I think that succinctness and putting things in the right place is important in the comprehensive plan and so, redundancies of policies into the area plans could be difficult,” she said.

Others said Alcorn’s expanded list should not be viewed as an appropriate template for other comprehensive plans.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said that the “devil is in the details.” 

“I’m also very concerned that I would not want to see this particular list as a template for doing comprehensive plans in other parts of the county, because I think it will strangle opportunity and I think it will give our staff just an overload of work,” Gross said.

In addition to the topics discussed above, the plan will include discussion of land uses for 1810, 1825 and 1950 Samuel Morse Drive and 11111 Sunset Hill Road. The plan would also establish the appropriate land use mix for the Roland Clarke Place residential mixed-use section near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

The two land use additions largely originated from the county’s Site-Specific Plan Amendment process. So far, they could be addressed through the comprehensive study or part of the SSPA process.

A staff report on the revised plan is expected mid-February. The Fairfax County Planning Commission will take a look at it on April 26, following by an anticipated vote by the board on May 9 or 23.