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The Year Ahead

More development, higher density, expansion, new projects will mark 2004

In 2004, many of the issues Vienna and Oakton will face will be the same as previous years. But as the region continues to evolve, so will the depth and complexity of the issues important to its citizens, such as traffic and development

Town to Determine Fate of Property

An eight-acre site off Beulah Road is the subject of a debate between the Town of Vienna and residents affiliated with the Northeast Vienna Citizens Association (NEVCA). In early 2004, the town will introduce its plan for the site, which currently houses the town's leaf-mulching operation.

NEVCA members had been concerned over the environmental healthiness of the site, due to the leaf-mulching operation, as well as the site's use as a temporary storage area during the Maple Avenue Enhancement Project. They argued that since the leaf-mulching operation began in 1989 or 1990, the density of woods on the property has lessened over the years.

Movie Theater to Arrive at Tysons Corner Center

Beginning in January, construction will start on a $100 million redevelopment of the former Woodward and Lothrop store on the east side of the Tysons Corner Center mall. The redevelopment will add 50 percent more square footage and will include about 40 retail shops and another 20 spaces for "white tablecloth" restaurants and family-style, fast-food outlets. The redevelopment also calls for an 18-screen movie theater targeted to open in August 2005.

Higher Density at Vienna Metro?

In 2004, the county will come closer to establishing what will happen to a tract of land near the Vienna Metrorail station.

In July 2003, a high-density proposal calling for mixed-use development near the Vienna Metrorail station was put on hold after neighboring communities argued that the proposal was too ambitious. The proposed development offered by the development firm Pulte called for high-rise apartments, condominiums and townhomes, as well as office space and shops on a 70-acre tract of land known as Fairlee. It also proposed constructing a four-lane road connecting Vaden Drive to Route 29.

While planners supported the smart-growth principles of the development, neighboring communities argued that the nearly 2,300 homes that Pulte intended for Fairlee would have overwhelmed traffic in the area.

The county Planning Commission deferred the approval to change the Comprehensive Plan allowing the development to a later unspecified date.

The 65 single-family homes that were situated on Fairlee had all been bought out by the developer.

Vienna Presbyterian Church Anticipates Expansion

In addition to marking its 130th anniversary in 2004, Vienna Presbyterian Church will also begin construction on its expansion project. To consolidate its classroom and office space, as well as expand its education and outreach programs, Vienna Presbyterian will construct a three-floor building on its campus. In demolishing two older sections of the church, the new building will have a 400- to 500-person multipurpose hall, several seminar rooms and classrooms, expanded space for its preschool program, administrative offices, a kitchen, a library/bookstore, and space for its youth and outreach programs.

The project — part of the church's master plan, which included the completion of the 1998 sanctuary — has construction costs estimated at $9.2 million and is anticipated to relieve the church's growing attendance.

Beulah Road Almost Ready For Reconstruction

After years of wishing, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will finalize plans to reconstruct well-trodden Beulah Road in 2004. Late in the year, VDOT will post construction advertisements, with construction beginning and ending in 2005.

The project, estimated at $5.8 million, will create a uniform width for Beulah Road, by providing two lanes with 27 feet between the curbs. On each side of the road, a 2-foot curb and gutter will be constructed for drainage and pedestrian passage. On the east side of the road will be a 5-foot sidewalk.

Proposed Oakton Library Subject to Referendum

This November, voters will decide whether to support a bond referendum for Fairfax County Public Libraries that would include funding for the construction of a community library for Oakton. The proposed library, on proffered land from the neighboring Hearthstone Vanguard luxury home development, would be 17,000 square feet on a 3-acre parcel. If the bond successfully passes, construction on the Hunter Mill Road library would begin in 2005 and be completed in 2007.

A Park for Oakton?

The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin to create a master plan for the Corbalis Property in Oakton. The county bought the 10-acre property from the Corbalis family in October 2001 for $2.8 million, and area residents hope the park, located near the intersection of Hunter Mill and Chain Bridge roads, will serve as a centerpiece for the Oakton community.