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Supervisors OK Townhouses on Mulford Property

The Mulford School will continue operating in its present spot along Old Centreville Road until summer 2003. It will then relocate and expand nearby.

In its old location will arise 47 single-family, attached townhouses, since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved the rezoning developer Pulte Home Corp. needed to make it a reality.

"I think the community will certainly miss the school [there]," said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully). "But, by the same token, change comes. The handwriting was on the wall — the school was surrounded by development."

"We were very excited that the Mulford property got rezoned," said Pulte land-acquisition manager Steve Coniglio. "This will be a good-looking project. We're looking forward to building there, but we will not start anything until after the next school year."

Although the 6.1-acre site was zoned for one home per acre, it's actually planned for residential development at 5-8 homes per acre in the county's Comprehensive Plan. Pulte will build there at a density of 7.7 homes per acre.

The new townhouses will have brick fronts and two-car garages, with parking also available in the driveways, for 155 parking spaces total. Expected to sell in the mid-$300,000 range, the homes will be built on the east side of Old Centreville Road, 200 feet north of Singleton's Way and just south of Sunset Ridge Road.

The neighborhood has access onto Old Centreville Road. Planned are sidewalks on both sides of the streets, trees, a tot lot and a gazebo. Also envisioned is a community-gathering area with benches plus an open space for meetings.

"It'll be a good development," said Frey. "And because of the way we structured the proffers, Pulte will either construct or contribute $85,000 toward road improvements at Old Centreville Road Park."

The park is across from the Burger King and directly north of the site. It has two soccer fields, but no parking lot or entrance road. Frey said Pulte's money would likely go toward relocating utilities and fiber optics in the park and doing the road work. This way, he explained, the money would be used for something specific that could benefit the local community, "instead of them putting $85,000 into the general, Centreville Road Fund."

But there's more. Pulte is making a donation to the Housing Trust Fund and is also making a recreation contribution of $20,000 toward improvements within Old Centreville Road Park.

"It's something I'm pretty happy about," said Coniglio. "We gave $20,000 over and above anything and everything that anyone's asked us to do to build Old Centreville Road Park. We can fix that up — it's a park that needs access, and it's right down the street from the site, so I think that'll help the neighborhood."

The Mulfords have lived on their property since the 1970s. Beverly Mulford teaches preschoolers, and she and her family give riding lessons to horse enthusiasts. She wants the public to know that these entities are still very much in business and will continue to be, in the future, "within minutes" of where they are now.

"Over the last 32 years, we've expanded all our programs," said Mulford. "In addition to the preschool and riding programs, we offer pre-kindergarten and, this fall, we're opening a kindergarten program." The school also offers reading, writing, math, public speaking and drama.

"The copywrited Mulford Method of teaching lifetime skills to preschool children gives children an advantage throughout their lives," she explained. "Children learn appropriate social interaction, as well as the ability to listen, interpret and respond to verbal directions."

The Mulfords will offer a Fun and Fitness camp for ages 3 through 10, June 3-Aug. 2, with swimming lessons, art, science, music and pony rides. A horseback-riding camp will be held, during the first three weeks of July, for ages 7 through adult.