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After losing Barton Hills appeal, Reston Association seeks tweaks to county zoning ordinance

The Barton Hill Recreation Area in Reston is slated for upgrades (via Google Maps)

Earlier this spring, the Virginia Supreme Court declared Fairfax County’s modernization of its zoning ordinance (zMOD) invalid because it was adopted at virtual meetings.

In light of the pending re-adoption of the new zoning ordinance, Reston Association is pitching a change that would clarify if additions or enhancements require a Planned Residential Community (PRC) plan — a lengthy process that involves the development of detailed plans and public hearings before the county Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

“We went through bit of problem when we tried to add lights to Barton Hill,” RA board president John Farrell said.

The proposed amendment, which was discussed at a Tuesday meeting (April 25), comes following the county’s determination that RA needed a PRC plan to proceed with the lighting component of its planned renovations at Barton Hill tennis court.

RA dropped that portion of the proposal after the Board of Zoning Appeals upheld a county zoning administrator’s decision that a PRC plan was required to add lights in the facility.

With the planning commission set to vote on zMOD again next Wednesday (May 3), RA has suggested that the county add exceptions for when PRC plans are required, including one for additions to existing uses when the addition doesn’t exceed 7,000 square feet or 45% of the existing use’s gross area.

The changes would also exempt minor accessory structures in open space areas, like slides, pathway lighting, heating pools, bathroom facilities and other considerations.

The RA board voted to move forward with proposing the amendment to the county.

In December, RA dropped the lighting component of its Barton Hills project after the zoning appeals board’s decision. The association is now moving forward with plan for the refurbished courts.