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Friday, November 22, 2019

Residents complain about assisted living/group home planned for Trammell Road

The building under construction at 7816 Trammell Road.
Residents of Lafayette Village upset about an assisted living/group home under construction in their neighborhood got a chance to air their concerns directly to the developer, Allen Wong, at the community’s HOA board meeting Nov. 21.

Wong, the owner of a property at 7816 Trammell Road in Annandale, is building a facility to house eight elderly individuals no longer able to live independently.

Nearby residents told Wong the project doesn’t fit in with the character of the neighborhood and will bring down property values. They also complained about a proposed parking lot on the property, the possibility of frequent ambulances, and a lack of transparency about the project.

Wong, who also owns a similar group home, Beverly Assisted Living in the Strathmeade Springs neighborhood in Annandale, apologized to the residents for not reaching out sooner. He agreed to address some of their issues and said he will come back to the Lafayette Village HOA with a revised plan for the property and an illustration of what it will look like.

Residents also raised concerns about the confusion over the definition of assisted living vs. a residential group home.

Allen Wong speaks at the Lafayette Village HOA meeting.
Wong agreed it’s confusing, noting that a facility of this type is defined as assisted living when applying for approval from the Department of Social Services and is defined as a group home for the purposes of zoning.

HOA President Donna Jacobson accused Wong of deliberately calling the project a group home to avoid a public hearing.

“We deserved a hearing and didn’t get it, and now we don’t like what we’re getting,” said another resident at the meeting.

“Fairfax County has a problem since they allow an individual to get a permit for a ‘group residential facility’ and then that same individual can turn around and get a license from the state of Virginia for an ‘assisted living facility,’” Jacobson said.

“A lot of people are okay with a group home. They are more concerned with an assisted living facility with ambulances and deliveries,” she said.

Wong sent a letter to the Fairfax County zoning administrator Oct. 30 seeking a “zoning usage verification” to allow the property to be classified as a group residential facility.

In response, Senior Planning Sara Morgan wrote Nov. 18 that, indeed, “the proposed use is deemed a group residential facility,” as long as it is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

It meets that definition under the county zoning ordinance, Morgan wrote, because “the licensed home will house eight elderly residents who will live at the referenced location and will be supervised by two non-resident staff persons.”

Jacobson also accused Wong of obtaining a building permit under false pretenses by stating on the application that the property would be used for a single-family residence.

“Yes, I made a mistake,” Wong conceded, noting that he reapplied for a building permit for an assisted living facility.

Staff at the Trammell Road home will assist residents with non-medical activities of daily living, such as showering, feeding, and medication management. The home will have eight bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. The cost for residents will be about $6,000 to $7,000 a month.

A registered nurse will serve both the Trammel Road facility and Beverly Assisted Living. A physician will be on call, and residents’ own physicians will visit as needed. If residents develop major medical needs, they will have to relocate to a nursing home.

Staffing will be in three shifts: three staff members will be on site from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; two from 3 to 11 p.m., and one from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

There won’t be a lighted sign or a dumpster. Wong said, and the trees that were cut down will be replaced.

He said there will be small parking lot on the side of the house for staff and visitors, but doesn’t expect a lot of people coming and going. “The majority of residents at Beverly Assisted Living are unmarried and don’t have kids, so they don’t get visitors,” he said. “I wish people would visit their families more.”

Wong hopes to complete construction by the middle of 2020, if all goes smoothly.


  1. It looks like a bunker from Nazi Germany. Mr Wong you should at least try to give your neighbors some pleasing architecture, they may not be as resistant.

    1. The area in which this facility is being built is a beautiful wooded area. Before construction started the lot was covered with numerous older trees which, as you can see from the picture, were all cut down. Mr. Wong has said that he will plant new trees, but it will be years before they will grow to maturity.

  2. I was at the meeting. Mr. Wong is both willfully deceptive and tremendously unqualified. I feel very bad for the residents whose homes are directly adjacent to his property, as well as the rest of us who will be impacted by whatever this enormous blunder turns out to be. God help the people whose actual lives will depend on him.

  3. I don’t understand how Mr. Wong “made a mistake” on his building permit when he already has one assisted living facility. He is either a liar or a very poor developer. Considering that the plans he submitted for his Trammel Road basement don’t match what he actually started building, it would be the former.

  4. What always seems to be the case is that even if it is pointed out to Fa. County staff that the application or usage of a facility is wrong or deceptive, they do nothing about it but hold a meeting. It seems like there are no consequences for deception or gaming the system.

    1. The sad thing is that this horrible piece of architecture and inappropriate locations is typical of Penny Land. To quote another Lake Barcroft resident on LakeLink..........we live in hell.

    2. Bit over dramatic don’t you think bro?

    3. Nope, this is what man of the folks in LB think about the area

    4. Hi Everyone, this is an extremely serious issue to those of us who live in the surrounding community. Please try and stay focused with your comments. Under Fairfax County's current interpretation of the Fair Housing Amendment Act and the Zoning Ordinance, this situation could easily happen in any community.

    5. Yes, it is one thing to have a nursing home on this particular plot on Trammel Rd (over half an acre), still highly inappropriate, but many of us live on smaller plots, and the thought of an 8-bed nursing home being plopped next to my home on a much smaller plot is just horrific, and should not be allowed by right. Daycares and other in-home businesses have to go through the zoning ordinance process to locate in a residential neighborhood, and so should an 8-bed nursing home. I do not live in this neighborhood, but I'm going to write a letter in support of the neighbors.

    6. Thank you, 9:35!

      It is very frustrating (to say the least) to see how someone can simply come along and set up a business in a residential area without informing the community at all, despite the fact that that's the requisite process. At this point, Mr. Wong is complaining about the community's reaction and acting as if a few apologies and trees will make up for the fact that he lied on the papers he filed and is about to establish a *business* in a *residential* zone. The kind of person who would work like this is exactly the kind of person you don't want as your "neighbor."


  5. Mr Wong, why don't you move this monstrosity to Baileys Crossroads shopping center. There is plenty of commercial space and parking available for your BUSINESS, that does not belong in a residential neighborhood.

  6. You all are reacting in a way that is just racist and classist. People need a place to live no matter where they decide to build homes. Fairfax County needs more housing for the growing population - especially for Seniors and young families.

    1. No one is against a group residential facility on this site. Also, if it was reasonably priced, it would be beneficial to elderly residents who need some where to live. We are against an Assisted Living Facility, which is a business, being placed in a residential area without first having a public hearing.

  7. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and gives thanks for the homes they have, for loving families, and for living in Fairfax County and not somewhere like Mississippi. I also thank those who use their names, rather than anonymous.

  8. I agree that these services are needed. Everyone deserves dignity in their golden years and a great place to live. However, I am not convinced this is the answer by negatively affecting one group - adjacent homeowners over the needs for the elderly and a deceptive Mr Wong. There are better solutions such as redeveloping deteriorating neighborhoods or aging commercial districts with appropriate quality housing for our elders.

    I am thankful I have a home, but given the way Mason is being managed and its poor economics, it may be time for me to live where there is a more centric attitude towards revitalization. Penny has had 20 years and Mason has not prospered. This unfortunately is not sustainable to support the neediest of our community and serve the community as a whole.