Wiehle Avenue Steering Committee

Meeting Minutes, July 13, 2004


Fred Seldon, Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning

Development Opportunities for the Wiehle Avenue Area


General parameters to from the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Restrictions.


Subject Area:

     Subunit G-4  -  34 acres

     County Property 9.3 – 9.4 acres ±

     Existing:  400,000 sq. feet ± in Subunit G-4

                   300,000 sq. feet ± Office

                   100,000 sq. feet ± Industrial


Existing Zoning: 

     I-4      FAR I-4

     Would allow 740,000 ± square feet

     Existing development represents 54% of potential under current zoning.


Comp Plan


·                    Baseline – office use with .5 FAR based on current zoning.

·                    30 Dwelling Units per acre of residential allowed in baseline.

·                    Rail oriented mixed use highest option.

17 acres closest to rail station allows 2.5 FAR


·                    Is the County property in all the 17 acres or in part?


·                    If all County property is considered in the 17 acre area, support up to

1 million square feet applying the “rail-oriented residential mixed use option.”


·                    Impact of development on transportation will be a key evaluative factor in looking at development proposals.


·                    Comp Plan “contemplated” that we would go through a “BRT” interim development (1.5 FAR) before we get to “RORMU”, --assumed phased development.


QUESTIONS on Development Opportunities:

Do the covenants “trump” the comp plant?


Fred  -  the specific legal determination has not been made at this point.


Frank indicated that in the past, the answer has always been yes. The County has respected the covenants of Reston.


Joe Stowers would like summary information provided for the  other 3 adjacent quadrants.  Fred will provide for next meeting.


How many parcels in this area?  On  the order 10 or 11 in the 17 acres.


There are many owners involved (one multiple owner parcel is counted as 1 parcel).


Since the County considers apartments as “commercial” not residential, is it conceivable that  apartments could go in under existing covenants?   Frank


Fred – Covenants speak to no hotels so you can infer that apartments would be a precluded “commercial activity”.




The Steering Committee may want to seek legal clarification of the applicability of the covenants on the County property.


Follow up with RA to get the status on the covenants revision issue.


Possible Task: Develop a steering committee view/language on how to consider/define the 17 acres – hash through the application of the comp plan or G-4.


E-mail input to Fred by next Tuesday – Fred will work with Kohann and input for others to clarify the 17 acres.

















·                    The Steering Committee will want to consider how to address/consider/include areas adjacent to G-4.


Harry Swanson , Housing and Community Development

Deputy Director of Revitalization  and Real Estate


The Development Toolbox

Goals of Development

·                    Stakeholders – increase value of property.

·                    Developers – make good return on investment.




·                    Tax Incentives

·                    Staff from County – be responsive to developers

·                    Zoning – allows reduction:

- in parking requirements

- building heights

- landscape requirements

·                    Expedited site review

·                    Web site outlining possible development opportunities




From Experience with Developers:

·                    Be organized. Have a plan.

·                    They like public-private partnerships because if government is involved they are protected.

·                    Government likes partnerships because it leverages resources.


Bond Issue   2006 - millions of $$ available for public safety and commercial revitalization.

          Examples – Merrifield + Springfield


Dallas Examples of Revitalization:


1985 D.A.R.T. well developed transit system with T.O.D.


T.I.F. (Tax Increment Financing) w/CDA freezes district at current tax rate – “but for” that incentive, we wouldn’t get this development…been around since 70’s from California.


T.I.F uses bonds to allow developers money for public resources: plazas, water fountains, garages.


Encourages developer to put his/her money up front. They get reimbursed from the returns as they come in.


$1.5 million trolley brings people from transit to the retail commercial area in Dallas.



Fairfax and Northern Virginia Examples:


Herndon Harbor House – with County land for Senior Center.


Lease Revenue Bonds obligates the money for the senior center. Lease with developer who builds the garage, etc. + debt is paid by the _____________.


C.D.A. – Loudon used this for Dulles Town Center development.


Laurel Hill – County used land swap to put together that deal.


Questions/Comments on Revitalization:


Could the Wiehle area could be given a special designation (as C.D.A.)?.


Could the Lake Anne Revit area be expanded to include this area?


What is the role of E.D.A. in enticing and engaging developers?

They are more into marketing to bring new entities to County.


What incentives, offerings do we have to encourage developers to tackle the housing and parking? 

Leverage $$ for parking garage from Rail.

How much money is included in the federal/state plans for the rail station?


Pro – Not too much residential right near this area to object to plan changes.


From the June 29th meeting:

Another web site for consideration by the Steering Committee is the WMATA web site, which includes their most recent solicitation for joint development, as was discussed by Doug Hale. The web site is: http://wmata.com/bus/jd/JDevSolicitation.pdf


***Staff from County purchasing should be included in the next meeting.


Joe Stowers has two ideas for consideration as part of the public plan. He will send them out by email to the group for review and comment. 


Next Wiehle Avenue Steering Committee meeting dates:

          Monday, July 26, 2004          7pm

          Tuesday, August 10, 2004      7pm