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Church Expansion Gets Go-Ahead From County Planning Commission

by Karen Goff July 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm 18 Comments

Map of Church of Latter-Day Saints location/Credit: Fairfax County

The Fairfax County Planning Commission has recommended for approval a parking lot expansion for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in north Reston.

The church — which had recently looked into building a new facility elsewhere in Reston — seeks to add 39 parking spaces to its existing 23-year-old site at 1515 Poplar Grove Dr. The parking capacity will increase from 121 to 160 spots, planning documents show.

The site is adjacent to residential town houses, Armstrong Elementary School, a public elementary school, a power substation and a park authority-owned property.

Residents of adjacent cluster Birchfield Woods were unhappy with a 2014 proposal that would take up additional space and remove additional trees. The plan has since been amended to its current form.

Church officials told zoning staff they looked into a parking agreement with Armstrong Elementary as a possible alternative to expansion.

The church said it had pursued parking agreements with public schools previously.

“The church is self-insured. Public schools does not accept that form of insurance,” Rinker Design, the firm hired by the church to do the expansion told county staff in a letter. “The church also has concerns about the safety of families crossing Lake Newport Road. It is a busy street. The church does not consider this a feasible option.”

“The church feels that additional parking is needed to meet the needs of their congregation, to be a good neighbor to the adjacent townhouse residents, and to provide parking with a safe access to the church. There will be no changes to the existing building or current use.”

Some of the development conditions:

  • The church must submit a tree preservation plan and narrative for the site and the site will include a tree preservation fence.
  • Supplemental landscaping is proposed to include shrubs, 51 evergreen trees and nine deciduous trees. Interior parking lot landscaping is proposed to include six additional trees.
  • Stormwater quality will be addressed through permeable pavement, Filterra and storm filter structures.
  • The county is permitting a waiver of a barrier requirement between the church and the surrounding areas because a 25-foot vegetative barrier already exists.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing to give final approval to the expansion on July 28.

Map of Church of Latter-Day Saints location/Credit: Fairfax County

  • Evil Wings

    What ya’ll need to be planning is where you gonna put the Reston Hooters?

    • pleasebekidding

      Can you give it a rest? You make this joke every day…

      • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

        That’s why its funny.

      • Ralph Furley

        #HootersForReston

    • Andrey Kosarev

      Yes Yes and Yes

  • I believe you mean “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. “Church of Latter-Day Saints” is not a thing.

    • Karen Goff

      Correct. But believe it or not not that is how it is listed in the county documents. Will amend in the story.

      • Ming the Merciless

        Ken Plum is an elected official who represents Reston. That is why he
        has a column here. He is a democrat, as is reston’s school board rep,
        state senator, the Hunter Mill Supervisor, both US senators, the US rep
        and the governor…

        Until that happens, that’s all we have. Meanwhile, everyone else of every political stripe is welcome to say what they want in the comments as long as they follow the rules.

        I didn’t see anyone “not following the rules” in that thread before you closed it.

        • Karen Goff

          Ming. There were a whole bunch that never made it past the moderation queue. Vile and time consuming.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            Jesus Karen. You are weak.

        • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

          Ming,
          Karen in referring to me. Doesn’t like to see anything bad about the libtards running this county. She is a left winger. And even worse, she claims to be a serious “journalist”, but believes in censorship. I was only trying to say that Hudgins, Powell, Plum, Connolly, Warner, Kaine and McAuliffe are libtards and the county has gone to hell under their leadership.

          • Karen Goff

            Good morning to you, Laura. Couple of things. 1. You are just one of many people who cross the line. 2. You are, however, the only one who used the terms “ball licking” and “leg humping.” Keeping accusations like that off the site is not censorship it is my JOB. 3. This space is also not a forum for debating my credentials. If you continue to do so I will delete those comments too. Please stick to the topic, follow the rules and have a nice day.

          • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

            I did stick to the topic. You were the one who went down the list saying which of our local government officials were Democrats. That was the topic. But whatever. You have a nice day too!

  • LaureenMT

    How many existing trees will come down? New saplings are not equivalent.

    • Karen Goff

      I would click the link to it and read the report thoroughly. It may be in there, but I am not sure they said specifically.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Interesting. So, if I started referring to my townhouse as “Iglesia del Santo Morningwood”, that maybe RA and the BoS would let me put an addition on the back?

  • David

    Perhaps they could move to the front part of the closed Hunter Mill Golf Park next to the Opus Dei Catholic Girls school now under construction on the rear section of that property. They did recently buy the house at the corner of Hunter Mill and Crowell just across the street.

  • HP

    Thread will be closed in 3….2…1….

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