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Residential Development Plans Behind School in Final Stages

Winchester Homes plans 28 homes to be constructed behind Waples Mill Elementary School

Fairfax County is reviewing plans for a residential development that could break ground behind  this spring.

Winchester Homes, based out of Bethesda, Md., is in the final stages of approval for The Reserve at Waples Mill neighborhood, which will place 28 houses on 45.6 acres.

Because the space behind the elementary school has been zoned residential, the property does not require legislative action from the county nor any public hearings. The plans are approved administratively.

The developer expects approval for the project in early spring, allowing for land development — such as work on storm water management and road building — to begin late spring or early summer, said Greg Ruff, a development manager with Winchester Homes.

If all goes to plan, houses will start going up in the fall of 2012.

"It'll be an upscale community, consistent with the other subdivisions you see around the property. Values will be decided closer to the time we start sales," said Ruff, who added homes will likely be around 4,500 to 6,000 square feet.

Three roads will provide access into the subdivision: Verna Drive, part of which already exists as an entrance to the parking lot at the school; Waples Glen Court, currently a cul-de-sac with six homes; and Pine Tree Drive toward the south of the property.

Winchester Homes has reached out to the community to inform those directly affected by the upcoming construction, Ruff said. They have met with Linda Thetford, the principal of Waples Mill Elementary, and sent notification letters to the residents of the adjacent subdivision on Waples Glen Court.

"We've had a few calls from parents at the school and heard from property owners in Waples Glen, and they've all been positive," Ruff said.

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