The Washington Post

Fairfax approves 22,000-home expansion for Reston over several decades

Correction: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect vote total. One of the Fairfax County supervisors was not present for the vote.

File: The Farmers Market at Reston Town Center, every Thursday afternoon, Reston, Va. Photo by Jeffrey Porter/For The Washington Post

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a long-term plan Tuesday to add 22,000 homes along with hotels and several office buildings to the town of Reston in preparation for the arrival of the Silver Line Metrorail extension.

The plan — approved 7-2 — is rooted in the principles that over the past 50 years have made Reston a national emblem of smart growth, a place where residents can live, work and play, its supporters said.

Over the next several decades, it would add a network of parks, a performing arts center, new schools, hotels and retail shopping around the three Metro stations that will serve as Silver Line stops for Reston and nearby Herndon.

“As Reston grows, many things will remain the same, particularly its quality of life,” said Supervisor Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill,) whose district includes Reston.

Opponents of the plan, however, said the effort falls short in addressing transportation congestion, particularly along the Dulles Toll Road that runs through the community founded by Robert E. Simon nearly 50 years ago.

The plan includes three new toll road intersections and a new street grid parallel to the toll road meant to ease traffic — improvements that critics said will likely require a new tax district for Reston.

Supervisor Michael Frey (R-Sully) said the plan doesn’t account for people who may work in Reston but live somewhere else.

“While maybe it’s a good plan for Reston, it isn’t an island,” said Frey, adding that more effort should first be put into building a bi-county parkway that would allow for easier access to the town.

To deal with those concerns, the board agreed to direct county planners to prepare a funding plan for transportation improvement related to the new plan.

Antonio covers government, politics and other regional issues in Fairfax County. He worked in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago before joining the Post in September of 2013.

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