Citizens Assoc.


This page provides access to papers opposing efforts by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to develop residential communities close by Dulles airport. Occupants of these developments will risk exposure to intense aircraft noise similar to the levels so many find untenable today around Washington National airport. Earlier Boards have protected residents and Dulles from this fate with land use policies discouraging residential developments nearby the airport. Over the past three years, the current Board recklessly has abandoned these policies.

Paper One dated 9 Mar 2022:  A 21 Jul 2020 Meeting of the Board’s Land Use Policy Committee discussed two pivotal elements of past land use policies protecting the airport.  A 9 Mar 2020 paper addressed to Supervisors and Planning Commissioners and available here documented the abundance of misinformation that had been presented in the meeting as well as the critical omission of testimony from local aviation industry experts who had strongly recommended against the Board’s dismantling past policies.

Paper Two dated 6 Apr 2022:  County staff is preparing an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, PA 2020-CW-3CP, which would provide guidance for residential developments between the 60 and 65 DNL noise contours close by the airport.  The proposed guidance is utterly lacking in effective noise protection for residents.  On 7 Apr 2020, this paper was send to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission pointing out the deficiency and opposing adoption.

Paper Three dated 12 May 2022.  This paper effectively summarizes the conclusions of the two papers above to argue that Plan Amendment 2020-CW-3CP should not be adopted.  The amendment would allow residential development in a 5-square-mile area bordering Dulles airport with little assurance that aircraft noise in homes would be effectively mitigated or that developments would provide viable neighborhoods for families given the noise.  The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission received copies of the paper on 12 May 2020.  Hearings are scheduled for 18 May (PC) and 28 June (Board).

Planning Commission Hearing Testimony dated 18 May 2022.  18 May 2020 testimony before the Planning Commission argued that PA 2020-CW-3CP should not be adopted because (1) the proposed guidance for mitigating interior aircraft noise levels is inadequate and (2) the proposal to allow residential uses between the 60 and 65 DNL contours is based on out-of-date 1993 contours that were superseded by current contours three years ago in April 2019.

Additional Information for Planning Commission dated 1 Jun 2022.  On 1 Jun 2022, follow-up information was provided to the Planning Commission in an effort to clarify the 18 May testimony.  The objective was to make clear the need for an effective standard for interior noise mitigation.  An example of 45 DNL aircraft noise at Dulles was included.

Paper Four dated 14 June 2020.  The health and welfare of future occupants of the homes the Board is recommending between the 60 and 65 dNL contours is the first priority.  The county is responsible for establishing and enforcing effective, realistic standards for interior noise mitigation.  Without such standards there is no reason to hope that the homes will support viable family life.  The purpose of this  paper is to demonstrate that the Board has abdicated this responsibility.  Instead, the Board has adopted the tenet that home occupation at Dulles is a “buyer-beware situation.”  The paper was distributed to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

Board of Supervisors Hearing Testimony dated 28 Jun 2022.  This testimony is a five-minute summary of Paper Four.   A copy of the additional information distributed to the Planning Commission on 1 June was attached to the written testimony.

 

The Fall meeting of HRVCA was held via Zoom from 7:30 to 9:15 PM on Wednesday 20 Oct. Twenty-one residents participated.

The agenda included election of the board, a pat on the back for residents who participated in the April clean up of the stream valley, Neighborhood Watch and a crime report, discussion of the Villages program (neighbor-helping-neighbor), and status of a number of county activities that affect our neighborhood or will.

The meeting report summarizes meeting activities and provides a link to a county briefing on the plan for adding sidewalks to Sleepy Hollow Road.

Our next meeting is planned for March.

Enjoy the holidays!

Clyde Miller.

 

 

The spring meeting of HRVCA was held on line via Zoom from 7:30 to 9:15 PM on Wednesday, 31 March.  Twenty people at 17 locations participated in the meeting.

The agenda included Friends of Holmes Run (FOHR) plans for a spring clean-up along the creek, Neighborhood Watch, neighborhood communications, and a discussion of development pressures on districts zoned for single-family homes.

FOHR is sponsoring a clean-up of the stream valley on Saturday, 17 April. The group in our area will meet at the entrance to the creek adjacent to the intersection of Slade Run Drive and Rose Lane at 10:30 AM.

Included in the meeting report is guidance from our Fall 2019 meeting on working issues with the Department of Code Compliance.  The material includes a link to several pages of suggestions from DCC itself.  The DCC material speaks to HOAs but the information is equally applicable to communities such as ours.

