Reston Association opposes reported plan for casino near Wiehle-Reston East Metro

Vehicles pass Wiehle-Reston East Metro station on the Dulles Toll Road (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Reston Association’s Board of Directors has formally come out in opposition to the possibility of a casino near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.

In a statement released yesterday (Monday), RA CEO Mac Cummins lamented what he said was lack of communication with RA’s leadership, board and members regarding potential state legislation that would add Fairfax County to the list of Virginia localities authorized to have a casino.

“We strongly believe that a casino in our community, surrounded by natural areas including lakes, tree canopy and natural trails valued by our residents, would be detrimental to the property values of our homes and inconsistent with our values as a community,” Cummins wrote in a statement.

Reston-based developer Comstock has shown interest in building a casino near the Metro Station, Reston Patch reported last week.

First, the General Assembly must approve state-enabling legislation. Then, county voters would participate in a referendum on whether a casino should be allowed.

The necessary bills were first introduced — and quickly withdrawn — by state Sen. Dave Marsden (D-37) and Del. Wren Williams (R-9) this past January, as the Washington Business Journal reported. It specified that the casino should be located within one quarter-mile of a Silver Line Metro station, part of a mixed-used development, outside the Dulles airport flight path and outside the I-495 Beltway.

In a letter to Marsden, who plans to re-introduce the bill next year if he’s reelected, RA board president John Farrell expressed disappointment and shock.

“Reston has just finished a 4-year citizen-led effort to update our Master Plan. The Fairfax Board of Supervisors adopted that Comprehensive Plan Amendment on September 12, 2023,” he wrote. “Nowhere in that plan is a casino contemplated for Reston.”

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn has also publicly stated that he opposes the establishment of a casino in Reston.

Virginia currently only allows casino gambling in five cities. The proposed amendment from Marsden and Williams would’ve expanded that to any locality with over 1 million residents and a county executive form of government — criteria matched only by Fairfax County.