An earlier version of this story listed the incorrect annual fee for Wooded Glen I HOA. It is $575. This version has been corrected.
They’re not operating these days, but Gressel said he and his wife used slug lines as drivers and riders, explaining that people organized on-the-spot or advance carpools by destination.
“They would get two riders, and then they could drive in on the HOV lane. It was free transportation for the people, because the driver wouldn’t ask for money for gas. The driver would save 15 to 20 minutes of commute, and everybody was better off,” he said. “And there were all these rules for slugs: [Passengers] cannot talk to the driver. … They don’t control the radio or the AC or whatever. They’re just there as passengers. It was a great symbiotic relationship.”
There are many aspects of Wooded Glen that residents still enjoy, including camaraderie and schools, but most agree that it is the location that makes the difference.
Wooded Glen is right off Lee Chapel Road and minutes from shopping and entertainment in Burke and Springfield. The community includes 56 single-family homes and 80 townhouses.
The neighborhood has one homeowners association for the single-family homes and one for the townhouses. The townhouses back up to Rolling Valley West Park, and some of the single-family houses back up to a wooded area.
“We do an annual hazard survey with an arborist of the six acres of forest land we have behind us to make sure we don’t have any dead trees back there that might fall on somebody’s house or something like that,” Gressel said.
Gressel said the neighborhood has staying power. Margarita Miller agreed. She’s one of the original owners in Wooded Glen, having moved to the single-family house section in 1986.
She lived in two other places in Burke before then, and she has seen many changes over roughly four decades in the area, including when Lee Chapel Road was a quiet two-lane road. Like Gressel, she enjoys the convenience of the neighborhood and appreciates the friendships that have developed there.
“Many of us have friendships in the expanded community. Everyone keeps their yards very nice and takes pride in their community and in the homes. ... The townhouse community was [built] almost simultaneous to our construction, so they’ve all been there a while. And, of course, [the area] faces change and all of that, but I think the spirit is always there,” Miller said.
Gressel said one drawback is that drivers sometimes speed through the neighborhood, using Wooded Glen Avenue to access Lee Chapel Road. Aside from that, he finds great joy in the neighborhood. For now, he intends to stay.
“My wife’s still working. We like the area. The house is, in some ways, a little big for our needs, but part of it is that I’ve collected all these things — you know, 30-plus-year Foreign Service career — so we need space to display it, so that works out okay that way,” Gressel said. “We’re comfortable. The house is generally nice for entertaining and stuff, so I think we’ll be here at least for the foreseeable future.”
Living there: There are three houses on the market in Wooded Glen, including one under contract, according to real estate agent Jo Ann Kennel with Re/Max Allegiance. A five-bedroom, four-bathroom townhouse with about 1,500 square feet is listed at $599,900. A five-bedroom, four-bath single-family house, with about 3,800 square feet, is listed at $1.05 million.
During the past year, the highest-priced home in Wooded Glen sold for $955,000. It was more than 3,000 square feet, with four bedrooms and three baths. The lowest-priced home, a more than 1,500-square-foot, three-bed, three-bath townhouse, sold for $600,000.
The single-family homes in Wooded Glen belong to the Wooded Glen I HOA, which has an annual fee of $575. Townhouses belong to the Wooded Glen II HOA, which has a $295 annual fee.
Transit: Wooded Glen is less than a 10-minute drive to the Virginia Railway Express Rolling Road Station and is about a 15-minute drive to the Franconia-Springfield Metro on the Blue Line. Residents can catch a Metrobus nearby that goes to the Pentagon.
Schools: White Oaks Elementary School (pre-K to sixth), Lake Braddock Middle School (seventh and eighth), Lake Braddock High School (ninth to 12th).