The Vienna Town Council voted last night (Monday) to back plans to turn a previously approved mixed-use development along Maple Avenue into a Sunrise Senior Living Facility.
Sunrise is looking to open an 85-unit assisted living facility at 380 Maple Avenue — the site of an approved redevelopment for multi-family condos. The facility would have 950 square feet of restaurant and cafe space, structured parking and public art.
The Vienna Town Council killed plans last year for a Sunrise facility farther up Maple Avenue. Dennis Rice, the owner and developer at 380 Maple Avenue, has said that having the assisted living facility on his site could address neighbors’ concerns about the condos.
“I think this might be a win-win for the town and the residents,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said last night.
Residents who testified at the public hearing mostly agreed that the new plans are a better fit for the neighborhood, with one calling it a “better building.”
However, most of the 10 people who testified did have some sort of concern, like worries about light pollution from the proposed acorn lights, size and pedestrian safety along Wade Hampton Drive SW and Glen Avenue SW.
“I support this project even though it remains too big,” resident C. John Pott said.
“We hope to pretend the building isn’t even there and those lights will destroy our illusions,” one resident said about the lights.
Several councilmembers said they are open to residents’ pleas to close — or place cut-thru signs at — Wade Hampton Drive or look into adding sidewalks along Glen Avenue and Wade Hampton Drive.
“If this project goes forward, it would be nice to put sidewalks on Glen [Avenue] and try to close Wade Hampton [Drive],” Springsteen said. “We can close Wade Hampton [Drive] very quickly at very little cost.”
Most of the people who testified praised Sunrise for having representatives listen to neighbors’ feedback on the proposal.
The Vienna Town Council approved Sunrise’s amended proffers and modification requests after the hearing.