|The proposed face of the childcare center|
The Glen Carlyn Child Care Center would serve up to 99 children. It would be built on a two and a-half acre wooded lot across the street from St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church. A small house on the property would be demolished.
In response to concerns from Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning staff, the developer, Deyi Awadallah, reduced the size of the proposed building by 1,500 square feet and revised the design of the façade, said Brent Krasner, a senior staff coordinator with the planning department.
The developer didn’t reduce the number of children, however. There won’t be as many as 99, at least when it first opens, said Awadallah. But he feels it’s better to get approval for that many now, rather than have to come back to the Planning Commission.
Awadallah didn’t give a presentation on the proposal at the MDLUC meeting as planned because his engineer didn’t show up.
As a result, MDLUC chair Dan Aminoff, said the committee will defer action on whether or not to endorse the childcare center until its April 22 meeting, but invited residents to go ahead with their presentations. The Fairfax County Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for April 24.
George Boosalis, a resident of the Glen Carlyn Community Association whose backyard borders the property, spoke about neighbors’ concerns. Many residents from his community, along with the Long Branch, Lebanon Road, and Jan Mar neighborhoods signed a petition opposing the project.
According to Boosalis, cars area already back up on Glen Carlyn Road during rush hour, and the traffic will be much worse if parents are dropping their children off at the daycare center. There is no left turn lane on Glen Carlyn, which means a lot of cars would be making hazardous U-turns as they exit the center.
There is nowhere to park on most of Glen Carlyn and Lebanon Drive, which would be a problem if there is an event at the daycare center, he said. There aren’t any sidewalks either, which would be dangerous for parents walking their children to the center.
Other people in the audience raised concerns about the dangers of cars speeding on Glen Carlyn during non-peak times and the curves on Glen Carlyn that obstruct drivers’ sight lines.
Flooding is a serious concern, Boosalis told the MDLUC. There is a drainage channel running through the property that feeds into Four Mile Run. Because the channel backs up when there is heavy rain, the ground is often wet, and that causes large trees to fall down, which would be hazardous to children playing outside, he said. Development is prohibited on a large part of the property that has been designated a resource protection area (RPA).
Boosalis also expressed concerns about playground noise, the difficulty of ambulances getting in and out, and the impact on the quality of life in the community, noting, “this is a huge building in a residential neighborhood.”
Finally, he disputed the developer’s claim that there aren’t any nearby daycare facilities that serve children under 2. Boosalis said he found several facilities within three miles that take infants.
Awadallah purchased the property in 2008. He and his brother, Ala, tried to develop townhouses there three years ago, but that plan was rejected by the county.
They are now proposing a daycare center, Ala Awadallah said, because that is one of the few types of projects that can be developed on a residential property through a special exception, without the need to go through a lengthier rezoning process. The brothers have built numerous houses throughout the area, but this would be their first non-residential project.