Fairfax Vows Quick Action on Tysons Corner

October deadline set for regulations

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors promised Monday to act quickly to help redevelop Tysons Corner, after property owners and local leaders complained that bureaucracy has slowed the sprawling suburb's transformation to an urban center.

Board members said they would enact new rules for buildings as early as October. They also pledged transparency and public participation.

But most importantly, the supervisors said, they won't mess up the chance to ease congestion and reduce pollution.

"I am going to really push this," said Supervisor Jeff C. McKay, whose district includes downtown Springfield. "It is the engine of the county. More importantly to me, it sets the tone for what we do in other parts of the county."

Tysons Corner is a huge suburban crossroads in the northeastern corner of Fairfax County, where routes 7 and 123, the Capital Beltway and the Dulles Toll Road meet. With 120,000 employees and plans for four Metrorail stations on the way to Dulles International Airport, developers and environmentalists see a major chance for change.

Under orders from County Executive Anthony H. Griffin, planners offered a timeline Monday that sets the October deadline for regulations. It also calls for review of individual rezoning applications for property owners who are ready to start redevelopment more quickly.

Griffin said the timeline distributed Monday is "realistic," and "we'll stick to it."

Supervisors acted Monday primarily in response to concerns expressed recently by developers and members of the Tysons Land Use Task Force. Federal regulators' approval last week of the Dulles rail line has brought a new urgency to the county's move to redesign Tysons.

Some have said the county is not moving fast enough to write the rules for construction of high-rise buildings and for the infrastructure that builders must pay for -- such as streets, parks and storm water systems -- in exchange for the right to build.

"This needs to be moving forward with all deliberate speed," said Supervisor Penelope A. Gross.

Also on Monday, the board ordered a revision to county regulations to permit a farm winery to open on a 35-acre lot in Clifton. The vote was unanimous.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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