The meeting report, which includes links to the slides, is here.

Our next meeting is planned for October.

Stay well.

Clyde Miller

The slides used during the 4 March Mason District Council Zoom meeting on zMOD are available here.

Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association (HRVCA) has submitted comments to the Planning Commission on Fairfax County’s November draft of a revised zoning ordinance.  The draft proposes to substantially roll back current regulations protecting residential communities from incompatible development.  At the same time, the county proposes to diminish the means by which residents currently are able to participate in land use management decisions affecting their neighborhoods.  The result is a two-pronged assault on the quality of life in our communities.  A copy of the HRVCA comments is available here.

Fairfax County’s zMOD Program is developing a new zoning ordinance with the objective of completing the task in March.  Hearings are scheduled to begin in January.  A consolidated draft of the new ordinance was published on zMOD’s Web site on 30 Jun for public comment.  

In the consolidated draft, zMOD is proposing more than 100 changes to ordinance regulations.  The paper linked to this page recommends that seven of the changes should not be published as final zMOD Program proposals.  Three of the proposals would deprive residential neighborhoods of essential protection against encroachment of incompatible high-density development.  The remaining four should be revised both to better serve the needs of residents and to be clear regarding their meaning and intent.  Pages 3 and 4 of the paper concisely summarize the comments on the seven changes recommended for reconsideration.

Residents interested in neighborhood-friendly development of the county and its communities are urged to read the paper and email their comments to their supervisor and planning commissioner.  The paper is organized into 10 sections, each just 2 or 3 pages long, and each of the seven issues has its own section.  So very little reading is necessary.  Please pick one or two topics from among the seven, and when you are comfortable with them, send your comments. zMOD’s restructured and amended zoning ordinance potentially will affect many aspects of land use management and development in the county.  The new ordinance deserves our attention.

I am Clyde Miller, President of Holmes Run Valley Citizens Association in Mason District and Secretary of Mason District Council.  You can reach me at HolmesRunValley@gmail.com.

Thank you. 

 

As explained in the linked paper, the current signs ordinance, adopted in Mar 2019, allows a proliferation of enormous incompatible signs throughout the county’s residential districts, and that invasion is underway.

The ordinance allows all non-residential uses in residential districts an unbelievable 114 sq ft of signage with colored light illumination continually changing is both color and intensity as well as 20 sq ft of technicolor electronic display with the message changing every 8 seconds.  Such displays are totally incompatible with the character of residential neighborhoods.  Virtually no one would accept them in front of the house across the street from their home.

For residential uses, the ordinance allows 12 sq ft of permanent yard signs.  With two trivial exceptions, the previous ordinance did not allow permanent signs for residential use.   The current ordinance together with revisions to the zoning ordinance proposed by zMOD would allow all accessory uses such as home businesses, short term lodging, and accessory dwelling/living units to put up 12 sq ft of permanent signs.

The current signs ordinance threatens neighborhoods with a flood of incompatible signs.   Types and amounts of signs allowed should be rolled back and the permanent yard signs should not be permitted.  The linked paper provides specific recommendations in the conclusions section on page 4.

All supervisors and planning commissioners have copies of the linked paper.  I expect to have talked to all supervisors and/or their staffs about the issues by Friday, 9 October.  The Board’s Land Use Policy Committee may discuss the issues during their 27 Oct meeting.

Needed now are emails to supervisors and planning commissioners.  Please read the attached paper and email your representatives asking them to amend the signs ordinance as soon as reasonably possible.

As described in the linked paper, the signs ordinance adopted by Fairfax County in March 2019 allows huge incompatible signs, including electronic displays and colored light illumination, that easily will permanently damage residential neighborhoods.  The ordinance should be amended as soon as reasonably possible.  In the interim, safeguards described in the paper should be established now to protect neighborhoods from a proliferation of incompatible signs.  This is a county-wide issue that warrants immediate attention.

 

 

Jacke Zeiher has updated our “hot sheet.”  The two-page document lists the phone numbers and Internet coordinates of the principal agencies that service our community: schools, state and county government, public safety, and utilities.  Here is where you can download the HRVCA Summer 2020 Hot Sheet.

In Mar 2019, the Board of Supervisors adopted a new Article 12 signs ordinance developed by the county’s zMOD Program. The ordinance allows enormous incompatible signs in residential districts and should be rescinded.
The attached document describes the concerns and make recommendations for producing a new signs ordinance.

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