Herndon development at issue in election

HERNDON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Herndon is at a crossroads. How the small Northern Virginia town deals with growth coming from Metro's Silver Line is a major issue in Tuesday's municipal elections.

"I like the small town feel," said Anita Miller who lives and works in Herndon.

"This is a nice little town. You can go to the ice cream store, the flower store, the grocery store and pretty much see same people all the time," said resident Jimi Naccarato.

People who love living in Herndon, call it an Oasis. But, Metro's Silver line is coming in a few years and will spur lots of development.

"I think we have to be a little bit careful about how much and how fast we grow and how big we grow, that sort of thing," said Anita Miller.

Council member Connie Hutchinson says she decided to run for Mayor to oppose current Mayor Lisa Merkel's proposal for a high rise multi use development near Herndon's future Silver Line Station.

"The current plan allows up to six times the density that's there now. And residents see that as a big jump in the wrong direction," said Hutchinson, comparing the plans to Reston.

Merkel countered, "It's not going to be Tyson's Corner. Tyson's Corner is much larger, much dense. They're going much higher than Herndon. So we're just trying to strike that balance embracing the Metro and meeting the needs of our citizens. And people who will want to come and live in a transit-oriented neighborhood, they'll have that opportunity."

While there is worry about growth, there is also anticipation for the Silver Line coming to Herndon.

"Herndon has always traditionally been a small town, and it's growing. I think we're handling the growth well. The Silver Line is going to happen. And I think the only thing you can do it embrace it responsibly," said Naccarato.

Other municipal elections being held in Northern Virginia Tuesday include Vienna, Fairfax, Dumfries and Purcellville.


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