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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mason land use committee rejects proposal for Glen Carlyn childcare center

An aerial view of the site for the proposed Glen Carlyn Childcare Center from the staff report.

The Mason District Land Use Committee (MDLUC) voted unanimously April 22 to recommend that the Fairfax County Planning Commission reject a proposal for a childcare center on Glen Carlyn Road in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners area.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal April 24. While the MDLUC’s recommendation will be considered at the hearing, it is not binding. The staff report from the Zoning Evaluation Division recommended the proposal be approvedwith a few caveats about increasing transitional screening on the edges of the property.

Several dozen people who live near the proposed childcare center spoke out against it at the MDLUC meeting, mainly citing concerns that it would exacerbate traffic jams on already-congested roads.  

MDLUC member Steve Smith, who made the motion to reject the project, said traffic is the biggest problem, but also said “the use is not appropriate for everything going on around it.” The proposal calls for a child care facility serving up to 99 children, ranging from infants to 5-year-olds, in a mostly single-family neighborhood.

The developer, Deyi Awadallah, owns the 2.25-acre property at 3212 Glen Carlyn Road. He is unable to build on about half the site that has been designated a Resource Protection Area. He proposes tearing down a small house on the area that can be used and develop the childcare center, playground, and parking lot.

At the meeting, civil engineer Matthew Abel of iDesign Engineering Inc., representing Awadallah, explained how the proposal had been revised from earlier versions to address residents’ concerns about drainage problems. Abel said rainwater would be collected in a micro-pool and directed via ditches and underground pipes to Long Branch Creek, thus reducing the possibility of flooding.

Brent Krasner, the county planner that wrote the staff report, said VDOT and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation signed off on a plan to allow vehicles to make left turns into and out of the facility. That statement elicited a strong negative reaction from the crowd.

Several people said traffic would back up along Glen Carlyn, resulting in people making unsafe U-turns. Others mentioned the curves in the road that obstruct sight lines, the difficulty of people accessing St. Katherine’s church across the street, and the fact that Glen Carlyn is a major connecting road and a bicycle corridor. Several people objected to the applicant’s claim that it would only take parents four minutes to drop off and pick up children. They said it takes at least 15 minutes to sign out a child, help them put on a coat, and get them into a car seat. 

There were also objections from neighbors about Awadallah’s proposal to provide just 28 parking spaces. That’s more than required, but people felt that’s inadequate to serve staff members, parents, and other uses, such as people making deliveries.


  1. Great news but we still need everyone's support Thursday night to oppose this! Frankly I'm appalled that Brent Krasner and VDOT and FCDOT supported this measure. It seems like very little thought was given to the actual impact such a large facility would have on the community. I don't know what goes into their models or how their numbers were calculated, but their assumptions and projections on the effect to traffic and storm drainage seemed both overly optimistic and unrealistic. As someone who works with data all day, I know how incredibly easy it is to tweak a few numbers here and there to fabricate the results you want.

    The size of the facility is also much larger than necessary, and you know if this is approved, it is just a matter of time before they try to expand the number of children allowed in the facility.

    At the end of the day, it appears that Mr. Awadallah was able to buy the property at a very cheap price and is now trying to bend the rules in his favor to make a huge profit at the expense of the community. I sincerely hope the planning commission realizes this and votes this measure down.

  2. Good luck. It's a vacant lot with trees inside the Beltway. The Planning Commission and BOS love knocking out green space like this so they can get more tax revenue. Oh, and still raise our tax rate. Regime change, anyone?

  3. its a vacant lot not a park. Is your regime change going to be toward socialism or do you think a landowner has the right to do something with THEIR property. And yes, more tax revenue is needed, but may not be enough to offset the problems of aging housing, and a changing county. Whats needed in Baileys is development - much denser than this of course.

    1. Rights are not carte blanche. Even freedom of speech. You can't yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater. Even though it is THEIR property, the landowner does not have the right to build whatever they want on it. There are zoning rules and regulations in place prohibiting such construction which is why they need to apply for this special exemption. If they worked within the current rules and put up a single family home or homes, nobody would be objecting. Instead, they got greedy and are trying to build a massive center that doesn't fit with the rest of the neighborhood and will have an adverse impact on the surrounding community. Traffic will be worse and more dangerous, there will be increased water runoff due to the over 11,000 square foot building and parking lot, and it will wreck the property values of the adjacent homes. Why should this one landowner be allowed to exploit the neighborhood for profit at the expense of the other landowners? Some of us value our community more than the pursuit of the almighty dollar.

