When Controversy Erupts Between the Master Plan and the Zoning Changes

Most planners have been there before: it's time to implement the goals of a newly approved Master Plan by rewriting the zoning code, and suddenly the public becomes outraged.

1 minute read

November 2, 2017, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Reality took a back seat at a recent public meeting in Reston [Virginia], as livid residents turned out en mass to protest increases in density, the allowance of more mixed-use buildings, and frankly, the addition of new neighbors," reports Canaan Merchant.

The problem is a familiar one to planners: it seems that much of Reston's outraged public hadn't paid attention during the community's recent master planning process undertaken by the county of Fairfax.

Merchant also notes that the now-outraged portion of Reston has also played fast and loose with the facts, claiming that the increases proposed by the Master Plan (from 13 people per acre to 16 people per acre in the Planned Residential Community (PRC) District) would double or triple the population of Reston.

Merchant provides more details on the zoning changes proposed in the Master Plan, as well as more description of the "firestorm" created by the zoning implementation.

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