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Posted at 1:30 AM ET, 05/28/2010

Fairfax panel backs Tysons plans

By Erica Johnston

The Fairfax County Planning Commission early Friday endorsed long-awaited plans that would enable Tysons Corner to transform from an auto-dependent office park into a urban, walkable city.

The commission, which voted to support the plan in a 10 to 1 vote, debated for more than four hours before arriving at a decision around 12:45 a.m.

Their recommendations now go to the Board of Supervisors, which has the authority to approve the plan.

The commission's endorsement slashes the planning period from 40 years to 20, and places no limits on residential development but caps growth in office space through 2030.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold its public hearing on June 22, and adopt a plan sometime in the summer.

-- Kafia Hosh

By Erica Johnston  | May 28, 2010; 1:30 AM ET
Categories:  Traffic and Transportation, Virginia  
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It's about time.

This could have happened 15 years ago if Connelly hadn't been in the pockets of local developers.

Posted by: postfan1 | May 28, 2010 7:32 AM | Report abuse

10 to 1, I wonder who that one idiot was!

Posted by: Theone9 | May 28, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

"No limits on residential growth" is a pretty broad statement. Earlier reports were that they were going to require a certain number of affordable housing units in order to increase density of residential development. Still, more living space as opposed to office space is what is needed in order to make a walkable urban community possible. Sounds like they just wanted to wrap things up so they could leave early and get out of town for the weekend!

Posted by: SusanMarie2 | May 28, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

"'No limits on residential growth' is a pretty broad statement." Agreed. Adding 100,000 residents would have huge detrimental impacts on Tysons and surrounding communities.

However, the Planning Commission likely realized that relatively few residential units will be constructed. There is a niche market for condos and apartments at Tysons. Consumer demand for this type of housing will be low for a long time. So ins some ways, the Planning Commission was giving away the sleeves of its vest. But we still need adequate public facilities for any growth at Tysons.

Posted by: tmtfairfax | May 28, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

tmtfairfax, the second Metrorail opens, the market for multi-unit housing at Tyson's won't be niche anymore... far from it.

This is good for everyone. Citizens will get a friendlier, less forbidding Tyson's. Developers should be licking their chops.

Posted by: dal20402 | May 28, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

" the second Metrorail opens, the market for multi-unit housing at Tyson's won't be niche anymore... far from it." What a laugh! All new buildings near the rail stops will be high rise structures. Once a building reaches more than three or four stories, construction costs escalate and the higher the building, the higher the rate of cost escalation. The structures built near rail will be very costly. The buildings will also be heavily taxed to fund infrastructure and to reflect the locations near rail.

Developers have said that they would likely target condos in the $1.5 million and above range. That's a very limited market and one that faces competition by much more attractive areas than Tysons. Rightfully so, the developers are worried about making profits. Office buildings are likely to be less risky investments.

It's time to put away the sing-song, cheery rhetoric about Tysons. Developer will prefer the status quo -- office space -- that's why the Planning Commission put limits on office, but not on residential.

Posted by: tmtfairfax | May 28, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Hopefully Tysons will be built UP instead of being built OUT. Urban Sprawl is death to most areas!

Posted by: damnit79 | May 28, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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