Ellison Subdivision

January 24, 2007

The County has REJECTED the preliminary plan based on inadequate information concerning storm water runoff and faulty calculations concerning the number of houses that can be built on the marine clay at this site. The County imposes a penalty for development on marine clay and apparently the owner and his engineer didn't calculate it properly. It is clear from the staff's presentation at our January 23 meeting that storm water runoff into what we believe to be an inadequate system will be a major stumbling block in the development of this site. We'll keep you informed should a new preliminary plan be submitted. On a second subject, the County staff and a consultant are working on a study concerning the existing system and the cause for flooding on Thornwood Drive. We expect to get the result of that study in early March.     

A preliminary plan has been submitted to Fairfax County for potential development of the what is called the Ellison subdivision. It consists of 4.67 acres accessed off Telegraph Road and Driftwood Drive and bordered by residences on the north side Climbhill Road and the south side of Thornwood Drive. The subdivision consists of property owned by the Heirs of Thorleif Ellison, Earl Ellison and Satish Amin. The property is to be developed in conjunction with the Yasikgroup of Ashburn, VA. The Fairfax County tax map numbers are 82-3 ((1)), 48, 48A, 49 and 50. It is zoned R-3 and is proposed to be developed as a cluster, one accessed via Driftwood Drive and the other via Telegraph Road. No rezoning is proposed therefore no public hearings will be held. RHCA will, however, comment loud and long on the plan. The plan proposes 11 new houses in addition to the two to be retained for a total of 13.


It should be noted that a preliminary plan is an essence a notice to Fairfax County of the intent to develop the property. Approval of a preliminary plan does NOT accord the applicant the right to begin any construction. If approved, the preliminary plan will be followed by an engineered site plan that provide information concerning soils, water runoff, public facilities such as roads, sewers, etc. Since this property includes marine clay, a geotechnical engineering study will be required in an effort to convince the County that development can safely occur.

RHCA has met with County staff and strongly pressed its concerns about development on marine clay at this site. We also have urged that no development be approved until such time as studies concerning flooding in the area are completed and any resulting upgrades of the storm water management system for the are in place.

We have arranged for County staff to attend our January 23, 2007 meeting to further explain the proposal and the next steps should a preliminary plan be approved. Although letters sent to area residents indicated action may be taken on this preliminary plan within 30 days, County staff indicates that action will not be forthcoming until after a thorough review that will stretch into 2007. They will update us at the January 23 meeting.

If you have an interest in this proposal, plan to attend the January 23, 2007 RHCA meeting beginning at 7 p.m. at the John Marshall Library. And, don't forget to join RHCA for 2007. The more voices we represent, the louder we will be heard!

Carl Sell, President

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