Redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center Held Up by Garage Size Requirement

by Fatimah Waseem September 20, 2018 at 3:30 pm 28 Comments

The team behind the redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center is asking the county to amend garage size requirements so it can proceed with the redevelopment of the failing village center.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the owner’s plan to redevelop the retail center into a mixed-use project with 156 residential units, community space, 8,500 square feet of retail and 6,000 square feet of office space. Jefferson Apartment Group purchased Tall Oaks Village Center in December 2014 for $14 million. A mix of townhouses, two-over-two townhouses, and multifamily buildings are approved for the 7.5-acre site.

Site development is expected to begin in March next year. Home construction will likely begin in October next year and be completed by the end of 2021.

In an Aug. 21 proposal submitted to the county, Stanley Martin, the contract purchaser of the property, says the county’s requirements for the size of garages, which are included in original entitlements, are too generous and create a “design challenge that is inconsistent with the planned site layout.” The county requires personal garages to have a minimum width of 11.5 feet for single-car garages and 20 feet for two-car garages.

Truett Young, vice president of land for Stanley Martin Homes, told Reston Now the following:

“There was an error in the original entitlements that created a requirement that the garages have an interior dimension that could not be achieved with the size of homes that were planned for the community.  The county has standards regarding the size of parking spaces and the revised proffer language is consistent with those standards as well as the commitments that have been made on more recent projects of this type.”

Instead, the developer wants to remove the size requirement and add a commitment advising future purchasers of units to review the unit’s garage space. Covenants would also restrict the use of garages for parking, storing trash and other uses. Stanley Martin says it has received approval for garages as narrow as 10 feet in width at the Dulles Technology Center site. If the county approves the change, the development would “finally come to fruition,” wrote Mark Looney, the applicant’s representative, in a statement.

The Planning Commission will review the requested amendment on Nov. 15, followed by a public hearing before the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 4.

In 2007, Giant Foods, the center’s longtime anchor, closed, slowly pushing the center to slip into suburban malaise. The center’s location on a dead end and with a lack of visibility from a main street has also long remained a challenge.

Rendering via Jefferson Apartment Group

  • Chuck Morningwood

    BWAHAHAHAHA. Gotta love it. Now the developers are telling the county what to approve. BTW, if you buy the house, the developer wants to tell you “TS. You figure out how to fit your car in the garage.”

    • Why do you bother?

      Inferring from the article that the houses will be very narrow, which is why the garages won’t fit.

      • Diane

        UN’s Agenda 21 & Agenda 2030 in action for the New World Order. The US, Mexico & Canada will just be one big happy family as part of the North American Union with a one World Government. It calls for much smaller housing with amenities close by so people can walk or ride bikes to work and you won’t have any cars period. Homes only to be built on the east and west coast because they plan to re-wild the rest of America and turn the biggest part of the country over to wolves, mountain lions, deer ect. You won’t be able to leave (escape) your small cities without permission! It’ll be too dangerous anyway with the wild animals everywhere lol It’s not really funny 🙁 Read about the Gobalist plans on the UN’s web site.

    • Mike M

      Psst! The developers have been telling the County what to approve at least back into the 80s and ever since.

  • corrupt reston

    Restrict the use of garages. LOL. No freedom at your own house. Goodluck reston.

  • Imawanna

    This is some unbelievable crap. We bought a Stanley Martin home and have a RIDICULOUSLY sized garage. It’s the constant complaint of our home and we didn’t think on it prior to jumping on the decision because we were expecting a child soon after. No. Someone needs to get these “developers” under control. If it’s up to them the “garage” would be 36” and you’d be able to fit in a moped and good wishes. Criminals.

    • Mike M

      But, but you can fit six bikes in there and everyone is ditching their cars for bikes!

      Get hip.


      • Diane

        That’s just what they’re planning for with Agenda 21 & Agenda 2030!

    • Personal Responsibility

      Sounds like it’s actually your fault for buying something you didn’t enjoy. Caveat Emptor!

  • Rodney Dangerfield

    I can tell you that a 10′ garage is almost impossible to park a car in and open both doors … a 2 car garage narrower than 20′ requires one car to back in and one front in to even let the driver out.

