Annandale residents jammed public hearings this week to oppose land-use changes that they said would change the residential character of their neighborhood and increase traffic on already overcrowded roads.
Residents spoke out against increased commercial development and asked members of the Fairfax County Planning Commission to protect the safety of their schoolchildren by keeping traffic in mind as they study proposed land-use changes in Annandale.
Residents opposed hotels, housing for the elderly and various proposals to change sites from residential to commercial. They were joined in their opposition to several plans by Audrey Moore, Annandale's member of the board of supervisors. Moore opposed commercial development on residential property at the intersection of Woodland Way and Braddock Road near Holy Spirit Church in the Burke area.
Moore said traffic on Woodland Way is so bad that "people park on the street at night because they know they can't get out of their driveways in the morning."
A proposed hotel in an existing medical complex at Woodburn Road and Holly Road near Fairfax Hospital came under fire from residents of almost every neighborhood near the hospital. The proposed hotel would be built by Centennial Development Corp., which has built two low-rise medical buildings on the nine-acre site. Under present zoning, Centennial could build another medical building.
Attorney Robert Lawrence, respresenting Centennial, said the hotel would not be a typical high-rise full-service hotel. He said it would be more residential in character than the medical building and that it could be built under the existing zoning. He showed slides of a residential suite hotel, typical of many such facilities being built across the country to attract traveling executives who prefer larger living spaces for extended stays.
Although Lawrence said the hotel would attract business executives, a letter filed by the developer said the hotel could be used as a temporary residence for those using or visiting Fairfax Hospital.
Lawrence said Centennial was ready to build a third medical building when the company was approached by a hotel chain specializing in suite-style hotels. A medical building on the tract would produce 5,500 car trips per day in contrast to 700 trips per day that would be generated by the proposed hotel, he said.
After the hearing, Centennial executive Alan Fink said his company plans to continue to try to work out a compromise with residents.