Group Encourages Citizens To Attend MetroWest Hearing

The text of a letter to the Fairfax Extra:

Fairfax County's strong electoral support for Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) reflected its desire to place checks and balances on runaway development.

The rezoning decision on the proposed MetroWest project near the Vienna Metro station is the county government's first opportunity since the election to act on this message from the voters.

We encourage concerned citizens to speak at or attend the rezoning hearing before the Planning Commission at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. For details, see http://www.fairgrowth.org . Your perspectives will help the commission adjust the final shape of the project to reflect broad community interests.

We encourage all county supervisors and planning commissioners to carefully review each line of the proposal, for it has major implications for regional roads, Metro, recreational facilities and space, schools, and stormwater. And it will set standards for future mixed-use and transit-oriented projects.

Although we support the notion of higher density at transit stations, we continue to be unconvinced that the current proposal will work to achieve its goals as a mixed-use site. If approved by the county in its current form, the project could fail to adhere to the Comprehensive Plan. In contrast to other mixed-use projects recently approved by the county, the current proposal does not set precise, unambiguous requirements for office space and retail, both of which are needed to make MetroWest a living, vital community.

In the view of many parents and citizens, it also does not provide adequate outdoor recreational facilities and space, on-site or off-site, for the more than 5,000 residents it would bring into an area whose facilities are already stretched. In addition, the impact on already gridlocked roads has not been objectively and comprehensively evaluated, and concerns about Metro capacity persist.

Rezoning is where the buck stops. This will be the final decision and the final occasion for county leadership to be accountable to the public. We ask for evidence that this proposal will work -- based on reality, not best-case scenarios and unproven plans.

William S. Elliott

Spokesman

Fairfax Citizens

for Responsible Growth Inc.

By  |  February 2, 2006; 1:35 PM ET  | Category:  Community Events , Development, Growth , Government
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