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Friday, April 20, 2012

FXCO Planning Commission again delays action on Peace Valley Lane

The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred a decision on the plan amendment to facilitate a housing development on Peace Valley Lane after Janet Hall, the commissioner representing Mason District, changed the proposal three hours before the meeting.

She asked the commission to move the issue to the April 26 meeting, after residents of the Ravenwood Park community complained they hadn’t had enough time to review the changes.

The Ravenwood Park Citizens Association (RPCA) board continues to oppose any changes to the county’s Comprehensive Plan that would allow increased density in the 1.89-acre property. They believe the property should remain zoned R-3 (allowing three houses per acre) in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.

The developer, the Concordia Group, has been pursuing a revision of the Comprehensive Plan, which would smooth the way for him to request that it be rezoned to allow as many as eight houses in a development he is calling “Peace Valley Estates.”

Hall had revised the plan amendment to address issues raised by four Ravenwood Park homeowners who do not oppose the Concordia development but sought several trade-offs, including assurances that Peace Valley Lane not become a through street; that the project be limited to seven, rather than eight houses; and that a wider buffer of vegetation be required between the new and existing houses.

Hall’s last-minute plan revisions address additional concerns raised by those residents: The only access to the new development would be a private road from Leesburg Pike, which ensures the two segments of Peace Valley Lane would not be connected; the new houses would be 35 feet from the rear property line;  and a pedestrian trail be routed to preserve existing landscaping.

“With the latest revision, we now feel confident that we are relying on the Comprehensive Plan, not relying on the developer. This is key since other neighborhoods in the Mason District have failed to implement our approach of adequately altering the Comprehensive Plan Amendment to gain control of the end product,” said Ravenwood Park resident Pat Hoar.

Although the RPCA board still opposes the plan amendment, they are not against any development on the Peace Valley Lane site. They believe the property should be limited to two houses, and they oppose the county’s attempt to address this issue through a plan amendment, which sidesteps the normal Area Plan Review and rezoning processes.

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