Potomac Investment Associates has come up with a development plan for 275 acres in the Fair Oaks area that calls for construction of 1,800 residential units while preserving the Penderbrook Golf Course on the same site.
The residential units are planned along the northwest side of Route 50 near Fair Oaks Mall. The site is bounded by Route 50, West Ox Road, Waples Mill Road and the Fairfax Farms subdivisions.
Several weeks ago the Fairfax Board of Supervisors approved a change in its comprehensive land-use plan which set the stage for Potomac Investment to proceed with rezoning the massive site which lies within what is known as the 50/66 Corridor and is part of what is the Fairfax Center Area in the county land plan.
The Potomac Investment plan calls for construction of town houses and multifamily buildings to be clustered in nine areas surrounding the golf course.
Last week, after a debate that lasted into the early morning, the planning commission voted to approve the plan in spite of some long and loud objections to the proposal for diverse reasons.
Some residents of nearby areas supported the proposal because they said they wanted to maintain the residential character of their own areas, said attorney Martin Walsh, who represents the developers. However, other residents have strongly supported efforts to get higher density zoning and commercial zoning on their own land in the same area of the county.
The board of supervisors has scheduled a public hearing and a vote on the Potomac Investment proposal Monday at 2:30 p.m. The application asks the county to rezone the site from R-1, residential one unit per acre, to PDH-6, planned development housing, six units per acre.
Although some alteration of the court would be required, "this plan allows us to save the golf course and preserve it as a community asset," Walsh said. The Fairfax Center Area plan, developed by a citizens task force, suggested that the golf course be maintained if an economically feasible proposal could be developed.
Under the Potomac Investment Plan, preservation of the golf course will be perpetually maintained and guaranteed by proffers and covenants. Should the golf course cease to exist as such, the land would be maintained as open space. Approximately 57 percent of the entire site, including the golf course, will be in open space if the plan is approved, according to a study of the project by the engineering firm of Dewberry & Davis of Fairfax.
The golf course is open to the public and is owned and operated by a private company, an arrangement that will continue if the rezoning is approved. If the golf course ceases to operate, it will be deeded to the Fairfax County Park Authority or maintained as open space by Potomac Investment Associates.
According to Walsh, numerous proffers involving preservation and traffic are part of the proposal. Developers will pay for a third lane of Route 50 along the Penderbrook site and will make specific provisions for road rights of way when a West Ox Road and Route 50 interchange becomes operative. Fairfax County is planning a major interchange at that intersection.
Several residents of the Penderbrook area have filed challenges to the county's comrehensive land plan for the land they own in the area. Some of those challenges oppose the Potomac Investment project. Some seek commercial use of their land. All are scheduled to go before public hearings held by a citizens task force established to study master plan changes. The task force hearings will be held this month, and there will others later in the year before the planning commission and Board of Supervisors.