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Motel could switch to supportive housing for homeless in Fairfax City

The Hy-way motel near Fairfax Circle could become an affordable housing development (via City of Fairfax)

Hy-way Motel — an aging 12-unit motel just off of Fairfax Circle — is slated for redevelopment.

The Lamb Center, a daytime drop-in homeless shelter, and Wesley Housing, a Springfield-based affordable housing developer, have filed plans to redevelop the motel at 9640 Fairfax Boulevard into a five-story building with 55 residential units for low-income individuals, along with ground-floor office and retail uses.

The ground-floor space would be dedicated for Lamb Center staff and the organization’s city jobs program. It will also include parking and an entry lobby.

The second floor would house a property management office, a community room and six residential units. The remaining three floors would be set aside for housing only, with units ranging from 350 to 750 square feet in size.

Case managers will be on site to provide services to residents and roughly 15% of units will be accessible for people with disabilities.

Most units will be dedicated for low-income residents at or below 30% of the area median income, or roughly $27,000 for a single person. Case managers will work with tenants to developer skills training, manage employment, and formulate goals for securing income and maintaining housing.

In an application to Fairfax City, attorney Gifford Hampshire said the project would allow the center to continue “needed services” that help homeless individuals.

“The Lamb Center — Wesley housing partnership will reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets and in the woods, reduce the number of people cycling through emergency rooms and jails, and will provide housing not currently available in the city,” the application says. “Once housed, Lamb Center case managers will assist residents with accessing community services and resources, monitoring the quality and effectiveness of those services, and ensuring coordination of care.”

Preliminarily, staff noted that the proposal is generally not recommended in areas that are designed to be commercial corridors — especially residential mixed uses.

City staff also noted that the application provides only 18 parking spaces when 77 are required. Other issues include the need for a transportation demand management plan, more details on development standards, and the tightness of a proposed curb cut to the adjoining property’s curb cut.

The application is in the preliminary phases of the city’s approval process. So far, a pre-application has been filed. The project would require a special use permit to allow residential mixed-use in the area and a special exception to slash the number of required parking spaces.

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