Residents of Reston are vehemently opposing the potential development of a casino by Comstock Companies on Metro’s Silver Line in Fairfax County. They argue that this proposed casino goes against the planning principles of Reston and poses various social, economic, and environmental concerns.
Activists from NoRestonCasino.org displayed signs outside the Fairfax County Government Center to draw attention to what they believe is a deviation from Reston’s planning principles. They argue that the Reston Comprehensive Plan, as well as the perspective of Fairfax County Supervisor Walter Alcorn, does not align with the proposed casino development.
Lynne Mulston, president of the Reston Citizens Association, emphasized that current Virginia law does not permit such development in Reston. She also raised concerns about the efforts of a major developer to influence legislative action in favor of the casino development.
During the Public Hearing for Fairfax Delegation to the General Assembly, concerns were voiced about the proximity of the proposed casino to residential areas and its potential impact on the family-oriented nature of the Sunrise Valley Neighborhood in Reston. It was also mentioned that the developer, Comstock, aims to establish the casino near the Wiehle Reston-East metro station, despite significant investments in properties surrounding this area.
Activists highlighted that the proposed casino contradicts the recently approved Reston Master Plan, which aimed to promote growth in key market sectors such as technology and higher education. The CEO of RA, Mac Cummins, expressed that a casino would go against the goals outlined in the recently adopted plan, jeopardizing the extensive community planning efforts made in Reston over the years.
Health concerns were also raised, with concerns about potential environmental toxicity and socio-economic problems associated with casino developments. Michelle Widmann Kimmel of Healthy Reston urged legislators to consider the lack of empirical research supporting claims of economic benefits from casinos.
State Senator Dave Marsden and Delegate Wren Williams introduced bills in 2023, which were later withdrawn, and now plan to reintroduce an expanded referendum bill in the upcoming legislative session.
Residents of Reston hope that their collective opposition, expressed through various community groups and elected officials, will deter the state legislature from endorsing a casino that they deem unwanted and unnecessary for the vibrant community of Reston.