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Supervisors approve expansion for exclusive Cascades retirement community

An exclusive retirement community for military veterans and top senior federal civilian employees in Cascades won Board of Supervisors approval last week to build more modern apartments and a dementia care facility.

Officials with the nonprofit retirement community Falcons Landing said the additional 76 apartment units and 18-bed dementia care facility was needed to remain competitive to similar communities in the region.

They also said the expansion was needed to meet the future demands of the baby boomer generation and those struggling with Alzheimer’s.

The meeting brought dozens of former Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Army veterans and officers along with their spouses, who mostly spoke in favor of the community’s expansion.

In order to build the new facilities, Falcons Landing said it would need to destroy some of its existing cottages, a move that some residents living in those cottages adamantly opposed because they felt they were being forced to leave.

Other residents worried what would become of their contracts with Falcons Landing if the retirement community moved forward with its expansion plans.

Representatives of Falcons Landing maintained that residents were not being forced to leave their existing homes for the new facilities and said they could remain there as long as they pleased. They also assured residents that their

lifetime contracts, which guarantee care and a designated home in the community, would be honored.

Yet some residents remained skeptical.

“It will be many years before all the cottages will be vacated and residents can be relocated and construction can begin,” Falcons Landing resident Jim Haynes, who lives at the retirement community with his wife, said before supervisors cast their vote. “It seems premature to approve this zoning application.”

Haynes voiced concern that Falcons Landing did not involve the resident community in its board and board voting process. He urged supervisors to reject the application so the community could conduct more professional research and develop a plan that would be “agreeable for all.”

Haynes’ wife, Nancy, said she had received a letter from the Falcons Landing board stating that although their contracts would be honored and they would not be forced to move, without the revenues from the new apartment buildings, the community would likely be unable to afford the dementia care facility without raising fees.

Other Falcons Landing residents welcomed the community’s expansion.

David Belden, a retired Air Force officer and association executive, called the community a family -- one that would inevitably have disagreements occasionally.

“Falcons Landing is not another development or just another community,” Belden said. “ ... We’re just like every other family, we don’t agree on much of anything. However, you have heard from residents who have one reason or another to be against the proposal and they’re members of the family. Some of them have specific  reasons, some of them just don’t want change.”

Staff said that because Falcons Landing’s request was a land-use application, their evaluation of it was solely based on existing land-use policies in the zoning ordinance standards for use.

County staff said a contractual agreement between residents and the Falcons Landing was not subject to the county’s review or enforcement.

County Attorney Leo Rogers also said if it appeared the county was interfering in the contracts between the two parties Falcons Landing could accuse county of “tortious interference.”

Several supervisors said Falcons Landing’s request was one of the most “clean” applications they had seen.

Supervisors agreed to suspend its rules of order and approve the application.

The motion to approve the retirement community’s expansion passed 8-0-1 with Supervisor Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg) absent for the vote.




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All part of the comprehensive plan, no doubt.

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