The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors yesterday ordered its planning office to look into charges by one supervisor that developers and builders of suburdan Burker Center have repeatedly deviated from the new community's master plan.
Supervisor Audrey Moore (D-Annandale), whose district includes a small corner of two-year-old Burke Centre, said single-family houses have been built where plans called for attached houses and that townhouses have been approved in areas designated for apartments.
Zoning Administrator Phillip Yates, acknowleding the deviations, said "it's strictly the market." In one area, 481 "patio" (attached) houses were planned, but those that have been built have been advertised to buyers as single-family homes.
Yates said the ads, which appeared in The Washington Post, contained "misinformation," but that "there was no blatant trend" by the developers to violate the master plan.
Although generally the costliest type of housing, single-family dwellings are the most desirable in Fairfax's - and Burke Centre's - strong market. Burke Centre, which has emphasized single-family houses since it opened, had record sales last month, according to development partner Joel T. Hazel Jr. Moore, in a detailed report to her colleagues on the board, sadi: "The conclusions would indicate that the developers are thus able to take advantage of the economics . . . while evading the requirement of providing the mix of housing committed (in the master plan)."
Yates said "maybe we erred slightly in approving sections of Burke Centre for lesser-density house types I guess whoever is approving in the department of planning thought it would be all right."
The controversy first came to light when residents in Burke Centrehs Calumet Oaks cluster complained that they were required to erect fences linking houses that they said had been sold as single-family detached dwellings. The fences were ordered in August by Zoning Administrator Yates so the houses would comply with regulations requiring that they be attached.
Yates said yesterday "as it stands at the moment," he would recommend that the houses be reclassified as detached units - which would mean that the fences could be taken down.
Moore called for a broad inquiry by the planning staff, Planning Commission and the Fairfax County Park Authority. She wanted the Park Authority involved because the changes in the master plan "may restrict the open space" at Burke Centre.
But supervisor Marie B. Travesky (R-Springfield), whose district includes most of Burke Centre, and the rest of the board opposed Moore's motion. Instead, the board asked for a narrower inquiry.