Editor: The recommendations for amending the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan related to the McLean Central Business Center (CBC) are being finalized for submission to the Fairfax County government and Board of Supervisors.  

These recommendations are being drafted by the CBC Task Force, which was created to help facilitate a commonly understood set of parameters for redevelopment and new development in downtown McLean that included reasonable trade-offs for community benefit.

However, under present circumstances, the McLean community will not have an opportunity to review the task force’s recommendations before they are submitted to county leaders for approval.

During 2018, the community’s vision was elicited over a four-month period – July to December.  The resulting Vision Plan issued on Dec. 17, 2018, included open green space, small parks, gathering places, a walkable shopping and dining district, a “Center of Town,” a place McLean can “be proud of.”  The community vision called for housing diversity to provide places for people of varying incomes to live in McLean.  

Per the comments from the community workshops, many participants envisioned a Main Street environment. “Main Street” means different things to different people.  To have the community support that we all desire going forward, it is critical that the residents have an opportunity to briefly review and comment on the task force recommendations before they are submitted to the county.

The recommendations being drafted by the McLean CBC Task Force will most likely be submitted to the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for approval in the near future. We ask that this submission be deferred until certain questions are answered and community comments are considered. What is written in the recommendations? Do the recommendations have a Town Center that we will be proud of?  Will we have small parks, gathering places, a walkable shopping and dining district? Will we have adequate open-air parking in the CBC? How will the increased density impact traffic congestion?

We, accordingly, ask our elected representatives to provide for a CBC Task Force presentation to the McLean community to show that the community’s vision is included in the recommendations. That McLean is not being turned into a mini-Tyson’s Corner.

Members of the community should then be permitted to provide written comments to the task force for its consideration over at least a one-week period.  

Such a meeting will reassure all stakeholders that their interests have been carefully weighed.

Dr. Michael Goldberg, Peter Tomsen, Ambassador (Retired), McLean

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