Arthur Kingdom recommended that the Planning Commission come to the 11 acres of a potential development project to see sunlight coming through hundreds of mature trees. “It is idyllic,” he said.
Planning Commission will give Lexington Estates and Great Falls another month to get involved.
Dranesville Planning Commissioner John Ulfelder announced last Wednesday, Sept. 14, a decision on The Gulick’s Group application to develop 11 acres of forested land would be deferred until Oct. 19, 2016. The record will remain open to allow further feedback.
The Gulick Group applied to rezone the 11-acre property at the “terminus of Challedon Road” to permit development of a 10-lot cluster single family subdivision at a density of 0.91 dwelling units per acre. The forested, 11-acre parcel is composed of moderate slopes that steepen towards the Piney Run floodplain.
Arthur Kingdom testified before the commission in the summer, calling the property idyllic. He described for Planning Commissioners sunlight shining through hundreds of trees on Challedon Drive, and the birds singing at sunrise.
Fairfax County Planning staff have already recommended approval of the redevelopment.
Kingdom said the land with steep slopes is not suitable for development because stormwater would run down the slopes to a floodplain, then to a creek that runs to the Potomac River, and then into the Chesapeake Bay.
“I have thought long and hard about whether I oppose this development because I love the forest next to my house, or whether I am concerned about the environment,” he said. “I can unequivocally say that it is more of the latter. To me, it is just common sense that it is not possible to move forward on this development without a great deal of permanent damage to the ecosystem and the watershed.”
GFCA member Sam Cappiello told members of the GFCA that he has hired his own private arborist to conduct a study of the trees he believes will be removed by the proposed development.
Cappiello told GFCA’s membership that he asked Ulfelder, a Great Falls resident, if the Planning Commission vote can be delayed until he has time to give the county his findings.
Oaks and hickory trees are part of the property, said Dranesville Tree Commissioner Bob Vickers.
“They will be clear cutting about seven acres,” said Vickers, at a Town meeting held by Great Falls Citizens Association on Monday, July 18, attended by more than 50 members.
GFCA officials encouraged members to give the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors their feedback.
At the Town meeting, GFCA president Bill Canis announced to the membership that GFCA has formed a stormwater task force. “The county has not always been astute enough on governing stormwater. That’s why we are forming a stormwater task force,” within GFCA’s environment committee.