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Friday, January 13, 2012

Improvements considered for Annandale Service Center

Moe Moin-Amin wants to make improvements to the Annandale Service Center, the gas station/auto repair shop he owns at 7029 Columbia Pike, but there are complications. Because the business is in the Annandale revitalization area, the renovations must incorporate approved streetscape guidelines, and the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee (ACBDPC) must approve the redesign plan.

Moin-Amin, the treasurer of the ACBDPC, and Arif Hodzic, the architect working on the project, presented their preliminary plans to the committee Jan. 10. They would like to install new gas pumps and canopies over them and possibly add a small convenience store. “It’s a preliminary inquiry. We don’t even have a proposal yet,” Hodzic said.

Complying with the landscaping requirements—including a wider sidewalk with brick pavers, acorn street lamps, and landscaping—would mean the underground gas tanks, which are close to the street, would have to be moved, Hodzic said, and that could cost as much as $250,000. “If we were putting in a large development on that property, it would be worthwhile to move the tanks,” he said, “but there is no way to justify the cost” for the small improvements they are considering.

Several members of the committee indicated it would set a bad precedent to relax the streetscape guidelines for one business. Matt Flis, revitalization program manager at the Fairfax Office of Community Revitalization and Reinvestment, suggested there might be workarounds that would incorporate the required landscaping while keeping the tanks in place. The project will be revisited at the committee’s next meeting in March.

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