|The Brightview facility would be accessed from Gallows Road|
People who live near the proposed assisted living facility slated for Gallows Road told the developer they are concerned about increased traffic on an already congested street
The 95-unit facility would be developed by Brightview Senior Living, a division of the Shelter Group, which operates 23 assisted living projects in nine states. The three-story building would have 72 assisted living apartments and another 23 units in a secure wing for Alzheimer’s patients.
The company already has a contract to purchase six and a-half acres of land on Gallows across from the Holmes Run pool. The purchase would be completed as soon as the county approves a permit, Brightview Senior Development Director Andrew Teeters told residents at a community meeting June 13 at Woodburn Elementary School. Five of the six houses on that site would be demolished.
Teeters said Brightview hopes to file for a special exception within the next month. The planning and approval process would take two years, and construction would take another 14 months, so the facility could open in fall 2015.
Just about everybody who spoke at the meeting complained about the prospect of increased traffic—and safety issues—on Gallows Road. Several people mentioned the need for a traffic light on Gallows and Aston Street.
“Traffic on Gallows Road is a disaster. I don’t feel they studied it enough in advance,” said a resident of Holmes Run Acres. One resident noted there would probably be frequent ambulances at the building, although Teeters said Brightview facilities generally have to call for an ambulance “several times a month, not every day.”
Several people also expressed concerns that a three-story building would not be compatible with the character of the neighborhood. It will be an “eyesore, towering above the trees,” one resident said. “We need something like this, but Gallows Road is not the right place,” said another resident.
Another issue is the location of the facility in the middle of a suburb. There aren’t any stores within walking distance, so the residents would be isolated. Wouldn’t it work better if it were part of the revitalization of central Annandale or located somewhere close to shops and restaurants?
People who live on Gallows Road or in Holmes Run Acres were adamantly opposed to having the project’s entrance on Gallows. People who live behind the proposed facility were equally opposed to having it accessible from Aston Street. Teeters says there are no plans to have an entrance on Aston.
According to Teeters, Annandale has an aging population and needs an assisted living facility. He says the typical resident of a Brightview project is over 80 years old, lives within eight miles of the facility, has lived in the area for 30 to 40 years, has lost a spouse, and can no longer drive.
Apartments would have a kitchenette, although meals would be served in a communal dining room. There would be a nurse on staff and a dedicated van to take residents to places like grocery stores and doctor appointments.
Residents would pay anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000 a month, depending on the amount of care they need. The rent would include three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation, social activities, and other services.
The facility would have 60 parking spaces, to be used primarily by staff and visitors. There would be 28 employees during the busiest shift.
Teeters says Brightview developments are designed to be compatible with the local community, which, in this case, means it could be similar to the contemporary designs of the houses in Holmes Run Acres.