Brightview Senior Living has resumed community engagement for its proposed Continuing Care Facility project at 9439 Leesburg Pike [Route 7], Vienna.
Plan Amendment 2019-II-MI for the 6.72-acre parcel has been in the works for three years but paused due to the pandemic. On July 30, 2019, Fairfax County authorized the consideration of a Comprehensive Plan amendment for 9439 Leesburg Pike and requested staff to “consider a continuing care facility with 172 beds and a density of up to .65 FAR [Floor Area Ratio] for the subject property,” according to Plan Amendment 2019-II-MI as reported on the County’s Planning Division website. FAR is the measurement of a building's floor area to the size of the lot/parcel that the building is located on.
The proposed concept plan, an Illustrative Site Plan for the facility as seen on the County website, details a proposed GFA [Gross Floor Area] of 190,286 square feet, 129 parking spaces, and height of 52 feet as defined by the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. The proposed project is in the McLean Planning District, Dranesville Supervisor John Foust. Suburban neighborhoods surround two sides of the irregular-shaped site adjacent to neighboring Wolf Trap Fire Station #42, located at the intersection of Leesburg Pike (Route 7) and Beulah Road.
THE SITE’S EXISTING ZONING is R-1 but currently occupied by Wolf Trap Nursery. It is planned for 1-2 dwelling units per acre and would need to be rezoned to PCC (Planned Continuing Care Facility.
David Holland, Vice President of Brightview Senior Living said in an email to the Connection on July 29, 2021, “We are excited to explore this opportunity to bring our award-winning care and service to Vienna’s seniors.”
Brightview operates several facilities in Fairfax County, Brightview Great Falls-Senior Assisted Living & Memory Care, Brightview Fair Oaks-Senior Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Brightview Woodburn-Senior Assisted Living & Memory Care in Annandale.
Holland said he recently had two meetings with the neighboring homeowners’ associations, The County Place HOA hosted by Great Falls Citizens Association [July 15, 2021] and Ciara Estates Association HOA [July 25, 2021]. “The practice is customary for all proposed Brightview communities. We partner with the surrounding neighborhoods to provide them the opportunity to ask questions and voice any concerns about our projects,” he said. According to Holland, people have questions about traffic volume, size of the building, hours of operation, exterior lighting, how much of the community will be visible from their houses, etcetera.
“Brightview takes measures with our building designs to ensure that we do not change the residential feel of the neighborhood. Additionally, many of the residents at our current Brightview communities once lived in the neighborhoods adjacent to our communities,” Holland said. “Hence, it is important to us to establish good relationships directly with the neighbors early on.”
Since Brightview is still in the exploratory stage and working on potential plan designs, once they redesign the original proposal, Holland said they wanted to give neighbors the benefit of seeing any revision first.
Jennifer Falcone is the Chair of GFCA’s Land Use & Zoning Committee. The organization hosted the July 15 Zoom meeting with representatives from Brightview, homeowners of HOA The Country Place, and GFCA members. In her official GFCA report on the meeting, Falcone said the meeting showed neighbors the latest plan revisions. They included the proposed purchase of vacant land surrounding the fire station, a redesign of the facility’s building, and alignment of the parking areas.
“There are proposed deed restrictions that would create a perpetual “green space” buffer in perpetuity and no further development of the parcel,” Falcone said in the report.
According to Falcone, “most neighbors in attendance at the GFCA Zoom were vocally opposed to the plan. “A GFCA Board member stated that the Comprehensive Plan states there should be no commercial development between the Dulles Toll Road and the Loudoun County line. But among the many options in the Zoning Ordinance, it should be noted that the County qualifies this proposed use as “residential” and not “commercial,” said Falcone.
Fairfax County website shows the Plan Amendment for 9439 Leesburg Pike (2019-II-M1) with a community meeting held on November 20, 2019: “Staff presented an overview of the Comprehensive Plan and details about the proposed amendment.
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT for the Continuing Care Facility is to provide different levels of support for older adults as their needs change- Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care. “Zoning Ordinance allows intensities up to 0.40 FAR for properties planned at 1-2 du/ac [dwelling units/acre]. The proposed amendment would add an option for a continuing care facility at a density of up to 0.65 FAR, with conditions.”
Considerations would involve transportation - Route 7 Corridor Improvements Project, design - Memory Care located at the back of the property, and environment-noi e and environmental studies.
A Trip Generation Analysis cited the Current Plan (1-2 DUs per acre) at 159 daily trips: Alternative Plan A (0.40 FAR) at 252 daily trips and Alternative Plan B (0.65 FAR at 413 daily trips.
The County cites Community Engagement Upcoming Meetings: TBA, Public Hearings Planning Commission: Deferred Indefinitely and Board of Supervisors: Deferred Indefinitely.
Resources are available at the Plan Amendment (PA) Work Program, which lays out the review schedule for current Comprehensive Plan amendments and special studies, which includes minor plan amendments that involve smaller geographies such as a small consolidation of properties or a land unit like 9439 Leesburg Pike (2019-II-M1). Questions can be emailed to Stephen.Waller@fairfaxcounty.gov or directed to Stephen Waller at 703-324-2771.