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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Supervisors clear the way for Lincolnia redevelopment

The Lincolnia CBC.
The Board of Supervisors on July 16 unanimously approved an amendment to the county’s Comprehensive Plan that establishes a framework for redevelopment in Lincolnia’s Community Business Center (CBC).

The amendment would facilitate plans by HHH Properties Corp., the owner of the Plaza at Landmark shopping center, to transform the aging strip mall into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly town center.

The Lincolnia plan designates the Landmark Plaza area as an “opportunity area” within the CBC, where higher-density development would be encouraged. That area could have 3,400 residential dwelling units and 574,200 square feet of office, retail, and institutional uses. The tallest buildings – 12 stories – would be closest to I-95.

The CBC is centered around the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard Street. The amendment recommends a new grid of streets within the opportunity area and additional bike and pedestrian facilities.

The Board of Supervisors also adopted two revisions to the Lincolnia amendment that were recommended by the Planning Commission on July 10:
  • No affordable, market-rate housing in Lincolnia will be eliminated.
  • Lincolnia Road will remain a two-lane minor arterial roadway, and there would be a realignment of the N. Chambliss Street/Lincolnia intersection. 
The BoS action on Lincolnia culminates two and a-half years of work including 34 meetings by the Lincolnia Planning District Study Task Force, consisting of residents and property owners.

During the board hearing, Marshall Ruben, the president of HHH Properties, told the supervisors, the plan amendment will lead to the transformation of Landmark Plaza into a walkable town center with plenty of open space. “We’re excited to start making this vision a reality,” he said.

Task force chair Daren Shumate acknowledged traffic congestion is the biggest problem in Lincolnia and expressed confidence that the agreed-upon solution will be helpful.

Alan Ackerman of the Duke Street Station homeowners sssociation, and the only task force member to vote against the amendment, disagreed. He told the BoS, “the only justification for this project is to address traffic congestion at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard. This plan would make it worse.”

Deborah Fraser, a resident of Stonegate at Landmark, which is across Beauregard Street from Landmark Plaza, said “higher density will overwhelm the area and create more traffic.”

Task Force member Debi Gerald, who has roots in Lincolnia going back three generations, urged the BoS to support the amendment. She suggested a name for the green space in the town center: the Grassy Knoll, which was the name of a chicken hatchery that was there when Lincolnia was rural.

Mason Supervisor Penny Gross recalled that when she moved to Lincolnia 46 years ago, there was a farm stand on the corner of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard Street where there is now an office building.

“This is an extraordinarily busy intersection and has been for years,” Gross said, and as rezoning happens, there will be additional opportunities to improve the transportation network.

10 comments:

  1. The traffic improvements sound great and are sorely needed, but I love Total Wine, Giant, Valentino's, Arby's, and several other businesses that are currently and will be bitterly sad to see them chased away for a "town center".

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  2. What would be the estimated timeline for the Plaza at Landmark?

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  3. As chair of the task force, I can share that this Plan Amendment approval - while the culmination of a long process - is just the beginning. Formal zoning approval; coordination with VDOT; design of the new development; more public hearings; etc. Think years, not months. And to be sure, the traffic studies - and the planning process probably spent more time on traffic than any other issue - were based upon 2040 projections.

    All that said, I'm certain that the owner will be starting the process soon. As Penny Gross stated in the hearing last night, the Landmark Plaza owner is motivated and patient.

    I cannot wait to see what happens there.

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  4. Long long overdue. What I like is the effect of the re-doing of the Landmark Mall (slower than a slow thing on National Slow Thing Day) on surrounding properties in need of similar re-thinking and re-doing. Now, please, for the love of all that is not an eyesore, find some other templates and designs for buildings that have rapidly made this entire region one big cracker box.

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  5. As a resident of Lincolnia Rd. that cannot get out
    of my drive for substantial portions of the day and was
    almost run over in my yard by a Tbone crash a month ago,
    And sees roll-overs, smashes, and phone pole collisons
    way too often; are there any plans to relieve the traffic on Lincolnia before 2040?

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  6. I hope that there will be additional effort undertaken to rationalize the disaster that is the Chambliss/Beauregard intersection. It's badly in need of a redesign now with only the existing shopping center, but this plan is likely to up the traffic density by a significant degree. Entry and exit directly onto 395 would be optimal, as would a bi-directional exit and entry to Little River Turnpike. I fear it'll only get worse traffic before any serious planning goes into it.

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  7. This site would be a great location for nuclear testing.

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  8. It's obvious that a twelve story building that would house 3,400 residents serves the BOS by raising tax revenue to the county of Fairfax, but would create a disasterous level of traffic congestion, making the already congested area much worse.

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  9. Justice:
    Please read the report. The net traffic condition will be better than now. It may seem counter-intuitive but residential use produces less traffic then retail and office. As a mixed use, the traffic studies that were presented all IMPROVED traffic. Again, it is worth a read. Think Mosaic, Shirlington, or Loudoun One for comparable “look and feel.” To be sure, the owner has engaged David M Schwartz Architects. Look them up: they are nationally recognized for excellent planning and architecture.

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  10. A BRT needs to connect Skyline through this development to VanDorn. That in my mind could justify increased density.

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