Plans to redevelop Lake Anne Fellowship House have been put on hold indefinitely — and it looks as though some current residents of the affordable housing for seniors may have to pay higher rents in order to stay in the building.
Fellowship Square and Novus Residences had been working for more than a year on plans to tear down the senior housing in need of remodeling and rebuild on the site 140 affordable housing units as well as 285 market-rate housing units.Most of the balance of the article focuses on comments by Edward Byrnes, a member of the Fellowship House Foundation board and chair of its Lake Anne Redevelopment Committee, and a letter he wrote to the County withdrawing their application with a bitter tone, generally blaming the County for the outcome.
In fact, the outcome was one of Fellowship House Foundation's own making, aided by NOVUS Residences, an area developer. The Foundation's proposal explicitly ignored two key provisions of the Lake Anne Comprehensive Plan, modified a few years ago after a decade of community participation in its development. Those two key provisions are:
- The total number of apartments allowed on the property redeveloped on its own would not exceed 320 units. The Foundation and NOVUS proposed 425 units, the maximum number permitted IF the property were developed in partnership with other nearby areas in a single plan. That condition was not met.
- Any redevelopment of the Lake Anne Fellowship House should accommodate ALL the low-income residents in the new development or in the immediate Lake Anne area. The Foundation and NOVUS proposed throwing out the residents of 100 apartment units, offering them useless Section 8 vouchers to "go fish" for affordable housing elsewhere.