Post #401: A correction on commercial buildings

Posted on September 30, 2019

In keeping with my last post, I have to correct something I said about structures built “by right” under our existing commercial zoning, in Post #346.

I pointed to 901 Glyndon and a proposed building across from the US Post Office (145 Church) as examples of by-right commercial buildings that were mostly housing.  Both 901 (already built) and the proposed 145 Church consist of two floors of housing over some retail.  They would not meet (what I thought was) the “primarily commercial” standard written into the zoning rules — that commercial buildings have to be primarily (51%) occupied for commercial use.

I have since been told that neither of these buildings were (or are) being built under the standard zoning rules for commercial property along Maple Avenue in Vienna (zones C1, C1A, C2).

The parcel at 901 Glyndon was zoned commercial prior to the annexation of that land by the Town of Vienna.  So the story there is that, despite being shown as commercial (C1) zoning on the Town’s zoning map, and by Fairfax County’s tax map, apparently it’s not.   Apparently, the zoning is something else, and that something else allowed the construction of a building that is primarily housing, as a commercial building.

The story for the proposed  145 Church building is that in the Church Street zone (C-1B), two floors of housing over some retail is OK.  I tried to pin that down by reading the regulations, but failed.  I have to take that as a matter of faith.

Assuming that’s all correct, the upshot is that neither of these buildings establishes any precedent under the standard commercial zoning that applies on Maple (C1, C1A, C2).

I needed to set that straight before proceeding to my next post.