|The shopping center site consists of parcels numbered 1-5, bordered by Route 7, Charles Street, Washington Drive, and the Courtland Park neighborhood. [Fairfax County photo]|
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan Sept. 23 allowing development of a shopping center on Leesburg Pike between Charles Street and Washington Drive in Bailey’s Crossroads.
The agenda called for a public hearing before the vote but no one from the Courtland Park community or anywhere else came to testify. Nearby residents had expressed concerns about traffic, noise, litter, and other issues at a Planning Commission hearing in July and at other meetings and in letters to Mason Supervisor Penny Gross.
The plan amendment includes revisions proposed by county staff approved by the Planning Commission, including language prohibiting drive-through fast-food restaurants and strengthening requirements for a buffer between the shopping center parking lot and neighboring single-family houses.
The shopping center, to be built by Spectrum Development, will have a stand-alone CVS with a drive-through pharmacy, Smashburger, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and other tenants. The entrance would be on Charles Street, not Route 7.
During the BoS discussion, Gross noted that “this has been a challenging site over the years” and said it’s been “a grungy location right on Route 7 that needs some attention.” The 2.7-acre site is currently occupied by a Geico claims center and two houses. Much of it is a vacant and overgrown with weeds.
Gross asked about plans to align Charles Street and Glen Forest Drive, which is part of the plan amendment. Leonard Wolfenstein, with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, said there are no county funds available for that project so it’s impossible to say when it could happen. He said the developer would fund the engineering study and could possibly contribute toward construction of the road realignment.