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Plan to Bring Assisted Living Facility to Sunrise Valley Drive Moves Forward

by Fatimah Waseem November 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 13 Comments

Progress to bring a 91-unit assisted-living facility to 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive continues as Kensington Senior Development goes before Fairfax County’s Planning Commission this week.

A public hearing on the project, which has been reworked over the last several months, is scheduled for Thursday at 8:15 p.m. in the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Parkway).

The assisted living facility would replace a 7,600-square foot building currently used as a child care center by Good Beginnings School. The building was built in 1978.

The latest plans include significant alterations from previous versions, including a reduction from five stories to either two or three stories. The facility will include up to 105 beds and up to 75 rooms. The plan also includes 67 parking garage spaces and recreations and amenity space for residents on the ground floor patio.

In a staff report, the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning recommended approval of the plan, which was submitted last year.

To sign up to testify at the hearing, visit the commission’s website.  For more information, call the commission’s office 703-324-2865 or by email.

Photo via handout

  • Mike M

    I have a hard time imagining how something this big will fit in that spot. Is this just the original bogus proposal so the County can pretend to bring pressure to bear to get them to scale down?

    Then again, they are using “Cementitious” siding! There’s always that.

  • Tammi Petrine

    Please join other Restonians to protest and testify against this project this coming Thursday evening at the Taj at 7PM. It is wildly inappropriate for the site… 12X larger footprint than the existing building and no substantial set back to its western boundary line with only 3 parking spaces except those in the building’s basement. It is jammed into the site with the convenience center to west and Wethersfield TH cluster to its east. Reston National Golf course lies directly to its south and Sunrise Valley Drive to its north.

    Go to the County Staff report link in the article above and check out the number of exceptions required for this plan. If Sunrise Valley Drive ever needs to be widened, forget about it. Look at the footprint of the building for the site. This is not urban! Where are the open space and public amenities?

    This is the camel’s nose under the tent and will start the ball rolling for commercial development south of Sunrise Valley Drive. NEVER should such a mammoth building with so few extra parking spaces have been allowed on this site. To make matters worse, the existing businesses in the convenience center currently lack sufficient parking themselves. Interlopers from Kensington will exacerbate an existing problem for neighbors.

    Speaking of neighbors, god help the Wethersfield Cluster homeowners! These are our fellow Restonians! Think about how YOU would feel if a giant building with tons of zoning exceptions were to be proposed next to your home? Nothing about this plan is acceptable.

    Further, Kensington’s proffer for affordable beds is so small as to negate its advantage from that point of view; 2 rooms for a total of 4 beds I believe? All others will be market rate. We have other Senior living developments going in around town. We should not allow this huge building on this tiny lot. The advantage is negligible and the risks of setting bad precedent too high.

    • Cubsfan6116

      “only 3 parking spaces except those in the building’s basement.”

      You mean, underground parking? You prefer an asphalt surface lot?

      “Look at the footprint of the building for the site. This is not urban! Where are the open space and public amenities?”

      It was a more urban 5 story building. Residents fought that. Also, it’s a senior facility, the open space and amenities are most likely inside…

      “To make matters worse, the existing businesses in the convenience center currently lack sufficient parking themselves. Interlopers from Kensington will exacerbate an existing problem for neighbors.”

      Agreed about the parking issue. What about the current “interlopers” from the daycare center?

      I’m not sure this is the best use for the site – frankly, I think the whole shopping center should be redeveloped with the buildings brought up to the street to create an urban streetscape, but this is just for the one portion of the property.

      • John Higgins

        Ms. Patrine’s comments didn’t seem to call for a binary choice of underground versus surface parking. Having filled virtually the entire site with the building’s footprint, there is no room for more asphalt. I took her point to observe that the plan doesn’t even allow for one additional space for service vehicles (thus the need for a special exception.) The convenience center has so little parking now that staff at the dental offices have to utilize remote parking. Overflow from Kensington has two choices: the convenience center or the adjoining TH cluster. Note: Kensington’s plan includes a sidewalk from its building up a hill to the cluster. Convenient.

        Interestingly, most of children at the former daycare center did not drive to Good Beginnings, so parking was not an issue. But when parents visited – yep, they parked at the convenience center.

        I gave Kensington no credit for downsizing its original proposal. That one didn’t pass the DRB’s giggle test. The question now, as before, is how this proposal is a fit for its surroundings. The lovely renderings (I actually like the appearance) do not tell the real story. Use the first link in the article to see the absurdity of a building this large on a site so small.

        Indoor open space? I have to admit, you suggest a concept I had never considered.

        I, too, do not know the best use for this site. I think the Reston Master Plan had it about right in calling for a “public facility” that is in harmony with its residential neighbors. This is a residential building, not by the wildest stretch of imagination harmonious. To get a sense of why the neighboring cluster strongly objects, imagine a three story building as wide as 15 townhouses being put up within 100 feet directly facing your front door. With virtually no landscaping or tree buffer.

      • Tammi Petrine

        So Sorry if I was not clear in my post, Cubsfan. Please do NOT misinterpret my position. I am NOT in any way in favor of URBAN south of Sunrise Valley and this density/footprint is URBAN. How did FFX Co. planning staff ever approve this??? It is entirely too large for the lot.

        Thanks to Plan Com for correction on Time! Please protest this with me. We can NOT let this horrible plan go forward unopposed. A miracle may occur and Plan Com may agree that this use with so many exceptions is clearly inappropriate for the site. After all, there are many other sites available in the corridor if Kensington really wants to be in Reston. In the corridor (Between Sunrise on South and Sunset on the North), Kensington could even have a 5 story facility and make even more money!

  • 40yearsinreston

    Hudgens project to trash Reston and turn it into a urban jungle is on track
    She got rid of Cameron Glen. This does not replace it

  • Chuck Morningwood

    BOHICA, Reston. BOHICA.

  • Necropolis

    Looks great!

    Based on what I see on the picture its all underground with trees over top – best design and very practical also.

  • Planning Commission

    The meeting starts at 8:15pm, not 7pm. https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/planning/faqs.htm

    • Reston Now

      The article has been updated to reflect this correction. Thank you.

  • cRAzy

    This project has not been approved by RA’s DRB yet, which has previously given its design the thumbs down largely on excessive density issues. We can hope it continues to do so. It is our last line of defense against developer greed.

    • John Higgins

      Sadly, it’s a distant hope. The DRB turned its thumb up to this monstrosity, reserving approval of certain appearance issues. What remains for the DRB is to assure that this 350-pound tackle is wearing a uniform similar to the elementary school team is aims to join. Those who love the VY development further up Sunrise Valley will find Kensington a pleasant second step to transformation of Reston.

  • Chkitout1

    Build baby build!!! A Place Called Reston will soon be known as a Mess Called Reston.

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