|Residents of Holmes Run Acres and nearby communities oppose a housing development on Gallows Road.|
The biggest concern is traffic, but neighbors also cited potential problems with parking, stormwater, and the negative impact on the character of surrounding communities.
|A layout of the proposed Woodburn Manor development.|
The project would consist of a four-story multifamily building with 48 units, 12 two-story townhouses, and 12 two-story detached single-family homes, said Christopher Land’s representative Lori Greenlief, a senior land use planner with McGuire Woods.
The Fairfax County Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Dec. 6.
Edith MacArthur, the president of the Holmes Run Acres Civic Association and speaking on behalf of “every nearby neighborhood,” told the MDLUC the project is “wholly out of character” with the surrounding area, which is all single-family homes except for the adjacent Raintree community.
The Raintree homeowners association board also opposes the project, stating on its website that it “will be the most negatively impacted.”
|Representatives of Christopher Land present their proposal to the Mason District Land Use Committee.|
“The scale is huge,” MacArthur said. “A project like this belongs in Ashburn. It does not belong here.” She noted the county’s Comprehensive Plan calls for “stable neighborhoods and a harmonious and attractive environment.”
MacArthur also raised concerns with noise, air, and light pollution; flooding from stormwater; increased traffic on Gallows Road, which is already congested with commuters; cut-through traffic on neighborhood streets; and the loss of trees.
If there is such a great need for 55-plus housing, she suggested, why not repurpose some of the nearby vacant office buildings?
If the project is approved, Christopher Land would purchase and consolidate the 19 properties on the site. All but one homeowner agreed to sell.
Christopher Land had previously proposed building up to 76 townhouses on that property, which also was strongly opposed by nearby residents. The company withdrew that proposal in May 2017 after the Fairfax County Planning and Zoning Department found that level of density incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood. Mason Supervisor Penny Gross asked the company to come up with a more appropriate design.
According to Greenlief, a 55-plus community would not have an impact on local schools and would not cause much of an increase in traffic.
The proposed Woodburn Manor community would be designed so residents could age in place, Greenlief said. The homes would have a master suite and kitchen on the first floor. And because it would be organized as a condo, all outside maintenance and yard work would be done by a contractor, even for the single-family homes.
There would be just one point of access to the community, on Gallows Road at Hemlock Drive. Nine existing driveways along Gallows would be eliminated. Christopher Land is negotiating with VDOT to try and get a traffic light installed there.
|The view from Gallows Road five years after the project is completed.|
The multifamily building would have underground parking. The development would have a total of 181 parking spaces.
At least one person in each home would have to be 55 or older. That rule would be in the deed and enforceable by the condo association.