Peterson Farm Property on Lees Corner - Sterling Montague, a land developer, presented a preliminary report on the development of the Peterson farm property on Lees Corner Road. The parcel consists of 3.352 acres. The proposal is to leave the farm house on the property and build eleven additional homes. The present house with a dirt cellar, although not an historical property, would be kept to enhance the character and property value of the neighborhood. Also, it would be costly to raze the house.
The current zoning is R-1 with three to four homes per acre; the proposed plan calls for 3.58 homes per acre with a distance of 18 feet between dwelling units. Under PDH zoning, there is no minimum distance required between units. The lots would be five to eight thousand square feet each and the existing house lot would be 15,000 square feet. The Comprehensive Plan also calls for approximately 20 percent of the parcel to be open space; the proposal leaves 22 to 23 percent of the parcel open. Batel Builders would build homes expected to cost in the mid-200s. Construction would take approximately one-and-a-half to two years.
Homeowners from Lee's Crossing and Armfield Farms attended the meeting to share concerns about the development, especially about water run-off. Due to a proposed six to nine foot grade change between the parcel and Lee's Crossing, heavy rains would run from the barn area into lots in the Association. In addition, the "country feel" would be lost as homes are built near the rear yards of existing homes. Mr. Montague mentioned that the cost to bring in sewer and water will be fixed over the proposed homes.
Jeff Parnes stated that Mr. Montague needs to meet with the neighboring associations and then return to the Committee. Keeping the existing house may lead to a sense of community, but if the overall plan disturbs existing associations, the plan may need to be reconsidered. Rick Korink made a motion that this proposal is endemic of county development and an adverse type of zoning is detrimental to the quality of life in Fairfax County. This proposal does not comply with density proposals of the surrounding communities. Tom McDonald seconded. In discussion, Glenn Stroup stated that this is not a proper motion as motions should be made in regard to ordinance changes, not in regard to specific proposals or particular developers. Larry Tessier concurred with Mr. Stroup. Mr. Korink replied that this motion expresses the concerns that the Sully District Council has with this type of development. Aye: Rick Korink, nay - Glenn Stroup, Larry Tessier, abstain - Dick Frank, Tricia Goins, Carol Hawn, Tom McDonald, and Jeff Parnes: motion fails. Jeff Parnes reminded the guests in attendance that neighboring associations can have an impact on a proposed plan. A hearing before the Planning Commission has not yet been scheduled.
John Sabo of Brampton Realty Inc. discussed the Choice "Bible" Book Store parcel at 11923 Lee Highway, consisting of approximately 68,000 square feet. Mr. Sabo is working with individuals interested in purchasing the parcel, currently zoned C-8. By-right uses of the parcel include a gas station with mini-mart, a car wash, a storage facility, or a fast food restaurant (a special exception would be required for drive-through capabilities). There is at present no public sewer. The book store is rented. The owners inherited the property and cannot afford the taxes.
Mr. Sabo met with the President of Birchtree, residents of Alden Glen and Merrimead, and the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA). He has not met with residents of Leehigh Village. Rick Korink reminded Mr. Sabo that the WFCCA recommended he meet with the residents of the adjoining streets.
Ed Risse and Carole Korzilius from North Lakes Village HOA presented a brief review of the history of the Fair Lakes Development area. The parcel at issue is approximately 21 acres located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of the Fairfax County Parkway and Monument Drive. At present, the parcel is owned by Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has entered into a contract with Summit Developers of North Carolina to purchase the parcel and construct 548 apartment units in 15 three- or four-story buildings. A total of 960 parking spaces are planned. The entrance to the development will be from Field Brigade Road; there is no direct entrance from Monument Drive. Chase Windsor Apartments are in existence east of the parcel in question.
