Next month, locals will get the chance to weigh in on a proposal to reduce the parking requirements at Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria.
Fairfax County is considering a proposal that would affect the four largest malls in the county — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks and Springfield Town Center — after a review earlier this year of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls.
Consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard conducted the study from June 5-8 by doing a parking count for the Springfield mall and analyzing data from the Fair Oaks mall. The study found that less than 65% of the available spaces were occupied during peak times, according to county documents.
The study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons, county spokesperson Crystal Santos said.
When Tysons Reporter asked how the Tysons malls’ parking needs might differ from the two malls analyzed, Santos said:
The county envisions that Tysons will become a walkable, sustainable urban center as it redevelops leading to less car usage in the area and therefore less demand for parking. While Springfield is more urban than Fair Oaks because of bus service and Metrorail, it’s not as urban or accessible through public transportation as the two Tysons malls. We wanted to examine similar, more suburban malls to measure demand on parking for this study.
Santos added that there was a parking study in 2014 in Tysons before the Silver Line stations opened.
“The malls are also included in the Tysons Comprehensive Plan to transform the area into an urban center, as a result, the malls are able to reduce their effective parking rate to less than 2.5 per 1000 square feet of gross floor area through a county review and approval process,” Santos said.
A spokesperson for Tysons Corner Center did not respond to Tysons Reporter’s request for comment on the proposal.
The proposal would alter the requirement from four to 2.5 or three parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area — the recommended change from Nelson/Nygaard. County staff is recommending the rate be 2.8 parking spaces.
“This is a more realistic parking requirement and, if implemented, would continue to provide an oversupply of parking at peak demand on weekdays and weekends during all times of the year,” according to county documents. “Overall, the changes will provide Fairfax County’s largest commercial retail centers additional flexibility to react to a changing retail marketplace.”
The Planning Commission plans to hold a public hearing on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. before the Board of Supervisors has one on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m.
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