Land Use & Zoning Committee News

Committee Chairs

  • Jennifer Falcone

Contact:  zoning@gfca.org

Committee Role

The LUZ Committee examines and recommends appropriate actions on land use matters and articulates GFCAs objectives, with the goal of preserving the historic, low-density, semi-rural character of Great Falls and the protection of its natural resources.  
  • 31 Mar 2016 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    For more than a year the Great Falls community has actively monitored a pending application by Basheer and Edgemore to rezone a 52-acre parcel commonly known as “Brooks Farm” from agricultural (R-A) to residential (R-E) for purposes of building a residential cluster development.  Multiple public meetings have been held, and in May 2015 GFCA’s general membership voted to approve a resolution opposing the proposed development and identifying several areas of concern.  Although originally proposed as a 23-home development, the applicant has reduced the number of proposed lots to twenty and has made other modifications to the development proposal as a result of community input.  Fairfax County staff have recommended that the rezoning application be approved, and a Planning Commission hearing on the application was held on January 21, 2016.  The Planning Commission has deferred its decision on the application until its April 14 meeting.  Final approval of the application rests with the Board of Supervisors.  In the meantime, GFCA leadership and other community members are in active dialogue with County officials and the applicant regarding lingering concerns and objections.


  • 28 Mar 2016 10:33 AM | Anonymous

    LUZ will host a public meeting on Tuesday, March 29, at 7 pm in the Great Falls library to discuss Gulick Group’s pending application to rezone an approximately 11-acre property located on a portion of the former Hills Nursery.  The property is currently zoned R-A, and Gulick seeks rezoning sufficient to permit the construction of a 10-lot residential cluster development.  At the March 29 LUZ meeting, community members will have the opportunity to pose questions to Gulick’s representatives and members of Fairfax County staff, in anticipation of the upcoming Planning Commission hearing to consider the request (currently scheduled for May 12, 2016).


  • 05 Feb 2016 5:57 PM | Anonymous

    The Fairfax County Planning Commission has deferred consideration of Brooks Farm proposed development and re-zoning, to their meeting on Thursday February 25. They originally planned to make a decision on Feb 3.

    The agenda for the February 25 meeting, including action on Brooks Farm, can be viewed here:  http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning/calendar/calendarfebruary2016.pdf

  • 01 Feb 2016 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    On December 31, 2015, the county staff reviewing the Brooks Farm applicant's proposal and general development plan recommended approval of the latest submission. The staff report, in its entirety, can be accessed here: Planning Staff Recommendation

    Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust hosted a public meeting at the Great Falls Elementary School, on January 19, 2015, to articulate the current facts about the application as well as address questions or concerns from audience members. The meeting was well attended, with nearly 100 residents in addition to members from the applicant's team and other county representatives, and lasted well over 2 hours. All interested residents were given an opportunity to speak and ask questions.

    Subsequently, on January 21, 2016, the Fairfax County Planning Commission held its public hearing on the matter at the main auditorium at the Fairfax County Government Center. After affirmation of the application and opening remarks from the developer's attorney, public testimony was heard. 14 pre-registered speakers addressed the Planning Commission, with some speaking as individuals and others representing larger groups such as HOAs. Eric Knudsen (Pres.) spoke on behalf of the Great Falls Citizen's Association. The Planning Commission deferred its formal vote and recommendation on the matter until 04 February, 2016.

    Following a recommendation from the Planning Commission, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will schedule and host its own public hearing and take testimony from interested parties. No date has yet been established for that hearing.

    ---------------------------

    Brooks Farm, a 50+ acre property located between Walker Road and Springvale Rd. in Great Falls, is currently under consideration for re-zoning and development. Basheer and Edgemoor Brooks, LLC has applied to Fairfax County to re-zone the property from R-A (Rural Agricultural) to R-E (Residential Estate) and develop in into 20 single family homes in a cluster subdivision.

  • 28 Dec 2015 3:36 PM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)

    The LUZ Committee takes a lead role on behalf of GFCA in evaluating and investigating land use issues in Great Falls.  Although the authority to approve or reject land use applications (such as rezoning and “special exception” requests) rests with Fairfax County officials, GFCA nonetheless plays an important role in educating the community about such applications and conveying to Fairfax County decision makers the views and concerns of GFCA members.  On a regular basis LUZ also responds to residents’ questions and concerns, and serves as a source of information, regarding everyday land use matters.

    In 2015 LUZ devoted significant effort to community outreach and education regarding the requested rezoning and proposed development of a 50-acre parcel commonly known as Brooks Farm.  Multiple public meetings were held, which featured presentations by Fairfax County staff regarding applicable laws, ordinances and standards by which the rezoning application will be evaluated, as well as the specifics of the proposed development, environmental impact, and other issues of community concern.  In May 2015, these efforts culminated with at Town Hall meeting at which GFCA members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution opposing the rezoning and development as currently proposed.  LUZ’s discussions and interactions with the community, applicant, and County representatives have continued through the remainder of the year.

