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Rezoning Is Sought for New Neighborhood

If all goes well, Eastwood Properties would like to build 34 single-family, detached homes in Centreville. But first it needs Fairfax County's permission to have its 13.4-acre site rezoned from its current designation of one home per acre to three homes per acre.

The land is on the south side of Old Mill Road, between Centre Ridge and Mount Olive. Attorney Greg Riegle, representing builder Stanley Martin, presented details of the plan at Tuesday night's meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.

"The property is accessed from Old Mill Road," said Riegle. "Mount Olive Baptist Church is on the corner, and the recently approved Jackson Fields community is to the south. Stanley Martin Cos. are on board and, because they're both a builder and a developer, they will do a good job on this project."

He said the lot sizes are "nearly identical' to those in nearby Centre Ridge and Jackson Fields, and a central open space is planned for recreational facilities, trails and a tot lot. The streets will be public ones, with parking on just one side. But, said Riegle, "There'll be sidewalks on both sides of the streets to get people to the open space."

Lots will range in size from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet, with the average lot size being about 8,500 square feet. The homes, themselves, will be 2,400 to 3,300 square feet, with two-car garages plus space to park two more vehicles in the driveway apron. So, said Riegle, "There'll be four parking spaces at a minimum, per home."

He said the developer will also do off-site improvements, dealing with the unbuilt portion of Old Mill Road "down to the church's liability area." Currently, this section of road is just gravel, so it would need to be paved.

"Where Mount Olive and Old Mill [roads] come together is a disaster," said WFCCA's Jim Hart. Mount Olive Baptist Church has the responsibility to perform some of the road work in that area, since it received the county's permission to expand its facility but, said Hart, "They may never get to [it]."

WFCCA's Carol Hawn noted that a previous APR (Area Plans Review) nomination included language stipulating that, in exchange for developers obtaining a higher home-density there, they would have to do road improvements at that intersection.

"I live right there and, because of this Mount Olive/Old Mill/Old Centreville Road mess, it can take me seven to eight minutes to get out of it in rush hour," she said. "It's a very poor, dangerous intersection. Traffic on Old Centreville Road has doubled since I moved there in 1999. About 25,000 to 28,000 cars use Old Centreville Road every day."

Hart then asked Riegle if there's "anything this applicant will do for the Mount Olive/OId Mill/Old Centreville Road intersection. There are only a few feet of Old Mill Road, with ditches and no shoulder. And it's very narrow, so it's difficult for two cars to pass — and people come barreling down Mount Olive Road."

When the church came before WFCCA seeking permission for its expansion, WFCCA tried then to have the church do some road work in that area, but the church couldn't afford it. So, said Hart on Tuesday, "Since we couldn't get it from the church, this was the last hope."

Riegle replied that the developer "can't solve all the problems of this corridor. But from Stanley Martin's perspective, this is the front door to its community, so it's concerned, too." He also noted that the church is obligated to pave the stretch of Old Mill between Mount Olive and Old Centreville roads.

After Hart noted that Jackson Fields proffered cash toward this intersection, Riegle said, "I think all these constituencies can come together and come up with something that's fair." Added Hawn: "Someone is going to eventually get killed there at that intersection — and this is our last chance to do something."

She also advised Riegle to warn prospective buyers that the Izaak Walton shooting range is not far from that property, and he agreed to do so. Riegle will return again to the WFCCA with further project developments.