Email signup

Draft Reston Comprehensive Plan revised to avoid conflicts with county policy

Construction continues on the Reston Row neighborhood in Reston Station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax County staff have pared down the draft of Reston’s proposed comprehensive plan from 180 pages to 133.

At a Fairfax County Planning Commission workshop on March 30, staff walked through their amendments to the proposed plan, a process that kicked off more than two years ago with a community-driven task force initiated by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.

The task force approved draft recommendations on Aug. 28 after 58 public meetings, significant public feedback and rigorous debate. Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn convened the task force after he took office in 2020.

Overall, staff’s version of the plan avoids policy and prescriptive language in specific areas, particularly land use. It also combines chapters about equity and community health — previously created by the task force as separate chapters — under the umbrella of “new town elements.”

St. Clair Williams, senior planner with the county’s Department of Planning and Development, said the change was intended to avoid language that could clash with current county policies, particularly the county’s One Fairfax policy on equity.

“There were concerns raised regarding new chapters. Was it created new policy or was it something that was exceeding current county policy?” Williams said.

Revising the community health section was challenging due to the lack of a formalized, countywide health policy that the plan could use as a basis, he said.

Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter emphasized that staff’s edits are intended to “implement…instead of create new policy.”

“We’ve tried to emphasize the use of active verbs,” Carter said.

A road network near Association Drive was revised by staff in order to allow flexibility in the future. It now highlights that an east-west connection between Soapstone Drive and Association Drive should avoid tree areas.

The county is considering a major site-specific plan amendment (SSPA) that would redevelop the buildings on Association Drive into a mostly residential project.

Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina said she hoped that nomination would preserve some of the historic aspects of the site.

Other major land use decisions in Reston’s transit-oriented areas were removed from the plan. Those proposals are currently being pushed through the SSPA process, which includes several redevelopment pitches for major projects in Reston.

The plan also adds additional water retention and quality targets for new development. Other general elements related to air, climate, resiliency and invasive plant species were removed, though the new draft has sections on vegetation and “green buildings.”

Staff also revised language guiding the number of full-size athletic fields in Reston’s TSA, saying that the “equivalent of 12 fields” should be provided.

“Staff had identified some of the challenges with finding sufficient space for full-size fields,” Williams said.

No land use changes for Reston’s golf courses are recommended — a major point of contention in the community.

For affordable housing, the plan ups the bar on requirements for developers on Reston projects.

In Reston’s transit station areas, affordable housing requirements for rental workforce dwelling units (WDU) are higher than surrounding areas. In the TSAs, 12% of units should be set aside as rental WDUs — half of which should target households making between 71 and 80% of the area’s median income.

The countywide policy requires that 8% of rental units in residential developments be set aside as WDUs.

Staff will release their final version of the plan on May 11. Public hearings are slated before the planning commission on June 14 and June 28, with potential action on the latter date. Meetings are tentatively scheduled with the Board of Supervisors this month, though the schedule is subject to change.

Recent Stories

A look at the smallest and largest homes sold in Fairfax County last month, October 2023.

Sugar plum fairies are getting ready to descend on Fairfax County, which will host multiple productions of Pytor Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” this holiday season. The 131-year-old ballet, now a Christmastime…

With a new month on the horizon, algae blooms at three lakes in Reston appear to be turning a leaf. Warnings to avoid making contact with Lake Anne and Lake…

The federal government has officially decided to review its decision to award the FBI’s new headquarters to Prince George’s County, Maryland, over Fairfax County.

Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!

Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.

For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

The Nutcracker presented by the Ravel Dance Company

The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine

Winter Wonderland Fundraiser

Proceeds benefit Fellowship Square, improving the lives of 800+ older adults with very limited income and resources by providing affordable housing and supportive services.

Experience a festive holiday fundraiser complete with savory wines & craft beers, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, exciting


Subscribe to our mailing list