The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the S11-I-B1 Peace Valley Lane property plan amendment following a public hearing about the property on Tuesday.
Following the testimony of eight speakers, Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross recommended the board adopt the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s recommendation of the plan amendment that allows an option for residential use of up to three to four dwelling units per acre and up to seven single-family detached homes. The option would also limit access to the property from Leesburg Pike only, not Peace Valley Lane.
“Change is hard, yet it is ever present in our lives and our task is to manage it,” said Gross.
The decision contrasts with the position of the residents and community leaders who spoke against the approval of the amendment.
“We’ve been fighting the development of this property for seven years. It’s been part of Ravenwood Park since 1959. This plan amendment, it goes against everything you have been talking about. We care about this area and want to improve it. It would be wrong to put up seven or eight houses,” said Carol Turner, co-president of the Ravenwood Park Citizens’ Association.
The 1.89-acre lot at 3236 Peace Valley Lane in Falls Church, located north of Colmac Drive and south of Leesburg Pike and the Vinewood townhouses, was purchased by the Concordia Group in June 2011 and is currently zoned "R-3." With the current zoning, the property could accommodate as many as five single-family homes.
During the public hearing, Association Co-President John Iekel echoed Turner’s testimony. “The proposed plan amendment is a solution in search of a problem. It is a problem and not the solution… We’re not against all development. We support development within the existing rules,” said Iekel.
The Mason District Council, Ravenwood Park Citizens’ Association and various other community homeowners associations have been vocal in their opposition to the plan amendment without certain modifications and the proposed rezoning change put forth by the developer.
“Quite frankly, when we have by-right development, the community gets no say. I think the community needs to have a say as things are going forward in development and a comprehensive plan amendment which would require an option for a rezoning is the appropriate thing to have,” said Gross.
“I’m hopeful that as a result of the community engagement from residents that the issues that are most important to the folks are able to be included in the rezoning application,” said Sharon Bulova, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors.