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UPDATED: Mixed-use development for townhouses swap in Herndon put on pause

A townhome community is proposed at Coppermine Road in McNair (via Fairfax County)

Updated at 3:15 p.m. on 11/17/2023The Fairfax County Planning Commission deferred the Dulles Center application indefinitely on Wednesday (Nov. 15) due to “some issues that came up at the last minute.”

A legal representative for the developer didn’t detail what those issues were but confirmed that they supported the move and would bring the plan back to the commission once the issues were resolved.

Earlier: A residential development proposed for a site in McNair, the area south of Herndon, is headed to the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

Developer Dulles Center LLC is seeking the county’s permission to build 48 stacked townhouses at the intersection of Coppermine and Centreville Road — reversing a previously approved plan for mixed-use development, including commercial, office and hotel uses.

The planning commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal today (Wednesday) during its meeting at 7:30 p.m.

A bank currently on the site at 13490 Coppermine Road near the Village Center at Dulles would remain.

According to a development plan submitted in March 2022 and last updated in October, the townhouses would be distributed over 4.7 acres and across seven separate rows of units.

While the project doesn’t fall into the county’s affordable housing program, the developer has agreed to sell 12% of the townhouses as workforce dwelling units, which will be targeted at households earning 70%, 80% and 100% of the area median income, according to a Nov. 1 county staff report.

The site contains environmentally sensitive areas and a Resource Protection Area (RPA) linked to the Horsespun Run watershed.

A proposed 8-foot-wide asphalt trail encroaches slightly on the RPA but can be exempted because it’s considered “passive recreation,” county staff said. The segment will fill a missing portion of the Merrybrook Valley Stream trail, providing a connection to the sidewalk and bus shelter along Centreville Road.

Roughly 1.8 acres of the site is set aside as open space, according to the county. That will include two 0.11-acre recreational areas designated as publicly accessible urban parkland, including a central open lawn with a gazebo and a cornhole/bocce court area and a lawn adjacent to the asphalt trail.

“The application provides a site design that incorporates quality open space, landscaping, amenities, and pedestrian connectivity throughout the site and to the surrounding area,” county staff wrote. “The applicant also proposes to provide protection to the environmentally sensitive areas on-site while also enhancing conditions through invasive species removal and reforestation, where needed.”

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