|The site of a proposed shopping center on Route 7.|
Angela Valis, a Courtland Park resident who spoke at the MDLUC meeting, called that “a huge victory for our community.” Valis and her neighbors are concerned that the shopping center proposed by Spectrum Development would bring more traffic to already-congested roads. The center, however, would have a CVS with a drive-through pharmacy.
So far, the official discussions on this project have been limited to changes in the section of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan dealing with Bailey’s Crossroads. Once that’s resolved, the county will address the rezoning application.
The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the plan amendment July 17, but deferred a decision primarily because of confusion over language calling for the realignment of Charles Street and Glen Forest Drive.
The MDLUC agreed to strike proffer language in the plan amendment calling for Spectrum to pay the construction costs for the road realignment. Spectrum prefers its proffer money be used for traffic calming measures in Courtland Park and says road construction should be the Virginia Department of Transportation’s responsibility. VDOT and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation are trying to sort out how the realignment would work.
There was also some discussion about whether the shopping center proposal should be revised to require the front entrances of businesses to face Leesburg Pike. The Bailey’s Crossroads revitalization plan says the area should have an urban design and be pedestrian oriented.
Spectrum wants the stores’ front entrances to be in the middle of the three-building shopping center, facing one another. There would be walkways along Leesburg Pike and into the interior of the center. Parking would be at the rear of the property.
One of the MDLUC members, Shari Harowitz, suggested the project could be considered urban and pedestrian friendly without requiring the shops to face the street. Marianne Gardner, director of the Planning Division in the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, disagreed, stating, “pedestrian friendly means the door is on the street.”