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FairfaxMCA backs 48-unit townhouse development

MCA backs 48-unit townhouse development

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The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors on June 1 approved a resolution supporting a proposal to build 48 townhouses and three small parks in East Tysons. 

Toll Mid-Atlantic LP Co. Inc. has submitted a rezoning application to Fairfax County asking to build the townhouses on 3.8 acres between Seneca and LaSalle avenues, northwest of Magarity Road. The land is located in Providence District.

Thirteen existing single-family detached houses would be razed to make way for the project, but one home will remain. That house’s owners have special-needs children and have modified the structure to accommodate them, said Robert Perito said.  

Per county requirements, eight of the townhouses would be workforce dwelling units. Those units would be 16 feet wide, unlike the 22-foot width of the rest of the townhouses, and would be scattered throughout the development.  


The developer would vacate the right-of-way for Buena Vista Road, which never was built, and include that land in 0.45 acres of park space located along the site’s edges.  

The applicant has proffered three small park areas: Buena Vista Park, a currently open space that would receive extra landscaping; Courtyard Park, which would have a children’s play area; and the aptly named Point Park, a narrow triangle-shaped piece of open land that also would be augmented with landscaping. 

The application has a rectangular notch from LaSalle Avenue that skirts around a property whose owner did not wish to be part of the project, Perito said. Should that situation change, the developer has indicated that additional townhouses easily could be added to the site, he said. 

The applicant also has proposed building a public road to connect Seneca and LaSalle avenues and give residents access to both streets. 

MCA board member Hilde Kahn was concerned that drivers would use the new road as a throughway between Magarity and Chain Bridge roads. 

“This is an exclusively residential part of Tysons,” she said. “There’s not a great reason to have through traffic going from one of those major roads to the other via this little townhouse development.” 

But board member Kent Holland cautioned against premature judgment on the matter, saying other major roadways nearby, such as Great Falls Street and Anderson Road, likely would handle more of the traffic between Chain Bridge and Magarity roads. 

It’s unusual for new roads that small to be public, said MCA board member Linda Walsh. 

“We don’t see that often see that in townhouse communities,” Walsh said. “It just seems like a cut-through to me and doesn’t really serve the community very well.” 

The McLean Ridge Homeowners Association initially favored having the new road remain private, but backed off from that position because the county likely would not agree, seeing as the public road would take the place of one that could have been built on the Buena Vista Road right-of-way, MCA board members said.  

Some MCA members worried that wayfinding services such as Waze and Google Maps quickly would add the street to their roster of alternate routes. 

The MCA board amended the resolution to recommend that county officials consider concerns by the McLean Ridge Homeowners Association opposing the proposed commercial bike rental (bike-share) facility and favoring the addition of speed humps along Seneca Avenue and the new road in the development. 

Some MCA members favored the bike-share option, however, saying it would fit well with the overall vision for Tysons and be located not far from the McLean Metrorail station. 

The resolution passed, but MCA leaders did not provide a final vote tally. 

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a June 29 public hearing on the application and the Board of Supervisors later will have the final say on the proposed rezoning. 

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