The Fairfax County Planning Commission this week delayed until May 14 making recommendations on what should be built on the 184 acres surrounding the Vienna Metro Station.
The recommendations were expected to be made Wednesday night, but commission members said they weren't yet ready. The county planning staff reported that it had not finished preparing written replies to a long list of questions posed by Commissioner Rosemarie Annunziata.
After a seven-hour public hearing two weeks ago, Annunziata asked the staff for more information on the impact of possibly delaying decisions for development around the station until after the station had been open for at least a year. The station, at the end of the Orange Line, is scheduled to open June 7.
She also asked for additional information on the impact of traffic generated by Metro on air pollution and evaluations of different versions of traffic studies prepared by proponents and opponents of a proposal to build more than seven million square feet of office and residential space on the 184 acres. That plan is being supported by the planning staff and a team of consultants.
Some county officials said the commission apparently was justified in delaying action on the controversial proposal, while others said the unresolved issues gave commissioners the ammunition they needed to put off a decision until after the coming elections in the town of Vienna.
Vienna officials, led by Mayor Charles Robinson, who is running unopposed for reelection, has said traffic generated by the station and related development would severely impact the town of Vienna and its road system.
The decision by the commissioners forced county officials to ask the Hazel-Peterson Cos. to agree to another delay in its pending Virginia Center rezoning case. The planning commission had been scheduled to hold hearings May 14 on the firm's request for a mixed-use development on more than 60 acres north of the Metro station.
Meanwhile, the planning staff also is considering a proposal by the Mantua Hills Citizens Association that calls for delaying decisions on future development at both the Dunn Loring and the Vienna Metro stations until a study of the entire corridor can be done.
The Vienna Station is in the I-66 median near Nutley Street. The Dunn Loring station is to the east at Gallows Road and I-66 near Merrifield. These stations, along with the West Falls Church and the East Falls Church stations, are all scheduled to open next month.
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