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Planning Notebook

Land Use, Conditional Use Permit Approvals

Planning Commissioners approved three agenda items and deferred two items dealing with the zoning ordinance text rewrite project during the Nov. 7 public hearing.

Commissioners approved an application for a site plan to construct a 14,000-square foot restaurant/retail building with structured parking at 1201 Elden St. Known as Shops at Herndon, the property is 2.541 acres and is currently owned by Chevy Chase Banks.

During the commission's Oct. 24 work session, commission members requested additional information from staff regarding the traffic impact of the development. After reviewing an approved, submitted plan by the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen Elden Street, staff indicated a right turn lane would be constructed on Elden for cars to turn onto Herndon Parkway. Commissioners also questioned if the proposed entrance into the Shops at Herndon was wide enough to allow two-way traffic off of the busy street. After review, planning staff determined the entrance and exit was large enough, although they suggested a painted crosswalk be added for pedestrian traffic.

Conditional Use Permit Approved

Commissioners approved an application for a conditional use permit to allow a single-family house to be built on a corner lot at Madison and Quincy Streets. Owned by James Alkire, the application has taken longer to go through the town's governmental process than initially intended. Because the property is in the Heritage Preservation District, the applicant had to go before the Heritage Preservation Review Board to get approval to tear down an existing shed on the property. After review, it was determined materials used in the shed's construction were from the Sully Plantation. Because of this, the Heritage Preservation Review Board denied the application to tear the shed down. The shed is located where a portion of the residence would be built. The applicant appealed the review board, and during an Oct. 25 Town Council public hearing, council members overruled the decision. But, they said before the shed be torn down the applicant and owner must properly document the semi-historic structure. This includes hiring an amateur photographer to take photos and for someone to outline the shed's structure. Because of the council's decision, the commission was able to approve the application to build a house on the lot. But because the applicant is seeking a variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals to allow the house to be built with less front yard space than required under the zoning code, the application would not take effect until the BZA's Nov. 17 meeting. The variance process is not anticipated to delay additional approvals for the plan, according to town planning staff.

Commercial Vehicle Parking

Commissioners approved two items on a zoning ordinance text amendment regarding the town's commercial vehicle parking areas in residential zoning. The amendment allowed box trucks to be added to the type of vehicles permitted on properties 20,000-square feet or less. Staff was asked to provide additional information on a conditional use permit before the commission requesting a box truck be parked in a residential neighborhood. The next Planning Commission meeting is a work session scheduled for Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers.