Planning Commission supports 3-house subdivision near Tysons

The Fairfax County Planning Commission on July 22, 2020, recommended approval of this three-house subdivision, which would be located off Jarrett Valley Drive just north of Tysons.

Satisfied with planned noise-reduction measures, Fairfax County Planning Commission members on July 22 unanimously recommended the Board of Supervisors approve a three-home subdivision just north of Tysons.

The applicant is asking county officials to rezone the site to accommodate three single-family houses on 1.71 acres at 8801 Jarrett Valley Drive. The site currently has one single-family dwelling dating from about 1940, which would be removed to make way for the new development.

The applicant wishes to create three lots that each would hold a new home having a footprint of up to 3,500 square feet, plus a 35,520-square-foot outlot that would feature two bio-retention stormwater facilities, open space, passive-recreation areas, a walking trail and tree-save area.

About 47 percent of the site would be open space. The houses would be arranged along one pipestem driveway that would front onto Jarrett Valley Drive.

The property is located within the Dulles Airport Access Road’s 200-foot setback area and is affected by traffic noise from that highway and Route 7 just to the east. Noise levels at the site can range from between 62.6 decibels and 76.3 decibels.

Following the recommendations from a noise study, the applicant would like to build sound barriers along the property’s southern and eastern borders to reduce noise levels to 55 decibels. The walls would be between 4 and 10 feet tall and necessitate a waiver from the usual 8-foot height limit.

When the proposal reached the site-plan stage, the applicant would do an acoustical analysis to determine further measures that might limit ambient noise to 45 decibels in the site’s interior.

The proposal has support from the adjacent Carrington Homeowners Association and McLean Citizens Association.

Planning Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner (Providence District) noted that MCA’s resolution requested that the development’s pipestem driveway be widened to accommodate more on-street parking.

Aaron Frank, a land planner representing the applicant, responded that the development meets Fairfax County’s parking requirements that each home’s driveway will accommodate two or three more parking spaces beyond its garage.

“We feel that there is adequate parking provided within each unit,” he said.

Sultan Chaudhry, president of the McLean Islamic Center, which is located adjacent and to the north of the applicant’s property, said speeding is rampant along Jarrett Valley Drive and he urged county officials to install speed humps along sections of the street.

Chaudhry also hoped the applicant’s new driveway could be located farther to the west, so as to be closer to the McLean Islamic Center’s driveway.

Frank said the applicant had considered moving the driveway westward, but added the property does not extend as far as the Islamic Center’s entrance drive. In addition, relocating the driveway to the west would harm a tree-preservation area that serves as a buffer to the adjacent property, and is home to a stormwater basin as well, he said.

That did not resonate with Chaudhry. “The safety of Fairfax County residents should take precedence over the retention of trees,” he said.

Planning Commission Vice Chairman John Ulfelder (Dranesville District) moved to recommend county supervisors approve the proposal. The application meets the comprehensive plan’s density requirements for that area, provides sound walls and plantings to shield residents from traffic noise, and reorients the property away from busy Route 7 and toward a residential street, Jarrett Valley Drive, he said.

The Board of Supervisors will have the final say regarding the development, but has not set a public-hearing date yet for the proposal.

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