Two houses will become three under a plan approved by the Vienna Town Council on a 5-2 vote at its Jan. 3 meeting. The houses, now located at 612 and 616 Center St. S., will be removed, and three new houses will built on the land.
Water runoff was the main sticking point on the plan. According to Town regulations, a net increase in water runoff cannot take place when a property is redeveloped in the Town.
In order to achieve that goal, the developer, O.P.M. Investments, will construct an "infiltration trench" to absorb the excess water. The trench is filled in with porous material and covered over with soil and grass.
The Town will be responsible for maintaining the trench. "I think this will have so many problems that will come back to us in the future," said Councilmember Sydney Verinder. Verinder and Councilmember Laurie Cole were the two opposed to the redevelopment.
Verinder also objected to what he called the "gerrymandering" of the lot lines. The new lots are three, side by side. The center lot is narrower in the front and wider in the back. The two side lots are the opposite, narrower in the back and wider in the front.
The three resulting lots meet the letter of the zoning requirements, but Verinder did not like what he saw. "I prefer to see following standard lines," he said.
Councilmember Maud Robinson disagreed. "I think it's delightful to have a lot that doesn't mean three soldiers lined up in a row," she said. "I fail to see the problem with irregularly shaped lots."
THE COUNCIL also conducted a public hearing about six proposed ordinances that are designed primarily to govern classroom trailers at Vienna schools. Currently, the Town of Vienna approves the trailers on an administrative basis.
Under the new package of ordinances, Fairfax County Public Schools will have to obtain approval from the Town Council for school trailers. As a result, the Town may be able to regulate where the school system puts a trailer on school property. "We've got to accept these trailers are becoming permanent school additions," Robinson said.
The approval process will allow the placement of a trailer for three years initially and then must be re-approved every two years.
"The School Board fully supports what you have," said John McGranahan of the law firm Hunton & Williams, attorney for the School Board.
No members of the public came to speak about the proposal. The ordinances are scheduled to appear on the Council's Jan. 24 agenda for adoption.
The Council also approved a resolution recognizing January as National Mentoring Month, and it set Jan. 10 as the date for a closed-session meeting to discuss personnel matters.