Statement of Justification
Ox Hill Baptist Church
The property that is the subject of this Rezoning and concurrent Special Exception application consists of two parcels totaling approximately 5.7 acres, currently zoned R-1. The property is located on the east side of Elmwood Street, off the Jackson Memorial Highway (Rt. 50) in the Springfellow Community Planning Sector (B4) of Bull Run Planning District in Area III.
The church seeks to rezone the subject property in accordance with their 15-Year / 4-Phase Master Plan. The proposed expansion is based on the projected church growth over the next 15 to 20 years and the efficient use of this site. Currently, over 40% of the church property is vacant (Parcel 54A). As depicted on the Phasing Plan, submitted with this application, the church envisions a systematic development of this site with the initial expansion of the parking area and all relevant site improvements to support the subsequent building and program expansion. Additional improvements will include a fellowship hall, kitchen, classrooms, an administration wing, a music suite, and media center and ultimately a new 950-seat sanctuary. The proposed additions to the existing church structure will be built in harmony with the existing pseudo-Georgian or Colonial architecture. This Master Plan was developed over several years by the church’s Long-Range Planning Committee and is based on:
When the church first began its worship service in the early 1970’s, no zoning approvals were required. Since that time the church has requested and received approval for a building addition, site improvements, and the expansion of its services and activities which currently include a Mothers Day Out program, as well as a Computer Learning Center and educational program. The Master Plan for the church envisions the expansion of these programs in addition to initiating other community based new services such as an After-School Teen Center, a Senior Center, and possibly a Family Resource Center. Similar to the existing Computer Learning Center, it is anticipated that these proposed new public use programs will be provided in conjunction with the Fairfax County Office of Partnerships. A more detailed description of these uses is provided by Attachment A- “Description of Proposed Uses”.
In order to provide the proposed services and activities, the church is requesting a rezoning from R-1 to R-12. The existing R-1 category, limits the allowable floor area ratio (FAR) to 0.15 for all uses other than residential or public. The County’s adapted Comprehensive Plan recommends residential use at a density of 12 to 16 dwelling units per acre on this site and the surrounding area. If approved, the requested R-12 District is in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan for the proposed uses and intensity.
As mentioned, in addition to the building and site improvements the church is also requesting a special exception to continue and expand the Mothers Day Out Program for nursery school and child care services. It is anticipated that the current 60-child enrollment will double to 120 children over the next 20 years. Presently, the church site offers a an appropriate transition from the commercial uses to the north and west, buffering the residential uses to the east, south, and south west. According to the Transitional Screening and Barrier Matrix (Article 13), Transitional Screening- Type 1 (25’) is required adjacent to the townhouses along Lindendale Lane and abutting the existing single-family structure across Elmwood Street at the southwest corner of the site. Although the entire 25-foot yard width will be provided in both these areas, the church is requesting approval of a modification to allow the existing vegetation to satisfy the screening requirement. Along Lindendale Lane, the church currently enjoys a unique relationship with the residents of this section of the Westgate development and has established an arbor entrance to connect the community to this site. In addition the existing meditation garden also encroaches this planting strip.
Along Elmwood Street the one remaining single-family structure is owned by the Chantilly Wesleyan Methodist Church. At this time, however, it has not been determined if this structure is used for residential purposes or in conjunction with the adjoining church building under the same ownership. In any case, the church also requests a modification to allow the existing landscaping to remain to satisfy the screening requirement. In addition, the church also requests a wavier of the barrier requirement (D,E, or F) which would further hinder community access to this site. This modification and waiver is requested in accordance with Section 13-304, Paragraphs 3, 5 and 14.
The amount of vehicle traffic associated with this proposed application will not exceed the capacity of the nearby streets nor will it exceed the capacity of the new parking area. Phase 1, includes 154 additional parking spaces for a total capacity of 280 spaces. Access to the church will continue from Elmwood Street with the addition of a new entrance for the expanded parking area. At the initial phase, the church is also proposing street dedication, the construction of curb and gutter and the continuation of the concrete sidewalk. For a more detailed description of the usage and parking demands for this site, see Attachment B “Ox Hill Baptist Church Facilities Usage Estimates”.
To our knowledge there are no hazardous or toxic substances as set forth in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations Parts 116.4, 302.4, and 355 or hazardous waste as set forth in the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Waste Management VR 672-10-1, or petroleum products as defined in Title 40 of Federal Regulations, Part 280, that will be generated, utilized, stored, treated and/or disposed of on this site.
In summary, the proposed development will provide a transition between the different adjacent uses, is respectful of the environment and will continue to serve the community with spiritual and social programs. Given the proposed street improvements, stormwater management facility and additional landscaping, it is anticipated that the proposed requests will have a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhood. Except as noted above, the proposed expansion conforms to the provisions of all applicable County ordinances, regulations and adopted standards.
Rinker-Detwiler & Associates
Eileen T. Carroll, ACIP
Agent for Applicants
March 9, 2004
Revised – March 23, 2004
Attachment A--- Description of Proposed Uses
Attachment B- Ox Hill Baptist Church Facilities Usage Estimate