The proposed change in use is pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan developed in the 1980s. The western area of Fair Lakes was planned as an employment center area with a minimum number of residential units prescribed. The original plans for the parcel in question called for three office buildings with a total of 275,000 square feet and 250 garden apartments or residential townhouses. Based on original drawings, generous landscaping was planned along Monument Drive. The existing final development plan called for one office building still providing 275,000 square feet of space.
In 1995, TRW purchased 1.4 million square feet of office space for an eastern headquarters; this action has altered the plans for residential use in the northern area of Fair Lakes. The proposed plan lessens the square footage of open space as well as the amount of landscaping along Monument Drive. A collective distributor interchange is planned for the intersection at a later date.
Residents of North Lakes HOA were assured by the developer that their input was important. There is a concern that what they were told would be built when they purchased their homes is not what will occupy the area. At this time, three meetings and one walk-through of the property have taken place. In addition, North Village residents have met with Ron Koch, Sully District Planning Commissioner, have written letters concerning this issue, and have met with the developers.
Mr. Risse stated that the residents have four items of concern:
With regard to density, North Lakes residents do not believe that the appropriate level of density has been addressed. Although the revised plan calls for 30 fewer units than originally planned, each dwelling unit is larger and more parking will be constructed. Consequently, the total square footage of the development is the same. Ms. Korzilius stated that traffic is the major concern for residents of her association as the entrance to her association will need to be reconfigured due to the proposed construction.
Jeff Saxe of H/P Companies and Frank McDermott of Hunton and Williams (H/P Cos.) presented a rebuttal. The applicant is seeking a final development plan amendment and has the ability to switch the parcel use from commercial to residential under the Comprehensive Plan. Originally, 578 dwelling units were planned at 30 units per acre. The decrease in the number of dwelling units has occurred, in part, due to the concerns of residents of the North Lakes Village HOA. In addition, there is an increase in the size of the separation buffers, and the number of buildings have decreased from 21 to 15. There is 140 feet from the shore of the pond to the nearest building and 515 feet from the nearest apartment to the nearest townhouse.
Regarding the density issue, at no time has the FAR for the parcel been exceeded. Mr. McDermott stated that the developer cannot meet what the Fair Lakes residents are asking with regard to density. The purchaser is mandating the level of density applied for. At the time of the original zoning, 28 to 30 percent of the Fair Lakes area was expected to be developed as residential property. Mr. Risse disputed this and stated that the original plans called for 20 percent residential use. At present, the Fair Lakes area will be divided approximately at such: 40 percent office, 40 percent residential, and 20 percent retail.
Mr. Saxe stated that the TRW planning changes are due to changes in the corporate structure. The company determined that it did not need the land east of the stream valley.
In response to the issue of the proposed interchange, the buildings will be 30 to 60 feet from the interchange ramp. Dick Frank raised the issue that the interchange will elevate Monument Drive at least to a second story level. At present, the interchange is not funded. Mr. Saxe stated that the developers would be willing to escrow funds to replant slopes; 30 thousand dollars are escrowed at present for landscaping purposes.
Jeffrey Parnes stated that developer contributions for traffic improvements in the Fair Lakes area were paid in 1985 and for this parcel, were based upon commercial, not residential rates which would be less.
In response to the four issues raised by Mr. Risse, Mr. Saxe does not believe that the issue of the governance structure is appropriate for discussion regarding this case. Also, while Mr. Risse stated that the H/P Companies control 600-plus votes in the Fair Lakes Village HOA, Mr. McDermott stated that at this time, only two of the seven total seats on the Board of Directors are reserved for representatives of the developer. Therefore, the H/P Companies are now in less control of the Association.
Rick Korink sees this as a further chipping away of the tax base; few projects demonstrate the good planning that Fair Lakes has benefited from. This is a substantive change for the parcel and is dense considering the overall ambiance of the Fair Lakes area. Can the parcel be left for potential office use in the future? Is there a benefit to the county to develop this site for residential use at this time or are we walking away from prime commercial tax space? Do these changes from the original zoning plan further add to the problem that public service dollars are being expended without an equal return from the real estate? The Land Use Committee is not responsible for making real estate transactions; we should be interested in improving the quality of life. Tom McDonald added that the problems at the Fair Woods Association began once the neighboring interchange was constructed.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the case on June 26, 1996. The hearing has been postponed twice as County staff determined that the application was not ready.
