Clifton residents Marie and Michael Ricciardi want to build eight, single-family, detached homes on the west side of Old Clifton Road, south of its intersection with Clifton Road. But before they can do so, they need their land rezoned.
Attorney Lynne Strobel presented the finer points of the plan at the July 15 meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee. "It's a rezoning on a fast track," she told the members. "We'll return for your decision in August; it goes to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in September."
Actually, the couple rezoned about 1.2 acres from R-1 (residential, one home/acre) to R-3 (three homes/acre), several years ago, and got approval to construct three homes. They then purchased property north of this site — but now something's changed.
"Fairfax County and VDOT are improving Clifton and Old Clifton roads, and they want a significant amount of the Ricciardis' property frontage for a stormwater-management pond," explained Strobel. "If they could get a rezoning to R-3 cluster [homes clustered together], they could dedicate that land to the county, and the county wouldn't have to compensate them for it."
The neighborhood would feature open space in the middle, plus open space and trees on the perimeter. The county's Comprehensive Plan recommends two to three homes/acre here, and the Ricciardis propose 2.5 homes/acre.
It's about a mile from Centreville High, and sidewalks, driveways and two-car garages are planned. Homes will have public sewer and water, and lots will range in size from 8,500 to about 15,000 square feet, with the average being 11,000 square feet. The Ricciardis intend to preserve as many trees on the lots as possible and plan to build one of the houses for themselves to live in.
The WFCCA's Jim Hart noted that the neighborhood's entrance from Old Clifton Road "could be a real eyesore" if the stormwater-management pond is "as neglected as most of them are. I don't think the homeowners would like that." Strobel replied that it's intended to be a dry pond.
Green Trails Homeowners Association president Frank Cogdell asked who would be responsible to maintain it. "The county," answered Steve Gleason, the engineer doing the site plan for the Ricciardis. But both Hart and the WFCCA's Russell Wanek said that, based on their past experience, the county probably wouldn't do anything to take care of it.
Sully Station's Gil Kesser asked how neighboring communities feel about the Ricciardis' plans, and Strobel said the nearby homeowners are "delighted that homes are going into this area, rather than a church," which had initially planned to build there, before its plans fell through.