Old Milk Barn - Cherri Drive - Pimmit Hills

Old Milk Barn - Cherri Drive - Pimmit Hills
Old Milk Barn - Cherri Drive - Pimmit Hills

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Aging Parolees, Ex-Drug Dealers and Mentally Ill Up the Street (aka The proposed CSB 'group home' at the Cherri Drive milk barn)

CSB Proposes Halfway-House to Replace Park Authority 'Barn' on Cherri Drive
How Politically-Connected 'Not-For-Profit' Execs Make $$$ Off CSB's 'Clients'
The old Milk Barn at 1845 Cherri Drive in Pimmit Hills
Photo Credit: Frace-Heller Family
(Click on image to enlarge)
Mark your calendar:
Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Pimmit Hills Citizens Association Meeting to Vote on This Matter!
Pimmit Hills Senior Center
7510 Lisle Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22043
(Yahoo! Map locator).

(The following letter was emailed to the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association and posted to the Yahoo! Pimmit Hills Moms Group on Sunday, January 22, 2012.)

By The Frace-Heller Family
Originally Published: January 22, 2012

To all Pimmit Hills Moms and Dads,

When one considers the placement of a government-subsidized 'group-home', the real-life connotations for what that means better be thoroughly understood and reviewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.

A facility run by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) in conjunction with the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority could, according to those entities' own published materials, be used to house "people with intellectual disabilities, mental illness or substance use disorders," including people who are currently "homeless" living on the street.

Despite assurances and promises from county officials to the contrary, this Cherri Drive facility could legally also be used as a half-way house for people who, in the words of CSB's '2011 Housing Needs Report', have had "Interaction with the criminal justice system" -- meaning prison parolees, 'ex'-convicts, 'former' drug dealers, 'ex'-gang-bangers convicted of violent crimes, and 'ex'-sex-offenders.

This type of group living facility may be great for downtown Fairfax, Annandale, Arlington, or industrial sections of these municipalities, but in a family neighborhood like Pimmit Hills, such government-run facilities could, and would, have a deleterious effect on real estate values and quality-of-life.

Right now, for example, Cherri Drive between Magarity Road and Lisle Avenue, where the old milk barn sits and where the CSB facility would be constructed, is family-friendly with children playing on the sidewalk, side yards, backyards and front yards of local homes -- kids otherwise enjoying themselves unfettered to play just about anywhere they want up and down that neighborhood and neighborly street.

Whereas, if parents now have to worry about a county-run group-home catering, for example, to pre-release felons coming from "the custody of the attorney general" (meaning from prison), then the likelihood is that parents will tell their kids to stay far away from 'that place' and just hang out in the back yard.

We know we will.

Further, the proposed facility would be built to handle up to a dozen people and would be providing parking spaces for at least that many vehicles on what is now the lawn surrounding the barn.

The Fairfax-Falls Church CSB and the affiliated Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is run by the same county political machine which recently tried to ram a school bus maintenance facility down the neighborhood's collective throat when politicos wanted to convert a portion of the playing fields behind the Lisle Avenue Pimmit Hills Senior Center (the former PH High School) into a parking and a maintenance facility housing a large chunk of the county's school bus fleet.

One could easily ask oneself why are Fairfax County public officials so intent on forcing upon Pimmit Hills these kinds of county facilities that have more than a little negative impact on private property values, and do nothing to improve local quality of neighborhood life for which Pimmit Hills' taxpayers pay so dearly in our local property taxes.

No matter what county officials promise now in the way of the types of people who would be residing in the proposed CSB facility, once it is built, CSB can put ANYONE they want to live there. Further, there is NOTHING that the neighborhood can legally then do about it.

Further, the motives for establishing these group homes may on the surface appear lofty, but as with all things political: Follow The Money!

No doubt the county politicos mouth high-sounding explanations rationalizing the need for these group-home facilities and expounding on their grand goals for same, but the underlying economic and political reality is that these facilities are huge cash cows for those who are politically-connected!

It is a fact that CSB and FCRHA contract out to tax-exempt, so-called 'Not-For-Profit' organizations to manage day-to-day operations at these facilities.

The execs who run these NFP's invariably are on the receiving end of six-figure annual salaries with cushy perks and handsome pension, health, medical and dental benefits.

No one should be surprised as well to find relatives and associates of county politicos and the politically-connected employed by these NFP's and in charge of managing these CSB-FCRHA group homes.

Thus, lofty motives aside, the politics behind the creation of these group homes is that these facilities are, at their core, vehicles by which federal, state, municipal, and county monies ultimately funnel down to line the pockets of the politically-connected.

If county officials truly want to make productive and positive use of the Cherri Drive property where the old barn sits, one suggestion would be simply to tear down the old building, plant grass, put in a couple benches, a nice 'jungle jim' and soccer net, and create a neighborhood playground on the near one-acre parcel, the kind of vest-pocket park that has proven successful in other Falls Church locations.

Another suggestion is to put the parcel back on the tax rolls by selling the property at public auction to the highest bidder, who will no doubt build a couple million-dollar homes that would enhance the value of surrounding properties and simultaneously generate tax, water, and sewer revenues for the county.

