A positive note was struck last week in the continuing battle over development of Tysons II -- but almost no one was listening.
It happened at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting Aug. 4, a day when all other business was overshadowed by the announcement of a new county executive.
"I don't know why no one picked up on it," said County Board Member Nancy Falck (R-Dranesville) in an interview several days later.
At the board meeting, in her usual soft-spoken way, Falck announced that she had copies of an agreement signed by the four warring parties in the controversial land deal known as Tysons II.
The most recent dispute is between Theodore N. Lerner, one of the three owners of the 117-acre parcel, and his two partners, H. Max Ammerman and Homer Gudelsky. Lerner's partners want to sell the land to Boston Properties, and Lerner wants to hold on to it.
The "memorandum of understanding" is a simple agreement by the three owners and the prospective developer, Boston Properties, to make the necessary highway improvements when and if the land is developed.
The document may save the county from what is being called a "major oversight."
Tysons Corner, which is fast becoming known as the downtown of Fairfax County, has severe traffic congestion, according to the county and citizens in the area. The jams begin in the early morning when traffic funnels through the area, continues during the day with a constant stream of shoppers into the mall and ends after the evening rus hour.
In 1977, when plans were drawn up for a second shopping center across on the south side of Rte. 123 across from Tysons, traffic was the supervisors' primary consideration. Because of the traffic problems, they delayed a decision on rezoning the area for commercial use for several months.
In June 1978 the board finally rezoned the lane, with the provision that developers of Tysons II would donate eight acres for a new interchange at Rte. 123. In addition, the county required the owners to pay $7.76 million of an estimated $10 million in other highway improvements.
The wording of that provision, however, was specifically aimed only at a prospective shopping center. Current plans call for development of an office complex, expected to include 5 million square feet.
The new agreement was necessary, Falck says, to reassure residents that the traffic problems associated with any new development, such as the office complex, also would be addressed.
Falck said she had little problem getting the four parties to sign the agreement, which she hopes will put many fears to rest.
"This shows that the developers are quite aware of the traffic situation," said Falck. "What was projected (in terms of traffice congestion) for 1990 is there already."
"There were a lot of people saying the sky was falling," said Falck. "They were saying we may never see Vienna again."