Senior Condos Proposed Near Hunters Woods

Senior Condos Proposed Near Hunters Woods

Two four-story buildings with 200 units would replace the United Christian Church on Colts Neck Road.

A Tysons Corner-based development firm is proposing to build an age-restricted, 180- to 200-unit senior living development on the site of the United Christian Parish on Colts Neck Road, across the street from Hunters Woods Shopping Center.

Atlantic Realty, which redeveloped Tall Oaks and Hunters Woods shopping centers as well as Plaza America, unveiled a rough draft conceptual plan Monday to the Reston Planning and Zoning Committee, seeking the committee’s “blessing” to move forward.

The proposal calls for two, four-story buildings to accommodate about 200 condominiums sale restricted for people 62 and over. Parking structures on the four-acre site would be built underneath the two buildings.

As much as 20 percent of the total units could be designated affordable dwelling units, said David Ross, president of Atlantic Realty, who added that he’s discussed the plan with Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) in the last six months.

The P&Z endorsed age-restricted residential use of the site at the end of the meeting, which was the first step in an approval process that could take as long as two years.

Atlantic Realty will need approval for a zoning change. In addition, the project also requires an amendment to the Reston Master Plan.

CURRENTLY, THE SITE is designated in the Reston Master Plan as both high density residential and as a church, said Mark Looney, an attorney with Cooley Godward, who is representing Atlantic Realty.

“So, there’s a little bit of an internal conflict within the Reston Master Plan about what this site could be used for,” said Looney.

Because of the conflict, the project requires an out-of-turn amendment.

“You have to convince the Hunter Mill supervisor to do an out-of-turn plan amendment, which she hasn’t done anywhere,” said Frank de la Fe, the Hunter Mill representative on the Fairfax County Planning Commission, who attended the meeting.

To facilitate approval, Atlantic Realty held a community meeting early last month with residents of Hunters Crossing Apartments, adjacent and south of the church property. About 50 residents attended, said Looney.

According to Ross, residents who live nearby had concerns about security, additional traffic, parking and property values.

“The residents at Hunters Crossing feel this is something they can live with,” said Ross, who also took note of the committee’s concerns.

P&Z committee members suggested that the project include efforts to improve pedestrian lighting in the area, especially along nearby pathways and tunnels.

THE COMMITTEE said pedestrian routes to and from the Hunters Woods Shopping Center would need to be improved. “That trip is not easy for seniors,” said Dave Edwards, a P&Z member who added that the pathways are poorly-lit and, at times, very steep.

Committee members were also concerned about storm water management at the site, which is very close to the Glade Stream Valley.

“It’s very important that whatever surge of water that this project would produce would be mitigated,” said Stephen Cerny, a P&Z member.

Looney argued that the proposal is “the type of development that’s becoming more and more prevalent in Reston,” which reflects the aging population.

“[The condos] will be very sensitive to an aging population. You’ll have more [Americans with Disabilities Act] fixtures in these units and it will be a very easy place to maneuver in and out of,” said Ross, who said demand for these types of condos is soaring.

But when asked what the condos would cost, Ross said he wasn’t “able to venture a guess.”