Tysons Corner Plan OK’d by Fairfax Board

After five years of development by citizen advisory bodies, the “smart growth”-driven Tysons Corner Plan was adopted by the Fairfax County Board late Tuesday night by an 8-2 vote following a six-hour public hearing.

With the stepped-up construction well underway of Metro’s so-called “Silver Line” spur linking the East Falls Church station to Dulles Airport and beyond, including four stations right in Tysons Corner, the County Board ignored pleas by its three Republican members to delay approval of the plan, leaving only Republicans Michael Frey and Pat Herrity to vote against it. The proposal, approved by the County Planning Commission, allows for its densest development of residential, office, retail and public use features within a quarter mile of each of the four Metro stations. Already, Tysons is the nation’s 12th largest concentration of office and commercial space, bigger than Atlanta and Denver.

The new plan places no limit on residential development in the plan’s impact area and is designed to balance the more than 110,000 current jobs in the area with residences (there are only 16,000 of those currently).

Concentrating the density in the areas immediately surrounding the Metro stations appeased the concerns of neighborhoods near Tysons, as Town of Vienna Mayor Jane Seeman noted. She cautioned that growth “should not outpace the planned amenities and transportation improvements.” Tuesday’s vote is expected to trigger aggressive development planning by a host of private sector entities.