Planning Notebook

Planning Notebook

Elkins Heights Plan Approved

The Planning Commission approved, 7 to 0, the application for a preliminary subdivision plan for the Elkins Heights development.

The application is for the rezoning of three existing lots on Madison Street, into 15 lots and one empty lot that could be developed at a later time. Five of the lots would front on Madison Street, with the remaining lots fronting on the proposed cul-de-sac.

The development sparked community interest and concerns at the Aug. 2 public hearing regarding the rain gardens the developer proposed to meet storm water management requirements. Other issues addressed were the increase in traffic, the location of the construction road and whether or not those roads could be relocated. The developers, Paciulli Simmons and Associates, went over the plan and determined the permanent entrance into the development needed to stay as originally planned to maximize the land area, but that the construction road could be changed. The road will now be located in the western corner of the site.

Fred Anderson and Allan Leeth, both neighbors to the proposed development, expressed concerns with the plan. Specifically Leeth was concerned with the traffic increase and the dangers is could present to the small children on the street, while Anderson was worried about the blasting that will be used to break through the ground to lay the foundation of the development.

Commissioners responded by saying that there will always be concerns and issues with developments, but they believed the developers had done a thorough job with the preliminary plan.

The commission's approval moves the application to the Town Council for approval before the developers can move forward.

New Land Designations Approved

The commission approved unanimously an amendment to the Herndon 2010 Comprehensive Plan adopted June 19, 1990. The amendment will allow five designated land use areas to be redesignated to further potential development. The five areas will be changed include, Area One, located at the northwest corner of Center and Vine Streets will change from Community Facilities to Adaptive Areas; Area Two at Young Avenue and Monroe Street will change from Community Facilities to Neighborhood Conservation; Area Three at 397 Herndon Parkway from Services and Industries to Community Facilities; Area Four at the southwest corner of Van Buren and Jefferson Streets from Neighborhood Conservation to Community Facilities; Area Five at the corner of Dranesville Road and Bennett Street from Neighborhood Conservation to Community Facilities.

All the of the designated areas are either owned by the town or other public or quasi-public entities.

Landowner Ordinance Approved

After reviewing the proposed landowner responsibilities for bio-retention facilities at the last work session, the commission approved the new ordinance 7 to 0, with changes. The proposed ordinance would bind home owners to maintain the bio-retention facilities, or rain gardens, on their property. The agreement is almost exactly the same as the existing storm water management agreement that states home owners are responsible for the maintenance of the storm water run-off that accumulates on their property, so that the town does not have to come onto private property and maintain the land. The addition to this agreement states the landowner shall notify the town when they transfer the property by sale or conveyance and provide a copy of the document of transfer between the parties involved.

Zoning Map Amendment Approved

The commission approved unanimously, with two modifications, a proposed zoning map amendment to the Herndon Square office park. The application is to amend the Generalized Development Plan for the land located at 535 Huntmar Park Drive. The land was rezoned to Industrial Park with certain conditions in 1998. The applicant, Joseph M. Mancini, P.E., Vollmer Associates, LLP, proposes a proffer amendment to alter the approved Generalized Development Plan for Building C of the Herndon Square office park. The proposed amendment is for the installation of bollards, chiller units, generators with above ground fuel tanks and a perimeter security fence.

One of the two modifications to the proposed amendment include the creation of masonry enclosures for the chiller units that will match the existing facade.

Cemetery Improvements Approved

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposed improvements to the Chestnut Grove Cemetery. The approved construction will include mausoleum area improvements, a memorial garden monument area, the widening of existing driveways, construction of a new driveway, 18 standard parking spaces and two handicapped spaces, a fuel tank and dumpster enclosure, a storm water management pond, an administration building and a maintenance building. There are other changes proposed to the site plan including the removal of three internal driveways, the removal of an existing maintenance building, the substitution of paver walkways for concrete walkways and an additional screening around the storm water management pond.

Laura Dawson, a resident and frequent visitor to the cemetery, was concerned with the impact the construction would have on daily visitors, the impact it would have on the wildlife, such as deer, in the cemetery, and whether or not the construction workers would be coached to be respectful to the site.

Herndon Parks and Recreation director Art Anselene said the construction exit was planned for an area that has less visitors so to cause less disruption and that they were considering using in-house workers to minimize disruptions.

The cost of the construction have already been budgeted into the Town of Herndon 2001 bond program, along with additional funds that were provided in this year's Capital Improvements Program through a loan from the general fund.