According to Realtors, "location, location, location" is the most important thing about a piece of property. And Centreville residents James and Hamida Miller hope they've finally found just the right location for their child-care center.
For the past 11 years, the Millers have successfully run a child-care center out of their Centre Ridge home. But they now want to expand their business, Magic Moment Childrens Centre, and operate it in a separate location.
They initially believed that a site on Westbrook Drive, near the intersection of Westbrook and Stringfellow Road, would be the perfect spot. And, twice, they brought this proposal before the Springfield District/Fairfax Center Land-Use Committee.
But both times, the committee denied approval because of the location. Local residents said Westbrook Drive was too narrow and dangerous — complete with speeding traffic, a nearly 90-degree curve and a blind spot.
So the Millers looked elsewhere and now are seeking the county's permission to open up in an existing building in the Old Centreville Crossing Shopping Center. It's the former site of both Michael's Coffee and a drive-through bank, behind Copeland's restaurant.
They need to obtain a special-exception permit to have a child-care facility in a shopping center. Last Tuesday, May 20, land-use consultant Jane Kelsey presented some details of the Millers' plan to the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.
She said Magic Moment would have a capacity of 75 children and proposes operating hours of 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. The area where the canopy was for the bank drive-through would be fenced in and used as an outdoor play area. Kelsey also noted that 13 spaces in the shopping center would be dedicated specifically for the child-care center.
However, the WFCCA believes that the facility should have some parking in the front, as well as in the back. Explained WFCCA Chairman Jim Katcham: "They need to work out their parking plans so parents can park in front and walk into the building, rather than parking along the side and having to walk into the [shopping center] traffic flow."