The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday the development of five new homes in Vienna’s Wolftrap Downs area, despite the protests of many nearby neighbors.
The Board unanimously approved Sekas Homes' rezoning application to redevelop the 2.5-acre plot on Drewlaine Drive, which currently contains a single house, to hold five new houses around an expanded cul-de-sac.
During a 45-minute public hearing Tuesday night, residents representing the 38 families residing in the Manors at Wolf Trap, a neighborhood immediately north of the development, spoke against the new homes.
David Gibson and Michael Sciulla, both Manors at Wolftrap residents, argued the new houses were going to be built on a plot of land much too small for them and in too close a proximity to other houses.
Sciulla said the back of one particular house would jut into the Manors at Wolftrap cul-de-sac, causing an eyesore and headache for Manors residents.
“The owner of this house will be practically barbecuing on the front lawn of his neighbors,” Sciulla said.
He asked the board to consider decreasing the number of homes in the Sekas application to four, or at least move the fifth house back so it would be less visible from the Manors.
“I am a taxpayer and homeowner whose property value will drop if you allow this,” Sciulla said.
Gibson also pointed out the environmental problems with the proposed redevelopment.
Stormwater runoff from the new houses could put extra strain on the headwaters of Wolftrap Creek and the majority of the old Oak trees on the lot would be removed.
“I’m deeply troubled by the direction of this and I’m surprised it’s gone as far as it has,” he said.
Gibson and Sciulla both said that all 38 families who live in the Manors at Wolftrap had signed a petition – 83 signatures in total – opposing the development.
But John Sekas, the developer, said other neighbors were thrilled the current plot, an unmaintained, temporary cul-de-sac, is going to become an established part of the community.
He also said a stormwater infiltration trench proposed as part of the development will control drainage and soak it right into the ground.
But Jacqueline Hunt, vice president of the Wolftrap Downs Homeowners Association and resident of the street on which the development would be built, spoke in support of the project.
“It has been a nightmare,” she said, referring to drug incidents at the house that will be torn down. “We were so happy when Mr. Sekas bought the property.”
Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) said she had originally thought this development, which is in her district, would go through smoothly, and was sorry it had not.
“I do regret that some of residents think the homes are too close to them, but frankly, their homes are very close to the lot,” she said.