Pimmit Hills Property Values, Quality-of-Life Threatened
WHAT: Pimmit Hills Citizen's Association `Town Meeting'.
WHEN: THIS TUESDAY EVENING, March 6th at 7:30 p.m..
WHERE: Pimmit Hills Senior Center at 7510 Lisle Avenue (formerly PH High School).
PURPOSE: To hear the County's Proposal, and also to let the PHCA Board know your views about whether or not the County should place a `halfway-house' in Pimmit Hills. PHCA's Web site says: "..... a position vote will be taken ....." of PHCA's Members.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is proposing to tear down the old barn located on Cherri Drive near Lisle Avenue, and in its place to construct a single-story, four-thousand (4,000) square-foot `group-home' facility to be operated by the County.
The facility would be used to house adults (the elderly and not-so-elderly), who, according to the County's own `2011 Housing Needs Report,' can have "criminal" histories. These persons are also likely to have "mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, intellectual disabilities, or substance abuse disorders" (e.g.: Crack Cocaine, Heroin and Methamphetamines), according to Virginia's Dept. of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
These are persons who require near-continuous monitoring 24-hours per day, and who may be subject to anti-social behaviors, serious emotional disturbances, incidents wherein they are psychotic and out-of-control, exhibiting outbursts of violence that cause such persons to be totally unfit to be placed anywhere but in government-run facilities with on-site security personnel, as well as medical and/or psychiatric professional staff near at hand.
Privately-owned care facilities will not accept these persons because of the risk and liability factors inherent in their daily care. That is why the County, in order to provide housing for such persons, has no other choice but to build and manage its own facilities.
The 1940's-era barn on Cherri Drive is presently leased to McLean Youth Athletics. It is being used to store athletic equipment owned by McLean Mustang Football, McLean Youth Soccer, and McLean Youth Lacrosse.
THINK: Do you want living near you and your children a group of adults whom the County is not able to place into private surroundings, because private care operators do not want the risk of dealing with unpredictable persons prone to extreme or violent behaviors? (Further, consider as well just who may be visiting those who reside within the County's proposed Cherri Drive facility.)
County Refuses to Produce Architectural Drawings for its Proposed Project
Pimmit Hills residents are being asked to vote on and approve the County's proposed project without so much as even being given opportunity to see first on paper what the project is supposed to look like, nor what is actually being proposed. Isn't this 'putting the cart before the horse'?
The County claims the structure will be 4,000 square-feet of usable living space, 1-story high, plus space for parking. Where on paper is a simple rendering or plot plan showing the structure's proposed footprint, setbacks, lighting, outbuildings and designated parking areas?
Fairfax County's strict building code requires that, for government-paid-for construction, there be vehicle parking on-site, not on-street, sufficient for the maximum number of persons expected to reside in the government owned/operated building, along with parking sufficient to accommodate visitors, all staff regularly on-duty (24/7 for the proposed facility), plus emergency vehicles.
FACT: It is likely that if the County gets its way, what is now a mostly grass-covered expanse with a picturesque barn set back from the street, will end-up being a big parking lot with a squat, out-sized institutional-looking building set square in the middle.
Impact on Property Values
Why do prospective home-buyers come to Pimmit Hills? Is it to find a comfortable place to live amongst nearby homes with kids playing in yards, or is it to find a government-run 24/7 care facility populated with persons from whom neighborhood children are likely to be warned to stay far away? What do you think the County's proposed project will do to neighborhood property values?
Proposed and Future Occupancy
County officials are claiming its group-home is intended to house six (6) residents. That number does not include full-time operating staff. What happens in the future should the County face budget constraints, changes in policy, etc.? Doubling-up would be easy, but that means there would then be 12 persons in residence.
Who can predict the maximum number of persons the County may end-up wanting to place in its Pimmit Hills facility, especially if at some future time the County decides it wants to expand and enlarge the structure it then already has in place? Once the County is in situ and already operating a residence facility, it will likely proceed to do with the property as it pleases without further consultation with PHCA or anyone else in Pimmit Hills.
County officials are silent on the subject of lighting. Right now, the barn is totally dark at night offering zero impact on the neighborhood environment. The proposed facility and its parking areas will no doubt be ablaze all night with the latest high-tech lighting in keeping with the most current security protocols.
Lofty Motives, Political Realities: Follow The Money!
Lofty, altruistic motives aside about `helping people,' the politics behind creating these government-run group-homes is such that these facilities, at their core, are vehicles for which literally billions of dollars annually in federal and state subsidies ($2.222 Billion in Virginia alone) are administered, the bulk of which monies are ultimately funneled to those who run the politically-connected so-called `not-for-profit' organizations to which local governments contract-out the day-to-day operations at these facilities. <<<<<
For more information check out the following Web sites and Government documents:
The Pimmit Hills Observer: http://www.pimmithillsnews.blogspot.com/
Yahoo! Pimmit Hills Moms and Dads Group:
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services: http://www.dbhds.virginia.gov/
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board: `2011 Housing Needs Report', Published: September 2011: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/reports/housing-report.pdf
VA. Dept. BHDS -- `FY 2010 Resource Deployment'; PDF pg. 16: