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Residential Neighborhood May Replace Vacant Leesburg Pike Church Property

Ten acres of vacant St. Paul’s Lutheran Church property at the intersection of Leesburg Pike and Idylwood Road could soon be redeveloped into a residential neighborhood.

A zoning application to the Fairfax County Board from developer Toll Mid-Atlantic LP Company requests permission to build 67 residential units — a mix of 39 single-family and 28 multi-family units.

St. Paul’s facilities at the site were built between 1954 and 1967, but have been vacant since Lutheran Social Services moved to the primary St. Paul’s building.

The church property sits at one corner of a busy intersection, requiring transportation improvements in the project application. Approval of the homes would require frontage improvements to Idylwood Road, a dedicated right-of-way along Leesburg Pike for a future right turn lane and a few other local road connections.

“Collectively, these road improvements will mitigate the impact of the vehicle trips generated by St. Paul’s and the Proposed Development, and will provide greater benefit than the previous commitments,” the developer said in the application. “The applicant proposes an eight-foot asphalt trail along Leesburg Pike, an eight-foot concrete sidewalk along Idylwood Road, and a bus shelter at the corner of Idylwood Road and Leesburg Pike.

The deal would allow St. Paul’s to finance a long-planned family life center. The facility would increase the overall size of the church from 17,196 square feet to 27,928 square feet.

According to the application:

The purpose of the approved expansion is to create a new family life center for use by the congregation and the community. Since the approval of the family life center… in 2005, however, St. Paul’s has been unable to construct the building due to financial constraints and the significant cost of the project. As a result, St. Paul’s has entered into an agreement with the Applicant to sell a portion of the property… which will provide the funding necessary for St. Paul’s to achieve its long-term goal of developing the family life center.

The project is tentatively planned for a Planning Commission hearing on Sept. 25, with a Board of Supervisors hearing to be determined.

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