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Open House on McLean Downtown Plan Set for This Weekend

Fairfax County is inviting community members to provide feedback on its draft comprehensive plan for the McLean Community Business Center (CBC) at a virtual open house at 9 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 7).

Hosted by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Development, the open house will give members of the public an opportunity to learn about the latest work of the McLean CBC Task Force and share their thoughts on a draft plan for the future of McLean’s downtown area.

A group of 21 residents, local business leaders, and civic association representatives appointed by Dranesville District Supervisor, the McLean CBC Task Force has been meeting since May 2018 with the goal of developing recommendations regarding land use, transportation, public facilities, and other characteristics of the CBC.

Spanning about 230 acres between Chain Bridge Road, Dolley Madison Boulevard, and Old Dominion Drive, the CBC serves as a downtown district for McLean, and the conversation around the draft comprehensive plan has been driven by debates about density and how to balance development with open space.

Based off a Vision Plan finalized in December 2018 and released on Oct. 5, the latest draft of the comprehensive plan states that the CBC is being “planned to provide for the needs of the immediate surrounding community and not the regional needs at the scale found in [nearby] Tysons.”

The McLean Citizens Association, which has two representatives on the CBC task force, plans to hold a special meeting of its board of directors on Nov. 18 that will exclusively focus on the CBC comprehensive plan.

In an email to members ahead of the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, MCA President Rob Jackson notes that the association traditionally does not take positions on comprehensive plan revisions until they are final, but the board decided to organize a special meeting after “a number of members” petitioned for one.

In addition to taking a preliminary vote on whether it wants to take a position now, the board will hear from committee chairs on the issues they would like to be considered in the comprehensive plan and determine which items to include in a draft letter to Foust.

“We are focusing on only big items to increase our chances of influencing the county, recognizing that an organization with a long list of priorities effectively has no priorities,” Jackson said. “Further, submitting a long list provides motivation for the county to toss us a couple of bones, while we are ignored on big items.”

Community members can join Fairfax County’s open house on Saturday by registering via WebEx. The county’s planning staff is soliciting comments and questions regarding the McLean CBC study at [email protected].

Photo via Supervisor John Foust/Twitter

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