Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission urges focus on redevelopment, adjusting to aging population
By Fredrick Kunkle,
Six years ago, Fairfax County had approximately 600,000 jobs and 380,000 households. Fast forward to 2030, and the work force in Virginia’s most populous county will have grown by an estimated 40 percent to 845,000 jobs.
That’s why county officials must take care to continue luring state-of-the-art businesses to the area, and also ensure that there will be sufficient housing that its employees can afford and that these homes are near workplaces and transportation hubs.
Those were among the 15 strategies and goals identified in the report by the Fairfax County Advisory Commission that was presented to the Board of Supervisors at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday. To cope with such growth, the commission said the county must remain focused on creating more mixed-use development that integrates retail space and residential dwellings in one setting. And much of that will probably be redevelopment.
The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority also aired a report for the board touting its work in helping to lure 154 companies, including Northrup Grumman’s headquarters, for a net gain of 6,459 new jobs.
The Fairfax County Advisory Commission, which has 49 members, also urged the county government to encourage further diversification of its economy so that it is not so reliant on spending and employment by the federal government. The commission urged officials to preserve and attract more manufacturing business, urged the county to increase efforts to attract tourism, particularly since it boasts an international airport (Dulles), and to prepare for the overall aging of its population. To address the aging demographics, several supervisors suggested that officials should search for new initiatives to make it easier for people to age in place.