Many residents oppose proposed assisted living facility in Old Town Alexandria

Neighbors who live near Old Town Alexandria are up in arms over plans to develop an assisted living facility nearby. Some people in that neighborhood say they don't want that kind of facility coming to their community.

After some back and forth over the details, the planning commission in the city of Alexandria gave the go ahead for the project to move on to city council for consideration next week.

Residents are concerned about the size and scale of the project, how it will fit in the neighborhood as well as traffic and noise it might bring to their community.

As Andy Krakowski walks his dog, Stella, just across the street from the proposed project site, his concern about the possibility of it becoming reality is real.

"To be honest, we are quite surprised it is moving forward … to put a large facility there that doesn't have to do with the neighborhood is surprising," he said.

This area is zoned as residential, but a developer is requesting rezoning and permission to build an assisted living facility for the memory-impaired in a triangular lot located between Woodbine Rehabilitation and Healthcare and the Ivy Hill Cemetery in the 2800 block of King Street.

Planning director Karl Moritz said the first proposal was rejected.

"Originally, they came to us with idea of an 80,000-square foot nursing home and memory care facility, and we said no, it's too large for this site, too large for the neighborhood," said Moritz. "We challenged them to go back and bring us something that was a lot smaller."

Part of the compromise to move this project forward was the agreement to take some older trees on the property and move them up along the sidewalk and then take the building and move it a little further back to help preserve the look of the neighborhood.

"I'm very trouble by it because when everybody makes a huge investment in their home, and as a promise to us, we did our due diligence that area would not be removed -- single family development," said resident Jan Turkevich. "Now they want to put up a for-profit large facility that is not keeping with the neighborhood."

But residents who oppose the project say they moved into this neighborhood with the understanding that it would maintain a particular standard, specifically remaining residential with no changes in zoning.

"We are concerned about the home values, especially people directly across from that," said Turkevich. "There is no doubt that will have an effect in having a commercial building directly across from the homes. People do know that decreases your value."

This is all in the beginning stages. There is still much to be discussed and worked through.

Residents will have their opportunity to voice their concerns at the next city council meeting coming up in about a week.