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City of Fairfax Mayor and Council Green Light EYA Townhome Development on Pickett Road

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City of Fairfax Mayor and Council Green Light EYA Townhome Development on Pickett Road Blog Feature

By: EYA Homes on July 24th, 2020

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City of Fairfax Mayor and Council Green Light EYA Townhome Development on Pickett Road

Project was approved through virtual meetings, a first for EYA and the City of Fairfax, and also includes the City’s first Affordable Dwelling Units (ADU’s) as part of the City’s recently passed ADU Ordinance

BETHESDA, MD (July 22, 2020) – EYA Development, LLC (EYA) is pleased to announce that the Mayor and Council of the City of Fairfax, VA have unanimously approved a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezoning for a planned development of 50 townhomes to be built at 3500 Pickett Road on a 3.7-acre site currently occupied by Metro Church. Working with the surrounding community and city agencies, EYA developed a thoughtful design aimed at filling a regional need for low maintenance, well-priced homeownership opportunities. It is estimated that only 14 percent of the current housing stock in Fairfax is townhomes and this project will address demand for this type of housing in the City.

In addition to the approval, the City also approved its first Affordable Dwelling Units (ADU’s) as part of this project. The project has 50 total units, five of which will be ADU’s offered to families making no more than 70 percent of the area median income. The City has been deliberating on enacting an ADU program this year and EYA and the City worked together to make the Pickett Road the City’s initial project with ADU’s, as well as a potential model for future projects that include ADU’s in the City.

“Northern Virginia continues to attract companies with its skilled and educated workforce and vibrant business environment. Accompanying these new jobs has come a tremendous demand for quality housing options. EYA came to Fairfax City with a proposal to fill that need by bringing high-quality townhomes to market,” said David Meyer Mayor of the City of Fairfax “One of the most remarkable parts of this story is the way EYA brought stakeholders together to develop a community-oriented proposal that has forged links to the broader neighborhood and also implemented the City’s new affordable housing ordinance, all before the first shovel has gone into the ground.”

Metro Church had hosted one of its congregations in a 17,000-square-foot single story building on the Pickett Road property since 2012. In 2019, the church decided to consolidate its parishioners in the DC region at a single location in Alexandria and use the sale of the Pickett Road property to fund its broader mission and better serve its congregants. The church didn’t want to sell to just anyone, but rather hoped for a developer that embraced the values of community building.

“When we sat down with EYA and listened to their ideas for this development, we became more aware of how a townhome neighborhood that included a portion of affordable housing could positively impact lives in this community,” said Morgan Dalisay, Executive Director of Operations and Church Life at Metro Church. “Being a good neighbor encompasses so many of the values that motivate our church and it’s nice that this land will become home to a community designed to foster friendly relationships.”  

That commitment to neighborliness has been on display throughout the zoning approval process, as EYA engaged the adjacent neighborhood, Barrister’s Keepe, in a discussion on how to address neighborhood concerns and build good will toward the new development. Over the course of several months, EYA worked to explain design decisions and alter site plans in response to concerns from these neighbors. In March, the HOA of Barrister’s Keepe sent a letter of support to the city’s community development and planning board enthusiastically endorsing the proposed plan.

“EYA included us in their design process, and in doing so has made the prospect of new neighbors a welcome one,” said David Herrington, President of the Barrister’s Keepe HOA. “For every concern our residents had—about stormwater management, preservation of mature trees, visitor parking, and site density among others—EYA listened and proposed solutions that were mutually agreeable. This process should serve as a model for other developers working to gain community support and it led to our strong support of the project.”

Another aspect that may become a model for others to follow is the extensive use of virtual meetings and technology to navigate the approval process and solicit public input. Necessitated by the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the City and EYA sought innovative solutions to allow for the kind of rigorous discussion and careful deliberation that has long formed the backbone of zoning approvals in Fairfax.  

The proposed plan required approval from three different entities to get the green light: the architectural review board, the city planning commission, and the mayor and city council.  All three meeting to approve the project were held virtually and the project represents the first “virtual” approval for both EYA and the City of Fairfax.

“Now that the plan has passed, EYA can move forward to make the design a reality and someday in the not-too-distant future, moving trucks will arrive, kids will be playing in the common spaces, people will be walking the sidewalks in the evening, and the cluster of 50 new townhomes off Pickett Road will become home,” said Aakash Thakkar, EVP, EYA. “There is an evident need for developments like this one, targeted to appeal to all segments of the market including young professionals, families, active adults, and empty nesters, and we were pleased to work so well with Fairfax City to meet this need.”

The site is bordered by a 100‐foot‐wide City property to the south, the Army Navy Country Club to the west, a small lot development known as Barristers Keepe to the north, and Pickett Road to the east. EYA proposes to redevelop the property into 50 high quality townhomes in a thoughtful site plan that includes rooftop terraces, landscaped sidewalks, backyards, park space, and a large, activated open space. Nearby retail and related offerings include Trader Joe’s, Lifetime Fitness, and the Fairfax ice rink. Groundbreaking and home sales are expected in mid to late 2020.

References to “EYA” refer to EYA, LLC. EYA, LLC through its various development affiliates, is a leader in Washington, D.C.’s urban and transit-oriented living that promotes Life Within Walking Distance®. Individual projects are developed and sold by EYA-affiliated entities, and all representations regarding the development, construction, or sale of any project refers to those affiliates. Founded in 1992, EYA LLC and its development affiliates have built more than 5,000 residences and 42 walkable urban neighborhoods across the D.C. metro area. For additional information, visit www.eya.com