King of Kings Lutheran Church, faced with having Fairfax County's planned Springfield Bypass run through its sanctuary, plans to move across Rte. 50 to a new site.
The church is on the northeast corner of Rte. 50 and Acorn Road, west of Fairfax City.
A complicated deal negotiated by county officials will allow the church to move across Rte. 50 to land owned by developers John T. (Til) Hazel and Milton Peterson. The church will be part of a town-house complex planned next to Hazel-Peterson Cos.' giant Fair Lakes mixed-use commercial and residential complex, which is being built along Rte. 50 near Interstate 66.
Although the town-house project and the church's new building will not be part of Fair Lakes, developers acknowledged it will be hard to tell where one begins and another ends.
In exchange for allowing the church to move to its land, Hazel and Peterson will get to build an additional 29 town houses on the land, or 116 in all.
Fairfax Supervisor Martha Pennino (D-Centreville) said, "The request to Mr. Hazel to approve the swap and higher town-house density was originated by me and not by Mr. Hazel."
Although Hazel said he could not give the church land inside the Fair Lakes complex, he wrote to county officials that the church could move across Rte. 50 to land already owned by Hazel and Peterson.
As part of the deal, Hazel promised not to try to subdivide the church's new site in the future.
Under the plan approved recently by county supervisors, the church will give its present site to the county, to pass on to the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation, for construction of what eventually will be a major interchange, Pennino said.
The land approved for the church and town-house project is east of the Greenbriar neighborhood. Many of the neighborhood's residents opposed increasing the density for the town-house development because of anticipated extra traffic, but other residents applauded the church's impending move because they attend King of Kings and will be able to walk to church services.
Church and county officials have been working to solve King of Kings' problem since 1983 when both realized the bypass, which will link western Fairfax County's Rte. 7 corridor with Rte. 1 in southeastern Fairfax, would go through the church's property.
No date has been set for building the town houses or the church.
Funds for construction of major parts of the bypass were approved in the 1985 county road bond referendum. Hazel-Peterson Cos. has built what eventually will be part of the bypass as part of the road system within the Fair Lakes development.