OCRRences
Fall 2008: Volume 1, Issue 1

Download the PDF Version of OCRRences

Table of Contents

  1. Planning Commission Roundtable
  2. County's Revitalization Program Newly Reorganized
  3. County Adopts Principles of Public Investment
  4. Springfield Mall “Town Center” Redevelopment Project Under Consideration
  5. Ordinance to Permit Community Development Authorities Approved
  6. Bailey’s Crossroads Area Undergoing Study
  7. Merrifield Streetscape Design Manual Hits the Streets
  8. Richmond Highway Wayfinding Program Progressing
  9. Annandale CRD Being Studied
  10. Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment Gaining Momentum
  11. Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) Actions
  12. McLean Task Force Studies Pedestrian Issues

Planning Commission Roundtable

County's Revitalization efforts featured on cable Channel 16, Planning Comission Roundtable, during month of November. [Return to Table of Contents]

OCRR Staff PhotoCounty's Revitalization Program Newly Reorganized

The Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization and Reinvestment (OCRR) facilitates strategic redevelopment and investment opportunities within targeted commercial areas that align with the community’s vision and that improve the economic vitality, appearance and function of those areas.

OCRR was established in 2007 as a result of the importance and priority the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has placed on insuring the viability and attractiveness of older commercial areas, including, but not limited to the seven designated revitalization districts/areas. The OCRR work program is focused on achieving that objective. [Return to Table of Contents]

County Adopts Principles of Public Investment

On July 21, 2008, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted “16 Principles in Support of Commercial Redevelopment” to advance revitalization and reinvestment opportunities within the county. Specifically, the principles will guide the county’s involvement in public-private ventures to promote revitalization in key areas of the county. The principles were developed in collaboration with the Community Revitalization and Reinvestment Advisory Group (CRRAG). Redevelopment projects typically present financial and other challenges not experienced in developing previously undeveloped sites. Therefore, in order to implement critical aspects of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, the county may be asked to use public funds to provide needed public improvements to stimulate and support private revitalization, redevelopment, and reinvestment. The 16 Principles provide a coordinated approach to address the needs and opportunities of this changing landscape. Download the 16 Principles. [Return to Table of Contents]

Springfield Mall “Town Center” Redevelopment Project Under ConsiderationSpringfield Mall Rendering

A proposal by Vornado Realty Trust to redevelop the existing Springfield Mall into a multi-use lifestyle, residential, office and retail project is moving. On November 17, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to allow for the mulit-use “town center” development, characterized by a “walkable community” design. In addition to the renovation of the Mall itself, the Plan Amendment permits over 2,000 new residential units, approximately 2 million square feet of retail space, and one million square feet of office space, as well as new hotel facilities on the 80 acre site. Open space, parks, streetscape enhancement, and recreational facilities would transform the existing regional mall into a true “Springfield Town Center” based on a “pedestrian-friendly” Main Street style environment. The rezoning application is scheduled for the spring of 2009. [Return to Table of Contents]

Ordinance to Permit Community Development Authorities Approved

An exciting new tool is now available to help stimulate investment in key areas of Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance to permit the county to consider petitions for the creation of community development authorities (CDAs). A CDA is a flexible tool that can address a broad range of public infrastructure needs, as well as services, and can cover varied areas such as a single shopping mall, a mixed-use development, or a downtown redevelopment area.

A petition to the Board of Supervisors to establish a CDA must come from a majority (51 percent) of landowners within a proposed area; the CDA is then governed by Board appointees. Either land or assessed value can be used to determine the 51 percent. A CDA is funded through special taxes or special assessments negotiated with the property owners within the district.

Petitions for a CDA will be evaluated against the “16 Principles for Public Investment in Support of Commercial Redevelopment”. The Board will hold a public hearing on any petition submitted to establish a CDA.

The development firm Edens & Avant is hoping that its Mosaic at Merrifield mixed-use town center project will be first development in the county to receive approval to for a CDA that includes bond financing to help pay the cost of the public infrastructure improvements associated with the redevelopment of this key site in Merrifield. It is currently anticipated that the public hearing on the CDA will occur in January 2009. [Return to Table of Contents]

Bailey’s Crossroads Area Undergoing Study

The Bailey’s Crossroads Commercial Revitalization District (CRD) is seen as a gateway to Fairfax County from both Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. In 2006, an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel studied the CRD and suggested strategies for creating a more urban character for the area, while still maintaining compatibility with neighboring land uses.Bailey's Crossroads Urban Framework

Earlier this year, the county initiated a follow-up planning study for a portion of the CRD to evaluate and refine the recommendations and strategies developed by the ULI Advisory Services Panel. The study specifically focuses on the areas to the south and east of the Leesburg Pike and Columbia Pike interchange. The study will result in recommendations to amend the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and strategies for implementing these changes. As public participation is a crucial component to the Bailey’s Crossroads Planning Study, a Citizens Advisory Committee has been appointed by Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross to coordinate community outreach activities. Key stakeholders were interviewed during the initial stages of the study.

Phase I of the project – an evaluation of the existing conditions of the study area - is complete and available for review on DPZ’s website at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/projects/baileys.

As part of the second phase of the study, staff and the consultant team are working on clarifying two urban concepts, which will be presented to the public for feedback in upcoming months. For more information on the study, please contact the DPZ Planning Division at 703.324.1380 or DPZBaileys@fairfaxcounty.gov.

