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Friday, July 6, 2018

Proposal in the works for age-restricted housing on Gallows Road

One of several properties on Gallows Road affected by a development proposal.
A year after the Christopher Cos. withdrew a proposal to develop 66 townhouses on a 9.5-acre property on Gallows Road, the company is coming back with plans for a smaller, age-restricted project consisting of a mix of single-family homes and townhomes.

The project is still in the design phase, so the exact number of units and other details haven’t been determined, says Laurie Strong of the Christopher Cos. 

The property is a triangular-shaped, wooded site across the street from Woodburn Elementary School. The previous proposal called for 11 single-family homes along Gallows Road and Libeau Lane to be torn down to make way for a townhouse community. All but one homeowner had agreed to sell their properties to the Christopher Cos.

Nearby residents raised concerns about traffic congestion, school overcrowding, overflow parking, wildlife habitat destruction, and the potential for degrading the overall quality of life in the community.

A staff report from the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning recommended against approval of a comprehensive amendment that would raise density on the property from the current limit of two units per acre to eight.

The new proposal, by Christopher Land LLC, wouldn’t have an impact on school capacity, as the new homes would be restricted to people age 55 and older, Strong says. The company is proposing to seek approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation for two new traffic signals.

A Planning Commission hearing on the application would tentatively take place on Oct. 4, and the project would be presented to the Mason District Land Use Committee before then.

The offer to purchase the homes on the property has been extended. The sales won’t take place until the county approves a rezoning application. 


  1. So with the new Exxon development proposed with several new intersections and two new stoplights on Gallows Road, commuting will be an all day activity. Why are we creating more bottlenecks? Just what we need.

  2. While the project "may still be in the design phase", the proposal definitely outlines the number of units as "The Applicant is proposing to develop 62 independent living units on the Property. A
    variety of senior housing options will be provided to include fee simple attached products, both front load and rear load, and clustered patio homes".

    Interesting news that "The company is proposing to seek approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation for two new traffic signals". I do not see anything in the proposal that addresses this.

    Yes, traffic is a nightmare along Gallows Road. Getting in and out of the neighborhoods on both sides of Gallows between Annandale/Hummer Road and I-495 is dangerous any time of day or night. The speed limit is rarely enforced. There is a school zone and a Hawk light street crossing that traffic flies through. This section of roadway is a racetrack! There are wrecks in this area on a regular basis. Just this past week, there was a multiple-vehicle accident, airbags deployed, emergency rescue & police on-site, and one eastbound lane of traffic shut down to attend to the accident. This in the area between Trammell Road and Thor Drive, where westbound drivers are attempting to turn left [which effectively shuts down one lane of traffic in the direction of I-495, until the turn is complete]. Ugh!!!!

    This is one of the reasons I was against the development which took place at Brightview Senior Living. More safety issues, and now elderly drivers have been added to the mix.

    Two more traffic lights may slow down drivers, but it will also dramatically increase commute times and ingress/egress from the immediate neighborhoods.

    The density of this proposal is just as bad as the first proposal presented by Christopher Cos. The big difference is their proposal is appealing to the heartstrings of the public by identifying it with +55 housing. In my opinion, this is why the Brightview project had so little objection.

    Here is the link to the application:

    Please read it for yourself.

    1. I really think your reference " and now elderly drivers have been added to the mix" is bigoted and rude. What makes you think so called elderly drivers pose a greater risk to your lifestyle? The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released a report from a sample of 2,511 drivers that revealed that 88% of young millennials— defined as those between the ages of 19 and 24— had performed at least one risky driving behavior within the past 30 days. I've never seen an "elderly" person texting while driving, but I sure have seen a lot of millennials texting and talking on their phone -- a much risker behavior and NEVER enforced by the police.

  3. My reference to "elderly drivers" was out of fear for their safety. This roadway is a racetrack, and there are no safe zones in which to retreat.

