Statement of Chairman on Transforming Tysons

June 22, 2010

The plan before us today marks the end of a unique collaborative planning process that has taken place over the last five years.

The Tysons Task Force, chaired by Clark Tyler, worked for four and a half years to produce a Vision for the Transformation of Tysons that is exciting and forward thinking.

The Planning Commission's Tysons Committee has worked for almost two years to bring us to this point. The process has been one of inclusiveness, transparency and creativity and I am impressed with the recommendations that have resulted from it.

This Board has been engaged in the process through briefings jointly with members of the Planning Commission (in February), a lengthy discussion earlier this month in our Revitalization Committee which focused on the Transportation infrastructure needs and costs of Tysons, and a briefing and Q&A session at our last Board Meeting on June 8th. Lastly, each member of our Board has had the opportunity during the past two weeks to discuss the proposal before us one-on-one with staff.

I would like to thank members of the Tysons Land Use Task Force, the Planning Commission (especially members of the Planning Commission's Tysons Committee), and our County staff for their hard work in transforming the Vision into the Plan language that we have finally before us.

While adoption of the plan will mark the end of one process, it also is a beginning. By adopting this plan our Board is moving forward on a long term strategy for accommodating future growth in Fairfax County. We are committing to a Smart Growth pattern of development in Tysons - a transit-oriented, environmentally sensitive, walkable, multi-use second downtown for the Region, - a life style choice to offer our current and future population.

This is also a new beginning for the processes we use to work with the development community. In order to achieve the shared vision for Tysons Corner, it is important that County staff work with developers and landowners, along with our residential community, in a collaborative way to make our Vision happen. The demonstration project at Tysons West has provided us with a great model for how to do this.

The construction of four new rail stations in Tysons as part of the Silver Line extension provides us with an opportunity to plan transportation in a way that incorporates multi-modal access to Tysons from other parts of the County. We must ensure that we have the first phase of the Tysons Circulator in place when the stations open in 2013, as well as pedestrian and bike access to the stations. Efforts are currently underway to prioritize these projects and staff is developing an overall plan for funding the transportation improvements in Tysons.

Adoption of this plan language will not be the end. The Plan is a long range tool for guiding change in Tysons, and will no doubt be the subject of changes and amendments as growth evolves. A series of follow on motions provides staff with overarching guidance and "next steps" for us to take.

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