Civic Association Newsletter

January/February 1997 - Volume 20, No. 4


Marriott Senior Living Services, Inc. ("Marriott") proposes to develop a Marriott Assisted Living Community at premises 3821 Wilson Boulevard in Virginia Square. The project would be called "Brighton Gardens."

The subject site consists of approximately 0.965 acres bounded by Wilson Boulevard, North Oakland Street, North Pollard Street, and North 9th Street. Marriott has entered into a contract to purchase the subject site from the property owners, Preston C. Caruthers and Goodwin H. Taylor, Jr.

The subject site is located in the R-C zoning district. The Generalized Land Use Plan designation for the site is "High Medium Residential Mix Use." The proposed development is in conformance with the site's zoning and plan designation. The applicable Parcel RPC Numbers include: (1) 14-041-009, (2) 14-041-002, (3) 14-041-003, and (4) 14-041-004.

In order to develop the subject site in the manner proposed, Marriott requests approval of a site plan. Copies of the appropriate engineering and architectural drawings have been filed with Arlington County.

II. Zoning History of the Site

On July 9, 1988, the County Board approved a site plan [Site Plan #253] at this site to permit the development of a 9-story residential building which would contain both independent and assisted living units for the elderly (217 units). The site plan approval, however, has since lapsed.

III. Overview of the Assisted Living Program

According to the Application of Marriott Senior Living Services, Inc. for a Site Plan, Statement of Support, dated January 10, 1997, "Marriott is eminently qualified to provide services in the field of retirement community development. Marriott's Senior Living Services Division was formed in 1984 with the objective of becoming the nation's leading developer and operator of housing and services for older adults. Marriott has over 60 years experience in hotel, resort, and restaurant operations, strong real estate development skills, and exceptional financial strength....

The objectives of a Marriott retirement community are to provide an attractive, well-designed home in a pleasant community, to allow residents to enjoy maximum freedom and self-sufficiency, to provide high quality health care services on site, and to ensure a strong financial backing coupled with the ability to deliver all needed services.

Marriott's earlier project, The Jefferson Lifecare Community in Ballston, has met the objective and has provided valuable service to the community. The Jefferson was Marriott's first high-rise elderly housing urban development.

IV. Description of the Proposed Development

Brighton Gardens will include approximately 150 assisted units, 25 of which will be designated for special dementia residents.

The proposed project will differ from The Jefferson Lifecare Community in that it will not offer independent living units. Rather, the project will offer assisted living units which are private apartments for residents who can maintain an independent lifestyle, but need limited assistance with day-to- day activities, such as eating, dressing, bathing, or monitoring of medication. Brighton Gardens will be a rental community.

Marriott proposes to change the original conceptual plan, described above, that was approved by the County Board on July 9, 1988. The original plan provided for a 9-story building containing 135,410 square feet of gross floor area, 95 feet in height, a total land area of 41,978 square feet, and 165 parking spaces. In contrast, the Marriott proposed plan provides for a 9-story building containing 101,348 square feet of gross floor area, 88.27 feet in height, a total land area of 41,978 square feet, and 47 parking spaces.

Marriott is requesting two modifications to the use regulations as part of this application. The first is that Marriott proposes a side yard of two feet on the west side of the site. The proposed setback will not affect adversely the abutting development because the building will only be two stories at the point of this setback (higher stories will have an increased setback), the nearest existing structure on the abutting property (i.e., Pollard Gardens) is approximately 22 feet away from the proposed building on the abutting property will be approximately 32 feet away.

The second requested modification concerns parking. Marriott proposes to provide 47 spaces in a one-level underground parking garage. This is approximately 10 spaces less than the typical requirement of space per four beds, and one space per two employees. This modification is justified based on Marriott's past experience with assisted living projects. The average age of a resident will be over 80 years old. Therefore, few, if any, of the residents will have automobiles. Also, Marriott anticipates that a majority of the employees will use mass transit because of its close proximity to the subject site.

V. Compliance with the Report of the 1987 Ad Hoc Committee on Appropriate Locations for Housing for the Elderly

On February 28, 1987, the County Board established an Ad Hoc Committee on Appropriate Locations for Housing for the Elderly to identify criteria necessary for the successful development of elderly housing and to select potential locations for such housing. Marriott was among those companies that the Committee consulted in preparing its study. The Committee issued its findings on July 1, 1987, in a report entitled A Report on Potential Locations for Housing for the Elderly. The report determined that there is a need for elderly housing in the County and that the "...greatest gap in housing for the elderly is in service-enhanced or supervised housing."

The criteria that the Committee studied for identifying possible elderly housing locations included proximity to services such as grocery stores, churches, public transportation, retail facilities and recreation facilities as well as topography, neighborhood safety, suitability for pedestrian traffic and the appropriateness of surrounding property values. The proposed location possesses all of the necessary qualifications.

VI. Conclusion

Marriott has long recognized the particular and growing needs of the older residents of the country and that recognition was the genesis of the Senior Living Services Division. By keeping these needs firmly in mind, Marriott has designed a project that will blend harmoniously with the surrounding neighborhood and will provide an important service to senior citizens in Arlington County. The proposed facility will help to preserve the high quality of life that the citizens of Arlington deserve and have come to expect.

In conclusion, Marriott respectfully requests approval of the site plan for Brighton Gardens."

This Application of Marriott Senior Living Services, Inc. for a Site Plan, Statement of Support, dated January 10, 1997, was submitted by David S. Houston, Counsel for the Applicant, McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, L.L.P.

The Civic Association has invited representatives of the applicant to make a presentation on the proposed Brighton Gardens site plan at our Wednesday, January 29, 1997, Membership Meeting, at the Hilton Hotel, 2nd Floor Conference Rooms, above the Ballston Metro Station. If you have any questions or comments about this proposed elderly assisted living housing project, we invite you to bring them to our Membership Meeting. This item is scheduled for presentation from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

This proposal is expected to be reviewed by the Site Plan Review Subcommittee of the Planning Commission in February 1997. As of the time of printing this Newsletter, no site plan number had been assigned and no meeting dates had been set.

Return to the January/February 1997 Newsletter-Index

The BVSCA Home Page