Board Approves Plan to Transform Tysons

June 23, 2010
OPA 125/10

News Highlights

  • Tysons will become national model for smart growth.
  • 75 percent of future growth will be concentrated within a half-mile from the four future Metro stations, an easy walking distance.
  • By 2050, Tysons could be home to up to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs.

More Information

Statement by Chairman Sharon Bulova on the Adoption of the Tysons Comprehensive Plan Amendment
(June 22, 2010)

Rendering of Tysons

Rendering of Tysons

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By 2050, Tysons will be transformed into a walkable, green urban center based on a plan approved June 22 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

“With the adoption of the Tysons plan amendment, Tysons will become a national example of smart growth, a second downtown for the metropolitan Washington, D.C., region,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “Our plan to transform Tysons is unprecedented. It is exciting and forward thinking, and it marks a historic step for Fairfax County and the entire region.”

Following a public hearing, the board voted to adopt an updated land use plan and zoning ordinance for Tysons.

The plan envisions Tysons as home to up to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050. It will become a 24-hour urban center where people live, work and play — instead of a sprawling suburban office park.

Because the plan was designed to take advantage of the four new Metro stations coming to Tysons in 2013, 75 percent of future growth will be within a half mile of these stations. Many offices and homes will be a three to six minute walk from the stations, allowing people to get around on foot, bicycle, bus or Metro.

The plan also encourages green building, affordable housing and open space:

  • Green Building: New buildings must meet minimum green construction standards. Green buildings will help the county reach its goal of cutting carbon emission by 80 percent because they use 25-30 percent less energy.
  • Affordable Housing: 20 percent of new residences must 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 50 to 120 percent of the area median income.
  • Parks and Open Space: The plan calls for a large, central, “signature” park, as well as urban plazas across Tysons. The park and plazas will host community events, farmers markets, outdoor performances, art shows and weekend festivals. The plan also incorporates a network of trails throughout Tysons, offering people the opportunity to jog, walk, dog walk and bike.

The plan is built on transit-oriented development (TOD) principles. By building homes, stores and offices near transit, car trips can be dramatically reduced. Recent research by the Federal Transit Administration 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.


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