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A residential development named One Sunrise Valley is planned near the Frying Pan Road and Sunrise Valley Drive intersection in Herndon (via Fairfax County)

The plan for a major residential neighborhood near the Innovation Center Metro station in the Herndon area is evolving.

But the tweak won’t be approved by the Fairfax County Planning Commission until April 24 at the earliest. With no discussion, the commission voted on Wednesday (Feb. 28) to defer a public hearing on an application to amend the development plan.

Under the name Bittersweet Fields LLC, land owner and developer Pomeroy Clark I is seeking to revise its plan for One Sunrise Valley, which envisions up to 1,093 residential units across nearly 43.8 acres of land in the northwest quadrant of the Frying Pan Road and Sunrise Valley Drive intersection near Dulles International Airport.

A 5.5-acre portion of the currently vacant site will be transferred to Fairfax County Public Schools for a future elementary school. One of the five lots that originally comprised One Sunrise Valley was sold to Van Metre Homes, which is building 157 single-family attached units and 36 two-over-twos on their property.

Approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2019, the original rezoning application left the door open for two paths forward: one that would total 519 residential units — 335 traditional townhomes and 180 stacked townhomes (two-over-two units) — and one with up to 1,093 units — 276 townhomes, 144 two-over-two units and three multi-family buildings with up to 729 units.

One Sunrise Valley developer Bittersweet Fields LLC is seeking to amend its plan for land units C and D, outlined in yellow (via Fairfax County)

The developer is now seeking to implement the second option with an amendment that would allow for either 54 triplex units or 36 two-over-two units and a 296-unit multi-family building on a parcel dubbed Land Unit C that was approved for 24 2-over-2 units and a 145-unit multi-family building.

The developer has also proposed to build 69 triplex units instead of the 84 stacked townhouses that were approved for the adjacent Land Unit D, a change that would apply to both development options, according to a county staff report. Read More

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The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority has acquired land at 13500 Dulles Greene Drive for future affordable housing (via Fairfax County)

A nearly 10-acre site just outside Herndon that is currently used as a cricket field is on the path towards redevelopment.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Oct. 24 to transfer county-owned land at 13500 Dulles Greene Drive to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority for an affordable housing project.

No specific development proposal has come to light yet, but the project is intended to boost the county’s stock of affordable housing in a transit-oriented area near the Innovation Center Metro station.

The project would feature a 10-foot-wide shared-use trail connecting the station to residential neighborhoods to the east.

Mike Lambert, manager of the county’s real estate services division, noted that the Fairfax County Park Authority and county staff are working to identify an alternate location for the cricket field.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said he was happy staff and the FCPA were looking into other options. The Capital Cricket Premier League will continue to use the field until construction begins — which could be as early as spring 2027.

Foust said that gives the county plenty of time to identify more options for cricket players.

“This is a pretty exciting opportunity to advance affordable housing goals,” Foust said, adding that the project will be a “win-win” once the alternate cricket field is selected.

The vote simply turns the land over to FCHRA. Additional public hearings will be scheduled once a development plan is proposed.

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A shared-use path from the Innovation Center Metro station is intended to improve connectively (via FCDOT)

Fairfax County is gearing up to secure land rights to proceed with the development of a new shared-use path from the Innovation Center Metro station to surrounding neighborhoods.

At a meeting on Tuesday (Oct. 24), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to set a public hearing for the project on Nov. 21.

Presented to the community in January, the project includes a 10-foot-wide, approximately 1,920-foot-long shared-use path. It would connect the kiss-and-ride parking lot to the residential communities at Farougi Court and Apgar Place.

“The connection will significantly reduce the trip length between the station and surrounding neighborhoods,” the Fairfax County Department of Transportation said on its webpage for the project.

Two pedestrian bridges over Horsepen Creek and lighting along the new path are also planned.

To move forward with the project, the county must secure land rights on six properties.

“Negotiations are in progress with the affected property owners,” county staff said in the board meeting agenda. “However, because resolution of these acquisitions is not imminent, it may be necessary for the Board to utilize quick-take eminent domain powers to commence construction of this project on schedule.”

Construction on the project is expected to begin in summer 2024, followed by completion in the summer of 2025.

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The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority hopes to acquire land at 13500 Dulles Greene Drive for future affordable housing (via Fairfax County)

The community will soon get a chance to comment on whether a temporary cricket field near the Innovation Center Metro station should be opened up to affordable housing proposals, even as the search for a replacement athletic facility continues.

The Board of Supervisors voted 9-1 yesterday (Tuesday) to schedule a public hearing on the proposed transfer of county-owned land at 13500 Dulles Greene Drive for Oct. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

While no specific development proposals have been made public yet, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority sees the approximately 9.6-acre site as an opportunity to add affordable housing in a growing area close to transit, according to county staff.

The future project would also feature a 10-foot-wide, shared-use trail connecting the Metro station to residential neighborhoods to the east.

