The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the revamped land use application submitted by Oakcrest School, clearing the way for the private girls school to finally proceed with building a new Reston campus.
The 180-student Catholic middle and high school, currently located in McLean, purchased land years ago at Crowell and Hunter Mill Roads on which to build a new school.
While Oakcrest has been approved for the new school on the Reston-Vienna border since 2010, that plan included a traffic roundabout on which to ease traffic flow near the school. However, the school was unable to obtain the land for the roundabout, so last year it submitted a new plan that included a traffic light near the school entrance.
The neighbors and the school officials have been arguing about it ever since.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission recommended the new plan for approval in July. After hearing from dozens of residents and school girls earlier this month, the supervisors votes 8-2 Tuesday in favor of the Special Exception Amendment for Oakcrest.
“This was a difficult and complex issue,” said Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, who voted in favor. “It was important to allow sufficient time and input to reach a decision that is best for everyone. The community contributed both supporting and opposing feedback in the course of the numerous public gatherings and private citizens meetings, during four facilitated meetings with the applicant and the community, through an outpouring of e-mail, and via multiple conference calls.”
“Moving Oakcrest beyond an impasse is a tribute to process of participation by which our district is rightly known. Given the unusual history surrounding this case, this is the best permissible resolution.”
Some residents are not so pleased.
“This should have been denied a long time ago,” wrote one commenter on Reston Now.
“The school went ‘all in’ before they had the land that they themselves agreed to acquire to make the agreement work. Now they want a light, which is exactly what was opposed to from the very start. The Board does not understand this road. This does not just impact the people that live on the road; although they will be impacted the most. It impacts thousands of commuters each week.”