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PRC Zoning Amendment

PRC Zoning Amendment


Fairfax County is seeking to amend the Zoning Ordinance to allow for an increase in the number of residential units permitted within the Planned Residential Community (PRC) district. The current Reston PRC Zoning Ordinance limits the population to 13 people per acre for properties within this zoning district. When the updated Reston Master Plan was adopted by the County in 2015, additional residential development was allocated in Reston, primarily in the areas along the Dulles Corridor where residential development was not previously planned to exist. Fairfax County staff is pursuing an increase the zoning ordinance population cap within the PRC district to allow up to 15 persons per acre to add an additional 7,550 multifamily residential units. This growth is focused in the Town Center, Village Centers, and the Transit Station Areas (TSA) around the three Metro Stations that are in the PRC zoning district. Most of the affected land is in the Town Center TSA.


On Aug. 28, 2017 Fairfax County provided a letter to Reston Association, justifying the proposed increase to 16 persons per acre (later revised to 15 persons per acre). This letter and supplemental materials can be found on the right hand side of this page. The letter was sent in response to a Board of Directors resolution passed May 25, 2017 (available on right hand column of this page), which requested that Fairfax County staff provide additional information on the decision for the 16 persons per acre increase so that the Reston community can have all the information it needs to make informed decisions regarding whether to support the proposed PRC amendment.

The board resolution also requested one additional community meeting closer to the county Board of Supervisors decision date, which was held on October 23, 2017. A video of the meeting can be viewed on the Fairfax County website. A link to the video can also be found on the right hand side of this page. Previous community meetings on the topic were held in May 2017. The presentation from the May 3, 2017 meeting, materials provided at the October 23, 2017 meeting, and additional information from the county on the proposed ordinance can be found by visiting their PRC Amendment website. The presentation from the May meeting can also be found on the right hand side of this web page. 

RA Opposes the Plan

Reston Association has sent two letters to Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins since the October 23, 2017 community meeting. Both letters can be found on the right hand side of this page. In the first letter dated October 27, 2017, the association expressed its opposition to the amendment as currently proposed. The second letter, dated November 17, 2017, included a list of actions that should be undertaken before the amendment is considered any further by the county.

On March 28, 2018 Fred Selden, the Director of the Department of Planning and Zoning, sent a letter to Supervisor Hudgins to address the actions suggested by the association. A link to the letter can be found on the right column on this web page.

Also located in the right column of this page is a link to a Jan. 8, 2019 letter from Reston Association President, Andy Sigle, on behalf of the Board of Directors, 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 strongly urges the commission to ask the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to not approve the amendment.

“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.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in late 2018 authorized the scheduling of two public hearings about proposed changes to the zoning ordinance.

Indefinite Deferral

In February 2019, the Fairfax County Planning Commission decided to recommend the establishment of a task force to explore a PRC zoning amendment. The task force would include members of the Reston community as well as local industry. Additionally, the commission is asking for county staff to authorize a Comprehensive Plan amendment that would be reviewed concurrently with an ordinance update. As such, the commission was also recommending the county supervisors not approve the PRC plan at its March 2019 meeting.

The Fairfax County supervisors voted Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to approve Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Cathy Hudgins’ motion to indefinitely defer the matter concerning the Planned Residential Community zoning ordinance amendment. The board was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the PRC proposal, but after the motion passed, the same-day hearing was canceled. Representatives from Reston Association and local citizens groups who opposed the PRC proposal were planning to address the county supervisors during the public hearing portion of the March 5 meeting. 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.