On June 2nd, the MCA Board approved a resolution supporting the West Falls Church Transit Study Area Comprehensive Plan Amendment (link), with several, key caveats and requests. The Comp Plan Amendment covers two properties around the West Falls Church Metro Station, one controlled by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and one controlled by Virginia Tech University. In 2018, Supervisor Foust appointed a Task Force comprised of representatives from five nearby Homeowners Associations and the McLean Citizens Association. Subsequently County Staff were to produce a draft Comprehensive Plan Amendment based on the input of the Task Force.
Work on the draft plan has been complicated by the involvement of prominent landowners; the location of the property on Route 7 between Haycock Road and I-66, and the concerns of surrounding communities. In addition, the properties are adjacent to a 10.3-acre plot on which the City of Falls Church has approved a 1.3 million square foot project with a 180-foot building and other, mixed used facilities.
The issues the Task Force and County Staff sought to address were:
- Density – The number of residential units and their impact on traffic and schools.
- Height – The density and transition for compatibility to surrounding neighborhoods, including light pollution.
- Traffic – Pedestrian and bicycle safety, increased traffic on streets, roads and sidewalks in nearby communities, both within and outside the Study Area that included Route 7 & Haycock Rd., Haycock & Great Falls Street to Haycock Rd. & Westmoreland Rd.
As a result of these concerns, the resolution cites four requests to be considered in a timely fashion. The resolution requests County authorities to (1) prioritize and fund a broader traffic study as noted in the CPA; (2) complete the broader traffic study, and consider its recommendations, in concert with any zoning applications; (3) reduce the maximum building height and overall density of the Virginia Tech property to better support transition and compatibility with the surrounding communities; and, (4) review the assumptions used by Fairfax County Public Schools to determine future number of students and dwelling units in the area which is close to both public transport and several schools.