By Jonathan Wilson
In Virginia, the plan to turn Tysons Corner into a walkable, urban environment is taking a big step forward, but only after a Fairfax County planning commission meeting which lasted well past midnight.
Just about everyone in Fairfax County would have liked the process of planning the redevelopment of Tysons Corner to have gone a little, if not a lot, faster.
But at the start of last night's decisive meeting, planning commissioner Walter Alcorn hinted at why it may have taken so long to come close to a consensus on Tysons.
"No ones done this yet," says Alcorn. "No one else has taken a challenge of this size and scale, and done what were trying to do."
In the end the vote to approve the plan and send it on to the Board of Supervisors was 10 to 1.
The lone holdout? Dranesville commissioner Jay Donahue, who wanted assurance that the 20 new athletic fields planned for Tysons growing population, would actually be in Tysons Corner, and not pushed into the neighboring Dranesville district.
"If they are not in Tysons, we know where they are going to come, and the impact on Dranesville could be very, very damaging," says Donahue. "That's why we had to have some satisfaction on the issue, and just couldn't get it."
The plan also includes some changes introduced in just the last few months, including a limit on the amount of total office space allowed in Tysons before the year 2030, if funding for more transportation improvements isn't secured.