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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Planning Commission defers decision on Monticello Mews

Monticello Mews would be built in the area within the black border. [DPZ]

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred until March 16 a decision on Monticello Mews, a proposal for 99 townhouses to be built on a 10.7-acre vacant field on Edsall Road adjacent to the Jefferson Green townhouses and the Isabella high-rise condominium. That’s a slight reduction from 102 units in an earlier proposal.

The landowner, DRW Inc., has submitted a rezoning application to revise the proffers for a development that had been approved in 1981. The land, in the Alexandria area of Mason District, is zoned R-12. The proposed density for the project would be 9.52 units per acre.

During the Planning Commission’s public hearing on Monticello Mews March 9, several nearby residents raised concerns about density, traffic, and lack of green space.

Andre Newman, president of the Jefferson Green HOA suggested reducing the size of the project to 78 homes. He said a higher density level would have a negative impact on the quality of life for existing homeowners, hurt property values, increase the impervious surface area, and cause parking problems on neighborhood streets.

Both Newman and Jefferson Green resident Lisa Carr complained that the new houses closest to their community would be at taller and at a higher elevation and thus would tower over Jefferson Green homes.

The new development will be a “sea of concrete,” charged Eric Vanderpool of the Overlook homeowners association. “It will be a bleak, dense property.”

He called for a reduction in density, more green space, and more proffer money for local schools. DRW should be contributing $11,700 per elementary school-age student, he said, noting that Bren Mar Elementary School is over capacity.[Fairfax County’s per-student cost is $13,560.]

Julie Strandlie, the Mason District representative on the Planning Commission, said there is no requirement that DRW contribute anything at all to the schools but the company is voluntarily offering to contribute $1,000 per unit – for a total of $99,000.

Both Newman and  the president of the Isabella Condo Association spoke about the need for a traffic signal on Edsall Road.

DRW’s representative at the hearing, attorney John McGranahan with Hunton and Williams LLP, said DRW would be willing to add a traffic signal to the proffers if VDOT approves it.


  1. This is a terrible development, and this would never have happened if "Two Cents" Penny Gross was not re-elected.

    So let this message represent all the ignorant commenters on this site who blame everything that happens, including a homeless man freezing to death in Annandale's Central Business District, on Penny Gross.

    The Mindless Wailing Complainers on this site have officially replaced the "Return to Sender" commenter as the official MEME of the Annandale Blog.

    1. Too true. And the fact--revealed here by a grieving relative--that he wasn't homeless and didn't freeze to death barely even slowed them down.

    2. 12:59: Amen.

      2:22: I agree.

    3. Ignorant is asking for and approving more density where over-crowded streets, and over-crowded schools are already the biggest concerns in the district.

  2. This is already zoned R-12 and is under the already approved limit. $100K is pretty generous considering that the developer is not required to do anything.

  3. They don't want to develop what they can do "by right". So they should follow the County's Comprehensive Plan, which limits development here to 55 - 86 homes (5-8 homes per acre). 99 is way over what the plan allows.

  4. Commissioner Strandlie said there is no requirement that DRW contribute anything at all to the schools but the company is voluntarily offering to contribute $1,000 per unit – for a total of $99,000?
    Who doesn’t know what is wrong with that assertion? First, businesses never give away money but with the expectation that they will get more than they give, corporate giving is an oxymoron, that’s corporate life 101.
    These units are expected to generate 48 students. That will require “the county”, the taxpayers really, to come up with the $12-14,000 per student to build the needed classroom space that will soon be required when these units are built. That is a cost that rightfully should be borne by the developer and at $12,000 per 48 students; and that is $576,000 not the diminutive $99,000 not so generously proffered. If the developer doesn’t pay it, we the taxpayer will pay it. We will be forced to pay for something we already have too much of: hyper-density, overcrowded schools, overcrowded streets, overflow parking on residential streets and on front yards etc. Just say no Commissioner Strandlie. Just say: “No, I’m sorry. We already have too much too much to ask taxpayer to pay too much for higher density development”.