Public hearings and presentations that draw the most Herndon residents out are ones about what the future downtown will look like. A possible downtown plan was dealt a setback when JPI, a development firm, backed out of a deal on a comprehensive redevelopment. Herndon residents hope to revitalize and beautify the area to help existing and future commercial establishments. However, any redevelopment plan is sure to face considerable scrutiny as residents seek to preserve Herndon’s small town, historic, feel.
One of the proposals that has received considerable scrutiny is the Diamond Property plan for an Element Hotel fronting Elden and Monroe Streets downtown. In the last 18 months the plan has seen changes as the developer negotiated with community groups the hotel’s appearance and function in downtown Herndon. The plan has gained conditional approval of the Town’s Planning Commission and will soon be discussed in front of the Town Council.
A major goal of downtown redevelopment is to introduce a performing arts center in Herndon. In the meantime, arts advocates have secured the use of the building at 750 Center Street for a gallery that will exhibit local artists. ArtSpace Herndon will open Paint Herndon, a Plein Air Competition, on Aug. 29, to coincide with the Herndon Wine and Jazz Festival next door on the town green. For more information visit http://www.artspaceherndon.com.
The Town of Herndon Planning Commission is reviewing ordinance language that would make residential overcrowding punishable by higher criminal fines. The Town has cracked down on residential overcrowding in the last two years.
While the timeline for the metrorail extension to Dulles Airport continues to move further into the future, Herndon planners are considering the area’s future when that extension is built with a station at the Herndon-Monroe parking area. Metro’s anticipated arrival has already resulted in developments built near the proposed station, but more are sure to come as the project approaches fruition.
Fairfax County Public Schools concluded a study during the past year on how to balance enrollment in the schools in the western portion of the county. The School Board voted to increase enrollment in Reston’s South Lakes High School by moving students from areas of Herndon that attend Westfield and Oakton high schools. The boundary study has been a subject of much controversy in the community and while the implementation of the decision is due to go ahead in September, a group of parents is taking the school system to the court.