New, luxury townhouses with attractive architecture are being planned for the Fairfax Center area. They're proposed for the south side of Post Forest Drive, east of its intersection with West Ox Road.
And Tuesday night, Oct. 5, the rezoning that would make them possible was endorsed by the Springfield District/Fairfax Center Land-Use Committee.
The site is on land owned by Bethlehem Baptist Church and is currently zoned for institutional use. But the builder, Stanley Martin, needs Fairfax County's approval to have it rezoned to R-8 (residential, eight homes per acre).
"It's a nice design, kind of unique — neo-traditional," said attorney Bob Lawrence, representing the applicant. "There are 73 units, and the ones along Post Forest Drive will front on it and will be either brick or stone, with landscaping and sidewalk."
The community will be called Fair Oaks, and a thick stand of mature trees — mixed hardwoods — will be in its central, tree-save area. And it will have inter-parcel access to a nearby community being built by Centex Homes.
ALSO PLANNED are 4.24 parking spaces per unit — almost twice as much as the county requires. There'll be parallel parking on the streets, plus two spaces per unit and two-car garages for all but nine of the townhouses. These nine — affordable dwelling units (ADUs) — will be scattered throughout the neighborhood and will have one space each and single-car garages.
The three-story townhouses are similar to those already built by Stanley Martin in Woodbridge, Fairfax and Herndon, with the garages under the living areas. "We always try to put our best face forward," said Jim Reeve, land-development manager with Stanley Martin. "So when you go down the street, you don't see the rears of the buildings."
There'll also be a gazebo, an existing trail that goes through the tree-save area, benches and a small "pocket park" at one end of the property. Land-use member Sherry Fisher asked if any other amenities were planned, but Lawrence said the small number of homes "wouldn't support our building a tot lot and pool."
However, he said, "We've proffered a bus stop along Post Forest Drive and $1,000/unit to the Fairfax Center Area Road Fund. And we'll pay our pro-rata share, along with Centex, for a traffic light at the Legato Road and Post Forest intersection."
Committee Chairman Mark Cummings asked how long it would be until the community's completion. "About two years, once we get going, and depended on the market," replied Reeve. "We'd like to hopefully break ground next fall and start building houses in 2006."
Fisher asked the anticipated selling price, and Reeve said similar Stanley Martin townhouses in Herndon and near Fairfax's Pan Am Shopping Center have been going for $600,000.
"Here in the Fairfax Center area, we're continuing to move toward really neat architecture and site design," said Planning Commission Chairman Pete Murphy. "I appreciate what the applicant has done in this case, and I particularly like the integration of the ADUs into this community."