Fairfax County Staff Recommends Approval of McLean Senior Living Facility

Updated at 3:25 p.m. on 2/18/2021 — Tri-State Development Companies will not be constructing a vehicular link between a private road in its proposed independent living facility and Fern Oak Court.

Fairfax County planning staff had recommended such a connection, but “the applicant has expressed that the surrounding neighbors have voiced opposition to such a connection and therefore, is not proposing this link,” according to the staff report.

Tri-State tells Tysons Reporter that the internal, private road will be closed.

Earlier: Tri-State Development Companies has secured the approval of Fairfax County’s planning staff to build an independent living facility for adults 60 and older on Chain Bridge Road in McLean.

A staff report published on Feb. 10 recommends that the county grant the McLean-based developer’s request for a special exception, which would enable the construction of the proposed Chain Bridge Estates facility on 3.26 acres of land zoned for single-family residential use.

If the application is ultimately approved, the existing single-family dwellings at 1638 and 1642 Chain Bridge Road will be replaced by 35 independent living units designed to serve residents over 60 years of age.

According to the report, the new residences will be a mix of single-family attached units and multi-family dwellings. In keeping with the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance, 15% of the units will be priced at a rate affordable to households that earn 70% or less of the D.C. area’s median income.

The report says that Fairfax County staff initially had concerns about the development’s proposed layout, but those were allayed after Tri-State revised its application to include an eight-foot-wide trail along Chain Bridge Road and full transitional screening, except for a northwest corner that will have an underground stormwater management system.

“While staff acknowledges that screening alone does not address concerns with compatibility and intensity, staff finds that the combination of screening, architecture and open space results in reduced massing and intensity near the property line,” the report said.

Staff also note that having individual residential units, rather than a large multifamily building, will ensure “the development is more in keeping with the residential character of the area and does not appear as a commercial use.”

To serve residents, Tri-State has proposed building a 3,600 square-foot community clubhouse with various amenities, such as rooms for on-site medical and physical therapy appointments, an indoor warm-water pool, a community library, fitness room, art studio, and outdoor gathering area for dining.

The developer also says it will provide 90 parking spaces and an on-site network of walking trails with seating, recreation areas, and connections to nearby neighborhoods.

The McLean Citizens Association passed a resolution on Feb. 3 supporting the project with some conditions, including that Tri-State pay for a traffic light if one is needed at the Davidson Road intersection.

According to the report, evaluations by Virginia and Fairfax County transportation staff and an analysis submitted by Tri-State indicate that the intersection will not warrant a traffic signal, but it will need a turn lane with at least 100 feet of vehicle storage. Tri-State has proposed constructing a 117-foot lane.

The property is expected to generate seven trips in the morning peak hour, nine in the evening, and 130 daily trips when completed, the report says.

Other transportation-related commitments from Tri-State include:

  • renovating the existing Fairfax Connector bus stop at Chain Bridge and Audmar Drive with a new shelter and pad
  • providing a vehicular link between a proposed internal, private road and Fern Oak Court to the north (Correction: A vehicular link was proposed between the internal road and Fern Oak Court, but it is not being considered due to neighborhood opposition. Tysons Reporter apologizes for the error.)
  • giving residents the ability to outfit their homes with electric vehicle charging infrastructure

The Chain Bridge Estates project has been scheduled for a public hearing before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Map via Fairfax County

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