Posted on: December 11, 2023, 09:32h.
Last updated on: December 11, 2023, 09:32h.
The Vienna Town Council in Virginia’s Fairfax County has formally issued its opposition to allowing a commercial casino in the area.
The Vienna council, composed of Mayor Linda Colbert and six councilors, last week amended its 2024 Legislative Agenda to oppose a casino in Fairfax County.
State legislative efforts are underway from Sen. David Marsden (D-Burke) and Del. Wren Williams (R-Stuart) to allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to initiate a local referendum asking voters to authorize a casino development. Marsden and Williams are targeting the Tysons area for the gaming project.
During a meeting last week, the Vienna Town Council voted unanimously to oppose a casino.
The Town of Vienna opposes any action to establish, or facilitate the establishment of, any gambling casino in Fairfax County,” the council’s Legislative Agenda was amended to include.
“The Town particularly opposes any such action which would lead to the establishment of a gambling facility in the Tysons area. Any such facility likely would have substantial deleterious effects on the quality of life in Vienna, including increased traffic, additional costs to locally owned independent businesses, and erosion of public morals,” the position concluded.
Tysons is a census-designated edge city between McClean and Vienna. There is no Tysons or Tysons Corner mailing address, as the area is commonly referred to, as businesses in the region use McClean or Vienna addresses.
Marsden and Williams want to bring a casino to Tysons to diversify the area with new forms of entertainment. They think such a destination would lure visitors from DC and other parts of Northern Virginia.
The state lawmakers believe an area within a quarter-mile of one of seven Silver Line metro stations along the Dulles Corridor would be ideal. Comstock Companies, a local developer of mixed-use real estate, has expressed interest in building such a casino destination.
Patch reported in October that Comstock’s owner, CEO Chris Clemente, and his son, Nick Clemente, as well as several other employees, have long ties to Williams and have made political contributions to him.
The Vienna Town Council’s Legislative Agenda is annually submitted to the city’s state legislative representatives ahead of the January convening of the General Assembly.
2024 Fairfax Casino Push
Marsden and Williams in January introduced identical bills proposing to allow the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to initiate a gaming referendum. The bills were quickly withdrawn, with Marsden conceding that the casino statutes would be more appropriately considered during the 2024 legislative session.
Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill said in November that it’s his impression that if either of Marsden and Williams’ bills were to muster adequate support in the General Assembly and Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) sign the statute, a casino could be considered a “public entertainment” project. But, Hill explained to Patch last week, a gambling business would need to go before the Board of Supervisors for final approval.
The odds of a casino being greenlit in Fairfax County anytime soon are likely long.
Much of the residential community in the Tysons area has been quick to voice opposition to Marsden and Williams’ casino suggestion. Along with the Vienna Town Council, officials in neighboring Reston have vocally opposed a gaming development.
“We strongly believe that a casino in our community, surrounded by natural areas including lakes, tree canopy, and natural trails valued by our residents, would be detrimental to the property values of our homes and inconsistent with our values as a community,” Reston Association CEO Mac Cummins wrote.