|4104 Woodlark Drive|
The house was proposed for a vacant lot at 4104 Woodlark Drive in Annandale. The applicant, Sheila Konecke, has been trying to get approval to build a house on that lot since she bought the land in 2015.
Because of a covenant established by the Fairfax Hills community association that restricts development within 75 feet of the road, there isn’t enough buildable space on the lot without encroaching into the RPA, which takes up 80 percent of the property. A tributary of Accotink Creek runs along the rear of the lot.
The Board of Supervisors on April 9 agreed with the ERC’s decision that the proposed single-family house would encroach too much into the RPA, would increase runoff, and would have a negative impact on water quality.
While the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance allows certain exceptions to the rule against building in an RPA, the motion approved by the BoS states that this application doesn’t meet the criteria for an exception.
ERC member Amy Gould called the decision good news for people concerned about the environment. “It truly sets a precedent because there are other lots in jeopardy here.”
There are three other vacant lots along the same stretch of Woodlark Drive that also could have been developed if Konecke’s home-building plan had been approved.
While the Fairfax County land development services staff had initially approved the proposal, the action by the Board of Supervisors strengthens the position of environmental advocates who oppose development on areas subject to flooding.
This doesn’t mean the Woodlark lot can never be developed. Konecke can come back with a revised plan, sue the county over her right to develop her own land, or sue the community to get the covenants overturned, Gould says.
On the other hand, if she decides not to sink more money into the fight, she could donate the land as green space and take a tax write-off.