The following were among actions taken by the Herndon Town Council at its Dec. 8 meeting. For more information, call 435-6800.
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT RULES -- In response to a court challenge, the council reenacted town code amendments it passed last year to limit the density of downtown development and to set new open space requirements for commercial developments.
After the amendments were initially passed, a local businessman filed two lawsuits contending the code amendments illegally downzoned downtown land and that public hearings regarding the code amendments were not properly advertised. Town Attorney Dexter Odin advised the council to reenact the measures after readvertising public hearings and holding additional public hearings on the amendments.
The code amendments limit the amount of floorspace in any new downtown building to one-half the area of the property it occupies. Previously, the amount of floorspace in a new building downtown could equal the area of the property on which it was located.
However, under new rules for the downtown area now being drafted by the Planning Commission, buildings could be even larger relative to property area, with floor areas up to twice the area of the property on which they are built (possible with multistory buildings), if developers offer concessions like additional landscaping or parking.
The other town code amendment requires developers to set aside 15 percent of the land area of new developments for open space. Previously, no specific minimum was required.
PARKING REQUIREMENTS -- The council voted, 4 to 3, to require developers erecting buildings smaller than 15,000 square feet in the downtown Central Commercial District to provide on-site parking.
Under previous rules, builders only had to provide extra parking for buildings larger than 15,000 square feet. But when the council last month approved an office building larger than 14,000 square feet without additional on-site parking, some members called for strengthening the requirement.