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MCA Seeks More Information on Tysons

County’s ‘Strawman’ plan missing key funding details, group says.

Fairfax County released its latest recommendations for Tysons Corner redevelopment, and the McLean Citizens Association feels that they do not give enough information.

Fairfax County released its latest recommendations for Tysons Corner redevelopment, and the McLean Citizens Association feels that they do not give enough information. Photo by Alex McVeigh.

— The McLean Citizens Association has expressed displeasure with the Fairfax County Planning Commission Tysons Corner’s set of recommendations for Tysons Corner redevelopment. The recommendations, called "Strawman," were released June 13, received public comment June 21 and were re-released July 18.

Strawman is "based upon the goal of developing a comprehensive solution for funding the set of infrastructure improvement identified in the plan to support the 113 million square feet of development anticipated to occur by 2050; the need for a funding plan that allows for flexibility in funding options and sources, as well as for adjustments to be made upon pace of development and the need to provide a reliable funding mechanism that implements the visionary plan."

While the plan calls for all sources of funding to be used in a "efficient and effective manner," and that "residents, landowners and businesses and developers" work together to secure funds, the MCA is concerned with a lack of specifics.

"Our view is that we need to understand more clearly what the obligation to the taxpayer is going to be," said Sally Horn, MCA president, "and we haven’t yet seen a response that addresses those concerns."

The lack of specifics about how much money will be coming from state and federal sources has the MCA concerned that should those sources fall through, the taxpayers will be stuck footing the bill. The report estimates that, in 2012 dollars, operating costs are estimated at $932 million. Horn said the MCA would like to see best case, worst case and realistic case scenarios about taxpayer costs.

"The recent track record has been that funding hasn’t been available from federal and state sources, so worst case, we could be looking at $932 million," she said. "If federal and state funds aren’t available, we’d like to see information available about how we’re going to make up that gap. Will it come out of the general fund? Bonds? And how will that translate to the average taxpayer as far as the tax rate, or in programs that will be cut back?"

The MCA’s position is that county taxpayers should only pay about 25 percent of the costs, equivalent to the percentage used for the development of the Route 28 corridor.

The third version of Strawman should be released in the next week. Horn says she hopes the MCA’s concerns have been addressed.

The MCA will host a forum with the Planning Commission Tysons Corner and other county staff Oct. 2, where they will make presentations about the latest in Tysons Corner Redevelopment.