Virginia Residents Sue County Over Plan to Move Homeless Shelter to Their Neighborhood

A group of Virginia neighbors are taking Fairfax County to court hoping to stop plans to temporarily move a homeless shelter into their neighborhood.

The Bailey’s Crossroads Homeless Shelter is closing so several hundreds of apartments can be developed on the land along Columbia Pike, but a permanent new location hasn’t been found, so the county is considering an open field bordering a senior center and the Stonegate at Landmark town home community in the Lincolnia area.

The Mason District’s planning committee voted the proposal down in late June.

"I would rather only move the shelter once, if I can find a suitable location for that permanent shelter, but so far we haven't been able to find that permanent site,” Supervisor Penelope Gross of the Mason District told News4 in May.

Ultimately the decision is Fairfax County’s to make, but there are security and cost concerns for a temporary fix.

“We hope the county will realize they need to slow down, they need to find a permanent answer for this shelter,” Stonegate Homeowners Association President Debbie Fraser said.

Fraser filed suit against the county in circuit court Tuesday.

“We have a right, too, and that’s what we’re pursuing,” she said.

Fraser has lived there since 2010 and said part of the appeal was that nearby open plot of land.

“This was proffered to be an amenity for recreation, and we want to keep it that way,” she said.

Supervisor Gross said she hadn’t reviewed the details of the lawsuit, but stressed that the county is still focused on finding a permanent site for the shelter.

The county planning commission will hear public comment July 20.

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