Day 7 - Mound of Dirt makes for a Perfect Babysitter / by eric teran

I took Pedro (my son - the dictator) with me to give Daniela (my wife - Queen) some piece and quiet in the house. We arrived and there was lots of progress made in the digging department. We were also surprised to see the mound of dirt piling up ever so high that the city inspector has told us twice to cover it up before there is any rain. Real progress was made! This gigantic mound of dirt served me well as a natural made babysitter. Lots of dirt and rocks. What else could a kid want.

A great place for a kid to have fun!

Even I was happy. Almost as happy as when the city council approved my plans on March of 2014. When we bought the property it was not considered a buildable lot because there was not enough land for the R20 zone in which it was located. R20 requires a minimum of 20,000 SF of land to build a home. Our property has a little over 10,000 SF.

Normally this would kill the deal however the property was created around 1948 when it was part of Fairfax County. At that time all the homes along Fillmore Ave were 10,000 SF lots in a R10 zone. For some reason this lot was left vacant. As the years passed the city of Alexandria annexed this neighborhood and converted the entire area to R20 lots. Even the homes along Fillmore Ave that were already built on R10 lots. West of Fillmore Ave all the properties have 20,000 SF lots. However, our property was a more in line with the R1 lots along Fillmore Ave. 

Due to the lot being created and recorded in the County Assessors Office before the R20 change we could be grandfathered in. However we had to present our plans to the city of Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council. As part of the contingency to buy the land I had to have our plans approved to consider this lots buildable. The seller agreed to our contingency and we had six months until April, 2015 to get the plans approved by both committees. I am an architect! No problem. Daniela agreed to this adventure and I ensured her that we would move in by Christmas. I just never told her which year. 

Standing on top of our temporary hill looking down into the soon to be basement.