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.  
  • 16 Jun 2015 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    In June 2014, GFCA voted to support the Fairfax County Public School request to connect Forestville Elementary School to a public sewer line.  Changes to the County Master Plan are required, and this is now under review for approval by the Board of Supervisors.

    Request for a sewer connection was made after the Fairfax County Health Department judged the current septic system as failing.  Forestville Elementary School is scheduled for major remodeling and no permits for construction would be granted with the current septic system.  The Health Department and other Fairfax County agencies had determined that it was not possible to create a new septic system due to the previous uses of the land when controlled by the Federal government. A sewer connection is the least expensive way to provide adequate service.   GFCA supported the connection with the provisos that no homeowners or private connections can be made to the sewer line, and that the only potential additional connection would be for a public restroom if the Park Service were to build a facility to serve the parks and fields at Nike Field.  The Park Service would need to request GFCA support for such plans prior to requesting a permit for a restroom. 

  • 21 May 2015 5:37 PM | Anonymous
     
    At GFCA's TownHall on May 12th, the membership voted overwhelmingly in opposition to the current development plans for the Brooks Farm property.  The following is a summary of the meeting.
    • Over 100 people were in attendance (not counting speakers), and 91 members of GFCA were present.
    • A summary of GFCA’s outreach efforts in regard to Brooks Farm was given and the resolution to be voted on (download here) was presented. The question was whether the association’s members were in favor of, or opposed to, the resolution. Those in favor of the resolution would be expressing their opposition to the requested rezoning and cluster development as currently proposed, which calls for rezoning from Rural Agricultural to Residential Estate and the construction of 20 private residences on approximately 52 acres. The resolution endorses a belief that the property should be developed as a five-acre subdivision, perhaps in the Fairfax County Residential-Conservation (“RC”) zoning category. Finally, the resolution calls for development controls during construction, restoration of environmental damage, protection of the common area, and state-of-the-art storm water management on every lot.
    • Representatives from the developer, Basheer & Edgemoore, provided an update on the proposed plans and number of changes that have been made.
    • Melonie Sullivan and Phil Whitworth, representatives from “The Heart of Great Falls”, spoke about the community’s concerns. 
    • Questions and comments were then taken from the floor.
    • The vote was called.  The resolution passed: 79 in favor; 9 opposed; 3 abstentions.
  • 29 Apr 2015 11:28 AM | Pam Grosvenor (Administrator)
    GFCA’s April 14 public forum was the third in a series of public meetings on the proposed rezoning and development of Brooks Farm, a 52-acre parcel located in Great Falls. The landowner and developer have submitted a Rezoning Application to Fairfax County to rezone the property from Rural Agricultural (RA) to Residential Estate (RE).  The applicant’s current development proposal calls for the construction of 20 private residences on the property.

    The April 14 meeting, jointly hosted by the Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) and Environment, Parks & Trails (EPT) committees, was held as part of GFCA’s continued fact finding and investigation of the pending rezoning application. Discussion focused on environmental concerns associated with the proposed development that have been raised by nearby residents. Representatives from Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Health Department, and Department of Planning and Zoning spoke about the county’s environmental policies and specifics such as storm water management, Resource Protection Areas (RPAs), forest management, well and septic, as well as environmental reviews associated with the current application.
     
    In response to the community concerns raised during each of GFCA’s public meetings and through ongoing dialogue with local residents, the GFCA Executive Board approved at its April 21 monthly meeting a resolution regarding the rezoning application that will be referred to the GFCA membership for action. The resolution, if adopted by the GFCA membership, would oppose the rezoning and cluster development at Brooks Farm as currently proposed, identify key issues of community concern, and offer potential alternatives that may address these concerns.

    Consistent with the GFCA’s bylaws, the resolution will be presented to the GFCA membership for vote at the May 12 Town Hall meeting to be held at Forestville Elementary School at 7:30 p.m. To review the resolution click here: GFCA FInal Brooks Farm Resolution-7982740-v1-WASDMS.pdf

  • 08 Apr 2015 6:28 PM | Philip Pifer
    Supervisor John Foust is hosting a community meeting to obtain information, ask questions, and express opinions on the proposal for a cluster subdivision of single family detached homes on the current Woody's Golf Range.  This meeting will be held on April 22, at 7:00 p.m., at the Dranesville United Methodist Church at 1089 Liberty Meeting Court, Herndon VA.
  • 20 Mar 2015 7:24 PM | Anonymous

