Reston Spring

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Density Decreased on Herndon Metro Area Study, Herndon Patch, January 10, 2012

The newest version of the Herndon Metro Station Area Plan includes only 38 acres that will be considered for redevelopment, down from the previous plan's 110 acres.
The scope of the Herndon Metro Area Study has changed once again, and the study area has been decreased from 110 acres to 38 acres, which includes nine properties.
In November it was discovered that there were errors in the Herndon Metro Area Study and consultants Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., went back to rework the plan to correct the mistakes. The new plan was presented to the public for the first time at Monday night’s Planning Commission public hearing. . . .
The new plan for the Herndon-Monroe Station area limits development to the area south of the Herndon Parkway.

 . . . The last version of the Metro Station Area Plan called for an FAR of 4.5 on the land between Herndon Parkway and the Dulles Toll Road. A floor area ratio of 4.5 means the building constructed on the land can be 4.5 times the size of the square footage of the land unit it sits on.
The newest version of the plan calls for the buildings closest to the station to have an FAR of 4.3, while the buildings not adjacent to the station will have an FAR of 3.8.
By decreasing the study area and density, growth of workers and residents in the study area has dropped by about half, Robertson said. Employees traveling in and out of the study area has decreased from 28,122 to 14,849. . .
The area will still require a number of road improvements, including a right turn lane from northbound Van Buren Street to eastbound Herndon Parkway, which is already in the works, Robertson said. She said the cost of road improvements has decreased by about a quarter of a million due to reducing the study area.

The west side of the study area will receive an extension of Worldgate Drive from Van Buren Street to Herndon Parkway. The east side of the study area, near Spring Street will, will require a number of additional turn lanes, and although traffic is improved from the last plan, some intersections are still rated D. . . .
 Click here for the rest of this story. 

Although I'm not sure what the "mistake" was, I'll wager that the Town Council heard loud and clear from the Herndon downtown business owners that they didn't want to see their business sucked away by over-sized development along the toll road. 

More to the point, it's a most pleasant surprise to see a municipal government not cave in to developers seeking huge density increases.  If/when the corridor area develops to near its capacity two ore more decades from now, the Herndon Town Council will have the option of increasing the density and expanding the area of development.  That incremental approach is a far wiser one than is being pursued in Fairfax County at either Tysons or Reston.

Well done Herndon!

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