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Fairfax County Officials: Lowered Parking Rates Have ‘No Bearing on Tysons’

Fairfax County officials say that a newly approved parking rate for the county’s largest malls would not adversely affect Tysons malls.

Yesterday (Tuesday), the Board of Supervisors approved the zoning ordinance amendment that will allow lower parking rates at the four largest malls in the county — the two in Tysons, Fair Oaks Mall and Springfield Town Center.

The proposal was based on a review of the parking rates and demand at large regional malls by consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard.

The county’s planners stressed that the focus of the zoning amendment was meant to help Fair Oaks Mall, yet it sparked concern about whether it would create parking problems at Tysons Corner Center and also about the lack of data for the Tysons malls.

Nelson/Nygaard study’s evaluated parking data for Fair Oaks Mall and the Springfield Town Center, but the study did not evaluate the two malls in Tysons.

“It really has no bearing on Tysons,” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said yesterday, noting that Tysons Corner Center is a part of the Planned Tysons Corner Urban District’s (PTC) parking rates, which allows for lower parking rates. Tysons Galleria is not a part of the PTC District, but could opt-in.

“There has been concern raised in the community that it would [cause issues in Tysons], but I agree with Supervisor Smyth that the real impact is in Springfield and Fair Oaks, where we need to reduce the parking requirements,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said.

The change now lets shopping centers with 800,000 square feet of gross floor area or more to have a parking rate of 2.5 instead of four spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area.

In addition to the zoning change, the county board also approved directing staff to prioritize review of the parking rates in phase two of the zoning ordinance modernization effort.

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