The potential development of the Vienna Metro station at the interchange of Nutley Road and I-66 is causing problems for Vienna area residents, Fairfax planners and representatives of development companies seeking the right to build around what will be the end of the Orange Line when the station opens in mid-1986.
There is conflict between the county staff, which is supposed to guide planning for stations, and members of a citizens task force involved in making recommendations to the staff regarding station development, county officials and task force members said this week.
The Vienna station will open at the same time as the East Falls Church, West Falls Church and Dunn Loring Metro stations.
Hazel-Peterson Cos. and developer P. Reed Wills have proposed construction of approximately 3.3 million square feet of commercial space in addition to high-density residential development in two separate mixed-use projects at the Vienna station site.
Gary Molyneaux, head of Metro station planning for Fairfax County, said this week that Hazel-Peterson Cos. gave the county its economic studies of its proposed projects. Those studies are being used to help the county and consultants come up with development options for the station site.
Molyneaux said battles over the wording of items that members of the task force want the staff and consultants to consider are simply problems with "semantics."
However, this week the county transportation staff balked at a long list of road improvements proposals that the task force's transportation subcommittee is seeking to include as "priority items" in the work program now rather than after options have been developed.
Patricia Creighton of the transportation planning staff said Tuesday night that it is too soon to put specific road improvements into the work study program. But task force members held their ground and adopted their list of road improvements, forcing the staff to take their proposals under consideration.
The task force is supporting some improvements to Blake Lane and Hunter Mill Road that most Oakton-area residents oppose.
"The completion of Hunter Mill Road South to Blake Lane and [widening to four lanes from two] all of Jermantown Road from Route 123 to Route 29 are both regarded by the task force as high-priority projects," according to language approved this week by the task force.
"Both are required for an orderly flow of traffic to and from the Metro station and on and off I-66," the report said.
The Hunter Mill Road project is so controversial that staff members back away from supporting it. However, sources said the fact that the task force has forced the issue into the open may give the staff leverage to make public decisions about the road.
Ed Risse, a Hazel-Peterson Cos. official who is a member of the task force's transportation group, said the staff and consultants should be talking with Fairfax County about expanding the county's feeder bus system being used to serve the Huntington Metro station in southeast Fairfax so that it can serve the Vienna station when it opens.
"Some of us feel the feeder system is so important that it needs to be mentioned as many times as possible," Risse said.
Even though county staff members and consultants said putting specific roads into the study program is preliminary, consultants this week presented their recommendations for what they called minimum and maximum development around the station.
The minimum option calls for development in line with the present comprehensive land-use plan for the area, while the maximum option includes the development proposals put forth by Hazel-Peterson Cos. and Wills.
Molyneaux said the decision to use what has been proposed by developers as the maximum possible development was made on the basis that developers would be seeking the maximum intensive development of the site.
Hazel-Peterson Cos. has asked Fairfax to rezone its 61-acre site from a present PDH, planned development housing, and R-8 to allow for a planning development commercial project. As currently zoned, the property is approved for construction of 19-story apartment buildings. Hazel-Peterson Cos. wants to build a 34-story building as the centerpiece of its development, which it describes as an "employment center." This proposal also calls for construction of hotel space and restaurants designed to attract people to the site at night as well as during the day. The Hazel-Peterson plan calls for almost 3 million square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail space, 370 town houses and 600 hotel rooms.
Wills' plan calls for 200 apartments in multistory buildings, 33 town houses, 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 427,000 square feet of office space.