Vienna Zoning Reviews Town House Proposal

Originally published 2/18/16

The Vienna Department of Planning and Zoning held a hearing last week on a developer’s proposed zoning variance which would have allowed the construction of a cluster of luxury town houses on lots facing Maple Avenue between Follin Land and Mashie Drive. The lots are presently Zoned RS-16, meaning Single Family, with minimum lot size of 16,000 square feet. Across Follin Lane on the west corner, is presently a medium density townhouse cluster.

It’s an interesting proposal,” said John Shreffler, President of Westbriar Civic Association, of which the lots are a part. “There does not seem to be much of a conflict with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan, and there is nothing in our constitution that conflicts.”

Derick Hess on Mashie Street is among many on Mashie Street close to the proposed project. “I am completely opposed to the proposal,” he said. Others are not quite so sure. “I am in support of changing the zoning to allow for this,” said Kevin Cole of Woodnor Drive. “Done right, I think it is a positive enhancement for Vienna.

This part of Westbriar is undergoing rapid redevelopment, with a substantial percentage of home sales resulting in new houses of 4000 square feet and greater. A decade ago, residents were distressed by this ‘changing character of the neighborhood.’ Not so any more.

“I would like to know more about our members’ thoughts on some diversification at our end of town,” said Shreffler. “People age. Should they be forced to move away from their friends when they can no longer handle the work of maintaining a half acre?