This is part II of the Site-Specific Plan Amendments various entities have proposed for land in the Sully District. Part III to follow.
These proposed amendments to Fairfax County’s Comprehensive plan were discussed during virtual meetings Jan. 25 and Jan. 30, presented by the Department of Planning and Development and moderated by Michael Burton. Online attendees also got to comment.
“The Comprehensive Plan provides our guidance for land use,” said Supervisor Kathy Smith (D-Sully). “And your feedback during this process is important.”
Then members of the West Fairfax County Citizens Assn. (WFCCA) and Sully District Council (SDC) Joint Land-Use Committee received their own presentation, Feb. 20, and made recommendations.
“Going from 2-3 homes to 8-12 seems like abuse; let’s save some trees.”
— Jay Johnston
* Route 29 – This 1-acre parcel is near Stringfellow and Clifton roads and adjacent to the 7-Eleven along Route 29 in Centreville. It’s undeveloped land currently planned for single-family residential use at 2-3 homes/acre. But it’s now being proposed for townhouses at a density of 8-12 homes/acre. Currently, said Burton, “Site access is just a right in, right out. The median will remain, and open space will be a challenge to provide.”
Representing the property owner – who made the nomination – was land-use planner Ben Wales. “The Comprehensive Plan recommends residential use, but this would be a different type of unit, and there are other townhouses nearby,” he said. “The proposal is for 11 townhomes accessed from a new service road along the south side of Route 29.”
Instead of just building two or three homes on this site, continued Wales, constructing townhouses would be a “more-efficient use of the land. The Route 29 widening project there will begin this spring, and VDOT is constructing the service road as part of it.”
However, a caller said 11 townhomes would be too dense, and he was also concerned about the loss of trees on that land. Another person simply asked, “Does every acre of developable land need to be developed?”
Agreeing, Jay Johnston said, “Going from 2-3 homes to 8-12 seems like abuse; let’s save some trees. These homes will probably be $500,000 to $700,000 apiece. We need to stop the development so we can have a reasonable quality of life here in Fairfax County.”
As for the Joint Land-Use Committee, it believed that “It would be inappropriate to shoehorn additional housing in this site,” so it didn’t recommend this proposal.
* Route 50 – This 1.77 acres of land is currently improved with the Briar Oaks Service Center at 12306 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway in Fair Oaks. The Exxon gas station there is next to the Fair Oaks fire and police stations at the Fair Ridge Drive/Route 50 intersection. The proposal is for a mixed-use development there with up to 100 multifamily units above 14,500 square feet of ground-floor retail.
“There’s a potential to impact traffic here, plus there’d be noise from Route 50,” said Burton. “And the density will make meeting open-space and parking requirements challenging.”
Representing the amendment nominator, Burke Petroleum Realty LLC, Andrew Gregg said a gas station (currently Exxon) has been there since 1961. Meanwhile, he explained, “The surrounding area was redeveloped with townhouses, single-family homes, commercial uses and a hotel – with possible shared parking that could be used for this project.”
He said the gas-station owner wants to reconstruct and modernize it, increase its size and add a minimart and carwash. Regarding the mixed-use portion of the proposal, said Gregg, “There are other projects in the area with similar density, and we think this would fit in well with the community.”
Resident Lewis Grimm told him, “I think your major challenge is in its access. Right now, you have to come out of that service station, go up the road, make a U-turn and come back to get to Route 50.”
And Jeff Parnes said that gas station is a good use there that benefits the community.
Regarding this project as a whole, the Joint Land-Use Committee recommended denial, considering it “inappropriate for a multi-story, multifamily building with 100 dwelling units to be on this site.”
* Centerview Drive – This 3.7-acre, vacant parcel is at 3870 Centerview Drive in Chantilly, just northwest of Route 50. It’s planned for office/industrial flex use, but is now proposed for some 250 affordable, independent-living apartments for seniors with incomes 60 percent or lower than the Area Median Income. It will offer supportive amenities and services and may also include an adult daycare center for those needing continuing care.
Presenting more details of the proposed Agape House Chantilly was land-use planner Mike Van Atta, representing the nominator, Agape Property Management Inc. “The site has frontage on Thunderbolt Place and was planned for a hotel that was never built,” he said. “It’s near an existing pond and trails; open-space amenities are important to us.”
Agape proposes up to a five-story building with enhanced ADA-designed facilities. Planned, as well, are an onsite pharmacy, office for visiting doctors, physical-therapy room, computer/arts rooms, fitness areas, dining room/community kitchen, in-home care, nursing supervision and medication management.
“We’d provide transportation and meal services,” said Van Atta. “The building would be constructed of high-quality materials, and its design would be compatible with the surrounding facilities. We’re very excited about it.” Each apartment would be one bedroom and 600-670 square feet.
A man asked if the residents would have their own vehicles, and Van Atta said, “There’ll be parking spaces for the residents, but we expect most to rely on Agape’s own, private, shuttle service to take them places.”
The Joint Land-Use Committee wanted plenty of parking provided and assisted- living facilities to be available for people to stay in their environment and with friends they’ve established. Van Atta replied that 146 parking spaces are required, and Agape would provide 165.
He also said Agape would “continue to consider the mix of independent living vs. assisted living units to ensure residents could remain at the facility as they progress through the continuum of senior care.”
Then, with the committee’s John Litzenberger saying, “We really need this type of housing,” the committee endorsed this amendment.
* Route 50 and Loudoun County line – This 9.68-acre site is designated for office/industrial flex uses. The proposal is to add an option for a 14,000-square-foot warehouse use, distribution site or place for vehicle parking. Van Atta also represented this applicant, A&A Contracting Inc.
“We’d improve vehicle access and stormwater management there,” he said. “The parking-lot option is for nearby auto dealerships for storage of new and nearly new cars.”
The Joint Land-Use Committee asked what would trigger a warehouse being built there vs. parking and was told it would depend on the market. Van Atta also reassured the members that no hazardous materials would be in the warehouse, and the committee said it has no objection to this proposal.