|The building under construction at 7816 Trammell Road.|
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.|
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.