“There is a critical need in the Dulles Corridor for the creation of housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income households,” staff said in a memo to the board. “The FCRHA is evaluating measures to leverage this underutilized property for development of affordable multifamily rental housing by partnering with a private developer.”

The property is located in walking distance of the Metro station’s north entrance, and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation plans to add a 10-foot-wide, shared-use asphalt path along its perimeter to connect the neighborhoods to the east to the station.

The site is currently undeveloped except for the Dulles Greene Cricket Ground, a regulation-sized cricket field operated by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services and maintained by the Capital Cricket Premier League.

County staff are “actively engaged” with the Fairfax County Park Authority to find an alternative site that cricket players can use if the field is redeveloped, but no locations have been identified yet, they told Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, who voted against scheduling the public hearing.

The search for a permanent cricket facility in the area is “in a holding pattern” while the park authority solicits proposals for a multi-sports complex, according to Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, who represents the Herndon area.

“Once the responses come in, assuming that we don’t give all that land away, there will be an opportunity to hopefully move the cricket field to these other locations,” Foust said.

Sites suggested in the request for proposals include Mountain Road and Halifax parks in Centreville, Rock Hill Park in Chantilly, and Patriot Park East near George Mason University’s campus. Patriot Park North — a $28 million baseball and softball complex that opened in April — represented the county’s first project under a sports tourism initiative championed by Herrity.

GMU may add a cricket facility of its own. The university has partnered with Major League Cricket to study the possibility of a joint cricket-and-baseball facility, though county leaders expressed concern earlier this year about potential traffic and community impacts.

Before Tuesday’s vote, Foust noted that the Dulles Greene field was always intended to be temporary.

“We spent $6 billion on Dulles rail,” Foust said, referring to the Metro Silver Line extension that opened last November. “This is almost immediately adjacent to the station, perfect opportunity for an affordable housing development.”

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A 348-unit apartment building is proposed at 13595 Dulles Technology Drive (via Fairfax County)

An office building near the Innovation Center Metro station is on its way to becoming 348 apartment units.

Last week, the Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a plan to replace the ePlus headquarters at 13595 Dulles Technology Drive in McNair with a new residential building.

It would be up to six stories tall with a partial basement and 41 workforce dwelling units. A 418-space parking garage is planned on the site, along with a 4-foot-wide pedestrian pathway next to the apartment building.

At the Sept. 14 public hearing, several residents testified against the development proposal, criticizing its density, impacts on environmentally protected areas, and other neighboring developments.

The area surrounding the proposed apartments has been the focus of increased residential development, including Stanley Martin’s Overlook at Dulles Tech project.

Kathryn Taylor, a lawyer for Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh who represented developer H/F Techpointe, said the project creates a distinct community.

“The proposed development has been thoughtfully designed with high quality architecture, well landscaped public spaces, the preservation and restoration of onsite environmental features, an improved sidewalk and roadway network that enhances connectivity and facilities safe and convenient access to the Innovation Metro Station,” Taylor said.

But several residents said they were unconvinced of the project’s value to the community.

The Dulles Technology Building Association plans to seek a restraining order to stop the project if it moves forward, according to president Carl Strauss. He expressed concern about improper notification of the project, widening of a road that he said would encroach on eminent domain of his office building next door, environmental damages, and other issues.

He called the requested reduction in parking “stunningly disrespectful.”

His testimony was echoed by another resident who lamented the loss of environmental areas — including a runoff lake — caused by neighboring projects and the buildout of housing in the area.

“It’s like Moscow there,” one resident said, referring to the number of new residential units in the area.

Taylor emphasized that the proposal protects environmental areas and preserves as many trees as possible.

“The proposal will not encroach on any environmentally sensitive areas at all,” she said.

The commission approved the application after considering a motion to defer. Staff noted that a deferral would push a decision by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to January.

Braddock District Planning Commissioner Mary Cortina said several of the problems voiced by residents were linked to other surrounding projects.

“The damage has already been done on this other area,” Cortina said.

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The Overlook at Dulles Tech condominium community is slated to deliver in 2025 (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

Construction on two-level garage condominiums near the Innovation Center Metro Station is well underway.

The site at 13570 Dulles Technology Drive — named Overlook at Dulles Tech — will be home to the neighborhood. It includes several pocket parks, a meditation area, a tot lot and an open lawn exercise area.

“Construction began in March 2023 and is expected to be completed in early 2025,” Kiante Chapman, a spokesperson for Stanley Martin Homes, said.

The units start at roughly $603,000. A mix of units are offered, ranging from two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms to three beds and 2.5 bathrooms. The size of the units range from 1,553 square feet to 2,507 square feet.

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Brightview’s new senior living facility has opened near the Innovation Center Metro station (courtesy Brightview Senior Living)

A new rental community for older adults has officially opened its doors in Herndon.

Brightview Senior Living opened its 46th community at Dulles Corner (13700 Magna Way) this month. The 196-unit apartment building is part of a project with a library, fitness studios, pub, movie theater, salon and art studio, along with an outdoor garden area with a covered porch.

