Last night, I attended a community workshops planned for, as part of the planning and urban design for the future of Tysons Corner. The purpose of these workshops is to, "assist the Tysons Land Use Task Force and the consultant team in defining, examining, and contrasting Alternative for Growth in Tysons." The alternatives for growth is none other than what is it that we want to achieve with urbanization of Tysons. Two of the key assumptions are: 1) Tysons will grow, 2) metro is coming.
Fairfax county has already have the base map [below]. The base map shows the current Transit Oriented Development surrounding the four proposed metro station, is where we start before mixing it up to create something that represents housing, commercial and retail density growth. Think of it as -- BEFORE vs. AFTER.
As you can see from the map, there are four circles. Those circles are where the proposed stations stop. And redevelopment will be centered around the stations, with some have more density than other stations. What they're doing now -- is rethinking Tysons by getting input from the public.
To create a true T-O-D environment, we should maximize the use of transit. However, because Tysons is the largest employment center in Northern Virginia, employees coming from different directions. At the present time, there are more commuters than residents living at Tysons. That -- will change in the future with population projected to double from 116,000 to 212,000 people.
By offering "other attractive" amenities, like green space, retails, etc., Tysons wanted to create a livable and vibrant environment that continues after working hours.. much like Clarendon, or Ballston in Arlington. Arlington, is "the best practice" when it comes to TOD for this area.
With that in mind, the "Alternatives for Growth" for Tysons, offer three possibilities:
- Housing -- emphasizes on residential growth
- Employment -- making sure that we're keeping Tysons as the economic engine of Northern Virginia
- Pushing the envelope -- bring more jobs and housing
For example, in the base case scenario, an employment focus alternative will create 31,000 dwelling units - which eventually double from the base case at 16,000 dwelling units. (The base case is what is allowed under the Comprehensive Plan with modifications). Pushing the envelope is truly pushing the limit without considering other socio and economic impact for the neighborhoods.
Towards the end of the meeting, we had the chance to listen each group presenting
their best case scenario, whether it is housing focus, employment focus
or pushing it. And this is what the solutions our group came up... (blue=non retail commercial, yellow=residential, white=retail, black=civic uses).
The public will have the opportunity to hear an overview of all six workshops on Thursday night, March 22, at Capital One building, 1630 Capital One Drive in McLean. By the way, Capital One is one of the Fortune 500 companies headquartered in McLean.
* Tysons Land Use Task Force Meeting Summary Jan.22.2007 [pdf]
* Taming Tysons Corner [pdf]
* Vote for Tysons Corner Proposal May Upset Work on Master Plan [Washington Post]