Land use and zoning have become major points of contention for residents in Fairfax County’s Hunter Mill District in recent years, so it was perhaps only a matter of time before someone like Walter Alcorn stepped into the race to serve as the district’s next supervisor.
As a Fairfax County planning commissioner for 16 years, Alcorn had a direct hand in shaping communities like Reston, Vienna, and Tysons.
He put that experience front and center when announcing on Feb. 11 that he will run to succeed Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who confirmed on Jan. 22 that she will retire at the end of her current term after 20 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“I believe my two decades of public service experience has prepared me to carry forward the values of our community – integrity, commitment, and fairness,” Alcorn said. “My wide range of experience serving as PTSA president and planning commissioner enables me to fight for the common values and ideals that make Hunter Mill a great place to work and live.”
Since moving to Northern Virginia in the 1980s, Alcorn has served a variety of roles in the community as both a public servant and a private citizen.
His tenure on the Fairfax County Planning Commission from 1997 to 2012 included the creation of a policy reducing impervious surfaces for new development as well as requirements that new high-rise development include affordable housing and that new residential development offset their impact on public facilities by contributing infrastructure improvements, according to Alcorn’s campaign website.
Alcorn says he is proud of his involvement in re-planning efforts for Tysons as the area began its transformation into an urbanized social and economic hub, a process facilitated by the arrival of Metro’s Silver Line.
“There was a lot of community concern about the re-planning of Tysons Corner,” Alcorn said. “I chaired a committee that brought the citizen voice into that process and, after two years of hard work, came out with a consensus recommendation.”
Alcorn also served as an at-large member on the Fairfax County Park Authority board from 2015 to 2017.
A resident of Reston, Alcorn currently works as vice president of environmental affairs and industry sustainability for the Consumer Technology Association.
Alcorn says that, if elected to the Board of Supervisors, his top priorities would be to manage growth, protect the environment and community green spaces, and support public education.
Many of his fellow Restonians would be heartened to know that Alcorn opposes a proposal championed by Hudgins to increase the density cap for Reston’s planned residential community district.
The former planning commissioner testified in front of the commission he once occupied during a public meeting on the proposed zoning ordinance amendment on Jan. 23. The five-hour meeting concluded with a decision being deferred to Feb. 13.
“I recommend that the planning commission not go forward with raising the cap at this point,” Alcorn said. “I think there needs to be a coordinated look at…the underlying comprehensive plan, and then we can come back and look at the zoning ordinance, but first, we have to look at the plan comprehensively.”
Alcorn is one of four Democrats who have declared their candidacy for Hudgins’s seat so far.
He will face Roanoke College graduate Parker Messick, U.S. Air Force veteran Shyamali Hauth, and Reston lawyer Laurie Tyler Dodd in a Democratic primary on June 11.