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WFCCA Weighs In on Plan for PNC Bank

Merits of proposed metal roof debated.

On the whole, local land-use committee members last week seemed pleased with the exterior of a PNC Bank proposed for construction in Centreville's expanded Historic District. But its metal, gabled roof elicited quite a stir.

"I REALLY don't like those metal roofs," said Chris Terpak-Malm of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee. "They don't look good over time. But I like how the right side [of the building] turned out."

The group received its first presentation about the bank at its Tuesday, March 21, meeting. It would arise at Route 29 and Braddock Road realigned and would have two stories and 5,378 square feet. Customers would enter this 15-employee bank from Braddock.

Hours of operation would be Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. But before it could become a reality, the bank must obtain county approval for a special-exception permit for its two, drive-through lanes.

The bank's exterior would mostly be red brick, with stone, plus plank siding to resemble houses in the nearby Historic District. The style is a blend of 18th- and 19th-century Colonial design.

And architect Eric Brill with Gensler Architecture intends to construct a "green" building that has no adverse effects on the environment. It would be energy-efficient, have no outside light pollution, reduced water usage and an underground stormwater-management system.

"WE'LL BRING in natural light and use recycled materials in its construction," he said. "We're really trying to make this a friendly, smart environment — good for the community and the employees."

Still, the WFCCA had some concerns. "I'll give you a thumbs-up on the design," said Russ Wanek. But, noting other businesses also proposed in close proximity to that site, he said, "This bugs me that the entrance to Centreville's Historic District will have two banks, a drugstore and an additional retail use."

He also asked if there was a chance to have "that portion of the tin roof [facing the Historic District] be an environmentally friendly, 'green' roof" with plants growing on top of it. But Brill replied that this is a "small-scale building, and a 'green' roof would have to be a flat roof." Besides, he added, "We think this roof fits in better with the surroundings."

Wanek said metal roofs add to the force of rainwater runoff. He asked Brill, "Could you consider shingles for the main roof, with a metal roof over the porch?" Brill said he'd ask PNC Bank representatives what they think of this idea.

Terpak-Malm said water "runs off a metal roof quicker than [off] shingle roofs and does more damage [to the soil below]. But, countered Brill, "We'd have downspouts catching all this water."

Furthermore, said WFCCA's Mary Coyle, "A metal roof would be wind-resistant and wouldn't need a lot of maintenance." And, added Rocky Run resident Terry Spence, "It's durable and fire-retardant."

The WFCCA also learned that the nearby Cingular building will be replaced with office and retail uses. However, Historic District property owner Dennis Hogge said this structure long-ago served as the original Payne's Restaurant, so he's going to try to save it and, possibly, "bring it up to the back of Jamie's [General Bean coffee shop]."