    2. "If they worked within the current rules and put up a single family home or homes, nobody would be objecting."

      So, then, this is not about green space and trees, and the implication tht it is somehow a park, its about zoning and day care centers. Maybe the earlier commentor should have said so. Apparently a day care center IS allowed in this kind of zone, as the objections were to other aspects of the project. Fine if you want to agree with MDLUC instead of zoning staff - reasonable people can disagree about the details of left turns and drainage. Doesn't seem to justify regime change rhetoric.

    3. It appears the issue lie with a large facility with lots of extra traffic and kids and noise Less green space for parking, drop offs and play areas.

  4. I agree with the very well written comment #1 above. I don't see a way for Mr. Awadallah to make the kind of profit he appears to hope to make. I think his best opportunity to rescue his reputation is to in fact donate this property to the County for the purpose of creating a beautiful park in the midst of a transitional residential neighborhood.

  5. It appears that Mr Awadallah owns 8 properties in Mason District and lives in 6 of them! Since he is listed as an absentee owner in only 2 of them. Quite a busy or wide-spread man?

    51-4-8- -A Not On File Hallwoods Falls Church 22041 Awadallah, Deyi S 0 3,495 02-Feb-2010 $225,000 56,429 0
    61-2-5- -3 3206 Glen Carlyn Rd Hall Forest J Falls Church 22041 No Awadallah, Deyi 1,418 4,615 10-Apr-2013 $0 20,600 1,951
    72-1-13- -1 6513 Braddock Rd Fairland Alexandria 22312 No Awadallah, Deyi 1,216 3,502 02-Jan-2013 $250,000 38,241 1,946
    82-2-1- -16 5524 S Quaker Ln Alexandria 22303 No Awadallah, Deyi 1,548 2,247 19-Apr-2013 $175,000 43,774 1,937
    61-2-5- -4 3212 Glen Carlyn Rd Hall Forest J Falls Church 22041 Yes Awadallah, Deyi S 0 457 02-Feb-2010 $225,000 20,900 0
    61-2-15- -51 3337 Glenmore Dr Parkhaven Falls Church 22041 No Awadallah, Deyi 1,200 4,446 17-Nov-2005 $480,000 11,381 1,953
    82-2-1- -17 Not On File Unknown Awadallah, Deyi 0 367 25-Apr-2013 $175,000 0
    61-1-1- -16D 6130 Vista Dr Falls Church 22041 Yes Awadallah, Deyi 0 3,585 04-Jan-2012 $185,000 21,557 2,013

    I wonder what his IRS tax records look like....certainly not like yours or mine.

    1. Very interesting. How do people get away with buying property saying it's their primary residence to get a reduced interest rate on their mortgage and never live in them? This is not right.

  6. And no one cares about childcare. We need childcare to keep young families that don't live in multigenerational homes (that immigrants prefer and county residents enjoy calling zoning on).

    It can take YEARS to get into a center. Limited options if you have a newborn.

    If you don't back change and improvement the County will continue to be the land of geriatrics and multifamily new immigrants. The only ones that don't need childcare. You are forcing families to Loudoun and Pronce Wiiliam.

    1. Sure. Are you volunteering to have an 11,000 square foot day care center put in your back yard then? No? You must not care about children then.

      There are already 10 or 11 day care centers within a 3 mile radius, many of which are not at capacity, including one ACROSS THE STREET. Furthermore, the debate isn't about the merits of daycare. Its about whether a facility of this size and scope fits in with the rest of the neighborhood. You'd still be forcing families to Loudon or Prince William since nobody wants a playground with 50 screaming children 20 feet away from their house.

      Why is it so hard to understand that many in the community do not want a gigantic commercial building dropped into the middle of a residential neighborhood?

  7. There is not adequate childcare in this area and VERY few places that take infants. Yes, toddlers and preschools but not infants.

    So, parents are either forced to hire nannies, au pairs, or quit their jobs to take care of their babies in Fairfax.

    And, we need development. Badly. These old neighborhoods you want to preserve are tear down lots in the making. Almost every Fairfax County neighborhood inside the beltway is a mess. The only people wanting to commit long term to those areas are the elderly (with no kids) or multigenerational families - which then the long time residents call zoning on.

    And, oh, yea, families LOVE to move near wonderful playgrounds and it is a selling point.

    1. The playground would only be for the daycare. I have to ask if they were going to put this in your backyard would you be Ok with it?