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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

County drops plans for temporary homeless shelter

A new homeless shelter will be built on this site.
The Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter will not be temporarily relocated to a field behind the Lincolnia Senior Center, a plan bitterly opposed by residents who live near that field.

“The temporary relocation is no longer necessary because the county recently bought land for a new shelter, and on Sept. 14, AvalonBay terminated its plans to develop the county-owned site where the shelter sits today,” says a statement released by Fairfax County following a discussion of the changed plans at the Sept. 20 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The development deal would have required the shelter, currently located on Moncure Avenue, to be relocated to a temporary site next year until the new shelter is built.

Instead, the shelter will be moved to a permanent site at 5914 Seminary Road in the fall of 2019. The county purchased that site Sept. 14 for $1.4 million. An empty building that used to house a veterinary clinic is currently on that property.

There was no discussion at the BoS meeting about why AvalonBay backed out of the deal to build an apartment building as part of the county’s plan to redevelop the Southeast Quadrant in Bailey’s Crossroads. It is not known whether the county is negotiating with other developers or will proceed to build a county office building at that location.

“We are very pleased and we’re celebrating,” said Deb Fraser, a resident of Stonegate at Landmark who spearheaded a campaign to oppose a temporary shelter behind the Lincolnia Senior Center. “It’s taken the community at large a lot of effort to fight this and we appreciate everyone’s help.”

The new 20,000 square-foot shelter will have 50 beds and 15 “personal living quarters” to be used as transitional housing. The county plans to demolish the old vet clinic by the end of this year and begin construction of a new shelter in 2018.

10 comments:

  1. wow another Penny Gross failure. did spectrum back out of their development as well?

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    1. That is more interesting news. It seems like there was a quid pro quo here to flush out the homeless in Baileys to spur development. In which case the argument that a homeless shelter would not affect development or property values was a patent lie which was known all along. So shameful that the homeless were used as pawns of the BOS to scratch the developers back.

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  2. This is disappointing. That area of Bailey’s Crossroad is essentially vacant, very dilapidated, and ripe for development. Maybe another developer could come in in Avalon Bay’s place.


    But, this being Mason District, I suppose our esteemed supervisor will use this as an opportunity to expand her palace plans, and will design a palatial compound dedicated to every government service imaginable. Just what we need!

    This whole deal was incredibly poorly handled by all parties.

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  3. This is a very good outcome for all involved! Yes, the stretch along Columbia Pike needs to be redeveloped. Moving the shelter is crucial to that end. As we have it, 1) the County gets to move the shelter to a better location, removing an obstacle to development along Columbia Pike, 2) Lincolnia residents get to keep their valuable recreational space, 3) homeless folks will get a new and better facility, and 4) the Lincolnia Senior Center will not be negatively impacted by an incompatible land use. This is a win-win-win. The desired development in Bailey's will come. It is a good location, after all. The shelter just needs to be moved first. Let's all celebrate a good outcome!

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    1. And when Seminary Road comes up in development plans, will the shelter stay? It is plainly evident that shelters scare every ill-advised alarmist and developers, and they are not at all hesitant to voice their concerns.

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    2. I disagree. Building a temporary shelter, at taxpayers' expense, in a completely illogical location, and then moving the homeless again to a permanent location (in essentially the same place they started out), and again at taxpayers' expense, was a bizarre plan to begin with! If it turns out that this new "permanent" location was poorly selected, that falls completely on the planners, not on those who spoke up against the ill-advised temporary location. If the planners had stopped to think things through to begin with, they would have slowed things down at the get-go, until they could have found an ideal location for the permanent shelter, and not tried to shove a ridiculous "solution" down our throats!

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  4. Does this mean the land swap is also defunct, or did the county execute on that and end up with no new development?

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  5. I regret that Avalon Bay wasn't given the opportunity to develop the entire SEQ and fulfill the original 2007 Comp Plan developed by area residents. Hopefully once the new shelter is built the county will vacate ownership of its SEQ property in favor of the mixed-use residential and commercial development the people are longing for.

    I am guessing the purchase of the tower building on Columbia Pike also fell through. I believe it was contingent on AvalonBay filing for rezoning. Ellie, do you know? We certainly don't need a road to nowhere and this turn of events saves taxpayers money there as well as the unnecessary expense of a temporary shelter.

    The entire planning process for the SEQ was handled miserably. At least there is a decent location for a new shelter and this opens the path to new development.

    No Penny's Palace at the SEQ!!! Go back to the original 2007 Comp Plan...not the 2009 version with a road inserted requiring a county land purchase that would only line the pockets of Penny's cronies.

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  6. Why not begin construction of the new shelter as soon as possible instead of 2018. As it is this one quadrant has been up for redevelopment for almost 10 years. Lets move the shelter and offer the reclaimed lot for development sooner than later.

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  7. Thank god Linclonia area was spared the tragedy of having homeless people close to them.

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