Doug Dollenburg, president and CEO of Brightview Senior Living, said the placement of the Herndon location follows a trend of embedding senior living communities into the larger community.

“Innovation Center Station is a $1B+ investment with the intent to offer a thoughtful live, work and play neighborhood in a convenient location,” Dollenburg wrote in a statement. “With Brightview in that mix, it provides residents and their families a truly multi-generational experience. Vibrancy and socialization are at the core of Brightview’s method; and this location ensures residents can stay active and involved beyond the walls of Brightview.”

The Herndon location is the company’s fourth in Fairfax County, joining facilities in Great Falls, Fair Oaks and Annandale.

It includes a mix of independent living, assisted living and memory care rental apartments. The units are available with no major entrance fee, according to the company.

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The Planning Commission placed the Innovation Center TSA in the top tier for the county’s planning effort (via Fairfax County)

(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Fairfax County planners agree that proposed development changes to the Innovation Center area are a top planning priority in the county’s ongoing Site-Specific Plan Amendment (SSPA) process.

At a meeting on Thursday (March 9), the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted to preliminarily place the Innovation Center Transit Station Area (TSA) in the top tier of the county’s SSPA work program, which sets the framework for the county’s review of comprehensive planning studies and plan amendments.

All three nominations in the Innovation Center TSA seek more density and more residential uses than originally planned.

Dranesville District Planning Commissioner John Ulfelder said the area is need of closer examination and focused work by the county.

“This is an important area now that the Silver Line is open and operating,” Ulfelder said. “We really need to play close attention to it as soon as possible in order to make it viable and to maximize the appropriate uses there.”

The current SSPA cycle kicked off with applicants submitting about 70 nominations last year. Ones formally accepted for review by the Board of Supervisors in December are now being screened and evaluated.

In a white paper released earlier this month, county staff organized the nominations in three tiers, with the top tier featuring those located in key development areas and identified as the highest priority for staff resources and timing.

So far, areas flagged as Tier 1 priorities include Fair Lakes, the Franconia triangle between Beulah Street, Franconia Road and Grovedale Drive and the Innovation Center TSA north of the Dulles Toll Road.

In the Innovation Center TSA, Peterson Companies is seeking the county’s permission to add 500 apartment units — a mix of which would be affordable — and a possible child care center at 13500 Dulles Green Drive. The project, called Innovation Center, would also include a county-owned parcel.

The Innovation Avenue plan for 2214, 2205, and 2210 Rock Hill Road seeks to boost the intensity of development near the former Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) office building and remove limits on the percentage of residential and office uses in the mix of uses.

A similar development called Rock Hill seeks to switch the development plan to mostly residential uses near the Innovation Center Metro station.

All three applications would be the focus of a combined study, according to staff.

The complexity of the proposed plan at Rivana at Innovation Station — which includes Loudoun County — requires close study, said Hunter Mill District Planning Commissioner John Carter.

Franconia District Planning Commissioner Daniel Lagana emphasized the county’s need to continue collaborating with Loudoun County as planning moves forward, particularly coordination within the existing and future road networks.

Lagana said he was pleased to learn that coordination is ongoing.

“When something happens in the city of Alexandria…we sort of kind of pay the price and I’m sure kind of vice versa,” Lagana said.

Of the 75 nominations submitted for review in October, 68 have moved forward for evaluation. The planning commission has a final workshop on March 23 and a mark-up session on the work program planned for March 29. The program will face a final vote by the Board of Supervisors on April 11.

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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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A walkway over Sunrise Valley Drive leads to the Innovation Center Metro station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A cycle path to the Innovation Center Metro station is circling closer to construction.

Roughly $4 million in federal funding was secured for the project, which will include a cycle path from Sunrise Valley Drive to Innovation Metro Station, Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced yesterday.

Funds were designated in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill, a $1.7 trillion spending package that must be adopted by midnight tomorrow (Friday) to avoid a partial federal goverment shutdown.

The upgrades are part of the county’s Active Transportation Program, which covers non-motorized methods of travel and aims to reduce vehicle traffic.

The changes to the four-lane boulevard, which also has additional turning lanes at various intersections, would connect to existing bicycle and pedestrian paths, notably the Fairfax County Parkway Trail, FFXnow previously reported.

“This project will provide significantly improved access to several Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail Stations and high-density transit-oriented development near the Metrorail Stations and activity centers,” said a statement breaking down the funds designated for Northern Virginia.

Other projects also fit the bill in Fairfax County.

Among them is a neighborhood job and entrepreneurship research center for teens and young adults in the county’s community centers. The centers will offer teens and young adults career readiness skills, job training and leadership programs, according to the release. That project is expected to cost $2.1 million.

In Springfield, the Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus will receive $2.2 million to grow its nursing program. Funds will also go towards buying computerized manikins and other technology to supplement clinic training for nursing, respiratory therapy and EMS students.

Other cyclist-related improvements include $1 million for bicycle and pedestrians upgrades near the Vienna Metrorail Station in Oakton. The project is targeted to the area near the station and Oakton High School.

A complete list of secured funds is available online.

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