Last evening I attended the Herndon Town Planning Committee meeting with their consultants, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB). The primary intent of the meeting was to discuss the two land-use scenarios for the future stop. The consultants made a persuasive argument, that was agreed upon, to provide analysis on two scenarios that were more aggressive than the study parameters defined in the Town's RFP.
VHB started by couching the discussion in the understanding that this development was not intended to distract from the "Herndon Downtown" but rather needed to be self containing, in terms of cost. I think they still have to sell the point that some redevelopment is desirable to ensure that the area does not fall into disrepair and end up detracting from the town's appeal and finances.
VHB advocated the study of two different scenarios, than the ones initially outlined. The included:
Scenario 1: A overall FAR of 2.5 for the portion closest to the station. This included everything between Herndon Pkwy, the Toll Road, Van Buren, and the Exchange Place intersection with Herndon Pkwy. This also included the other side of the Herndon Pkwy but only about 150 feet off the road. They envisioned that this would result in a blended FAR of 2.3.
Scenario 2: A overall FAR of 4-5 for the same portion of land with a blended rate of 3.2.
The commission lead explained that there would be a state purchase or reclamation of land that would provide for a pedestrian path to Herndon Pkwy but not much more. My discussion with the consultants after the meeting said that the study would suggest public parking to ensure a balanced approach to the development, but that clearly does not equate to acceptance by the commission or Town Council.
This was the second of multiple meetings planned for their TOD-designing roadmap. The first public workshop on the Herndon Metro study was held in July. Consultants and town staff worked to collect information from the public and present case studies from other local Metro projects. In the next few weeks their traffic model will be populated and results will be available at the next meeting, on Nov 8. In that meeting, there will be a presentation and opportunity for group discussion. A December meeting will provide a plan for discussion and feedback from the commission. This will roll up into a plan ready to go to their Town Council in February, and an implementable plan in June.