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Monday, June 29, 2020

Supportive housing project to replace emergency family shelter in Seven Corners

The Patrick Henry Family Shelter
Fairfax County plans to demolish the Patrick Henry Family Shelter in Seven Corners and replace it with a new shelter, called Patrick Henry Place, with 16 permanent supportive housing units. 

On June 23, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion to advertise a public hearing on eminent domain proceedings for the acquisition of land rights to allow construction of the new facility. The hearing will be on July 28, 4 p.m.

The Patrick Henry Family Shelter is part of the Hollybrooke II Condominium, originally built in 1952 as apartments. 

Housing for homeless families

In 1985, the BoS acquired 10 of the condominium’s 249 units. Although all 10 units are in a single building, the building’s shell, as well as the land and parking areas surrounding the building, are controlled by the Hollybrooke II Condominium Association. 

The 9,500-square foot Patrick Henry Family Shelter, at 3080 Patrick Henry Drive, provides emergency 30-day accommodations for up to nine homeless families. It is operated by Shelter House.

The new, four-level, 24,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on the same site and will have 16 parking spaces. 

The county’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness believes supportive housing is a more effective solution to reducing homelessness for families than an emergency shelter. The Seven Corners site is considered a good location because of its proximity to public transportation and employment opportunities.

A human services/community development bond approved by voters in 2016 included $12 million for construction of the new shelter. 

Eminent domain

The county and the Hollybrooke II HOA have reached a tentative agreement calling for the county to pay the HOA $639,000 to acquire the necessary common elements and easements through eminent domain proceedings.

The BoS would use eminent domain to transfer the land under the current shelter (0.6 acre) and 2,429 square feet of adjoining land from the HOA. 

The eminent domain process would also remove the units owned by the BoS from the HOA and grant ingress/egress, drainage, utility, and temporary grading and construction easements to the county on the property that is to be retained by HOA. 

In order to file a petition for condemnation with the Fairfax Circuit Court, the BoS must first hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution or ordinance approving the public use and directing staff to acquire the property by condemnation or other means in accordance with Virginia law.

However, the HOA is not bound to accept the $639,000 price until the Circuit Court enters a final order. If the HOA withdraws from the tentative agreement, the property’s fair market value would be litigated in the Circuit Court through the traditional condemnation process. 

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