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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Planning Commission to consider redevelopment on training center property

The NVTC site.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission is holding a hearing on Oct. 18 to consider an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan that would facilitate redevelopment on the 91-acre site of the former Northern Virginia Training Center and state police facility.

The 91-acre property is at 9901 Braddock Road in Fairfax. The NVTC served people with intellectual and physical disabilities until it was shut down in 2016.

Erickson Living, which purchased 79 acres from the Commonwealth of Virginia last year, proposes building a continuing care community for seniors. The remainder of the NVTC property is being held by the state for use as a future Department of Motor Vehicles location, according to the staff report on the plan amendment.

The Comprehensive Plan currently designates the site for public facilities and governmental and institutional uses.

Last October, the BoS authorized staff from the county’s Planning and Zoning Department to consider different uses for the property. Braddock Supervisor John Cook then appointed a citizen task force to provide feedback from the community.

The task force issued a report in June that recommended the property be used for residential uses with a maximum density of one dwelling unit per acre, a continuing care facility, and a public park.

The staff report notes that surrounding residential areas have a density of two to three units per acre and thus recommends a density of three units per acre.

For the 82-acre NVTC site, the staff report calls for a base plan of 246 single-family detached dwelling units. An option for a continuing care facility would have 1,100, “independent accommodations,” 150 “assisted/skilled nursing beds,” and 575 full-time and part-time employees.

For the 13-acre DMV and state police sites, the staff report recommends retaining the current public facilities and institutional uses in the Comprehensive Plan, or amending the plan to allow 28 single-family detached houses or a public park.

According to the staff report, “The option for a continuing care facility may be appropriate if designed to be sensitive to the residential character of the surrounding community and may advance county goals to create more accommodation options for older adults.”

If a continuing care facility is proposed, the staff report says, building heights should be limited to five stories with some flexibility for six stories toward the center of the site.

In addition, the staff report states, landscaping and buffering should be preserved to provide a transition to residential areas, the facility should include affordable housing, and a publicly  accessible park should be provided that includes active recreational uses and intergenerational gathering spaces.

If the future DMV site is sold to a developer, the staff report recommends that the four-acre property “may be appropriate for residential use with up to two or three dwelling units per acre, a public park, or a continuing care facility as part of a unified plan with the rest of the site.”

The Board of Supervisors’ public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20.

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