    LUZ also took the lead in 2015 in educating the community and gathering community feedback regarding other land use matters—for example, the proposed development of the Woody’s golf site on Leesburg Pike, the proposed rezoning of an 11-acre portion of the former Hills Nursery property, a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing regarding a proposed pharmacy drive thru at the corner of Seneca and Georgetown Pike, and a special exception application to construct an independent living community on Leesburg Pike in Herndon.

    In 2016, LUZ will continue its efforts with respect to Brooks Farm and Hills Nursery, which will include presenting community input at the Fairfax County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings to consider those rezoning applications.  Several other land use matters remain active, and new issues are on the horizon.  With each issue that arises, LUZ will play a leading role in educating the community about the issues at stake, gathering community input and feedback, and serving as a liaison between GFCA members and our government decision makers.

  • 29 Sep 2015 5:10 PM | Anonymous

    In a letter to County Supervisor John Foust sent Sep 28, GFCA President Eric Knudsen detailed GFCA’s opposition to the Brooks Farm development as currently proposed.  The letter, approved by the GFCA Executive Board, asks the Supervisor to take a public stand against the development.  It cites potential negative impact on wells, pollution, and storm water management in the area’s sensitive watershed.  In addition, GFCA is opposed to the creeping increasing density caused by such developments and the impact this has on open space, traffic, and infrastructure.  

    In May 2015, the GFCA membership approved by a significant majority a resolution opposing the rezoning from R-A to R-E, requested by the developer Basher and Edgemoore, and instead supporting a rezoning to R-C, which would allow homes on 5-acre allotments rather than the 2-acre allotments allowed under R-E.

    The letter to Supervisor Foust can be viewed here.

  • 30 Jul 2015 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    Today, Eric Knudsen (GFCA President) sent a letter supporting the determination of the County Zoning Administrator that the proposal for a 'drive-through pharmacy' on the subject property should not be permitted "by right" but instead should require Special Exception Approval.  

    The letter can be viewed here.

  • 29 Jul 2015 3:32 PM | Anonymous

    A commercial developer with a contract on the property located at 1020 Seneca Road (corner of Seneca and Leesburg Pike) is appealing the Fairfax County Zoning Administrator’s rejection of its argument that it is entitled to construct a pharmacy drive-thru on the property “by right,” without the need for a Special Exception from the County.  A hearing on the developer’s appeal is scheduled before the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals on August 5 at 9 am.

    Development plans on the property are being monitored by the GFCA Land Use & Zoning (“LUZ”) Committee.  A portion of the property is zoned residential (R-1), but the majority of the property is zoned commercial (C-8).  The developer has proposed to build a neighborhood pharmacy on one portion of the land, with a second as-yet-undetermined commercial building to be constructed on the portion of the property closest to Leesburg Pike. As part of the development plan for the pharmacy, the developer proposes to include a drive-thru.


    The pending appeal before the BZA concerns whether or not the developer is permitted to construct the pharmacy drive thru “by right,” or whether the drive thru will require the developer to obtain a Special Exception from the County.  The County zoning ordinance does not permit a drive thru “by right” if it is located on a lot that abuts or is across a local/collector street from residentially zoned land.  In response to this prohibition, the developer proposes to create a Land Condominium comprised of three land units at the site.  One of those three land units would be an undeveloped conservation easement – essentially a buffer of undeveloped land between the commercial portion and the nearby neighborhood.  As a result, the developer argues, a “by right” drive thru is permitted because the pharmacy lot will no longer abut residential land.

    The County Zoning Administrator rejected this interpretation of the zoning ordinance in April 2015, and the developer appealed that determination to the Board of Zoning appeals. 

    At the July 21, 2015, meeting of the GFCA Executive Board, the Board voted to express its support for the County Zoning Administrator’s interpretation.  Although GFCA does not itself have any decision-making authority on this issue - its opinions are advisory only - the GFCA Board intends to notify BZA and other County officials of its support for the County staff’s conclusion that a Special Exception is required before a drive thru is permitted on the site. 

  • 14 Jul 2015 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    A community group calling itself 'Save Marmota Farm' will be holding an organizational meeting this Saturday, July 18, 4:30 p.m. at the Great Falls Library.  All interested GF citizens are encouraged to attend.

    About 1.3 miles to the W.N.W. of "Riverbend/GT Pike" is a property called Marmota Farm. It is at the N.E. corner of Georgetown Pike and Innsbruck Avenue. This is a view of the barnyard in 2001-- It used to be a dairy farm. 


  • 03 Jul 2015 4:22 PM | Anonymous

    SINGH Properties II, LLC has filed for Special Exception (SE 2015-HM-013) to permit the development of an assisted living facility, with memory care services consisting of 134 units, located at 10819 Leesburg Pike, Reston [Tax Map 012-3 ((1)), Parcel 4]. 

    • The County Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for 10/21/15 at 8:15 p.m. 

    • Hunter Mill District Land Use Committee is holding a public meeting on 7/21/15 at 7:30 p.m., North County Government Center, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr, Reston

The opinions expressed on these pages are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the Great Falls Citizens Association

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