|The site of a proposed independent living community along Gallows Road.|
That’s a huge victory for nearby residents who strongly opposed the project, citing the negative impact on traffic and the character of the lower-density surrounding community.
A key sticking point was Christopher Land’s failure to get the Virginia Department of Transportation to approve a traffic signal on Gallows Road.
The developer will continue to work with VDOT on that, Strandlie said, but regardless of whether a signal is approved, “it would have to be installed before they break ground, and even if there is a light, it doesn’t mean the application will be approved.”
Commissioner Phillip Niedzielski-Eichner (Providence) said he came to the meeting prepared to oppose the application, noting that both the Mason District Land Use Committee and the Mason District Council came out against it.
He called the proposal for an independent living facility “the right idea in the wrong location.” Having it so close to another facility for seniors (Brightview Senior Living) “establishes a precedent to introduce greater density,” he said.
Niedzielski-Eichner also said the proposed project – and especially the 48-unit multifamily building – would be out of character with the neighborhood and cited concerns with access and egress and safety issues for pedestrians on Gallows Road.
Other commissioners raised concerns about the lack of walkability for prospective residents, that the backs of the townhouses would face Gallows Road, and that the developer failed to consolidate the whole property, as one of the current owners refused to sell.