New Townhomes in Annandale
Plans to revitalize one of the most derelict areas in the community.
The Mason District Land Use Commission has approved the proposal for a 43 townhouse development to be located on McWhorter and Markham Streets in Annandale where currently there are only a few derelict houses, empty lots, and in general, a neglected assemblage of nine disused lots in central Annandale. The Christopher Cos will be developing this 3.38 acre project after years of assembling Besides the townhomes, it includes a small neighborhood park on the western border for the townhouse community. (Scheduled Review by the Planning Commission on July 15th and the Board of Supervisors will take place on July 28th.)
Across McWhorter on land currently owned by Fairfax County, the developer will create a large community park as one proffer where nothing more than a tangled web of invasive vines and trees currently exist. In general, this entire land bay is a sore sight of dilapidated and neglected land situated in the heart of Annandale and within easy walking distance of the business district. In this community park picnic tables, benches, exercise stations and a play area will be created in partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority and open to the general public. Naturally, the developer will meet the required school proffer which is more than adequate to meet current and future needs. After all, more than 50% of the county budget is transferred each year to the school system. In general, half of all property taxes collected, not to mention enhanced sales taxes and other fees will go to the school system. Currently, that land bank offers basically nothing to the school system.
The project required a change in zoning from a mix of R-4 residential and C-3 commercial to PDH-12 to allow a mix of 16, 18, and 24 feet wide townhomes that will range from 1,600 to 1,800 square feet. All homes will have a garage with some in front and some in the rear and five would be workforce housing meaning it will be affordable to households at 80 percent of the area median income. One hundred and fifty one parking spaces have been created.
The right angle turn in McWhorter Place will be realigned into a peaceful curve and the inadequate two inch 1970’s era water line running from Little River Turnpike will be upgraded to eight inches.
No vehicular traffic connectivity will be added (none has ever existed at the insistence of the adjoining neighborhood) but sidewalk and bike access will exist. Traffic is not expected to be an issue since access to both Ravensworth and Little River Turnpike are but two blocks away respectively with traffic lights at both. It is actually quite the perfect location that will not impinge on current traffic patterns or volume.
All in all, this is a win for Annandale. These lots have been neglected to the point of being illegally used for misbehavior and commercial parking, and rental for an un-zoned outdoor manufacturing business to name but a few. Our community also needs to establish some residential neighborhoods that are actually in comfortable walking distance of the Central Business District.
Site of new development. Currently these properties represent tangled invasive weeds, derelict buildings and abandoned structures only utilized for illegal parking, bad and dangerous behavior.
If ever a site needed to be cleaned up and developed, this is it.
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