Plans to construct an eight-building, multimillion-dollar high technology center on Spring Street passed another hurdle last week when the Herndon Town Council approved a generalized development plan submitted last year by the Trammel Crow Co.
The town planning commission had approved the plan in December.
The major issue before the council was whether to require the developer to build a 6-foot-high, 420-foot-long brick wall dividing the proposed Spring Park Technology Center from residential property surrounding it, and where such a wall should be constructed.
Irving L. Hoffman, who lives behind the proposed center on Coral Road, had asked the town to require Trammel Crow to build a wall 25 feet inside the Trammel Crow property line, but the council voted 4 to 3 to have the wall built 10 feet inside the line.
The vote did not please Hoffman, who wants the wall built to completely block the view and pedestrian traffic from the center.
"The wall's a lot closer than I feel it ought to be," he said. "It's unfortunate that the council was more interested in cooperating with the developer than in being cooperative with a resident."
Town zoning laws require that the boundary of the complex, which will be its parking lot, must be 60 feet from property zoned as residential, Hoffman said, but the council voted in January 1984 to reduce the requirement to 25 feet. This, Hoffman said, would not have been a problem if the council had required the wall to be built 25 feet from his property line. Instead, he said, the council "compromised and compromised, and now the wall is only 10 feet away."
Council member Haley M. Smith said that even at a distance of 10 feet, the wall provides a more than adequate buffer between Hoffman's property and the proposed park.
"I don't see what he is squawking about," said Smith. "For all practical purposes, he is being given an extra 4,200 square feet of land. I'd like to have that happen on my place, I'll tell you that."
Keven Daugherty, a spokesman for Trammel Crow, said: "Legally, we are not required to do anything [to provide a buffer]. We could have put the wall right next to the property line, if we had wnated to. We think a wall 10 feet into our property should satisfy him [Hoffman]."
The issue of whether to build a wall at all concerned vice mayor Pamela Tennyson. Tennyson, who voted against approving Trammel Crow's plan, predicted: "The wall won't reduce the impact of the technology center on the neighborhood, it will heighten it. I know it's a subjective judgment, but if it were me [who owned the adjacent property], I'd rather have nice trees and shrubs there, rather than a brick wall enclosing the property."
The council will vote on final approval of a site plan for the office complex on Feb. 12. Daugherty said that if the site plan is approved, the company will break ground shortly thereafter and hope to complete the first four buildings by November.
In other business, the council voted to allow the St. Joseph's Men's Society to conduct weekly bingo games at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Peachtree Street and to proclaim this week (Jan. 13-19) as Jaycee Week in Herndon, coinciding with National Jaycee Week. In making the resolution, Mayor Richard Thoesen said that the Jaycees contribute to the town's well-being through such projects as the Health Fair, Kids to Camp, and Clean-Up Herndon.
The Greater Herndon Jaycees will mark the special week with a dinner meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at their headquarters, 785 Station St.
In addition, Thoesen announced a town forum to be held Sunday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., at the Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave. Residents may raise any issue that they feel requires attention, he said.