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Commission Approves Braddock Changes

Residents of the Braddock District got off to an early start, beginning to meet about ways to change the county’s Comprehensive Plan before any of the others in the southern portion of the county.

As a result, the task force itself generated most of the proposals for changes to Fairfax County’s Comprehensive Plan under the Area Plans Review process.

According to state law, every locality must review its plan every five years. Fairfax does this through the Area Plans Review process. Beginning last year, residents, developers and property owners in the Springfield, Mount Vernon, Mason, Lee and Braddock magisterial districts could submit proposals, more formally known as nominations, to change the plan. There are no restrictions on what might be suggested.

The proposals are then analyzed by the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning and a citizen task force. Often, proposals which are opposed by either county staff or the community are withdrawn. Those that are not go to the Planning Commission for a public hearing. Proposals rejected by the Planning Commission stop there. Proposals accepted by the commission go to the Board of Supervisors for an additional public hearing and final decision.

The Planning Commission conducted its public hearing about the proposed changes in the Braddock District on June 22. On July 26, it made its decisions, and largely supported the work of the citizen task force.

Planning Commissioner Susanne Harsel (Braddock) recommended approving each of the task force nominations, even when county Planning and Zoning staff thought the change was unnecessary.

Harsel did not comment on the proposals, but just stated her motions.

They will now go on to the Board of Supervisors for another public hearing and final decision on Sept. 11.

If the changes are accepted by the board, the Comprehensive Plan in the Braddock District will generally be changed to enhance environmental protections, work to preserve densities in existing neighborhoods and increase the accessibility to the VRE station in Burke.