Just days after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a controversial residential development on the site of the former American Press Institute building, the Fairfax County Planning Commission reviewed an application from the same owner for 54 townhomes a few feet away.
RP 11720, LLC, part of Rooney Properties (which also owns the API building), plans to tear down a 30-year old office building at Sunrise Valley Drive and Roland Clarke Place to build the urban-style homes.
The commission expressed concerns Thursday about parking, both in everyday and in special situations. Among the concerns: is 19 feet wide enough for garages, which are planned for the four-story townhouses? And where will delivery trucks go when servicing the units that front Sunrise Valley Drive?
The developers believe that width is sufficient for garages and planning staff says the delivery may have to block someone’s driveway.
Parking, transportation demand management (TDM) contributions and money to the Fairfax County Park Authority also came up as issues at Thursday’s public hearing, so the commission deferred decision on the project until Sept. 24.
Developer representatives said they did not include TDM because of the low-density estimate for the new neighborhood but they are willing to work with developers towards that if it is a development condition.
The parcel is at 11720 Sunrise Valley Dr., just west of the Mercer Condos, (part of JBG’s Reston Heights) and right across Roland Clarke Place from the American Press Institute property, where 34 townhouses and 10 condominiums are planned.
The property also sits across from Reston National Golf Course, which has fended off redevelopment for now.
The development would include a quarter-acre pocket park to the north of the proposed private street, which is designed to include public art, sidewalks, signage, bike racks, benches, light poles and landscaping, according to the application.
The applicant also proposes a pedestrian walkway that transverses the property north to south to provide a pedestrian connection through the development to the pocket park and to the trail and cycle track along Sunrise Valley Drive.
The developer is proposing a $151,160 proffer contribution to the Fairfax County Park Authority for the construction and maintenance of athletic fields of $151,600. The park authority has requested $260,752, based on the calculation of $1.72 per square foot of gross floor area.
Lori Greenlief of Mcguire Woods, speaking for the developer, said they think that amount is sufficient since residents would also be full Reston Association members with access to RA recreational facilities.
Photos – Top, rendering of new townhouses/Credit: Fairfax County; Bottom: current office building at 11720 Sunrise Valley Drive/Reston Now file.