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Planning Commission recommends moving forward on Paul VI redevelopment

by on 04/24/2018

On April 23 the Planning Commission approved a recommendation to redevelop the Paul VI campus primarily for townhomes and condominiums, knit together by a network of trails, open space and walkable streets.

Paul VI is located along Fairfax Boulevard and shares borders with several neighborhoods. The current landowner, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, is building a new school campus in Loudoun. The IDI Group is the contract purchaser and is seeking to to build 301 homes and a small amount of retail and commercial development.

View the staff report on Paul VI here.

View Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth’s letter and checklist: Paul VI-Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth

The Paul VI property was originally developed for Fairfax High School in 1935. After Fairfax High School moved to its current location, the property briefly functioned as George Mason University’s Fairfax campus. Since 1983, it has been the home of Paul VI.

Picture1 cropped

Aerial view of current Paul VI campus. Courtesy of googlemaps.

Paul VI aerial proposed-credit IDI Group

Proposed redevelopment of Paul VI. Courtesy of IDI Group.

Before the Diocese’s announcement in 2015 that it planned to relocate the campus, the City had not anticipated the property would change its ownership or current use. The City’s comprehensive plan has no guidance on the future disposition of the property, although it does call for commercial development along Fairfax Boulevard. Zoning for most of the property is commercial. The eastern side of the property is zoned for detached housing.

IDI’s plans required both a comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning. City staff recommended approval, but also identified 18 revisions to the plans, including adding trail connections, providing a phasing plan, and for the applicant to take full responsibility for stormwater and floodplain improvements.

The application now goes to the City Council. The City Council plans to hold a public hearing later in the year.

One line of discussion during the Planning Commission public hearing concerned the limited amount of proposed retail and commercial development. Planning Commissioners asked staff and the applicant if this area could absorb more demand for retail and commercial. Five years ago, the City commissioned a study by Streetsense on market demand for retail and commercial uses on Fairfax Boulevard. Streetsense completed the study and briefed the City Council and Planning Commission in 2013. The study indicated that, outside of the Northfax area around Route 123, there is very limited demand for retail and commercial development on Fairfax Boulevard.

 

 

 

 

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