After dozens of task force meetings over the past few years, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved a significant amendment to the Reston Comprehensive Plan, which defines the County’s vision for development, including transportation and density recommendations for the neighborhoods and transit-oriented areas of Reston.
The Reston Plan Amendment builds on the robust set of transportation strategies identified to further the growth of the area. Areas of additional emphasis now include consideration for active “complete streets” as part of the recommended grid of streets, as well as environmental sustainability.
Background: Balancing Development, Infrastructure, and Transportation
In January 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved a Board Matter by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn to begin a process for additional study and community input on the Comprehensive Plan. At the time, Supervisor Alcorn stated, “It has been five years since the current Comprehensive Plan for Reston was adopted and the time is right to review key elements of that plan, including the balance of existing and planned development, infrastructure and the environment across all of Reston.”
The plan seeks to strengthen the role of transit while positioning Reston as an engine of economic development in Fairfax County.
Transportation Elements of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment
According to the Staff Report, the vision for Reston is supported by the following transportation planning principles which are new or revised from the previous version:
- Balance future land uses with supporting transportation infrastructure and services;
- Address the long-term needs of the area, including improving the infrastructure and facilities for transit, pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicles;
- Provide a “complete street” network that accommodates all modes of transportation for all users;
- Ensure that connections between all destinations and all modes of travel are compatible, convenient, and safe, especially enhancing convenient connections with the Reston Metro Stations for all travelers regardless of their mode of transportation;
- Promote the safety, health, and wellness of community members;
- Incorporate placemaking concepts and amenities that create spaces where people want to live, work, and socialize as well as create attractive multimodal facilities to connect with those spaces;
- Consider the environmental impacts of climate change and other environmental factors; and
- Be applied with specific attention to universal design and to the social equity targeted by the “One Fairfax Policy.”
The Amendment also includes revisions and updates to the recommended grids of streets within the three Reston Transit Station Areas (TSAs). Wells + Associates has been monitoring the progress of the evolving recommendations closely on behalf of the development industry and how those new recommendations will impact future development opportunities in this vital area of Fairfax County and the greater region.