Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill District) and Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted an information meeting on the Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment-PA 2017-III-T1 Sunset Hills Realignment held at Sunrise Valley Elementary School Reston, on Jan. 30.
The general location of the subject property was the intersection of Hunter Mill Road with Crowell Road and Sunset Hills Road in the Hunter Mill District. The County of Fairfax Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment dated Dec. 20, 2017, stated that Hunter Mill Road had experienced recurring congestion during the morning and evening peak hours.
THE REPORT describes a long planning history of proposed transportation improvements and changes to the area surrounding the proposed realignment of Sunset Hills Road. "Improvements near the proposed Plan amendment have been in the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan since 1975 when Sunset Hills Road was recommended to be realigned north of the current intersection of Crowell Road and Hunter Mill Road."
According to the County of Fairfax report, analyses had shown that no one alternative would provide better results than another in the future and operational results showed that in several cases, the volume in the peak direction exceeded the capacity of the proposed improvements. Therefore, there would still be congestion in the peak hour. The report stated, “Based on the analyses and the community input throughout the evaluation process, a new alternative was developed.”
Under the Proposed Comprehensive Plan, a New Preferred Proposed Alternative has been recommended. According to the County of Fairfax’s Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment: "The realignment of Sunset Hills Road to the intersection of Crowell Road and Hunter Mill Road would provide for the future transportation needs in the area. It would address the forecasted traffic congestion associated with the closely spaced intersections of Hunter Mill Road with Sunset Hills Road and the Dulles Toll Road Westbound Ramps. The inclusion of a roundabout at the intersection of Crowell Road and Hunter Mill Road addresses the community desire to see traffic calmed to the north of Crowell Road, as well as the need to adequately handle future travel demand in the corridor."
Staff recommended changes to the current wording in the Comprehensive Plan to reflect the New Proposed Alternative. Staff proposed text referencing the previous plans, Options A, B, and C, be deleted from the Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment and alternative proposed text added. In addition, staff recommended proposed modifications be made to figures and maps in the Plan as required.
Given such, the Plan would read, "...Sunset Hills Road as it terminates at Hunter Mill Road provides for the primary access to the Dulles Toll Road for the residential areas and commercial office areas within the eastern periphery of Reston. To facilitate this access and provide better spacing between intersections, Sunset Hills Road should be realigned to Crowell Road to create a four-leg intersection. When Sunset Hills Road is realigned, a roundabout should be considered as the intersection control. The realigned Sunset Hills Road should retain the minor paved trail designation for Sunset Hills Road recommended in the Countywide Trails Plan.” According to the County of Fairfax, Planning Staff does recommend this item for Plan Amendment.
THE BOARD of Supervisors will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 6, at 4 p.m. on the Proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment.
For more information, visit fairfaxcounty.gov/planning-zoning/sites/planning- zoning/files/assets/documents/compplanamend/sunsethillsrealignment/2017-iii-t1.pdf.