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A site-specific amendment paves the way for more affordable housing for seniors in the Mason District (via Fairfax County)

A 113-unit independent living facility for seniors in Seven Corners is moving forward in the Fairfax County’s planning and approval process.

The Board of Supervisors will consider a plan next month by First Christian Church and developer Wesley Housing to build a 113-unit living facility, along with up to 5,000 square feet of medical and general office space at 6165 Leesburg Pike. A public hearing is slated for April 12.

The 7-acre parcel is developed with the roughly 27,500-square-foot church, which was built in 1965.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the proposal — which implements  changes to the Comprehensive Plan — at a meeting on Wednesday night (March 23).

At previous meetings, residents and community members expressed concerns about tree canopy preservation and stormwater management.

Mason District Commissioner Julie Strandlie said many concerns can be addressed once the proposal moves forward to the zoning process.

“The comprehensive plan outlines priorities and aspirations for the community,” she said. “A zoning application will drill down to specifics about the building parking stormwater management tree canopy and more.”

To move the project forward, the county has to amend its Comprehensive Plan. The review process began in January 2021 and has involved analyses of impacts on stormwater management, tree preservation, landscaping, and parking.

As part of the review, the county is conducting a transportation analysis of Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a mosque in Barcroft, just outside the Seven Corners Community Business Center, that is eyeing expansion in the near future.

Currently, the area is mostly developed with residential neighborhoods.

In a report, staff said the plan has minimal impacts on existing county services like parks, schools, and the overall transportation network.

A Mason District Task Force created by the board voted unanimously in January to support the project. But it encouraged the county to consider if other transit options could lessen the need for new parking spaces in order to minimize their use.

Tree preservation and minimizing environmental impacts will maintain a critical part of decision-making, county staff said in their report.

Staff expects that the amount of parking will be evaluated during the entitlement review process.

The application to amend the comprehensive plan was part of a two-year-long process that courted site-specific revisions from the public for the South County area.

In public hearings, residents of the neighboring Ravenwood Park neighborhood shared concerns about major flooding in their neighborhood. One resident reported “sleepless nights during storms” and more than $50,000 in repair costs.

Strandlie said the county is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to address flooding issues and stormwater management.

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