All Restonians who wish to preserve Reston as a well-planned and executed planned community must rise up now and express their disgust with the county’s proposal to increase the allowable density, potentially tripling “ONE Reston’s” population.
On January 23, the county Planning Commission will be considering an amendment to Reston’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) zoning category to increase the allowable density from 13 to 15 persons per acre. The zoning ordinance covers Reston’s suburban areas, including the village centers and most of Reston Town Center. While that increase sounds relatively modest, it does NOT consider:
- At present, the Reston PRC’s density is about 18,000 people (more than 20%) below its allowable capacity of more than 81,000 people. Reston’s growth over its lifetime, virtually all in the PRC area to date, has averaged less than 1,000 people per year.
- Up to a 20 percent “bonus” to developers for building affordable (low- and middle-income) housing that is not counted per the PRC zoning ordinance, adding capacity for another 7,400 people to live in the PRC area.
- Existing plans and zoning authority to build 40,000 new high-rise, multi-family housing units (84,000 added people) in Reston’s three transit station areas (TSAs) beyond the PRC boundaries, but affecting everyone in Reston and beyond.
All in all, these changes would allow an increase Reston’s population from about 63,000 to about 190,000 people in ONE Reston.
At the same time, the county has not funded plans to meet Reston’s transportation, school, park, and other needs associated with this growth, even as required by its own county policies. In fact, the Fairfax schools just rejected funding again for a new high school to meet the growing needs along the Dulles Corridor. Yet that hasn’t stopped the county from placing another tax on Reston homeowners in the transit station areas for the “grid of streets” that only helps developers complete their projects more profitably.
The result of this massive unplanned imbalance between growth and infrastructure will be a dramatic loss of quality of life in Reston for everyone, new or longtime resident.
In the process of moving forward, the county and our supervisor have reneged on their explicit commitment to the community to follow through with community-county staff meetings to address the surrounding the proposed Reston density increase before proceeding with legislative steps. Their disrespect for Reston and Restonians is profound. They see Reston as a plantation that they own and will oversee as they wish with no regard for its residents or their needs.
The Coalition for a Planned Reston (CPR) has detailed a list of ten reasons to keep the Reston PRC density cap at 13 persons per acre that includes the above and other reasons NOT to increase the density cap.
While CPR and RA are planning to testify at the Planning Commission hearing, individual Restonians must rise up to stop this authoritarian county behavior. Attend the Planning Commission hearing at 7PM, January 23, in the government center auditorium. Wear your YELLOW shirt.
Bear witness, speak out, and demand that the county meet the community’s needs as well as its own politically-driven agenda. This may be your last chance to preserve the planned Reston we have known for more than a half century while allowing for reasonable future growth. We need to fill the Fairfax County Government Center auditorium (12000 Government Center Parkway) with hundreds of YELLOW-shirted Restonians to have a chance to stop the county’s effort to ram this amendment through.