SULLY DISTRICT COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
November 20, 2013
Members in Attendance
Mark McConn, President Bull Run Community Association
Jeff Parnes, 1st Vice President Chantilly Highlands
Lewis Grimm, Treasurer Franklin Farms
Al Francese Little Rocky Run
Jay Johnston Virginia Run HOA President
Rick Vaughn Dartmoor Woods HOA
Kenneth Lazor Office of Delegate Tim Hugo
Kyle McDaniel Office of Supervisor Herrity (Springfield District)
Leonard Wolfenstein Fairfax County DOT
Bernard Suchicital Fairfax County DPZ
Tarek Bolden Fairfax County DPZ
Rebecca Horner Fairfax County
Mike Collins Office of Congressman Gerry Connolly
Tami Troscianeki Virginia Run HOA
Paul Woodford Virginia Run resident
Karen Campblin Fairfax Federation of Civic Associations
Bruce Dallymple Resident, Fairfax County
Mary Stachyra Lopez Centreville Independent
Jeff Pztres Chantilly Highlands
Robert Whitfield Dulles Corridor Users Association
Charlie Hall Providence District Council
Meaghan Kiefer Office of Sully Supervisor Frey (Land Use)
Dean Luckenbugh Ad Fuentes (Academy)
Eric Amato Centreville Presbyterian Church (Applicant)
David Murrell Gates Post resident
President McConn called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
The minutes for the October 2013 Sully District Council Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting are available online.
Refer to the November agenda for meeting announcements.
Extending Rail to Centreville
Jeff Parnes presented an overview of the Rail to Centreville issue before inviting comments from those in attendance. He noted that the County Comprehensive Plan provides for Rail to Centreville and that in the 1990’s the Board of Supervisors amended the Comprehensive Plan’s transportation map to designate rail stops at Fair Oaks, Stringfellow Road, and Centreville. He noted that a Major Investment Study was prepared in the 1990’s recommending expanded general purpose lanes, expanded HOV, and rail to Centreville and Haymarket and that VDOT is currently undertaking an environmental review of I-66 in two phases. WMATA’s Momentum Plan, he said, contemplates Rail to Centreville by 2040 and observed that WMATA would have to expand capacity before it could handle additional trains from a Centreville extension. Mr. Parnes observed that “We must grab it [Rail to Centreville issue] by the horns. How do we do it?”
Supervisor Herrity’s representative, Kyle McDaniel, stated that the Supervisor supports the concept of Rail to Centreville and that the level of traffic congestion warrants an immediate solution such as Bus Rapid Transportation (BRT) that would occupy dedicated lanes and preserve the right of way for rail and/or “Managed [High Occupancy Vehicle] lanes” as short term solutions. He stated that rail would require long-term funding. Mr. Parnes observed that rail would require higher density that could be investigated in the Fairfax Forward process. One residential landowner indicated that he supported Rail to Centreville and setting up a taxing district. Virginia Run’s representative stated that he preferred the congested status quo on I-66 to creating a Tysons Corner environment on I-66, with higher congestion levels, if that level of density is what is needed to fund Rail to Centreville. Mr. Francese, a long-time carpooler, observed that I-66 currently is a congested parking lot even though it has been widened at locations over the years and that we lack information on a rail option as to possible funding sources, landowner interest in higher levels of density, magnitude of VDOT right of way, and what level of density would be needed to construct and operate Rail to Centreville.
Fairfax County representatives provided a helpful summary of past county involvement on the Rail to Centreville issue from a Comprehensive Plan and Board of Supervisor perspective. A representative stated that the Comprehensive Plan envisioned I-66 as an “enhanced transportation corridor” and that the Board of Supervisors’ vision includes Rail to Centreville. The representative noted that the Comprehensive Plan states that a Centreville station should be as close as possible to the center of Centreville, possibly near Trinity Center or Stone Road Extended. He noted that while Fairfax City opposed a rail stop near Route 123 some years ago, the issue needs to be revisited. He stated that the Board of Supervisors has about four acres dedicated to mass transit on the Government Center’s property near I-66 and that the Fairfax Center Study of 1982, including Fair Oaks Mall, will be revised. He stated that the Stringfellow commuter parking lot is being expanded by 300 spaces and more land is available on the South of I-66 as a proffer in the Centreville Farms redevelopment. The County representative noted that proffers for Fairfax Corner allow for higher density if rail is implemented.
