Our New School Surrounded X3: METRO’s Planned 1.4 Million SF of Construction at WFC METRO Coupled with City’s 1.4 Million SF and Route 66 Extension Creates a Deep Urban Canyon

  • On One Side: METRO Seeks 85 Foot Buildings and 1 Million Square Feet of Construction 

  • On the Other Side: City Is Ready to Approve 1,400,000 Square Feet of High Rise Construction  

  • On a Third Side: Route 66 Will Get a New Lane Accessing the WFC METRO Station in 2020

By Sam Mabry and Mark Kaye

What is clear, and what the citizens of Falls Church–especially our parents–have to decide is if they are willing to spend a $120 Million to place their children in what will be a paved and bricked urban “basement.”  The City has adopted a policy that the sky’s the limit on height and density on its ten acres of developable land.  Not far behind is cash strapped, and now development oriented, METRO.  The agency is asking for an 20 foot height increase to 85 feet–and if granted by Fairfax County–the enhanced permissible height will be directly next to the new school site.

NOTE THE GMHS TRACK and FOOTBALL FIELD: This composite mock-up/picture was taken in 2013 to demonstrate what might be located at the West Falls Church METRO if development was undertaken. The current plan, as note in the headline photograph, is for a portion of the site permit buildings with a height of 85 feet.

This is another mock-up/composite picture from 2013 illustrating the development potential for the West Falls Church METRO location. Note the GMHS playing fields off to the left. METRO is now asking the County to increase the permissible density, uses and height for the location.

What Did the Council and Mayor Know and When Did They Know It? 

While they claim they knew nothing regarding METRO’s plans, the links below show that METRO intended to develop around its stations and that was well known and advertised FIVE YEARS ago.

Perhaps the Mayor and Council knew and understood METRO’s intentions to develop before the Referendum and were reluctant to advise the citizens for fear of adversely impacting the vote?

As it stands now, it appears that GMHS and MEH will be sited in the most dense, urban and congested school site in the area.

So much for a neighborhood community with neighborhood schools.

There is still time for change and that will be up to all of us, but it will be the parents of the children who must decide whether to raise their voices.  In Falls Church it is socially difficult to break away from the “go-along get-along Falls Church Way.”  But sometimes, it is necessary, especially if it involves the wellbeing of our kids.

The arrow represented in orange will permit cars to directly access the WFC Metro station from the East bound lanes of 66, providing a convenient opportunity for more traffic in the vicinity of the school campus.

Paste these links into your browser:



Note: The “intysons.com” link will also take you to Washington Post article on the Metro Development issue







2 Comments on "Our New School Surrounded X3: METRO’s Planned 1.4 Million SF of Construction at WFC METRO Coupled with City’s 1.4 Million SF and Route 66 Extension Creates a Deep Urban Canyon"

  1. Anne Hajduk | June 7, 2019 at 1:31 am | Reply

    I had a job for 3 months that entailed a 23 mile drive out and back from Ashburn. Coming back, 20 minutes for the first 18 miles, 35 for the last 5 trying to get into W Broad. Similar issue leaving WFC parking at end of day. Not enough road capacity for existing traffic on either Great Falls or Broad. Apparently, all the folks living in SFHs don’t see a problem. Wait until an ambulance can’t get through with all the additional traffic. The city can’t even figure out how to install left turn arrows. I’ll be leaving the area in a year, moving somewhere without delusions of grandeur.

    • Administrator | June 9, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Reply

      Great response…and I would add to the delusion observation, that it includes taking on $120,000,000 in capital debt for 30 years–and using capital reserve money to jiggle the numbers to make them look favorable. Good luck on your relocation.

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