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Reston Association President, Andy Sigle, on behalf of the Board of Directors, sent a letter to the Fairfax County Planning Commission reiterating RA’s opposition to the proposed Planned Residential Community (PRC) zoning amendment and outlining initiatives the association could take to potentially stop the adoption of the amendment. The letter, dated Jan. 8, 2019, strongly urges the commission to ask the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to not approve the amendment. Click here to read the letter.
“As we have often stated, our primary basis for our opposition stems from the repeated failure of Fairfax County’s staff to provide a thorough and convincing explanation of the need for the proposed ordinance amendment at this time,” said Sigle in the letter.
County officials are in the late stages of the months-long process to form and implement the zoning amendment. The planning commission has a Jan. 10 work session on the PRC. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors late last year authorized the scheduling of two public hearings about proposed changes to the zoning ordinance. The hearings will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and at 4:30 p.m. March 5 at the county government center in Fairfax.
Fairfax County is seeking to amend the ordinance to allow for an increase in the number of people, and thus residential units, permitted within the PRC district, which incorporates the vast majority of Reston, including most of Reston Town Center, but excluding portions of the Transit Station Areas. Fairfax County, Reston Association and the Coalition for a Planned Reston have held four public work sessions in recent months to address concerns related to the proposed PRC district amendment.
The latest plan, if approved by the county supervisors, would increase the density cap from 13 to 15 person per acre. RA’s stated position is that any potential change to the density cap must be done concurrently with the next review of the Reston Master Plan, which is due in the near future.
Sigle said the Reston Association “has no choice but to vigorously pursue any and all options available to us to inform and engage its members, including, but not limited to, a ballot initiative adjunct to its upcoming elections as well as a strong and substantial social media campaign about the proposed PRC zoning amendment.”
The RA board held a special meeting about the PRC amendment Jan. 2. The board considered various options to try and prevent the county from passing the amendment. While the association does not have legal jurisdiction in the matter, board directors voted to send a strong message to the county that the RA membership, which includes 21,000 residential units, must have a prominent voice in any decision the county makes regarding density levels in Reston.
Ultimately, the decision on whether to move forward with the amendment lies with the county, but RA and citizens groups opposed to the zoning change remain committed to preventing supervisors from approving the plan to increase the density cap.