The Fairfax County planning staff is recommending denial of a majority of proposed land-use changes in the McLean, Vienna and Fairfax planning areas that are being considered in this year's review of the county land-use plan.
The staff is opposing 10 of 13 proposals in the McLean area and is ironically against one of the few changes supported both by the powerful McLean Citizens Association and the citizens task force, which studied proposed changes in the McLean area.
In the Vienna area, the staff is recommending denial of major proposals involving attempts to intensify land use for both residential and commercial purposes. All proposals related to land near the future Metro stations at Dunn Loring and Vienna are being deferred until special task forces now studying land use around Metro stations throughout the county complete their work.
In the Fairfax planning area, which includes Oakton and Fairfax Center, the staff is opposing nine proposals and supporting its previously announced plan to defer all proposals in the Fairfax Center area until the staff can complete a new study of that entire part of the county.
The staff is supporting very little change in existing plans in the three areas as proposed by residents or developers but is supporting some staff-originated changes in the Vienna area.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold public hearings on proposals in these three areas April 23 and 24. Specific schedules for hearings will be available through the county's office of comprehensive planning.
Even though long lists of items will be scheduled each night, planning commission Chairman George Lilly said no hearing on any item will be started after midnight. But any hearing under way when the clock strikes 12 will be completed no matter how many speakers remain. Any proposals not heard will be deferred to a date that will be announced.
The public hearings allow both proponents and opponents a chance to testify before the planning commission, which has scheduled mark-up sessions next month on the proposals. Any proposal getting a negative vote from the planning commission dies. Proposals winning approval will then be acted on after a public hearing by the board of supervisors in early summer. If an application is vetoed by the planning commission, the land involved cannot be nominated for a change for two years, according to county regulations.
In McLean, the staff is opposing an application by Clarence Reid Jr. to change the land use on 2.5 acres so he can build town houses there. The staff's opposition to the plan comes despite support for it from the McLean Citizens Association.
In contrast, the staff is supporting an application to change the land use of a small site on Ingleside Avenue in an area known as West McLean from residential to commercial. The application is strongly opposed by local residents, who say the entire block would be allowed to develop commercially if the application is approved. Even though several businesses exist by special permits in houses along the same street, the long-range plan calls for town houses as a buffer between residential West McLean and commercial development.
The staff is recommending denial of a proposal by Fairfax Supervisor James Scott on behalf of what he calls a "majority of the residents of the Fairfax Acres-Dudley Heights community" to amend the plan for their area from low-density residential to allow for high-density town-house use and planned commercial development in a PDC category. The land is bordered by I-66 and Germantown Road.
The staff is recommending denial of an application by developer Dwight Schar to change a 98-acre site on the north side of the Leesburg Pike west of the Dulles Road corridor from residential to commercial in order to build a million-square-foot office development. That proposal has generated heavy criticism because it would break the Dulles Road, which has stood as the barrier against commercial development west along Rte. 7 from the Tysons Corner area.
In McLean, the staff is recommending denial of an application by Hazelton Labs to change the land use from residential to light industrial on 44 acres at the intersection of Towlston Road and Rte. 7, and it opposes an application by Adult Communities Total Services Inc. to change 79 acres behind the Hazelton Labs site from residential to allow for housing for the elderly.