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Vienna Town Council Concerned Backers of Two Developments Are Bending Height-Limit Rules

Two developments planned for Maple Avenue are facing some backlash from the Vienna Town Council for trying to slip an extra floor or two into their projects.

At last night’s (Monday) Vienna Town Council meeting, Councilmember Douglas Noble said he had concerns about the mixed-use development at 380 Maple Street and the 80-unit Sunrise Assisted Living facility proposed at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street.

For 380 Maple Street, Noble said he was happy to see new parking recently added to the project but was concerned that the building’s height exceeds four-story limits established in the zoning code.

“The applicant has come in with a proposal that has an extra floor… for parking,” said Noble. “It’s a creative solution to add parking. [They] also asked for a site plan modification to add a half-story. I have strong concerns that this is contrary to the intent of Maple Avenue [zoning]. It’s five stories.”

Meanwhile, Noble also said the Sunrise Assisted Living Facility had recently proposed a mezzanine that doesn’t actually fit the town’s definition of one.

“My reading of MAC code and my understanding of how we wrote it was that a mezzanine does not occupy more than 50 percent of the area of the floor below. In our current definition, it says it’s partially open to that floor below. I do not believe plans at Sunrise meet either criterion. I have concerns that these plans are not compliant.”

Town staff said both projects will be discussed in a work session with the Town Council next Monday (March 4).

Photo via Town of Vienna Planning and Zoning

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