    At the GFCA TownHall meeting held March 10, GFCA Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee Chair, Jennifer Semko, provided an update to the community regarding the pending rezoning application related to the Brooks Farm property in Great Falls. Ms. Semko provided an overview of the rezoning process in Fairfax County and summarized GFCA’s efforts to date to investigate and gather community input regarding the application. The committee’s past steps include a public hearing held at Forestville Elementary on December 3, 2014, a public committee meeting held on February 5 with speakers from the Fairfax County staff, and ongoing discussions and meetings with members of the community, County staff, the applicant, and the Dranesville Planning Commission representative. At the TownHall, Ms. Semko also provided an overview of the proposed development and an update regarding the status of the rezoning application.

    As part of its continued fact finding and investigation of the pending application, GFCA's LUZ and Environment (EPT) committees will hold a public committee meeting on Tuesday, April 14, at the Grange. Fairfax County Staff will attend the meeting at the committees' invitation to discuss and respond to questions regarding the potential environmental implications of the proposed development at Brooks Farm, as well as the steps that staff will be taking in the coming weeks to assess these issues.

    The Planning Commission hearing on the rezoning application has recently been postponed to June 10, 2015. Approximately two weeks before that hearing, Fairfax County staff will publish a report and analysis of the application. Final approval of the application rests with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who will consider the application on a hearing date that is not yet scheduled. In the meantime, the LUZ Committee will continue its ongoing efforts to both communicate community concerns to the applicant and County staff, as well as provide an ongoing source of information for Great Falls residents.

  • 03 Mar 2015 1:52 PM | Anonymous

    GFCA is actively involved in evaluating the rezoning application for the Brooks Farm property, and associated development proposals.  GFCA has been an active protector of the semi-rural character of Great Falls for many years, and has taken an active role in all such proposals in the past.  The community has expressed great concerns over the proposed rezoning and development of this property, and GFCA shares in those concerns.  Concerns include stormwater runoff, impact on designated environmentally sensitive areas, effects on the pond and watershed of the property, downstream water resources, impacts on groundwater and surrounding wells, traffic and traffic congestion, building impacts, and other issues.

    Fairfax County staff are engaged in a through review of the Brooks Farm application and are conducting active dialogue with the applicant regarding areas of potential concern. GFCA's LUZ Committee is continuing its own evaluation of the application, involving regular communications with both County staff and the applicant. Future committee meetings are expected to include additional presentations by a range of County departments and the applicant.

    Additionally, because of the potential environmental issues associated with the rezoning application, GFCA's Environment, Parks and Trails (EPT) Committee will be teaming with LUZ to evaluate various environmental concerns. Future LUZ and EPT committee meetings will be open to the public and will be announced on the GFCA web site as soon as they are scheduled.

    Community residents should direct questions, suggestions, and comments (marked 'Brooks Farm') to us at zoning@gfca.org.

  • 03 Mar 2015 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    As part of GFCA's continuing fact finding and investigation of the pending rezoning application related to the Brooks Farm property in Great Falls, the GFCA Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee held a public committee meeting on Thursday, February 5 at the Great Falls Library. Fairfax County Staff members were asked to discuss and respond to committee members' questions regarding the applicable Fairfax County rezoning process, the status of the Brooks Farm rezoning application, and the steps that staff will be taking to assess the application and investigate the various questions and concerns raised by Great Falls citizens. Approximately 50 local residents were in attendance to hear from the County as well as to pose questions regarding issues of concern.

    Attending the meeting from Fairfax County were:

    • Commissioner John C. Ulfelder, Fairfax County Planning Commission (Dranesville Representative)
    • Catherine Lewis, Zoning Evaluation Division
    • Bob H. Katai, Zoning Evaluation Division
    • Clara Johnson, Planning Division
    • Tarek Bolden, Planning Division
    County staff stated that the rezoning application will be circulated among various County departments for evaluation and review, including the Zoning Evaluation Division, Planning Division, Public Works, the Department of Health, VDOT, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, Soil & Water, and other departments. Approximately two weeks before the Planning Commission hearing on the application, staff will publish a report and analysis of the application. Currently, the Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for April 15, 2015, but that date may be postponed (and seems likely to be postponed). Final review and approval of the application rests with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who will consider the application on a hearing date that is not yet scheduled.

    County staff distributed a written overview of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and applicable Zoning Ordinances. The overview included excerpts of the Comprehensive Plan applicable to the Springvale Community Planning Section (of which Brooks Farm is a part), which showed that the sector is “planned for low density, single-family residential use at .2 to .5 dwelling units per acre.” The Comprehensive Plan excerpts described various criteria to be considered for cluster subdivisions, and staff responded to the committee’s questions about how these criteria might be applied to Brooks Farm.

    Fairfax County staff reiterated throughout the meeting that they are engaged in an ongoing and thorough review of the application and the issues surrounding it, including those raised by the Great Falls community.  And that they are involved in active dialog with the applicant on areas of concern and potential concern.

    GFCA and the LUZ Committee is also continuing its own evaluation of the application, and is actively engaged in regular dialog with both County staff and the applicant.  

    Subsequent to the LUZ Committee meeting, Fairfax County staff clarified that, under the current RA zoning, any residential development on the Brooks Property must be accessory to agricultural uses as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, and those agricultural uses must cover not less than 75% of the total land area.

    Check back here (LUZ newsblog) regularly for future updates.


  • 02 Mar 2015 5:21 PM | Anonymous

    GFCA is making available here materials recently provided by the applicant, including site plan layouts for both a cluster development and a conventional development on the site, as well as an 11-page letter to GFCA's LUZ Committee providing additional detail and responses to community concerns expressed to date.  

    These materials can be accessed here:

    1. Cluster and Conventional Layouts with Tabulations
    2. General Development Plan Submission - Jan 30 2015
    3. GFCA Letter package
    In addition, the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan which contains zoning and other information for Great Falls (and the Brooks Farm parcel) can be found here (County Planning Area 3, Upper Potomac District):  County Comp Plan Great Falls
  • 23 Jan 2015 8:21 AM | Anonymous

    As part of its continued fact finding and investigation of the pending rezoning application related to the Brooks Farm property in Great Falls, the GFCA Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee will hold its next committee meeting on Thursday, February 5, at 7 pm at the Great Falls Library. Fairfax County Staff members will attend the meeting as the committee’s invited guests to discuss and respond to committee member questions regarding the Fairfax County rezoning process generally, the status of the Brooks Farm rezoning application, and the steps that staff will be taking in the coming weeks to assess the application and investigate the various questions and concerns raised by Great Falls citizens.

    Attendance at this meeting is recommended for those who are interested in learning more about the rezoning process in Fairfax County and how that process will be applied to the Brooks Farm rezoning application. The purpose of this committee meeting is not for residents to present testimony or arguments to the County for or against the application but, rather, to give the committee and meeting attendees the opportunity to pose questions to Fairfax County staff regarding the standards that will be applied to the application and the County staff’s planned approach as the application works its way through the rezoning process.

  • 31 Dec 2014 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    The current owners of an approximately 52-acre property known as “Brooks Farm” in Great Falls, and developer Basheer & Edgemoore, have applied to Fairfax County for rezoning of the property from RA (Rural Agricultural District) to RE (Residential Estate District) for purposes of developing the property with 23 single-family detached homes under the cluster subdivision option. On December 3, 2014, the GFCA Land Use and Zoning (LUZ) Committee hosted a public meeting regarding the pending rezoning application. The purpose of the meeting was to allow the developer to present to the community its development plans, and for community members to raise issues of concern. Speakers at the meeting included representatives of the developer and Fairfax County staff, as well as Great Falls residents with concerns about the proposed development and its potential effects on the community.  Roughly 130 Great Falls residents attended, as did Supervisor John Foust.

    Fairfax County staff are currently conducting a review of the application and are expected to issue a public report to the County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors on March 31, 2015. A Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for April 15, 2015. A Board of Supervisors public hearing on the application will be held in 2015, on a date not yet set.

    In the meantime, in accordance with the bylaws and procedures of the GFCA, the LUZ Committee will continue its community outreach, fact finding, and investigation of the application, for purposes of presenting a final report to the GFCA Executive Board. A LUZ Committee meeting to discuss the application will be held in January, on a date to be determined. Please visit gfca.org for updated information regarding the date, time and location of this and future committee meetings.

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

Great Falls Citizens Association
PO Box 27  •  Great Falls, VA  •  22066 

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