Neighborhood profile Annandale Acres – The Washington Post

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Annandale Acres is a diverse and welcoming community in a semirural part of Fairfax County, Va., just 13 miles outside Washington.

Because many of the lots are one acre or close to it, the neighborhood’s 124 houses have a quiet, country feel despite being less than a mile from Little River Turnpike.

Residents say they enjoy the outdoors, and it’s not unusual to see neighbors tending to their gardens or large yards, the neighborhood kids gathering to play on a trampoline, or people walking with their children and dogs. Annandale Acres is near several parks, including Backlick Park, which is within walking distance.

“We are friendly. We walk. We wave. We pay attention to each other,” said Carolyn Freeman, who grew up in Annandale Acres and moved back into her childhood home in 2007 after her parents died.

With no homeowners association, each single-family home has its own personality, making for a variety of exterior designs, paint schemes, mailboxes and shutters. Styles range from classic Victorian and vintage Cape Cod to sleek modern and futuristic geodesic dome.

“It’s not cookie-cutter at all,” said Sherry Hilsher, a 10-year resident of Annandale Acres. “It’s kind of woodsy. It’s eclectic. Not everybody has the same house or the same income. We have people from all kinds of ethnicities. … All of my neighbors are very friendly.”

There’s also a diversity in age. The neighborhood is a mix of older families whose children have left home and young couples who are starting or growing their families.

Ruth Stanton and her husband, Bruce, said they moved to Annandale Acres in 1974 because they loved the small cinder-block houses built right after World War II and the privacy the neighborhood offered. Back then, their neighbors had almost three acres of pastures and woods, and ponies lived at both ends of the street, Ruth Stanton said. Her house was built by her husband’s best friend.

“We just love the property and the neighborhood, and we wanted to say,” she said.

Stanton said that when her kids were young, her family was close with three other families in the community who have since moved away as their children became adults. But when the kids were younger, they were good friends because they attended school together.

The area schools are a big selling point, Stanton said. Both of her kids went to Annandale High School.

“They loved the fact that the school is made up of so many different kinds of people speaking many different languages,” she said.

Freeman said her parents moved to Annandale Acres eight years after it was founded in 1940, when it was considered “way out in the country.”

But much has changed. The original houses were modest three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes. One such house recently sold for about $470,000, according to Brenda May, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Metro Center.

Increasingly, those smaller homes are being torn down, she said, as buyers build larger houses in their place.

Fairfax County’s recent revisions to its residential zoning allow for “accessory living units,” which are secondary dwellings within single-family homes. Some ALUs have been turned into rentals, Freeman said. Between rentals and larger houses replacing smaller ones, Freeman said the neighborhood is not as cozy as it once was.

“But then again, all things change,” she said.

Fairfax poised to approve zoning changes that would make it easier to rent converted apartments

Some residents, like Stanton, have maintained the original look of their houses but expanded them.

“We got lucky finding a place that was on the market, because they tend to move pretty quick,” said Andrew Bridges, who moved to Annandale Acres in 2019.

Bridges said he likes the neighborhood because “it’s pretty accessible to everything in Northern Virginia and a couple of parts in Maryland.”

Residents can shop at Bradlick Shopping Center, which includes a Giant supermarket, and the Annandale Shopping Center, which has various shops, restaurants and an Aldi grocery store.

Freeman, who has been president of the Annandale Acres Civic Association since 2012, has been encouraging more of the community to become involved in the organization’s events. Although the pandemic slowed recent efforts, Freeman said she was successful last year in holding her annual Halloween event, which normally draws 30 to 40 residents to her driveway.

Civic association dues, which are voluntary, are $20 a year per household and help fund community events and entertainment, such as the community picnic that Freeman said she is organizing for this summer.

The civic association “really goes the extra mile,” Bridges said, mentioning that new residents are welcomed with a community gift basket.

“Overall, it’s kind of an amazing neighborly feel for an area that’s inside the Washington Beltway,” Bridges said.

Living there: The neighborhood runs along Auburn Street, Beverly Street, Calvert Street, Clemons Court and parts of Backlick Road. According to May, no homes are on the market, and 10 sold in the past 12 months. The average sales price was $748,412. The highest-priced sale was a seven-bedroom, six-bathroom house for $1.6 million. The lowest-priced sale was a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house for $470,123.

Schools: Braddock Elementary, Poe Middle and Annandale High. Students also can enroll in the following Advanced Academic Placement Centers — Canterbury Woods Elementary and Frost Middle — if they pass Fairfax County’s screening process.

Transit: The closest Metro stations are Dunn Loring on the Orange line, about 5.5 miles away, and Franconia-Springfield on the Blue and Yellow lines, about 5.4 miles away. Fairfax Connector buses have several stops in the neighborhood.

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