A proposal by Vornado Realty Trust to redevelop the existing Springfield Mall into a multi-use lifestyle, residential, office and retail project is moving. On November 17, 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to allow for the mulit-use “town center” development, characterized by a “walkable community” design. In addition to the renovation of the Mall itself, the Plan Amendment permits over 2,000 new residential units, approximately 2 million square feet of retail space, and one million square feet of office space, as well as new hotel facilities on the 80 acre site. Open space, parks, streetscape enhancement, and recreational facilities would transform the existing regional mall into a true “Springfield Town Center” based on a “pedestrian-friendly” Main Street style environment. The rezoning application is scheduled for the spring of 2009. [Return to Table of Contents]

Merrifield Streetscape Design Manual Hits the Streets

In June, Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects, P.C. completed the Merrifield Streetscape Design Manual. The manual presents options for implementing the streetscape standards contained in the Comprehensive Plan for Merrifield, particularly in situations when the physical challenges of the site conflict with achieving fully the standards contained in the Comprehensive Plan. These standards apply to properties going through the site plan and zoning process. The manual provides a catalog of recommended streetscape designs and material choices and applies to properties within the Merrifield Commercial Revitalization Area. It is intended to serve as a companion document to the Comprehensive Plan and to function as an implementation tool for the streetscape standards.Dorr Avenue Rendering

The Comprehensive Plan establishes streetscape standards for four Road Hierarchies. The streetscape design manual further articulates the intent and performance specifications and provides representative examples of streetscape elements for each of the four Road Hierarchies. In addition, a fifth hierarchy, Pedestrian Enhancements, offers additional options. The overall intent is to achieve a coherent, yet distinctive pedestrian environment.

The manual is available online for download as a PDF. [Return to Table of Contents]

Richmond Highway Wayfinding Program Progressing

The Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation (SFDC) is developing a Wayfinding Program for a seven and a half mile portion of the Richmond Highway corridor. The intent of the program is to help travelers determine where they are located along the highway in relation to the six major commercial nodes and to create a consistent and identifiable message as travelers pass through each area. SFDC’s consultant, RFJF Hiller, has completed the final design books for the Wayfinding Program. SFDC also has been working with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and VDOT on securing the required permits. Richmond Highway could start to see some of the signs being installed as early as spring of 2009. [Return to Table of Contents]

Annandale CRD Being Studied Annandale CRD Boundary Map

In 2007, an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel studied the Annandale Community Businesses Center (CBC) to devise revitalization strategies. The Panel recommended that a vision for the study area be clearly articulated. As a result, a transportation network study is now being carried out to analyze alternative roadway networks to serve the Annandale Commercial Revitalization District. Concurrent with the transportation network study, a land use and urban design planning effort is also underway to determine how to encourage reinvestment and redevelopment in the CBC, and to help make Annandale more of a destination than just a place to pass through. These two tracks will come together in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, resulting in recommendations for amending the Comprehensive Plan. The goal is to create a pedestrian-oriented village center for the greater Annandale community. [Return to Table of Contents]

Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment Gaining Momentum

Lake Anne Village CenterLake Anne Plaza was the first area developed in the planned community of Reston, and its unique design and sense of place are recognized worldwide by planners, architects and developers; however, this hidden jewel has suffered physical and economic decline due to increased competition. Revitalization of this aging landmark has been the focus of Fairfax County staff and citizens alike.

In 2005, responding to community stakeholder concerns, the county contracted for an economic analysis of the Lake Anne business community and surrounding market. Focus groups and a charette were also convened to provide an understanding of the community’s vision and values. Most recently a parking and transportation study was concluded.

Draft language of the Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan Amendment has been developed and is now under review. This Comprehensive Plan Amendment will establish parameters for additional development that will assist in the physical and economic revitalization of the Lake Anne Commercial Revitalization Area (CRA). Boards of Supervisors’ Public Hearings on the proposed Plan Amendment are anticipated to be held in February and March of 2009, respectively. Text language maybe downloaded HERE. [Return to Table of Contents]

Base Realignment & Closure (BRAC) Actions:

The Planning Commission held Public Hearings on nominations to change the Comprehensive Plan, on November 5, 2008, under the “BRAC APR Review Process”. Under consideration were two (2) projects in the Springfield Community Business Center (CBC), and (7) projects in the Richmond Highway Commercial Revitalization District.

Fairfax County Staff is supporting the Springfield nominations, subject to several conditions which were recommended by the Lee District Land Use Committee. Springfield projects reviewed at that meeting included the “Springfield Garden Apartments”, a proposal to redevelop the existing 2-3 story walkup garden apartment community on Commerce Street in the CBC. The new project would consists of up to 11 buildings, 5-6 stories in height above grade, and contain 45-50 apartment units of approximately 1,000 sq. ft. each, with below grade or structured parking.

The other project is a proposed office building with accessory retail uses that would be constructed on a 4.3 acre site located between Brandon Avenue and Augusta Drive.

A number (9) of other BRAC nominations in the Springfield CBC and the Franconia-Springfield Transit Station Area (TSA), and the Springfield Mall, will be considered by the Planning Commission in 2009, following completion of a required VDOT-527 Review Process. [Return to Table of Contents]

McLean Task Force Studies Pedestrian Issues

The McLean Community Business Center Pedestrian Task Force, comprised of local residents and businessmen in McLean, and staff from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation and OCRR, is currently looking at four initiatives in McLean: (1) Sidewalk Connectivity/Maintenance/ADA Issues; (2) Bike Lanes/Trails; (3) Pedestrian Safety; and (4) Streetscape Design/Lighting. The group will be conducting surveys to document conditions and will then make recommendations for improvements. [Return to Table of Contents]


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