Braddock District Land Use Updates
A Call for Members
The Braddock District Land Use and Environmental Management Committee has now been actively reviewing land use, zoning ordinances and revisions to the Comprehensive Plan for a full year. The group is made up of citizen volunteers who are residents of Braddock District. It meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm. The Committee expects to have a number of vacancies this fall, and will review applications for membership over the summer. Residents and business owners who may have an interest in serving on the committee are invited to submit a resume to Braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov for consideration. A one year commitment is requested. The next meeting of the Committee is July 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Braddock Hall, and is open to the public.
What’s Going on in Braddock District
At any time, it is possible to see what kind of land use activity is underway in Braddock. Simply go to the following website: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning/ldsoverview.htm For example, there are seven active site plans and four rezoning applications currently under review. The site has a map showing the location of all activity and links to the review status.
Update on Lake Braddock Secondary School Monopole
On June 18, the revised proposal from Milestone Communications and AT&T to place a 120 foot cell tower at Lake Braddock Secondary School was reviewed by Braddock District Land Use Committee. The pole would now replace an existing light standard at the football field and would have 12 panel antennas and an equipment shelter measuring 20 feet by 11 feet. This alternative location adds 32 feet to an existing 88 foot tall existing light standard and would still function as field lighting. The equipment cabinet would be concealed in a secure area under the bleachers. A map showing the new location along with a virtual simulation of how the pole would look from various locations in nearby neighborhoods is available on the Milestone website at http://www.lakebraddockwirelesspole.com. County staff is currently evaluating this alternative location. The staff coordinator for the Department of Planning and Zoning is Doug Hansen: Doug.Hansen@fairfaxcounty.gov A public hearing is currently scheduled for September 19 at 8:00 p.m. before the Planning Commission. Comments can be directed to Braddock District Planning Commissioner Nell Hurley at BraddockPlanning@gmail.com
Ridgewood Townhomes Now Under Construction
NV Homes will begin construction of thirty-eight contemporary townhouses at Ridge Top Road and Government Center Parkway in July. The units are of an urban contemporary design. Area residents may have seen new silt fences around the property.
Penn Property Rezoning Plans Refined
Final plans to construct 10 single family homes adjacent to Briarwood were presented to the Braddock District Land Use Committee by the Evergreene Companies on June 18. A staff report for this project was published on July 3, and contains a favorable recommendation from the Department of Planning and Zoning. The staff report also summarizes all comments that have been received from reviewing agencies and departments and describes how each has been resolved. The staff report can be found at: http://ldsnet.fairfaxcounty.gov/ldsnet. Click the icon “Zoning Case Search” and enter RZ-2013-BR-003. A link to the Staff Report can be found on the left. A public hearing before the Planning Commission is currently scheduled for July 18. To speak before the Planning Commission call 703-324-2865 or go to the following site: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning/speaker.htm.
Ox Road Estates
A fourth revised plan for this 13 house residential community proposed behind Middle ridge was informally provided to planning staff for preliminary evaluation at the end of June, and a formal submittal is expected shortly. A public hearing before the Planning Commission has been postponed until September or October. A further community information meeting is planned for September.
Child Care Ordinance Approved by Supervisors
On June 18, 2013, the Board of Supervisors adopted a Zoning Ordinance Amendment allowing state-licensed home child care providers to care for up to twelve (12) children with Special Permit approval by the Board of Zoning Appeals. These special permit approvals include the County’s Planned Residential Community (PRC) Districts which include Reston, Burke Center and Cardinal Forest. Other Planned Communities (P-Districts) will require a Special Exception. The Board of Supervisors also cut the Special Permit application filing fee by more than 60% to $435. Until now, zoning rules capped the maximum number of children at 10. Providers may continue to care for up to seven children in a single family home or five in a townhome or apartment without zoning approval.
Several meetings will be scheduled in upcoming months to assist providers with filing their zoning applications. The first is a Town Hall meeting, which will be held on July 20, 2013 at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035, in the Board Auditorium from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
There are currently 437 state-licensed providers in the county, and 362 are licensed for 11 or 12 children. County officials expect that many existing providers will need to get either a special permit or a special exception. Under an extended grace period approved by the Board of Supervisors, providers are expected to submit a complete application by March 31, 2014. For more information: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoning/homechildcarefacilities.
Proposed Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance
Temporary Health Care Structures on Residential Properties
On June 4, 2013, the Board of Supervisors authorized a public hearing that would allow installation of Temporary Family Health Care Structures, sometimes known as “granny pods,” on residential lots. Such structures are now mandated by the state effective July 1, 2013, and this would incorporate permissive language into the County Zoning Ordinance. A temporary health care structure is defined as “a transportable residential structure, providing an environment facilitating a caregiver’s provision of care for a mentally or physically impaired person.” The statute imposes specific limitations on the maximum size, permitted location on the property, occupancy, definitions of and relationship between the caregiver and occupant, and installation and removal of the structures. Such structures will be subject to Zoning Administrator approval and in accordance with occupancy, structural, locational, signage, inspection, and durational limitations. The Planning Commission Public Hearing will be July 10, 2013 at 8:15 p.m., and the Board of Supervisors’ hearing is September 24, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Residential Studios - Request for Comments
The County has recently been soliciting community input on a draft Zoning Ordinance Amendment which would allow construction of a new type of housing called Residential Studios. This amendment would allow a construction of multi-family dwellings to create long-term permanent housing, predominantly for small households with an income of not more than 60% of the area median income. A small percentage would also be available to households with higher incomes. These ‘Residential Studio’ rental units could not exceed 500 square feet and no building could have more than 75 units. The use would be permitted in most residential, commercial, industrial and planned development districts, but only by special exception. The land would have to front on or have direct access to a collector street or a major thoroughfare and transportation needs would be an essential element of siting such units. No home occupations, including home child care, would be allowed. The Board of Supervisors has expressed a concern with provisions that could allow the opportunity to convert a single family dwelling to a residential studio development and, therefore, such conversions may ultimately be eliminated based on community feedback. No public hearing dates have been set and your comments to would be appreciated.
More information on both ordinances can be found at: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz/zoningordinance/proposed/ Please send your thoughts, concerns or suggestions to Braddock@fairfaxcounty.gov.