- Entire 2.5-acre property will remain County historic district; separate lot created for historic Reeves farmhouse
- Designed to facilitate farmhouse sale to buyer willing to restore, maintain house; subsequent Board action required for sale
- Approximately 2 acres to remain public park
- County Manager directed to hold off dividing property until instructed to do so by the County Board, potential private partnership ideas welcomed
“The County’s goal is to preserve the irreplaceable Reeves farmhouse, the historic landscape and the maximum amount of public land and open space at this site,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “Creating the two separate parcels now does not mean that the farmhouse will be sold immediately; it means that we continue to pave the way for it to be restored and preserved, whether by an individual or through a private partnership proposal.”
The Board voted 4-1, with Board Member Walter Tejada voting against, to approve a use permit for a Unified Residential Development (URD) to create a separate parcel for the Reeves Farmhouse and to approve a use permit for a Public Park for open space.
The creation of a separate lot that includes the farmhouse would enable the County to market the house for sale to a private buyer willing to restore and maintain it. The newly created lot is meant to give a potential owner privacy and the flexibility to expand the house with oversight by the county’s Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board. The rest of the property, including a historic milk shed that remains from the days when Reevesland was the County’s last dairy farm before it closed in 1955, will still be owned by the County.
The County Board has directed the County Manager not to record the subdivision plat until instructed to do so by the County Board. By holding off on the recording of the plat, the community will continue to have the opportunity to put forward proposals. The County has up to three years after approval to record the plat.
The Board also approved a use permit for a public park on the County-owned land. Both parcels will remain under a County historic district, so all exterior changes are subject to review by the Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board. The house lot will have an additional historic easement recorded on it before it is marketed for sale.
The Reeves Farmhouse dates back to 1878; the milk shed dates to around 1930. The shed, Reevesland sledding hill and planting beds all will remain in public ownership. A non-historic garage on the site will be demolished to ensure public access to the milk shed.
To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #46 on the Agenda for the Saturday, Sept. 19 County Board Meeting.