The Fairfax County Planning Commission has scheduled public hearings during the next two weeks on more than 50 proposals to change the county's comprehensive land-use plan.
The plan is the guide for land-use decisions throughout the fast-growing county for both the planning commission and the Board of Supervisors.
The commission has already weeded out almost 100 proposals that failed to meet strict criteria established for such proposals this year, because 1986 is what county officials call "a limited review year" in the county's planning cycle.
Topping the list of controversial proposals is a package of 12 proposals by the West Group, the owner of 500 acres in the Tysons Corner area. The West Group wants to change the land-use plan to allow for construction of nine and 12-story buildings on more than 160 acres near the Dulles Airport Access Road corridor and the Rte. 123-Capital Beltway interchange between Tysons Corner and McLean.
The county planning staff recommended denying the hearings. Commission Chairman George Lilly said he agreed to hold hearings on the proposals because he was not sure that the West Group had been given adequate representation on a citizens' task force which recently drafted new guidelines for the future development of the 1,700 acres in the Tysons core.
In another matter, the county staff has proposed stregthening the existing guidelines to use the Dulles Toll Road as the boundary against the westward expansion of the commercial Tysons area along Rte. 7. But the proposal has drawn the ire of conservative Christian church leaders who claim that county officials are trying to restrict where churches may expand or locate.
The existing guidelines call for only low-density residential construction west of the toll road to the Loudoun County line.
Some church leaders have charged that the new, more restrictive language is part of an effort to restrict expansion of existing churches and stop future construction of new churches.
County officials denied the allegations. Churches are allowed to locate in residential neighborhoods by special permits that are granted by the board of zoning appeals.
The planning commissioners will also hear an application by Joseph A. Oertel, who is seeking to change the existing low-density residential plan for seven acres along Chain Bridge Road, south of Horse Shoe Road, near the Vienna town line, for apartments. The planning staff told the commissioners they should consider the proposal because Fairfax has "an urgent need for multifamily housing."
Also set for public hearings are plans to revitalize the Baileys Crossroads area and the downtown Annandale area. County officials said the need to improve the Baileys Crossroads area is "critical."
A county-funded study of the area calls for a "coordinated program" involving the county, residents and business leaders in the Baileys area to work out plans for improving pedestrian and vehicular access, the possible establishment of a Fairfax County staff agency to coordinate revitalization and development of an urban design plan.
The Annandale proposal is based on a recent study of the community's business district. Adoption of the proposed changes would "help maintain the current momentum established" to improve the area, according to staff recommendations.
The commissioners will also consider: Adopting language that would spell out restrictions on the storage of bulk chemicals which are on the Enviromental Protection Agency's "Very Toxic Chemicals List." Widening of Guinea Road from Braddock Road to Zion Road to four lanes. Construction of a grade-separated ramp for westbound Rte. 7 traffic at the intersection of Baron Cameron Avenue and Rte. 7 between Reston and Great Falls. Making Hunter Mill Road four lanes from Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive. Plans for possible locations for new neighborhood shopping centers in the western part of the county. Plans to allow construction of 20-story buildings on 14 acres near the Hungtington Metro station.
Hearings will be held next Wednesday on items in the Annandale, Baileys, Jefferson, Lower Potomac, Mount Vernon, Rose Hill and Springfield planning districts. Hearings on proposals in the Fairfax, McLean, Vienna, Upper Potomac, Bull Run and Potomac planning districts are set for Thursday. Countywide items will be aired April 30. Hearings begin at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Massey Building in Fairfax City.