LAND MIS-USE IN ANNANDALE
Hummer Road Intrusion—TOO MUCH DENSITY
By Donna Jacobson, President
Lafayette Village Homeowner Association
Residents of Hummer Woods and surrounding neighborhoods in Annandale are organizing to fight nomination PC19-MA-005, a proposed mixed-use, high density development project.
The proposal by Nicholas Development, calls for a mixed-use development of approximately 835,000 (sf) at the intersection of Hummer Road and Little River Turnpike. Of this, 575,000 (sf) will consist of multifamily dwelling units and townhouses. There will also be 156,000 (sf) of office space, 100,000 (sf) of retail and a parking garage to accommodate approximately 1800 vehicles, on the 10 acre site which is currently occupied by two office buildings and four or five residential properties.
Nicholas Development is currently in the process of seeking approval for an amendment to the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan, in order to proceed with their development.
Susan Jollie, President of Hummer Woods Civic Association, is reaching out to nearby communities to organize a campaign opposing the project. Jollie states that many local residents aren’t aware of what is being proposed. “Due to COVID-19, it’s been hard to make connections with residents and make them aware of the issue.”
Jollie is concerned the project would cause a drastic increase in the volume of traffic in that area, along with an increase in street congestion due to parked cars. She is also concerned about irreparable environmental damage and worsen storm water run-off, contributing to soil erosion and flooding. Plus, she is concerned that the proposed development would destroy the distinctive rural character of the neighborhood and undermine efforts to promote development where it belongs, in the central Annandale business district.
There is also concern from other residents about the proposed development. Andrew Levitz, a disabled Navy veteran, says, “I was thrilled to be able to buy a house two and a half years ago in a nice neighborhood after barely qualifying for a VA loan.” He is worried about unsafe levels of traffic if the Comprehensive Plan gets amended and this development goes through. Levitz thinks that a commercial mixed-use development in the area would unjustly impact the neighborhood and deteriorate the sense of community that currently exists. “This is an actual neighborhood,” he stated, “Zoning laws are supposed to protect neighborhoods.”
Mark Moscato, another resident in the area, states “Traffic congestion and pedestrian safety are already big problems. Unfortunately, I witnessed a police officer placing a blanket over a victim of a hit and run incident on Hummer Road. Traffic is already backed-up on Hummer.
Moscato also says that new office buildings aren’t needed. The two existing buildings are only 50 percent occupied, and many companies are looking to downsize their office space post-COVID. He states, “I am not against smart planning that protects residential space and seeks to harmoniously blend into the community, however, unbridled growth makes no sense.”
Despite profuse opposition from the surrounding communities, the nomination was voted to move forward by the Planning Commission, on December 2nd. There will be a Public Hearing concerning the nomination in front of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. This will be the last public hearing before the Board of Supervisors votes on whether to move the nomination forward to the Work Program.
Traffic concerns, ingress to the property, parking, and the known flooding, were not addressed by the Planning Commission. Promises were also made by the local Supervisor a few years ago that no commercial development would be permitted to further intrude into these exact residential neighborhoods. Then the Planning Commission ignored the recommendation of their own experts on county staff who did NOT favor this project.
Send an email to EVERY member of the Board of Supervisors prior to Jan. 26th or to the Clerk of the BOS who will deliver your message to the Chairman to read out at the board meeting. Let them know that this proposal allows for too much density and needs to be scaled back. The proposal to introduce commercial uses beyond the existing CBC boundaries will result in inappropriate encroachment of commercial uses into the residential neighborhood, which is contrary to the current Plan’s vision of well-buffered commercial development centered on Little River Turnpike. ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov.
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