Rick Korink made a motion that the applicant hold meaningful discussions with the residents of the nearby Fair Lakes Associations. If the meetings are not meaningful, the Planning Commission should postpone the hearing scheduled for June 26, 1996. Glenn Stroup seconded. Tom McDonald, Rick Korink, Glenn Stroup, Carol Hawn, Jeff Parnes, and Carol Korzilius vote aye; motion passes unanimously.
Elizabeth Baker of Walsh, Colucci, Stackhouse, Emrich, and Lubeley and Steve Kay of Encore Development presented a proposal to develop 7.858 acres located in the southeast quadrant of the intersection of West Ox and Legato Roads across and south of the twelve-story CentrePointe Towers complex to be known as CentrePointe III. The applicant is proposing to amend the proffers to increase the proportion of residential development permitted on the parcel. Currently, the parcel is slated for approximately 223,000 square feet residential area in 240 units and 97,983 square feet office area; the applicant wants permission to build 321,700 square feet of residential area. An FAR of .94 is proposed, as well as a waiver to the J-2 core.
Five, four-story buildings with 298 apartment or condominium units are planned at a height of 50 feet with the exception of the entrance building that would have a 70 foot tower. There will be integrated garage units; parking is not proposed next to West Ox and Legato Roads. The landscaping and streetscaping mimics that of the CentrePointe Towers, including a water fountain at the main entrance. A berm with benches is planned for West Ox Road and a trail presently exists on the south side of the property. A number of large trees will be saved during the development of the parcel. Neighboring properties include The Hermitage, Fairfax Assembly of God Church, and the Evans property. The County staff has stated the concern that there would be a loss of 98,000 square feet of office space. This amendment is scheduled to be heard by the Planning Commission at its June 12, 1996 meeting.
Elizabeth Baker and Richard Rose, contract purchaser, of Lincoln Property Co. began presenting a proposal for 284 apartment units with integrated garages to be built on 13.85 acres at the corner of Post Forest and West Ox Roads, adjacent to Interstate 66. At present, the parcel is zoned R-1; applicant is asking to rezone it to PDH-20. The gated community would be known as Lincoln at Fair Oaks. In addition to the dwelling units, a clubhouse and indoor multipurpose court are planned. The current farm pond on the property will be utilized to create the storm water management/wet pond on the property. Trails and benches will be added. Due to the time, Ms. Baker and Mr. Rose were asked to attend the July 8, 1996 Land Use and Transportation Committee.
Sully Station II Child Care Center - M.R. Moeller and Dwayne Pfeiffer from Sully Station II HOA presented the blueprints for a child care center consisting of two buildings on two acres, at the corner of Sully Park and Stone Creek Drives. A total of 48 parking spaces are planned. The heaviest traffic is predicted to be from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. An elderly housing complex of 450 dwelling units is also planned nearby. The concern is that the plan allows up to 300 children to attend the center at one time and there are not any crosswalks planned to get to and from the site. The proposal was originally approved in July, 1989. Rick Korink stated that the site was always earmarked for a child care center. Although home purchasers in the area were aware that the center would be built, they believe they were misled by the potential use and number of children permitted at the center. The original landscaping plan called for 1,700 square feet of tree canopy. Now, however, only five sweet gum trees are slated to be saved. If the landscaping plan has been amended, the project will have to go through a hearing process. The Committee suggested that Sully Station II representatives contact County Staff to determine whether a revision needs to be approved.
Jeffrey M. Parnes
Chair, Sully District Council
Land Use and Transportation Committee