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Permit Sought to Build New Church

Washington Eden Korean Presbyterian Church hopes to build a place of worship with a nursery school and child care on 11.3 acres just east of the intersection of Pleasant Valley Road and Route 29.

To do so, it needs a special permit from Fairfax County, and last Tuesday, Feb. 19, it got a favorable recommendation from the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.

The church plans a two-phase project. First would come a 450-seat sanctuary with 130 parking spaces and a nursery school for 60 children. The second phase increases the church seating to 700 total and the parking to about 250 spaces.

The sanctuary would be at the front of the site, near Cedar Spring Road, and the church would provide a turn lane at the existing median crossover at Cedar Spring. Also planned are right turns in and out of the site's easternmost entrance.

Several members of the church came to the WFCCA meeting to show their support. The matter will go before the Board of Zoning Appeals on March 19.

Attorney John McBride, representing the church, said the site would have nearly 47 percent undisturbed open space and landscaping would screen the parking from public view.

Designed by Robson Group Architects, the church would have a residential look, with brick and a shingled roof. And for a nice appearance, no service drive is planned in front of the church. McBride also noted that outside lights will be no higher than 12 feet and will be shielded downward.

WFCCA member Dick Frank, a Realtor, told McBride that all the lots adjacent to that property will eventually be developed with homes probably in the half-million-dollar range. He then advised McBride to minimalize the lighting behind the church to protect current and future neighbors.

"I think it's a good location and a good use of that property," said Frank. "And, aesthetically, it enhances that part of Route 29." McBride also noted that he and a developer will bring public sewer to five existing homes on Cedar Spring Road, if the homeowners want it.

The WFCCA then unanimously approved the church's permit request, adding — at member Carol Hawn's request — that the church strive to achieve the 50 percent undisturbed open space required by the county.