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McLean Citizens Association backs new guidelines to shape the look of downtown McLean

Sign for the McLean Community Business Center (file photo)

The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) has thrown its voice behind some new design guidelines for downtown McLean.

At a meeting next Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will consider endorsing Vol. 2 of the District Design Guidelines for the McLean Community Business Center. The guidelines are non-binding, but could shape what development in McLean looks like for the foreseeable future.

The MCA voted unanimously to support new District Design Guidelines.

“These have been under consideration now for more than a year,” said Robert Perito. “These two volumes are designed to be used together by developers and others when proposing, designing or reviewing projects in McLean.”

Volume two follows some earlier foundational design guidelines, and the new version contains written guidance and visual suggestions for the design of streets, lighting and building frontage. The 134-page document details some of the principles behind building design in downtown McLean and specifications surrounding things like streetscape design.

“This has been a very good project,” said Perito. “It has reached a very successful conclusion.”

One MCA member asked about the incentives for developers to follow the guidelines.

“They are suggestions, not regulations,” Perito said. “The idea is to provide developers with good ideas and hope they’ll follow.”

Perito noted that the Mars Corporation, in redesigning their building, had planned to install a futuristic-looking bus station outside the new building. When case managers showed them the District Design Guidelines, the corporation changed the design to fit in with the town’s standards.

The feeling among the people who have done this… people who want to develop within McLean will follow these,” said Perito.

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