Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Monday, May 9, 2016

Proposed FAR 5.0 Zoning Ordinance Amendment (ZOA), April 26, 2016

Below is the latest proposed version (the fifth since last September) of the County's proposed FAR 5.0 zoning ordinance amendment (ZOA), including the County's staff report, for your review.  The essence of permitting this high density is to include all County Transit Station Areas (TSAs), Community Revitalization Districts (CRDs), and Community Business Centers (CBCs) in two zoning categories:  Planned Development Commercial (PDC) and Planned Residential Mixed-Use (PRM) districts.  The densification covers 20 areas spread across the County.

We would note that Reston has three TSAs, all subject to this proposed ZOA. 

Ostensibly, the ZOA limits an area's zoning to the density in its Comprehensive Plan or "other recommendations" in the plan.  In so doing, it fails to note that the new Fairfax Forward planning process virtually eliminates meaningful public participation in any amendments that developers may propose to the plan at either the area or parcel level.  Once these plan revisions are approved at a higher level, approving the irrevocable zoning authorization at FAR 5.0 is virtually automatic.

We would also note that the proposed ZOA allows up to half of all "open space" to be on the roof of the new buildings, meaning there is likely to be less than 10% open space available to the public on the ground.

We have highlighted the headings of the two sections dealing with FAR 5.

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