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Fairfax County board approves Top Golf redevelopment in Kingstowne

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has approved the transformation of Rudy’s Golf and Sports Bar in Kingstowne into 17 acres of single-family homes and public parks.

Last week, supervisors unanimously endorsed a proposal by Maryland-based EYA Development to redevelop the property at 6626 South Van Dorn Street. The roughly 17.4-acre site hosted the first Top Golf in the U.S. until the facility closed in early 2020 and Rudy’s opened in 2022.

The project will include 174 single-family homes, 18 of which will be designated as affordable, and several acres of public parks.

The approval comes nearly a decade after a more intensive version of the project was first proposed in 2015. Since then, the proposal has changed multiple times after facing public backlash over concerns about traffic congestion, compatibility with the neighborhood and stormwater management.

Following extensive public feedback, the number of homes in the plan was reduced from 275 to 174, and the idea for thousands of square feet of retail space was scrapped altogether.

Despite those changes, some community members and Franconia Land Use Committee representatives continued to speak out publicly against the proposal up until last month, when the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted unanimously to advance the plan.

Those who spoke during a January public hearing on a comprehensive plan amendment that would allow residential development at the site argued that the density remained excessively high and expressed concerns over traffic congestion and environmental effects.

However, EYA representatives addressed traffic concerns by presenting an analysis that showed traffic would reduce after redevelopment compared to if the property stayed the same. The developer also plans to construct a new underground detention vault and multiple bioretention facilities to control stormwater drainage.

With each successive vote, the number of people turning out against the project has declined. During the latest public hearing on March 5, only two people spoke — both of them in favor of the project.

“The developer of this proposal…has sought input from neighboring communities and environmental groups throughout this process, resulting in a well-designed plan that deserves support,” said Sonya Breehy, Northern Virginia advocacy manager for the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

Breehy also highlighted the critical need for more housing amid a region-wide shortage.

Board Chairman Jeff McKay highlighted the absence of opposition during the public hearing, attributing the positive outcome to the county’s patience and commitment to “get it right.”

“I, for one, am glad to say that we resisted many plans that would have been insufficient, certainly inferior to the plan that we see here today, as many people have acknowledged,” he said.

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