The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, capping months of negotiations with Burke residents, county planners and a developer, has approved a rezoning plan for 28 detached houses on 28 wooded acres off Shiplett Boulevard.
The proposal by developer Robert J. Lewis was approved by the board Monday after agreement was reached with neighborhood residents, who had opposed Lewis' plan to build town houses on the property, and county planners, who had opposed construction near a flood plain.
"This case has traveled a very long and winding road, and I think I can say at this time we have resolved many of the issues," said Kendrick Sanders, Lewis' attorney.
In February, Lewis proposed building 49 residences, mostly town houses, on the land, located on both sides of Shiplett Boulevard, north of Old Keene Mill Road and west of Burke Centre Parkway. The land is now owned by Burke resident Ruth S. Hatch.
When concern about the plan was raised by local citizens and the county planning staff, which recommended denial, Lewis scaled back his proposal. The plan approved by the board Monday includes construction of 27 detached houses. One house already exists on the property.
In return, Lewis agreed to donate about 18 acres to the county for a park and to build trails to Hatch Lake and Pohick Stream Valley Park. He also agreed to give $30,000 to help pay for dredging the small lake, which residents and county officials say is mosquito-infested.
"I'm very pleased," Robert Pearson, president of the White Oaks Civic Association, said after Monday's board action. "I think the county planning staff has done a tremendous job."
Lewis said, "It's something with which we're all satisfied . . . given the conditions."
After approving the plan, the board directed the county Park Authority to make dredging the lake a priority. Springfield Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R), whose district includes the property, urged the dredging, which county officials said could cost as much as $350,000.
Pearson said his group lobbied all nine supervisors for support in cleaning the lake and intends "to follow through with county officials to make sure this does become a priority issue."
In February, the park authority said it could not afford to take over the 18 acres Lewis was offering. But last month, Deputy County Executive Denton U. Kent said the county would take over and maintain the land, which he said "has been planned for a number of years as park land."