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Friday, April 27, 2018

Oakwood School expansion approved by Planning Commission

Oakwood School
Oakwood School’s plans for a major expansion of its facilities on Braddock Road in Mason District moved a step closer to reality.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission recommended the Board of Supervisors approve applications for a comprehensive plan amendment, rezoning, and zoning special exception for the project April 26. The Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the applications May 1. The Mason District Land Use Committee has also endorsed the project.

Oakwood is a private school that serves about 100 students with various forms of learning disabilities. It is housed in a former church building on a four-and a-half-acre property at 7010 Braddock Road.

Oakwood’s attorney, Robert Brant of Walsh Colucci, told the Planning Commission that Phase 1 of the project would consist of removing a modular classroom building, replacing it with a new structure to house a gym and additional learning spaces, and adding stormwater facilities.

In Phase 2, a single-family house that Oakwood recently acquired would be torn down and replaced with a new playground.

Oakwood doesn’t plan to increase enrollment, Brant said, even though it’s expanding its facilities and is allowed to have as many as 225 students.

The school focuses on small classes and personalized attention. The expanded facilities would allow more space for small group instruction, fine arts, and therapy.

According to Brant, residents of Wilburdale and other nearby neighborhoods have been informed about the project and don’t have any objections to it.

The action by the Planning Commission calls for the Board of Supervisors to rezone the newly acquired parcel from R-1 to R-3 and allow a private school on a property zoned for residential uses.

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