Fairfax County’s Proposal to Increase the

Population Density of Reston

Wednesday, September 20th
7 – 9 PM
Reston Association's Conference Center

Fairfax County is recommending changes to the Reston Planned
Residential Community (PRC) zoning ordinance that would

• an increase in the number of persons per acre in Reston’s PRC
district from 13 to 16; and

• a significant increase in high-rise multi-family buildings
Introduction to Fairfax County’s
Proposed Changed in Law

Dennis Hays, Reston Citizens Association
Comprehensive Plan Zoning Ordinance
The Comprehensive Plan is required The Zoning Ordinance regulates
by state law. It is a decision-making development. The zoning ordinance
guide detailing how an area is to be specifies what areas can be used for
developed. residential or commercial purposes. It
regulates lot size, density and the
height of structures.

Source: Fairfax County Planning and Zoning PowerPoint, May 3, 2017: Slide 10

Comment: The County's sole declared reason for increasing density is because it would be "in
accordance with the plan". But the Plan is flawed and was changed without community input.
Public participation in planning and
zoning will continue to be the
community’s foundation.
• Local participation should remain a hallmark of
the planning and zoning processes as Reston
continues to evolve as a complete community for
the 21st century over several decades. The
cumulative impacts of development and
redevelopment should be routinely assessed and
evaluated. Source: Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, Reston, page 12

Comment: The Plan actually has good provisions. One of the fundamental Principles of the Plan is
Public Participation. This does not mean just being told what will happen
Development will be phased with

• The phasing and funding of the expansion and
modification of adequate transportation
infrastructure and programs, and other
infrastructure components such as schools,
parks, and other public facilities should occur
with development. Source: Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, Reston, page 10

Comment: Another Principle is that development will be tied to needed infrastructure. This has not
been respected.
• Pedestrian underpasses, located throughout
Reston, are unique features serving as integral
connections. They should be improved to
enhance their function, especially those
providing access to the Village Centers and
parks and recreation facilities. Pedestrian
underpasses providing access to Metro
Stations and Town Center should be improved
or added. Source: Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, Reston, page 25

Question: When was the last time a pedestrian underpass was build in Reston?
• Construct an overpass (4-lane bridge) across the DAAR from
Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive approximately at
Soapstone Drive (referred to as the Soapstone Overpass)

• Construct a Town Center Parkway Underpass (4-lane tunnel) from
Town Center Parkway and Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley
Drive west of Edmund Halley Drive (See Figure 7)

• Construct an overpass (4-lane bridge) across the DAAR from
Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive approximately at South
Lakes Drive (referred to as the South Lakes Overpass)

• Improve Reston Parkway - 6 lanes from South Lakes Drive to the
DAAR Page 30 of 371
Source: Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, Reston, page 29

Comment: An example of what hasn't been done. The Plan calls for three additional bridges over the
Toll Road. Where are they?
Fairfax County Department of
Planning and Zoning

“Promoting Livable Communities which
Enhance the Quality of Life for the
Present and the Future”

Comment: The motto of the Department promoting these changes - we should help them live up to
their motto.
Reston’s development potential and
some consequences
A Look at Recent and Proposed County Zoning Changes
and Their Potential Impact on Reston’s Future

Terry Maynard, Reston 20/20

• This a presentation about the development potential of “One Reston”
under current and prospective planning and zoning, particularly the
proposed change in the Reston PRC zoning ordinance.

• Whenever possible, this presentation is based on Fairfax County policies,
data, methods, and assumptions.

• Wherever necessary, we have made the most reasonable conservative
estimate feasible about factors affecting population and housing growth.
Combined with other recent TSA zoning changes,
Reston’s population could more than triple with the
proposed Reston PRC zoning density increase.

Potential Reston PRC
Population Increase
This potential outcome is based on several key
assumptions about Reston’s growth.

• We assume that all the development in Reston’s TSAs will be high-rise multi-family
(“elevator”) development, thereby minimizing population growth potential at 2.1
persons per dwelling unit (DU).

• The “real” number of Reston’s population and DUs does not include “approved, but
unbuilt” development. Developers can return with updated proposals at higher
densities if new zoning permits.

• ADU/WDUs do not count against the tabulated count of current or future housing.
The provision of 12.5% ADU/WDUs provides developers the opportunity to receive a
market rate density “bonus” of up to 20%, which also does not count against the
density cap.
– We assumed that developers meet the County ADU/WDU standard, but take a bonus
density averaging only 10%.
– Overall, the County’s failure to include ADU/WDU housing and the associated
market rate bonus housing in its zoning population count understates Reston’s
potential maximum population at buildout by 30,000 people.

