This Week in Mount Vernon

This Week in Mount Vernon

Board Approves New Alexandria Duplex.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the construction of a duplex at the corner of I Street and Potomac Avenue in New Alexandria on Aug. 6.

The 9,900-square-foot lot on that corner contains a single family home which was built in 1930. That home was damaged in 2003 by flooding caused by Hurricane Isabel.

Under current zoning laws, a single detached home would not be permitted on the land, so the owner, Kevin O’Neill opted for a duplex. The entire property is in the floodplain of the Potomac River.

Board of Supervisors Chair Gerry Connolly (D) said he is generally hesitant to approve construction in a floodplain. But in this case, he said the alternative would be to leave the land vacant. He said that the plan being pursued by O’Neill is the least disruptive option.

The Board of Supervisors approved the plan unanimously.

<1b>— Ari Cetron

<sh>Bucknell Manor House Fire Displaces Six

<bt>A two-story duplex-style home at 2227 Sweetbriar Drive in the Bucknell Manor area of Mount Vernon District suffered an estimated $50,000 damage during an early evening fire Thursday, Aug. 2, according to Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department public information officer Daniel L. Schmidt.

Units arriving on the scene at 7:30 p.m. found fire and smoke coming from the attic and roof. The blaze was brought under control in approximately 10 minutes, Schmidt reported.

There were no reported injuries or damage to the adjoining unit. However, two families, five adults and one child were displaced. According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental, related to an unattended candle in the attic.

<sh>Three Charged With Setting Vehicle Fire

<bt>Three Hispanic males were arrested July 29 and charged by Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department fire investigators with a Class Four felony, burning or destroying property valued over $200, for the destruction of a 2007 Dodge Caravan on July 7 at 11000 Gunston Road. Damage was estimated at $22,800. No injuries were reported.

Josegerman Moreno Reyes, age unknown, Yesenia Lezeth Gomez, 26, both from the Woodlawn area of Fairfax County, and Daybin Rodriguez, 22, Prince William County have been released on bond pending trial, according the Fairfax County Sheriff's Department.

In addition to the Class Four felony charge, Gomez and Reyes were charged with obstruction of justice, a Class One misdemeanor. Class Four felonies can convey a prison term of not less than two years or more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $100,000. Class One misdemeanors can call for confinement of not more than 12 months and a fine of not less than $2,500.

No trial date was available at this time.

<sh>Huntington Townhouses Approved

<bt>The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a plan to expand an already approved development on Huntington Avenue.

In 2005, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to build 85 townhouses on about 13 acres on Huntington Avenue, near the Potomac River. Since that time, the developer has changed from Madison Homes to KB Homes. KB Homes has been able to secure additional land for the development and now proposes 94 houses on 14 acres.

The developer has resolved an issue surrounding the development’s planned traffic reduction strategies, and the commission unanimously approved the plan on July 25.

The proposal now goes to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing and final decision. A date has not been set.

<1b>— Ari Cetron

<sh>Commission Approves School

<bt>The Fairfax County Planning Commission approved the construction of a new private high school at 4913 Franconia Road.

The 1.36-acre property currently has one house on it. That house will be retained to be used for administrative offices for the Howard Gardner School.

The school will have 48 students from grades 9-12. In addition to the house, the school plans to construct a new, 7,656-square-foot cylindrical building.

Planning Commissioner Rodney Lusk (Lee) praised the new building noting that it will use a host of ecologically friendly building strategies, and that the school will be able to re-use the existing house.

The proposal will now go to the Board of Supervisors for another public hearing and a final decision. A date has not been set.

<1b>— Ari Cetron