The Fairfax County Planning Commission is scheduled to make a decision Thursday on an application to develop 29 single-family homes on Willow Run Drive in Annandale.
If the plan moves forward, it would mean a move for Campbell & Ferrara Outdoor Living, which has been in the location for 66 years.
The proposed development would add close to 100 new residents to the current population of the Mason District, according to a staff report from the county, which recommends that the Planning Commission approve the plan.
Despite the staff recommendation for approval, members of the community oppose the plan. [Read an editorial from a community member outlining some of the reasons why]
The Planning Commission previously voted, on Feb. 23, to postpone their decision until March 8, but deferred it again until April 26 when it was postponed again until June 14.
The RZ/FDP 2011-MA-029 application asks for a rezoning of the property located south of Little River Turnpike between Randolph Drive and Willow Run Drive and also includes a final development plan for the homes. The plant nursery that’s part of Campbell & Ferrara Outdoor Living currently occupies the property, which is contracted by Stanley Martin.
According to Donna Campbell, Campbell & Ferrara Nursery will relocate from its Alexandria location. However, a new location has yet to be determined. Campbell & Ferrara opened at their Little River Turnpike location in 1946.
The Feb. 8 staff report originally submitted requested a zoning change for 8.79 acres from R-2 and HC (Highway Corridor Overlay) to PDH-4 (Planned Development at 4 du/ac) and HC for 35 single-family detached dwelling units at an overall density of 3.98 du/ac, or dwelling units per acre. A May 31 addendum to the staff report now requests a rezoning change for the development of 29 single family detached dwelling units at an overall density of 3.30 du/ac.
Gregory A. Riegle, an attorney with McGuireWoods LLP who represents Stanley Martin and Campbell & Ferrara Nursery, said feedback from the community during a Mason District Land Use Committee meeting on Feb. 28 and other conversations have been taken into the consideration.
“We’ve had dialogues with neighbors and that’s been the basis for a lot of the revisions,” said Riegle. “The density’s been reduced significantly [from 35] to 29 houses and changed considerably with a focus on how this development relates to the existing community.”
In addition to the decrease in density, the number of guest parking spaces has been reduced from 36 to 33. Other changes to the plan include:
- Replacing the original proposed underground stormwater detention facility with an extended detention dry pond.
- Increase in landscaping buffer depth along the southeastern property boundary from 25 feet to 30 feet
- Increase in total open space from 30.2 percent to 40.1 percent
[To read additional changes, see pages 2-5 in the PDF at right.]
According to that staff report, each home will be two stories with a proposed maximum height of 35 feet for each single family detached dwelling unit on an average lot size of approximately 5,700 square feet. The homes will include a two-car garage with room for two cars in the driveway. Riegle said the homes are similar to other homes Stanley Martin has built in Fairfax County.
Stanley Martin plans to preserve over 40 trees on the site and add benches, seating walls and sidewalks to create a sidewalk network within the community. At the recommendation of results found during a traffic study, Stanley Martin also plans to have a sound wall on the property approximately 6 feet to 9 feet in height located on the north side along Little River Turnpike and another retaining wall “to prevent grading into the environmentally sensitive area.”
Recently, a traffic light was installed at the intersection of Willow Run Drive and Little River Turnpike by the Virginia Department of Transportation. Riegle said the light was planned prior to Stanley Martin’s application, but said it would be helpful to the property. The staff report lists a pro-rata contribution of $2,250 to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to be used for the traffic signal programmed for the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Willow Run Drive.
To help offset the potential impacts of costs on Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) with any incoming students, Stanley Martin will also contribute $140,670 to FCPS. The proffer, Riegle said, is standard for all new residential development and the amount is calculated using the county’s contribution formula that varies by unit type. Any students would be zoned for Weyanoke Elementary School, Holmes Middle School and Annandale High School, which are projected to be below capacity through the 2012-2013 school years, according to the staff report.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is scheduled to make a decision on the plan on Thursday at 8:15 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.
If the plan is approved, Riegle said the engineering process could take up to nine months, so any construction would not be expected to start until spring of 2013.