Planning Office: Stacked Townhouses, Not Apartments Proposed for Braemar Retail Space

| September 4, 2013 | 0 Comments | Braemar, News

The Sudley Manor Drive entrance to the Birkwood property adjacent to Braemar Village Plaza.

Braemar residents may be relieved to learn that the site of the 98 “village homes” proposed for the commercial site south of the Braemar Village Plaza is intended for 2-2s, otherwise known as stacked townhomes.

Braemar residents recently received notices in the mail that the property along Sudley Manor Drive and Merrimont Trace Circle could have its zoning amended from commercial to high suburban residential. In response, some community members have started a petition, saying that they do not want an apartment complex to come into their neighborhood.

However, according to Steve Donohoe, the Prince William County Planner assigned to the “Birkwood at Braemar,” community, the village homes are not apartments. Donohoe said the plans submitted by Brookfield Braemar, LLC for the Birkwood property that extends along Sudley Manor Drive from Braemar Village Plaza to Erroll Drive, describes stacked townhomes, not apartments.

Stacked townhomes have the appearance of townhouses, but unlike townhouses, they include two family units stacked on top of each other. They differ from condos in that each family unit typically consists of two floors rather than one.

The Birkwood property near Sudley Manor Drive in Bristow.

According to Donohoe, stacked townhomes are generally sold, not rented out, by the developers in the county; although he said he cannot speak to what Brookfield plans to do with them.

“It just depends on the intent of the developer. There’s nothing in the proffer statement,” he said.

Donohoe said that at this early stage, the proffer amendment request could change.

“Unit type is still subject to change. We’re at the phase of this that we’re looking at the overall unit total,” Donohoe said, adding that he only received the project file last late week, and a preliminary meeting on the project is not scheduled until October.

Donohoe confirmed that his office sent out post cards to those living in the Braemar community and those living very near to the site, making them aware of the proffer change request.

“We notified the folks who were part of the original proffer arrangement in addition to the people who are within 200 feet [of the property],” he said. “We sent it to a large portion of Braemar because it is a proffer amendment that affects the community overall.”

Donohoe also addressed some residents’ concerns regarding the plans for the site: lack of parking and overcrowding of schools.

Addressing concerns over lack of parking, he said the plans show there will be more than two parking spaces for each unit, more parking spaces than that which is required by the county.

One Braemar Trail entrance near Merrimont Trace Circle is on the Birkwood property.

The village homes, should they be approved, would also have a separate main entrance from Sudley Manor Drive and a secondary entrance via Arrow Lane.

As for the number of children projected for the 98 home units, Donohoe said they do not have that figure yet, but his office will receive it before the time of the public meeting.

“The schools have to do their initial review of this application,” Donohoe said. “Anytime there is new residential [homes] going into this part of the county, that is a significant part of the application.”

As of yesterday, residents continued to voice their concerns over an apartment complex coming into their area, while at least one resident said it would be nice to have more affordable housing options in Bristow.

One major difference between an apartment complex and stacked townhouses is that owners would be more permeant residents who are likely to be more dedicated to the community. This may change public sentiment. However, new homes are still  planned for an area that already has surpassed its capacity at least at two of its local schools: Patriot High School and Marsteller Middle School.

A 13th high school in the area, which would likely include Bristow residents north of Linton Hall Road currently districted for Stonewall Jackson High School in Manasssas, could offer more relief, but construction on that school is not scheduled until 2017.

Bristow Beat has reached out to Brookfield Braemar, LLC and will publish more information once we hear back from one of their representatives.




© 2013, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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