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Construction begins on second phase of Silver Line

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Tuesday that it has issued a notice to proceed to its contractors for the second phase of the Metrorail extension to Dulles Airport, Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure.

This action means that early construction-related activities, such as field surveying and geological testing, will soon be under way.

“This is an important milestone,” said airports authority president and CEO Jack Potter in a released statement.

The $1.2 billion contract includes three stations in Reston and Herndon, the station at Washington Dulles International Airport and two stations in Loudoun County, spanning a distance of 11.5 miles.

The project’s first phase, which includes five stations in Tysons Corner and Reston, is about 94 percent complete and is expected to begin service by the end of this year.

County takes new approach to updating land-use plans

This week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a new review process for the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan serves as the foundation for all land-use decisions in the county, and plan reviews and amendments that change the permitted types of development in a certain area are often a precursor to rezoning cases.

The county has been using a process known as the Area Plans Review, in which certain segments of the county plan are reviewed every five years. Any proposed changes were submitted as nominations from a landowner or the county.

The new process, known as Fairfax Forward, will be operating as a pilot program over the next two years, focusing on 16 current land-use studies as well as 22 new ones.

County staff believe the new process will allow for greater public involvement at an earlier point in the review process and will allow more comprehensive review of an entire geographic area, rather than focusing on a specific piece of land that had been nominated for a change.

Park Authority adopts new strategic plan

The Fairfax County Park Authority Board adopted its 2014-2018 Strategic Plan in June. The plan uses a “balanced scorecard” approach that is designed to balance and measure objectives across identified strategic areas.

The over-arching goal of the plan is to connect individuals and communities with the many park benefits.

The plan lays out goals around four strategic perspectives: the customer’s perspective, the financial perspective, business process and learning and growth. An implementation plan outlines projects to be accomplished over the next five years with measures and accountability built in.

County residents can review the plan at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/strategicplan.