Think about this: Do you really want living up the block a dozen or so prison parolees, 'ex'-cons, 'former' drug addicts, 'ex'-gang-bangers, former street homeless, and others who have recently had "Interaction with the criminal justice system"?

Also, do you really want to deal with the line of visitors these group-home residents will likely introduce to the neighborhood?

Think: Is this proposed project really worth any of the potential problems its presence may create?

Please: Read CSB's own document, CSB's 2011 Housing Needs Report and read it thoroughly.
While so doing, remember to read between the lines, and more importantly, follow the money!
SEE: '2011 Housing Needs Report', Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, September 2011:

Look: The following are just two examples of the many tax-exempt, so-called 'not-for-profit,' organizations to which CSB contracts out services related to CSB group-homes and CSB programs. (Click on the organization's IRS Form 990 shown below, scroll down to the referenced PDF pages, and please note how many senior executives in these non-profits are taking home annual salaries of six-figures, with cushy pensions and all manner of executive perquisites):
1. Pathways to Housing DC, Inc., Washington, DC;
Website: http://www.pathwaystohousing.org/content/city_washington_dc
SEE: IRS Form 990 (Fiscal 2010); PDF pgs. 7, 25:
2. PRS, Inc., (formerly Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services), McLean, VA;
Website: http://www.prsinc.org
SEE: IRS Form 990 (Fiscal 2010); PDF pgs. 8, 26:
Hopefully, all the information above has whetted your appetite to seek out more information about the halfway-house/group-home that CSB wants to construct in the Pimmit Hills neighborhood on the site of the old Milk Barn.

Please come to the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association meeting to vote on this important matter directly affecting your home's current and future value, and the safety of your neighborhood.

Mark your calendar: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Pimmit Hills Senior Center, 7510 Lisle Avenue, Falls Church, VA 22043 (Yahoo! Map locator

Should there be questions regarding this important local matter, please feel free to contact us by email via the link below .

Thank you and best regards,

The Frace-Heller Family
Pimmit Hills
Falls Church, VA 22043
Contact via e-mail

Follow-up and Clarification:

By The Frace-Heller Family
Originally published: January 23, 2012

To all Pimmit Hills Moms and Dads,

In our letter yesterday, we do not mean to imply that CSB itself was specifically involved in the matter of school bus maintenance and parking at Pimmit Hills Senior Center.

What we did state in our letter is the following (in bold for emphasis):
"The Fairfax-Falls Church CSB and the affiliated Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority is run by the same county political machine which recently tried to ram a school bus maintenance facility down the neighborhood's collective throat when politicos wanted to convert a portion of the playing fields behind the Lisle Avenue Pimmit Hills Senior Center (the former PH High School) into a parking and a maintenance facility housing a large chunk of the county's school bus fleet."
In addition, regarding the various promises and assurances being made by CSB officials in their recent 'sales presentation' to the PHCA board and residents (and in any future presentations made by ANY government officials) trying to sell Pimmit Hills residents on accepting the Cherri Drive group home, here is what we wrote regarding "promises" yesterday (again, in bold for emphasis):
"No matter what county officials promise now in the way of the types of people who would be residing in the proposed CSB facility, once it is built, CSB can put ANYONE they want to live there. Further, there is NOTHING that the neighborhood can legally then do about it."
We hope this helps to make clear what we stated in our letter.

Thank you.

The Frace-Heller Family
Pimmit Hills
Falls Church, VA 22043
Contact via e-mail


  1. We wholeheartedly agree. Everyone needs to think long and hard about what this would mean for the neighborhood. There is really only one rational way to vote. Gorana & Dejan Neskovic

  2. I also agree wholeheartedly. My last neighborhood (townhouses, so we were all pretty close to one another) had a "compassion house" where the charitable organization promised only to put good families with children, going through temporary struggles. Sounds perfectly reasonable, harmless, and kind, right? The families that cycled through included a family whose teen was in MS-13 and gang members (and police) became a constant presence on our street. A neighbor's car was vandalized after she asked the gang members to please not do drugs out in front of the house in the presence of her 4 year old son. Finally, the house was raided one night and 20+ people removed and arrested. The next family trashed the house and yard. The next family was nice, but the drug addict father accidentally drowned their 2-year-old while high - she was saved only because another neighbor came when he heard the father screaming on the street, and performed CPR.

    I am 100% for compassionate consideration and helping someone get back on their feet. But the best of intentions cannot shield us from the reality of the risks entailed, so ask yourself if you want these kinds of situations on your doorstep, because I've lived it and it's why I moved when I wanted to start a family. This is not just a home value issue, it's a safety issue. Please come out and vote.

