Reston's chances of winning some form of self-government suffered a blow yesterday when a General Assembly study group decided against proposing legislation that would permit the new community to become an incorporated town.
Many Reston leaders, including the local community association, have lobbied for such legislation, arguing that Fairfax County is too big and remote to adequately serve Reston's specific needs.
The study committee, rejecting the recommendation of its chairman, Del. Raymond E. Vickery Jr. (D-Fairfax), whose district includes Reston, said more study is needed. The group urged both Reston and Fairfax look at the question and report back to the General Assembly before Sept. 1 -- in effect too late for action at the coming legislative session.
Vickery supported a compromise proposal by the Reston Community Association under which Reston would become a self-governing town, but whose ordinances would be subject to veto by the County Board of Supervisors. In addition, Reston would be unable to become a city -- and therefore would be unable to annex adjacent, unincorporated areas of the county.
As limited as the town charter would have been, Reston would have had the right to tax real estate at a rate of 1/20th of a percent of its value.
One of the study group members opposing this plan was county zoning attorney John T. Hazel Jr., who said: "I cannot support any further overlay of government or any further fragmentation in Fairfax County."
Supporters of township status have argued that Reston is a clearly defined community -- as much so as Vienna and Herndon, both of which are towns in Fairfax with their own councils and mayors.
Vickery said one major reason his study group did not take more farreaching action was because the question of whether Fairfax itself should have a new form of government remains unresolved. The county's draft charter -- still in preparation -- does not yet have a section dealing with the issue of self-government on a community level.