45°Mostly Cloudy

Assisted Living Facility on Sunrise Valley Drive Approved by Planning Commission

by Fatimah Waseem December 11, 2017 at 10:15 am 13 Comments

Despite opposition from a neighboring townhouse community, the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved a plan to replace a daycare center with a 70-unit assisted living facility on 11501 Sunrise Valley Drive Thursday night.

Members of the body, which provides recommendations to the county’s Board of Supervisors, said the developer Kensington Senior Development worked closely with the county to reduce the size and scale of the building, which is nearly eight times larger than the current structure, to ensure the proposal was in line with county policies and regulations.

At a Nov. 30 public hearing, residents unanimously opposed the proposal, which they said was too large for the site and incompatible with the community south of Sunrise Valley Drive. The proposal calls for a two-to-three story building with roughly 65,000 square feet and a parking garage.

However, Frank de la Fe, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the location of the facility near small, residential neighborhoods was not unusual or concerning, especially since a local healthcare advisory committee emphasized the need for the center and because the developer scaled back its development proposal.

He also noted the plan had adequate buffering to screen surrounding neighborhoods from the facility.

“I’m not quite sure what [the neighbors] would be satisfied with next door in a redevelopment situation,” de la Fe said.

Although the case was “close” and “difficult,” James Hart, an at-large member, said the developer’s plan met a critical need in Fairfax County for assisted living facilities for seniors in an area where he said developable land is “running out.”

“I think it would’ve been an easier case if it was a smaller building but it meets all of the requirements in the plan and in the ordinance,” Hart said, adding that the rhythm of the building was very similar to townhouse development.

However, at-large member Mary Cortina said the size of the facility was stretched out to reduce its height, leaving people who use the facility with little to no amenities and diminished quality of life.

The developer has committed to working with neighborhoods to provide additional landscaping to create a larger buffer and was willing to contribute funding for pedestrian and bicycle improvements in the area, according to the commission.

The managing partner of a convenience center next to the proposed facility also supported the plan. Good Beginning School, the daycare has been open on the site for nearly 40 years.

The county’s Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal next year.

  • The Constitutionalist

    SURPRISE!

    • Greg

      I know, we are shocked!

  • Mike M

    “Frank de la Fe, the commissioner for the Hunter Mill District, said the location of the facility near small, residential neighborhoods was not unusual or concerning, especially since a local healthcare advisory committee emphasized the need for the center and because the developer scaled back its development proposal.”

    Frank is a big part of our local problem. Hudgins is the problem, he is the agent of destruction. He is one of those unelected officials who does not give a hoot about the current residents. To him the “local healthcare advisory” sham is more important. Also, he is part of that game where the developer comes in with a preposterous request, so that Frank and pals can request a token peel back to the merely ridiculous.

    Th odd thing is we continue to refer to this process as planning, when in fact, the complete lack of planning is the problem.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Hudgins is a disgrace
      She has fouled the nest which welcomed her

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I hope the owners of the strip mall and the local HOA build a wall to keep these people off of their properties.

    BTW, my sole platform as a Supervisor will be to say “NO” to all development.

    • Greg

      Good luck with that one-plank platform. It’s more or less doomed.

  • Terpitude

    This seems like a perfectly reasonable development. It’s not a high rise (of which there will be several right across the street). And people who live in this place don’t drive. There will likely be less traffic associated with this compared to the day care that’s there now. People should save their consternation for the density proposal, which absolutely should not be granted until the infrastructure can catch up.

    • Tammi Petrine

      As you say, Terpitude, “there will be several right across the street.” IF this WERE across the street on the NORTH side of Sunrise, it would be fine.

      As it is on the south side in the PRC district and adjacent to both a cluster, RNCG and a convenience center is needs ample space on the lot to screen and buffer it from its neighbors. IF you have looked at the plot plan and seen the scale of this building relative to its site and wish to follow the PRC Reston Master Plan, you could NEVER claim it is reasonable.

  • Brad

    Wait until Restonian sees “cementitious siding!”

    “Woonerf” and “fanciful concrete bollards” have nothing on “cementitious siding”.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Anyone know what the ‘rhythm of a development’ is ?
    Seems like pretentious BS

    • The Taxman Cometh

      Is it sort of like Rhythm & Blues? Cause I sure got ‘dem ole cosmic over-development blues again…. Sounds like the architect is really laying it on thick!

      • Joe Leighton

        This approval is in violation of the Reston Master Plan

        • Greg

          We are curious: Does the Reston Master Plan have teeth? Does it supersede the development rights that run with the land?

×

Subscribe to our mailing list