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Reston is at a key moment in its history. Over 50 years old, Reston has changed immensely from its earliest days, and more change is likely to come. As our community grows, Reston Association is committed to ensuring that growth is community-oriented, sustainable, and true to the original principles of Reston’s founding.
Reston was first conceived as a planned community by architect, economist, sociologist and planner Robert E. Simon. The community was founded on April 10, 1964, Simon’s 50th birthday, with seven goals that would become the blue-print for the building of Reston. During its first 50 years, Simon’s values of open space, recreational facilities, social heterogeneity and aesthetic beauty have guided the development of Reston. From the first Reston Master Plan in 1962 to its current version, our community has seen the growth of five village centers, a Metro station, a full range of housing for over 60,000 residents, and a wide array of commercial, cultural and recreational amenities. Today, Reston is the largest planned community in Virginia and one of the most renowned planned communities in the nation.
Many Reston residents are eager to see what the impact of development will be on the community. While most of the economic, social and geographic trends can only be speculated, approved conceptual plans and some of the early developments completed or underway give clues as to what else may be coming.
Q: What will the most significant changes be?
A: With the adoption of the new Reston Comprehensive Plan, over the next 30 years it is possible there will be another 25,000+ residents in Reston, in addition to millions more square feet of office and retail development.
Q: What will these developments be like?
A: Most of the new development and redevelopment in Reston will be more urban, and characterized by a mix of uses. Closer to the Metro stations there will be predominantly residential high-rise development with apartments and condominiums, with retail uses at the ground level. Farther away from the Metro stations there will likely be more office uses with retail on the ground level.
Q: Will there be more traffic?
A: Undoubtedly there will be more traffic with more people and more development. With Metro running down the middle of Reston, it is hoped (and likely) that more residents will use alternatives to automobile transportation, including walking, biking and buses. Many developments will offer incentives to get away from single-occupancy vehicle trips. The Reston Metro Access Group provided a suite of recommendations to improve non-motorized access to the Wiehle Reston East Metro Station, and many are being implemented today. As part of the Comprehensive Planning process, the Fairfax County Department .of Transportation was tasked with the Reston Network Analysis which looked at the traffic generation and patterns in the Reston Transit Station Areas out to the year the 2050. That report can be found here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/transportation/study/reston-network-analysis
Q: How will development impact parks and recreation?
A: Reston Association, Reston Community Center, and Fairfax County Park Authority, the three main providers of facilities for Reston residents, are working with Fairfax County and the development community to ensure adequate facilities and programs are available for Reston’s current residents and those who will be here in the future. It is likely that the types of facilities and programs offered by these providers will change to meet the interests of new Restonians.
Q: Who will be moving to Reston?
A: While it is hard to predict the future, it is anticipated that young professionals, who are attracted to active, walkable urban communities with services close by, will be a key new demographic in Reston. Additionally, "empty-nesters" who have lived in larger housing and are ready to downsize are anticipated to take advantage of the new housing opportunities.
The participation of community members in the process of development is paramount for ensuring the change that comes to Reston reflects Restonians’ values and desires. Throughout a development process, there are multiple opportunities for members to give comments, either directly to the developer or to a governing body that will review the developer’s plans. Click here to for more information on opportunities for member comment on development applications. To access agendas and meeting minutes for local governing bodies, please click on the links in the right column under "Project Review Authorities."