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Votes

Looking Into Herndon's Future

Eighth in a series.

Both of the Town of Herndon mayoral candidates and each of the eight candidates for Town Council will stand for election on Tuesday, May 7. Between now and Election Day, the candidates have been asked a series of questions in order to provide the voters with some insight as to who they are and where they stand regarding the crucial issues facing the Town of Herndon.

This week’s question is: How do you see the Town of Herndon in 10 years as shaped by land use policies?

Mayoral Candidates

Richard "Rick" Thoesen – Town Councilman

"Herndon will continue to have a diverse and healthy housing stock. Home values will be among the best in the Dulles Corridor due to redevelopment and neighborhood upgrades. The downtown will be celebrated as a place for enjoyment, relaxation and progressive mixed use. It will offer a hospitality core with an array of restaurants, personal services and residential opportunities. Herndon will continue to be a highly desirable place to live and work."

William "Bill" Tirrell, Sr. – Town Councilman

"Larger, taller buildings on the Dulles Toll Road side of Herndon Parkway (from Van Buren to Spring) resulting from rail and necessary economic decisions to fund Herndon access to rail. Downtown still not built out; heavy through traffic to housing west of town (based on Loudoun land use decisions). Little expansion of higher density housing into older single-family neighborhoods; the line gets held to preserve the 'town'. Roughly the same commercial/residential makeup."

Town Council Candidates

Carol Bruce – Mayor

"Herndon, 2012: The Herndon Commerce Center, built 9 years ago on the old Citgo site, set the standard for PD-MU development in the downtown. Stimulated by the presence of the new Cultural Arts Center and more shared parking spaces, several additional mixed-use projects now blend comfortably with existing historic structures. After much work to address traffic and design issues, Fortnightly Boulevard now links the Harbor House complex and the library. Herndon’s revitalized downtown is thriving."

John De Noyer – Town Councilman

"2012: Herndon's "built out." Redevelopment increases densities in all zones. Natural parkland is strongly defended; Nature Center programs book a year ahead. Revised Zoning ordinances include Comprehensive Plan policies, too late for some unique neighborhoods. Few larger residential and wooded lots remain. Downtown reached "critical mass" — a thriving, people-oriented center includes more shops, CAC, structured parking. Herndon Festival continues at dual sites. Small shuttle buses reduce gridlock and connect to the Monroe rail station."

Judy Downer – Challenger

No response received by press deadline.

Dennis Husch – Town Councilman

"Progressive land-use policies can balance the fiscal burden between commercial and residential property owners and provide the continuing revenues to keep our neighborhoods safe for children and families, develop the cultural arts center and the Station Street parking garage, and create a downtown that is a pedestrian friendly place where Herndon’s special quality of life is obvious. Delaying commercial development will reduce the town’s ability to provide the expected level of services in the future."

Connie Hutchinson – Challenger

"Herndon in 2012 will be determined by the density the Town Council allows for any future residential rezoning and the FAR (floor area ratio) allowed for commercial buildings. Our comprehensive plan sets the desired levels, but I fear that the present numbers may be too high. While we need more activity downtown, we must be careful not to exceed the density levels our infrastructure can handle. I don't want to compromise our small town charm."

David Kirby – Challenger

"With the right decisions by the town's boards, commissions, and the Town Council, we will preserve our small town character, maintain moderate growth, and have neighborhood preservation and restoration under control. Downtown will prosper with new business generating revenue for additional improvements. Jimmy's Tavern and the Ice House Cafe will have an Elden Street entrance and maybe a few tables outside on the newly widened sidewalks. We will enjoy a variety of entertainment in our 275-seat theater in the Cultural Arts Center."

Michael L. O’ Reilly – Town Councilman

"In 10 years our downtown will be significantly developed. It will be a vibrant and thriving area with activity day and night. The Fortnightly Neighborhood will be constructed. Other commercial properties will be completed with retail on the first floor. The Cultural Arts Center will attract people in the evenings and on weekends. New, smart growth will occur along the Dulles Corridor with the Dulles Rail completed. Our neighborhoods will continue to be upgraded."

Harlon Reece – Town Councilman

"I see a town that has maintained its uniqueness in the face of increasing urbanization in the areas surrounding us. I see a vibrant downtown that serves as a gathering place where residents interact with neighbors at downtown restaurants, shops, and events. I see only modest growth in our population. Realization of this vision will require elected officials who have the courage to implement programs that preserve our neighborhoods and limit high-density development and redevelopment."