The westward march of Metro train tracks and stations will occupy much of the attention at a meeting of the Fairfax County supervisors on Monday.
County planners will present proposals for major commercial and residential development around two of the three Orange Line stations in Fairfax -- West Falls Church and Vienna. The third, Dunn Loring, has been designated a "minor commuter" station, with office, light industrial and residential development proposed on a smaller scale.
The East Falls Church terminal in Arlington County and the West Falls Church and Dunn Loring stations are under construction now in the median strip of I-66, as are all Orange Line stations beyond Ballston. The Vienna station is in the final planning stages.
Trains are not expected to run beyond the present terminus at Ballston until they can travel to the end of the line at Vienna in late 1986. Metro and local officials granted a request by Falls Church to delay opening the two stations bordering the city on the east and north, because Falls Church officials feared heavy commuter traffic would inundate the town if either station became a temporary terminus.
Fairfax County leaders are counting on revenue generated by the office buildings, hotels, retail stores and housing units they envision around the stations to cover a generous portion of the county's $151.3 million share of the completed $8.2 billion, 101-mile Metro system. Fairfax has contributed $91.3 million so far.
The broad outlines of proposed development the supervisors will hear Monday are the first step in the planning. If the board approves, the county will proceed to more detailed plans, starting with the Huntington station, the terminus of the present extension of the Yellow line, south of Alexandria.
Detailed planning on the West Falls Church and Vienna stations would follow.
Proposals for the West Falls Church station -- located at the confluence of I-66, the Dulles Airport access road, Route Seven and Haycock Road -- call for intense, diverse development of 103 acres of Metro- and privately owned land. Planners would like to see high-density apartment or condominium construction near the station platform, as well as construction of offices, retail stores and hotels. Residential development would radiate from the station, growing lighter in density.
The Vienna station site, near the intersection of Nutley Street and I-66, is surrounded by about 235 acres of land that can be developed, according to John Rice of the county office of comprehensive planning. The county hopes to see office buildings, retail stores, hotels and apartment buildings grow up around the station, surrounded by progressively lighter bands of residential construction.
Planners consulted a task force of Vienna area residents who "were very concerned" about developments and especially about traffic that the station, stores and offices would generate, Rice said.
Vienna resident Bennett Moss said the town's citizens want the development "more weighted toward offices than residential" construction, in part because of potentially heavy traffic during rush hours that could be avoided with office workers commuting by subway.
"We would rather see more employment opportunities than more people coming in" because of the heavier load that hundreds more permanent residents would put on schools and social services, Moss said. He added, however, that "the town's main concern is vehicular traffic generated by the station."
The Fairfax proposals for the Dunn Loring station at the intersection of I-66 and Gallows Road call for joint development of 110 acres of Metro and privately owned land near the station. The construction would be a combination of office, retail and residential units. Also called for is an "upgrading" of the light industrial development west of Gallows Road. Heavy residential development would begin south of I-66 and east of Gallows Road, and low-density residential areas would be built north of I-66.
Henry W. Cord, head of Metro's office of planning and development, said the transit authority and Virginia Polytechnic Institute have begun a study of the Dunn Loring area that will result in land use recommendations when it is completed sometime next year.
Preliminary plans for the Van Dorn and Franconia/Springfield stations south of Alexandria, not scheduled to open until 1989 at the earliest, also will be presented to the Fairfax supervisors Monday. As a terminus, Franconia/Springfield is slated to become a major commuter station surrounded by high-density residential construction. The station area also is expected to contain office buildings and retail stores. A total of 213 acres are considered by county planners to be "developable or redevelopable."
Van Dorn, on the Alexandria-Fairfax County line, has, by contrast, 63 acres in Fairfax that are available for development.
In their Phase I report to the board of supervisors, Fairfax planners predict that the county will "increase its share of the regional employment growth to between 18 and 24 percent in the period from 1980 to 1990" over the 16 percent of regional growth increase during the years from 1970 to 1980.
Much of the growth has come from the move to the county of professional employers such as consulting firms, trade associations and corporate headquarters, the report says.