• Nothing precludes the Board of Supervisors from increasing development densities
again in the Comprehensive Plan or Reston’s zoning ordinances.
To meet its own guidelines, Fairfax County should
add more than 100 acres of park space to
accommodate Reston’s potential growth.
The Impact of the Potential Change in Reston's Population and Employment
on Reston's Park Needs
Reston Residents & Employees 2010 Buildout Net
Park Acreage FCPA Urban Parks Acreage guideline:
Added Count Potential Change
Residents 58,404 183,406 125,002 275.1 1.5 acres for every 1,000 residents
Employees 68,290 123,097 54,807 12.3 One acre for every 10,000 employees
Current & Planned Park Acreage in Reston 177.0
Total Added Acreage Needed 110.4

• Reston’s Master Plan calls for the addition of only two sizable parks, each about 7 acres, in
Town Center North and south Reston Town Center.

• FCPA also has population-based standards for the number of park facilities of all kinds from
tot lots to golf courses. The acreage required for Reston is much larger than FCPA’s general
acreage guideline above.

• Reston’s station areas—PRC & non-PRC—will have half the park acreage per capita of
Manhattan, NY, and three-quarters the acreage per capita of Tysons if both urban areas
fulfill their park plans.
Despite the low student generate rate in “elevator”
residences, Reston could need five new schools to
accommodate its potential population growth.
• The Reston plan calls for adding 2 ES and shifting • The County underestimates new school needs
MS and HS boundaries as new schools are built because it underestimates Reston’s population
near Innovation Station. growth potential.
Traffic Impacts of the PRC
Amendment: Knowns,
Unknowns, and Unknowables
John Mooney, Reclaim Reston
Traffic Impacts: 2 Key Questions
1. Covered in this Presentation: Traffic impacts of
proposed PRC amendment, in context of TSA (Transit
Station Areas) development
2. Not Covered: systems (roads, overpasses, traffic-signal
systems, etc.) to manage those traffic impacts, nor the
financing to construct those systems. (See the Reston
Traffic Analysis.)
Traffic Impacts: Overview of Presentation

1. How the traffic issue is related to the
proposed PRC amendment
2. How traffic forecasting is done
3. Traffic forecasts for Reston’s TSAs and its PRC-
zoned areas
4. Conclusions about knowns and
Traffic Impacts: 1. Relation of PRC
Amendment to Traffic
• Starting point: our shared current traffic experience of TOTAL

-Comp .Plan -Residential -Residential TRAFFIC TRAFFIC
-Zoning Ord. -Non-Residential -Non-Residential (Focus on SOVs)

Traffic Impacts: 2. Traffic Forecasting

Application of TGM-FORECAST

- Known, unquantifiable flaws in TGM
ITE Trip
Generation Manual: - Access to non-SOV transportation SOV Traffic Forecast:
Unit type x Avg. [“modal split”], (Transit, walking, - Especially AM and
Multiplier bike, ride-share) PM “peak hours”

- Distance from home to work

- Active-TDM measures
Traffic forecasts for Reston’s TSAs and its
PRC-zoned areas (1)
• Problem: we have no forecasts for PRC-zoned areas alone, only (through RMP-
based projections, e.g. Reston Network Analysis) for TSAs (which include some
PRC-zoned areas)

• Hint at a Solution: the forecasts (from the Reston Master Plan and from FxCo
staff docs on the PRC amendment) suggest that slightly less than half of One
Reston’s new population growth (at least 53,000) under the proposed PRC
ordinance change would occur in the non-TSA PRC areas.

• Very Tentative Conclusion: at full build-out (ca. 2050), the new traffic generated
by the PRC amendment would match the new residential traffic generated in
the non-PRC sections of the TSAs.

• What, then, is the new residential traffic generated in those non-PRC
areas? We’ll proceed in two steps: all TSA traffic and solely residential.
Traffic forecasts for Reston’s TSAs and its PRC-zoned areas
(2): TGM estimates of 2020-2050 SOV Traffic Increase in
TSA by Unadjusted TGM Forecast (Based on GMU, RMP, & FxCo numbers)

Table 1: SOV Trip Generation in 3 TSAs According to Unadjusted TGM Forecasts

2010 2020* 2050** New (2050–2020)
% Build-Out 42-45%
34% Avg=48% 100%
Fx Co Estimate 57,262 80,843 168,422 87,579
JRM Estimate 56,476 79,731 166,106 86,375
Traffic forecasts for Reston’s TSAs and its PRC-zoned areas
(3): TGM estimates of 2020-2050 SOV Traffic Increase in
TSA by Adjusted TGM Forecast

