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Developer duo pitch more housing on Rock Hill Road in Herndon

The development team behind four parcels of land on Rock Hill Road in Herndon want to see more housing on the nearly 24-acre site near the Innovation Center Metro station.

DWC Holdings and Origami RE Growth GP have filed a Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) — an ongoing process for exploring changes to Fairfax County’s comprehensive plan — to increase the amount of housing on the site.

“Given the uncertain future of the office market, the proposed amendment is essential to ensuring the development of the property in a manner that achieves important county goals and capitalizes on the region’s substantial investment in the Silver Line,” the Oct. 21 application said.

Currently, the county’s plan calls for one of two options for the site: either a mixed-use development with housing, offices, hotel and retail uses, or a project with all of the above except residential uses.

The applicants want to go with the first option, increasing the site’s development intensity. That would up the floor area ratio (FAR) within a quarter-mile of the Metro station from 2.8 to 5.0 and 1.6 to 2.5 FAR within a half-mile of the station. In total, the change would mean a 3.75 FAR for the property.

The development team also wants eliminate the county’s desired proportions for the mix of uses on the site — a move they argue is “critical” to enhance the “flexibility” of the property and maintain a development that encourages rail ridership.

“The proposed amendment will not only support the County’s important place-making and transit ridership goals, but also provide additional, much needed housing opportunities,” the application states.

The proposal suggests that county and Virginia Department of Transportation officials explore vacating their existing Innovation Avenue right-of-way to “seamlessly” integrate the development into the Metro station.

The proposal also says a “significant” but unspecified number of affordable or workforce dwelling units would be included.

The proposal is one of several moving through the SSPA process. The county plans to host a series of community meetings on the applications.

Of the 75 proposals the county received in the fall, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors selected 70 to move to the screening phase.

At 13, the Hunter Mill District has the most accepted proposals, most of which expand residential development in transit-oriented areas.

Residents can also submit comments online.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission will review the nominations in public workshops next month and in March. The nominations will move forward for formal study in a Comprehensive Plan Amendment Work Program.

A board vote is anticipated in the spring.

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