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Proposed Housing Development Would Mean Relocation for Campbell & Ferrara

Planning Commission to vote on Willow Run plan Thursday. The proposal calls for developing 29 single-family homes.

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. []

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.

TT June 14, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Really?! Losing another long-standing Annandale Area establishment?!? Fuddruckers, Sunset Grill, C&F. When does it stop?
LSH June 14, 2012 at 03:57 PM
As presented from the point of view of the developer, this article certainly lays out the supposed "pro's" related to the rezoning and proposed development of the Campbell & Ferrara site. However, despite Mr. Riegle's comments about the developer addressing the neighborhood's comments/concerns, it should have been made clear that the Willow Run neighborhood VEHEMENTLY OPPOSES this plan.
Kate June 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM
See the Opinion Page to understand the other side of the story.... http://annandale.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-opposition-to-willow-run-development
Sherell Williams (Editor) June 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Hi LSH. The article was intended to provide residents with a summary of what was included in the overall details of the plan ahead of the Planning Commission's decision since I received e-mails from residents who were confused about a) what the plan was and b) what would happen to Campbell & Ferrara if the plan was approved. Both of those questions were answered here. There was no intent to highlight "pros", simply the details. I apologize if you feel it isn't balanced. As Kate mentioned below, there is an op-ed that we published on the site at the same time this morning as this story that gives a pretty detailed explanation of why members of the community are against it. I'll update the article to add a link to give that op-ed a bit more exposure and include the community perspective. Thanks for reading.
Beth O June 15, 2012 at 03:12 PM
I'm surprised at the statement that Annandale High School, currently VERY over-crowded and constantly shuffling around students at the feeder schools to alleviate the burden at that school, will be "under-capacity" for 2012-2013. Annandale doesn't need more housing, we need more businesses and Cambell & Ferrara is a long-time, respected member of this community. The neighborhood doesn't want more housing, and the community seems disappointed to see the nursery go. Then why the push for more houses in an already congested area? To me, the plan sounds like it will be more traffic to already congested roads and more families to an already bursting-at-the-seams school district.
JK June 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Living in The Pinecrest community on the North side of Little River Turnpike, I have been opposed to this development from the beginning. However, the County seems more interested in tax revenue than in the quality of the lives of its residents.

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