"Promoting housing affordability by combating exclusionary housing policies"


Reston, VA, considers much more housing for its Metrorail station areas, following EHI input


Reston, VA, also is planning for several future Metrorail stations in the new Dulles Rail Corridor. (A map of that rail corridor is posted at:http://www.dullesmetro.com/stations/index.cfm.) Reston lies just East of Herndon. Reston is planning for both sides of two stations (currently named the Wiehle Avenue and Reston Town Center stations), plus the South side of the Herndon/Reston West station.


As of November 13, 2012, the Reston planning group (Special Study Task Force) was focused on an option (Scenario G) under which there would be almost 25,000 new jobs and about 19,650 new housing units generated in the Reston Transit Station Areas (TSA's) by 2030. The result would be a slight improvement in the jobs/housing ratio in the TSA's, to about 4.2 jobs per housing unit. As mentioned, the generally recommended target standard for a community is one housing unit for every 1.5 jobs, according to a recent American Planning Association (APA) advisory. 


When EHI became actively involved, early in 2011, the basic jobs-housing mix under discussion was the County planning staff’s framework, which projected about 30,000 new workers and less than 8,000 new housing units by 2030 in the TSA's. That would result in an unbalanced jobs-housing ratio of about 3.75:1 for new development there -- higher than the current ratio in Reston overall (which currently is about 3:1). 


EHI’s comments to the Task Force in March and April, 2011 (see March 7 Reston letter and April 20 Reston letter) seemed to help focus support among Task Force members for including more housing. On November 1, 2011, the Task Force voted to send two development scenarios to Fairfax County agencies for impact analysis. Both scenarios presuppose much more housing, and better jobs-housing ratios, than the original framework.