Braddock District Land Use Update

Commonwealth Swim Club Public Hearing July 20 Applications 2232-B08-7; SE-2009-BR-020 and SPA 79-A-075-03

Public Hearings before the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals are currently scheduled for July 20 and August 3, respectively for a proposed 120 foot telecommunications tower on property owned by the Commonwealth Swim Club located at 9800 Commonwealth Boulevard. The application, which would ultimately allow for usage by three separate carriers, has been submitted by T-Mobile Northeast. The pole, disguised as a pine tree, will be placed in the rear parking lot of the club, adjacent to the tennis courts which are accessed via Walport Lane.

A second community information meeting was held on the status of this application on April 11, to show updated maps, and to provide current information on the exact placement of the pole. At the request of staff, the original location was revised to reduce any environmental impacts to the adjacent Resource Protection Area and to review the visual impacts of the pole based on a 2009 balloon flying. The pole has been reduced in height from 150 feet to 120 feet.

On or about July 8, the staff from the Department of Planning and Zoning will publish two separate reports which will provide their recommendations on this application. Hard copies of these reports will also be available in the Braddock office within several days of publication. The reports can also be accessed at these addresses:
For the 2232 Report:
For the Special Exception:; then enter SE-2009 –BR-020 into the appropriate boxes. Click the link to the application and then the link to “staff reports” on the left.

To testify before the Planning Commission call 703-324-2865 or sign up on line at before 3:00 pm on the date of the hearing. You will have five minutes to speak. Planning Commission meetings begin at 8:15 pm. You can also email your thoughts on this application to Braddock District Planning Commissioner Suzanne Harsel at and she will submit your letter into the formal record of this hearing. Please copy Supervisor Cook at

To testify before the Board of Zoning Appeals call 703-324-1280 or email . The BZA meets at 9:00 am. A hearing before the BZA is required because the swim club operates under a Special Permit originally granted in 1975. As part of this hearing, the Club has agreed to a development condition that caps its future membership at 350 members, as opposed to the current maximum of 425.

Trinity Christian School July 28 Public Hearing Scheduled

A public hearing before the Planning Commission has now been scheduled for July 28 at 8:15 p.m. to hear testimony on a Special Exception Amendment request (SEA 96-B-010-02) by Trinity Christian School to modify some of its operational development conditions to allow use of its buildings and fields when school is not in session. The school is located at 11204 Braddock Road. Of particular concern to the school is a condition that states that “the school buildings and outdoor playing fields shall not be leased, rented or otherwise made available to groups not affiliated with the school.” This precludes the school from making its facilities available for evening classes, scout troops, community sports leagues and church groups.

On June 9, Supervisor Cook hosted a Community Information Meeting at the School to hear concerns from nearby residents and to allow the school to answer questions regarding this proposal. Staff is currently working with Planning Commissioner Suzanne Harsel to develop conditions that would preclude lighting on the fields, restrict the use of the public address systems to three times per year, restrict the maximum number of individuals at an event to 350, restrict the hours for evening events and limit outdoor activities to between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. One indoor overnight event per year is currently proposed and church use with a capped attendance would be allowed between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Questions were also raised about the queuing that occurs on Braddock Road when school begins and ends. Although the school is controlled by a traffic signal at the School Driveway, parents attempting to access the campus frequently are backed up into the through lanes of Braddock Road. The school was requested to look at options for eliminating this backup, including better stacking on the campus and/or increasing its carpool use which is currently mandated to be a minimum of 40 percent of enrollment. To register to speak before the Planning Commission call 703-324-2865 or register on line at: To submit testimony for the record, e-mail

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