Eight months after a proposed three-house subdivision on Old Courthouse Road in the Vienna area received a thumbs-down recommendation from the Fairfax County Planning Commission, a revised two-home proposal on March 23 obtained the Board of Supervisors’ unanimous approval.
The 1.05-acre property, located on Old Courthouse Road between Tysons Crest Lane and Irvin Street about 200 feet north of the town of Vienna’s border, currently has one single-family house and an accessory structure.
Applicants Sakthivel Chinnasamy and Nandakumar Sreenivasan will remove both structures to permit construction of two single-family houses there.
“The plan put forward today is miles ahead of what was originally proposed and much closer to something that will harmonize with the surrounding community,” said Thomas Sellers, president of the Tysons Crest Homeowners Association.
After the Planning Commission last July recommended denial of the three-house proposal, the Board of Supervisors deferred the matter multiple times. The matter did not return to the Planning Commission because the revised plan addressed concerns brought up by commissioners, county staff said.
Following negative feedback from the community, the applicants revised the proposal and deleted one house from the plans. The new proposal addressed community concerns by reducing the number of lots and dwelling sizes and shortening the length of the Palm Springs Drive extension, county staff said.
The development also seeks to minimize impacts on the surrounding area and an existing trail nearby, they said.
One lot will be accessed via Old Courthouse Road, the other via an extension to the terminus of Palm Springs Drive. The lots will share a stormwater-infiltration trench on the western side of the property and the homeowners will be responsible for maintaining their respective shares of the trench, county staff said.
The development will provide a 10-foot-wide asphalt trail along the frontage of the lot facing Old Courthouse Road, which will connect with a similar trail to the property’s east.
The applicants also will build a 6-foot-tall fence along the property line of the lot accessed via Palm Springs Drive and facing the Tysons Crest neighborhood. The fence originally was to taper down to 3 feet from the middle of the lot down to the extension of Palm Spring Drive, but after negotiations, the applicants agreed to raise the lower section of the fence to 4 feet.
“I think we’ve addressed most, if not all, of the citizens’ concerns,” said Keith Martin, the applicants’ attorney.
Martin thanked Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials for being flexible regarding the asphalt extension of Palm Springs Drive, which “really helped out a lot.”
A “No Parking” sign on Palm Springs Drive will only be put there on VDOT’s right-of-way and with the transportation agency’s permission, said Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill).
Residents who spoke at the public hearing had varied reactions to the modified proposal.
Samir Mehta, who lives adjacent to the subject property, worried about potential impact to the nearby walking and biking trail, removal of green space and reduced community safety.
VDOT officials at a community meeting earlier in March promised to limit the Palm Springs Road extension’s width to a maximum 20 feet, reduce the turning radius to no more than 5 feet and ensure the extension would not be located within 6 feet of the trail, said Mehta, who wanted those commitments in writing.
Justin Pierce, who lives next to the site on Palm Springs Drive, asked for officials to ensure that roadway’s extension would leave the walking and biking path unimpeded and the land surrounding it structurally sound.
Pierce also wanted VDOT to incorporate a driveway for the Palm Springs Drive lot that was more consistent with adjacent homes and therefore would reduce the roadway extension’s length.