WAMU 88.5 : News

Fairfax Board Approves $2.3B Tysons Corner Transportation Plan

Play associated audio
Continued construction of Tysons Corner's transportation network will be funded by taxes on commercial properties, lawmakers say.
VaDOT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadot/4743069712/
Continued construction of Tysons Corner's transportation network will be funded by taxes on commercial properties, lawmakers say.

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors has given final approval to a massive transportation funding plan for the future Tysons Corner. 

The Tysons Plan looks 40 years into the future, anticipating 113 million square feet of development will happen by 2050 in a modern city rising west of Washington.  The board on Tuesday approved $2.3 billion to build a new transportation network for the future Tysons Corner which includes a grid designed for buses, pedestrians, and cars as well as four new Metro Stations and will be paid for in part by commercial and residential taxes.

Fairfax County Board chairman Sharon Bulova heralded the move, calling it "a major step in the right direction" for the area. “Investing in Tysons is an investment in the future of Fairfax County," she said. "Never before has such a long range, comprehensive plan been developed to support a major redevelopment initiative." 

But the vision of high-rise condos and gleaming corporate offices doesn't mean much to Lucille Weiner, a senior citizen who lives in condo in Tysons and who spoke at a public hearing Tuesday before the board approved the plan. The tax increases on residential properties in Tysons Corner would make her life more difficult, she said.

"As I read the reasoning around taxing the neighborhood that is Tysons Corner, I read the phrase 'the folks that will benefit the most,'" said Weiner. "It sure isn't me who will have to move if this happens. I appeal to my elected representatives to help stop this frivilous idea on the extra tax on the people who live in Tysons."

Michael Bogasky, the president of the residents assocation in Weiner's condominum, used sarcasm in his public remarks.

"Let's create a new tax district so that we can pay more in taxes than anyone else in Fairfax County," he said. 

Weiner believes the new taxes should not be on homeowners at all.

"When the Metro reached Greenbelt, Md., residents of Greenbelt did not get taxed, nor did residents of Vienna, Va. when the Metro reached Vienna," noted Weiner.

Developers stand to gain the most from Tysons future growth.  One of them, CityLine Developers, supports the tax plan. 

If I ever thought there was a day that I would come and ask you to approve $13 a square foot in transportation proffers and ask you for a 7- to 9- cent tax on top of that, I probably should have retired," said Thomas Fleury a CityLine vice president, with a laugh. "That's what it takes to get the job done."

Other critics argue there is a risk to predicting tax revenues over 40 years and if the county's projections don't work out, the plan will fall apart. 

But lawmakers say the plan is flexible enough to adjust to swings in the economy and the real estate market. 

NPR

Robert Irwin Brings 'Big' To Texas With Permanent Art Installation

The 87-year-old conceptual artist unveils a large-scale installation of his work in Marfa, Texas, this week. He's spent his career creating site-specific art that often treats light as its subject.
NPR

Scraped, Splattered — But Silent No More. Finally, The Dinner Plate Gets Its Say

Instagram is the Internet's semi-obsessive, borderline-creepy love letter to food. But behind every great meal is a plate doing a pretty-OK job. So a comedian made an Instagram to celebrate plates.
NPR

Casting Doubt On U.S. Commitment To Mutual Defense, Donald Trump Unsettles NATO Allies

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump told the New York Times that a Trump administration wouldn't defend NATO allies unless they had "fulfilled their obligations" to the U.S.
NPR

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

Few people can demand what kind of electricity they get. But Microsoft and Facebook, which operate huge, power-hungry data centers, are trying to green up the electricity grid with their buying power.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.