McLean: Planning to Oppose Special Exceptions?

McLean: Planning to Oppose Special Exceptions?

On Wednesday, July 6, the McLean Citizens Association will vote on two resolutions concerning applications scheduled to be heard by the Fairfax County Planning Commission later this month.

Sunrise Development Inc. seeks a Medical Care Facility Special Exception permit to construct and operate an assisted living facility at 1988 Kirby Road, at the intersection of Kirby and Westmoreland Street.

Homeowners associations, including L’Ambiance of McLean and Mayfair of McLean and Foxhall Road, and civic associations El Nido, Marborough-Nantucket and Franklin Area Civic Association all oppose the application, according to MCA draft documents.

Two major areas of concern are the size of the building and the “insufficient lot size for the use.”

The facility would have a maximum of 73 units and 90 beds, according to MCA documents, in a two-story building with 40,309 square feet of floor space and a height of 35 feet. Approximately 90 employees would work at the facility, although a maximum of 25 employees would be on the site at any time, according to the documents.

Sunrise’s corporate headquarters are in McLean, and the company operates more than 300 Sunrise Senior Living communities in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom, according to its website.

Sunrise has met with MCA’s Planning and Zoning Committee and members of the community numerous times during the last year.

THE PLANNING COMMISSION has a public hearing scheduled for Thursday, July 28 on the Sunrise application.

“The proposed facility would differ from the previously approved facilities in that 1) the property is surrounded by low-density residential neighborhoods, 2) the building as viewed from the east would sit atop a 17-foot built-up grade, 3) the building as viewed from the north would present a 3-story, 42-foot building,” according to MCA documents.

“While the site would accommodate the proposed 40,309-square-foot building, given the prominence of the subject property due to its shape, topography and the geometry of the Kirby/Westmoreland intersection, and given the height and mass of the proposed building, the building would be out of character with the neighborhood,” according to MCA documents.

The documents also state that the intersection of Kirby Road and Westmoreland Street averages 21,000 vehicle trips daily “and has chronic traffic congestion during rush and school drop-off and pick-up hours due, in part, to the proximity of Longfellow Middle school.”

The assisted living facility is projected to generate 248 daily trips, more than twice the number of trips if the land was developed for single family residential use, according to MCA documents.

MCA WILL ALSO VOTE on a resolution regarding The School Board of the City of Falls Church’s application to expand Mt. Daniel Elementary.

That application is scheduled for a public hearing before the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 21.

Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) operates Mt. Daniel Elementary School on a 7.31-acre property located in a residential neighborhood at 2328 North Oak St. FCCPS has operated the school on the county property since 1952 and expanded the school by four classrooms in 2005, according to MCA draft documents.

Mt. Daniel has a current enrollment of approximately 348 kindergarten and first grade students, and 67 employees.

Enrollment would increase from 348 to 660, according to MCA documents.

In 2015, FCCPS filed a 2232 Review application proposing to expand Mt. Daniel to 36 classrooms with an enrollment of 792 students, and 84 employees, according to the documents.

The McLean Citizens Association Board of Directors adopted a resolution opposing the potential expansion in 2015 because it was “excessive and incompatible with the neighborhood.”

MCA also opposed the original application to expand the school in 2015 based on the “deficiency of North Oak Street, a 26-foot wide roadway, as the sole access to the school property” and “the impacts of schools operations on the use of North Oak Street by its residents.”