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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gallows Road trees torn down to make way for assisted living facility

Six houses were demolished to make for an assisted living facility on Gallows Road.
The developer of the Brightview assisted living facility under construction on Gallows Road was supposed to save a lot of trees, but the site looks mostly denuded.

The property has been cleared to prepare for construction of a three-story 95-unit building developed by the Shelter Group to house elderly people who can no longer take care of themselves in their own homes. The Board of Supervisors approved the project in April 2013.



The staff report by the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Department required the developer to submit a tree preservation plan calling for as many trees as possible to be saved. 

Actually, the developers preserved more trees than needed, says Fairfax County Urban Forester Nicholas Drunasky. The developers are using innovative techniques to save two of the best trees along Gallows – a large oak and a large American holly, he says. Some of the large trees closest to the remaining houses have also been saved.

The county would have liked to preserve more trees, but trees on the areas where the building and parking lot will be sited had to go, Drunasky says. Unfortunately, some of the nicest trees were along Gallows Road, and they had to come down because they were in the VDOT right of way.

“Definitely a lot of nice trees were lost,” Drunasky says, but the developers have been cooperative and were able to preserve many of the better trees. “They worked with us as much as they could. I feel pretty good about the project. This is one of better tree preservation sites we’ve worked with. When the building and landscaping are all done, it should look nice.”

14 comments:

  1. Does anybody know where this is on Gallows?

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    1. It's next to Capitol Baptist Church and across the street from the Holmes Run Acres Pool.

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  2. so very sad to see all those houses that have been there forever torn down, along with the trees, to build a building that with nursing staff, kitchen staff, janitorial staff, therapists and visitors will only add to the mess on gallows road. Look at what the entrance to Inova Fairfax is doing, turing little woodburn road in to six lane super highway. Disgusting the way our Annandle Leaders do not think things out, they do not plan, they do not think about the impact on the residents of Annandle, they only think money. and that alone is a shame.

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    1. Can you spell "traffic light"?

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    2. Could be worse. Look at what the Beltway expansion did to the Raintree townhouses : used to be a gorgeous spot, now it barely qualifies as livable.

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    3. Yes, all we need are more and more traffic lights, leading to more and more queuing and gridlock. GREAT!

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  3. well said. it is greed of a civic nature.

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  4. I wondered what they were building there. I'd assumed that it was another throng of McMansions.

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  5. Fairfax County just does not protect trees....no interest, they don't care, they just want to turn the county into one big heat island. Short-sided, arrogant and plain stupid. It takes decades for trees to grow, help clean out the pollution and add to energy conservation. Its astonishing that in a week or two, decades of environmental protection can be eliminated. Fairfax you don't belong in the nations capitol because you don't act like a leader.

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    1. Interestingly, the builder did not preserve trees that were required for our house project some years ago, and when we complained, the county made them plant 10 rather large maple trees, which have thrived and are now huge.

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  6. I find all the love for the old houses and trees expressed by some of the commenters, the same one who are claiming this project is primarily promoted by greed or money hard to stomach.

    What do they want the elderly in our community who are no longer able to care for themselves do? Move to some community away from the community where they have based their lives? Or put a bag on their heads and end it all to save the dear old houses and trees?

    These people who cry every time a tree is cut down, they should cut down their own environmental footprint and plant trees on land they own before they criticize others.

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    1. You rush to assume that we don't plant our own trees. Many of us who miss the trees and other plants that were there already have our own gardens--and even certified habitats, thanks.

      If you live nearby, you should know how often more and more wooded areas are being flattened, often without much warning at all.

      It's a shame that we apparently have to choose between caring for each other and caring for the environment. Our entire planet is overpopulated, and yet some people carry on making babies as if they're going out of style.

      Ironically, my husband and I (since we chose not to have children) may end up needing that facility ourselves someday. I don't want to rush into the future, but at this point I am curious as to whether any old-growth wooded slivers of land at all will be within viewing distance of the facility.

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  7. I hope the building will be environmentally friendly, possibly LEED certified with appropriate drainage for parking areas so we don't have polluted run-off. Most people who work at these facilities are low on the pay scale and will likely take public transportation. If the seniors are in assisted living, there will probably be few drivers among them, and sadly, often older adults' families neglect to visit them often, so I don't anticipate a surge of driving. Perhaps new trees could be planted to repopulate the grounds once building is finished n(great Scout/church/singles group project too). I will not hold my breath for a green roof, but I can dream, can't I?

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    1. I hope your dream becomes a reality! It's too bad we have to wait and see--assuming we'll ever find out at all.

      Very insightful comments; thank you.

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