After a two-hour public hearing, the board unanimously agreed on Tuesday (Jan. 23) to boost the housing density at 6626 South Van Dorn Street from 3-4 units per acre to 10 units per acre.
The amendment sets the stage for EYA Development, a Maryland-based housing developer, to construct a single-family subdivision with 174 units, 18 of them designated as affordable, and a public park on the 17-acre site currently housing Rudy’s Golf and Sports Bar and an empty Ruby Tuesdays.
The developer must still gain the county’s approval for a rezoning and its official development plan, which are under review.
Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk noted that the currently proposed development has generally won public support, including from the Kingstowne Residential Owners Corporation, the Friends of Huntley Meadows, and Friends of Kingstowne Lake. The planning commission and county staff also recommended approval.
“I think the proposed plan provides significant opportunities to provide a new feature for this site that would integrate well with the surrounding residential communities and the Kingstowne area,” Lusk said.
Originally proposed in 2015, the development aimed to create a mixed-use area with 275 single-family homes, 16 dwelling units per acre, and up to 70,000 square feet of retail.
Since then, the application has been revised multiple times, primarily due to resident and stakeholder backlash concerning traffic, compatibility with the neighborhood and stormwater management.
However, at the hearing, most of the roughly two dozen speakers expressed support for the application.
“We opposed this. But we opposed this for very good reason,” said nearby resident Mark Engelbaum. “We’ve been very, very pleased with EYA and the development. Look, I’ll be the first to say I’d be happy to have it.”
Engelbaum, a long-time critic of the project, said he not only believes the development would blend well with the community’s aesthetic, but that it would reduce the noise and crime that he associates with the golf recreation facility.
“I can’t tell you the number of times over the last decade that I’ve had to call police,” he said. “I can go into so many things, from trespassing, illicit activities, fights, parties going on throughout the night into the early morning, continuing in the parking lot.”
Tim Nank, vice president of the Kingstowne Homeowners’ Association, said he’s also onboard with EYA’s most recent application, which he believes “sufficiently” addresses concerns like traffic and stormwater.
“I am very much in support of this,” he said. “I know several of my neighbors are supportive of this as well.”
Some resistance remains, notably from the Franconia Land Use Committee and an Edison High School student and golf team member.
Last month, the land use committee recommended the Board of Supervisors vote against the project, citing traffic congestion and environmental concerns, one committee member, Tom Rickert, testified.
“The Topgolf site does not have enough open space by a longshot to achieve EYA’s proposed density,” Rickert said during the hearing.
Another speaker highlighted Rudy’s importance as an affordable golf option and its entertainment value for locals.
“I understand the board wanting to provide an opportunity for more people to live in a great area and to access…low-income housing. But really, it’s an issue of what’s the better investment and what has more value,” he said. “And from the people that I’ve gone to, just door-to-door, really, in my community and the Kingstowne area, they would much rather see Rudy’s instead of the townhouse development and recognize its value.”
Board Chairman Jeffrey McKay acknowledged the desire to preserve the property but emphasized the need for a strategic decision.
“This is not a question between Rudy’s and Topgolf and this development,” McKay said. “It has been made very clear that the property owner will not continue their lease with Rudy’s. It has been very clear.”
“And so, we have an obligation to approve what we think will best fit into the community, will respect the community around there, and respect the wishes — that are beyond our control — of this property owner who will discontinue that use — and that has been put in writing,” McKay continued.
EYA has had a contract on the property for “several years,” an investor in the ownership group, 6625 South Van Dorn Street LLC, told the Washington Business Journal last year.
EYA’s application will undergo public hearings before the planning commission on Feb. 14 and the Board of Supervisors on March 5, per the county’s website.
Friday night’s performance by comedian Nate Bargatze is expected to draw the largest crowd ever to EagleBank Arena on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University, according to Monumental Sports…
Reston Association has adopted a new strategic plan that aims to continue the vision of Reston’s founder Bob Simon over the next three years.
A 93-year-old woman died earlier this week from injuries she sustained in a car crash on Leesburg Pike (Route 7) in Bailey’s Crossroads, police say. Gladys Bilbao, a Falls Church…
D.C.-based fast food chain Z-Burger has officially opened in a former Pizza Hut at 541 Maple Avenue West in Vienna. The restaurant opened in late November. While business was initially…
Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Peace in Gaza: Prayer Liturgy and Community Discussion for Peace in Arlington VA, Sunday, Feb. 11, 10:15 AM
Prayer, liturgy, and community discussion for peace in Gaza, an immediate cease fire and resumption of humanitarian aid will be hosted by Nova Catholic Community. The focus will be Pope Francis’ call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, resumption of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and peace talks for a lasting and just peace for all people in the region.
Discussion will follow at Noon on US military role in the conflict and appropriate steps the US should take to foster peace and rebuilding. Light lunch served.
The Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Active Bystander Certification course, also known as Active Bystander, is the premier training program to prepare civilians for how to respond during an intentional violent event and to address life-threatening emergencies.
Similar to FEMA’s