Vienna town officials are lobbying hard against plans for dense development around the Vienna Metro station at Nutley Street, which is scheduled to open next summer.
In a letter to Fairfax County supervisors, who are empowered to set zoning for the land surrounding the Metrorail station, Vienna Mayor Charles A. Robinson Jr. urged that the county sharply limit development there.
Prominent Fairfax County developer-lawyer John T. (Til) Hazel controls a 61-acre tract adjacent to the station, where he has proposed a large, mixed-use development, including a 28-story office building that would be one of the tallest structures in the metropolitan area.
If Hazel's plan is realized, Robinson said yesterday, "it will have an enormous impact on the Vienna community -- an adverse impact."
The station is located in the median strip of I-66, just south of the corporate limits of Vienna, which is almost entirely residential excepting the retail businesses along Maple Avenue (Rte. 123), which bisect the town.
Fairfax officials have said that Hazel's plan as it now stands, calling for 2.9 million square feet of office space in addition to a major hotel and 370 dwelling units, is out of the question. They add, however, that of all the Orange Line stations, the one at Nutley Street near Vienna is ripest for dense development because of its relatively good transportation network.
Robinson, calling the development at the station "the most significant issue with which Vienna is faced," called on the county supervisors to change the zoning to permit Hazel's firm, Hazel-Peterson Co., less dense development. He asked for a level of density comparable to that planned for the neighborhood around the West Falls Church Metrorail station, which will remain primarily residential.
The supervisors are split on the issue of development at Metro stations. Most say they oppose making the stations focal points for development, as Arlington has done; others favor that approach.
Hazel has said Metro stations present a chance for Northern Virginia to engender showpiece developments that will enhance state and local tax revenues.