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Vienna duplex proposal continued to November over lot coverage concerns

A rendering of the duplexes proposed to replace the Vienna Courts condos (via Town of Vienna)

The Vienna Town Council says a plan for new duplexes shows promise but isn’t quite ready for approval yet.

At a meeting on Oct. 24, the council said there are lingering concerns about the lot coverage — how much of a site is built on by a development — for the Vienna Courts project. Developer BFR Construction has proposed a set of duplexes at the Vienna Courts offices 127-133 Park Street NE. The project would replace four office buildings with 14 two-family dwellings.

The developer has asked the town for an exemption to lot coverage limits so it can build on 70% of a site where the city’s zoning only allows 25% lot coverage.

“The applicant is requesting a lot coverage of 70%,” the staff report said. “The proposed style of the development does not lend itself to the stated 25% maximum due to the number of units and required parking area.”

“Your lot coverage is significantly higher than anybody else,” Councilmember Steve Potter said. “Living next to a construction site and seeing the lack of space that is on their properties and how it intrudes onto the public streets and how it impacts school bus routes and people doing their walking and all that, I wonder if that has been given careful consideration.”

The project had previously received a mixed reception from the Planning Commission.

Town leaders said lot coverage is an issue with the project, but they believe a compromise is possible.

“I’m not sure if we’re quite ready to vote on this tonight, but you have gotten some feedback,” Mayor Linda Colbert said. “I think it’s a beautiful project, and I look forward to looking at this again.”

The project was scheduled to be reviewed again at a meeting on Monday, Nov. 14.