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Eastwood OK'd by Planning Commission

A new residential project in Centreville got a unanimous approval last week from the Fairfax County Planning Commission. It's now on to the Board of Supervisors for the final decision.

"It was a very positive public hearing," said Sully District Planning Commissioner Ron Koch. "I wish they were all like that."

Besides intending to construct 35 single-family, detached homes along Old Mill Road, the applicant, Eastwood Properties, has agreed to help improve Old Mill, Mount Olive and Old Centreville roads. And it's something that's sorely needed.

As things stand now, Old Mill is quite narrow and has ditches and no shoulder. Making matters worse, motorists regularly speed down Mount Olive and more than 25,000 cars a day use Old Centreville Road.

So the county is pleased that the developer is willing to pitch in to make road conditions there better and safer. Said Koch: "[Eastwood] will complete Old Mill Road all the way up to Old Centreville Road — which is an off-site improvement."

Stanley Martin Cos. is involved as both a builder and a developer. It wants to build the homes on 13.4 acres, but applicant Eastwood first needs the county's go-ahead to have the land rezoned from its current designation of one home per acre to three homes per acre. The site is on the south side of Old Mill, between Centre Ridge and Mount Olive.

Lots will range in size from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet, and the homes will be 2,400 to 3,300 square feet. A central open space is planned for recreational facilities, trails and a tot lot. The property is accessed from Old Mill Road. Mount Olive Baptist Church is on the corner, and Jackson Fields is to the south.

At the Planning Commission's meeting, last Wednesday, March 24, Carol Hawn — a resident of the Old Mill community — explained how dangerous the Mount Olive/OId Mill/Old Centreville Road intersection currently is and how welcome the road improvements would be.

Also speaking in favor of Eastwood's proposal were Jim Katcham, chairman of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee, and the Rev. Eugene Johnson, pastor of Mount Olive Baptist Church, located on Old Centreville Road.

In addition, a man who lives in Centre Ridge offered some practical suggestions regarding the hours of construction and the access road going to the project's stormwater retention pond, and Stanley Martin agreed to incorporate them into the plan. The issue goes next to the Board of Supervisors on April 26.