REEVESLAND FARMHOUSE PROJECT FAQs
(as of 3/30/2023)
Editor: Chris Tighe
Q: What is the Reevesland Farmhouse?
A: Reevesland has the distinction of being the last operating dairy farm in Arlington. The 160-acre farm remained in the same family for three generations and it represents an important era in Arlington’s history, when the area was transformed from a sleepy, rural community into the thriving suburban/urban county it is today.
Q: Who currently owns the property?
A: Arlington County has owned the historical property since 2000.
Q: What is planned for the Reeves Farmhouse property? Will the original building be preserved? What else is being built?
A:The planned adaptive reuse of the Reeves Farmhouse envisions historically restoring the exterior of the existing farmhouse and constructing a historically compatible addition to accommodate four to five individuals with intellectual disabilities and their companions/caregivers. The interior of the home will be fully renovated to accommodate current living standards and functionality while increasing its energy efficiency whenever possible. Upon completion, the property will be turned over to L’Arche Greater Washington, DC., a 501©3 nonprofit providing housing and support services to adults with intellectual disabilities.
See this link for current presentation.
Q:Who is going to live at the Reeves Farmhouse once it is complete?
A: Four-to-five adults with disabilities and at least one full-time staff member will live at the property.
Q: How has BMCA been involved in this process? What is the Civic Association role moving forward?
A: BMCA has been involved since 2015 when a member (now a board member) approached a County Board member to raise a vision and an idea to have Habitat DC-NOVA take the property. After a brainstorming session with Habitat DC-NOVA and the County Board member, the idea of a group home for adults with disabilities took hold. Approximately January 2017 a BMCA-wide meeting was held in which preliminary drawings were shown and engagement started. Once that engagement session happened, in May 2017 the County was contacted with an unsolicited proposal for rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of the farmhouse as a group home for people with developmental disabilities. In February 2020, a County Board meeting was held in which a letter of intent was passed to convey the property (https://www.arlingtonva.us/About-Arlington/Newsroom/Articles/2020/Agreement-Preserves-Reevesland-Farmhouse-Supports-People-in-Need). The BMCA President (actually was the individual who first approach the County Board member with the idea in 2015) spoke at that meeting and spoke of the widespread acceptance of the BMCA community to move the plan forward.
Q: Who will be conducting the construction work?
A: Habitat for Hummanity of Washington, DC &Northern Virginia (Habitat DC-NOVA) and HomeAid National Captial Region (HomeAidNCR) are collaborating on the construction aspects of the project. The two nonprofits have a combined 50 years experience building and renovating homes and nonprofit facilities for those experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness in the region. Each nonprofit aims to build safe and dignified spaces for families and nonprofits serving vulnerable populations. They are teaming up on this important project to provide adults with intellectual disabilities a safe place to belong and build community.
Q: Who is L’Arche and what is their mission?
A: L’Arche Greater Washington, DC will own and manage the property once construction is complete and the County provides a Certificate of Occupancy. L’Arche Greater Washington, D.C. is a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities sharing life together. L’Arche GWDC is part of the L’Arche International Federation. There are over 150 L’Arche communities around the world. The mission of L’Arche is to celebrate the unique value of every person, recognizing and accepting our need of one another and building relationships that transform all of us.
As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, L’Arche GWDC provides housing and support services to adults with intellectual disabilities, and serves hundreds of people in the wider community, of many different backgrounds, by offering a place of belonging and growth. Daily life at L’Arche centers on relationships, led by “core members,” the adults with intellectual disabilities who live in L’Arche homes. People come from all over the country and the world to visit L’Arche and learn from core members and the model of mutual care and relationships.
To learn more about L’Arche GWDC, visit: www.larche-gwdc.org
Videos about L’Arche
- The Heart of L’Arche with Tim Shriver and Linda Potter (friends of L’Arche)
- Yuko Gibson, MD (Former L’Arche assistant) Relationships of Transformation
- Emmy Lu Daly (parent of L’Arche Core Member) A Sacred Super
Q: What is the approval process moving forward?
A: To move the process forward, the following steps must be taken:
- Receive a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Historic Affairs and Landmarks Review Board (HALRB), which will likely include two meetings with the Design Review Committee and a separate meeting of the full HALRB for review and approval. For an overview of that process, visit: https://www.arlingtonva.us/Government/Commissions-and-Advisory-Groups/Historical-Affairs-Landmark-Review-Board.
- Concurrently, fundraising benchmarks for construction expenses must be met.
- Once conditions 1 and 2 are met, the property will be conveyed to Habitat DC-NOVA, who will produce detailed construction documents and file for permits. From this point, the project will proceed “by-right,” requiring administrative review, approval, and inspections.
The nonprofit construction teams are responsible for developing architectural plans within the framework established by the County. The preliminary design plans have been developed by Wiencek & Associates.
This section will be updated as the process moves forward.
Q: How was this plan developed?
A:The overall plan to turn Reevesland farmhouse into a residence for adults with developmental disabilities started in 2015, when a BMCA Board member approached an Arlington County Board member about bringing in Habitat DC-NOVA and HomeAid National Capital Region to renovate the farmhouse. Since then, multiple BMCA meetings and County meetings have occurred to discuss and plan. The project was put on pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak however, all parties are certain plans and construction can now safely resume.
Q:Will we receive project updates? How frequently?
A:BMCA Board Member Chris Tighe will be the BMCA POC for this project, send out weekly updates to BMCA members and update the FAQ page as needed. Additionally, he will participate in regular calls between Habitat DC-NOVA, HomeAid NCR,L’Arche GWDC, and Arlington County.
Q: How can the community participate in the process?
A: There are various ways the community can participate
- Make sure you attend the BMCA Quarterly meetings to get in-depth quarterly updates
- Donate to L’Arche GWDC or Habitat DC-NOVA with earmarked donations for the project
- Once the development team gets to the point in which volunteers are needed, a community wide call will be made
- Help keep the site (once construction starts) secure by reporting any suspicious activity
- Volunteer at a local L’Arche GWDC residence in Arlington to learn about residents and L’Arche GWDC programs
- Many other opportunities will be presented and BMCA will push those out.
Q: Will the Reeves park space (sledding hill, community garden) continue to be open to the public?
A: Yes. BMCA is working with Habitat DC-NOVA to make sure that as much as possible the sledding hill and the Reevesland Learning Gardens will always be open to the public. Although specific construction phases may place limits on specific areas for safety reasons, every effort will be made to have a minimal impact on the public park area. Please note though that in certain phases of construction for safety reasons, some access will have to be limited. BMCA leadership is committed, through constantly working with the development team, and the County, to provide as much advance notice if areas need to be cordoned off for safety purposes.