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County Board to Vote on Contested Ballston Development

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm 0

(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) The County Board is set to vote this Saturday (February 24) on a contested residential development in Ballston.

The development is planned around the intersection of N. Vermont and 11th streets, about four blocks from the Ballston Metro station. Developer NVR Inc. intends to build a 72-unit multifamily building with both condos and townhouse-style units on the southern block and 12 townhouse units on the northern parcel of land.

County staff, along with the Arlington’s planning and transportation commissions, are recommending that the Board approves the development, but some neighbors have objected to it.

“Save Our Neighborhood” signs in opposition of the development have been placed around Ballston, urging residents to wear red t-shirts to the County Board meeting to show their solidarity. A Change.org petition has garnered more than 500 signatures.

The petition’s organizer, Dana Gerk, cited a swamped mass transit infrastructure, overcrowding in the schools, concerns about increased traffic, “potential physical damage… from heavy machinery,” and a deviation from the county’s current zoning for the site.

Other opponents cite the proposed height of the condo building as harmful.

“Through the process, local residents vocally opposed the design and placement of the seven story multi-family building,” one resident said in an email to ARLnow.com. “At each public hearing Westview [condo] residents whose properties were built with floor to ceiling window balconies opposed the current design, which will block access to light according to developer-provided shadow studies.

“Other buildings in the area, such as on the corner of Glebe and Fairfax, were sculpted to preserve the access to sunlight for Westview residents, and Westview residents note that, if approved, this new building takes away the views of over 100 residents so that a developer can maximize profits for many fewer.”

Approval from the board would necessitate two exceptions be granted. The lot is currently planned as “low-medium residential,” meaning that it can accommodate 16-36 units per acre, and would need to be changed to “high-medium residential mixed use” in the General Land Use Plan (GLUP).

An additional rezoning request for the 55,667 square foot site would allow developers to build multiple family dwellings and commercial district property. The current status only allows for one family and restricted two-family dwellings.

The final plans were released earlier this month for the redevelopment, which would replace the Grace Community Church building and a parking lot.

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