600-Plus Homes Proposed in Goose Creek Area

600-Plus Homes Proposed in Goose Creek Area

Rezoning Requests on Agenda

Two different development companies are looking to construct homes in the area of Goose Creek. Both, however, need their respective properties rezoned from single-family residential to planned-development housing before any dirt can be shifted.

U.S. Homes Corp. of Silver Spring, Md., is looking to rezone approximately 163 acres, located on the west side of Belmont Ridge Road just south of the Dulles Greenway, to construct the proposed Goose Creek Preserve. Centrex Homes of Chantilly is seeking the rezoning of approximately 32 acres, located on both sides of Sycolin Road adjacent to the south side of the Dulles Greenway, for the future Goose Creek Village South.

Both applications go before the Planning Commission for public hearings April 19.

COUNTY STAFF PLANNER Lou Mosurak said the application for Goose Creek Preserve is for up to 500 dwelling units consisting of a variety of housing types: roughly 202 single-family detached homes, up to 128 single-family attached homes and up to 170 multi-family dwellings.

"They're proposing 46 percent of the property remain open space," Mosurak said at a commission work session April 5. "The site is just upstream from Goose Creek."

The proposal also includes a trail connection along Belmont Ridge Road to near Goose Creek and a 4-acre public park, which will serve primarily as a trailhead, parking and possibly a small playground.

Mosurak said the applicant was working on creating a so-called "road club," where other projects in the area would pool their proffer money in order to complete required road improvements. The applicant was offering $3,500 per unit for transportation needs and a total of approximately $4 million in capital facilities proffers, which equates to about $87,000 per unit.

U.S. Homes falls short of $8 million in capital facilities proffers the project would generate under the new figures adopted by the county Board of Supervisors last November, Mosurak said. To date, the Planning Commission is awaiting direction from the current board on whether to apply the new figures to applications that were already filed when the change was made. Goose Creek Preserve was originally filed in mid-2002 and for various reasons has been delayed until now.

The commissioners were intrigued by the idea of the road club, which would complete improvements to Blue Ridge Road, if everyone joined in, and requested a list of the existing projects along that road, the approved proffers and when the improvements are expected to be made.

"The 'road club' is not a certainty. It's a project a lot of people are working on," said Art Smith, a planner with the county's Officer of Transportation Services. "We're looking for creative ways to do it."

Commissioner Nancy Hsu (Blue Ridge) raised concerns over the design of the project, pointing out at a row of single-family homes was planned for an area that was very steep.

"There could be slipping if there are heavy rains," she said.

THE GOOSE CREEK VILLAGE SOUTH is planned for 100 homes, all single-family attached units. The site totals 32 acres, however, 18 of those are governed by a preservation easement and cannot be built on, said John Merrithew, chief of the land use division of the Planning Department.

Merrithew said there were still some issues staff was trying to work out with the developer, namely environmental and traffic. He said wetland areas would be impacted by the project, so the county was trying to have the U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers come and delineate those areas.

In addition, he said the project, "falls short of traffic mitigation on their site and beyond."

The developer was also offering less than the current figures for the capital facilities proffers. Merrithew said the applicant was proposing $7,000 per unit and the new figures dictate $14,000 per unit.

Under the proposal, the developer is showing a second entrance to the property on Sycolin Road, which Merrithew said neither county staff nor representatives of the Virginia Department of Transportation support.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA next week for public hearing:

* A Board of Supervisors-initiated application to permit the installation of a communal wastewater treatment and disposal facility and to establish a sewer district to serve 11 properties in an agricultural rural zoning district. The properties are just east of the intersection of Willisville and Welbourne roads in the Blue Ridge district.

* Another application submitted by the supervisors, this one for a special exception to allow for the expansion of the existing Fire-Rescue Training Center to include a burn building and four-story enclosed training tower, among other improvements. The center is located on 35 acres on the northwest corner of the so-called Shellhorn Property, just east of Sycolin Road, and is within the Catoctin district.

* Board of Supervisors-initiated application for a comprehensive plan amendment to change the area designated as the Joint Land Management Area so as to include rural land proposed for inclusion into the Town of Round Hill, which is located in the Blue Ridge district.

The public hearings, beginning at 6 p.m., will held in the board meeting room in the County Government Center, 1 Harrison St. S.E. in Leesburg.