FAQ Sheets

These FAQ sheets can be downloaded and used as handouts. To request a new FAQ sheet, please contact us and tell us what you’d like to know!

FAQ Sheets

Reston’s Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Committee:  CPR FAQ sheet_Reston P&Z

Reston’s Design Review Board (DRB):  CPR FAQ sheet_Reston DRB

South Lakes Village Center: Set to Quadruple in PopulationCPR FAQ sheet_village centers_South Lakes


Other Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Planned Residential Community (PRC)?
  2. What has the Fairfax County Planning & Zoning Department proposed about raising the PRC density cap?
  3. How did Reston Association respond to that proposal?
  4. What’s the difference between a recreation center and a community center, and why does it matter?
  5. What is Small District 5 and why do I pay extra property taxes because of it?
  6. How can I contact the members of the Board of Supervisors?


What is a Planned Residential Community?

A Planned Residential Community (PRC), as described by the zoning ordinance of Fairfax County, is a special district in which many of the restrictions of conventional zoning have been replaced by a comprehensive Master Plan. The intent is to encourage innovation and creative designs for land development while also providing ample and efficient use of open space; promoting a balance in the mix of land uses, housing types, and intensity of development; and encouraging excellence in physical, social, and economic planning.

Reston launched the era of modern planned communities in the United States when it was first founded in 1964. As a master planned community, Reston has historically been an exemplar for cohesive residential and commercial development that puts a premium on its recreational amenities, such as parks, golf courses, lakes, bike paths, and jogging trails.

What has the Fairfax County Planning & Zoning Department proposed about raising the PRC density cap?

Fairfax County revised the Reston Master Plan in 2015 and called for future growth to be concentrated in Reston Town Center, the areas around the three Metro Stations, but also Reston village centers. County officials assert that the Zoning Ordinance needs to be updated to implement this new plan, because some of its current provisions limit the Reston’s growth by capping its population at 13 persons per acre.

Instead, Fairfax wants to increase the density cap to 16 persons per acre, which would add an estimated 12,257 multifamily residential units to Reston’s planned residential community. More information from Fairfax County can be found on the county website’s page, Reston Planned Residential Community (PRC) District – Proposed Zoning Ordinance Amendment, which also gives any new dates for Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission public hearings on the issue.

How has Reston Association (RA) responded to that proposal?

After Fairfax County Planning & Zoning proposed the change, the Reston Association (RA) Board of Directors passed a resolution on 25 May 2017 requesting that Fairfax County staff provide additional justification for the increase so that the Reston community can have the information it needs to make informed decisions on whether or not to support the proposed PRC amendment. The RA board also requested a fourth community meeting, which was held on October 23, 2017. A video of the meeting can be viewed on the Fairfax County website.

RA has sent two letters to Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins since the October 23, 2017 community meeting. In the first letter dated October 27, 2017, the association expressed its opposition to the amendment as currently proposed. The second letter, dated November 17, 2017, included a list of actions that should be undertaken before the amendment is considered any further by the county. All communications between RA and Fairfax County can be found on RA’s website page on the PRC zoning amendment proposal.

What’s the difference between a recreation center and a community center, and why does it matter?

For many, a “recreation center” and “community center” mean the same thing. However, in Fairfax County, they are different not only in overall amenities and services offered, but also in potential funding assistance, ownership, and accountability. The Fairfax County Park Authority owns and operates nine (9) recreation centers, called RECenters. Park Authority RECenters offer a host of options  including pools, exercise and dance classes, weight rooms, personal trainers, sports, courts (tennis, racquetball, and basketball) trails, and parks. As the table on the Reston Citizen Association website shows, the Hunter Mill District, Reston’s district, has NO County-funded recreation facility while multi-million-dollar renovations have been funded at three other County recreation centers. The newest RECenter, Cub Run in Chantilly, opened in 2005 with a 25-meter “leisure entertainment pool” with two (2) slides and a water  playground.

In 1979, the Reston community created a special tax district (Small Tax District #5) to build and maintain the Reston Community Center (RCC) which offers arts, events, and special classes. Groups within and outside of Reston have lobbied the County to build a recreation center in Reston that is on par with the larger RECenters. With the projected population growth of the Hunter Mill District, the question is not if, but when and where such a facility should be built. The key question is who should fund it. As Reston continues to grow, its citizens will be asked to weigh in on various decisions, either by vote or by input to our County Supervisor.

What is Small District 5 and why do I pay extra property taxes because of it?

Are you a Reston property owner? Then you most likely pay an additional tax enacted in 1975. (See Small District 5 boundaries here.) If your property is within this district—whether commercial or residential—you pay an extra property tax called the Reston Community Center tax (sometimes referred to as Small District #5 tax) in addition to the county taxes that all Fairfax County property owners pay.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors established this special tax district to construct, maintain, and operate Reston Community Centers (RCC) at Hunters Woods and Lake Anne. Program and other fees for use of the RCC facilities covered only about 13% of the 2013 operating expenses.  The Small District 5 tax that you pay over and above the standard county property tax provided the rest of the funding for RCC’s operating expenses and facilities improvements. There is no contribution from the Fairfax County tax revenues collected from you and other County taxpayers for RCC’s annual expenses.  See the Reston Citizens Association information page for more details.

How can I contact the members of the Board of Supervisors?

Fairfax BOS members can be contacted either by phone or via email. Here’s a list of the email addresses for the Board:  BOS email addresses