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26 June 1996 Sully District Council Meeting
by Jeff Parnes

The guest of the Sully District Council at its June meeting was Ron Koch, the Sully Planning Commissioner.

Commissioner Koch mentioned what he saw as major problems facing both the county and Sully District: The redevelopment of older subdivisions and construction of facilities for personal communications (cellular phones).

In Sully, subdivisions such as Ox Hill, Centreville Farms and the Thompson Road community are comprised of older homes, sometimes on wells or with septic tank problems. When proposals come in to replan these parcels at higher densities to bring in some modern amenities, their neighbors usually are dead set against the plans, even though the neighbors are there only because their parcels were replanned previously.

The wide spread use of cellular phones and new communications companies has increased the demand for sites to place antennas. Although citizens may be against the construction of poles for the antennas, the citizens’ increasing use of the phones is in fact the driving force behind the need for the antennas. Ron suggested that communities might want to consider the use of their facilities, pools, tennis courts, etc., as suitable sites. That way they get to control in some way the placing of the units and receive funds for the placement of the unit. A task force the county set up is going to recommend that existing structures be allowed to do double duty as supports for these antennas, such existing structures as Virginia Power powerlines, Bell Atlantic telephone poles and VDOT traffic lights. Although more antennas might be required, the structures are pre-existing.

Other areas of concern were the problems of placing affordable dwellings in the midst of ˝ million dollar homes. Ron would rather see the developer make a monetary contribution to the housing authority for its use.

Ron also responded to comments concerning the plans for converting office space to apartment complexes in the Fair Lakes area. In 1990 the apartment vacancy rate was 6.7%, in 1995 it was only 4.9%. The county has more than 75 million square feet of office space currently planned or under construction. In the 1991-1993 time period about 850,000 square feet were coming on line per year. In 1995 it was only 650,000 square feet. Accordingly, there is enough land currently planned in Fairfax County for a 85 to 90 year supply of office space. With that in mind, the county staff recommended approval of the plans to shift the Blue Cross/Blue Shield site from offices to apartments. Their analysis indicates there will be minimal impact on schools based on the change.

Fairfax Federation of Citizen Associations Report

The Fairfax Office of Comprehensive Planning is analyzing the fee structure it charges for its review of rezoning proposals. The Board of Supervisors has set a goal of recovering 50% of the cost, the current average is 20%. The Federation suggested that out-of-turn comprehensive plan amendments and actions by the County Office of Transportation also be considered in the fee structure. They also were concerned that the increase in fees not be adopted abruptly. The fee for Board of Zoning Appeals actions recently went from $30 to $430. There were suggestions that the fee might be need-based for citizens. And the Federation proposed that submission of conceptual and final development plans might be combined as a way to save developers’ costs.

The Federation also recommended that the task force report on monopoles be accepted by the Board of Supervisors and then held a month for review and comment.

Results of Sully District Elections

The new Sully District officers for 1996-1997 are:

Carol Hawn - President, Rick Korink - First Vice-President, Jeff Parnes - Second Vice-President, Tricia Goins - Secretary, and Larry Faulkner - Treasurer.

Next meeting - 28 August 1996

Archived Articles

Sully District Council Minutes

Land Use & Transportation Committee Minutes

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