Planning commission approves updated plan for west end of Huntington Avenue

Huntington Auto Care property

Three properties near the intersection of Huntington Avenue and Telegraph Road were approved for higher intensity development by the county planning commission. (Google Maps image)

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted Thursday to amend the county’s comprehensive plan to allow a 4.21-acre strip of land on the western end of Huntington Avenue be eligible for high-density, mixed-use development in the future.

The strip of land in question, located on the north side of Huntington Avenue in between Telegraph Road and The Parker apartments, falls just outside of a “transit development area” that allows for higher intensity development within a quarter mile of the Huntington Metro station. In 2015, the Board of Supervisors asked the county’s department of planning and zoning to look into amending the comprehensive plan in to allow the strip of land to become part of that transit development area.

The strip covered by the amendment actually consists of three connected properties — a piece of vacant land, the Huntington Auto Care repair shot, and a five-story office building (see map below). 

Overhead view of map

An overhead view of the property. (Fairfax County image)

By being part of the transit development area, the land covered in the amendment can be used for developments similar to The Parker apartments and the future Huntington Club reredevelopment planned for the other side of Huntington Avenue.

However, any future development to the strip of land covered by the amendment will be smaller than those two developments. Two of the three properties on it — the vacant land and the auto repair business — were ruled to be completely inside of the Cameron Run floodplain by FEMA in 2016. Thus they cannot be built on in the future. However, most of the third property — the one that has the office building on it currently — can be redeveloped.

The owner of the office property may pursue consolidation of the three properties in the future, according to a lawyer speaking on his behalf at Thursday’s hearing. But she noted that the owner of the other two properties is not interested in selling at this time.

Should the parcels be consolidated in the future, the land within the floodplain could be re-vegetated and used for trails, the department of planning and zoning said in its staff report on the amendment

The comprehensive plan amendment was supported by both the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation and the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations.

The Board of Supervisors will vote on the plan amendment at their Jan. 23 meeting.

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