Residents near Pinecrest golf course in Annandale and developer Edward R. Carr & Associates Inc. have agreed on a plan to allow construction of 825 residential units on the Pinecrest tract while retaining a smaller golf course on the outer ring of the property.
The plan for developing the approximately 103-acre property that had been sold last year by 16 grandchildren of farmer Vernon M. Lynch to Carr still must be approved by the county, but Fairfax County Supervisor Thomas M. Davis, the Republican who represents the area, does not expect any problems.
The Pinecrest golf course is one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land inside the Capital Beltway. The agreement between the developer and the neighborhood diffused what Fairfax officials said was a potentially explosive zoning controversy. Residents of the area had feared the developers would want to turn the golf course into a massive, high-rise development similar to Baileys Crossroads.
"I'm glad something could be worked out," Davis said last week. "When the Lynch family first came to me over a year ago and told me they wanted to sell the golf course, I said, 'Why me?' It's something every supervisor dreads happening during their term. Personally, I would have preferred keeping the golf course. But if it had to go, this is fine."
John Cowles, a Carr vice-president, said: "We're very pleased with the way this worked out. It involved a lot of give-and-take on both sides."
Cowles declined to reveal the sales price for the property. Earlier reports had cited a price of $110,000 an acre.
When local civic associations learned of the development plans, they formed a task force to talk to the prospective owners. "What we really wanted was for the county to buy the whole thing," said Alan Mayer, president of the Lincolnia Park Civic Association and a member of the task force. "But that was not economically feasible."
So task force members drew up a list of objectives. They said they would like to bar commercial development and high-rise buildings, maintain some sort of golf course, keep new traffic on Little River Turnpike (Rte. 236) and off the narrower Old Columbia Pike and Braddock Road, and preserve the "sledding hill," one of the highest points in the area and a neighborhood landmark. Students from Wayne Oak Elementary School circulated a petition backing the latter request. Developer Carr agreed to all those points.
"We think we've gotten about as much as we possibly could get," Mayer said. "We like the plan and we support it."
"You've got to give Carr a lot of credit for saying, 'Let's work this thing out, let's not fight it.' They went the extra mile," said supervisor Davis. He also praised the civic associations, which he said met about 40 times on the development plan and took bus trips to view other Carr developments.
Carr donated 26.5 acres of land to the county. The county park authority already owned 30 acres in the rear of the property, which it had bought from the Lynch family in the late 1960s and leased back to the family.
The county park authority will develop both of these tracts into a golf course, either a par 3, 18-hole course or a nine-hole executive course, that will surround the development in a horseshoe shape. Davis recently appointed Mayer to the county park authority board, and Mayer said that one of his priorities will be to push for development of the golf course.
The residential development will include multifamily "piggyback" condominiums on the corner of the lot between Old Columbia Pike and Little River Turnpike. Clusters of single-family, attached and detached houses will be located in other areas. In addition to limiting exits and entrances to Little River, the developer has agreed to make improvements at the intersections with Braddock Road and Old Columbia Pike.
Davis contrasted the Pinecrest agreement to the one worked out for the Chiles Tract, another large piece of land inside the Beltway that has been turned over for development within the past two years.
The 334-acre tract, located at Rte. 50 and the Beltway, was approved by the county for massive commercial and residential development. Davis called the Chiles plan a "scorched earth" policy that allows for development with a density equal to the Pentagon. Picture, A smaller golf course will be laid out on part of the Annandale site and 825 residential units will be built on the rest of the land. The Washington Post; Map, PINECREST GOLF COURSE, The Washington Post