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F.C. Planners Vote to Change Comp Plan Designation for Fellows Tract

ONLY FOUR MEMBERS of the Falls Church Planning Commission were present for its business meeting Monday night, but enough for a quorum to conduct official business. Present were (left to right), Lindy Hockenberry, acting chair Russ Wodiska, Melissa Teates and Andy Rankin. (Photo: News-Press)
ONLY FOUR MEMBERS of the Falls Church Planning Commission were present for its business meeting Monday night, but enough for a quorum to conduct official business. Present were (left to right), Lindy Hockenberry, acting chair Russ Wodiska, Melissa Teates and Andy Rankin. (Photo: News-Press)

With barely a quorum for its meeting Monday night, the Falls Church Planning Commission voted 4-0 to recommend a change in the Falls Church Comprehensive Plan designation for the land inclusive of the Fellows Tract at 604 S. Oak Street, next to the Thomas Jefferson School.

A number of neighbors to the 85,500 square-foot tract, which was recently approved for sub-division into seven residential units at the meeting Tuesday, spoke  Monday to oppose the change, thinking it would open the door for a potential exercise by the City of eminent domain to control the property for expansion of the school.

However, some commissioners said their vote Monday had nothing to do with any such plans, and it would not alter the sub-division decision, either. They concurred that if anything, the City might want to purchase at least a portion of the property for open space.

While Planner Andy Rankin said that a possible school use should not be ruled out in the future, Planner Melissa Teates said that the vote Monday “has nothing to do with eminent domain, and no plans for a school use have been discussed.”

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