How well can Fairfax County enforce the terms of its rezonings? A case which is testing that question took a step toward resolution when BBV Building Companies filed a proffer condition amendment for its development at the Goat Farm Property in Dunn Loring.
The 7-acre parcel is located at the intersection of Gallows and Idylwood roads. A 14-house development had been approved for the property. During the rezoning process, BBV had agreed to provide certain amenities, known as proffers. Among those were specific trees that were to be saved during construction.
According to a Jan. 24, 2005, memo from Barbara Byron, director of the Zoning Evaluation Division of the Department of Planning and Zoning, a number of trees that were to be preserved were removed.
Byron found that the development was no longer in “substantial conformance” with the rezoning agreement. She suggested that only way to rectify the situation would be through an action of the Board of Supervisors. BBV has appealed Byron’s decision to the Board of Supervisors.
At the time, Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) said that the developer must file a proffer condition amendment that will reflect any changes, including the removed trees, and suggest providing a different set of amenities. This will bring the developer back to both the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for a public hearing.
Such an amendment was filed on June 17.
“The milestone is that it's been filed,” Smyth said
The filing and its accompanying documents offer to provide more tree cover, utilizing larger trees throughout the area. It will also provide more and larger trees around the Stormwater Management Pond through a design change. Further, it calls for planting additional trees along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, which abuts the property, in cooperation with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
At an earlier meeting of the Board of Supervisors, representatives of the Department of Planning and Zoning stated that they would expedite a proffer condition amendment for this property, and that the process would therefore take approximately three months.
Throughout the accompanying text of the filing, the applicant reserves his right to continue to pursue the appeal of Byron’s ruling. “The filing and pursuit of this proffer conditions amendment shall not be deemed an admission by the Applicant of anything inconsistent with its aforesaid appeal, but rather an attempt to negotiate and settle a dispute,” states the filing.
During its June 20 meeting, the Board of Supervisors deferred the appeal indefinitely. “We didn’t throw out the appeal,” Smyth said. The deferral was made, pending the outcome of the proffer condition amendment. “We just need to see what happens,” Smyth said.