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Hyland Provides Infill Solution — No Charge

Once lots are consolidated, their developer appeal diminishes.

The ball has now been placed in the court of Hollin Hall Village residents whose homes straddle two lots. If they want to halt infill construction in their neighborhood they can do so at no County cost.That is the essence of a Board Matter introduced at Monday's Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' meeting by Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland. It waves the $457 fee for any home owner who wishes to resubdivide their dual lot into one.At the heart of the infill development dispute are approximately 60 homes in Hollin Hall Village that were built in the 1940's over the center line defining two lots. Some of those homes are now being sold to developers who are tearing them down with the intention of building two homes, one on each lot.Some Hollin Hall Village residents and Hyland see this as potentially "changing the character" of the neighborhood. "I am concerned this type of infill development can adversely impact the character of our existing neighborhoods, worsen existing storm drainage problems, and increase the burden on our transportation network and schools," Hyland has said.During a meeting with Hollin Hall Village residents in the spring, Hyland proposed to introduce an amendment that would have, in effect consolidated the two lots into one by the fact that the building is built across the center line.However, before he was willing to do that, he requested "overwhelming support" from the home owners impacted which he did not get. .During the Hollin Hall Senior Center meeting, attorney Catherine Voorhees, a Hollin Hall Village resident, said, "Our position is that they are not two lots. They have been consolidated by the fact that they have existed that way with one house for more than 27 years." In a subsequent legal appeal on that point a petition by the Concerned Citizens of Hollin Hall was rendered moot when Judge Dennis Smith denied their petition. Since then four home on Washington Road and one on Yorktown Drive have been demolished. The intent is to built two homes on each lot, according to a representative of the demolition firm.

HYLAND'S BOARD MATTER Monday asked the Board of Supervisors to "direct county staff to initiate the process to amend the Subdivision Ordinance to create a fee exemption for minor lot line adjustments." This would create "a separate class of final subdivision plats that are submitted for the purpose of consolidating two lots into one," according to Hyland's explanation to the BOS. All other criteria would remain the same except the fee would be waived.This would "give an incentive for property owners to retain their stable residential neighborhood," according to Hyland. However, as noted in the proposal this would be a "final subdivision."In an opinion provided to BOS dated July 17, David Bobzien, county attorney, found that the Board had the legal authority "to amend the Subdivision Ordinance to charge no submission fee for a minor lot line adjustment plat." But, he pointed out, "DPWES (Department of Public Works and Environmental Services) considers a minor lot line adjustment to be a final subdivision plat."Bobzien noted in his advisory to the BOS, "Virginia Code only caps the amount of fees that may be charged ... it does not prohibit the Board from charging less than that amount, or even reducing the fee charged for a particular plan submission to zero." Therefore, the normal $457 fee for such a plot change will not apply to those residents of Hollin Hall Village who choose to consolidate their lots once the amendment is adopted.