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Pitches for land use changes in Reston deferred until approval of new comprehensive plan

The county is currently undergoing a Site-Specific Plan amendment process (staff photo by Jay Westcott).

Pitches from developers for land use changes in Reston’s transit areas are on a different track as the county considers dozens of similar nominations throughout Fairfax County as part of its Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process.

Unlike other areas of the county, Reston Transit Station area applications have been set aside for special study and deferred until a years-long process to update Reston’s Comprehensive Plan is completed, according to the county.

Other applications throughout the county are being placed in a draft work program that will determine how their study is prioritized. In the Dranesville District, for example, applications for the Innovation Center area were placed in the first tier — the highest priority — of the program.

In a statement, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said the draft work program identifies Reston site nominations for future study after the overall plan amendment is completed.

“This process will ensure that the latest Comprehensive Plan for Reston is used in the review of proposed site-specific changes in the area,” Alcorn said.

Most nominations in Reston’s transit area pushed for more residential uses in lieu of or in addition to office uses.

The county plans to publish a staff report on its recommendations this spring, followed by a series of public hearings before the planning commission and Board of Supervisors in the summer. Adoption of the proposed changes is also expected this summer.

The effort first kicked off in January 2020.

The next planning commission workshop on the proposed Reston comprehensive plan is set for March 30 at 7:30 p.m. and will be streamed on Channel 16.

The Hunter Mill District received the highest number of SSPA nominations. Overall, the county received 75 nominations.

The Board of Supervisors selected the nominations currently under review by staff and the planning commission on Dec. 6. This review is evaluating if the proposals are consistent with county policies and priorities relative to other planning considerations.

The planning commission has been holding public workshops on the various nominations throughout March, concluding on March 23 with one focused on proposals in the Hunter Mill and Providence districts.

“We anticipate the final vote will be at the March 29 Planning Commission meeting,” said Leanna Hush O’Donnell, planning division director for the county’s Department of Planning and Development. “The final screening decision point will be the Board’s action on the work program, scheduled as an action item on April 11.”

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