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County to take stock of Reston’s ‘alphabet soup’ community infrastructure

Reston Community Center at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston (staff photo by James Jarvis)

In the nearly 60 years since it was founded, Reston has become host to a variety of community and public entities with often blurred lines and responsibilities.

To provide clarity, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn wants Fairfax County to develop an inventory of Reston’s community-level services and infrastructure, including who is responsible for what services and infrastructure and how they are funded.

The move was approved with no fanfare at a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting today (Tuesday).

Alcorn said it is important to ensure that community-level services and infrastructure are sustainable.

“Last year, the Board of Supervisors approved the Reston Comprehensive Plan Amendment that will help guide our community growth into the future,” Alcorn said in the board matter. “With that process now completed, the next step is Plan implementation, and a review of Reston’s community-level services and infrastructure is an important step in Plan implementation.”

In some cases, organizations have assumed responsibilities above and beyond state requirements, such as cutting grass in and along Virginia Department of Transportation-owned streets, Alcorn noted.

Organizations that will be part of the inventory include Reston Community Center, Reston Association, Reston Town Center Association and the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee.

“As you can imagine, roles and responsibilities of these organizations are not intuitive to many residents, even for residents who have lived in Reston for decades,” Alcorn said, describing the collection of groups serving Reston as an “alphabet soup.”

Below is the full directive from Alcorn, which was unanimously supported by the rest of the board.

Board Matter
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn
March 19, 2024

Inventory of Reston Community-Level Services and Infrastructure

Background:
As our community approaches the 60th anniversary of the founding of Reston, the time is right to take stock of the community infrastructure that by many accounts, including a recent article in The Economist, has created a very successful community within Fairfax County. Reston currently has several important community organizations that are dedicated to creating a cohesive community experience. These organizations perform essential community-level services such as maintaining the trails and open space, providing camps for our kids, operating recreation facilities of all types, and hosting places for the community to gather. And in some cases, these organizations have assumed additional responsibilities as the Commonwealth of Virginia has devolved some of their responsibilities such as keeping the grass cut in and along VDOT rights of way.

These organizations now form a veritable alphabet soup in Reston – nonprofits like RA, RTCA, the YMCA, and county operations like RCC, FCPA, and NCS. And this does not even include advocacy and advisory groups like RCA, Reston P&Z, and the CHCCAC. As you can imagine, roles and responsibilities of these organizations are not intuitive to many residents, even for residents who have lived in Reston for decades.

For Reston to be the success the next 60 years it has been in its first 60, these community-level services and infrastructure must be sustainable – including financially. Last year, the Board of Supervisors approved the Reston Comprehensive Plan Amendment that will help guide our community growth into the future. With that process now completed, the next step is Plan implementation, and a review of Reston’s community-level services and infrastructure is an important step in Plan implementation.

Motion:
Therefore, I move that the Board of Supervisors direct the County Executive’s office to coordinate with the Hunter Mill District office to develop an inventory of Reston community-level services and infrastructure including those noted above, and to include who is responsible for those services and infrastructure, and how they are funded.

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