    There are many, many accidents! Numerous of which are rear-end collisions due to attempts to turn Left and speeding cars failing to slow down. Other accidents involve a Left turning vehicle getting T-boned; again due to speeding oncoming traffic or poor judgment as to speed of oncoming traffic. I am personally aware of at least six (6) separate occasions where vehicles have crashed through fences or into front yards of residences fronting or on the corner of Gallows Rd. There have been two (2) separate pedestrian fatalities in the last decade, where an individual was attempting to cross the road to/from a bus stop. There is general, everyday/night speeding. And, there is speeding through the School Zone, where there is a flashing light. I've even seen drivers not stop for pedestrians in the flashing Hawk light crosswalk. Cars zoom around buses stopped with lights flashing at the bus stops. Car zoom past school buses with lights flashing and "STOP" sign engaged, as children exit to go into their neighborhood - such as Raintree. There are many, many vehicles which turn Left off Gallows just after the Beltway at Holmes Run Drive (many of which are lost and do a U-turn in the "Don't Block the Box" area of Gallows. This is a block off of the bridge, entrance/exit to the regular lanes & HOT lanes at the Beltway.

    Much of the driving behavior I describe above is in the immediate vicinity of the proposed +55 Senior housing of the Libeau development. This is why my comments are out of concern for adding 62 new homes (minus the 11 current homes) at this already dangerous location. Again, there are no deceleration lanes, no emergency lanes, no median, and no turn lanes in this 4-lane area. It is maxed out.

    I was opposed to the Brightview project for these reasons, and again for the safety of the elderly drivers who live there. I think Brightview (and other senior housing options) should build their facilities in a safer location, not along a racetrack.

    I give a Thumbs-Down to the second of Christopher Cos. proposals.

    1. Give it up -- the elderly don't need your help. I'm sick of people putting those individuals over 55 in categories for their own interests and feigning concerns for others. If you don't like the over abundance of housing in that area say so - - don't use the excuse of elderly individuals for your own self interests.

  4. Will they give it up already? This senior housing proposal addresses ONE concern about sticking high-density housing in that awkward area - school overcrowding. Traffic congestion, overflow parking, wildlife habitat destruction, and the potential for degrading the overall quality of life in the community are still very valid concerns.

  5. The Christopher Co. is proposing to seek approval from the Virginia Department of Transportation for TWO NEW TRAFFIC SIGNALS ...
    Just what Gallows Road needs - MORE BACKUPS for our neighbors to accommodate the GREED of another Developer, from Oakton.
    And just what every person 55 and over wants - 3 and 4 sets of stairs to climb just to go to sleep, change clothes, get dressed. Just think about how many times you enter your bedroom in a normal day. And so convenient if you get sick, break a leg, feel tired, need a nap. Perfect - live in the garage for a few months.

    And, though this is the route to the EZ Pass, you can't get on it because the traffic is backed up at the TWO NEW TRAFFIC SIGNALS on Gallows Rd.

    Also, there remain the matters of overflow parking, wildlife habitat destruction, and the potential for degrading the overall quality of life in the community. But the Mason supervisor seems more concerned that the issue of increasing density has not been visited since the '70's?...

  6. I am 55 and stairs don't bother me. I know several people in their 90s that also aren't bothered by steps. Do these places have steps or elevators? Since it is designed towards seniors, doesn't that mean all the primary living is on the main level? This place is going to be developed, I for one want a light and like the idea it won't add to the school. Do we want to take the chance that something else will go in with more traffic and more students to the school?

  7. Mason District Land Use Committee meeting
    Tuesday July 24th, 2018 at 7:30pm

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    From: Mason BOS Email
    Date: Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:03 PM
    Subject: Mason District Land Use Committee meeting
    To: Mason BOS Email

    Good afternoon

    Christopher Land LLC has submitted an SE application for several properties fronting Gallows Road and Libeau Lane in Annandale, across from Woodburn Elementary School. The application proposes independent living facilities in an age-restricted housing development consisting of a mix of single family homes and townhomes. The applicant will present before the Mason District Land Use Committee as an informational item on Tuesday July 24th, 2018 at 7:30pm. The meeting is open to the public and will take place in the main community room of the Mason District Governmental Center located at 6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, Virginia 22003. Copied below is a link with the full meeting agenda.

    If you have any questions regarding the meeting please do not hesitate to reach out regards.

    Ervin Uriarte

    Land Use and Development Aide

    Office of Supervisor Penny Gross

    6507 Columbia Pike

    Annandale, Virginia 22003


  8. DetailsMatter7/15/18, 12:26 AM

    At the end of the day what we all need to remember and what really frustrates me is that Fairfax County cares about one thing: making money off of property. They don't care about trees, wildlife, comfort, congestion. Buildings that will bring them money is what gets a pass.

  9. We'll see what remediation this company provides for the trees. Brightview left that large roadside tree standing but didn't do anything to protect the roots, so they chopped it down eventually anyway.