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Fairfax Circle and Layton Hall are poised for redevelopment

by on 12/05/2012

The Mayor and City Council met at Blenheim last night for a comprehensive overview of current development proposals, and their fiscal impacts and benefits.

There are six development projects in play. Going from east to west, they are: Fairfax Circle; Fairfax Shopping Center; Northfax West (near the 29 Diner); the Breezeway Motel-Fairfax Gardens apartments; Layton Hall apartments; and the Britt property behind the old Borders bookstore in Kamp Washington, a thin strip running from 50 to 29.

The current proposals (some not yet formally submitted) would add 2,232 residential units. Only Fairfax Circle has a significant retail component. Local governments usually pay more in services than they receive in taxes from residential development. The opposite is true with retail and office development. The City projects a $5.2 million deficit in 2014. Not surprisingly, the Mayor and Council are far more receptive to proposals with a significant retail component.

The developer of Fairfax Circle, Combined Properties, has submitted a proposal, which includes ground-floor retail and a supermarket. The Mayor, and several members of the Council, indicated that the preliminary plans are promising, and this project is likely to be the first out of the gate.

David Hudson and Brooke Hardin of the Planning Department presented the outlook for future development, with a focus on reviving the Fairfax Boulevard Master Plan and integrating it into the comprehensive plan and zoning codes. Read the PowerPoint at work session presentation on future development 12-4-12.

The City also gave planning staff approval to proceed with a market analysis of retail demand in the Fairfax City area and to create an overlay district for redevelopment projects that will facilitate smart growth development and cut through the City’s cumbersome zoning codes — which often make walkable, mixed-use development illegal.

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