Tysons Land Use Task Force Presents Recommendations
Sept. 22, 2008
- Tysons Land Use Task Force recommendations are available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/tysons.
- 95 percent of new development will be located within walking distance of transit.
- Environmental sustainability, affordable housing and green space are major components of the plan to transform Tysons.
Tysons could change from suburban office park into a livable urban center, based on a new plan presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today.
The plan for the area’s development during the next 40 years was submitted by the Tysons Corner Land Use Task Force. The group was asked to update the area’s land use plan because four new Metrorail stations are expected to be built in Tysons. The recommendations are available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/tysons.
Proposed Districts Map
Proposed Intensity Map
Land Use Map
The proposal calls for Tysons to be a place where people live, work and play — not a place where people only come to work or shop. It sees the area as home for almost 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050. Because the plan was designed to take advantage of the new Metro stations, future growth will be focused within an eighth of a mile from the stations. Overall, 95 percent of new housing, retail and offices will be a three-minute walk from transit, including buses that will go to and from the stations.
Future development is closely tied to benefits for the community, including:
Environment Sustainability: New buildings must meet green
construction standards; all buildings must be LEED Silver certified by
2013. Green buildings will help the county reach its goal of cutting
carbon emission by 80 percent because they use 25-30 percent less
energy. The plan also calls for stormwater to be contained on site or
recycled. Currently, 70 percent of stormwater runs untreated into local
streams, harming Old Courthouse Spring Branch, Rocky Run, Scotts Run
and Pimmit Run.
Affordable Housing: The plan requires that 20 percent of new
residences be set aside as work force or affordable housing. This
requirement goes beyond the county’s current policy of 12 percent.
This housing will be made available to residents making from 60 to 120
percent of the area median income.
- Parks and Open Space: The plan calls for 160 additional acres of parks —double the acreage today. New parks and open space will include a 3.5-acre, central park that could be used for farmers markets, concerts or fairs.
The plan is built on an approach called transit-oriented development or TOD. By building homes, stores and offices near transit, car trips can be dramatically reduced. This finding is proven by recent research by the Federal Transit Administration. Its study shows that people living in Washington area TODs cut their car trips by almost 50 percent.
As currently built, Tysons caters to cars not people. Today, 105,000 people commute into Tysons daily while just 17,000 people live there. As a result, there are 167,000 parking spaces in Tysons — or 1.3 spaces for every employee and resident. These spaces also consume 40 million square feet of land.
To change this development pattern, the plan calls for a locally circulating bus system. These “circulators” will take people from Metro stations to homes, stores and offices, thereby reducing car trips. A grid of streets accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists are also recommended.
The Tysons Corner Land Use Task Force created its plan based on extensive input from the public. The group conducted 45 public meetings and workshops that were attended by more than 2,000 people. Public feedback was directly responsible for shaping the task force’s recommendations.
The Board of Supervisors established the task force in May 2005. The 36-member group included representatives from community groups, nonprofits, businesses, organizations for the environment, arts, housing and bicycling.
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