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Ad Fontes Seeks Space for School

In 2000, Centreville Presbyterian Church applied to the county for permission to build a place of worship and a child-care center. The place of worship has now arisen along Route 29 in Centreville, but the child-care center still doesn't exist.

IN THE MEANTIME, though, Ad Fontes Academy, a Christian school, would like to rent space in the church until Centreville Presbyterian's child-care center is up and running.

Attorney Lynne Strobel, speaking on behalf of both entities, presented details at the Jan. 16 meeting of the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee. She said the church is seeking a special permit amendment to allow Ad Fontes to operate there.

"The zoning doesn't permit a private school of general education there," said Strobel. "So, for the short term, it would be an alternative use allowed there — and not at the same time as the child-care center."

The enrollment would be up to 99 children, which was what was previously approved for the church's child-care center. "So there's no increased intensity of use," said Strobel. "[Ad Fontes] has 60 students right now, in fifth through 12th grades, and the school wouldn't operate in the summer."

She said the students wouldn't drive there, but WFCCA's Ted Troscianecki wanted it officially stipulated that they couldn't. However, panel members Chris Terpak-Malm and Carol Hawn both disagreed with him. Said Terpak-Malm: "We don't have a right to tell these kids they can't drive, if they have licenses."

Strobel said she didn't anticipate county staff having any problems with the amendment application, and the WFCCA then recommended approval, subject to an OK from staff.

The members also wanted to learn more about any active recreation areas that would be provided for the students, and Strobel said she'd provide this information to WFCCA in February. This case is slated to go before the county Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) on Feb. 13.

<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs