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Tysons East townhouse developer commits to building public street, Bikeshare funding

The Toll Brothers have proposed a 48-unit townhouse development in Tysons East (via Fairfax County)

The proposed Seneca Assemblage townhouse development could bring a number of enhancements to the transportation network in Tysons East.

With a rezoning application currently under review by Fairfax County, developer Toll Brothers envisions 48 townhouses, including eight workforce dwelling units, on a 3.8-acre site between La Salle and Seneca avenues, just west of the Dulles Toll Road.

The plan has been tweaked from an initial proposal submitted in September that called for 52 townhouses to replace the 13 standalone, single-family houses currently on the property. The developer now intends to keep one of the houses — labeled Unit 49 in the plan — whose owners want to stay, according to a county staff report published today (Thursday).

“The inclusion of Unit 49 allows the streetscape on La Salle Ave to be extended from the proposed [single-family attached] units all the way to Point Park,” staff wrote, referring to one of two potential public parks.

The 0.2-acre Point Park will be located on the southern end of the development near Magarity Road and could feature an open lawn, kids’ play equipment, bicycle racks, benches, a pet waste station, and other amenities.

The other public park, dubbed Buena Vista Park, will front some of the townhouses in lieu of a street, providing an 8-foot-wide sidewalk and seating areas with benches. Seneca Assemblage residents will also have access to private Courtyard Park at the center of the site with pedestrian paths, a turf lawn, a shade pergola, and bicycle racks.

The proposed Seneca Assemblage development will have 48 townhouses, three parks, and a new road (via Fairfax County)

The proposed streetscape for La Salle Avenue, Seneca Avenue, and a new Buena Vista Road connecting the two on the site’s northern end includes 6 to 8-foot-wide sidewalks and 8-foot landscape panels.

Toll Brothers initially designated Buena Vista Road as private, but the developer has now committed to designing and constructing the street within the project limits as a public road, with two 10-foot-wide travel lanes and an 8-foot-wide parking lane, according to a draft of proffers dated June 14.

As part of the proffer conditions negotiated with the county, the developer has also agreed to provide “a comprehensive walkway system” throughout the property and a painted crosswalk across Magarity Road at the Pimmit Drive intersection, pending approval by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

In addition, Toll Brothers will give the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors $10,000 to help fund a new Capital Bikeshare station “in the vicinity of the development,” according to the staff report.

The report says county transportation staff had recommended a contribution of $40,000 for the station.

“The provision of a Capital Bikeshare station in this area would provide alternative modes of transportation to area residents and facilitate important last-mile connections to and from Metrorail,” the staff report says, noting that there’s currently a station at the McLean Metro station about half a mile away.

Staff say the proffered contribution is “acceptable” but maintains that an increase would benefit the project.

The public road and Bikeshare commitments have emerged as a point of contention between the county and residents of the McLean Ridge townhouse neighborhood to the north of the Seneca Assemblage site.

According to a resolution that the McLean Citizens Association’s board of directors approved on June 1, the McLean Ridge homeowners’ association has advocated for the new road to be private and for the county to “abandon its proposal to install a commercial bicycle rental facility.”

Though it expressed support for the project overall, MCA also backed the McLean Ridge residents’ request for speed bumps on the new road.

In their report, Fairfax County staff recommended approval of the application with the caveat that “several outstanding issues remain,” including their desire for more funding for the Bikeshare station and a more robust commitment to reduce outdoor noise levels.

The project is scheduled to go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a public hearing on June 29, followed by a Board of Supervisors hearing on Aug. 2.

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