Table 2: SOV 2050 Trip Generation Numbers According to Adjustment TGM Forecast

2050 2050
Adjusted Unadjusted
(previous slide)
JRMs illustrative 35% Reduction 91,357 166,106
Fx Co’s base 45% Max. Reduction 95,235 168,422
FxCo: 45% + 7% Tech = 52 80,843 168,422

*More complicated than a simple reduction (e.g. 35%) of the unadjusted total
Bottom Line: Additional trips forecasted due to the proposed
higher PRC cap.
• Raising the PRC cap from 13 persons/A to 16 persons/A is estimated to add 8,922 new
units in Reston.
• As seen below, this would generate between 6,501-4,801 combined new peak-hr.
Table 3: Additional Trips forecasted due to PRC Amendment

Add. MF Apt. TGM ratio TGM ratio Add. Combined
Units (TGM for MF am Add. Am for MF pm Add. Pm am & pm peak
Code 220) peak trips peak trips Peak trips peak trips trips
8,922 0.506 0.615
TGM forecast 4,515 5,487 10,002
FxCo adjusted
TGM forecast
@ 45% reduct 2,483 3,018 5,501
FxCo adjusted
TGM forecast
@ 52% reduct 2,167 2,634 4,801
adjusted TGM
forecast at
35% reduct. 2,934 3,567 6,501
Traffic Impacts: Some Conclusions about
Knowns, Unknowns, Unknowables
– Any increases in population forecasts(for example, Terry Maynard’s) would increase
traffic forecasts.
More than half of the full build-out of the TSA has not yet happened.
– The proposed additional PRC density would increase residential traffic in ways I
have not yet quantified.
– My tentative calculation: at full build-out (ca. 2050), the new traffic generated by
the PRC amendment would match the new residential traffic generated in the non-
PRC sections of the TSAs.
– Traffic Generation Manual forecasts are unquantifiably flawed, need adjustments
– We don’t know the exact impact of all the individual adjustment-factors (access to
non-SOV transportation, distance from work, active Traffic Demand Management
measures, etc.), though we hasve some better info on their aggregate effect.

• By comparison with Arlington County’s careful studies in 2013 (residential) and 2015
(commercial), Fairfax County’s estimated reductions seem somewhat high. See
monitoring-study/ and http://mobilitylab.org/research/2016-office-building-study/
Closing Remarks
Bruce Ramo, Reclaim Reston

Questions and Comments

Please attend: Reston PRC District: Community Meeting on Amendments
The Department of Planning and Zoning
September 25, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Anne Elementary School
1510 North Shore Drive
Background slides
Reston and Its PRC Area
Calculating all-Reston development potential
involves “pushing” people and dwellings
(DUs) into 3 groups.

• Reston’s Comp Plan calls for 44,000 DUs in its station areas and identifies “target” locations for
over half of them. Most of these DUs are covered under the County-wide PDC/PRM zoning

• The County’s Reston PRC zoning proposal would increase the population “cap” to 16 persons per
acre or 99,933 people, including those in the TSA.

• The more you assume are in TSA+PRC, the less there can be in the others because of their
caps! We assumed 20,000 of the TSA’s DUs are PRC.
Reston has a tremendous unfilled capacity to add
ADU/WDUs at its current PRC-wide density cap.

• Reston could triple its current 1,486
ADU/WDU rental unit count and remain
within the current 13 persons per acre
population density cap.

• Increasing the cap to 16 persons per acre
adds less than 10% to the ADU/WDU
growth potential

• County ADU/WDU policy calls for:
– 12% of new housing development to be
– A 20% bonus market rate density for
meeting the ADU/WDU percentage goal.
– We have assumed that the average bonus
will be 10%.
Proposed Reston PRC Zoning
Ordinance Changes
People per Dwelling Unit (DU)
FCPS Student Generation Factors

FCPS letter to DPZ
re Student Yield in
RTF “Scenario G”, 2013
Reston School Enrollment and Capacity
Key Sources Used in Traffic Analysis
• Forecasts for the Reston/Dulles Rail Corridor and Route 28 Corridor,
2010 to 2050. Prepared for Fairfax County Department of Planning and
Zoning (George Mason Center for Regional Analysis, 7/26/2010),
Appendix, pp. 1-5. Available at

• Fairfax County’s Comparison of Their (Reston Network Analysis) and
John Mooney’s Trip-Generation Numbers for Reston’s Three TSAs.

FCDOT Trip Generation Comparison-RNA vs JRM-13 July 2017.pdf