  3. I agree this is a poor choice for this type of facility within a residential neighborhood (just think of them putting this in downtown Vienna where there are similar houses and streets), but there is no way that Fairfax County is going to take you seriously if you propose a park. I would remove this suggestion from your poll immediately and make sure the community knows to do the same. Pimmit Hills has more parks than most neighborhoods in Fairfax County and doesn't need any more. There is also a large park across the street and this property is not very large. Most people don't even know where two of them are located behind houses. The minute you propose something that doesn't make money for them, they will tune you out. Are there luxury home builders interested in the property? Perhaps they could make Fairfax County an offer? Get everyone behind this suggestion then. Have you asked McLean Citizen's Assoc. for their help? If you are really against this, I would attend a meeting and beg for their help. I would get Darren Ewing involved to work with the Supervisor as well as the Pimmit Hills Citizen's Association. That property along Route 7 including the church never got built and the church decided not to sell, but it involved a ton of work to get the neighborhood working as a community together.

  4. Also tone down the hype and act professionally and serious. That will take you a long way.

  5. Fairfax County has a certain record of interaction with Pimmit Hills in recent years. The first example is the "school" on Lisle Avenue, which is zoned to be an elementary school. In much the same way the proposed group home can become anything in the future, this elementary school closed and the County used the building for other purposes since then. I contacted various County agencies last summer when the "school" property was so shabby and unmowed with overgrown weeds that it looked completely abandoned.
    Another continuing problem is the lack of attention or concern to traffic in the neighborhood. My neighbors tell me that the police won't enforce the speed limits, and the County took over 50 years to finally agree to install some stop signs, when speed humps are really needed.
    We can't use the "side walk" to get to the grocery store; the County won't build a real sidewalk along Magarity Road in the area near the intersection for Safeway, despite complaints about the poor engineering, design, construction, and materials, that have deteriorated over time.
    If the County won't maintain the existing school or take care of the sidewalk, how can we expect them to manage or provide sufficient oversight to a group home? At the Lemon Road meeting, officials kept saying that this home will be for intellectually disabled adults, but they refuse to put that in writing.
    The County has a responsibility to provide all of the information asked for by Pimmit Hills residents. The interpretation of ADA laws used as an excuse by officials not to provide information shows a lack of sincerity and a lack of respect for all Fairfax citizens, not just those of us in Pimmit Hills. It should be possible to find out what neighborhoods or areas have group homes in Fairfax County through records of public meetings and hearings, but the point is that the County should be providing this when asked instead of making it difficult for people to obtain this information. As far as privacy goes, property owners are listed in the County records online through the Assessor. What privacy?!

  6. I agree with the poster that suggested a bit more professionalism. Just reading the heading turns one off since it is full of judgment and negativity. I can see someone defending the case for the group home only because they were offended by the judgmental language. Clearly this is a heated and emotionally charged issue, but keeping it positive and nonjudgmental will get you far.
    Although I agree that they should not build the group home where it is being proposed, I also agree with the county that giving out information regarding addresses violates privacy.

    1. Heaven forbid we should be judgmental about anything the County does in its headlong pursuit to thrust a facility that would have decidedly negative impact on local property values.
      Dear Anonymous, CSB officials maintained for a month that the Fair Housing Act (aka Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (aka HIPAA) prevented CSB from releasing the addresses of its group-homes/halfway-houses.
      Yet, when pressed for the legal citations in those Acts to back up CSB's claims, CSB was unable to provide those cites. In other words, CSB officials were LYING!
      Now why do you suppose CSB officials do not want anyone in Pimmit Hills nosing around neighborhoods where CSB maintains its other group homes while the decision to build a group-home in Pimmit Hills is theoretically still in flux?

    2. All I was saying is that there is a difference between being critical and being judgmental. You should absolutely be critical of the county for what it is doing, however, and believe it or not I am trying to be helpful because I do want you to persevere in your cause, some of the word choices is off-putting. That's all.

  7. I did a little digging around and reading and it seems that the president of Pimmit Hills board basically has said this is a great idea , is against larger homes being put in and he thought the meeting would green light the project by the community. This was posted back in January. So basically the PHCA board has been all about the building while as the majority of the community seems to not want it or was in the dark. It was VERY aparant that alot and I think the majority of people were angry that this project was going to happen and were ready to vote against it but the board declared no voting would happen to prevent the no vote.

    Here is a post from the President of PHCA (ex president now)

    "The staff agreed to having another presentation for the community during our March 6th meeting. We have been looking for a meeting that would bring numbers out again; I have a feeling this is that meeting. There will be a lot of questions from our community and the staffers are great at responding to them. I would say that after the meeting not a single person was upset about the proposal and was okay with the idea.

    In all, I feel like there are really no negatives for Pimmit Hills mainly for the fact that if the county does not take ownership of the property and turn it into a group home, the Park Service will put the land up for auction and a private contractor will buy the property and we have a huge chance of getting another McMansion or even two because of how large the property is. This would mean that we would at least have a say no matter what happens on the property if the county owns it.

    What I propose, is to structure our March 6th meeting around the Barns Proposal presentation and allow the staffers from the CSB to come in and talk to the association. Then, either at the end of the meeting we vote on a position of yes or no of the proposal or set up another meeting in April to do the vote. The CSB and Supervisor Foust will move onto the next step of the process once we have as an association taken a stance on it."


Please feel free to add your comments, opinions and suggestions.