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According to the dictionary, a “Faustian bargain” is a deal with the devil. For the next generation or two, McLean residents will have to live with the “Foustian bargain” – as in Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) – that was foisted upon them late last month.
Foust brought the Board of Supervisors around to a unanimous vote in support of a new development framework for the McLean Community Business Center. It was the culmination of more than three years of work, but critics contend that it needed more refinement, especially considering that the last half of the planning process was conducted in the pandemic environment that limited public input to the proposal.
Given that, it’s surprising (to say the least) that the Board of Supervisors would move forward on a 9-0 vote when both the McLean Citizens Association and Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce said more time was needed and more thought required to get a plan everyone could embrace.
Those who are backing the plan have seemed hell-bent get it approved, despite the opposition of those two organizations (and others). Makes one wonder why they were afraid of another couple of months’ worth of vetting.
From our perspective, there’s a fair amount to like in the adopted proposal. But we equally believe another few months of good-faith deliberation and consultation (with, one would hope, some in-person gatherings now that the pandemic is ebbing) might have satisfied opponents.
If it did not, then backers of the development plan could at least say they tried their best to take into account all views and consider tweaks that might make the proposal stronger.
By rubber-stamping the proposal, the Board of Supervisors let the public know who butters its bread – the development community that is salivating at the prospects of major opportunities they have been handed on a platter. This “Foustian bargain” is no deal with the devil. But is it step forward for McLean? We shall see.