Congressman Connolly’s representative, Mike Collins, pointed out that the Congressman and Congressman Moran on February 28, 2013 introduced H.R. 907 to extend Metrorail service in Northern Virginia, including the I-66 Corridor to Centreville and the Route 1 and Route 95 Corridors. He stated that VDOT’s environmental review of I-66 is a critical decision point on preserving the rail option for I-66. He noted that a Route 1 Multi-Modal Study, to be concluded in 2014, will include the rail option.
Robert Whitfield cautioned against advocating a heavy rail Metro extension option in the I-66 Corridor because it is not a cost-effective, financially feasible solution because only ten percent of commuters currently use rail which is very costly. He said Rail to Centreville would cost $300 million per mile with right of way donated by VDOT based on a comparison to the Silver Line Dulles Corridor Rail Project, which lacks a financial plan. He recommended “bus transit” as a cheaper option at $20 million per mile. He added that the Federal Transit Administration requires a population of 6,700 people per square mile but the population density outside the Beltway is less than 5,000 per square mile, implying that it would not qualify for federal construction assistance. Since the original Metro funding compact has expired, he said that Maryland and the District of Columbia would not be sharing any costs all of which would have to be paid from Virginia sources as in the case of the Silver Line. He stated that WMATA is on the verge of bankruptcy and repayment of the bonds to pay for construction of the Silver Line is tied to ever increasing toll revenues from the Dulles Toll Road and that the Silver Line is not a model to imitate. In any commercial competition, he noted that Tyson Corner’s 1,700 acres would outweigh the commercial activity on the I-66 corridor.
Studio Units in Your Neighborhood
Charlie Hall - Providence District Council President
Fred Costello - Fairfax Federation Land Use Chair
Charlie Hall provided a status report on Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Zoning (DPZ) proposal to change the Zoning Ordinance to permit residential studios in all residential areas under special exception rules. These maximum 500 sq. ft. rental units would provide affordable housing for households earning less than approximately $60,000 (i.e., 60% of the area median income). It would provide a housing alternative to individuals newly entering the workforce, service workers, teachers, and the elderly. As initially proposed, single family homes could have been converted to multi-family Residential Studio units. The originally proposed ordinance can be found at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoningordinance/proposed/residentialstudioinputmemo.pdf. The Board of Supervisors had asked the DPZ to obtain more information on studio units in other jurisdictions and to conduct additional outreach in the magisterial districts. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/bosclerk/summary/2013/13-07-30.pdf.).
Mr. Hall stated that the original proposal was very controversial because it allowed residential studio units in neighborhoods zoned R-1. The Planning Commission, he advised, subsequently revised the original proposal to require R-12 (multi-family) zoning for residential studios, prohibit conversion of a single family home to a boarding house through residential studio units, and permit residential studio units in an apartment setting with a 30 unit minimum. He stated that the number of allowable parking spaces is an issue since three people are allowed to occupy a unit and it may be necessary to impose standard parking requirements. He urged Sully District participation in the Federation’s effort to monitor the residential studio unit issue in diverse community environments. He noted that the Fairfax Federation members approved a resolution at its September 19, 2013 meeting.
Public hearings have been scheduled before the Planning Commission’s Residential Studios Committee. The Residential Studios Committee public meeting dates are December 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center; January 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 4/5 Government Center; January 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Conference Rooms 2/3 Government Center
Ad Fontes Academy at the Centreville Presbyterian Church (CPC)
John Rinaldi, Land Planning Manager Associate for the Christopher Companies
The CPC Applicant provided an update to its informational presentation of October 23, 2013. The Applicant stated it met with Virginia Run and the WFCCA. Following discussions with county staff, the Applicant stated that it revised its proposed amendment of its special permit amendment previously approved in SPA 99-Y-065-02 to provide for only one modular of 9,000 square feet located on site for eight years (rather than two modulars). After eight years, the Applicant would have to secure county approval to make additional changes in its enrollment. The Applicant states that the Church approved its plan for a single modular, which county staff supports. The modular cannot be located on the existing sanitary sewer easement and a 40-50 foot area will be used as open space for the church and school. A BZA hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2013.
Following Mr. Rinaldi’s update, he responded to questions from the community and members of the Sully District Council. Following discussion, Mr. Francese made a motion, seconded by Mr. Parnes, to recommend that the Board of Zoning Appeals approve the revised Special Permit Amendment subject to (1) requiring the school to use the Church parking lot for all school activities and (2) requiring the Church to notify its members to park only on the Church parking lot and not in a near-by public cul-de-sac in proximity to Virginia Run. The motion was approved by a vote of 3 in favor, 1 opposed (Virginia Run SDC representative), and 1 abstension (Mark McConn).
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 p.m.
Acting Recording Secretary
Sully District Council