Even though the Fairfax County planning staff has not recommended land-use changes along the east side of Rte. 123 between Tysons Corner and Vienna, a staff report on proposed changes there says some of the area may be appropriate for future construction of apartment buildings.
According to a complicated report on proposed land-use changes for more than 300 acres in the Old Courthouse Road/Rte. 123 area, "it is possible" that some of the land along Rte. 123 "merits evaluation" when Fairfax looks at the need for apartment units on a countywide basis. Even though such a study is not yet under way, the staff report indicates a review is in the wings.
Meanwhile, residents of the Vienna area are worried that proposed land-use changes in that corridor could lead to the merging of the commercial areas of Tysons Corner and the town of Vienna. Concerned about more than half a dozen proposed land-use changes between Old Courthouse Road and Westwood Country Club on Rte. 123, community leaders are asking Fairfax to halt the commercial spread of Tysons at Old Courthouse Road even though a few commercial buildings, including a McDonalds, already have been built south of Old Courthouse.
Where does the commercial development stop? "It ought to be Old Courthouse Road," according to Al Paruti, head of the Tysons Green Civic Association, which represents several neighborhoods near Rte. 123 and Old Courthouse. Members of the Westbriar citizens groups also oppose proposed land-use changes.
Proposals for commercial development and high-density residential development on 300 acres bordered by Rte. 123, Gallows Road, Old Courthouse Road and Wolf Trap Road have intensified pleas for protection from commercialization.
However, one of those applications identified as the Wolf Trap/Gallows tract was initiated by the residents of the Madrillon Farms subdivision. They are asking Fairfax to change the low-density residential use of their 242 acres west of Gallows Road and east of Woodford Road to permit high-density residential, office and mixed-use commercial development.
Although commercial townhouses have been built along Old Courthouse Road in recent years as a result of a court decision, the county planning staff is proposing the change for Madrillon Farms on the basis that the existing land-use plan is viable. In addition, existing "internal roadways were not designed to accommodate the substantial increase" in traffic that would be generated by development at the intensity desired by residents of the area," according to the staff report.
Adjacent to Madrillon Farms are two other tracts proposed for major changes.
Attorney Robert Lawrence says the present residential plan for 72 acres along Rte. 123 "is no longer valid" because of commercial development at Old Courthouse and Rte. 123. He wants the land plan changed to permit construction of high-rise commercial buildings and high-density housing at eight to 12 units per acre.
Next door, owner P. Pakchanian has asked for high-density residential use on another 58 acres.
Even though the staff report says existing roadways cannot accommodate the proposals, both the Lawrence site and the Pakchanian site could be considered for apartment development, according to the staff report.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is currently studying the proposed changes and will make a final decision in late May. If the proposals are approved, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings and act on the proposals in early summer.