This story was updated on Nov. 21, 2012.
A redevelopment project that has been high on the wish list for the Fairfax City Council for more than five years appears to finally be moving forward.
Redevlopment applications for the former Eleven Oaks Elementary School property are now under review in both the city and Fairfax County, as the property spans the city-county line.
Local homebuilder Madison Homes wants to build 49 homes on the 7.6-acre property, which is located between School Street and University Drive, near George Mason University. The City of Fairfax owns the land, which it purchased from the Fairfax County School Board in 2007.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” said City of Fairfax Mayor Scott Silverthorne. “[The property] has been greatly under-utilized. It is prime real estate.”
Madison Homes’ projects include Madison Mews, the townhouses located on the former library property in downtown Fairfax city; The Palladium condos in Mclean; and The Reserve at Tysons Corner.
One of the biggest obstacles to redveloping the property was removed earlier this year, when the city found a place to relocate the 50 school buses that are now stored at the Eleven Oaks property.
The city invested significant effort in researching potential locations for the bus lot. In 2010, a proposal to relocate the bus lot to Woodson High School was withdrawn in the face of significant community opposition.
The City of Fairfax ultimately reached an agreement with the owners of a fuel storage facility on Pickett Road to purchase a portion of their property and store the buses there, a plan that is still unpopular with nearby residents.
However, Silverthorne said, the final site is surrounded on three sides by commercial property and will be well screened from the closest residences, about 500 feet away.
“We believe the impact is going to be minimal on that community,” he said.
A public hearing on the Fairfax County portion of the rezoning application for Eleven Oaks was scheduled for last night’s Planning Commission meeting. The Fairfax City Council will hold its hearing on the portion of the property within the city on Dec. 11.
The original version of this story listed the incorrect date for the Fairfax City Council’s public hearing.