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Town council approves downsized Vienna Courts condo development

A rendering of the duplexes proposed to replace the Vienna Courts condos (via Town of Vienna)

The Vienna Courts offices will officially be replaced with residential condominiums.

The Vienna Town Council voted Monday (Dec. 5) to approve a rezoning and site plans that would allow 12 two-story condo duplexes with two units each at 127-133 Park Street — a more modest project than the 30 units that developer BFR Construction originally proposed.

“This has been a long time coming, and in my opinion, this meets one of our biggest challenges going forward, which is to find lower-cost housing for Vienna,” said Councilmember Chuck Anderson. “We don’t have a whole lot of spaces for that, but this happens to be, I think, a very good space for it.”

Officials on the council — and the town’s planning commission before it — had pushed to scale back the project plans to create more open space on the 1.66-acre lot.

BFR President Steve Bukont had argued that the site’s long, narrow shape would make it difficult to meet that demand while also maintaining his vision of the development as an alternative to traditional single-family houses and townhomes for residents looking to age in place.

The Vienna Courts redevelopment will deliver 24 condo units in 12 buildings on Park Street NE (via Town of Vienna)

After initially requesting an allowance for 70%, the developer was able to get the lot coverage down to 61.5% by removing another building, slightly reducing the size of the remaining buildings and taking away three of the 19 proposed visitor parking spots.

The complex will now have a total of 64 parking spaces, including 48 garage spaces, 16 guest spaces and two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant spaces.

The added space also came at the expense of a commitment to install solar panels and geothermal heating and air conditioning systems. The developer now says it reserves the right to install geothermal HVAC systems and will design the building roofs to support future solar panels, but the utilities aren’t guaranteed.

BFR will still install 5-foot-wide brick sidewalks and street lights and underground power lines along Park Street, according to a final proffer statement. The developer has also agreed to construct a privacy wall between its property and the adjacent house at 135 Park Street at the homeowner’s request.

The Vienna Courts redevelopment is the second duplex project that the council has approved in as many years, as Vienna seeks to provide a greater variety of housing.

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