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Monday, September 16, 2013

Acupuncture college to open in Annandale

7535 Little River Turnpike.

Annandale might have lost one “university” this year, but will soon get another. South Baylo University, which plans to open a branch at 7537 Little River Turnpike, is nothing like the University of Northern Virginia, however, which was shut down by the state in July for failing to attain accreditation by a reputable organization. UNVA also was the subject of an immigration raid in 2011, and its former chancellor was accused of running a sex dungeon.

South Baylo University is a certified, professional school of acupuncture and oriental medicine. “It’s a legitimate university with a rigorous admission policy,” said Matthew Roberts, with the Bean Kinney & Korman law firm, which is representing SBU in its request for a zoning special exception.

The Annandale campus would be located in four offices on the top floor of an office condominium next door to the office building that housed UNVA. South Baylo already operates a clinic on the first floor.

SBU is not requesting an addition or modification to the exterior of the building, but needs approval for a zoning special exception from the county because a university is considered a different use of the property, which is zoned C-2. The applicant is also seeking waivers of the site plan requirement and stormwater study. 

The proposal will be reviewed by the Fairfax County PlanningCommission Oct. 10.

SBU would have 10 to 15 students the first year and 30 to 40 in subsequent years, said Roberts in a presentation to the Annandale Commercial Business District Planning Committee. The clinic operates 9 a.m.-5 p.m. While the school would be open all day, classes would be 6-10 p.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturday. As a result, there wouldn’t be an impact on traffic or parking,  he said. The clinic has 12 dedicated parking spaces. Most of the other offices in the building wouldn’t be open in the evening or weekends, and the site is on a bus route.

SBU was founded in Los Angeles in 1977. The Virginia branch would offer classes leading to a master’s degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine. Courses, in English and Korean, include herbal principles, oriental medicine diagnoses, case management, biology, ethics, anatomy and physiology, and the history of medicine.

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