Fairfax County sets Tysons Corner approval process timeline

By Kafia A. Hosh
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 22, 2010

Five years and dozens of workshops later, Fairfax County officials have presented a revised blueprint for redeveloping Tysons Corner and have set a timeline for the approval process.

The draft blueprint creates guidelines for how the area should be redeveloped over the next 40 years. It seeks to transform the suburban office park into Fairfax's own urban downtown rivaling Arlington County's Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

The county is under pressure to adopt a final land-use plan for Tysons because the first leg of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which includes four Silver Line stations in Tysons, is slated for completion by 2013.

Fairfax has scheduled a series of meetings to be held at the county government center over the next few months. The public can comment on the blueprint at two upcoming meetings of the Planning Commission's Tysons Committee. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Feb. 11. Speakers can sign up by visiting the Planning Commission's Web site or calling 703-324-2865. Comments can also be e-mailed to TysonsCornerSpecialStudy@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Committee members will meet to discuss any revisions made to the blueprint at 7 p.m. Feb. 24., and at some point will send their recommendations to the full Planning Commission.

The county will advertise a final version of the blueprint in March as an update to the current Tysons land-use plan. The Planning Commission will then hold a workshop on the proposed land-use plan at 8:15 p.m. March 11 and a public hearing at the same time March 24. The commission can recommend changes to the plan, sending it to the Board of Supervisors for consideration in May, with possible adoption of the plan sometime in the summer. A time and date for the board's public hearing in May has not been scheduled.

In the meantime, Fairfax officials are flushing out areas of disagreement with the county-appointed Tysons Land Use Task Force. The 37-member panel, which helped draft the blueprint, includes Tysons stakeholders such as developers, residents and environmental and housing advocates.

A task force committee, set up to review the blue print, is asking for increased density and building heights around the stations, saying that it would help encourage redevelopment.

But county planners say task force recommendations would yield 175 million square feet of development over the next 40 years, far greater than the 113 million square feet recommended in the blueprint.

Tysons, the nation's 12th largest employment center and the economic engine of Fairfax, is slated to grow from about 17,000 residents and 105,000 employees to 100,000 residents and 200,000 employees by 2050.

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