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Planning Commission OKs Commerce Bank

The Commerce Bank proposed for Chantilly received another approval last week, this time from the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

The bank is envisioned as a 3,400-square-foot building at Walney Road and Route 50 on the site of the existing Anita's restaurant. It would be open seven days a week, but it must first obtain a special-exception permit from the county for its drive-through window.

MAIN PEDESTRIAN access would be from the north side of Route 50. And motorists may only make a right turn into the bank from Walney.

The Planning Commission public hearing was held Nov. 7, but Sully District Planning Commissioner Ron Koch deferred decision until last Wednesday, Nov. 28, because bank representatives weren't sure whether retaining walls would be needed.

"They're still not sure," he said Friday. "But we put in a condition stipulating that, if they're needed anywhere on the site, they can only be 2 feet [high]. There was also a question about a bike trail not being provided along Route 50. But the county bike people wanted it along Walney Road, and [that's where] the bank's providing it."

In addition, said Koch, "Thanks to the negotiations with the WFCCA [West Fairfax County Citizens Association Land-Use Committee], Commerce is going to re-stripe the crosswalks on the whole intersection. They're trying to make it a little more safer for pedestrians."

He noted, as well, that a "major concern" for the county, throughout the whole approval process, is how the adjacent Chantilly Cash & Carry site is going to develop in the future, if its owners ever decide to sell.

But, said Koch, the county felt better about it once the bank's architects provided three, possible scenarios illustrating how it could operate in conjunction with the bank in later years. Commerce Bank is slated to go to the Board of Supervisors, Jan. 7, for final approval.