  • Conservative Senior

    Insane request. Deceiving purchasers…no one measures the garage. Stanley Martin is money hungry & deceitful. BOS & planning needs to say “NO”.

  • Reston Mom

    What’s the issue? I’m sure Cathy Hudgins will have no problem with it. She never does.

    • BJK

      What is the process for recall?

    • Ann Hayes

      Great once again the residents will park in the streets because clear parking guidelines are not included nor enforced. Cathy Hudgins, how about coming to North Shore Shore Drive, Wainwright Drive and 1850 Reston Parkway parking lot see the Harrison and Parc Reston overflow parking in effect? Better yet – has anyone reviewed if a firetruck can navigate in this development?

  • cRAzy

    Just another developer waiver of standing county policy or law. Happens all the time. What did you expect from this profit-hungry developer and tax-gulping government?

  • Fact

    Tall Oaks is cursed.

    • Greg

      Crossed my mind more than once why the name “Tall Oaks” was not abandoned during the redevelopment process.

    • 30yearsinreston

      It was fine till the previous developer ran it into the ground

  • Tammi Petrine

    Note to Stanley Martin: YOU bought this jam-packed, shoe-horned project. Rules and codes exist for a reason so please abide by them and stop requesting waivers.

    You are asking actual humans to buy your products. From comments here, are we to believe that you care more about your profit than actually designing livable spaces? (Rhetorical question)

    Simple solution: Reduce # of TH’s in each row to make them wide enough to accommodate REQUIRED garage measurements. Problem solved.

  • Youngren

    Hey, y’all…wait till you see whats coming on Fellowship House property.Same thoughtless money grabing developement. Where are our commisioners, board members, RA? Reston Ruination.

    • 30yearsinreston

      You know where they are
      Sitting on their backsides and not working for their constituents
      Hudgins and Plum
      are the worst of them
      RA are powerless
      Its an election year
      Recall Hudgins and send a political message that we are fedup

  • Arielle in NoVA

    Sounds like bait-and-switch to me. People need enough room to park their vehicles. You knew this when you planned the site. Suck it up and deal. As others have said, build fewer – and wider – townhouses so you can fit wide enough garages in. Stop trying to destroy Reston.

  • restonista

    “Covenants would also restrict the use of garages for parking, storing trash and other uses.” Restrict? Not being able to park in a garage space is absurd! The surrounding area and roads will suffer terribly!

    “Stanley Martin says it has received approval for garages as narrow as 10 feet in width at the…” Hey SM, this one reason why your product is sub-par. Also, lovely to dupe your customers who won’t realize their car won’t fit until move-in day.

  • 30yearsinreston

    As long as the number of freehouses aka ‘workforce housing’ remains, Hudgins will be ok with it
    Besides who needs a car when Woonerfs and bikes are the answer
    Now we know why bikelanes are rampant

  • TBird73

    If their intent is to cram as many people into a small space, why not just build a condo complex. Of course, its so close to the Metro they could be selling cardboard boxes and people would buy it. And they know it. I’m sure they will weasel out of whatever road and pedestrian improvements would normally be required as well. And the county will pick up the bill to fix it 10 years alter. Nothing changes.

    • 30yearsinreston

      As per Hudgins vision, road improvements arent needed

  • Umust B Kidding

    So, is Stanley Martin going to the world’s automakers and requesting they make only very small cars to fit in their garages?

  • Scott

    I bought a home, pre-construction in another state with a “2 car garage.” I haven’t measured it, but it’s a pretty standard 2 car garage these days.
    There is no chance to fit 2 cars unless, maybe, you own 2 Ford focuses and don’t want to store anything in the garage.
    In practice, it’s a one car garage with ample storage.
    A single car garage at 10ft is just a non-climate controlled storage space. You be better off increasing finished space and offering a smaller storage area for trash and garage-type items.
    Bottom line Stanley Martin- if 18″ of garage space is “too generous” and unworkable, then you need better architects or need to rethink the whole project. Build a home you’d want to live in Stanley Martin!


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